In a graphic made on Canva, reporter Neena Sidhu highlights the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up. There is a short story by writer Brooke Murphree in the side-by-side. There is also a column by Lauren Clayton. (Neena Sidhu)
In a graphic made on Canva, reporter Neena Sidhu highlights the fact that Valentine’s Day is coming up. There is a short story by writer Brooke Murphree in the side-by-side. There is also a column by Lauren Clayton.

Neena Sidhu

From imagination to real life: Love still matters

February 10, 2023


Nora Vedder

In a graphic created in Canva, italicized text reads “More Than One Way to Love,” accompanied with graphics of hearts. “More Than One Way to Love” is a creative writing story written by photojournalist Brooke Murphree, with themes of love and Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is on Feb. 14.

Valentine’s Day creative short stories: more than one way to love

Writer’s Note: This story is fiction, it is a creative writing story.

Valentine’s Day, the day of hearts and flowers, pink and red. Timber St. was alive in the night, each house sporting its own stories for the holiday.

The Brady family, in house 2133, sat on the couch cuddled as a family. Little Carry Brady was getting her hair braided by Mrs. Brady, and nibbled on a heart shaped m&m cookie. Mr. Brady sat on the other couch with baby Lilly in his arms, and 12-year-old Marcus wrapped in a blanket at his side. Both Mr. Brady and Marcus couldn’t tear their eyes from “Indiana Jones” on the screen. They were quite the depiction of storge, a term referring to familial love. By the second movie Mr. Brady had laid Lilly in her crib and watched as she snuggled into her pink duck blanket. Marcus had been spiraled on his back taking Mr. Brady’s spot on the couch. Mrs. Brady cradled her eldest daughter of five in her arms and soothed her by rubbing her back. Mr. Brady took the space by his wife and daughter after spreading a blanket around his son’s form. Mr. Brady kissed Mrs. Brady’s temple and they both sighed, relaxed together, as the movie played on.

Two houses down to the right in 2135, Lucille Bankman, a tall blonde in her late twenties, twirled in her bathroom in a $25 red sequin dress. She smiled in the mirror relishing in the night she had. Her date, the local coffee shop owner, took her to the small town’s only Italian restaurant. He picked her up around six and they shared a meal. Her chocolate brown eyes stared into his coffee shaded ones. Each of them sporting a love sick puppy dog look. Lucille changed from her dress to pajama shorts and an old high school t-shirt. She swayed her hips as she walked down the hall and into the kitchen for some left over cheese cake. She stared at the lovely bouquet of purple carnations and pink peonies, leaning on the island counter and sighing ever so dreamily.

The dinner included candle lights and a sunset view. They talked about interests and his business. He asked about her family and her about his. She had deduced he was a major flirt, but when the waitress showed up his eyes never left Lucille’s. Boy, Lucille felt like the Greek god Eros shot her with an arrow, that’s how smitten she felt.  When the night ended and he’d dropped her home, he told her a horrible dad joke that he’d heard from one of his regulars. She giggled at how horrible it was and when her attention returned to him he smiled wide at her and his brown eyes held something she couldn’t place.

He brought her hand up and kissed the back of it softly. His farewells consisted of telling her he’d see her in the morning for her daily coffee run. Lucille’s heart fluttered and by the time she fell into her bed after finishing off her cheesecake and completing her nightly routine, she couldn’t wait for morning. She hugged her pillow to her chest and hoped the 15th came faster than it planned. Their relationship was growing into ludus love even though they didn’t quite know it.

Across the street from young Lucille and four houses left, the night of love was dying down for the street’s longest married couple. Kathrine and Duncan Lewis, married 60 years, usually don’t do much on the day of hearts. Per usual, Kathrine made dinner and Duncan couldn’t complain seeing as it was his favorite, enchiladas. The couple said their graces then separated their hands to dig into the steamy goodness topping their rice. The conversation was light between the two. Kathrine swiped some of her gray-lady wisps from her face. Duncan stared at his wife’s aged face. Oh how the years have been kind to her, he thought. A light pink dusted her cheeks and the crows feet around her eyes became more prominent with her gentle smile.  She could see the tips of his ears go red, contrasting his silver and black streaked hair when he realized he had said his thoughts out loud.

