The Birthday Gift

Splurge splurge SPLURGE!!!

That was all that was going through my mind then. I was in the middle of  City Center mall, looking at all the clothes that would be mine. A put my hand into my pocket, making sure that the wallet was still there. Good. I still had that $600.

I walked over to a clothes... thing. I don't know what they're called. They're those things in stores that the clothes hang from and you leaf through all the garments hanging there.

Anyway... I made my way to one of those and saw The Dress. It was hanging on there. The Dress. The one I'd tried on so many times before in the changing room, the one I had been wearing when I looked so beautiful, the one I had been dreaming of since a month ago. The one I had told them to hold, in hope that somehow, I would be able to scrape up the $100 for.

The one that was finally going to be mine.

I took the dress to the changing room one last time. I it put on as I had everytime I had come to this store before. Only one difference. Then I was wallowing in self-pity. Now I was bathing in happiness.

Thank you, Grandpa, I whispered. Thank you for the Christmas money. Thank you.

I took it off, and put it in the shopping cart. I went to other parts of the store, and looked at everything else. Soon, a new pair of Converse, a new pair of jeans, a pair of Shades and jacket joined The Dress in the shopping cart. I added up the prices in my head. $550. Just enough left for a Starbucks coffee, and a packet of Twisters from Cinnabun.

I made my way to the cashiers. I was about to go to the next open one, when I heard something.

It was a little girl crying. She wasn't making a huge fuss, but tears were streaming down her face, and her breathing sounded like she had just stopped crying. Her mother was speaking to her.

"Darling... I know it's your birthday. I'm really sorry though. You're daddy just gave a call. He's sick, and he needs to go to the doctor. We won't be able to pay if you don't let us use your birthday money. We'll get you a gift later if we can get enough money."

"OK Mommy," the girl sobbed. "I understand. It's okay."

"That's a good girl."

Now my heart just skipped a beat. Here I was, with $600, buying a ton of stuff, when this little girl couldn't get a birthday present because her dad was sick. My heart just went out to her.

I looked down into my cart. Do I really need all this stuff? I thought about it. No, was what my conscience said.


I took out the envelope. I saw the twelve $50 notes in there. I took out nine of them.

"Hey kid," I said, going towards the girl and her mother. "Happy Birthday," I said, handing her the wad of cash.

"She looked at it in wonder. "That's really nice of you darling, but no thanks," her mother said.

"No. I insist you have it. Your daughter can't go without a birthday present." The mother was speechless.

"Thank you," the girl said quietly. I gave her a hug.

I went to the cashier with $150 left. I hadn't given the girl the $100 that I needed to buy The Dress. Oh no, I wasn't gonna sacrifice that. Or my Starbucks coffee.

I wasn't that generous.


















The End

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