by Corey Norman © 2002

The apartment was black as Jennifer opened the front door. Light flooded past her silhouetted figure, illuminating the floor before her. She stepped through the doorway, tripping over a pair of shoes. She fumbled around the wall until her fingers recognized the familiar form of the light switch. She guided it up as the apartment filled with light, chasing all the shadows away.

"Hey baby, are you home?"

Her eyes scanned the apartment for any sign of her fiancée. His shoes were by the door so he must be home she thought. Her eyes continued to wander. From the corner of her eye, she caught a glimpse of a white place card sitting on the coffee table. She reached over and picked it up.

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    It's a Valentine's Day scavenger hunt,
    So go to the kitchen for your first clue

Jennifer's eyes blazed with excitement. She had wondered if they would even be talking today, let alone celebrating Valentine's Day like this after the fight they had last night. She darted into the kitchen, her eyes desperately searching for the white hope that would be the next clue. Then she saw it, resting next to the sink.

    On this special day,
    When heartfelt things we say,
    To find your next clue,
    Lay where we embrace and play

"Embrace and play?" Her words were unsure. "Of course, the bedroom." Almost before she could finish her thought, she found herself towering over the foot of their queen size bed. Resting on the pillow was the next clue, along with a single red rose.

    Your getting close,
    Your almost there,
    Now go to where,
    You brush your hair

This is easy she thought. She shot out of the bedroom and into the bathroom. Sitting on the sink was another rose and the final clue. "Another rose, Oh Ryan I love you!" Her voice was teaming with joy. But suddenly remorse crept into her thoughts, binding he joy. It had happened last night. How could she have forgotten, if even for a moment. Poor Ryan. He had worked a long day, only to come home and find me in bed with his best friend. We had fought; a bitter, heated fight. But now, he surprises me with this. Even after all that betrayal, he still did everything he could to make my Valentine's Day a memorable one. Standing in the doorway, her heart began to melt. She reached out and took the card.

    Go to the closet,
    Open it wide,
    And there you will find,
    Your Valentine's Day surprise

Jennifer stepped from the bedroom, her heart beating wildly with anticipation. With each step, her mind raced more and more intensely. She was within arms length of the closet, but something was holding her from opening it. She took a step back to calm her excitement. Slowly, she reached forward. The door drifted open as a horrific sense of surprise strangled Jennifer. She could feel her breath escaping her, but she could not breathe. There in front of her was Ryan, his naked body dangling lifelessly from a makeshift noose. Dried blood traced the contours of his body before pooling on the ground below. At his feet lay ten blood drenched roses, and a stained note that read.

    I hope your remember this forever.
    Happy Valentine's Day you whore.

x x x

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