The Forgotten Gift | Teen Ink

The Forgotten Gift

August 15, 2011
By Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments

“It’s your birthday,” whispers Jenna. Her fingers pick at a thread in the couch. “You can have my blue shirt if you want.”

I don’t, and I wouldn’t take it from her. “Nah, it looks better on you.” I’m rewarded by a beam of relief.

“Birthday hug?” I fold her into my arms, all legs and elbows and bones.

“I’ll go tell Mom.” She scampers off before I can warn her, so I follow.

Mom slumps against the doorframe wearing a sweatshirt I’ve never seen before.

“It’s my birthday,” I say. She nods, like she remembered.

“Damn,” she says, and my hands twitch to cover Jenna’s ears, but she’s heard worse. “I forgot to get you a present.” She trails off, expecting me to say what I’ve said for 7 years, ever since Jenna was born. She watches us, eyes flicking back and forth.

“Don’t worry about it,” I spit out.

“Birthday dinner, then,” begs Jenna, bouncing at out feet. “Or lunch? Please?”

Mom shrugs. “Mo’s is closed Wednesdays.” She tugs her door closed but I slip my foot in. The splintered wood scrapes my bare skin. I don’t say a word, just stare at her bloodshot eyes. I try to sear my thoughts into her mind, how I deserve to have a real birthday with a real mom.

“Next year, your birthday’ll be on a Thursday, I think,” she says. “Mo’s has a steak special from 3 to 5.”



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This article has 22 comments.


LinaA GOLD said...
on Aug. 10 2012 at 6:55 pm
LinaA GOLD, Zarqa, Arizona
10 articles 41 photos 70 comments

Favorite Quote:
Get busy living, or get busy dying- Stephan King

Wow. Really amazing writing. You're descriptive and set a mood that stays in the readers mind. You have the talent of getting the reader attached and emotional through a few paragraphs... thats something i havent mastered. :)

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Sep. 2 2011 at 1:04 am
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Thanks- that's really encouraging!

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Sep. 2 2011 at 1:03 am
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it.

lilliput said...
on Sep. 1 2011 at 11:35 pm
Very moving and thought-provoking -- a very brief slice of very sympathetic lives that leaves one hankering for more. Amazing how such a nuanced tale was told so well in such few words! Keep writing, Harebell!

on Aug. 20 2011 at 7:24 pm
Danealle SILVER, Wheeling, Illinois
7 articles 0 photos 119 comments

Favorite Quote:
Anything is possible with a smile and goal in mind.

Well written 

on Aug. 20 2011 at 3:38 pm
Alderoth BRONZE, Erie PA, Pennsylvania
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Short, simple and sweet. I thought it was well written with a kind message. At the end, I found myself yearning for more.

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 19 2011 at 10:48 am
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
I have something else up now...it's called My Other Half, please check it out!

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 19 2011 at 10:47 am
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Thanks so much!

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 19 2011 at 10:47 am
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Wow, thank you!

on Aug. 19 2011 at 12:17 am
dia.dreamer GOLD, Kochi, Other
10 articles 0 photos 145 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free." - Michelangelo
"I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart: I am, I am, I am." - Sylvia Plath

wow. this story is unique and touching...it feels like reading a poem! I've tried to write stories like this, but I'm never satisfied with the ones I write....I love this! keep writing! :)

fulladavoid said...
on Aug. 18 2011 at 12:52 pm
This is very interesting and meaningful. It certainly provoke thinking...why and how the dearest and strongest of feelings could fade off. Great piece of work!! 

VitaLoyal GOLD said...
on Aug. 18 2011 at 11:32 am
VitaLoyal GOLD, Warrrenville, Ohio
15 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
IAM SOMEBODY BECUZ EVERYONE IS SOMEBODY.love is a state of mind

I like it you  have a good start keep  going.

on Aug. 17 2011 at 3:49 pm
sunlimited SILVER, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

I will! And yes, just write the actions. If you describe the actions, the reader will think you're over-explaining.

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 17 2011 at 2:14 pm
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Tell me when it's up! Also, in your other comment did you mean the second last sentence? I was thinking of changing it to 'I try to sear into her mind how I deserve...'. Do you like that better?

on Aug. 16 2011 at 10:29 pm
sunlimited SILVER, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Me too! I have one more soo far. Looks like you're off to a good start though!

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 16 2011 at 6:53 pm
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Thanks! I have a few more pieces but they're still pending:(

Casy said...
on Aug. 16 2011 at 6:52 pm
I agree with the earlier comment that it's great that you can portray the characters in such a short piece.  Good job.  Keep at it!  Hope to see more from you.

on Aug. 16 2011 at 6:11 pm
sunlimited SILVER, Fair Lawn, New Jersey
6 articles 0 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Good. Very good. You can definitely turn this into a novel because this  isn't just a short story, it can be so much more. When you're writing as a character and what the character is thinking, try to just write down the thoughts without saying, " I thought.." or" My thoughts.." just put the feelings write there. It's more poetic in that way.

Harebelle GOLD said...
on Aug. 16 2011 at 6:03 pm
Harebelle GOLD, Vancouver, Other
14 articles 1 photo 121 comments
Ok, thanks- I totally missed it!

on Aug. 16 2011 at 5:59 pm
InPurpleInk BRONZE, SomewhereOverTheRainbow, Other
3 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You are a lover of words; someday you will write a book." ~Chinese fortune

This is really good!  It captures a very meaningful story using only a short scene.  It's sad and interesting, so I'd love to see what comes before/after, but at the same time it feels right simply as it is. 

I didn't really find any spelling or grammar errors, except that you said 7, 3, and 5.  I believe the correct way to write numbers formally is to spell them out if they are less than three digits long.  It looks more consistent in writing.

Other than that, everything looks good to me! :) Nice job.



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