Today was special. William and Sophia decided to walk in the trails in a special section of the park where the winter flowers are grown. Three miles of daphne shrubs, winterberry holly, hellebores, spring snowflakes, and viola flowers blooming in the cold winter, and they'd walk that beautiful trail for an hour.

It was Valentine's Day. A day where people celebrate love. Sophia's been thinking about seeing if William would ask her out since she has a fear of rejection and wouldn't ask him out since she'd have her heart shattered into pieces if William rejected her. But today, she mustered the confidence needed to ask him if he'd ask her out.

Sophia would ask William to be her Valentine, "William, could you please be my Valentine? I've been thinking about seeing if you'd go out with me ever since you gave me that bouquet of pretty daffodils on my birthday yesterday. Like, it's okay if you don't want to, but my fear of rejection kept me from admitting that I feel a special bond to you. Your generosity and kindness are both things that attractive to me. Your looks, though, are decent. Nothing particularly awful, nor anything like the sexiest man alive, Gene Chancey, the guy who voices Mr. Healthy in the eponymous show. Man, the jokes in that show are so good. Alright, I'll stop gawking over Gene Chancey. So, what do you say about being my Valentine? Do you think I'm it?" which William would hesitate to answer.

William would look on with anxiety in his eyes. He'd glance left and right as if he was making sure no one was coming, and then he'd gulp as if he was swallowing his anxiety. He'd muster all the confidence he had in himself, all to admit something he was hiding from Sophia.

He'd tell Sophia about his mother, "I'm sorry to tell you this, but my mom doesn't know you're black. I had to lie to her about your skin tone to come over for Christmas because she doesn't like black people, like, AT ALL. It's because we lived in a ghetto where all of them were either drug dealers or wannabe gangsters that shot people. It's scarred her. Her views on black people were never the same. I'm sorry for how blunt I'm being." which would irk Sophia.

She didn't know William's mom was racist. She felt betrayed for not being told this, angering her. Why did William hide this? Was he afraid of hurting her feelings? Of losing her?

Sophia would be reasonably mad, "So what if I'm black? She's tan as shit, fucking tanner than a toasted marshmallow. Que tu madre no me juzgue por ser oscuro, o va a tomar un puño a la cara, la jodia puta. Me escuchaste, William?" (Your mother better not judge me for being black, or she's going to take a punch to the face, the fucking bitch. You heard me, William?) before she'd give William an angry look.

William would respond by telling her to calm down, "Calmate, por favor. No quiero que ella se herida porque algo que no importa. No tienes que ponerte encojonado por eso, Sophia. Nada va a pasar." (Calm down, please. I don't want her to get hurt over something that doesn't matter. You don't have to get pissed because of that, Sophia. Nothing is going to happen.) before William's mom would arrive.

Isabella would have a face of betrayal, angry at William's lie. She'd look Sophia up and down with eyes full of rage and disgust before averting her gaze. Isabella would then look at a nervous William, him gulping nervously as his mother would stare down at him with the most disapproving look a Puerto Rican mother could muster.

Isabella would ask about why William lied, "Why did you lie about her skin color, William? I'd like you to explain why you lied because I'm fucking encojonado. I don't know if I'll smack the fucking soul out of you. You told me she was white, and I don't think liars go to Heaven, William." before William would begin nervously explaining.

Sophia would then interrupt for a bit and then angrily respond, "I'm no fucking uneducated simpleton. Get it through your skull! Ahem, William, continue." before Willaim would explain.

William would then explain why in a voice quivering with fear and shame, "Mom, I disagree with your views and just wanted to hang around with a good friend. She isn't uneducated, nor ghetto, nor anything you'd think someone like her would be. Sophia is just like anyone else! Fuck you, Mom, as I had to lie to be around her! It's a fucking embarrassment!" before he'd begin to cry from how much shame he'd feel.

Isabella would come next to William and try to soothe him, "Calm down, it's o-" before William would lash out in anger.

He was mad at his mother for being so mean to someone so kind and sweet. It wasn't her fault Sophia was black, he thought. The shame he felt in how judgmental his mom was in front of her, it's so terrible. His anger management disorder would flare up at the sheer amount of shame he was experiencing, snapping momentarily.

He'd scream at the top of his lungs at his mom, "FUCK YOU! GO AND DIE IN A FIRE! I FUCKING HATE YOU! VETE AL CARAJO!" (GO TO HELL!) having to catch his breath because he winded himself.

He'd catch his breath quickly as he'd show signs he was about to explode into a fit of uncontrollable rage.

You could see he was at a breaking point. He was crying hard. His face twisted into an expression of pure rage. He tried to resist the incoming storm of terrifying anxiety and pure anger mixed as if these emotions were barbiturates and alcohol in the system of a suicidal man. He'd physically lock up from stress. Sophia would then notice. She knew what to do.

