Olivia Ruckus grumbled and grumped every day from 7:03 when she awoke with a “ROAR” to 8:15 when her Mom tucked her in, even though Olivia said, “I-don-wanna. I-don-wanna.”
“She’s grouchier than the green guy in the trash can,” her little brother Baxter said.
“She’s meaner than a junk-yard dog,” Daddy sang in his funny voice. Olivia pulled the covers up over her head.
“If she had a mustache, she could be Groucho Marx,” Mom said.
Olivia rolled her eyes from under the covers. “I can hear you.” She pushed out her lower lip. “And I. Don’t. Like. It.”
What Olivia did like? Marshmallows. Peeps. Hot cocoa with mini-mallows. S’mores warm from the campfire.
That gave Baxter an idea. The next day, he got to work.
When Olivia got home on February 14, she found a string taped to the front door.
“Follow me,” it said in Baxter’s messy handwriting.
“But I don-wanna,” she said. Then she tugged the string. A marshmallow skittered across the floor. She followed the trail, collecting sweets as she went, until she found Baxter’s Valentine above a bowl of marshmallows.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, Olivia!”
Olivia stuffed a big, fluffy marshmallow in her mouth, which suddenly, finally, properly, tugged up into a grin as Baxter watched with a smile.
See more Valentiny stories on Susanna Hill’s blog.