Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hiding Chapter 3: A Birthday, a Disappointment, a Competition

My 11th birthday was one that I’ll never forget. I was so excited that I had so many friends to invite. I had no way of knowing that Hillary would… well, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning, which is three weeks before my birthday.
            I sat at the kitchen table with Brooke one afternoon. We were looking at a magazine that had party themes. “Well, what kind of parties did you have before this?” asked Brooke. “Well,” I started. I told her that I had never really had a party before. My parents never had that much money, so we just hung out at my previous birthdays. After my parents died, I never had any close friends to invite to a birthday party. Now, of course, I have plenty of friends to invite. As I turned a page, I saw the party theme that I wanted: a clown theme.
            When I was little, one of my friends took me to a circus. My favorite part was the clowns. We went to the party store and bought balloons, a piñata, plates, cups, and much more. Mrs. Till called and scheduled a clown to come to the party for entertainment. Everything was going perfect, Mr. Till just placed an order for a birthday cake. But, as fate would have it, that’s when things started going wrong.
            As I sat on the couch that evening, reading a book for a book report, the phone rang. Mrs. Till answered it, talked for a couple of minutes, and hung up. “I have some bad news Roxanne,” she told me. “It appears that piñatas have been made illegal in this county.” I sighed. That meant that I wouldn’t have a piñata for the party. The phone rang again. This time, Mr. Till answered it. After hanging up, he said that he had some bad new as well. Apparently, all of the workers at the bakery where we ordered my cake have gone on strike. I sighed again. We would have to find someplace else to make my birthday cake. When the phone rang a third time, Mrs. Till hesitated before answering. I was disappointed to see her expression. I could tell that it was more bad news. “I’m sorry Roxanne.” Said Mrs. Till after hanging up. “The clown can’t make it to the party. Something about not being able to find her nose.” “OH NO!” I exclaimed. “What are we going to do?” Mrs. Till suggested we all sleep on it, and we all agreed. I don’t know how I fell asleep, but I did.
            The next morning, everybody had great ideas. Mrs. Till said that she could be the clown; she had, after all, run away from home to join the circus when she was ten. Mr. Till said that he knew how to make a mighty fine carrot cake, which is my favorite. Brooke told me that she knew other games to play at my party that would be a lot more fun than a piñata. After about an hour of planning, we were back on schedule. That is, until we remembered a very important part: invitations!
            Brooke and I rushed to the party store, but it was too late. They were sold out of invitations. We were walking home when I had an idea: we could make the invitations ourselves. After getting home, Brooke and I immediately set to work. A little scented colors here, a little glitter there, a little of a lot of colors on the side, and we were done. We had enough invitations for everyone in our grade. I couldn’t wait!
            The next morning, Brooke and I went to school with the invitations. We went to our classes, went to lunch, and went to recces. During recces, we handed out Invitations to everyone in our grade. I noticed that all of the people we handed invitations to also had something else in their hand. When I handed Hillary an invitation, Hillary looked inside it, and laughed. “Oh, Roxy Roxy Roxy, I have some excellent news: Our birthdays are on the very same day!” I stared at her. Was she serious? I looked over at Lindsey, who opened the invitation. The sound of Hillary’s voice was played. It said: “Gimmie a B, Gimmie a D, Gimmie an A, Gimmie a Y; B-DAY come to my party at Busch Gardens, details inside.” As I looked around, everyone looked from my invitation to hers, and from me to her. Before I could say anything, the bell rang to call us back inside. I couldn’t believe what just happened.
            I walked in the house and went straight to my room. I wasn’t sad though; I got a notepad and pen. I wrote “Ways to make my party cooler.” “What if we went to a circus, or if we rented an elephant?” I thought. As I though more about it, however, we didn’t really have the money for either of those. Brooke came into our room and sat on my bed. “What are you going to do?” she asked. I said that in order to convince people to come to my party, we have to make it cooler than Hillary’s. “How will we do that?” asked Brooke. “By changing my party theme.” “But, what else could we do?” asked Brooke. “Well,” I said. “I was thinking we could have a fondue candlelight dinner. We have a fondue set so it will be easy!” so, we started preparing.
            We went to the store to pick up stuff for the fondue. We asked where the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese was, but they only had plain old cheddar. We also picked up chocolate, strawberries, bread, chicken, candles, and bananas. We came home and made new invitations. I was so excited when we handed the new invitations out to the students. When Hillary arrived at school, however, she had new invitations of her own. Hers promised a sleepover after they went to Busch Gardens. She even said that there would be pizza! When I got home, I immediately started thinking of a way to make my party cooler. I didn’t know it, but I had started something I would tell my grandchildren about: The Birthday Party Competition.
            I came up with a great idea for my party. Mr. Till loves to play the violin, so I asked him to play while eat, as background music. When I went to school with this news, however, Hillary also said they would get special line privileges at Busch Gardens since her brother works there. The next day, I went to school promising a little magic show (starring Mrs. Till), and Hillary promised a limo ride to Busch Gardens for everyone attending. Next, I promised one of Mrs. Till’s homemade cakes, and Hillary’s promise was a life-sized sculpture of her made of cake.  The competition wore on and on until finally, my birthday was here.
            We were all busy with the last finishing touches. My guests would be here any minute. Mrs. Till was writing “Happy Birthday Roxanne” on my cake, Mr. Till was tuning his violin, and Brooke was lighting the candles for the dinner. The first people there were Katie and Wendy. Once everyone got here, I determined that half of the people I invited were here, and half were at Hillary’s. Soon, we all sat down to eat.
After that, everything happened at once. Lucy burnt her tongue on the hot cheese, which caused to knock over her drink, which landed in Jasmine’s lap. Jasmine leaped up, causing the candles to fall and caught the tablecloth on fire. Everyone screamed, and got far away from the flames. Mr. Till poured water on the fire, putting it out. His fingers got burned a little, which prevented him from being able to play the violin. Mrs. Till, oblivious to what just occurred, walked in with the cake, slipped on the fondue cheese, and the cake went flying, landing on Jill. Once Jill got cleaned up, she left. Everyone else followed her, wishing me a happy birthday as they headed towards Hillary’s party. Soon, It was just me, Brooke, Katie, and Wendy.
We cleaned up, and my friends started comforting me. As I looked at them, I realized how wrong I had been. I had tried to make my party cooler than Hillary’s so that more people would come. A birthday party is supposed to be a time when you hang out with the friends and family who care about you. I shared this with my friends and I told them how sorry I was for thinking that they were not enough. I also apologized to Mr. and Mrs. Till for giving them tasks to preform when they just wanted to spend time with me. After that, we had a great time, we watched a movie, had what was left of the fondue dinner, and went out for ice cream. All in all, it was the best birthday I had ever had, and not because the whole school attended, or because I had a larger than life party, but because I spent time with those I love.



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