Sophia would then talk to William to calm him down, "William, please calm down. I know you're angry, but please don't ruin my Valentine's day for me. I get it's not right that your mother judges me like that, but please calm down. I dislike seeing you this mad. It breaks my heart. I know you have an anger management disorder, but please relax, breathe in, cool out. Come on, big boy, let's get going so we could spend Valentine's Day together at your place." which would be like sweet honey to William's rage-filled head, cooling his fired-up nerves.

William would get his bearings back. His anger would subside, leaving his body sore and tense from how much the anxiety coursed through his muscles. He'd breathe in, slowly letting the air cool his nerves. The cold air would relax him, the heat that the anger inside him produced lowered by the wintery winds. He'd cool down, and the tenseness would lower. He only had Sophia to thank. Oh, how he thanked her.

William would then thank Sophia, "Thank you. I was about to lose control, but you helped me regain my bearings as my mother could. And yes, I'll be your Valentine. Nothing else I could right now. Here, have this bouquet I folded for you. It took me about three days to fold the 50 roses in this bouquet." which would then fluster Sophia as the roses meant so much for her.

Sophia would pace around, love-struck. She might as well have hearts in her eyes from receiving a gift made with love and care. The love put in each rose bled into her, and she couldn't hold it back.

She'd blush. Her eyes were glowing like stars, the pure happiness she felt at William's statements unmatched. She couldn't contain her sheer joy. She had to voice it to William.

She'd tell William that she was just full of joy, "William, you made me feel happier than I've ever been this entire year!" before she'd hug William with a gigantic smile on her face.

Sophia and William would share a moment in pure joy. In the face of an outside force almost breaking down their friendship, it then decided to evolve into something special. They felt the bond between them ignite as if their bond was a magnesium flame, the water Isabella put on their budding passion only fueling it more.

Isabella would think in her head a realization, "Ah, ella saber como calmar lo como yo puedo. Ahora, yo realizo porque el llama a ella su amigo. Tengo que decir sorry por mis actiones. Yo odio causar dolor a mi hijo porque el duele demasiado en estos tiempos en su vida. Por favor, mi hijo, puedo pedir perdón?" (Ah, she knows how to calm him down like I can. Now, I realize why he calls her his friend. I have to say sorry for my actions. I hate causing pain to my son as he has enough pain in these times of his life. Please, my son, can I apologize?) before she'd look down in shame with tears in her eyes, feeling guilty for William's shutdown.

William would look up at Isabella as she was crying, asking her what's wrong, "Mom, are you okay? I'm sorry for screaming at you. Can you please apologize to Sophia? She didn't like how you judged her." before Isabella would hug him.

Isabella would tell William something he'd smile at while hugging him, "I'll do anything for you just for your forgiveness. I'm so sorry for embarrassing you, mi hijo. I hate making you feel any other way than happy and content, and I didn't do that today. I wasn't justified in how I misjudged Sophia and promise to try and not judge another person again for their skin color like I did Sophia. I still have those experiences fresh in my mind. I'll try to forget or at least come to terms with living in urban hell, surrounded by maniacs and uneducated people." then she'd let go of the hug, William's tense body somewhat loosened by the pressure of the hug.

William would respond with his apology, "I apologize for screaming at you and telling you to go to hell. I was angry at how you were so judgmental of someone I call a friend. Please understand that." before Isabella would turn to Sophia.

Isabella would then apologize to Sophia, "I'm sorry. I was wholly in the wrong for judging you for just your skin color. I should've asked your mom about you before I put any judgment on you. Even then, you're very well-dressed, clean, well-kempt, and well-spoken for someone your type. Why did I judge you so swiftly?" which Sophia would respond.

She'd tell Isabella to please reserve judgment after you get to talk to a person, "Next time, ma'am, could you please reserve judgment for when you get to know the person next time you meet someone with a dark complexion? It'd only be fair since I could easily judge you for being tanner than a toasted marshmallow, but I choose not to out of respect. Please respect me next time you come to meet me, okay?" before Sophia would turn to William.

Sophia would then thank William, "William, thank you for these beautiful roses you folded oh so diligently on. You genuinely made my week, even if it's Sunday. Could you come close to me for a bit?" before putting on lip-stick.

Sophia would kiss William on the cheek. Isabella would give an approving smile, so happy her son finally found someone that'd treat him with the same kind of love and respect as she would. This day would then mark Isabella choosing to let go of her preconceptions of those with dark skin, albeit it would be a process. While she stuck by her views, this specific view would compromise the happiness of her son. He was her only source of joy aside from telenovelas and her adult friends, so she conceded to let him be around Sophia as long as he was responsible and mature.

