Justine's Birthday Surprise | By: Ken Makepeace | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share

Justine's Birthday Surprise

   It was Justine's birthday. She was spending it at her gran's in the rolling hills of the Welsh countryside. Different from the city she lived, where she often hung around with the wrong crowd and got into trouble.
   'Your breakfast is ready,' her gran shouted down the hallway.
   After finishing her breakfast, Justine began to unwrap her presents, opening her gran's first.
   'What on earth is this?' she said to her gran, holding up a badly knitted cardigan.
   'I don't know. You young people today are so ungrateful. I thought you'd like it.'
   After unwrapping her last present, she told her gran she was going to visit someone she knew at a farm, further down the lane.
   Approaching the farm she saw a familiar figure walking towards her.
   'You all right, Justine?'
   'Sophie, what are you doing here?'
   'I've come to see you. I couldn't miss your birthday, could I? I've bought you a present.' Sophie then handed Justine a box of chocolates, which looked as though they had been opened.
   'Hey, half them are missing.'
   'Well, I got hungry. It was a long Journey, you know.'
   'I know... hang on, talking of long journeys, where did you get the money from for the fare?'
   'Oh, I sold my phone.'
   Justine found that hard to believe. She loved that phone. Her dad bought it her for her birthday. She was often either texting or phoning her friends.
   Justine took Sophie back to her gran's. She was just hoping her gran wouldn't mind.
   'Hi, Gran,' you know Sophie, don't you? Is it OK if she stays for a few days?' Justine said once back inside.
   'As long as her mum knows she here.'
   'She does,' Justine answered, not knowing if she did or not.
   Justine then took Sophie through to the bedroom so as she could unpack the stuff she had brought with her.
   'Is there much to do around here, then?' Sophie asked Justine while unpacking.
   'Not really, but we could go into town tonight and see if there's a film showing at the cinema, if you want​?'
   'Yeah, OK,' Sophie replied, trying not to show too much enthusiasm.
   'But the trouble is, the bus into town goes at six and the last one back is at seven.'
   'Oh, don't worry, we can get a taxi back. I'll pay.'
   'It'll cost. Town's almost seven-miles away.'
   'Don't worry about that, I've got plenty of money on me.'
   Justine began to wonder where Sophie had got this money from. Surely the phone wasn't worth all that much.
   When the evening came, Justine and Sophie went to get ready to go and catch their bus.
   'What have you got on?' Sophie said when she saw the cardigan Justine was wearing.
   'I've had to put it on. Gran knitted it 'specially. Don't worry, no one will see it if I keep my jacket fastened.'
   They then set off towards the bus stop.
   'Hey, I know one thing,' Sophie said as they made way
   'What's that, then?'
   'If we can't get to sleep tonight, we can always count sheep. There's enough of 'em about.'
   'Oh, shut up, Sophie, and start running. Here comes the bus.'
   When they got to the cinema, they noticed it was closed. According to a passer-by it had been closed for a few weeks.
   'Now what?' Sophie asked.
   'Come on, let's go to the cafe on the corner and get something to drink, then go and see if we can catch that last bus.'
   They arrived at the cafe and ordered their drinks.
   'Hey, that lad over their keeps staring at me,' Justine said after they had found somewhere to sit.
   'He either fancies you, or he's seen that cardigan you are wearing,' Sophie replied, noticing that Justine's jacket was unfastened.
   After leaving the cafe they rushed for the bus, but as they got to the bus stand Sophie collided with a man, causing a mobile phone to fall out of her pocket.

   'Hey, I thought you sold your phone?' Justine said with a puzzled expression.
   'Oh, I did. This is one my mum gave me.'
   Justine didn't believe her. It looked like the one her dad had bought her.
   When they got off the bus, they headed towards Justine's gran's. Nearing her gran's, Justine saw a car parked outside.
   'Hey, Sophie, isn't that your Uncle Pete's car?'
   'No, but it's similar.'
   'Yes, it is. There's your Uncle Pete on the doorstep with your mum. Hey, why is your mum waving a tea caddy at Gran?'
   'I dunno.'
   'I think I do... it's that one from the cabinet in your kitchen - the one she uses to store money in. And that's where you got the cash from. You're a liar, Sophie, you didn't sell your phone at all, did you?'
Justine then ran off into the house, leaving Sophie speechless.
Some birthday that turned out to be, she thought, slamming the door behind her.

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