Valentine’s Day.


I usually shy away from commercial festivities like this, but being all wrapped up in my love for writing and books these past weeks and since it’s International Book Giving Day, I thought I’d make an exception and give you not a book but a little snippet of my protagonist’s view on love.


The girl sits in Cody’s chair and digs her nails into her boyfriend’s arms. It’s her first ink and she squirms and squeals even before Cody touches her with the needle and she almost passes out when he does, hyperventilating through the whole thing, but the look in her eyes is not one of terror but one of love, of devotion. Surrender. She’s doing this for him. She’d do anything for him.

She has Cody tattoo her boyfriend’s name on the back of her neck. It took her forever to decide on a font, a girly font with loops and circles and drooping letters, like the font on a romance novel. But the boyfriend tossed her choice with a flick of his hand and pointed at another one, with harsh hooked letters. She agreed without the slightest hesitation. I love you, baby, he said. And she caved in, because she thinks it’s the god-honest truth. She thinks it is forever. True love. But him not having her name inked on the back of his neck says enough. To me. And to Cody, who shrugged and did nothing more than shoot a glance at me. Sometimes, I think he sees what I see.

I slip out the trailer, circle the car and climb up onto the hood. The landscape is as gray as the overcast sky and it’s hard to see where the desert stops and the sky starts. I cross my legs and flip one of Cody’s plectrums between my fingers and wait until he’s done with her. Then watch the lovebirds walk to the car. The girl leans heavy on her boyfriend’s arm now as if she’s not able to find her way anymore without him. As if Cody not just signed over ownership of her body but also of her mind.


Me and Valentine’s Day? I like strawberries.