Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: Surprise Party
By Joanney Uthe
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“He is also your brother-in-law.” Megan held up a top. “This would look good on you.”
“I think I'll just wear an old tee shirt and shorts. No one is going to notice me anyway.” Anna had been trying all week to get one of her friends to give her an excuse to get out of going, but they all had plans and weren’t available tonight.
“They will if you come in an old tee shirt. You never wear old tee shirts. Do you even own any?” Megan put the top back and pulled out another one. “Tell me what is really bothering you.”
“Ooo, I like that one!” Anna doubted her enthusiasm for the tunic fooled her friend but the reason for her mood sounded selfish even to herself.
“If it fits and you like it, I'll buy it for your birthday.” Megan held out the hanger, then pulled it back as Anna reached for it. “As long as you tell me what's bothering you.”
“With all this planning for Eric’s surprise birthday party that my own sister is putting on, you're the first one who's mentioned that it's actually on my birthday instead of his.” Hearing the venom in her own voice, Anna took a few deep breaths before continuing. “I get that he's her husband and Kirsten’s attention should be on him more than the rest of our family now. But I still feel left out. Kirsten always made a big deal out of my birthday, even when she was away at college. Last year, she was gone on her honeymoon and now this year…”
“You feel replaced. By Eric. And I always thought you and Eric got along better than Eric and I do!” Megan handed the hanger to Anna.
“I love Eric. I really do. He's like the brother I always wanted. I think that's partly why I feel so guilty for feeling left out. Overlooked. Replaced, as you put it.” Anna exchanged the tunic for one of a different size and walked towards the dressing room. “Selfish, of me isn’t it?”
“Your feelings are what they are. I understand why you feel that way. Maybe after the party, you can talk to Kirsten about how you feel?”
“Thanks, Megan. I feel better already. How do I look?” Anna opened the changing room door.
“Stunning! It looks even better on you than I imagined. That is what I'm getting you for your birthday!” Megan started to get her wallet out of her purse.
“I think your real gift was helping me to sort out my feelings. But let’s get going, we still have to find a gift for Eric and change before the party.” Anna retreated to the dressing room.
“Wow, there's a big turnout for Eric’s party! What did Kirsten tell him to get him here tonight?” Anna asked as they arrived at the church a few hours later.
“I think she told him something about a meeting with the pastor.” Megan seemed unsure of her answer. “Hopefully she said a committee meeting.”
As they entered the building, Anna stopped short. Above the door of the fellowship hall was a banner that read, “Happy Birthday, Eric and Anna!”
After everyone shouted, “SURPRISE!” at her, Anna felt a strong, gentle hand on her shoulder. “And all this time I thought the party was for you!” Eric chuckled.
“And I thought it was for you.” She replied. Then she turned to Megan, “And you knew all along, didn’t you?”
“Oh yeah. Do you know how hard it was to keep it a surprise when both of my favorite people were feeling like second fiddle to each other?” Megan let out a huge sigh, then wrapped them both in a hug. “My job here is done. Happy birthday, big brother. Happy birthday, Anna. I love you both.”
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