Boomer woke up very early. He had been feeling down with all the bad weather and midterms creeping up on him and he was feeling a little bit lonely. He had heard exercise could help your mood so he wanted to get a head start at the gym before all the early birds showed up and took his favourite treadmill. The sun was just hitting the top of Schmon Tower and not a single Tim Hortons was open on campus.
‘Strange,’ thought Boomer as he threw aside his Brock U blanket. He smelled coffee. Just as he sat up, Boomer noticed steam coming from his desk. He walked over and saw that both the steam and the smell were coming from a huge coffee mug (just his size!) that was covered in red and pink hand drawn hearts. Written across the mug in black was the phrase “I <3 U.”
Boomer couldn’t help but smile. He took a big sip from the steaming cup. It was a double double! Who knew how he liked his coffee? Beneath the cup was a heart shaped card, trimmed with white lace. He nearly spilled the hot drink as he jumped for joy. He opened the card and it read “Happy Valentine’s Day, Boomer. See you later! Love, Your Secret Admirer xo xo xo.”
Who could this mystery person be? Boomer finished his coffee and then tugged on his sneakers and a clean basketball jersey. He wanted to look his best when he ran into his S.A. He grabbed his backpack and the heart-shaped card and headed for The Zone. A lot of his friends hung out there; his admirer was bound to make an appearance.
When he arrived, he checked in with one of the trainers.
“Wow, that is a great card,” she said, “I haven’t seen anyone, but your treadmill is open.”
He queued up his favourite Valentine’s Day jams and put on his headphones. As the Killers Prize Fighter hit the best part, Boomer noticed something stuck to the treadmill’s controls. It was another heart, smaller this time and pink. He opened it and it read, “You’ve got this! Rock that 10k! <3 ??” Boomer took the words to heart and finished his work out in record time, thinking as hard as he could about who could be behind these notes.
When he was finished in the gym, Boomer —smiling wider than he thought possible — made his way to Market to grab some breakfast. As he came down the stairs, he noticed some bright red, heart shaped balloons tied to a chair in the center of the market hall. The balloons had his face on them! He rushed over and saw a plate of red pancakes shaped like the letters “B U” on a plate. Sitting next to them was a tall glass of strawberry milk. A card sat on the table next to the plate.
“Enjoy a special Brock breakfast, Boomer. You deserve it. Have you figured it out yet? <3 ??” Boomer scarfed down the pancakes, beginning to feel a bit frustrated. No, S.A., he had not figured it out yet. Who was the mystery person? He had to find out. He washed down his meal with the milk and cleaned up his dishes. He untied the balloons and tied them to his backpack, not wanting to leave his special Valentine’s presents behind, and then set out to find his Valentine.
Boomer looked everywhere. He went to the library, the fish bowl, East Academic and Mackenzie Chown H Block. He even took the bus down to The Marilyn, and still all he found were little red and pink hearts that said “<3 U Boomer!” on them. Everyone he spoke to said the same thing. They did not know who his admirer was. He rode the bus back up the escarpment and stared out the window and the passing trees. His day had started out so well, but now he was starting to feel sad.
When he arrived back at the Glenridge campus, he walked up the stairs into Mac Chown. Some reporters from The Brock Press were handing out copies of their Valentine’s Day issue. It was just what he needed! A member of the Press could get his message out.
“Of course I’ll help you, Boomer,” said Satbir, The Brock Press’ Editor-In-Chief. “Let me tweet about it.” A few moments later, He showed Boomer the tweet: “Lost: One secret admirer. If found please return to Boomer.”
As a thank you, Boomer gave him a slightly deflated balloon and they shared some chocolate hearts. A couple of minutes went by and then Satbir’s phone went off. Someone had tweeted back.
“.@TheBrockPress: Tell Boomer to go to the Ian D. Beddis Gym right now <3.” The <3 gave it away. The account had no information and the display picture was just a Brock University logo, but the message must have been from his admirer. Boomer ran across campus as fast as he could, dodging two Tim Hortons lines and a tour of prospective Badgers before he came around the corner into Academic South. He noticed a lot of noise coming from the other end of the hall and slowed down. Was he on his way to write an exam? Were there exams in the gym during midterms? Boomer was suddenly terrified because he hadn’t studied at all. As he approached the Gym he noticed there were hearts stuck to all of the windows and balloons floating on the ceiling. There were people everywhere.
When he pulled open the center doors and stepped into the gym he was overwhelmed by a wave of cheers. His Valentine’s Day Jams playlist was on in the background and everyone he passed handed him another heart shaped card. All day he had been searching for his Secret Admirer, not knowing that every person he’d talked to was one of them. The whole school had come out to tell Boomer they loved him. He had so many friends he didn’t even know he had. Now Boomer knew that even when he was feeling sad there were always people around who loved and cared for him. It was a happy Valentine’s Day.