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by Paul
Rated: E · Short Story · Friendship · #2265328
Ben is becoming an adult.
The Big Surprise

“I really don’t know why I do this. Crawling around dusty, old houses is not my idea of a fun Sunday.”

“C’mon, Daria, you never know what you’ll find in these old places.”

“Yeah, like rats and ghosts.”

“There are no ghosts and if you make some noise you’ll never see a rat.”

“Hey, look what’s this? As if you didn’t know.”

“Hey, Daria, I have no idea what that could be, what is it?”

“I don’t know, it wasn’t there a minute ago.”

“Where’d it come from?”

“I don’t know, I told you, it wasn’t there when we got here. You put it there to screw with me.”

“I did not!”

“You did too! You’re always doing stuff to make me look stupid, I HATE it. Stop it.”

“No I don’t.”

“What about the “Punch Me” sign on my back, and the grass hoppers in my lunch pail. And all the other things you did.”

“I’m sorry, Daria, I liked you and it was all I could think of to tell you. I won’t do it again. But, I didn’t put it there this time, I promise.”

“A lunch pail full of grasshoppers seems a silly way to say I like you. Okay, if you don’t do it again maybe we could have a red pop Saturday, it’ll be warm in the park.”

“I love red pop. I promise no more jokes. It was a silly kid thing.”

“They weren’t funny and it was a kid thing. So, what is it, Ben?”

“Don’t know, it’s a box with a ribbon around it. Open it.”

“Not me. I don’t open things that may go off in my face. You open it.”

“But it’s a girls package, it’s got a pink ribbon. You open it.”

“Girls package? I’ll bet you think dishes and laundry are girls work, not boys. Right? You open it.”

“No! My mom makes me do dishes. She says, ‘You dirty them, you can share the cleanup.’ She’s right. She says cooking too. I’m always late for the Saturday morning ball game because scrubbing the toilet and making my bed are requirements.”

“You have a smart mom, I like her. She’ll make good husband material out of you. Okay I’ll open it, but if something jumps out I’m going to hurt you.”

“Just open it. Big surprises come in small packages.”

“Ohh...My...God! It’s my ring! My dad gave it to me before he died and I knew I’d never see it again after our day at the beach last month. How did it get here?”

“It took me two weeks with a metal detector and digging up half the beach to find it. Do you have any idea how many bottle caps and coins are in that sand? Other junk too, I made $11.57 looking so maybe I’ll keep that up.

I knew you loved it and it was my idea to go to swimming that day. That’s where I’ve been every weekend since. Mom suggested the box and ribbon.”

“So you lied, you did put it there.”

“Yeah, I wanted to surprise you, I guess I did.”

“Thank you, Ben, I think that deserves a couple red pops. Maybe a kiss on the cheek.”

“When would that be?”

“We’ll talk about it over the red pop on Saturday.”

“Okay. I really am sorry for all those things I did as a kid.”

“Seems like most of the ‘Kid’ phase is over.”

“Yeah, i feel it too. I feel different about things than I used to.”

“Like how you think about girls.”

“Oh, yeah.”

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