Luminaria

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Birthdays

Happy birthday to you…

Happy birthday to you…

Happy birthday dear Maya…

Happy birthday to you...

I woke up the next day to find a bunch of faces staring at me. My father, Lana, Eric, Riley, Luke, Vincent, Evan, Lui…

I was about to flip.

“Are you guys trying to kill me with your ugly faces?” I rubbed my eyes and yawned. It had to be pretty damn early and I was not a morning person. Everybody knew that I don’t even know why they were here.

“It’s your birthday” Eric exclaimed and he jumped on my bed. Dude was searching for his death.

“Oh don’t tell me…I didn’t know” I frowned at him while trying to hold back another yawn. “And you did not just jump on my bed. Do you even know me Eric?”

“Told you” Riley said with a smile.

“What is this all about?” I asked them finally fully awake.

“It’s your birthday doll. We wanted to surprise you with some birthday pancakes” Evan said while my dad sat on my bed with a plate full of yummy looking pancakes with a candle on top. They all smiled at me. Waiting.

“Pancakes in exchange of love” My father said and I smiled at him before hugging him. He was the only one in this room who deserved my hugs.

“What time is it?” I asked. Everybody looked at their wrists at the same time.

“A little after nine” Vincent said. Ugh! I gave them the death glare and they laughed at me. “Ok then let’s give the girls some space to get change and you can come downstairs to eat your pancakes” Everybody did as he said and I was grateful, I took a shower, brushed my teeth and put on some proper clothes before walking downstairs. The first one I went to hug was Lana…because it was also her birthday.

“Happy birthday Lana” I said and she tightened her grip around me.

“Happy birthday to you” She smiled when she pulled back “The gift celebration is tonight so be ready”

I sighed.

“Where are those pancakes” I said “I will need the energy”

We gathered around the counter and I sat on a stool in front of my pancakes. Everybody was walking around me all excited and stuff, I really wanted to punch someone. Pancakes were delicious though. Lana sat beside me and ate her pancakes too.

“We should all go out and do something fun” Lui suggested, that was the moment I knew everything would go downhill. If we had stayed inside and watch movies all afternoon I wouldn’t complain but no, we had to go out and do stuff in real life, and be normal people or at least try to be. I didn’t say anything though because Lana was having a lot of fun and after yesterday’s events I thought she needed a little fun in her life. So I went outside with the group and sucked it up like a real woman.

Once we got back to the castle it was nighttime already which could only mean it was time for the present unwrapping. I couldn’t say I was excited about that but it didn’t annoy me either. We went over to Lana’s room which was identical to mine. We sat on a circle and Lana clapped her hands all excited, it was kinda cute.

“Who’s going to start?” She asked as she looked around. My father slowly stood up and he got his present that I already knew was a painting, he gave me one and gave Lana one, I was surprised because I didn’t know he made one for her too and felt curious as to what it was. She opened her first.

She stared at it with her eyes wide open and I got closer to see what it was. The air got stuck on my throat as I saw the really detailed and beautiful painting of us on our first sleepover, we were both on the couch, laughing and looking at each other on a night that seemed to be so far away now. Everything was right about it, our sleepwear, the tones on our hair, the smiles…everything was exact. Lana stood up and hugged my father tightly.

“Thank you so much” She said “I love it”

I was scared now to open mine. My father had this gift to paint exactly what you want to see, a happy memory, even when at the time is just another moment he knows that in the future that will become a happy memory. I slowly unwrapped mine and I gasped when I saw what he painted for me.

It was my family.

I had to fight back the tears so bad it was ridiculous. It was us back in the day; He had an arm around mom and in front of them Hayden and I were looking up at them, it was like a spontaneous family photo. Hayden had to be between eight and ten years old, I don’t even remember when this happened but I know it happened, my dad was great at painting details but he had a terrible imagination.

That was my mom’s talent.

I hugged him until I felt he couldn’t breathe. “I told you I would love it” I said. I would cherish this painting for the rest of my life. This represented the moment in life where everything was perfect and we didn’t even know it.

“Ok I’m next” Lui said as he handed us a box each. I frowned at it and looked at him completely confused.

“Wait wasn’t my dress your gift?” I asked him and he winked at me as he nodded at the box, silently telling me to open it.

