Joshua.

Days. Weeks. Months. All passed. Miranda's birthday was tommorrow. The bond between she and her teacher had tightened alot since their first lesson. Daniel had gotten her a small present. Since his lesson with her was today he figured he'd give it today. It was also a congratulations-for-getting-this-far gift. Normally the relationship between his students and himself was more proffesional, but Daniel felt very close to Miranda ; he felt like he had known her for longer than he actually had. Maybe it was because this music strengthened Miranda. Maybe because she was so sweet. But mainly it was because Miranda's soul showed in her face. It was a beacon of light, joy, happiness in her eyes, and people were drawn to her like humans to light.

Daniel was just about to leave for the Johnson's when he heard a crash. "Oh, no..." Daniel groaned inwardly, and he jogged to his living room. There, as expected, was Joshua, tangled up in a heap of skipping ropes like a human pretzel. A heap of other old things were lying on the floor infront of a big cuboard, whose doors were open. Josh looked guilty.

He gave an awkward smile. "Um.... lost my bike?"

Daniel jerked his thumb backwards. A bike could be seen through the window.

"Uhhhh... lost my helmet?"

Another backwards jerk. The helmet was dangling from the bike handles.

"Ummm..... lost my sneaker?"

"Wrong answer," Daniel said, kicking the sneaker from underneath Josh's jacket. Joshua swallowed.

"Ok, FINE. But, Dad, you gotta let me see it! Atleast give me a HINT!"

Daniel gave a sarcastic smile. "It's a Barbie."

"C'mon, Dad!"

"What? It is!'

"I know its not."

"So you're saying you found it?"

Joshua gave a sheepish smile. "Well, no... "

" So...?"

"Well - well - I'll convince Mom to tell me!"

"To tell you what?"

A slender, dark haired woman walked in. Her eyes glittered like topaz, and she had high cheekbones. She had a small pointy nose, and long eyelashes. Her dark hair was short and curly.

"Mom!" Josh immediately ran up to her, and put up a puppy dog face. "I reaallllllyyy need to know what my present is!"

Yes, Joshua's birthday was in a few days. He was a year older than Miranda ; proud age of ten. He was very pleased to be getting older, though Daniel had been trying till his wit's end to convince him that being young was so much better.

"Oh, really, honey? Why is that?" she said playfully, ruffling his sandy hair. She gave a wink in Daniel's direction. He grinned.

"Because... I could die any moment! Live today like there's no tommorow! What if I die THE DAY BEFORE MY BIRTHDAY?? That would be tragic! PLEASE Mom! " He buried his head in her stomach.

The woman glanced at Daniel. He quickly mouthedBarbie.

"Alright, Josh," she sighed. "It's... a barbie."

"What?" Josh yelled in horror. "You're joking!"

"Joking?" Mom blinkd her big eyes innocently. "Why, ofcourse not, darling!"

"See, Joshua?" Daniel tutted. "It IS a Barbie!"

Josh looked around despairingly, trying to tear the truth from their eyes, but to no avail. Finally, he gave a wail of despair, and dropped to Mom's feet miserably. Daniel walked up to them, and wrapped an arm around her.

"See, Mel? I knew he would like it," Daniel said proudly. Melissa smiled.

"He looks so happy!" she agreed eagerly. Josh looked up, a picture of misery.

" Dad," he said sadly.

"No, no, no. We already ripped the receipt ; you can't choose the Queen of Night one instead."

"Dad."

" I suppose we COULD buy it a companion, only if you promise to play with both."

"Dad."

"Yes?"

"You're late."

Distracted, Daniel looked at the clock. To his shock, it was 4 o'clock - He was late.

"Thanks for reminding me, Josh! See ya, kiddo!" He mussed up Josh's hair, to which Joshua groaned in annoyance, trying to fix it. He gave Mel a quick peck on the cheek. He tore out the room, then stopped and backed up.

"Mel, just put him out of his misery. Joshua, you are not getting a Barbie doll."

"YYYYESSSSS!!! " Josh screamed. He punched a fist into the air. "I KNEW IT!"

Mel looked at him, an amused and dissaproving look on her face."You just let loose a faulty cannon."

"Well, I'm not home." He grinned. " Bye now."

Daniel rushed outside. When did he ever get so lucky?

The End

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