Eleven years ago, I was at drama school. Since school, I’d harboured a dream to be an actress and after a successful audition, was a student on an intensive acting course at a drama school in Birmingham. The course was emotionally and physically draining and by February we were all in need of a boost.
So, on February 13th 2002, my friend Cath and I went into WHSmith in the centre of Birmingham, and bought twenty Valentine’s Day cards. That evening, we both set about writing a card for every single student on the Diploma course so that the next day, everyone would feel special. We disguised our handwriting on each card by using different pens, opposite hands, capital letters…etc. so that each card looked to be from a different admirer. Then, in the morning, we seized an opportune moment and hid the cards on a table in Reception behind a huge bouquet of red roses that had arrived for one lucky person. Mid-morning, the cards were discovered and handed to us. Everyone took great delight in receiving them, and even more in trying to guess who the author/authors were. I admit to feeling a little smug when our drama tutor compared two of the cards written by me and said authoritatively, “They’re obviously written by different people”. Cath and I acted as baffled and excited as everyone else and it remained a secret between us until after we’d left drama school.
As I left the building that evening, the gentleman on Reception asked if I’d received my delivery. “Yes, I got a card with everyone else!” I replied. “I don’t mean that” he said, “I mean the flowers”. And there, still sitting on the table that we’d hurriedly left the cards on hours earlier, was the huge bouquet of red roses. Which just happened to be from a secret admirer, to me 😉