Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)
- TITLE: Tea and Sympathy
By Sydney Avey
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
In for a penny, in for a pound; she rubbed her shin, rifled among the coats for an empty hanger to use to retrieve the bag and remounted the stepstool. Success! She squirreled the bag away her bedroom.
While her mother attended her sister’s wedding shower, Bethany would have plenty of time to unwrap the package, take a peek, rewrap it and restore it to its place on the top shelf. Advance notice of what she could expect to find under the Christmas tree would be tonic for her misery, she reasoned.
Bethany blew her poor chapped nose and tossed the tissue into a pile of its cousins in the corner by her bed. Popping a cough drop, she slipped the gift box from its wrapping and lifted the lid.
Oh my gosh! What was mother thinking? Bethany stared at the treasure inside. Her grandmother’s tea service all shined up and looking new nestled in tissue inside the box.
“I don’t drink tea,” ten-year-old Bethany said out loud to the wall, “but I guess I could try it.” She rewrapped her Christmas present and put it back on the shelf. As she dragged the stool back into the kitchen, she smiled to think that her mother must have noticed how grown up she was getting.
Over the next few weeks, Bethany paid closer attention to matching her clothes and arranging her hair before school. Mother did not seem surprised when Bethany asked for a cup of flower tea with her cookie snack after school instead of her usual mug of cocoa. Her sister Noelle, distracted with wedding preparations, even let Bethany pick a tea cup for herself from the many cup and saucers she received as engagement gifts. Bethany recovered from her perpetual cold.
In the bliss of being treated like a grownup by her mother and sister, Bethany was surprised on Christmas morning when the silver box with the white satin ribbon wasn’t under the tree. Instead, a clothing box wrapped in paper decorated with Mickey and Minnie Mouse in Santa hats had her name on it. She pulled a bright red fuzzy robe, flannel pajamas and reindeer slippers out of the packaging.
“Look in the pocket.” Noelle met Bethany’s frown with a smile. Bethany pulled a Selena Gomez CD out of the pocket of the robe. Her mother and sister didn’t even notice that she didn’t come back to the living room after huffing off with her presents, leaving the packaging in a heap on the floor. On the way to her bedroom Bethany snuck a peek in the coat closet, but the elegant gift was gone. She shut her bedroom door and began to cough and sneeze.
In January Bethany was in between colds and able to accompany her mother and sister to her grandmother’s house. Nonna was too frail to attend the wedding, but she wanted to present Noelle with a gift. Bethany’s shoulders slumped when she saw the glossy white bag containing the glittering tissue-lined box that housed the silver tea set. How could she have not realized that the gift she assumed was meant for her was actually her grandmother’s wedding gift to her sister?
“Thank you so much for having my tea service restored so I could pass it on to Noelle.” Nonna took up her daughter’s hands and gave them a little shake. Then she kissed her granddaughters as they left.
Later that evening, Mother knocked on Bethany’s bedroom door and came in to sit on her bed.
“You thought that was your Christmas gift, didn’t you.”
“How did you know?”
“I put it in the same place I always stash your Christmas presents, and you always sneak a peek. You are a hard girl to surprise, but I guess you were surprised this year.”
Bethany raised her eyes to her mother and gave her a smile. “You know what the biggest surprise was, mom?”
“I discovered I really like tea!”
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.