written as a Valentine in 99 words for Charli Mills’ epic https://carrotranch.com
by Kerry E.B. Black
Joelle gave up on Valentine’s romance long ago.
In grade school, when everyone exchanged cards, her lace-covered shoebox remained empty. As she grew, hers was the only locker devoid of tissue-paper flowers, and in college, no vases of flowers perfumed her dorm.
However, she refused to wallow. She didn’t tune to romantic movies, hum love songs, or read bodice-rippers.
Instead, she jogged. The world blurred into a sepia sunset as slush squelched beneath her trainers. She ran toward true heart-healthiness.
When she stopped for a smoothie at the local shoppe, she never dreamed she’s lose her cynicism concerning love.