Laura woke up to the sound of her alarm. She got out of the bed and checked on her baby in the cradle, sleeping like an angel. She kissed him on his forehead and said in a cheerful voice, “Happy birthday, my dear.”
Then she turned to her husband, still sleeping. She shook him hard to get him out of his deep sleep. Her husband (John), was still rubbing his eyes when Laura made her way downstairs.
After wash up, John joined his wife in the kitchen. She had a lot of ingredients on the shelf.
“What is all this?” John asked.
“Don’t tell me you forgot! Today is our Gabe’s first birthday.”
“Oh, of course I remembered. What I meant was what are you making?”
“Yeah, right.” Laura smiled and rolled her eyes.
“OK, here’s your breakfast. Eat it and then please bring all the things I have written down.”
“And don’t forget the sugar. I have to make a cake.”
Finishing his food, John got up, changed, said goodbye to his wife and made for the door.
“Goodbye honey. Don’t be late!!” Laura called.
But as John got out, he saw his neighbor.
“Hey, Zack, how is life coming around?”
They chattered for a while before heading their own ways. As John walked down the street, he met a stranger.
“Can you guide me to Downing Street’s press office?”
After sending the stranger in the direction of his destination, John continued down the street and reached the supermarket.
There he realized, he had lost the list somewhere, but as he had gone through it once, he thought he would be able to buy all the stuff. After a while, when he thought he had bought all the stuff, he made the payment.
“I think I am forgetting something.” John tried to remember but nothing came to his mind.
“I think that’s all.” And started back for home.
On the way, he stopped to buy a newspaper. Finally when he got home, he realized how late he was. Because on the sound of his arrival, Laura came out of the kitchen and was now standing in the doorway with an annoyed look on her face.
“I brought all the stuff.” John smiled and tried to cool down the tension between them. But it was obvious from her expression that she was in no mood to smile. She snatched the shopping bag from John’s hand and went back to the kitchen. John followed her to the kitchen; she was taking out the stuff. Suddenly, she stopped short and murmured something.
“What you said?” John didn’t quite get her.
“Where’s the sugar?”
“That must be it! I thought I was forgetting something.” exclaimed John, snapping his fingers.
“You forgot the sugar…..” It was more of a statement than a question.
Laura’s face clouded over. “I told you don’t be late but here you are. Late! Fine I will get over it but you forgot the sugar! I told you, I have to make a cake!”
Laura sank to the chair. John tried to seek her forgiveness. “I lost the list somewhere. I thought I have brought everything…….”
Laura was close to tears. “Now what are we going to do? What’s a birthday party without a cake?”
“Gabe doesn’t know that. He is just a baby. Make something else. The guest will eat anything.”
Laura looked at him with a bored expression. Shaking her head she got up.
“I guess I will just have to make something else.”
“That’s my girl. See there’s always a solution for everything!”
With her back to him, Laura said in a tight voice:
“Don’t think you are getting out of it, this easily. We don’t have much time. Go change and dress up Gabe as well.”
“Diapers too?” John asked in a troubled voice.
“Yes, diapers too.”
As John turned to go, Laura teased him, “And try to enjoy what you are going to do.” She turned to face him. She was trying hard to keep a straight face and John caught the look. He smiled and said, “I know. I know. I deserve it.”
The party went well. After seeing off their guests, they changed for bed. As Laura was changing Gabe she said, “Not bad for a first time. You did a pretty good job, changing his diaper.”
She looked at John with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eyes. Then they both shared a good laugh.
The story behind this story: I was in the first year of my bachelors, when we were given a task. The task was to write a story based on a number of pictures. We had the choice to determine the sequence of pictures and of course to construct a story as we like, including the characters and dialogues. And then we were suppose to act on it.
We did good in presenting this story. But I wasn’t expecting what came next. Our teacher liked it. He actually liked my written version! That made my day. Of course, there were few mistakes here and there. He guided me on those (thank you, sir!). And also added that he liked how I composed the story and that he enjoyed reading it.