The Perfect Gift

It was the heart of the winters when my best friend and I sat together and decided to watch a movie, drowning in the boredom of winter vacations.  

It was the heart of the winters when my best friend and I sat together and decided to watch a movie, drowning in the boredom of winter vacations. During those two hours she reminded me that her birthday was close to come not by saying: 
"Hey, Zoya, my birthday is only two months away!" but she reminded me by asking, 
"So....what will you get me for my birthday?"
Let me tell you how random that question was and how surprisingly it took me. With all honesty, I had nothing planned for her birthday or her gift and it wasn't fair to her because she planned mine all on her own and it was a lot of fun! But I couldn't disappoint her and generally also people have an impression of me as being pre-planned and coming up with ideas in less than seconds. 
"I can't tell you." I started speaking, "it won't be much of a surprise then." 
Then she did it. 
She gave me the look.
THE LOOK.
It was a look that questioned me, cut through my skin and burned in my eyes. 
After a moment of silence, she smiled and said,
"Whatever it is...it better not be stationery! It's my fifteenth, not my fifth." 
That was the day I started thinking. I still had two months and a river full of ideas flowing through my brain, but I guess they were flowing at such a speed where I could not catch just one. I wanted to give her something special. Something that no one else would think of and something that would stay with her forever. But what??
Dear reader, I would like to say that I came up with the most brilliant idea ever in the span of two months and that my best friend almost died of happiness as she tore the wrapper and turned it to shreds, but reality showed me otherwise. The previous statement was quite true, in a way, when it  said that she almost died, not of happiness, but of mere disappointment and the deadly crash of her expectations. 
It wasn't my fault! Really! I just didn't know what to get her! 
But I walked in anyway, with a standardless hand made card and no convincing excuse. 
"It's ok really." She kept saying, but I could see it on her face, in her eyes, in her voice....that it was not okay.
I told her my thought process of buying her the perfect gift and she listened, like all best friends do, even if they're not interested. In the end she asked in a bored tone,
"Well....what was the last gift option your brain thought of?"
I thought.........this was my time to make it right. To give her the perfect gift. 
"The world." I was looking at the floor, realizing I had said it out loud. 
"What?" She was sick of me acting like a weird person. But I continued.
"Yes, Zahra, I wanted to give you THE WORLD! That would be the perfect gift. But I couldn't figure out how I would do that...and so...here we are, your 15th birthday, a chocolate cake and a cheap card." I looked at her now. "I'm really sorry....but I didn't want to get you anything that wouldn't matter to you like you matter to me...and I'm sorry."
I shut up and only then realized what nonsense I had just spilled out of my mouth. If I was not ridden by guilt I would've laughed at my soggy speech. But then something weird happened. Zahra smiled and hugged me really tight. She practically screamed the words,
"THAT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!",
While I struggled for breath. 
I guess my foolish speech made us realize that the best thing to have was not someTHING, but the fact that we had someONE, and that we were happy and thankful for it.
I think that is the PERFECT GIFT!

BY ZOYA SHAH

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