Cruel Valentine

Derek drove through Baltimore, as the first February snow blanketed it. Knots in his stomach formed and sweat beaded on his forehead for it was St. Valentine’s, a day, and if Derek was lucky or unlucky, a night to remember. While he maneuvered his car through the storm, he thought about Lana. That is why he went all out on Valentine’s Day this year, with a dozen of red roses and a box of rare chocolates that Lana enjoys.
The apartment building was in sight, and Derek struggled with his innermost guilt that had surely ruined his reputation as a nice guy. Nevertheless, it is swept away quickly when he made the decision that he is not going to tell Lana. Derek made it to the apartment and knocked softly. He could not make up his mind on whether to tell Lana about the secret, as the music of The Rippingtons abruptly stopped. The door swung open, as Derek focused on the woman whose perfume smelled like a tropical fruit.
“Hello, Ms. Lana.” Derek said in a soft voice.
Lana stood at the door with admiration, her red, silk, and thin -strapped dress showing off her coke-bottled figure. Her black hair barely came down to her chin and her silver necklace glittered in the fluorescent lights.
“Do come in.” said Lana.
The stronger smell of sweet potpourri hits him. Soft jazz music is playing in the background as the windows are being coated with the snow that is continuing to blanket the city. Lana’s blue eyes peer out the patio window for a split second, and a look of complete disgust came over her face.
“What wrong with you?” Derek said.
“Just the blizzard.” Lana said.
“I hope you enjoy these.”
Lana’s eyes widen with amazement and joy. She embraced a chocolate into her mouth. As she about to take another one, there is a sudden hesitation as she looks lovingly at Derek.
“Don’t want to spoil my appetite…or yours.” Lana said, afterwards giving Derek a kiss on the lips.
“You can’t spoil anything for me.” Derek said.
As Lana goes to the antique dinner table, his hazel brown eyes never leave the path that Lana slowly makes.
“I made a special dinner for us. Remember when you said that I couldn’t make that Chicken Alfredo that your mom used to make? Well, I got the recipe from her. It is not as hard as I thought” Lana said.
Derek face strained to keep straight, knowing that she doesn’t necessarily have great cooking abilities to even make oatmeal. It didn’t matter anyway, because Derek wasn’t exactly relying on the dinner to be the forefront of the evening. His attention was drawn to the bottle sitting on the table with two tall and thin wine glasses.
“Oh… I never had Merlot.” Derek said while embracing his arms around Lana’s waist. “Maybe this night will be full of surprises.”
Lana smirked. “Just wait and see.”
Derek pulled the chair out for Lana. The flames of the thin white candles danced in a yellowish-orange ambience. Derek took his seat to mentally prepare himself for the rest of the evening.
He thought about the infidelity that he had been involved in, with her best friend, Tiara. He can see himself, a week ago, in Atlantic City with her, just a complete weekend of gambling and sex. Derek have been questioning about whether or not he should come clean and see if he can somehow salvage what may be left of the relationship. Taking struggling forkfuls of the Chicken Alfredo he definitely looked worried to Lana. The taste was unbearable, but Derek had to play it off.
“What’s wrong?” she said
Derek stopped eating; the only thing that could be heard was the terrible blizzard that is wreaking havoc outside. Lana’s posture went from relaxed to tense due to his silence.
“Derek…What is it? Don’t tell me it’s the Alfredo?” She said.
“No. It’s good. It’s just that …that…I love you so much.” Derek answered.
A smile slowly appeared across her face, her posture became relaxed again. Derek sighed.
“Maybe she should find out. Just call it off between you and Tiara. She doesn’t deserve this.”
Lana took the Merlot and poured it into their glasses.
“Let’s toast to that.” Lana said while they crossed arms with the glasses in their hands.
“To love.” Derek said smiling.
Lana repeated Derek’s phrase as they sipped the Merlot. After all the wine was gone, Lana got up from the table.
