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Two Valentine’s Day Stories

On Valentine’s Day, my wife, Shelley, gifted me love in the shape of a heart.

A heart filled with rich, dark chocolates.

A Whitman chocolate sampler covered in red, white and gold hearts.

A box filled with 6.25 ounces of assorted milk chocolates.

The gift brought a smile to my face.

After a kiss, I confessed, “Thanks hon, the perfect gift for an unrepentant chocoholic. ”

“Open the box and taste one,” she requested.

Tearing off the plastic covering, I lifted the cover off the box and smelled the chocolate. To my surprise, music filled my ears. The voices of Sonny and Cher echoed across the room singing, “I Got You Babe”

They say we’re young and we don’t know

We won’t find out until we grow.

I nodded my head and thought, “Wise words.”

“Thanks hon, I love your gift. Remember Sonny and Cher holding Chastity on their TV program?”

“Yup, they dedicated that tune to their daughter. I loved Cher’s long, straight black hair. And I recall Sonny’s ski accident.”

I thought, “WOW! Creativity in action. The merger of two traditional holiday themes —music and candy— in one gift. The musical Valentine’s Day card had been out for years, but not this magical rendition. What took them so long? What’s next, music coming right out of a piece of chocolate?”

I placed the musical chocolate box on the kitchen’s granite countertop, right next to the coffee maker. Again, I pulled open the box, grabbed a piece of candy, and started to sing along.

They say our love won’t pay the rent

Before it’s earned, our money’s all been spent

I guess that’s so, we don’t have a lot

But at least I’m sure of all the things we got”

I went to sleep singing the song. And the very next morning, our housekeeper, Nina, while dusting around the Keurig, somehow dislodged the water tank. Water spilled all over my Valentine’s Day gift.

Nina felt awful.

“Nina, don’t worry. it still plays music.”

But it didn’t.

Late in the afternoon, Shelley arrived home to see her water-soaked gift. When she opened the box to get a piece of chocolate. Silence fell, like a heavy blanket across the room. I received a call. “Hon, sad news, you better sit down. Your Valentine’s Day gift died.  It’s no longer playing music.”“Yeah, I know. Nina somehow dislodged the Keurig’s water tank. She feels terrible.”

An hour later, I arrived home and decided to ditch the soaked Whitman box. I removed the cover of the box for the last time, hoping to hear, “I Got You Babe.” But again silence filled my ears.

With a chocolate melting in my mouth, I walked to the pantry, grabbed a Baggie, and returned to the countertop. Without looking, I grabbed the four remaining chocolates and dropped them into the Baggie. As I walked toward the frig, I froze hearing the voices of Sonny and Cher emanate from the sealed Baggie.

I got you to hold my hand

I got you to understand
I got you to walk with me
I got you to talk with me
I got you to kiss goodnight
I got you to hold me tight
I got you, I won’t let go
I got you to love me so
“Wow! The scientists had done it. They have buried an edible electronic chip into chocolate candies.”
Pulling a chair from under the table, I sat to examine the chocolates. “Yikes, a red chocolate. That’s not a chocolate. It’s a round-shaped piece of plastic with pinholes in it.”
I laughed, having solved another one of life’s mysteries.
Then I chimed into the song:
Don’t let me say you’re hair’s to long
‘Cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong
Then put your little hand in mine There ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb
I got you, babe.
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Years later, Garrett D. responded to my story:

I bought the same box of chocolate for my then girlfriend. After the chocolates were eaten, I decided to save the light activated music box and placed it on our bedroom’s windowsill. Every morning when the sun came up, it played “I Got You Babe”.

We kept it for years, even while moving through two apartments. We got married and bought a home. And I lost it.  I haven’t found it in the three years.

Recently our marriage fell apart. We still love each other.

Today, it’s Groundhog’s Day. And if you remember, in that the movie, Bill Murray’s alarm clock plays “I Got You Babe”. Everyday it repeats itself.

It reminds me so much of my wife. I wish I could find that music player or a new box of chocolates. I’d set it in the windowsill again, to remind me of my wife and of our good times together.

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About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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