Jan 13
LindleyPickard's picture


“Are you excited for the surprise party?” Mom asks me as she places six hot pieces of sizzling bacon onto the plate in front of me. 

“Yes of course! This is a big deal for Simone - she is turning sixteen.” I snatch a piece of bacon and then take a giant bite out of it. “I remember my sweet sixteen. I had such an incredible time, and I want Simone to experience the same feeling,” I say through my stuffed mouth. 

“What a great friend you are, I bet she will be very shocked,” mother replies. “Be sure you bring Hazel with you to the party. I’m heading off to work, and your Father is already at his meeting in Albany.” 

“Hazel? Mom she is only one and a half years old! Why can’t you bring her to daycare?” I ask. Although Hazel can’t talk, she can still cause a lot of trouble. 

“Honey, she is your baby sister and the daycare isn’t open today. You will bring Hazel, or not go at all” 

“Fine,” I say through my clenched teeth.

“Alright,” I say as I finally pull out of the garage. “We are headed to pick up Simone and take her to the party at the town hall. Everyone there is hiding and ready to surprise her.” As I tell Hazel my plan, I start to feel less anxious and more sorted out. “Simone thinks we are just headed to the mall. I’m going to tell her I need to make a stop at the town hall to pick up a couple of books for school. ”
Hazel giggles. Her cuteness makes me regret the fact that I didn’t want her to come in the first place.  

I continue, “I will then invite her to come in and help me carry the books. Little does she know, a huge surprise awaits her.” I look into the rear view mirror at Hazel. “A surprise! A very big surprise.” I tell her. 

Simone hops into the front seat of the car. 

“Happy birthday!” I holler. She grins. 

“Why thank you! I can’t wait to go shopping with you.” She answers.

I happily smirk, and then start to drive.
“Are you excited?” I ask Simone, but before she can answer Hazel shouts something that I never thought I’d hear. 

“Surprise!” she screams. “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” My heart stops. Did Hazel just say...surprise? S-surprise? SURPRISE?! My stomach turns to fluttering butterflies. This can’t be happening. Does Simone now know, since Hazel hinted her, that we are hosting a surprise party for her? My mind feels like a flame, and I’m about to explode. I can feel sweat breaking out onto my head. I keep my eye on the wheel, but I can’t seem to focus. I try and glance at Simone, to see if she is shocked, or confused, but I’m too nervous to see her reaction. Does she now know that we are headed to a surprise party, instead of the mall? 

“Listen, Sim-” I start

“Did your baby sister just say her first word?” She shouts. I stare at her, as my thoughts are scrambling through my head. I can’t seem to think straight, but I suddenly respond with:

“S-she did!” I pull over the car to the side of a road. I guess I was so busy worrying about the surprise getting ruined, that I hadn’t realized Hazel said her first word! 

“Oh my gosh Hazel! I’m so happy!” I say. I unbuckle and hug her tight, in her car seat. 

“I can’t believe she said her first word...and what was? Something like Sur-”

“It doesn’t matter,” I quickly interrupt, “It’s just the reality of it happening! Isn’t that right?” 

“Of course,” Simone replies. I kiss Hazel on the cheek.

“Wow.” I say, and I am extremely relieved that nothing important was revealed. 
After a minute or two of smiles and hugs, Simone finally asks

“Ready to head to the mall?” 
I nod.

“Wait,” I say.

“Yes?” Simone asks. I buckle myself back in.

“First, I need to make a quick stop at the town hall to grab some books. Will you come in with me?” I ask.

“Of course.”

“Great,” I say. I wink at Hazel in the mirror and she smiles back.

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