“Surprise” everyone shouted as I entered the packed living room / kitchen which I scanned happily, taking in every smiling face (apart from Ali’s) and recognizing each one in turn. There was just one face missing but before I could dwell on this the doorbell rang and I went to answer it. I opened the door to find a body with flowers for a head, the identity of the person carrying the big bunch of flowers hidden from view but this was soon revealed when Leanne’s voice emanated from the flowers.
“Happy birthday beautiful!” she said handing me the flowers then kissing my cheek.
“I thought you were at work?” I asked opening the door wide to let her in then heading into the kitchen to find a vase big enough for the flowers.
“I was but I said to my boss that I had a crisis and had to go when I heard from Cara”
“But you don’t have Cara’s num…. wait a minute…” I wheeled around to look at Cara who was hovering nearby, Sam standing at her elbow. Cara’s face had a cheeky expression on her face which made the corners of my mouth twitch into a smile.
“You left your phone charging on your bed earlier and I grabbed my chance to get Leanne’s number”
“Oh I see, but Lea…. My birthday is just a birthday; you didn’t have to lie to your boss…. What was the crisis?”
“The crisis was I didn’t know it was your 19th birthday party and I hadn’t got you a present, sorry it’s nothing uber special but I will make tonight special for you!” Leanne promised.
“But, you did get me a present,”
"Yes, that was a clever excuse so that i could buy you another present"
“Oh Anna lighten up, it’s your birthday, don’t get your knickers in a twist ya old git” Cara joked, earning herself a playful punch in the arm.
“Happy Birthday Anna” Sam said coming up to me a bottle of bubbly in her hand and a card which I took from her with a smile.
“Thank you so much!” I said happily standing the card up by the flowers Leanne had got for me and feeling slightly angry with myself for suspecting Cara of forgetting my birthday.
“Open my present now Anna!” Cara said excitedly, bounding up to me and pressing a birthday bag into my hand with enthusiasm. I surveyed the bag closely for a few moments then delved my hand inside it … unsure what I would find.