I have been feeling inspired lately and here is my latest short story! Hope you enjoy the read!
“Mummy, when will the guests arrive” – a tiny voice broke through the silence.
“Honey, they must be on their way” – the mother replied with patience in her voice.
“Do you think they will enjoy the party, mother? I mean, we have decorated the room and set the table” – a young girl spoke with wonder and anxiety.
“Of course they will enjoy the party sweetheart!” – the mother replied with her voice as calm as ever.
The door bell rang and the young girl ran towards the door.
“Mummy, mummy! They are here!” – the girl was full of joy and anxiety at the same time.
It was her seventh birthday party. The birthday girl wore a beautiful white dress with a nice light purple ribbon tightly wrapped around her waist. Her hair was nicely brushed, the big yet at the same time gentle curls suited Sophia perfectly. To complete the perfect picture, Sophia wore a headband with a big white flower on the left side. Sophia was flawless on her birthday and no one could argue with that. Behind this perfect appearance, however, there were some hidden feelings. She was anxious and yet at the same time happy that her birthday party was about to start. Sophia was looking forward to celebrating this day with her closest friends. At the same time she was worried that her mother has been awfully calm about the party but she said nothing. Today was about her, she will deal with her mother later, or at least she thought so.
“Happy Birthday!” – the joyful voices came through the door singing the most famous song on the planet!
“Please, do come in!” – Sophia’s mother welcomed the guests and guided them to the living room.
The minute the young people walked into the room the party has began. The kids have started playing games almost forgetting the main reason why they have all gathered together. Sophia’s mother watched the kids play the games with so much admiration. The kids at this age have their own perception of the world and there is something so charming about them. These kids are so innocent and pure and they all share this striving ambition to enter this world and become adults as quickly as possible. They dream of becoming older sooner and they share their thoughts on what they would like to become when they grow up. This particular thought caught Sophia’s mother attention. When she was younger, she always thought she would become a teacher in some high school and teach English Literature. Well, life is full of surprises and unexpected turns and these kids are about to find out for themselves.
“Mummy,” – Sophia’s voice broke the circle of the her mother’s thoughts. “Mummy, we are getting hungry. Do you think we can start serving the food?”
“Of course honey, I will take care of that. Are you having fun?” – her voice calm as ever.
“Yes, mummy! You are the best!” – Sophia hugged her mother tightly and then ran off towards her friends letting them know that the food was on its way.
“Claire” – Sophia’s mother addressed a young lady in the kitchen. “The kids are getting hungry, you can start serving the pizza and salads. Make sure all of them get at least two slices of pizza. I will bring the beverages.”
“Of course Mrs.Brown, right away.” Claire immediately prepared the pizza plates and took out the salads from the fridge. She helped Mrs. Brown take out the beverages and put them on the kitchen table.
As the table was attended by Sophia’s mother and Claire, the kids were getting impatient to get the food. Sophia seemed a lot calmer now, which was a definite sign that she was happy with how the party was going. When the food arrived the invitees looked as happy as ever. It is amazing how little we actually need to be happy. A good company, a little food and a place where all these things could come together. The thing is as we grow older the ingredients to our happiness become less easy to find and our demands a little less achievable. Things start to get complicated for no particular reason. Sophia’s mother has lived through various situation in her life and there were times when she thought she will never be as happy as at that particular time. Sophia’s birthday party was one of those times. Mrs. Brown watched her beloved daughter enjoy her special day with the most special people in her life and knew that her daughter was experiencing joy and gratefulness. Sophia didn’t need to say anything – it was written in her eyes. Her beautiful blue eyes, she inherited from her father.
The door bell rang, Claire opened the door. Mr. Brown was at the door step. A handsome man in his mid-thirties, blond hair and blue eyes – a true prince charming. He walked into his house with a big box wrapped in a bright red paper. Mrs. Brown walked up to her husband and they exchanged a quick look. A look that said, ‘ I am happy you made it,’ and ‘Wouldn’t miss it for the world’, but it was just a look.
