It was hard to stay “nice”. Sometimes it hurt.
Sarah, her twin had no such qualms, had risen to the top, stepping on whoever dared get in her way. Sometimes Jenny felt like a failure by comparison.
The day had been awful, an argument at home, a put down at the school, nothing was going right. What a birthday!
It slipped out at recess. Her year four pupils had been discussing star signs.
“When’s your birthday, Miss?” an eager voice chimed. Should she lie?
“March 12th.” She hoped they didn’t notice, but they did. Jace caught on right away.
“That’s today! Is it your birthday today?” She nodded. Her eyes moistened as the word caught on and “happy birthday” squeals and songs sped around the playground. it didn’t stop there… Grubby hand written cards appeared, candies wrapped in pages stolen from exercise books and a small bunch of ragged daisies and dandelions appeared on her desk. Best of all was the shy hug from Eisha, the girl that hardly ever spoke.
Back home nestled contentedly with a cup of tea she surveyed her news feed, predictably full of her sister’s birthday posts, food, wine, luxury presents and false smiles. She grinned into her tea cup. She’d had something better.
“Putting your feet up love?” a voice whispered in her ear. “I managed to get off work early. I felt so bad about this morning. I forgot it was your birthday… thought we could go out, do something.”
“It’s OK, I had the best day ever!”
“Really? I’m so glad… Here … for you.” Embarrassed he thrust a bunch of daffodils into her hands. She knew they were only Tesco, he’d forgotten to take off the label, but to her they were perfect, as all her presents had been.