On this day :
2000 Al Gore concedes presidential election, 1776 General Charles Lee leaves his troops for Widow Whites tavern, 2003 Seattles Hat n Boots finds a new home, 1862 Battle of Fredericksburg, 1951 John S Service dismissed from State Department, 2000 Texas Seven prison break, 1916 Soldiers perish in avalanche as World War I rages, 1577 Drake sets out, 1621 First export of American furs, 1642 Tasman discovers New Zealand, 1937 The Rape of Nanking, 2003 Saddam Hussein captured, 1925 Dick Van Dyke born, 1915 Mystery writer Ross Macdonald is born, 1980 Kenny Rogers Greatest Hits goes to 1, 1798 Joseph Walker born in Tennessee, 1918 Wilson arrives in France, 1983 Pistons and Nuggets play recordbreaking game, 1972 Peace negotiations in Paris deadlocked, 1974 North Vietnamese commence attack on Phuoc Long Province, 1918 President Wilson makes first US presidential trip to Europe, 1942 Goebbels complains of Italians treatment of Jews,

Essays

The Gift

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I walked home tired and hungry from school but as I unlocked the door of my house, these feelings were momentarily replaced by intrigue. There was something hidden behind the sofa. The intrigue soon left me and hunger returned. I heated up the food mother had left for me and sat at the table, eating alone. Nobody was here but me.

As I ate, I thought about my recently concluded final examinations. They had not gone well for me. The papers were being returned to the students and I had seen most of time. To say the least, I had passed in all the exams. Eighth standard was proving to be quite a challenge. These days, I had been telling my mother that the exam papers are yet to be returned, and the ones which I had were safely hidden at the back of my closet.

When the meal had taken my hunger away, the intrigue returned. That box, hidden behind the sofa, was clearly visible to me from my position. That was not good for the proverbial cat. I tried to hold on to it, but no, the cat ran towards the box and as in the proverb curiosity killed it. I pulled the box out and observed it. I think the blood drained from my face.

It was a brand new Nintendo Wii U. the one thing I had been asking for the past two years and I never got. Normally, I would have been ecstatic, jumping for joy and wanting to play it that very instant. Not this time, though. The words of my mother menaced me, “If you do good at the final exam, I will get you a Wii U.”

She had already bought it without asking, but I had a horrible performance. How could I tell her? How could I say, “Mom, I performed badly, so I do not deserve a Wii U.”?

It was horrible. I felt tears coming up. She had so much faith in me and I had broken that faith. What will I do at the Open House?

Just then the door opened and my mom stepped in.

“Oh, you already saw it?”

“Yes, Mom.” I said sulkingly.

“Why so sad?”

“Mom, I can’t have it.”

She displayed a surprised look.

“Who said it’s for you?”

“Huh?”

“The delivery man gave it to us instead of the neighbours. I collected it since they’re out of town.”

“Oh, okay; for a moment I thought … “

“Wait. Why did you say you can’t have it?”

“Because … “                                           

Let’s just say I got a heavy scolding, but I was still somewhat happy and hopeful for the future.

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