tagRomanceWho Sent The Card?

Who Sent The Card?


Who sent the card?

"Thank you for the card, Simon."

I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to face Monica.

"What card?"

She smiled at me. We were a block in the stream of commuters heading away from the station.

"The Valentine Card you sent me."

"I didn't..."

I stopped. Should I admit I hadn't sent Monica a Valentine Card and claim someone else's credit?

"You didn't?"

Too late. Monica had picked up my first unthinking response.

"Oh. Then who did?"

"I don't know Monica. Whoever did send it, I approve of their choice. I haven't felt like sending anyone a card. Not since..."

"...Charlotte dumped you?"

"You know?"

"Yes, Simon. I think everyone knows. You haven't been yourself since the weekend. I don't approve of her choice. I think she's made a mistake but it's no business of mine. If that card had been from you then..."

"...but it wasn't. Perhaps it should have been."

"Are you on the rebound, Simon?"

"Probably. I'm feeling lonely, lost and sad. I need to accept that Charlotte has gone. After more than a year together that isn't easy. I'm still mixed up."

We started to walk again, side by side, towards the office building where we both worked. So had Charlotte until two months ago. She transferred to a branch near our homes and then had met Jason. She saw him every day at work. I couldn't blame him. She hadn't told Jason about us. Perhaps she never would.

"So who did send the card?" Monica asked.

"I haven't a clue. Have you?"

"It was posted near the office. That is why I thought of you."

"What sort of card is it?"

"Expensive. Rather over the top. Printed on a red satin padded heart and in a box. The postman had to knock to deliver it. I'll show you when we get to work."

She did. It wasn't the sort of card I'd send anyone. I think I have some taste. It had been addressed with a computer-printed label so there were no handwriting clues. We spent a few minutes considering who might have sent it.

While we were talking I had an idea. I asked Monica to join me in the canteen at lunchtime. Not very romantic but we were both busy on different aspects of the same project that had to be finished by Friday. It could be if we worked long and hard.

Over lunch we compared notes on the project. We would meet the target – just. I changed the topic.

"Any more ideas about your Valentine card, Monica?"

"No. I can't think of anyone if it really wasn't you."

"Honestly, it wasn't. If Charlotte had dumped me a month ago instead of last week I might have thought of sending you one, but I was too upset even to think of Valentine's Day. I had planned to see Charlotte tonight and..."

I stopped. Talking about Charlotte and our plans hurt.

"What were you going to do?"

I must have shown the pain I was feeling.

"Sorry, Simon. I didn't mean to hurt you."

"I ought to accept what has happened and that Charlotte and I are history but it isn't easy."

"Can I help?"

"I think you are helping. How about..."

"How about what?"

This was difficult. I didn't want a new relationship. I needed to mourn the old one but I had known Monica almost all our lives. We had been in the same class at school, had the same group of friends and had joined the same company. Monica had lived within half a mile of my parents' house. We had small starter flats in the same block. From my flat to hers was less than a minute.

Was Monica too close? Too close for me to see? Too close and too available for me to appreciate? I decided to take a chance. I took a deep breath.



"I bought tickets for Saturday night's Valentine event at the night club."

I didn't have to say which nightclub. There is only one in our town.

"Would you come with me... please?"

I waited for her response. She could easily say no.

"Yes, Simon. I will come with you."

The breath sighed out of me with relief. I hadn't offended her.

"Thank you for asking me. I know you intended to go with Charlotte but perhaps we can enjoy ourselves a little. After our hard work we will deserve it as a celebration of a completed project."

We went. We did enjoy ourselves. We walked back to the block of flats in the early hours wrapped around each other. Monica invited me in for coffee. I had another cup in her bed the next morning.

Six months later we were married. Over the coffee on the first full day of our married life Monica admitted something.

"Simon, you remember that Valentine Card that you didn't send?"


"Have you any idea who sent it?"

"No. We discussed it several times. I haven't a clue."

"Would you like to know who did?"

"I suppose so. Does it matter?"

"I think so. I sent it."

"You sent it? To yourself? Why?"

"So that I could talk to you about it. Look where it has got us. Do you mind that I pretended I didn't know who sent it?"

I looked around the honeymoon suite and back at my bride. I answered her with a kiss, a cuddle, and...

We had to order more coffee an hour later.

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