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The Big 10

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It was October 10, 2003 and I was ten years old, today was my birthday.
I got up like any other summer morning, late and still tired. I stayed in my pjs and slippers for most of the day until my best friend Laurie called me. I should have known to stay home because my parents were both working. Working is all that they do it seems like. Wake up, drink some black coffee, maybe a donut or two, and head out the door as fast as possible.
When they would get home mom will say, “Hi Hun, how was your day? O well that’s super peanut!” even if it’s not super.
Then dad will say, “Did you do your homework? Was it hard? Do you have any questions?”
The funny thing is my dad isn’t very bright all the time and he isn’t very brainy, so normally when I do homework and he helps I get most of them wrong. So, I tend to rely on myself for these things. I am an only child. I have heard that I was lucky for being an only child but I don’t think so, you have nobody to do anything with. Most of the time I end up watching TV, reading, or doing the completely stupid summer handout sheets my parents ordered from a magazine called “Good Parenting.” Personally I do NOT believe that it is good to make your children sit at home all day by themselves. So that’s why I decided to go over to Laurie’s house.
When I got to Laurie’s house the lights were off and it was dark as night. “SURPRISE!” everyone shouted. I was so excited, everyone was there, Laurie, (of course) Becky, Opal, Hilary and even Julie! I was looking around for the two faces that where supposed to be there on moments like this, my parents. Like always they forgot about me, but I was used to it.
The party started with warm and delicious cheese and pepperoni pizza. YUMMMMY! Then we went outside and played capture the flag. Laurie, Hilary and I were on a team and Opal, Becky and Ammy were on a team. Of course we won! But, the only reason we won was because of Hilary. Hilary is a sporty chick. She enjoys basketball, soccer, track, volleyball, powder-puff football, tennis, and, last, she figure skates. Laurie is an actress and cheerleader; she is tiny, like 4’7”, so she is used for little people in plays and a flyer as a cheerleader. I am a dancer, and an orch dork. I play the viola. Becky is a brainiac so we call her Braniac Becky. I think the name fits her quite well. Opal is from Florida and she swims, dives and surfs. Ammy, short for Amethyst, is opals twin sister. She is a dancer, too, but she also surfs.
Next we opened presents. They were sprawled out on the kitchen table and all had different color wrapping and bows. I opened each present slowly, looking for the card to see if my parents even remembered me or my birthday. I got lip gloss, a diary, scrap-booking materials, some new CDs, and new music for my viola. Nothing from my parents appered in the pile of presents and torn up wrapping paper.
The party went on and I was having fun, except for that slight detail about my work obsessive parents. That night as I lay in my sleeping bag on the floor on the cold ground I thought about if the really loved me or if I was a mistake in their lives. They never even wanted me. I was supposed to be a happy 10 year old girl but I cried myself to sleep.
In the middle of the night I heard the phone ring. Mrs. B answered it in her tired whispering voice. I could hear her talking and then all of a sudden she stopped breathing as if everything was still and paused in time. I could hear foot steps coming closer to me and then she tapped me on the shoulder.
“Happy Birthday honey,” she whispered.
I replied, “Thanks.”
“Guess what, I have a surprise for you!” she excitedly whispered.

“What is it?”
“Your parents are on their way!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes I am!”
Five minutes later there was a knock on the door, it was them: my parents! They rushed over to me and gave me two big hugs.
Mom said, “Sorry we are late honey.”
“It’s ok,” I replied
“We love you!” my dad whispered
“I know!”
Then, they gave me a big red box, with gold ribbon and it was metallic and sticky. I opened it, and then out popped a little critter. She was brown, and cream. It was the best present ever, a puppy.
“THANK YOU SO MUCH!”, I yelled, waking all of my friends up.
“Oh, you’re welcome, you deserve the best for you tenth birthday party!”
That night it seemed as if everything went wrong, until it all turned around and went right. If you ever feel alone, like nobody cares, just wait a while, everything will be great. I know it was for me, on my big 10!





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