“Where is my little princess?” – he said, walking into the living room.
“Daddy!” – Sophia ran towards her father and jumped on him like he was the best present she has received today.
“I got you a present my princess. You should open it later with the rest of the presents!”
“Thank you daddy! Do you want some pizza? Mummy, is there more pizza?” – Sophia was excited and anxious to see her father.
“Sophia, your father and I will get a bite together. Look, you have neglected your guests, you should get back to them before they run away!” – Mrs. Brown was smiling and Sophia knew that her mother was not serious and yet she ran to attend to her guests.
“I am happy you made it. In a few minutes Claire will be brining in the cake. It would be nice to get it on camera! Look at her, she is so happy, so innocent and so grateful for today! Today is one of the best days in her life.” – Mrs. Brown spoke calmly as they walked into the kitchen.
“Lea, we need to talk. It has been a week since you found out about the affair and you have said nothing.” Mr. Brown sounded concerned and his voice was shaky. “ We can’t keep this up. I need to know how you feel. I feel like I owe you an apology and an explanation…”
“Mark, you don’t owe me anything. It is your life. There must have been a reason for you to commit adultery and I wish I knew the reason for it. I feel empty. I feel like someone took everything from me and left me with nothing although look around, I have everything I need even more than that. All I want is to know if there is a chance or a way for us to move forwards with our relationship or whether this is the final destination? What do you want from this Mark?”
He stood in silence. Listening to his wife speak in a calm and steady voice was not something he was expecting. When he slept with Maria last week whilst he was on his business trip he was not driven by rational thinking. He felt seduced and he enjoyed the attention that Maria was giving to him that night. He had no feelings for Maria and honestly he never will – it was pure physical attraction. How does one explain this to his wife though. Will she understand him? He has fallen in love with Lea from the first second that he saw her. That night she wore a red dress and her hair down, she had natural make up on and was not looking for anyone special. She stood out from the crowd immediately, she was determined and he saw something so simple and yet so beautiful in her that he was instantly charmed by her. And now nine years later he stands before her and not a word comes to his mind. Almost like the first time he saw her but for different reasons.
“I guess you need more time Mark. I understand. I just need clarity.” – Mrs. Brown broke the silence.
“Mrs. Brown, can I serve the birthday cake?” – Claire walked in on the couple.
“Yes Claire, I will be right there.”
Mrs. Brown followed after Claire leaving Mr. Brown on his own with his thoughts. A few seconds later, he walked into the dark living room, where the kids were singing ‘Happy Birthday’ song. The best song in the entire word and the only song that ends with a cake!
“Make a wish, sweetheart!” – both parents said simultaneously a little surprised by their words.
Sophia looked at her mother then at her father. They stood far apart from each other and she had a feeling that it was not just the distance that separated them from each other, there was something much deeper, something she knew nothing about. This observation made it easier for her to make a wish. When the lights went back on and the cake was cut for the guests it seemed as though the world came back to reality from a moment of dreaming.
“Mummy, daddy, you should try the strawberry cake! It is delicious! Thank you for throwing this party for me and my friends!” – Sophia was so happy that both parents smiled unwillingly at their daughter.
After the cake was eaten the guests slowly started to leave. Sophia went up to her room and started opening the presents. Mrs. Brown was helping Claire to clean up.
“Lea, there is something I want to tell you” – Mr. Brown called up on his wife.
“Mark, you don’t need to say anything now. I understand if you need more time…”
Mr. Brown pulled her closer and kissed her passionately yet apologetically. He realised that this woman has given him the greatest gift ever – a daughter. A daughter who loved her parents with all her heart despite their mistakes, a daughter who inherited his habits as much as hers. His wife has given him her love and her heart and is willing to look past this issue. His wife loved him for who he was and accepted him the way he was – it just took him one reckless mistake to realise that.