From Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul

Playing Cupid

What is the best gift you ever received? Better still, what is the best gift you ever gave? Perhaps you will recall that in each instance, the best gift was the one that was tied with the heartstrings of the giver, one that included part of self.

Wanda Fulton

I was lying on the slick tile floor of my college dorm room chatting with my younger sister (by a year and a half) about the latest gossip in our little community while twirling the black phone cord around my fingers. Deep in the mire of love, she was gushing about an all-important upcoming date—she and Mr. Be-All-End-All’s first anniversary of dating. She was in a state—would he remember, would he forget? If he did forget, what did that mean about their relationship? And God help him if he messed this up. A helpless romantic myself, I filed away this tidbit of information, not having the heart to mention that of course he was going to forget. He was a guy. He might have a general idea of when they started dating, but the odds were good that he didn’t have that all-important date scribbled in his diary, surrounded by intertwining hearts and other symbols of true love.

I took pity on the poor boy. After all, my sister was head over heels in love—the least I could do was give him the small break that was in my power. As was my custom, I headed for home the following Friday, which, as the fates would have it, was the day. Making a last stop on my way out of the college town, I purchased a bouquet of mixed flowers and gently stowed them away for the five-hour drive.

Pulling into the gravel parking lot of our little high school, I headed in to say “hi” to friends and see how my sister’s day had evolved—as it turned out, not so well. It seemed as though her significant other had blown it off completely. No card, no whispered sweet nothings, no acknowledgment. The way I saw it, no surprise, but I knew she was crushed and I was all set to play Cupid.

Leaving my sister, I sought out the tarnished hero. Not in such high spirits himself, he greeted me with a somber expression. Casually, I mentioned that I knew the importance of the day and that I just happened to have a lovely arrangement of flowers sitting unclaimed in my vehicle, and that if he could think of a good use for them, he was more than welcome to nonchalantly remove them from their spot of waiting.

A lifeline thrown to him, he was off for the vehicle— and I was off to distract my sister. The rest I would learn later that evening as my reenchanted sister told her story over and again for any and all who would listen. He hadn’t forgotten! He had merely acted that way to surprise her. She had talked to me after school, and then he had asked her to go for a ride with him. They had gone up to his parents’, and he had a bouquet of absolutely beautiful flowers waiting for her. Could we believe it?! Wasn’t it just too perfect?!

Didn’t we think they were just beautiful?

I nodded, I smiled, I acknowledged her as the luckiest girl in the world, but I’m not sure whose heart was fuller, hers or mine.

One thing puzzled her—she wasn’t sure how he had gotten the flowers (the closest flower shop being a half-hour drive from home). She was guessing his mother had made the trip—he wouldn’t tell. My little sister was confused, but nonetheless ecstatic. He had remembered!

Her knight in shining armor had regained his luster, and the day would go down in her diary as a successful step in their relationship.

That was eight years ago. On August 1, my sister and Mr. Be-All-End-All (who, by the way, is a true romantic in his own right) celebrated their third wedding anniversary, and the following day, we all gathered for the celebration of my niece’s first birthday.

The part I played in their romance was miniscule, but it made my sister happy, and that’s really the only thing that matters.

Chera Lee Bammerlin

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