This year I did not make valentines. The evening of Valentine’s Day I was encamped near the peak of a mountain. All was rocks and mist and moss, and I was sheltered in a small outcropping with not even Blaze for company. The moon was only peaking behind a heavy drape of velvet clouds, and the wind was like a song you’ve once heard but is now just a painful memory. I was alone.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been a ranger if I hate being alone so much. But when I am alone I start thinking of my Troubled Past and my Hidden Anguish and everything gets cheesily dramatic from there. I walked out from the outcrop by the trance of the night. I threw back my head and howled at the moon because what else can you do in a situation like that?
A pack of wolves that lived in the pine thickets heard me, and they came and adopted me as part of their pack. For years I hunted and lived and played with those wolves. I finally belonged. Then one day Halt came through the woods and caught a glimpse of me with my pack.
“Well Gilan,” he called out, “you have proved to be more of a dumbass than I imagined before. Come here and wash these dishes.”
So I went back home and did ranger things and ate some plumb tart and everything was okay again.
Happy (late) Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you’re not alone and overdramatic.