On this day :
1991 Hostage Terry Anderson freed in Lebanon, 1780 Washingtons cousin tricks Loyalists, 1928 Irish Godfather killed by car bomb in St Paul, 1864 Engagement ends at Waynesboro, 1945 Senate approves US participation in United Nations, 1969 Police kill two members of the Black Panther Party, 2009 Amanda Knox convicted of murder in Italy, 1952 Smog kills thousands in England, 1872 The mystery of the Mary Celeste, 1918 President Wilson travels to Europe, 1992 Bush orders US troops to Somalia, 1981 Warren Beatty writes directs stars in Oscarwinning Reds, 1916 Somerset Maugham sails for Pago Pago, 1956 The Million Dollar Quartet convenes at Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee, 1867 Oliver Kelley organizes the Grange, 1783 Washington bids farewell to his officers, 1997 NBA suspends Latrell Sprewell for attacking coach, 1966 Viet Cong attack Tan Son Nhut airport, 1967 Riverine force surrounds Viet Cong battalion, 1917 Psychiatrist reports on the phenomenon of shell shock, 1942 Polish Christians come to the aid of Polish 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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