The clerk at the counter checked his watch. It was Valentine's Day and he wanted to go home and make some Kraft Dinner, then watch the hockey game. There was nothing else to do for a single man afraid of romance on the day of love. He sighed and began polishing the rings. Ten minutes until lunchtime when Sam would relieve him. Then he would get paid and go home. He heard the jingling of bells and looked at the door. A man had come in with a determined look on his face. He walked to the counter and got right to the point. "I pre-ordered a diamond ring," he said, "I want it." The clerk nodded. He reached over to his iPad and pulled up a list of orders. "Name," he inquired. "Alex. Alexius Winter." The clerk again nodded. "We have your ring," he acknowledged, "I'll get it." Then, there was another ringing at the door.

A woman walked in. "Deirdre Shannon," she introduced, "I'm here to pick up my diamond ring." Alex looked surprised and turned around. "Deirdre?" Deirdre looked just as surprised as he was. "Alex!" They embraced each other. The clerk was confused. "I'd take it you two know each other?" Deirdre nodded. "What are you doing here, Alex?" He laughed. "Could I have it, please?" The clerk handed him the little felt box. Alex popped it open and a sparkling diamond ring met Deirdre's eyes. Her jaw dropped. Then she looked at the clerk. "Hand it over." The clerk, obviously surprised by these developments, picked up the felt box containing Deirdre's ring. Alex was shocked. "You too?" Deirdre nodded. "B-but I thought you couldn't afford a ring." Deirdre laughed. "I'm broke," she laughed, "but I don't care! Alex, I love you!" They kissed. The clerk turned away, but he couldn't ignore the energy building up at the center of the room, the feeling that something bigger than any one human being was taking place. He smiled in spite of himself, and he laughed. All three of them laughed.

Half an hour later, the clerk was still in shock. He heard Sam coming in through the back door. "Time to relieve you, James." James turned around and thought about the events that had transpired. "Nah," he decided, "I think I'll stay on for a while longer." Sam shrugged. "Suit yourself." James continued his polishing, and he found himself whistling It Only Takes A Moment from Hello Dolly. It was the day of love. Maybe he could help make it memorable for other lovers, even if he wasn't part of it. The bells jingled, and he couldn't help but wonder what would happen next.

Happy belated Valentine's Day 2013! Hope you all enjoyed it!

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