“I’ll be right back.” She said.
The music was still playing as she retreated into her room. Derek is fraught about what he should do next. Now he is in a struggle with his emotions.
If you really love her, than why in the hell can’t you be honest with her.
That is one emotion, the other one is telling him…
What she doesn’t know can’t hurt her…or you!
Derek wanted peace of mind, but at the same time, doesn’t want to destroy the relationship. His head started to pound a little bit. Must be the stress. Lana walked back in with a small box in her hand and sat back down at the table.
“I got a gift for you” Lana whispered while leaning towards Derek and gave him a kiss.
“I wonder want it is.” He said when he touched the box. At that moment, Lana removed his hand.
“I need to tell you something first.”
Derek attention was fully on Lana. She seemed calm and relaxed
. “What is it?” Derek asked.
Lana paused, she smiled abruptly. Suddenly the whole entire tone to her changed.
“I know that you’re a cruel valentine.” Lana said. “How can you do this to me?”
Derek was instantly confused, his headache seemed to get worse every second past. Pressure seemed to be building against Derek’s eyes and warm fluid began to trickle down his nose. It left red drops on the white tablecloth and on his blue shirt.
“I know that you’ve been cheating on me. And don’t try to deny it. I spoke to Tiara. She told me how you to went to Atlantic City…the same place we went last Valentine’s Day!” She said.
Derek’s vision began to be distorted, Lana’s face, to Derek, swayed back and forth.
“W-W-Wait a…” Derek said.
“What did I say? You’re caught…busted!” Lana said.
At this point, Derek’s headaches became unbearable; he held his head and moaned a little bit.
“I hoped you liked the Merlot?” Lana said with the most sadistic smile that Derek had ever seen. “It’s a special poison…fast acting. That’s why I had to damn near run to the back and get the antidote.”
Derek tried to stand but it was no use, he fell to his rear, while feelings of fear and anger flow within him.
“She is trying to kill you! Do something!” Derek thought
Nevertheless, the damage had all ready been done. He remained on the floor, sitting up looking at Lana giggling and holding the box.
“I did tell you that I talked to Tiara, right. Well…let’s say that the conversation did go well for her. That’s why I just took a knife and plunged it into her black heart… and I took it out.” Lana said. She reached into the box and pull out the bloody heart; it was still dripping down her arm and on the floor as she giggled.
Derek’s fear had escalated at the sign of the removed heart, he knew that his future couldn’t be all that certain either. As blood flowed down his nostrils, he knew that he was indeed dying. Lana dropped the box and the heart and on all fours crawl to Derek, like a curious cat.
“See what I do for you? I… I loved you. So, I didn’t hesitate… got what she deserve (giggles). I think it’s you’re turn.” Lana whispered.
She suddenly pulled out a kitchen knife, and placed it at Derek’s throat. A tear trickled down Lana’s face.
“I loved you.”
Derek, with his last ounce of strength, grabbed Lana and wrestled the knife out of her hands. As the knife skipped across the floor, Lana tried to make a dash to get it but Derek was holding her back. He grabbed the knife from Lana’s grasp and as she rolled Derek over to get it, Derek plunged the knife into Lana’s stomach.
Drops of blood hit the carpet as she feel on her back, gasping for air. Derek crawled over to her very slowly.
“The antidote… tell me where is it.” He said.
There was no answer from Lana. Her blue eyes her just peered at the ceiling without any expression. Derek knew that Lana had died.
Derek rolled over to his back and looked at the ceiling. He tried to paint a mental picture for what happened, but he couldn’t comprehend.
“Maybe I deserve this. Being honest would have keep Lana and Tiara alive. I wouldn’t be dying.”
All Derek could do is sit there and wait for the inevitable. His head now felt like it is going to explode. Nevertheless he is still thinking, as the wind and the snow began to dissipate from the shadows of the city.
“Maybe if I would have been honest”.