Today was a special day for both Elisabeth and her father, David. Since they were both born in May, they decided to celebrate their birthdays together.
During the breakfast, Kate proposed to David to go shopping for gifts for their daughter and also for ingredients to prepare everybody’s favorite meals. Before they left, Kate went upstairs to wake up all the children. It was almost 7.30 AM.
When Elisabeth heard the car drive away, she ran to her parents room and started jumping on their bed. Hesper followed her.
“What are you doing, Lizzie?”
“It’s my birthday today! Yay!” she screamed and threw a pillow at him. Hesper didn’t expect it and fell on the floor. The next second he started laughing.
“I see,” he said and threw back the pillow at her. It didn’t take long and there were feathers scattered all over the bed. Elisabeth was having a good time, but her laughing and screaming didn’t go unnoticed by her brother.
What is she doing in there? Finn thought to himself as he approached the door.
When he opened it, he saw his sister playing alone with a pillow and giggling.
“Hey! What are you doing! Come to have the breakfast!” he told her. Has she gone completely mad? Finn thought to himself and left the room.
“Hesper, I’m having a good time, but I have to go. The bus is coming after a while and I still haven’t eaten my breakfast. We can still play at school during the break, right?” she smiled.
“Sure sure!” said her friend. Elisabeth went to the kitchen and picked a bowl of cornflakes. She sat down at the table. Finn was working on his homework.
“Where is Zac?” asked him Elisabeth.
“He went out with Snowball,” answered Finn.
“Ah…,” she mumbled. “It’s my birthday today, you know that, right? Do you have a gift for me?”
“I know… Don’t worry, you’ll get your gift,” he smiled at his sister.
“Yay!” exclaimed Elisabeth and finished all the milk in her bowl.
“You better go get dressed up, the bus will be here any minute now,” Finn encouraged her. Elisabeth ran up the stairs singing Happy Birthday Lizzie, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday Li-li-lizzie, Happy Birthday to me…
Not even five minutes passed and the school bus arrived.
The mail career placed some bills in the mailbox and when she saw Elisabeth she called: “I have something for you, Lizzie!” A big smile appeared on Elisabeth’s face. The mail carrier passed her a letter.
“Wow! Who is it from?” Elisabeth asked the woman.
“Let me see…,” said the mail carrier and looked at the letter more carefully.
“It was sent from Hidden Springs. Do you have some relatives there?”
“It’s from George!” screamed Elisabeth and ran to show it to her brothers. “Look! LOOK! I got a letter from George!”
“It must be a birthday card,” said Zac.
“Come on! Open it!” urged Finn. Elisabeth opened the envelope and took out the card. “Yes, it’s a birthday card!” she smiled happily.
“Turn it, Liz. There is something written on the other side…,” said Zac. Elisabeth turned the card and started reading.
“No way!” exclaimed Elisabeth. “Freya is really mine?” she asked her brothers.
“Apparently she is,” said Zac. “Now we can go for a ride together,” he smiled at her.
“Here we are. Have a nice day!” said Jane. “Oh, and Elisabeth, happy birthday!”
“Thanks, Jane!” said Elisabeth, smiled at the bus driver and jumped down from the stairs of the bus.
Kate and David returned home with everything they needed and started preparing the food for the birthday party.
When everything was ready, David told Kate that he would wrap the birthday presents for Elisabeth. He wasn’t good at preparing birthday cakes anyway, so Kate didn’t mind at all. Baking was one of her favorite hobbies and having almost no time during the week, she happily agreed.
The moment Kate put the first cake in the oven, her cellphone rang.
It was her friend George calling. Kate cleaned her hands and answered.
“Hi, Kate! It’s me, George!”
“Hey! How are you doing?”
“I’m great. The wellness center here does miracles. I have no longer problems with my back!”
“I’m really glad to hear that, George!”
“And what about you, Kate?”
“I’m fine. Right now I am baking two birthday cakes.”
“That’s really sweet of you. I’m sure Lizzie and David will appreciate them.”
“Yeah, I think so. They go mad every time I bake something,” she smiled.
“I see you remember well… It would be nice if you could be here with us today…”
“I know, Kate… I was thinking about coming to visit you, but the journey is quite long…”
“It’s OK, George. I understand. Maybe we could come to visit this summer, what do you say?”
