The Unwanted Gift

Coming back from school is an unparalleled pleasure to Tom, because the way home is usually shorter than the way to school , but this evening Tom is not satisfied with just running home, and he jumps trying to shorten his steps to arrive quickly and uncover the gift that his father promised him this morning. 

Tom enters the house panting, and rushes towards his room, after he takes his satchel off at the door, and there he looks around for the gift which is waiting for him on his small desk. It is wrapped in glitter paper and decorated with colored ribbons just as he imagined. Tom stands there catching his breath and looking at the box trying to guess what is hidden inside. “Is it the Superman toy that I see with the neighbor’s son? Or is it a racing car replacing my old one with the remote control that lost its mind? Maybe it is a new toy that has never crossed my mind!” Tom thinks. 

Tom lifts the box up in his hands, and it seems too small to contain Superman or the racing car. He frowns as he excludes his beloved options, but that does not stop him from untying the colored ribbons on the box. He shakes it a little, perhaps a movement inside tells what is waiting for him in there, but he does not hear a sound or feel a movement, he begins to rip the glitter paper off the box curiously, and in a hurry, he dips his hand through the foam balls that filled up the box searching for his gift. Once again, Tom finds himself in front of a rectangular box, and to his mind it is unreasonable that it may be a dozen of pencils as he has a lot of them and it will be very disappointing to have more. Tom opens the rectangular box cautiously as if he is afraid that something will jump from it, but he can’t prevent anger from pursing his lips as he sees a pair of glasses sleeping in the box and waiting to be awakened and put on his eyes. 

The little boy twists his lips angrily and throws the rectangular box on his desk, how many times he has told his parents that he will never wear glasses no matter what happens, as he is tired of his friends mocking him whenever he wears glasses. Even his teacher persuades him over and over again to wear the glasses. Suddenly, Tom’s father comes in and sits next to him on the bed while he is still holding the foam balls box between his hands with signs of sadness on his face. ‘What is wrong? Don’t you like the gift, my son?’, his father says. 

Tom does not answer claiming that his father already knows the answer. The father does not really wait for an answer, and he says: 

‘Listen son, your teacher insists that you should wear your glasses as you suffer in and out of the classroom, and you even mistake distinguishing letters and numbers. Also, the school doctor sees that you have to wear your glasses. Your teacher promises that he won’t let any of your friends mock you ever again, he wears glasses too, son!’ 

‘Can the teacher prevent my colleagues from mocking me outside the school walls too?’ Tom asks.

 The father ignores Tom’s question, and opens the rectangular box getting the glasses out then says: ‘Look son, after you had lost your glasses for the third time this year, I got you magic ones!’

 The boy smiles ruefully and says in disbelief: ‘Magic ones!’ ‘Yes, magic ones! They will make you see everything around you clearly.’

 The smile on Tom’s face vanishes and he says: ‘They are not magic ones then! The job of any glasses is to make you see clearly.’

 ‘Don’t you want to see things clearly?’ asks the father once again.

 ‘I do not want my colleagues to mock me’ Tom replies.

 Thus, the father finds no solution to make Tom wear the new glasses which have been neglected on the small table by the bed. As for the boy, he continues the day as usual between doing his homework and playing, then having dinner and preparing to go to bed in a few hours. Right before he sleeps, his mother comes in and sits down next to him for a bedtime story. However, Tom says that he does not want to hear a story tonight. Also, he will not heed his mother’s request to try on the new glasses just for fun as she says, and since she is aware of her son’s stubbornness she gets up and leaves the room, after she turns on a small lamp to reflect its dim light on the new glasses rectangular box. Tom tosses in his place and glances at the box, it is still there.. He reaches out his hand to open the table drawer, and throws the box in there, then he closes the drawer and gets back under his cover to fall asleep. 


written by 

Sarah Nabil

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