Before you read this, it should be noted that I do not hate birthdays. My birthday is this weekend. But I thought it would be a little fun to create a story about someone who despises her own birthday. I’ll share about my birthday weekend in an upcoming post. In the meantime, feel free to comment on this story. I look forward to reading what everyone has to say.
“What did you do to the car?”
Jesse winced at Robyn’s shrillness. He didn’t want to be stuck in a barren parking lot where streetlights lightened the mauve sky as snowflakes floated down to the earth.
“I didn’t do anything, I swear.”
Robyn brushed her reddish-auburn locks away. Even with her parka, she rubbed her arms to keep warm. With jumper cables, Jesse connected the battery to his portable power station. He went inside the car and turned the key just enough to get the accessories working. The radio slowly came to life, right in the middle of a weather alert. She tucked her hands into her parka’s pockets and went inside the car. Jesse followed. They closed the doors, trying to keep warm.
“Can you turn that off, please?”
Jesse turned the knob, shutting the radio down. He pulled out his cell phone, checking for any messages and emails. It was silent. He slid it back into his pocket. He turned on the air conditioning on the car, setting the temperature to a comfortable setting. Robyn crossed her arms. Her eyebrows arched down. Her lips, as curvaceous as her frame, stuck out.
“Are you calling the auto club?”
“Give it a moment, sweetie.”
Robyn stared at him with eyes that shone like light reflecting off a sheet of ice. She focused on the snow lying on the windshield and accumulating by the minute.
“I hate birthdays. I especially hate my birthday.”
“Come on, it can’t be that bad.”
Robyn pointed at the tear in her stockings that ran down her smooth log-like thighs. She then took off her navy stilettos, pointing to where the heel broke off. Jesse nodded as to appear interested in her plight.
“And on top of that, someone ate my lunch…again.”
“Well, you must have gotten a birthday card, or flowers, or something.”
She shook her head.
“No one even knew it was my birthday. And that’s fine. I don’t want everyone fawning over me just because it’s the one day out of the year where they’re compelled to say something nice.”
Jesse reached in front of her to open the glove compartment. He pulled out a box and handed it to her.
“I was going to give this to you later tonight, but I figure now is as good of time as any.”
Robyn opened the box. There was a pastel-colored bracelet. She lay the bracelet down on the seat and removed the stuffing. There was nothing underneath.
“Is this a joke? What is this?”
“It’s a candy bracelet, to remind you of how sweet you are. I wanted to get you something different, and I thought this would be perfect.”
“Oh, thanks a lot.”
Robyn threw the bracelet at Jesse and walked away from the car. He quickly got out and followed her.
Her pace quickened until she reached a street lamp across from the office. She hoped the movement would warm her up. Jesse caught her and tried to hug her. She shrugged him off. Jesse ran around her so that she would see his sorrowful eyes lock onto hers. He squeezed her hands, but she turned her head away from him.
“I’m sorry about the bracelet. I know you hate birthdays, and I was trying to cheer you up.”
She turned back toward him and sighed. There was no resisting his voice. It resonated of sincerity. She wrapped her arms around him and gave him a peck on the lips.
“I’m still mad at you about the car.”
They walked back to the car. Jesse’s cell phone vibrated. He pulled it out of his pocket and gave it a quick gaze. He stuffed it back in and ran to the car.
“Let me try it one more time. If it doesn’t work, I’ll call the auto club.”
“You should have called the auto club the first time.”
Jesse turned the key. The engine stuttered, then came to life. Robyn smiled. She would be home soon now. He disconnected the jumper cables and slammed down the hood. He set the power station behind his seat. Robyn brushed the snow off her skirt when she sat down. Jesse closed the door and drove off.
Snowflakes bounced off the windshield. Jesse activated the wipers to no avail. Robyn tweaked the air conditioning controls and vent. What normally would take fifteen minutes to drive Robyn from her office to her house took what seemed like forever.
“I hate this. If you hadn’t messed up the car—”
“I had nothing to do with the car. Just let it go.”
He grunted at being reminded of his folly, but couldn’t let on that the car breaking down was a ruse. She turned away from him, watching the snowflakes passing by them. He adjusted his vent so as not to have hot air blasting at him. They arrived at her subdivision. Jesse turned into it when they heard a horn blaring and headlights creeping toward them.
He swerved out of the way and hit the curb. He adjusted the car to prevent any further damage. He stopped the car, and they collected themselves, catching their breaths.
“That would be my fault, just so you know.”
Jesse slowly drove the car until he saw her house. He turned into the driveway and stopped. They got out of the car. Robyn rushed to her door, raking her purse for her keys. She found them and inserted it into the lock.
She turned to him. She saw her breath and his.
He didn’t answer. She turned the key, unlocking the door.
“What is it?”
She opened it. She flipped the light switch. Then, a troup of people popped up.
Robyn screamed. She clutched her purse, gasping for air. Jesse laughed. The guests huddled around her, giving her hugs and kisses. As they dispersed, Jesse walked into the foyer. He beamed at Robyn’s reaction.
Robyn walked to him. They kissed each other on the lips. She pulled away, smiling at Jesse.
“Don’t ever do that again.”