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My Bittersweet Memory of a Valentine’S Day

"I love John, I love John, and where he goes I'll follow, I'll follow. I will follow John, follow John wherever he may go…"

I was absolutely amazed for a few seconds and then burst into laughter on hearing this voice message from my girlfriend Jenny on Valentine's Day last year. It was really Little Peggy March singing the oldie, but how was it possible that she was calling my name? I couldn't believe my ears! It then occurred to me that my sweetheart must have used Voice Changer Software to change her voice to match the singer's voice. A classmate of mine had originally told me that with Voice Changer Software it was easy to mimic anyone's voice on the computer.

I dashed to the phone ready to call Jenny to tell her I knew her trick, when I had an idea. Do you know what my response was? I immediately installed the software and mimicked Ray Peterson singing his classic, "Tell Laura I love Her," by singing, "Tell Jenny I love her, tell Jenny I need her, tell Jenny oh not to cry, my love for her will never die," and I sent it to her as a voice message.

That evening I came to her house to give her chocolate hearts, and as she opened the door, I saw a big smile on her face. The first thing she said to me was, "So we are lovers, and you want to give me everything, flowers, presents, and most of all, a wedding ring?" I just answered, "Yes, darling, but unfortunately I have not seen any ads for a stock car race yet!" We laughed happily.

You've probably guessed what we did next. We rushed right away to the computer and played with the program. We created an audio clip of our imaginary wedding and she mimicked our local priest, "Do you promise to honor and tenderly care for one another, cherish and encourage each other, stand together, through sorrows and joys, hardships and triumphs for all the days of your lives?" We both answered in our real voices, "We do". There were our parents saying how happy they were that we got married, being each other's perfect match. Our friends and teachers were also present at the ceremony. Among our guests were even celebrities like George Bush, Bill Clinton and Angelina Jolie, each in their turn congratulating and expressing their best wishes. We also added some popular wedding music from YouTube like Schubert's Ave Maria, Wagner's Bridal Chorus and Mendelssohn's Wedding March.

Next was our honeymoon trip to Ika-Tema, a beautiful make-believe South Pacific Island in the sun. There were the sounds of the waves rustling, the winds murmuring, the birds singing and our resonant voices in the wilderness. We also babbled in a baby's voice, pretending to be our future child, "I love Daddy John and Mummy Jenny". We even made our voices sound old and tremulous to say words of love, imagining that we were already in our 90s and had spent more than seventy years together, happy together, unhappy together. Jenny complained about her painful knees and I about my being toothless. It was really fun. We just kept laughing while listening to the finished audio clip again and again. I don't remember how many times we played it.

Last year's Valentine's Day was such a happy time, so happy that I guess even the angels were envious. Shortly after that day they came and bore her away from me, my darling, my darling, my life and my bride, the beautiful Jenny. That is why this year I spend Valentine's Day alone. Now I still play with the voice changing program, but to mimic Jenny. As I look out of the window at the bare trees and watch the snow falling, I can hear her talking to me about current life matters and our future plans, or saying that she loves me, in her own voice, so sweet, so dear, and so familiar. I close my eyes and for a moment I do feel that Jenny is still here beside me, living, breathing, warm, and cheerful.

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