“I don’t know much about love,” his friend said, pressing the elevator button. “But this I know for sure: a girl either likes you or doesn’t like you. That’s the bottom line. No amount of poetry can move the heart and mind of a girl who, to begin with, is not attracted to you.”
The elevator door opened and they both stepped inside.
“So if I were you, stop wasting your time writing these poems. They’re totally irrelevant. If she doesn’t like you, she doesn’t like you. And that should be the end of it. If she likes you, a single verse from you will win her heart. If she dislikes you, an epic love poem will not move her an inch.”
His friend pressed the number “12” and the elevator door closed shut.
“But what will I do with all these poems and letters?” he said.
“Throw them away. Burn them. Bury them in a field or something. Just get rid of them. Jeez, you’re such a hopeless romantic. I’m starting to feel sorry for you,” his friend said.
The girl who stood in the corner of the elevator smiled at him. He smiled back and blushed. She was holding a bouquet of Malaysian mums, wrapped in yellow and red crepe paper. She was evidently very happy. There was a kind of halo about her. She seemed to beam with light, and the small space the three of them were occupying felt brighter and warmer.
“When was the last time she texted you?” his friend asked.
“About a week ago,” he answered.
“Have you tried calling her?”
“I can’t contact her anymore. Must have changed her number.”
“She’s obviously avoiding you.”
“You think so?”
A few moments passed awkwardly by. Time slowed down. He gazed at the girl’s hair and blazer.
All of a sudden, a long list of questions flashed in his head: “Who is she? Where is she going? Who gave her those flowers? Is she single? Is she a colleague? How come he’s never seen her before? Why did she smile at me? What is she thinking right now? What floor is this? Which floor is she heading to? How many seconds do I have left? Will I ever see her again? Does she like poems?” And so on.
“Of all the days of the year, this is my least favorite,” his friend said, breaking his train of thought.
The girl giggled, but his friend didn’t seem to notice.
The elevator stopped and opened at the 11th floor. The girl stepped out and glanced quickly at him before disappearing into the hallway.
“Gosh, I really hate Valentine’s Day,” his friend said.