The Valentine Trap
“…and he’s sooo cute and good looking and …”
Penny was an 18-year-old, raven-haired beauty who currently had a dreamy look in her eyes — as she always did when she thought about William, something she had done a lot of in the last year. Her sister, Cynthia, two years older and similar in appearance, shook her head in mock desperation. They were sitting at the dinner table, and although it was already well past noon, both were still in their nightgowns. Their parents had left just yesterday for a skiing vacation, and Cynthia had convinced Penny to sleep late and then indulge in breakfast in bed.
“… just look at his arms, so strong, and his smile…” Penny continued distractedly, and Cynthia sighed in exasperation.
“Penny, dear, explain this to me again so I can understand. William is good looking and nice, and you obviously like him. When he invites you to go out to eat and to the cinema with him, why do you always back out? Always reject him? Why? I don’t get it.”
They had had this same conversation many times now, but Penny was always too shy to do more than look at William from a distance. Before Penny could answer Cynthia’s questions with her usual list of excuses, Cynthia saw something on the street.
“Penny, you’ll never guess who’s just arriving! Your William! And he has a rose in his hand!”
But instead of being happy, Penny went white as a sheet. She immediately backed away from the window, without even looking out, and took cover near the curtain.
“William? Here? But why?” güvenilir bahis she asked, her voice shaking.
Her sister gave her a withering look. “Do you ever look at your calendar? It’s Valentine’s Day! And I don’t think he’s here on my behalf!” she scolded her sister. “Good gracious, calm down, sis!”
Penny was once more overwhelmed by her extreme shyness. “Oh no, Cynthia! Tell him I’m not here!” she begged her sister, tears in her eyes.
“Penny!” her sister answered. “That’s enough. You know I won’t lie for you any more!”
For the past two years, Penny had been recovering from a failed relationship. The scars that resulted from a boyfriend who had made her a laughing stock still went deep. Penny’s almost pathological shyness was one of these scars. When Cynthia had finally realized this, she had sworn to help her sister get through it. In their family an oath was an oath, binding whatever the consequences would be.
Penny’s eyes were wide with fear and called Cynthia back from the past. “I… I’ll leave the house. I’ll hide in the garden,” Penny said anxiously.
“Penny.” Cynthia said in a dangerously quiet voice. “It’s snowing, and you are only wearing a thin nightgown.”
That was true. Penny looked down at the nearly transparent negligee Cynthia had given her on her 18th birthday last week, an additional and unexpected present. Penny had gone beet red when she saw it the first time. Thank God her sister had insisted that she open it in private.
A cold breeze swirled suddenly through türkçe bahis the room, and they heard a muffled bang.
“Oh, a window!” Cynthia realized aloud. “Stay here, sis, I’ll close it. And I’ll tell William that you’ll be in bed all day. Is that okay? But you really have to. I won’t lie for you! Swear it!”
Penny swore it immediately then hugged her sister. She was relieved. A whole day in bed was not what she had planned, but it would be a solution. She took deep breaths and gradually calmed down while Cynthia went to see about the window. Somewhere above a stair creaked.
Returning from her task, Cynthia said, “I’ll always help you, Penny, you know that. Do you feel better now?” Penny nodded. “Really? Good! And now off to your bed, little one.” Cynthia smiled encouragingly and sent Penny to her room.
It’s so nice to have a caring sister, Penny thought, opening the door to her room. Then entering she saw…
William. Sitting in her bed, his chest naked, his lower half hidden under her blanket. He had a rose in his hand and a very nervous smile.
Penny’s heart skipped a beat. Then she heard her sister behind her, laughing quietly.
“Cynthia!” Penny was still shocked. She didn’t move at all, not even shaking, just staring at William whose face had turned red. Cynthia put her hands on her sister’s shoulders.
“Oh Penny, I promised to help you. All that mooning from both William and you, and yet never coming together… I had to interfere. The nightgown was William’s birthday gift to you. güvenilir bahis siteleri He gave it to me and I made sure you were wearing it today. Then I left the back door open for him, and he came in as I had told him to do. The cold breeze was him, as was the stair creaking. I distracted you when he gave himself away, but you were too panicked to even notice. The doorbell never rang, you know…”
Then Cynthia smiled at her sister and looked toward William.
“And now you’ve sworn to stay in your bed for the whole day,” Cynthia said. She smiled as the implications of Penny’s oath dawned upon her little sister.
Penny’s mouth was still wide open at her sister’s betrayal. She looked at both of the conspirators, then her shoulders sagged in defeat. She had sworn it. There was no way out of this bond.
The sisters’ eyes locked. Cynthia’s look was gentle and encouraging, and gradually Penny’s eyes showed some more color, and then a tiny sparkle. Cynthia took a deep breath in relief.
“Now, sis,” Cynthia said gently, “go to your William.” Then in a much quieter voice, so that only Penny could hear her, she added, “Before he sees that you’ve shaved. His present is really quite transparent!”
As realization dawned on Penny, she squeaked once, then rushed toward William and slipped beneath the sheets, daring him to comment on her actions or figure. William just took her into his arms, holding her close. For a moment nothing happened, and then Penny literally melted into his arms. Her sister took a second relieved breath.
“Have a happy Valentine’s Day!” Cynthia wished both of them. Then she silently left the room, closing the door behind her, already forgotten by the two lovebirds who finally had come together in each other’s arms.