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The Birthday Surprise

by natverdi


This was based on something real that happened!!

I opened my eyes slowly to the fresh morning sun streaming into my room. Sitting up, I stretched lightly and sighed. Another beautiful, sunny morning in Brightvale.

      But suddenly, I was overcome with an immense joy. My heart swooped up into my throat and my head felt slightly light.

      "It's my birthday!" I cried gleefully. I sprang out of bed, stuffed my feet into my slippers, and raced downstairs.

      I bolted down the spiral staircase, into the large living room, and leapt into the kitchen.

      My mother, a Faerie Ixi, smiled and laughed. "Wasn't Christmas last month?"

      "Yes, it was!" I shouted with joy. "But this month, it's my birthday!"

      Mom set down her cup of java and went to the refrigerator. "You sure love your birthday, sweetheart."

      "Of course I do!" I replied with a smile. "What's not to love? Cake, friends, family, presents, and most of all, a whole day dedicated to ME!"

      "And me!" came a slightly higher pitched voice from the staircase.

      I rolled my eyes gently. Yes, I shared a birthday with my twin sister Abby.

      We weren't identical twins. No, we were quite different. See, I was a pink Poogle with elegant blonde hair that always fell in my eyes, and Abby was a Christmas Acara whose black bob fell to her shoulders. I had deep, sparkling brown eyes, and she had aquamarine blues.

      We were both peppy, but at different times. I slept in till ten, she woke up at seven.

      "When can we open our presents?" Abby begged, biting an apple.

      Mom closed the fridge door after selecting a carton of milk and smirked. "After you finish your fruit. And your Aunt Patty and Uncle Ken arrive."

      "Better eat slow," I teased.

      "Stop it!" she whined.

      I rolled my eyes and stalked over to the big pile of gifts on the couch. They were wrapped so beautifully by my mom. There were pink packages with icy blue ribbons. There were seaweed green boxes with maroon bows. Stripes and polka dots, pastels and neons, you name it. My mom did so much for us. She's the best mom in the world.

      After a long wait, Aunt Patty, a pink Cybunny, and Uncle Ken, a yellow Hissi arrived. We did the usual chat and eat ordeal, then settled in to open our gifts. My legs tingled with excitement as we began to unwrap.

      First came the ones from Mom. We got various things from plushies to chocolates. The Usukis she got us were beyond amazing, and I got the cutest Moehog plushie you've ever seen.

      Then my aunt and uncle gave their gifts. I got some new wearables, some sea shells for my collection, and a book that I'd never heard of before, but Mom looked happy about.

      I was so busy looking over a beautiful shell that I didn't notice Mom slip away. She snuck back into the room with two small packages in her hands.

      "Looks like your aunt, uncle and I forgot one present. We all got this for you." She smiled, and it reached her eyes and made her face glow.

      I tore off the paper and found a brand new, shiny, high tech camera! Abby squealed as she saw my gift and unwrapped her new camera as well. They were identical, silver models that made the cutest beeping sound when you pushed the power button. I was in love.

      When my dad, a Magma Kiko, came home from work, he made a little black marking at the bottom of my camera so that Abby and I could tell ours apart.

      I snapped pictures all throughout the night. There were some silly ones of Abby, a few of my uncle in mid sentence, and one of my mom and I goofing off. This was my first real camera, and I was beyond excited.

      It got late soon, and I was all ready for bed.

      "Up you two go," Mom said, pointing to the stairs. "I'll be up to tuck you in soon."

      "Okay," Abby and I replied in unison.

      I loaded my arms up with the gifts I'd gotten. I was about to start walking up the stairs when the camera slipped out of my paws and slammed onto the hardwood floor below.

      I felt ill as I picked it up. "No real damage," I told myself. "It'll be fine."

      "Was that your camera?" screeched Abby from upstairs.

      "Of course not!" I yelled back to her. "It was my Usuki set. I would be panicking if it was my camera!"

      In my heart, though, I was panicking like crazy.

      I dashed into my room, slammed the door, and attempted to turn on the camera.

      It shuttered in my paws and made strange clicking sounds. Then it died. For good.

      I fell to the ground sobbing. This was my favorite gift. Ever. And now, to see it broken in my paws hurt so badly.

      I dried my tears quickly and went into my mom's room.

      "Best birthday ever, right?" She smiled at me.

      "Yeah," I replied. Then, the truth came flooding out. I explained to her I'd dropped the camera with my heavy armload.

      Strangely, she wasn't mad. For the majority of the night, she poked and prodded at it. But it wouldn't budge. It was totally, utterly, unbelievably broken. Ugh.

      "I can get another one, right?" I asked her after an hour.

      "These don't grow on trees, Alexis," she told me.

      I looked at the ground and tried not to cry. A couple of silent tears slipped out.

      Abby came prancing into the room. "Look, Alexis, look what my new camera can do!" She giggled, showing me how she could draw mustaches on people.

      "Whatever," I mumbled.

      "I'm clearly more responsible." She flipped her black hair. "So don't blame me for YOUR broken camera."

      "Abby, stop it, now," scolded Mom. Go Mom! I thought, but was then overcome with another wave of sadness.

      I went to bed that night and fell asleep quickly. I dreamt about my camera, empty rooms, and darkness.


      The next morning, I woke up. The sun splashed my face, and I smiled. Another great day, I sang to myself! I'll take a picture of it with my new- I stopped myself and last nights events washed over me like a powerful wave.

      I walked over to my dresser to grab my hairbrush. A shiny silver object caught my eye. "Happy belated birthday, sis. I love you. Love, Abby," a note said. It was attached to a silver camera. Abby's silver camera. She was giving it to me.

      I burst out into tears. No, I didn't care about the camera anymore. I realized how lucky I was to have a sister who loved me so much and would give up her favorite thing for me.

      I rushed downstairs, tears staining my face.

      "Here," I sobbed, thrusting it at her. "This is yours, Abby."

      "What's all the noise?" Mom and Dad asked, running into the kitchen.

      They saw my tearful face, Abby holding the camera, the sweet note, and our eyes. Our different eyes, both reflecting love.

      Mom and Dad were so proud. They had this smile on both of their faces that couldn't be washed away.


      Dad was home late from work that night. He brought in the mail and a couple of packages.

      "Bills." He put them in a pile. "Letter from Sarah." He handed it to Abby. "Neopian Times." He handed it to me. "Magazine subscription." He handed it to my mom.

      He smiled. "And what's this?" he asked, holding up a package. "Looks like it's for Alexis."

      My heart leapt as I realized what it was. "A camera!" I cried with joy.

      "But, you guys, I don't need this. Objects like this are nice, but it's my family that's the best present of all," I told them.

      Mom's eyes welled with tears.

      "I say we capture this moment!" I said, and set up the camera on the table in front of us.

      "It's gonna go off in five seconds!" I called, and we all wrapped our arms around each other.

      And SNAP! The camera captured the shot, but the memory was the best present of all.

The End

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