A Premature Gift

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  • Dedicated to Everyone That Has A Wish

Since Camilla and I got our own phones, when we were eight, we made  up the '911' text. We'd only text each other that when it was a serious emergency, and someone was in trouble. So when I got a text from Camilla saying 911 and nothing else, I became worried.

I hopped in my car and drove full-speed to her house, running red lights here and there. When I finally pulled up in front of the six story apartment building, I could see Camilla sitting on the lowest step of her building, her leg bouncing up and down impatiently. 

This looked nothing like an emergency.

I got out of the car and jogged up to the building. I stood in front of Camilla, staring at her with the best accusing look I could manage.

"You texted me 911. And you're sitting here looking relaxed as ever, with a big goofy smile on your face." I said, sitting next to her on the stoop.

"You got here faster than I thought you would." She said, laughing. The curly black hair of hers that I always envied was up in a bun, and she was wearing the I HEART TYGA t-shirt I got her for her birthday last year.

"Just tell me why I'm here, please. I was doing my term paper when you texted me." I complained. She gave me a look, as if to say 'No one cares about the term paper.'

"Come upstairs, Jaydi. I'm about to give you the biggest birthday present of your life!" 

Before I could remind her that it wasn't my birthday yet, she was pulling me by the arm up the stairs and into the building, and finally onto the second floor where her apartment was. She pulled a set of keys out of her jeans pocket and unlocked the door. 

The whole apartment smelled like gravy and rice--Camilla's mother was cooking. We both went into the kitchen to see her mother standing in front of the sink, preparing chicken. She looked up when she realized we were in there.

"Hi, Jaydi. Good to see you again." She said to me. I smiled politely. "Camilla," she continued, "I'm making your dinner now, so don't go back to that bodega to get more junk food."

Camilla nodded and motioned for me to follow her to the back of the apartment to her bedroom. Camilla's bedroom always felt like my own bedroom, since I'd spent endless nights here with her, doing each other's nails, and talking and listening to Tyga, our favorite rapper and celebrity crush.

Once we were in the white and blue painted room, we sat on two beanie chairs on the floor. Camilla couldn't get that big smile off her face, and it made me laugh. Soon, we were both laughing uselessly at nothing.

"Okay, stop laughing. This is serious business." Camilla said between snorts.

"Look, whatever birthday gift it is, I don't want it yet. My birthday is in a full week." I said. I shifted into a lying down position, my head alone on the chair. Camilla winked at me before getting up and digging inside a drawer in her dresser and pulling out a green box with a white bow on the top.

I laughed. It was a cute looking gift, and I didn't really want to turn it down. But I wanted everything to be special for my birthday, so everything had to happen on that day. Turning seventeen was going to be a big deal, and it was really important to me. 

"Go ahead, open it." Camilla said, handing me the box. I could literally see the excitement growing inside her. She almost couldn't contain herself.

"I'll open it for sure--on my birthday." I playfully yelled at her. I stood up and walked over to her mirror; she followed me, still holding the box.

I examined myself. I didn't look as panicked as I had when I first got the 911 text from Camilla. I was smiling, actually. My long hair was down, but I'd put all of it over my left shoulder. It was only when I turned sixteen that my mother gave me permission to dye all of my hair light grey, leaving the rotos my original black color. My slightly slanted eyes were red from lack of sleep, and my fair skin was blemished from lack of better care. I had no time for anything these days.

Camilla always said I looked like I could be a wise woman one day--the grey  hair maybe?

"Jaydi," Camilla said, holding my shoulders and forcing me to face her, "I don't know if you've realized it yet, but I texted you 911  for this present. You know what that means? What's inside of this box is extraordinary."

She pushed the box into my hands.

I stared down at it, its bow pretty and big. I sure did want to open it--the curiosity was killing me. And I mean, she had texted 911. That meant that maybe it was really serious. But it would be so much better if I got whatever it was on the day I turned seventeen; it would make that day so much more exciting.

I looked up at Camilla. She was pouting now, her big eyes pleading for me to open it. I looked down at the box one more time...

"I'm not going to open it if you don't tell me what it is." I said finally. Camilla had a shocked look on her face.

"You want me to tell you? Jaydi, are you crazy?" She asked.

"Either you tell me, or I wait until my birthday comes to open it." I persisted. For more effect, I put my free hand on my hip. Camilla sighed.

"Okay. You want to know what's in the box? I'll tell you. It's the biggest surprise you'll ever get in your life, and we've both been wishing for it for about five years now. It's a gift for both you and me, and you'll love me forever once you open it. I promise."

I stared at Camilla. Now she was really making me want to open it. I smiled widely, even though I didn't want Camilla to know that I was thinking about opening the box. I ran my hands over the bow, pushing down on it and watching it pop  back up nonetheless.

I closed my eyes. I held the box by the bow, and lifted the lid. I waited a moment, and then opened my eyes.

There were four items in the box. Two of them were necklaces with some kind of card as a pendant.  The other two were two golden square shaped pieces of paper, that had black writing on them. I gasped when I realized what the writing said.

TICKET # 4523114 


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