“That would be great!” said happily George.
“The kids wanted to go to Egypt, but we can’t leave the horses alone for two weeks…”
“Oh, speaking of horses… I sent a birthday card to Lizzie… and… I thought that… ahem… well, I gave her Freya.”
“You did?” asked Kate surprisingly.
“I know I have given the horses to you, but…”
“You don’t need to excuse for anything, George. It’s OK. Actually, I was thinking about giving Freya to Elisabeth myself.”
“Good! I’m sure they will like each other. Freya is a friendly horse.”
“Yes, she is,” smiled Kate. “I don’t want to be impolite, but I need to check on the cake, I wouldn’t like it to get burned…”
“Of course! We’ll hear soon to plan the trip to Hidden Springs then!”
“Great! Thank you, George. Say hello to everyone and have a nice day!”
“I will. Bye bye!”
Kate put the second cake to bake and started preparing the frosting. After a while, Zac and Finn arrived home from school.
“Hey, mom!” they said with one voice.
“Hi, boys! How was your day?”
“Fine… but I am happy it’s Friday,” said Finn.
“Yeah… me too. The teachers are going crazy. There were way too many tests this week… and it will be worse,” complained Zac.
“Come on, boys! Couple more weeks and the summer holidays are here!” encouraged them Kate.
“You mean couple more weeks of hard studying, right?” sneered Finn.
“Come on, Finn… Think about all the free time we’ll have… Think about mummies and precious artifacts…”
“Why would I think about Egypt if we’re not going there?” asked him Finn.
“What do you mean we’re not going! I’ve already bought my adventurer outfit!”
“Ha ha! Zachary The Adventurer!” laughed Finn.
“Sorry… but you served me this one,” he smiled. “Come on, let’s get rid of the homework so we don’t think about it all the weekend.”
“Yeah…,” sighed Zac.
While Zac and Finn were working on their homework, Kate managed to finish the cakes. She has put them in the fridge so the frosting would solidify.
Later in the afternoon, the first guest arrived. Malika brought with her a plate of fruit crepes that she made herself.
Elisabeth dressed up in her favorite color and went downstairs. When she saw the firecracker shrimp, she sneaked out one portion to the terrace.
David greeted the arriving guests.
“Happy birthday, David,” Emma smiled at him.
“This is for you,” she said and passed him a book. “Please forgive me I didn’t wrap it.”
“It’s OK. I never liked those fancy wrapped gifts anyway!” smiled David and looked at his present.
“What are you doing?” Elisabeth asked Malika when she saw her standing at the door looking inside.
“Nothing, eat your shrimp,” she said with a nervous tone.
“Are you afraid to go inside?” Elisabeth continued asking.
“No… just… just mind your business, Liz.”
“Sorry that I asked,” answered Elisabeth and shook her head. What’s wrong with her, she thought to herself.
“No, I’m sorry, Lizzie. It’s your birthday, I shouldn’t have behaved like that to you,” apologized Malika.
“It’s OK. Do you want some shrimp?”
“No, thanks. Be careful, they’re spicy,” smiled Malika. “Oh! There he is!” she exclaimed suddenly.
“What? Who?” asked her Elisabeth, but Malika didn’t answer.
Spicy she says? Let’s see… Elisabeth thought to herself and took a bite. I don’t feel anything, they’re pretty tasty actually, she smiled to herself and ate the second shrimp.
“Hi, Malika! I’m happy you could make it! Do you want something to drink?”
“Sure,” she smiled at him.
“Oh my!” said Elisabeth aloud with a worried voice. “Buuurrrrrrp!”
OK. Now I definitely think Malika was right, Elisabeth thought to herself and went inside to search for something to wash the spiciness away.
“Rather eat a piece of bread, water will make it even worse,” Malika suggested to Elisabeth when she saw her holding a glass of water.
“OK,” said Elisabeth and immediately put down the glass of water. “Do you think a hamburger could help?”.
“Thanks,” Elisabeth smiled at her.
“Mr. Williams?” called Finn when he saw Malika’s father arrive at the party.
“I… I… wanted… to…”
“Tell me, Finn, I’m listening,” said Marley with a serious tone.
