bluebeard

6MS: The Gift That Wasn’t

Originally published at PeterCHayward.com/blog. You can comment here or there.

Forgot to blog this morning! But it’s a writing day, so here’s a six minute story:

Black and white. I couldn’t believe Dad had done it again.

I know I’m lucky, I do. You can say I’m spoiled if you like, but it doesn’t matter – I’d asked for ONE THING this Christmas, and it was colour.

I looked up at my father, tried to fake a smile, and said ‘Thanks’. As soon as he turned away, I rolled my eyes, and unwrapped my next present.

A sweater. Great. I wondered what colour it was – if I went out wearing this and one of my friends actually GOT what she asked for and could see whether or not it matched my jeans, my hair…I was screwed.

My brother Billy opened his present next. A jigsaw puzzle. Thanks Dad. How are we meant to do that when we can’t even tell which bits are sky??

Maybe it would be better, I sometimes thought, if we weren’t even in a privileged family. Maybe if I knew there was NO chance of getting colour, even for a few days, it wouldn’t bug me so much that we didn’t have it. Maybe I’d consider myself lucky to even have black and white – I know that some families have to rely on government hand-outs, and they only get two-tone. At least our black and white is greyscale.

But it’s just annoying, when your Dad works at the company, and makes enough that they could easily get it for the whole family.

I forced a smile again as I opened a gift from Stacey, Dad’s new girl-of-the-year. It was a hat. Great.

It looked like it was patterned, but without colour, there was no way to know for sure. I put it on, and saw her start to correct me, before guiltily stopping.

It took me another present or two to put it together, and then I exploded.

“you got HER colour!? HER!??”