Jenny woke up just like any other day: she rubbed her eyes and grabbed her schoolbooks. As she stumbled around her pink room, she remembered it was both the weekend and her birthday! The fog in her head cleared, and she rushed through her bedroom door into the hallway. And there, sitting on the floor, was a gift from her parents.
She knew what inside the gift bag. After all, she had announced her dream gift to all her friends and relatives. She had even taped a photo of her dream gift on the fridge. Everyone knew she wanted “Pink Pony Rancher 14” (“Now with Cuddly Bunnies.”)
How often she had rehearsed this moment in her dreams, and now she was living it. She opened the gift bag and found a box, a final obstacle. As she opened the box, her parents hovered into view hoping to catch a glimpse of her smile. She ripped open the last piece of bubble wrap and inside was “Super Awesome and Violent Super Hero Adventure Romp 2”.
“We ordered it online,” her father said, “That’s the one you wanted, right sweetheart? We don’t know much about video games.”
Jenny smiled and thanked her parents. She valued loving others more than any toy or game. She tried to appreciate the value of a gift she didn’t ask for, and the love she had received.
After the house fell silent, Jenny sneaked downstairs to play the game. After turning around to check that her parents weren’t watching, she fell in love with the game and played for hours.
Jimmy woke up, rolled out of bed and landed on his head. He ignored the pain because he had no time for anything as “weak” as pain. His eyes stung like someone had sprayed them with lemon juice, but he ignored this feeling too. He had more important things to do.
He was about to drive his motorcycle to the gym where he trained as a wrestler, but then he remembered the special day. It was his birthday! So he threw on his favourite heavy metal band t-shirt, combed his long black hair and lifted weights for an hour.
Then he rushed out of his bedroom door to find the bag his girlfriend had stuffed with his gift. The bag was black, of course, and featured a skull and crossbones on the front. But Jimmy paid little attention to these details, including the address on the box, as he thought about the video game he was expecting. He knew what video game would be inside the box because he’d begged his girlfriend to get the latest superhero adventure.
He ripped open the shipping box, and the neon pink game case almost blinded him . It was “Pink Pony Rancher 14”. Claire, Jimmy’s girlfriend, craned her neck around the corner to see his reaction. “That’s the video game you wanted, right? I ordered it from this new video game warehouse website.”
Jimmy felt stung and stood still for a couple of seconds. Yet, he nodded and smiled at Claire because he knew their relationship and the love they shared were more important than any video game. “Thank you sweetheart,” he said. Then they went out for dinner to celebrate Jimmy’s birthday.
When they returned home and Claire had fallen asleep, Jimmy tip toed downstairs to the living room. He turned on his console, and with a deep sigh, gave the game a shot. After a couple of minutes, he turned around to make sure Claire wasn’t watching. A big smile overtook his stubborn lips as he combed the hair of his pony, Mr. Cuddles.