“Uh… I don’t know how to start…”
“Come on, boy,” he smiled. “Just ask me the question,” he encouraged him.
“OK… Do you like me, Mr. Williams?”
“I think you’re a very nice boy, Finn. Now, why are you asking?” asked him Marley and raised his left eyebrow.
“If I liked your daughter Malika really a lot… theoretically… and… I’d like to marry her one day… theoretically… would you… would you… agree?”
“Oh, Finn! You’ll have to wait for that answer,” laughed Marley. Finn looked down at the points of his shoes and felt embarrassed. Then Marley approached him, put a hand on his shoulder and whispered: „Theoretically I’d leave the decision on Malika.” Finn just looked at him with a huge smile on his face.
The first one to blow out the candles was Elisabeth.
“Let’s blow out the candles, sis?” asked her Zac.
“Will you help me?”
“Oh. Come on! You’re a big girl! You can do it alone,” smiled Zac. “Come here,” he said and hugged her.
“Even when we’re all grown up, you’ll always be my big brother,” Elisabeth whispered in his ear. “Come on, everyone! It’s my birthdaaay!” she called and run towards the cake. Elisabeth looked at her mother’s creation and counted the candles. One, two, three, four…
“Don’t forget to make a wish!” everybody cheered. She took a deep breath and blew out all the candles.
Now it was David’s turn.
“What could I possibly wish for?” he asked aloud. He closed his eyes and blew out the candles.
It was already late when Finn ate the last slice of cake. Everybody was having a good time. When the last guest left, Kate went to collect all the dirty dishes and clean them up.
“Someone wants a cup of tea?” asked Kate.
“We want the gifts, we want the gifts!” called Elisabeth and David from the terrace.
“You’ll get them, don’t worry!”
“I’ll have some tea, please,” said Malika.
“Yeah! Thanks, mom!” said Finn.
Malika and Finn stayed inside to drink the tea while everybody else was sitting outside and listening to David playing the guitar.
“I had fun tonight,” said Malika. “Thank you, Finn.”
“It was my pleasure to see you again and also to meet your dad. He’s a nice guy,” Finn smiled.
“Yes, he cares a lot… so, do you want to do something this weekend?”
“Sure. I’ll call you tomorrow. Maybe we could go to watch a movie or something.”
“That would be great!”
“Perfect! I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“See you tomorrow then!” said Malika and hugged Finn. Although they both wanted to kiss each other goodbye, none of them was brave enough to do it.
The gift giving moment came.
“Happy birthday, Liz! You’re a big girl now!” told her David and passed her the gift.
“Thanks, dad! It’s so heavy! What is it?”
“You’ll see once you open it.”
“Happy birthday, my girl,” Kate smiled at her daughter and gave her one gift as well.
“Another gift? Wow! Thanks, mom!” said Elisabeth and hugged her mother.
“Now you have all your life ahead, I hope you’ll be happy at least as much as I am.”
“Don’t worry about me, mom!”
“Happy b-day, sis! I’m sorry I have no gift for you… I didn’t know what to get you exactly so I thought we could go shopping together tomorrow and you would pick your gift,” smiled Zac at her.
“Oh, Zac… It’s OK,” said Elisabeth and hugged him. “Where is Finn?”
“He went upstairs already… Looked kinda depressed,” answered Zac.
“Oh, now I get it! Is he and Malika more than just friends?”
“Looks like…,” said Zac and they both giggled.
“Oh, have you already told mom about your gift from George?”
“No… I completely forgot! Mom? Do you know what other gift I got today?”
“No, should I know?” said Kate although she already knew.
“Freya!” exclaimed Elisabeth happily. “I got a letter from George this morning. He thinks I’ll be a great jockey as you!”
“That’s wonderful, Liz! I am so happy!”
“Can I go to see her?”
“Of course you can!”
Elisabeth smiled and ran outside. “Wait for me, Liz!” called Zac and ran after her.
“So, the best at the end?”
“Certainly. Happy birthday, David,” said Kate and passed him the gift.
“Thank you, my lovely,” he smiled at her, put the gift on the sofa and took Kate’s hands.
“I love you as nothing else in this world, David.”
“I love you too, Kate. I love you so much…”