Heart installation: For a few hours on Valentine’s day, S’s love notes and my awesome cookies were exhibited. Hours later, the hearts were re-packed and cookies devoured.
Three days ago on February 14, I decided to surprise my fiancé with a Valentine gift. It was nothing bought from a store, rather, a collection of little notes that he had given me toward the end of his visit to Manila a couple of years ago, before I moved to Basel.
I still remember it like it was yesterday. I had come home feeling sad after bringing him to the airport and saying goodbye. At the time, we didn’t know when we would see each other again. I had washed my puffy eyes, which were tired from crying, when I noticed a bright pink piece of paper stuck behind the roll of toilet paper in my bathroom. I dried my face and hands before picking up the fluorescent sheet, cut in the shape of a heart. In its center was a short handwritten love note from him.
A few minutes later, I realized he had left little cut out hearts with personalized messages strewn all over my apartment. It would take days, weeks, even months to find every single one. One time after running, I slipped my foot out of my training shoe and saw a faded, crumpled heart under my foot, its message barely readable. I had been running with it for months and never noticed! Another time while sweeping my floor, a heart came flying out from underneath my rug. I found another in a sauce pan, just as I was about to cook my favorite adobo, and yet another in the medicine cabinet when I was down with a fever and I was looking for paracetamol.
I’ve always wanted to show my appreciation for those sweet gestures, and so last Friday as a way of giving back, I baked cookies (for the first time, and in the shape of hearts, nonetheless) and lay all the collected heart messages on the floor, in the shape of a huge heart (No, I will not apologize for this heart overload).
He came home from work that afternoon and saw the heart deco on our floor. He was pleasantly surprised that a) I had kept each and every note from him, b) I actually baked cookies, and c) I gave him a Valentine’s gift. But more than this cheesy set up, what I meant to show him (and all of you who read this), is that when you give a lot of love, you get it back. Plus a pair of delicious heart-shaped chocolate chip cashew nut cookies, if you’re lucky.