William would do something unexpected, which would be asking Sophia out, "So, you know, I think we should go out on a date. Maybe to that new steakhouse they built in Eastchester?" before Sophia would smile, her eyes glowing like a green gem under a noon sun.

Sophia would then take his offer up, "Sure, I guess we could go later to that steakhouse. Hey, I'm surprised you remember that one time I said I love steakhouse burgers while we were sitting together at lunch last Tuesday. Guess your memory is as good as people say it is. But you forgot to ask your mom about the date thing. I know my dad will take me to the date, but you gotta make sure your mom is on-board, m'kay?" before William would turn to his mom.

He'd ask his mom if he could go, "Mom, can I go out with Sophia?" before Isabella would nod her head.

Isabella would allow it under one condition, "Yes, you can. But before you can go out with her, I need to talk to her parents. It's only fair since you two are starting a relationship. I need to know if they're okay with you being with her, and no, I'm not going to judge them, or at least try not to. Let's get in the car as she needs to go home now since you've spent your time with her. And when I go to her house, I'm talking it out with her parents." before they'd get in Isabella's car to go to Sophia's house.

William and Sophia would excitedly look forward to their date, well, if Gabriel allows it. Gabriel is quite protective of his daughter. He's afraid of Sophia getting hurt, abused, mistreated, or just having the relationship fail, breaking Sophia's heart. That'd be her main concern, as she feels ready to be vulnerable, but her father wouldn't let her as he wants to protect the thing he loves the most.

William's mom would get out of the car along with both of them. She'd knock on the door, with both William and Sophia nervous at the possibility that either Gabriel or Irene reject their plans. Gabriel would then come out the door and greet them.

Gabriel would then introduce himself to Isabella, "Hello, I'm Gabriel, Sophia's dad. I guess it's your first time picking up Sophia since Irene and I were out shopping in the Four Seasons Mall to get each other Valentine's Day gifts. You seem like you have something on your mind, ma'am. Please, though, do the formalities of introducing yourself before you say anything though." before Isabella would speak.

She said everything about what William and Sophia wanted, "Well, my son asked your daughter out. While I allow it, I don't want to undermine your parental authority and give her a yes when you'd say no. Could I ask her mother too if she allows it? It's only fair she also has a say in the matter." before Gabriel would nod his head.

Gabriel would then surprisingly allow it, "Well, to be honest, William has to be the most upstanding boys I've ever met. It's not usual for a guy his age to be a cool person instead of a shallow prick that only is in it for the girl's body. I see that my daughter has benefitted greatly from his presence. Let me ask Irene about this since I like my agreements to be unanimous." before going into his and Irene's bedroom.

Gabriel would talk to Irene for a bit before telling her about William asking Sophia out, "So, you know William? He asked Sophia out. I said he could, but I gotta ask you too." which would excite Irene.

Irene would yell excitedly at this, "I allow it! It's so fucking exciting to see my daughter finally find someone she'd confide in!" which would be overheard by Sophia and William.

William and Sophia would look at each other in pure excitement. They smile together, with the knowledge that they're going on a date. The steakhouse awaits.

Too bad they couldn't go on Valentine's. Maybe they could've if Sophia mustered the confidence to ask William out. Better late than never, though, amirite?

So, the day would come for their little date, February 18. William would get to see Sophia with makeup, and he was awe-struck. She was pretty enough, he thought, but the makeup just added to her prettiness.

He'd comment on Sophia's makeup, "Sophia, your makeup is very nice looking. It's nice to see someone who'd go the extra mile to look nice, all I brought was some nice jeans and a sleeveless shirt! Well, let's go into the steakhouse. I've heard that their new burger is one of the best things in the local area to have aside from the meatball sub they serve in Steve's Pizza, like, that place in Mount Gilead." before they'd go in.

The steakhouse would be full of people, excited for an item released the day before, the Roadhouse Burger. It was lucky that the love-birds came at 2 P.M., just as they restocked. They'd enjoy themselves, along with Isabella and Gabriel, to nicely cooked burgers, with a side of french fries. Smiles would be across their faces, Sophia and William would have a good time, solidifying their bond.

They'd go home happy and full, with hearts full of joy. Even if it wasn't very conventional where they went, it was fun for the both of them. Better it be enjoyable like having burgers than fancy food that's overrated and overpriced.

So, I guess it's time to end this story on a good note.

Yes, William did get to make out with Sophia again the next day while their parents weren't looking. Even if they're boyfriend and girlfriend now, they don't feel comfortable with their parents looking at them while they made out. It's a thing that they're working on, but hey, at least William isn't lonely anymore.

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