My Most Precious Gift

June 5, 2008
By Candice Yip, Arcadia, CA

When I was in fourth grade, there was a boy named Kazuaki in my class. He was Japanese, had transferred to America only a year ago, (although he spoke perfect English) and was fairly obnoxious. The relationship I had with him was love/hate, but I think he only really had love/love feelings for me, as I was the only girl he was nice to, and it was always between my friend Beverly and me to be his square dancing partner. (The guys got to ask the girls.) Well, I sort of had feelings for him back, the one reason I cherish his memory now is because of what he gave me, a necklace.

I had been nagging my parents for years to let me have a birthday party. They fought back with excuses that it was too costly and inconvenient for my guests, since my birthday is on Christmas. But I just kept nagging, and one year, they gave in. That happened to be my fourth grade year. Ecstatic, I passed out many invitations. I was planning to hold my party at Chuckee Cheese’s, confident that everyone would show up. My sister also decided to invite her friends, predicting that the party would be a failure otherwise, since no one would come. I scoffed at that. I was wrong. In fact, just about nobody did come.

My table was set up with balloons and a big banner, with a huge cake. I decided to play a few games in the arcade while I waited for my guests...who never came.... Actually, one guest did come. It was Kazuaki (yes, I gave an invitation to him too!). However, he could only stay for a few minutes. He handed me my present, a slim package wrapped in pretty paper tied up with a bow. Then he stood next to me as his mom took a picture of the two of us. Then he had to leave, but not before bidding me goodbye, wishing me a happy birthday, and then smacking my shoulder. When the rest of my guests failed to show up, I comforted myself by playing many, many games, gobbling down the cake, throwing whipped cream at my sister for being right, and rubbing the smooth paper of Kazuaki’s present against my check. So, when the party was over, and I went home, I carefully opened his present. I was stunned to see a blue velvet box, the kind that holds really expensive jewelry. I stroked the plush surface for a bit, then opened the box. I was stunned to see the most gorgeous necklace inside. It was completely covered with delicate beads of sapphires, amethysts, tiger eyes’, diamonds, pearls, and much more. I gasped as they caught the sun and burned with fire. I took it out with a shaking hand, and carefully put it on. I ran to the mirror to look, and saw jewels worthy of a princess. I started hiccupping, and ran to get a glass of water. I cried a little thinking about how much money he might have spent on me, even though I was really mean to him sometimes. I put the necklace back in the box, and then tucked it away carefully into my dresser. I kept it there for a long time; it’s still there. I had only taken it out once when I wore it to Kazuaki’s birthday party. (!) Some of the beads started falling off after a while, so I put it in a locked box where the beads wouldn’t fall out and get lost. It’s still there, too. Although I am now doubtful of whether or not Kazuaki himself picked out my necklace (his mom might have), if the ‘precious stones’ are [probably] colored glass, and if he actually remembers my existence, I still think his present is the best ever given to me. Not only was it pretty, but he tried to show up to my party even though he wouldn’t be able to stay, just to wish me a happy birthday (something I can’t say for the other ‘guests’). As a result, until I die, I will cherish the warm memory of a pretty necklace in a blue velvet box wrapped up carefully in smooth paper.

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