Chapter 42

 

   As the week came to a close.  I had to go out to the financial aid office. I wanted to take care of all my student paperwork today, instead of waiting until Saturday. I figured Saturday would be hectic since students tended to avoid their office.  My mind quickly  reverted back to my dance and the studio. I’m very excited, and the day began on a high note.     

However, on my way over I couldn’t  help but notice it was Valentine’s Day.  Naturally, this is one celebration I used to enjoy, but ever since I lost Leo, it has become one of the most painful holidays for me. I try not to focus on my memories, but it’s no use.Valentine’s Day always held such special moments for both Leo and me.One of the most special ones actually happened in February of the year he passed. I never dreamed it would be the last one I would ever spend with him.   

 Leo and I had both decided it was time for us to be together. We had been talking about it for awhile, and we felt that after all the time we had been friends, it was time to give in. I had always been nervous starting a relationship with him.  I feared that if it didn’t work out, we would never become friends again.  It was a huge chance to take. Leo wanted me to be okay with it.On Valentines Day, of a senior year, we finally did it.  We made sure to take every precaution. I knew we were too young to be married, but I cherished the thought of it happening one day. When it did, it was on one of the most memorable days ever.  I will always cherish it.    Leo went all out. He planned it all, from the dinner reservation to the movie and the hotel.  We had shown our parents we were responsible adults, so I didn’t really go into it with my parents. All I said was that I was going to be late, and they shouldn’t wait up. I am not sure if they knew or not. My mother never really asked me anything else, so I decided to keep it to myself.    But getting back to our night. It was so beautiful. After he took me to an Italian restaurant, called Arturo’s, which had to be reserved way in advance.  Walking in, the lights were dimmed low, and the scent of wine and olive oil filled the air, mingling with his cologne.  After we ordered our drinks, we got on the small dance floor, and the way he looked at me filled my heart with such joy. He complimented me the entire night.  After dinner, we went back to the hotel room.  His hands shook slightly as he opened the door to our room and before we even closed the door, we were in each others arms. 

  “Mia, you look so beautiful.”   I looked down. “Oh, Leo, you are going to make me blush.”  “Well, I am only telling you the truth.”  “Mia, are you sure about this?”  “Yes, Leo. I want to be with you.”  He smiled. “I love you so much, Mia.”  “I love you too, Leo.”    It was so beautiful, the way Leo looked at me. Then, as we both got undressed I knew I could trust him. When we kissed and held each other, I wanted the night to go on forever.I was glad we had waited as long as we did. Initially, we were planning on it happening after the winter formal in December, but I wasn’t ready, and Leo was not the type to push me into anything I wasn’t ready for. He was so patient with me. I appreciated that.I felt so comfortable being with him and Leo never rushed me and afterwards he just held me.It happened on Valentine’s Day  it just felt right. He was always so respectful of me and my feelings. Leo was the only boy I had ever been with, and I didn’t want to even think about being with someone else. I don’t think I will be ever able to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the same way again.“Mia Gerard, we are ready to see you now.”Oh goodness! I got so caught up in my memories I forgot I was at the financial aid office.Well, lucky for me I’m next.Later that Saturday evening, Sandy planned a night out with some of her friends from the dance studio, but I let her know I’m not up for going out. She doesn’t press me. Given what I’ve shared with her about Leo, she knows my reasons.“I completely understand, Mia, but if you change your mind, I will be at the Dreams Café.”“Oh, thanks, Sandy, but I am going to just sit back for tonight,” I say in a soft tone.She lowers an eyebrow at me. “Mia, I can stay if you want me to.”“I will be fine, Sandy. You have fun. Besides, I will be getting ready to begin working at the dance studio.”“Oh Mia, that is going to be so much fun.”I nodded. “I am excited too Sandy.”“Well, I’m sorry I have to go, but I’m meeting with the other girls from dance class, and then I’ve got to get things ready at the dance studio.”“Have fun, Sandy.”I did not want to ruin the fun for her, so I smiled as she walked out the door. Then I decided to lie in bed with my memories, sobs raked my body and tears spilled down, soaking my pillow.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Leo. I miss you.

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