On this day :
1936 First issue of Life is published, 1749 Reluctant Patriot Edward Rutledge is born, 1966 Elvis Presleys Spinout opens in US theaters, 1819 Benjamin Mayberry Prentiss born, 1981 Reagan gives CIA authority to establish the Contras, 1959 The Birdman of Alcatraz is allowed a small taste of freedom, 1980 Southern Italy rocked by earthquake, 1499 Flemish pretender executed in London, 1859 Billy the Kid born, 1876 Boss Tweed delivered to authorities, 1979 IRA member sentenced for Mountbattens assassination, 1990 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory creator Roald Dahl dies, 2012 Larry Hagman star of Dallas and I Dream of Jeannie dies, 1874 Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy is published, 1936 Blues legend Robert Johnson makes firstever recording, 1903 Colorado governor sends militia to Cripple Creek, 1804 Franklin Pierce is born, 1984 BC wins on Hail Mary, 1970 Laird discloses the details of the Son Tay Raid, 1972 Paris peace talks deadlocked, 1915 Battle of Ctesiphon in Mesopotamia, 1940 Romania becomes an Axis power,

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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