An Early Present This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The dim pink lights stood in perfect line along the sides of the street, outlining the dark shadows. The only noise was the wheels treading on the slush. We knew it would be soon but not this early. We weren't expecting the call until March; it was early February, the day before Valentine's Day. The dirty snow made the cold evening seem cruel. This was not the setting expected for such a joyful day.

My mother and I arrived and parked. We brought balloons and the first of the many presents. As we walked to the entrance we talked, hardly calm, anticipating our present. What will she look like? I asked myself. I had so many questions and I knew my mother wouldn't know the answers but I asked anyway. She was just as eager to find out as I was.

We entered and stopped at the front desk gave a name and were answered with, "Maternity, you can take the elevator." I wanted to run up the stairs, I was so excited. Just when I thought I couldn't bear to wait a moment longer, I heard the "ding" and the elevator doors opened. It didn't take long to reach our floor. The doors opened and we were both blinded by the bright whiteness of the maternity floor, so different from the gloomy orange and brown lobby. The crisp smell tickled my nose. We stopped at the window where a bunch of babies were. I wondered if one of them was my new cousin. We went to the room where my family was gathered around something I couldn't see. When my aunt turned I saw what everyone was looking at. My eyes widened.

She was the most beautiful and tiniest being I'd ever seen. They made me put on a robe before I could hold her. I was amazed at how small she was in my arms and as I held her I felt a joy I had never experienced before. Whoever had come up with the phrase "bundle of joy," must have held a baby. "So this is Briana," I whispered to myself smiling. She was so quiet and calm. It seemed like all the tension from outside problems did not exist in this room. Her mother, my cousin Lisa, looked happy but tired. She had been through a long day. We spent a long time just admiring the baby. Then the nurse, in her starched uniform, came to take her. We watched as she left with Briana, her sweater swaying from the breeze of her quick departure. The excitement never left our faces; it grew as we talked about the many things we would buy for our early Valentine's present, Briana. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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