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The Horror of the Number 14

Updated: May 3, 2022

by Kayla Rodrigues

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fifteen. Oh how I wish I could skip the number fourteen, but math doesn’t work that way. My alarm clock wakes me to the horror of the number 14. I hit the snooze button on my phone screen that reads February 14, 2022. How lovely is the day that nobody loves me, despite me being expected to grace around town giving and receiving love. Seven billion people are in the world, and seventeen years I’ve spent this day loveless.

Every year sees the same routine. While my friends are out with their significant others, I stay in with some dates of my own, Ben and Jerry. My gal pals come to me with compliments of their boy toys, but I never share similar stories of my own. Ben and Jerry have always treated me right. When I’m sad they comfort me. Spots of them stain the same red blanket I cuddle with every February 14th, as well as my broken heart.

The sound of the doorbell is a conditioned stimulus for my annual shipment of Cheesecake Factory goodies. My appetizer of pretzel bites paired with a cheddar cheese fondue makes a better pair than any of my friends' love duos. An impossible burger salivates my tongue more than a kiss ever could. My salted caramel cheesecake is all to myself. I don’t have to share that baby with any man.

When I click on the T.V., the first thing that pops up is The Notebook. Of course out of every movie in the world that one is the one that gets put on air. Despite it being a tragic love story, I watch it. I feel moments of jealousy when I see how happy they are together, and relief when it goes awry. Even though they stay together, there is a tragic end. Though here I am sitting on my coach avoiding that fate. I will never have the fear of my lover forgetting me, because I have not fallen victim to a rose with thorns. Though sometimes I wish I could experience love, even if it comes at a loss. I try to shut those thoughts out, but it's February 14th, I’m all alone, I’m eating comfort food, and I’m watching The Notebook. No matter what chain of events were to occur tonight, they all encompass how alone I am. No other day do I feel the pain more than I do today. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen. My alarm clock marks a new day. At last, fifteen.


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