The air of Nikki’s club on Valentine ’s Day felt something more like what a mortuary would be, except it wasn’t solemn. The music was angry and depressing, a mix of emo scream rock and Depeche Mode. The goths in the club reveled in their spurning of a day celebrating love.
I didn’t love this day. I had spent most of these days alone and out of relationships, and my last date had been over a month ago. The last time I had gotten a second date . . . I tried counting it up, but got too depressed when I hit four months. I shook it off, trying not to let the club kids depress me further. I had come here for a reason.
I pushed through, ignoring the flashing lights and the music until I reached Nikki’s booth. For once she was alone. She had retreated even further into the shadows of her booth. She wore a frown and swirled a goblet of red wine. She didn’t look happy about this day, either. She was also distracted or she would have spotted me, heard me, even smelled me by now.
I sat down at her booth, the only acknowledgement was a tiny upturn to her lips.
“I did not expect to see you today, Matthew.”
“Yeah. I don’t get along well this day.”
“Neither do I.” She drained the goblet.
“I figured.” I reached into my jacket. “I thought, maybe, well, you might be my valentine?” I offered her a bag of gummi bears.
Her smile grew. “Perhaps, but I want something more.”
I pulled a DVD from another pocket. “Vampires vs Cyborgs. No one touches the B horror movies on Valentine’s Day.”
“Then let us repair to my apartment. I can change into my pajamas and bunny slippers while we enjoy.”
We left her club and settled into the couch in her apartment as the movie started to play.
“Thank you, Matthew. I have never had such a considerate gift on St. Valentine’s Day.” She kissed me on the cheek.
“Hey now. None of that kissy-faced, stuff. This is Valentine’s our way. I think that stripper is a vampire and she’s going to try killing that cyborg.”
Nikki sidled closer and reached over me to pull a few gummi bears from the bag. “I do think you’re right. I do hope the vampire wins.”
“I think you’re biased.” I popped a gummi bear into my mouth.