When you’re 13 years old and you stare down Dyer hill, the snow still falling, your gloved hands wrapped around the sharp metal blades of your wooden sled, your heart is going to race.
Five slippery steps on the thin white powder, the ice-covered blacktop lurking below, then throwing the Western Auto Flexible Flyer out before you, the thump of your chest landing on the wood and then speeding head-first into a cold wall of winter.
Before you leap, you sneak a peek.
The girl with the freckles, the one who can throw a football farther than any boy and run just as fast, is watching. You begged your mother for the $5 bill and then read card after card until finding the Valentine that was just right – not too mushy, not too dorky – and the heart-shaped box of chocolates that you plan to leave in her mailbox when darkness descends.
Her blue eyes sparkle, the red scarf dotted with flakes of white to warm her lips, and your heart races and you run and you run and then you leap.
Editor’s Note: “A Heart-Shaped Box of Chocolates” stems from a writing prompt during the most recent Pen to Paper Live session hosted by the Charlotte Lit organization. You can register here. We were challenged to write a bit of flash fiction, no longer than six sentences, detailing a season and a moment during that season.