My First Quote!

"Life is often like a Poem; when you begin to perceive it, it ends. But the lucky thing is, every end is a new beginning!" - My First Quote Ever
"Life is too precious to be just hanging around in it, too good to be just sleeping through most of it, and too passionate to be just thinking about it...... So, I WRITE..." ~ Sana Rose

October 29, 2010

The Surprise Gift ~ A Story

Cat’s urine had the worst smell in the world, as far as little Anna was concerned. She had discovered it by accident. That was what she claimed. And that was what she told at least five times a day. About that, she was adamant than about anything. And she thought she felt older when she voiced it. Her eloquence was such when she narrated her accident.

“Mama…. Mama….” she began.
No response.
“MAMA!” she cried impatiently.
“Yes, Anna,” her mother sighed, equally impatient. “Isn’t it bedtime for you yet?”
Anna nodded pouting at her mother.
“Yes, Mama, but you know, Mama, there was a lot of that in the cupboard under the stairs!” She at once became enthusiastic and animated. “I accidentally had it on my hand when I took my old shoes. I vomited throughout the day!” She said for the umpteenth time.
Anna’s mother rolled her eyes in disbelief. Anna!
“Mama, when will Papa come?”
“He’ll be late, honey,” Mother said. “You can tell him tomorrow about it.”
“Yes,” Anna nodded, “Tomorrow is good.”
“Now, off to bed, Anna,” her mother gestured.

Anna looked beseechingly at her mother. But then she left to her tiny bedroom.
Anna was lonely. Too lonely than a five year old should be. Her mother’s works were never-ending. Her father was always late. And Jerry was her only friend, whom she hadn’t allowed near her after her ‘accident’. She viewed him from a safe distance, though she knew he missed her. And she also knew Jerry was a mouse. Tom was the cat. But she thought Jerry was clever. Tom was stupid. But her cat was clever. So she had to call him “Jerry”. She wouldn’t let anyone change it.

Tomorrow proved to be no good. Anna fiddled with her spoon in the cereal bowl at the breakfast table.
“Papa, I want to tell you something,” she said hoping he wouldn’t say she could tell him the next day.
He didn’t of course. He didn’t say, “Tomorrow, Anna.”
Instead he smiled and glanced at his watch.
“Next Sunday, my little girl,” he said.
Anna’s face fell.
“I am not a little girl,” she said. She wanted to reject everything he said. She jumped down from her high chair and strode out of the dining room.
“Anna, finish this!” Her mother’s voice followed her.
“Jerry will like it!” she called out back.
She felt betrayed. Mama and Papa didn’t agree that cat’s urine had the worst smell in the world, she thought. But that was the truth! She was sure of that.
But anyway, she waited for the next Sunday. Because she had to tell it to Papa anyway. And she bounced out to the dining room early on Sunday morning.
“Mama! Where is Papa?” She asked in her sing-song squealing girlish voice.
“Happy Birthday, Anna!” Her mother smiled and gave a peck on her cheek.
“Happy Birthday?” Anna asked.
“Yeah, you turned five today”.
“I forgot”, said Anna.
“But you didn’t know!” her mother laughed. Anna had never cared to count the days and dates till now.
“I know!” Anna said. “I’m a big girl now.”
“Okay, here comes Papa.”
Papa was carrying a large package wrapped in Anna’s favorite color, Pink. He wished her and said he was going to give her the gift. She stared with wide eyes, hoping it wasn’t a big cat.
She tore the wrappers and found a big box. Suddenly she remembered something else and smiled up at her father.
“Papa, I want to tell you something,” she said. “You said next Sunday and I waited.”
Her mother rolled her eyes for the umpteenth time. Papa sat down on a chair and raised Anna to his lap.
“Papa, I was looking for my old pink shoes in the cupboard under the stairs. And then -”
But she was interrupted by her mother.
“Look, Anna, what Papa bought you!”
“What?” she asked sharply looking at her mother.

Her mother held a large pink teddy bear that was just as big as Anna herself. She hopped down from her Papa’s lap and squinted at the teddy bear.
It was light pink in color and had black round eyes that looked beadily at her. Its fur was shining and she reached out and touched it gingerly and drew back at once. It was really soft. Softer than Jerry’s fur. It had a round nose, also black. Its belly was white. Its ears were round and had white at the center. Yes, she liked its ears.

“Do you like it?”
“Not much,” she replied, studying it carefully. “Does it talk?”
“No, but you talk enough for two people,” her mother replied.
But Anna didn’t understand what her mother meant and nodded seriously. “But it listens,” her mother added.
“I like its ears,” she said. “It’s round and cute.”
Her father chortled. “Yes, yes…”
“I like its ears,” she repeated. “So I must like it, if I want to like its ears.”
Her parents exchanged a glance, wondering how they had managed to make such a rebelliously thinking daughter.
“I am glad you like it,” her father said getting up.

She nodded as she pulled its fluffy arm and she lifted the pink teddy bear in her arms. She sniffed its fur. It smelled new. “I like its ears,” she said again.
Then on, Teddy bears had the cutest ears in the world and she was adamant about it.
***
As Anna sat in the waiting lobby at the arrivals section in the airport, she thought of Cyril with a dreamy smile. She couldn’t think of Cyril without thinking about his ears. They were cute and round. She didn’t know anything that was cuter than Cyril’s ears. She tapped her high heeled foot on the floor and anticipated the moments when she would tell him the happy news that was going to make him practically twirl on his toes after three months away from her. She had been saving the news.
Anna had counted the days for three months and a week exactly.
One night when Cyril had called, she had said:

“I’ve a surprise gift for you, my Teddy bear.”
“What?” he asked.
“That’s a surprise, Teddy bear,” she chuckled.
“Okay, there’s a surprise gift for you, too, then,” Cyril said lovingly.
“Hmmm…” she hummed in delight.
***
That night, as Anna sat cuddling in Cyril’s arms, she couldn’t stop smiling.
“Give me my surprise gift,” Cyril whispered.
“You have to wait,” she said. “Give me mine.”
He pulled out a large box from under the bed and placed it beside her. “You told me first.”
“Okay,” she took a deep breath, “We are going to have a little Teddy bear.”
Cyril wrapped his arms around her at a loss for words. Anna tore open the wrappers but was stopped.
“Wait,” Cyril said. “Why do you call me a teddy bear?” he asked.
“Because you have cute round ears,” she said. The answer was quick.
“Open it,” he urged.

She did so and gasped before laughing. A pink teddy bear stared innocently at her. Teddy bears still had the cutest ears in the world. And so did Cyril.

First Prize, English Story Writing
Interzone Arts Fest ’10

1 comment:

  1. Important note: from now on, I'll always visit your blog because I have plenty of time :)

    Lovers' Shore

    http://lovers-shore.blogspot.com/

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