Maya’s 9th birthday was 2 weeks away. She had started the countdown 2 weeks prior, anticipating the fun she would be having on the day when all her family and friends would be hovering around her. Each one of them wishing her a “Very Happy Happy Birthday!” A unified song would be the grand finale where all attendees circled around her and the birthday cake with 9 candles.
She was so anxious for the day’s arrival that it felt like every moment that wasn’t her birthday was an agonizing pain. All she could talk about was her upcoming birthday. Unfortunately for Mina, her maid, she had no choice but listen to Maya whimper about the dull days leading to her party.
Maya: “Mina. Mina. Mina. Ughhh…I don’t know what to doooooo?! I just want it to be my birthday already. Do you remember how much fun we had last year?? The delicious cake, the giggles, the balloons, and the pink Cinderella dress? Everyone said I looked like a princess! Oh Mina, I know you will never understand but the wait is killing me.”
“Yes, Maya!” Mina thought to herself. “I wouldn’t understand what it would be like to have people hover around me and make me life of the party. I was literally in the middle of your party last year holding the birthday cake and no one even noticed my existence until they needed my assistance to fetch them water, whiskey on the rocks, and rags for the spilled drinks. Yes, I wouldn’t know your pain for I have never felt the love and admiration god has blessed you with. But god do I want to? If only you knew how badly I want to feel your pain.”
Instead, Mina turned to Maya and said, “It will be okay. Your birthday is not even 2 weeks away. It will be there before you know it.”
Maya hesitantly snapped out from her whining and replied. “I guess you are right. Want to go outside and play?
Mina: “I really want to but can’t right now. I have to chop onions and tomatoes for the curry your mother is about to make.”
Maya: “You are so good with the kitchen stuff. Mom is always telling me to be more like you and asking me why I can’t be as diligent when it comes to household chores. Maybe one day I will learn the proper ways of chopping onions from you, without making a huge mess and crying my eyes out that is. Remember last week’s fiasco?”
Maya giggled at the image of her crying while chopping onions last week when Mina was busy sweeping the kitchen. Although Maya had promised to help out with the chore, she fled the job unfinished because her eyes could not take any more sting. She was filled with admiration for Mina that day as Mina finished the job without a single tear.
“I do remember it very well.” Mina chuckled as she excused herself and made way to the kitchen while Maya playfully skipped her way to the playground.
Mina started chopping the onion and felt the sting in her eyes; she let the tears roll down her cheeks.