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Funny Valentine(3)

By:Sienna Mynx

smelly hug, which singes my nose hairs. Shoving her off my $800 power suit, I’m

sneezing and wiping at my clothes.

“Good grief, Margie...”

She blinks, confused at first. Then sees the stains on the front of my suit

and shrugs. “My bad. But you know not to come into my kitchen all haughty-


There’s something mocking in her tone. Margie has never taken pride in

my success outside of the family. All my sisters minus Sherry work here at the

restaurant. Me and Sherry, being so close in age, were sent off to college. I’m the

only one that’s joined the corporate arena.

“It’s okay. Really.” Here I am apologizing, for what I’m not sure. She’s the

one that left me smelling like Shamu the whale. “I’ve been through this before. I’ll


“But we were looking forward to meeting him. I done told all the family

about him,” Margie whines. “I mean how long has it been since you brought any

Funny Valentine by Sienna Mynx

man home? And this one being a pilot and all, me and Alicia were talking the other

day. Finally you were going to get someone to take care of you.”

“Take care of me? I make three hundred thousand a year! What are you

talking about?”

“You know what I mean. Money don’t mean a thing if you and old and grey

and ain’t got a single person to come see about their mama. You wanna die that

way? As ‘auntie’? That fancy job don’t keep you warm at night.”

“No, my vibrator does,” I mumble.

“What did you say?”

“I said ‘nothing does’.”

“Exactly. Piece of cow-shit-little-dick-dirty bastard!”

And she goes on, and on, and on. To this I can do nothing but let it flow.

John The Pilot has broken my heart and I need to show it. Oh yeah, I made him a

pilot. The last imaginary boyfriend that I conjured was a Commander in the Navy.

Always off somewhere on the seven seas, *cough*. Bullshit.

Problem was, I kept getting hung up on the military details. One minute I’d

have him in Jakarta, out in the Indian Ocean, and the next, I talk about him being

near Iraq, totally forgetting which sea that was. Finally, tired of it, I just told them

the long distance ‘lurvin wasn’t kickin’ and I had to end it. Now this one, being a

pilot, gave me some breathing room. I could call and say I’m out with him and

avoid a night of family bickering over what the business should do, or make excuses

for his absence because of his flying the friendly skies. But the wedding was

something I couldn’t get out of. And to make it worse, it’s on Valentine’s Day. So

not only did I need a date, but I needed a Valentine. Unbelievable.

“Well, it won’t matter,” Margie said. “When I got your message yesterday, I

hooked you up.

Wait, wait a damn minute. What did she say?

“Say that again?”

“I hooked you up.” Margie shrugged. “I figure if you can’t get it right, I’ll

have to do it for you.”

“You have lost your mind.”

Funny Valentine by Sienna Mynx

She waved me off. “You know Ben who bowls with Chuckie?”

“Ben? Three-finger Ben?”

Margie shoots me a look from over her shoulder. “He’s missing thumbs.

The man has a disability, Tia. He has his other fingers, though. And if he and can

still bowl atop 200 on average, that means he knows how to use what he got… to hit

what he wants.”

“He’s fifty or sixty!”

“He’s forty-five, don’t exaggerate.” She dried her hands on her apron. “And

that’s just ten years older than you.”

“I won’t have you setting me up, Margie.”

“Too late. This is Sherry’s wedding and Valentine’s Day. I got people from

all over the family coming here. They won’t be ’round here whispering about poor

Tia who still ain’t married.”

“C’mon, what year is it, 1820?”

“You will have a date,” Margie said in that voice that none of us question.

“What’s all the yelling for?” Chuckie says, coming though the back door to

the kitchen. He holds it wide to allow Melvin’s crew’s delivery of fresh flowers.

Immediately, the little devil on my shoulder whispers in my ear. A new plan is


“I don’t need your fix-up because I have a date. Melvin and I are seeing

each other.”

Melvin stops. He eyes me. Not like a man surprised. Just curious. I don’t

really know him from the neighborhood. Sherry and I went to private school. But

the others do. He’s from around the way; I think he was adopted by a black family