There was the red construction-paper heart, with sloppy doily bits. The “My Little Pony” fold-out greeting. The printed square with pixelly clipart and teenage scrawl. The ornate water color landscape with sentimental poetry. All from people she had loved at some point.
The box was nearly empty now, its contents scattered over her lap and spilling out onto the floor. She reached inside gingerly. Pressed and dried between two big encyclopedias, the years had stolen its scent and bright crimson stain. She sighed with longing for the man who’d given it to her.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Daddy. I miss you.”