Last year, my boyfriend Danny had broken his leg in a motorcycle accident, and two weeks before Valentine’s Day, I decided I wanted to do something special to make him feel better.
Ever since my brother got married and left home, his room has been empty (we moved all the furniture to other places in the house). My roommate was out of town, and I decided that since Danny’s favourite place in the world is the beach, I could take him there.
Over the two weeks, I painted the walls of the empty room blue and gray to resemble a quiet, tranquil ocean with the sun just setting. It took a long time to get the colours just right. The garden in my mother’s house was filled with pebbles and tons of soft white sand. I collected crates of sand (on loan, of course) and took them back to the room, which was fortunately a very small one, and spread it out over the floor so that I had a layer of beach.
On Valentine’s morning, I spread out a large beach blanket and set up a small portable stereo with soft recordings of the sea crashing onto the shore and seagulls. I baked cookies in the shape of hearts, and laid them out with bottles of ginger beer in a bucket of ice.
When I picked Danny up and brought him over, I left his crutches outside and blindfolded him, and helped him hop in. He was baffled by the sand under his feet. Then I shut the door (which was also painted) and helped him sit down onto the blanket. When he saw what I had done, he nearly cried and told me later that it was the best day he had ever had.
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