Duncan smiled calmly to his wife and reveled in her giggle. He reached over the two seat table and grabbed her hand she wasn’t using. He looked her right in her beauty brown eyes, and kept his expression serious. Kathrine’s brows creased as she wondered about his sudden seriousness. Even in his old age his jokes were still horrible, silence passed by in the air between them before Kathrine cracked a smile at him but no chuckles fell from her lips. Even in his older age he still couldn’t manage to make a actually good joke. She continued shoveling rice and enchilada onto her fork as Duncan studied her reaction. Her head shook and released some of her hair from the low bun she’d tied up in the hours previous to dinner.

Mr. Lewis ate up the rest of his enchiladas and rice before he stood up and walked over to the radio on the kitchen windowsill. The melody played like a soft hum to their ears. He started rocking as he made his way to Mrs. Lewis and held out his hand. They twirled and rocked through the kitchen in soft movement’s as warm light rays surround them. Eventually the night became tiring and Kathrine started cleaning up the table, much to her husbands chagrin. He gently took the dishes from her and kissed her cheek good night. She sighed at him and headed out of the kitchen with out much of a fight. Duncan turned with the dishes in hand, setting them in the sink and humming quietly while washing up. Their representation of pragma love, ever-lasting and committed, made a smile draw across his face.

The night of Valentine’s Day was busier than ever even as the moon reached its apex.  Romantic dinners, strawberry chocolates and self care nights with pizza and candy. There are a total of seven types of love and these are just three examples of ways to share love. With many ways to spend the day of hearts with people you love or relaxing from harsh days of caring for others. Thus, whoever your valentine may be- friend or family, significant other or even pet- enjoy the day with treats and fun.

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Lauren Clayton

This graphic, made with Canva, with text reading “Valentine’s gifts based on love language,” is accompanied by many graphics representing Valentine’s gifts. The different love languages all perceive love differently, which means each type needs a different kind of gift. The letter represents “words of affirmation,” the chocolate represents physical touch, and the rose represents quality time.

Column: Valentine’s gifts based on love language

Valentine’s Day is a holiday dedicated to the celebration of romance and love. Whether it’s love between family, friends, or significant others, more than 23.9 billion dollars are spent annually on gifts. Interestingly enough, even though this number is extremely high, the number of people who actually possess love languages related to gifts is significantly lower. Statistics show only 20% of people have the love languages of receiving gifts and acts of service. So what can we do for the other 80% on Valentine’s Day?

One of the three love languages that makes up this 80% is “words of affirmation.” This love language belongs to people that need lots of communication and vocal cues within a relationship. These could be things such as compliments, meaningful conversations, and simple appreciation. Because of this, the best things to give someone with this love language are a well written letter, poem, or just a verbal “I love you.” If you’re thinking of taking this person on a date or outing, try environments that are conversation friendly. Going out to a coffee shop, restaurant, or library can be great ways to spend time and strike up conversation with your significant other.

This graphic, made with Canva, shows a pie graph that presents percentages of each love language. These percentages were taken from results of a love language quiz made by Gary Chapman, the author and creator of the five love languages. This shows “word of affirmation” as the most popular love language and “receiving gifts” as the least. (Lauren Clayton)


Quality time is the next love language, solely based around the prospect of time and attention. Someone with this love language likes to be the main fixation of their significant other’s affection, and they thrive in conditions were they get to spend long periods of time together with their loved one. The best gift to give someone with this love language is to plan a date, activity, or trip that includes exclusive time to spend together. Ideas could also include crafting things such as hand made coupons for dates or alone time with your loved one, or tickets to a special event.

Physical touch is the last love language, based on the preference of physical contact and affection in a relationship over time, words, or gifts. People with this love language appreciate small actions that induce touch such as hugs, hand holding, or cuddles. They feel assured by contact with their loved ones and see physical actions as an expression of love. Because of this, the best thing you can do for a person with this love language is to set up an activity that heavily encourages or requires touch. Examples of this would be dancing, cooking, board games and even a nice movie night on the couch.

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