With Valentine's Day approaching, I am prepping not only for chocolate celebrations but also dusting off my 2021 entry for Susannah Hill's Valentiny Writing Contest. The prompt was "brave".
Rory looked up at the red, heart-shaped balloon stuck in the tree. The cast on his arm made him clumsy, had made him lose hold of the balloon. If it escaped from the tree, he could hear his sister saying, it would endanger wildlife and wreck the environment. It would also ruin his valentine plan.
Jake jumped off his skateboard. “Why so glum?” Heart aflutter, Rory pointed to the balloon. “It’s Valentine’s Day.” “Maybe I can help,” Jake offered. He hoped the answer was no; he was scared of heights. He really did not like climbing trees. He didn’t even enjoy jumping on trampolines. His heart sank as he heard, “That’d be great. Thanks.”
Jake took a deep breath and began to climb. He hoped Rory couldn’t see how terrified he was. The branches shifted and the balloon moved a bit, forcing Jake to take another deep breath and climb even higher. Stretching, he snagged the string, climbed down carefully without actually looking down, and handed Rory the balloon.
“Did you buy it for someone special?” Rory looked down at his sneakers, took a deep breath, and looked Jake straight in the eye. He hoped Jake couldn’t see how terrified he was. “Yes,” he said. ”I bought it for you.”