As Shiloh waited for the bus which would take her to Mr. Gladstone’s place, she began to feel nervous. This was the first time that he would see her with her natural hair. Would he like it? She hoped with all her heart that he would. Everyone did–her family and her friends. They all thought it suited her and make her look older and stylish. Hopefully, Mr. Gladstone would think so too.
She was going to his place and from there they would drive over to Emily’s home to celebrate her fourth birthday. Raaya was supposed to come too but since she was having one of her meltdowns, she just left her. The last thing she wanted was for her sister to ruin Emily’s birthday party.
She hadn’t known what to get Emily for a gift. she had spent hours in the toy store, trying to find something she felt that she would like. She saw Spoiled brats and games like that but passed on them because they were for older kids. She asked one of the salesperson where she could find gifts for 4 year olds and was shown the section.
As she stood there debating whether to buy the Twirly birds and twinkled toes, a box set with colorful birds and dancing fairies complete with washable crayola markers which she knew Raaya would love, she saw a little girl about Emily’s age gravitate towards the Fairy Light Garden. After her mother grabbed the box and they left, Shiloh picked up a box and read the back. She was impressed with what she saw and read about the product.
The garden used actual seeds to grow real flowers. Then, it became a playset where a fairy and a unicorn can travel across a bridge, go into the fairy house. It sounded like lots of fun. She decided to get it for Emily. She paid for it and a birthday card and left. She took it home, making sure Raaya didn’t see the bag and wrapped the gift in her bedroom with the door closed. She put it in a nondescript bag and hid it in her closet. She hoped that Emily would be thrilled with her gift.
And now, here she was, waiting for the bus, excited about seeing Mr. Gladstone’s reaction when he saw her and seeing Emily’s face when she opened her present. The bus came and she boarded it. Half-hour later, she was walking towards Mr. Gladstone’s house, her heartbeat accelerating with each step.
When she got there, she was surprised to see him outside in the front yard. He saw her and stood there, staring at her. He wasn’t dressed as yet. She hoped nothing had happened and the party was postponed for some reason.
“Hello, Mr. Gladstone,” she said as she approached him.
“Hello, Shiloh. I almost didn’t recognize you. You look different.”
“It’s my hair. I’m wearing it natural. I–I hope you like it.”
“I do. It suits you.”
“Thanks.” What a relief.
“What’s that you have there?” he asked, pointing to the bag.
“It’s Emily’s birthday present. Is the party still on?”
“Yes, it is. I had to run errands, that’s why I’m not ready. Come inside. Make yourself at home in the living-room while I go and get ready.”
They went inside and while she went into the living-room, he went upstairs to take a shower. When he returned, he looked very dapper in a tan jacket over a black shirt and pants and his hair slightly damp from the shower. She tried not to gawk at him but it was hard not to. He saw the way she looked at him and his face felt hot.
He grabbed his present and they left. Emily’s house was about a half-hour drive from his. When they got there, the party was in full swing. The kids were playing and having a good time. Rachel, Emily’s mother greeted them. They gave their gifts to her.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, Shiloh,” she said. “I’ve heard so much about you from Emily.” She ushered them into the living-room to meet her husband and Emily’s older sister, Jennifer who was there with her eighteen month old son who gave Shiloh a huge smile when she said hello to him. And then they all made their way into the room where the kids were. As soon as Emily saw them, she rushed over. She hugged her uncle first and then, Shiloh.
While she and her friends played all sorts of games which Shiloh remembered playing at her birthday parties, she and Mr. Gladstone chatted with Emily’s parents. They helped themselves to the sandwiches and veggies and fruit punch. Then, it was time to cut the cake. Emily’s Dad took photos as she and her friends gathered around the dining-table and as she blew out the four candles, beaming when she was done. The cake was delicious and everyone had a large slice. Some kids wanted a second.
After they had all finished eating the cake, it was time to open the presents. Emily’s eyes were bright with excitement as she ripped off the wrapping paper, anxious to see what was inside. She got all sorts of things, among them were Playfoam, Personalized Name Puzzle, FurReal Cubby, The Curious Bear, Fuzzikins Cottontail Cottage Craft Pop-Up Book Playset and a Hairdorables Collectible Surprise Doll. She loved all of her presents, especially Shiloh’s and her uncle Marc’s which was the Slice-and-Bake Wooden Cookie Play Food Set.
It was altogether a very festive and fun afternoon and Shiloh was happy to be a part of it.