“Silver!” I whispered, as my cat approached the wooden kitchen door and started scratching on it. My cat was acting strange, so something must be up. I approached the door with shaky legs, and prayed that it was a silly bug or something. But my heart was telling me something else; I knew it wasn’t a bug. That thud was of something heavy being dropped. I managed to carry my fat cat in one arm, and opened the door with the other, steadily. No one was there. I looked to my right, and the garage was dark and quiet. I looked to my left, and I could almost hear nothing but the far away waves. It was said in the old folk stories around here that houses which are built near the sea are the biggest targets for ghosts, and that is exactly what came into my mind at that moment. I sighed for a moment, and jumped the next when I felt a hand resting on my shoulder. I let go of my cat real quick and turned to face the stranger when all of a sudden it spoke the words “Wow wow, easy there Sofia! It is me, Jinan”. It was Jinan, standing there laughing at my embarrassing reaction. “Are you crazy?! I almost had a heart attack! Silver too!” is what I managed to say between my laughs. I was so glad to see her, but I wondered what she was doing here in the middle of the night, holding a small pink box. “I am sorry I scared you, you should’ve seen the look on your face it was priceless!” she said cheerfully, “Oh, so you noticed what’s in my hands” she winked. I smiled back, and asked her what was on my mind. “I came because it is your birthday, like in half an hour from now! I wanted to be with you Sofi. Here take this” she handed me the box. I looked at her with a smile, and opened it. HAPPY 17th BIRTHDAY SOFIA is what the small round strawberry cheesecake read. I shifted my gaze from it to her, she smiled at me sheepishly “I know it is not much, and it is kind of not organized. I dropped it by mistake.” “No, it is wonderful. Thanks Jinan” and I really meant it. “How did you know I was in the kitchen, though?” I asked as we walked towards the sea shore. “I saw you heading there with Silver, this cat still eats at midnight huh?” she said, pointing with her eyes at Silver, who was walking right beside me. “Yeah, he still does.” I don’t know why, but I felt that there was more to Jinan’s visit than celebrating my birthday. She wasn’t the type of girl who would leave home at night for just this. We walked in silence until we reached a palm tree close to the waters, and sat down under it, slightly teased by the wet sand. I held Silver in my hands, and it purred as I stroke its head. I looked at Jinan “so?” I asked. “So … what?” she replied. “You’re not here just because it’s my bloody 17th birthday Jin-Jin. Tell me, what is up?” she smiled an uncomfortable smile, her dimples showing. Jinan was the girl that all the boys would fall for; she had big brown eyes, long eyelashes resting on them. Her face was round, her nose small, and under it was a pair of thin pink lips. Her hair was short, dark as the night sky and silky. “I am leaving tomorrow” she began, “I am travailing in a few days” I did not respond, so she continued “since its summer you know. My foster parents suggested it, so I said I’d go.” I froze, this was unexpected. She held my hands “I… I want you to come with us Sofia” Come with you? Are you insane? I looked at her, and my face said it all. “What will you do this whole summer? Pleas just come with us. They are okay with it” she insisted. “Now I know you’re out of your mind, Jinan. London? Me? Do you know how expensive that is? I know I recently got my passport, but come on now” I argued. She looked at me, her eyes filled with seriousness “ Sofi, they are paying. It is okay. Just come!”, “of course it’s okay with you, but they aren’t my foster parents!” I shouted, which made Silver wince. Jinan looked at me with sad eyes, and then tuned to face the shore “happy birthday” she uttered, “It is twelve o’clock.” I played with the sand, as I gave her my thank you. Jinan was upset, I can feel it. But she should understand that I can’t simply leave. She lit up a candle, and placed it on top of the cake “ here, make a wish” she said calmly. And I did, I wished from the bottom of my heart to leave. We split up the cake, and ate most of it quietly wile admiring the sea, the waters were so wonderful, sparkling under the moonlight. It was accompanied by the sound of the waves, and Silver’s purrs. We said our goodbyes, and I headed upstairs to my room. I took a small green bucket that I hid under my bed for so many years; it contained all of my wishes. I looked for the card that read “traveling”, and thought to myself “what if?”
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