Lana’s gift was a really beautiful green sapphire bracelet, made in silver and white gold. It had to be really expensive. I looked down at my box and opened it as well. Sitting inside there was a beautiful blue sapphire necklace, it was really simple and beautiful and I really liked it…oh wait…

“Is this the necklace from the store we got the dress from?” I asked he shrugged and I also saw him blush a little. That was by far the cutest thing ever. “You didn’t Lui” I said completely shocked that he would do this. “You liar”

“What?” Lana asked as she looked at both of us with curiosity.

“He probably saw me watching this when we went shopping and he tricked me into buying this and my dress” I rolled my eyes in amusement and he was now laughing. “I will get my revenge”

“Yeah sure” He said and soon it was Riley’s and Eric’s turn. They gave me some really awesome combat boots that I would definitely wear as soon as I could and they gave Lana a cute looking blouse. Luke gave me a pin from the unit and I hugged him for a long time, joining the unit was my goal and he knew it and he gave Lana a pair of really nice shoes. I finally decided to stop being a coward and pulled out the rings and gave her the small box; she gasped and looked at me with a smile her green eyes were sparkling with joy.

“Oh Maya” She opened the small black box and stared at the pair of rings with curiosity. “There are two”

“Yeah one’s for me and one’s for you” I said and she quickly handed me one of the rings, we both put it on at the same time and we put them together, she was smiling like crazy so I guess it was a good pick. It made me feel happy to see her happy.

“I have one for you from my parents” She said and gave me the present. I took a deep breath before opening it, I didn’t know what would be inside but I had to be prepared to pretend I liked it for Lana’s sake. Inside I found…

…A cell phone.

That was beyond surprising, cell phones were really expensive here, of course The King had enough money to by a cell phone to every person in Luminaria but still it was a nice gesture.

“See now you’ll be able to call me” Riley said with a smile and I gave her mean-playful look.

“Tell them I say thanks” I told Lana “I love it”

“Ok it’s time for my gift” Evan said as he gave us two bags, Lana dived right into it but I took my time to see what was inside, it was clothes, I pulled it out to see a very short tank top and some shorts, all in leather. I looked at Lana just to see she was holding the same outfit. We all looked at Evan. “Well you are both now legally allowed to go clubbing, I’m just making sure you both look great” He laughed “Am I right or am I right?”

We all laughed at him except for Vincent who was giving the outfits a death glare.

“It’s your turn Vin” Lana said and he smiled at her before placing a box in front of each other. Lana opened her first, it was a whole new drawing set, and her eyes seemed to sparkle as she looked at it and she stood up and almost tackled him to the ground. I was not ready for how that made me feel but I just put it to the back of my head for now, maybe forever. I opened mine then and I must say I didn’t expect the complete punch on the stomach his gift gave me. My eyes started to fill with tears and I was pretty sure I would start sobbing in no time.

It was a tea set.

But not any tea set.

It was the tea set.

Exactly identical to the set my mom had when I was a little girl. My eyes landed on Vincent and I saw him staring back at me looking anxious. I think he thought I wouldn’t like it or something but that was a ridiculous idea, I loved this so much it hurts.

“Where did you get this?” I asked him through the tears, I was trying so hard to pull them back but it was getting harder by the second.

“I visited a couple of pawnshops until I saw this one, it looked like the one Lana’s family has but in green so I thought ‘this is the one’ I guess” He shrugged and I immediately stood up and hugged him very tight. A couple of tears slid down my cheek and landed on his shirt but I didn’t care. It was such a beautiful gift.

“Thank you it’s not even enough” I said. This could perfectly not be the one my mom had but just the fact that he went out looking for a similar tea set was enough for me. “But thank you anyways” He rubbed my back and placed a kiss on my shoulder, it made me tremble.

“Anytime” was his response.

We thanked everybody for their wonderful gifts, even Evan, we had some birthday cake Riley’s mom made herself, it was vanilla…my favorite and then we all went back to our rooms, Riley was going to stay with me while Luke and Eric had their own room to sleep in for the next two days. Vincent followed me back to the room even though I thought he was going to stay with Lana, since today was our birthday.

“So you’re staying with me?” I asked him, he nodded.

“Until tomorrow” He replied “We’ll go back to original positions after the party”

“Oh” Was my only response. It made me feel strange to know that after the party Evan would go back to being my guardian, I wasn’t complaining but still I kinda was used to have Vincent around. I was even used to our strange awkward moments.

“Disappointed?” He asked, I noticed a half smile on his face. I rolled my eyes and laughed.

“You wish” I said making him laugh. I playfully pushed him to the side and he did the same. Maybe a small part of me was disappointed.


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