Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)
TITLE: Circle of Friends
By Delores McCarter
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Darcy was over Denise's house and waited patiently to find out what her mom had planned for her birthday, but when her mom finally called, it was almost dinner time. She told Darcy that she had to file a big motion and had to work late tonight. It would be great if she could sleep over Denise's house. Darcy was expecting a birthday suprise, but she didn't expect that kind of suprise. Darcy handed the phone to Denise's mom and ran into Denise's bedroom. She couldn't believe that her mom completely forgot about her birthday. She was so embarrased that she didn't want to leave the room, even though she was starting to get hungry. Her prayer was a sob-filled plea. "Momma forgot all about my birthday. God, please don't forget my birthday too." She curled up on the bed and cried herself to sleep.
About a half-hour later, the aroma of baked chicken seeped through the bedroom door and around Darcy's nose. She stood up, stretched and opened the bedroom door. Her stomach growled loudly as the aroma of delicious home cooking filled the small house. She tip-toed down the hallway and saw Denise and her mom by the kitchen stove, Denise's dad in the living room by the entertainment center, and Denise's two brothers setting the dining room table. Her dad looked up at Darcy and called everyone into the living room. He bent down to Darcy's height and looked her into her tear-stained eyes. "Darcy, we didn't want this day to pass without celebrating your birthday. We may not have much, but we do have lots of love. You are like a member of this family and we want you to know that we love you. First we dance, then we eat." He turned on the stereo and played the song "Circle of Friends" by Avalon. They stood in a circle and danced around Darcy, who giggled the entire time.
After a feast of baked chicken, biscuits, and collard greens, it was time for desert. They didn't have time to bake a cake, but did something even better: chocolate chip cookies, Darcy's favorite. Denise placed two large cookies in front of Darcy with a tall glass of milk. The cookies were still warm when they placed a candle on top of each cookie. They lit both candles and turned off the lights. After singing an off-tune version of "Happy Birthday," Darcy blew out her candles and said a prayer instead of a wish. "Thank you God for remembering my birthday, thank you for my circle of friends, and thank you for the cookies! Amen."
Her parents they never acknowledged her birthday that year, and Darcy never mentioned it.
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