“It’s my birthday tomorrow!” screamed little YWS. Having been called so his entire nine years of existence, he never really bothered to question the fact that his name sounded like a random string of letters.
“Go play somewhere else, little boy. Can’t you see the elders are talking here?” chastised his mother. Little YWS frowned, an ugly expression taking over his beautiful features. “But I’m turning ten tomorrow,” he whined.
Nobody heard the little boy’s cries as his parents resumed their conversation. Nobody seemed to care about him anymore.
In a last attempt to turn his mother’s attention on him, he pulled at her hand and asked, “Are you baking my favorite cake tomorrow? Are you?” To which he received a frown. “Not now. Go to your room.”
That was the last straw. He was done with people ignoring him. It wasn’t something he had noticed at that moment, but had been observing for a period of a little over a week now. They didn’t seem to shower him with as much love and attention as they used to. It stung, badly.
“I’m running away,” he announced finally. He hoped someone would stop him and talk to him. But no one even seemed to care. His father barely gave him a glance that said, “Stop this foolishness and leave.”
Tears brimmed the little boy’s eyes and he violently brushed them off.
He trotted up the stairs, his chubby fingers still wiping away tears, and went to his room, where he took out his backpack. He filled it up with sweets that he’d received on Halloween and trotted back down the stairs towards the front door.
With a final glance at the family room where his parents were seated, he left the place.
It was almost sundown, and the world was bathed in a pink glow. Little YWS had no idea where he was headed to, but he knew he had to get out of there.
The roads were quiet, and there seemed to be not a single trace of life. Things were too quiet, and the boy was beginning to regret his decision. Reaching a hand into his backpack, he pulled out a sweet and quietly munched on it.
After licking his fingers dry, the little boy looked up and was surprised to find himself in the middle of, what looked like a forest. Fear ran through his veins as he turned around to walk back the way he came.
The problem was that he didn’t really know which way he came from. They all looked alike.
How did he end up in the forest? It was getting dark, and the watch on his hand blinked seven.
“Mom,” he called out softly, hoping that his mother would come out of the shadows and hold him tightly. There wasn’t a sound to be heard except the silent sobs that emerged from the boy.
Bad things happen in the forest right? Images of tigers and bears flashed through his mind which made him sob louder. How far had he walked? Were there bears in the forest?
He wished he hadn’t left his parents. They probably hadn’t even realized that he wasn’t there. Was he going to die here?
How sad, he wasn’t going to live to see his tenth birthday.
All of a sudden, there were sounds of footsteps approaching him. Was it his parents?
He straightened up, ready to run into the arms of his mother. A figure stepped out of the shadows and he froze. It wasn’t his mother.
It was a girl, of his age. She had long, golden hair that seemed to reach till her feet. Her green eyes danced and she wore a small smile.
“Rapunzel,” he said softly, mesmerized. He remembered the story his mother had read to him a few weeks ago.
“Come with me,” she said in a magical voice. “We’ll celebrate your birthday.”
Without hesitating, he followed the magical girl. She was barefoot, and seemed to know the forest very well. She guided him through the trees, and at last stopped in front of a clearing.
Little YWS peeked from behind the girl’s shoulder, and his jaw dropped in awe. In front of him was a banner, bigger than what he’d ever seen, bearing the words, “Happy Birthday YWS!”
He stepped out from behind the girl and took in the entire scene. Bright lights glowed from every side. There were tables and chairs set up with plates and napkins. Balloons hung from ever branch, and the sight brought tears to the little boy’s eyes.
“Go on. It’s for you,” whispered the girl. He took a step forward, and all of a sudden, a mob of people stepped out from the trees screaming, “Happy birthday, YWS!”
He was grinning from ear to ear as he took in the people, that weren’t really people. Peter Pan stood to the side, a gift in his hand next to Batman. He spotted Bugs Bunny running around, and also Buzz Lightyear. All his favorite people were there. This was probably the best birthday he ever had.
He looked around and saw Rapunzel carrying in her hands, a huge cake. His eyes were fixed on the delicacy and he couldn’t wait to eat it. She stood in front of him, and held it out. He licked his lips, eyeing the frosting. He could just taste it…
“YWS,” called out a voice from somewhere.
…Somehow, a fork magically appeared in his hand as well as a plate. He took his time, assessing the cake from every angle…
“YWS,” came the voice again.
…He took a piece of the dessert and was jumping with joy. Oh, how much he loved cake.
His mouth moved towards the fork that was loaded with cake, and just as he was about to gobble it down…
“YWS, wake up.” He opened his eyes, and stared into that of his mother’s. For a second, he didn’t understand what was going on. He sat up, and looked around. He was in a garden, not his own, with his backpack on the ground, all emptied out.
“You scared us! Why did you do that? Do you know how much we were worried? Why are you in Mrs. Brown’s garden?” his mother seemed to ramble. Meanwhile, little YWS started piecing everything together. He’d fallen asleep. At someone’s garden. Not a forest.
That was all a dream. He felt disappointed, and angry. His mother seemed to notice that and stopped rambling. She stared down at him, realizing that he was upset.
“What’s wrong?” she asked, her voice laced with concern.
“You were ignoring me. It’s my birthday tomorrow, but you don’t care. Nobody does. I didn’t like it, so I ran away,” he said.
She didn’t say anything for a moment. Then,she hugged him and said, “I’m so sorry for snapping at you like that. Will you forgive me?”
Little YWS looked up at his mother’s earnest face, and smiled. He could never be angry with his mother. “Only if you bake a cake for me tomorrow.”
“It’s a deal. You can help me out if you like. We’re going to have a blast tomorrow!” she said, and together they walked back to home.
And indeed, the next day they did have a blast. Little YWS’ birthday was celebrated with lots of cake and presents, and this one became the best birthday he ever had.
Yaaaaaaaaay I always wanted to do this! Happy Birthday YWS!
Phew at least I didn't miss this one.