My Tiny Valentine

I was walking through Florence tonight, carving my way through crowds of people milling the streets, running the last of my errands before dinner. My new coat was warm against the damp chill of the evening, and I marveled at how crowded it was, wondering if it was this holiday celebrating love— perhaps an Italian’s highest prize— that was drawing masses to the city streets. I turned my shoulders to pass through an opening in the stream of people when suddenly I felt something warm and soft press against the bare skin of my hand.

Startled, I jerked my head to the side to see who had touched me, prepared to glower at whichever overzealous Italian guy had taken advantage of our forced nearness. But when I looked down I saw that a little boy, no taller than my elbow, had put his small hand on mine. He had been staring up at me as we passed, but when I met his gaze he pulled his hand back and snapped his head forward. I felt my face soften as I watched the long brown hair on the back of his head swing into place. He quickly tucked himself back in between his parents and they disappeared in the crowd as I stood still, for just a moment, watching them walk away.

Love will always find you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

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