16) A Surprise Gift

16) A Surprise Gift

A Chapter by Kelly M.

Rays of sunshine filtered through the small window, making April stir.  She reluctantly opened her sleepy eyes, and yawned.  She blinked up at the ceiling, and saw her name written in bold letters.  It was scribbled on a piece of paper, and dangling from the ceiling.  She hesitantly reached for it, and tore it from its captor.  Bewildered, she slowly opened it.  Inside it read,
"Go to the kitchen cupboards."

April had no idea what the message meant, but anxiously hurried to the kitchen to discover the mystery.  She flew open the three cupboards doors, and she saw her name again.

This one read,
"Find your father's newspaper."
She soon located the newspaper, and yet another clue.  
"Where on earth is this 
all leading to?" she wondered suspiciously.

This clue was longer, and hinted of the mystery game soon ending.

Aloud she read it.  "Now get dressed, and go to the nearby lake by the rock."

She pondered the words as she quickly slipped into a clean dress.  Secretly she wondered if Drew had her on a wild goose chase that led the whole way back to North Carolina.  

"If only that were true," she found herself whispering.

But she had no time to think or dawdle any longer.  She hopped on one foot to the door, trying to find her other shoe.  Once she had found it, she wrapped a light shawl about her shoulders.  Though summer was only less than a week away, it was still chilly outdoors.  That was something April couldn't tolerate in the North.  Where had the warm spring days of North Carolina gone?  How she wished she could feel its welcoming rays of warmth again.  "Maybe-- just maybe-- I'll be able to someday."

When she heard the rippling of the lakes cool waters, she quickened her pace.  What was this secret her parents were keeping from her--?

She then stopped, and gasped.  There, in front of her amazed eyes, were dozens of people-- some neighbors, school students, friends (like Will and Kanika) and even people she had never met before.

She looked above her, and saw countless lit lanterns dancing their beams off the morning sky.

Looking around, it wasn't formal-- or fancy for that matter, but it was simply pretty. 

Then she turned her head to the crowd of people who all shouted, "Surprise!"

Soon they had her surrounded in jolly greetings, warm hugs and kisses.  Her mother was last to have her to herself.

"Oh, Mom," April whispered, and gave her a warm hug.  "You had everything planned for my birthday, and I completely forgot."

Her mother gave her hand a squeeze as she pulled away from her embrace.

"Of course I planned.  Who could forget your seventeenth birthday?"

A soft smile spread over April's face.

"I can't believe it.  I'm seventeen.  I feel-- well-- old."

Her mother nodded, and then replied excitedly, "Now how about you open your gifts?"

"Oh, but, Mom.  You shouldn't have gotten me anything-- not when things have been so-- hard."

A mysterious grin played on her mother's face.

"Let's just say Father got a raise, and we wanted to celebrate with the money for your birthday."

April's eyes nearly popped.

"He did?"  She couldn't contain her excitement.  And before her mother could reply, April hurried on.  "How?  I can't see why or--"

"Why do you think he's been working so hard?" her mother teased.

And not really knowing why, tears formed in April's eyes.

"Oh, I'm so glad," she said in more than a whisper.

Her mother nodded again, her own tears threatening to spill.

"Now," she said, wiping her eyes, "let's join the others."

April could only nod her head in agreement.

Delightful noise and chatter filled April's ears as she was led to the middle of the army of people.
And with eagerness, she began opening her small, but heartfelt gifts.  She received pencils, paper, fresh fruits and vegetables, blankets, and a small amount of chocolate from her father.  She cast him an appreciative glance for he knew how she loved sweets.

She began packing up all her prized gifts when her mother handed her a small package.

"Who's it from?" April asked curiously.

"Who do you think?"  Her voice was soft.

April's heart skipped a beat.  By the address she could tell it was sent from home-- and that meant--  She wasted no time.  She quickly, but carefully opened the small package.  Her hands lovingly picked up a dark blue box.  And anxiously she lifted the lid as everyone gathered around to see what it was.  Tears were running in rivers down April's cheeks when she saw that it was a heart-shaped silver pendant.  A little note came with it saying,

"Dear April,
How I wish I could be with you on your seventeenth birthday.  To make it up to you I want to give this necklace to you.  My great grandmother gave it to me, so I could one day give it to someone special.  You are the most special person in my life, and I know you deserve it more than anyone.

Heartache seemed to pierce its way into her heart. With 
a whispered 'Excuse me,' she ran from the curious eyes, and to 
the quiet safety of the trees. She fell to the sweet smelling 
grass, clutching her necklace in her two hands. There was only 
one thing she could do. Cry.

© 2012 Kelly M.

Author's Note

Kelly M.
Happy and sad. :(

I was having some trouble with my computer, so I'm sure there's something to fix, but I'll try to go back over, and edit it again. :)

Anyway, what did you think of this chapter? If you like it, then what did you like about it?

*Honest, detailed opinions please* :)

My Review

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i like this. i think it adds a nice quiet but easily felt emotional touch. And i think Drew has told her in the only way he knows how that he loves her

Posted 9 Years Ago

Happy sixteenth birthday, April! Indeed, happy sad times. She's with Will, but she still loves Drew? Talk about conflicted emotions! There's nothing to fix, other than some of the format was thrown off where it ends in the middle of the page. This was a good chapter, but a bit slow. There wasn't much particular plot points. Well done!

Posted 9 Years Ago

YES!!!!! That means that she really does love Drew and just likes Will!!! Thank God!!! I dont really like Will, like he's nice and all, I just like Drew better...Anyway! The chapter was good as always, and I have no critizism.

Posted 9 Years Ago

Great chapter! I can't believe she forgot about her own birthday! Lol.

Anyway, I liked the details in this chapter. The ending was sweet, and I'm so happy Drew sent that to her. I hope she gets to see him again sometime soon. I don't have any critique for this chapter. It all seemed great to me. Can't wait for the next!


Posted 10 Years Ago

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4 Reviews
Added on May 10, 2011
Last Updated on January 14, 2012


Kelly M.
Kelly M.


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