Devon’s heart raced and his palms were sweating. He’d never realized just how hard his mission was until he was through the door and looking at the desk. There were so many people around, he didn’t know how he was going to plant the box, but he had to. There was no turning back at this point.

He had it hidden behind his back, tucked into his waistband under his coat. He scanned the room, trying to figure out a way to make sure no one was looking in his direction. They were all grouped around the desk he needed to get to, discussing something sitting there. The side of the room with the terrariums was empty, so Devon wandered over and stood looking over the tanks. He needed a distraction, but not one that would draw attention to him.

He smiled when he saw Stanley. Making sure no one was watching, he quickly flipped the tortoise over onto its back and shuffled away. Once he was a good ten feet from the tanks, he turned back to that side of the room and hollered, “Hey! Stanley fell over, look at him trying to get right side up!”

All of the kids in the room rushed to the tanks to laugh at the poor animal and Devon quickly made his way to Susie’s desk. When he got there, he saw what everyone had been talking about. Someone had given her one of the chocolate boxes that had three layers of morsels with different kinds of fillings. Devon looked down at the sad little heart in his hand that only held five little treasures and tried not to cry. It had taken all of the money he’d saved from his allowances the last three weeks just to get this little box.

Instead of putting the box on her desk–like he’d planned–he turned instead to Ms. Mercuzi and handed the box to her. “Happy Valentine’s Day,” he mumbled before slumping into his seat. One of the kids had finally taken pitty on Stanley and righted him and the kids were heading back to their desks.

Ms. Mercuzi clapped her hands and asked them all to pull out their math workbooks and turn to chapter 2. While his classmates moaned about the unfairness of starting class with math, Devon quietly got out his books and put his head down on top of them. He jumped when the chocolates were placed back on his desk.

“You should still give them to her, you know. Slip them into her backpack during recess. And make sure you leave a note. She’ll appreciate something personal from you way more than that box of anonymous chocolates, trust me.”

Devon smiled up at her, suddenly realizing that his teacher would make a great secret agent. He didn’t think anyone else had even heard the conversation or seen her hand off the box of chocolates. She winked and held a finger to her lips and he dragged out a piece of notebook paper and started laboriously constructing the perfect note to tell Susie just how cool a girl she was.