The Gift of Friendship
“The Gift of Friendship” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Fahrat Huda, Nobles International School, PRC, Saudi Arabia.
The Gift of Friendship
My twin sister and I are popularly known as the Quinn twins. People know us as the twin daughters of King Eric the great. They think that I, Cora Quinn, and my twin sister, Nora Quinn, are so fortunate to be born into the king’s family and to be able to get taught by a robo-teacher. They thought that being taught by a robo-teacher is fortunate because the robo-teacher teaches according to your capability.
“Aren’t they lucky, they get taught by a robo-teacher and they even get so many presents at their birthday!” that’s what the residents of Ericity say about my sister and I. “They have the perfect life, the life every person could ever dream of,” those were the phrases I always heard. But the thing was that they didn’t know how boring and dull life could be in a huge mansion where your parents are always busy and you have no one new or different to talk to.
It all began when I started feeling isolated even with Nora and the maids around, it felt like there was something missing, something or maybe someone that I needed, it literally felt like life was incomplete. Then one day, as I was watching a regular show on TV, I suddenly realized what I was missing- Friendship. The TV show was all about Friendship, but I never made the connection until that fateful day. I was so happy at my realisation that I ran to Nora, hugged her and told her that I found the thing that can make our lives to be filled with joy and happiness. Nora asked me what it was and happily I said that we needed a friend. At first, she also was happy but then she asked me how we would get one. When she said that our smiles faded away and we started to think of how we could get a friend.
After a few days, an idea popped into my head. So, I went to Nora and told her my idea, which was to join the High School in the country so that we can meet people and maybe by interacting with other people we might be able to make a new friend or even two! Nora loved my idea, so that night at dinner we asked our father to permit us to go to the school and study there. We went on to tell him, how lonely we are and that we really wanted a friend. But father didn’t want us to go to the High School that everyone else went to. He thought that if we go there then his reputation would be ruined. Then he asked us if it is a friend we needed and, we nodded. So, he ordered one of the maids to act as our friend.
A month had passed and nothing had changed because the maid, known as Lillian, was too old to be our friend, she was like 20 years of age, plus she was nothing like what we had thought of how a friend would be. Soon our father realized that Lillian was nothing near to being a friend that we craved for. So on our 14th birthday our father decided to give us a huge surprise. Then came our birthday, on the 3rd of January the year of 3030 our father gave us the best gift, the best present we could have ever wanted!
As usual we woke up early because it was our birthday, nobody talked about our birthday and we changed then rushed down to the event room. When we entered, nobody was there or there was no sign of celebration. So, we thought maybe we would celebrate outside like our 10th birthday and we took ourselves out but nothing was there either. We looked everywhere but we didn’t find anything. We were vanquished when a maid came to us and told us that our father was waiting for us near the Collocal fountain. We rarely went there because it was at the far end of the mansion.
When we were about to go inside, the maid covered our eyes, with blindfolds and told us to follow her. We did as we were told and she took us inside the auto-drive then took the blindfolds from our eyes. We saw our father, asked him where we were going but he didn’t say a word. We had been in the auto-drive for about 20 minutes when it stopped and our father asked us to get off. We obeyed him and there before our very eyes stood the giant gates of the High School we wanted to go to. We were so delighted and excited to see everyone standing there to welcome us most of all we were petrified to see that our father had realized that Lillian was not what we wanted. Everyone was standing there with presents and flowers. Nora grabbed my hand and we rushed to everyone.
That day we had the best birthday ever. Then the next day we got ready for School. Our father went with us to drop us. It was the first day of school for us, we were really excited. Everyone was with us and wanted us to be their friend so we went along with them. But there was one girl who was always alone. I told Nora about that girl and she said that maybe she doesn’t like to have friends. I thought maybe that could be the matter so I didn’t go to her. One day that girl came to me & Nora and introduced herself. She said that her name is Ellie and that she would always be there if needed. Nora ignored her but I thanked her for saying that. Weeks passed and everything was going on really well. Then came the day, the day when everyone started behaving strangely towards us.
It was a normal day and as usual our father had just dropped us at school when everyone inside was holding posters saying “Go away, Quinn Twins !!” We were horrified to see and hear that. Slowly everyone started to walk towards us. Nora and I were surrounded from all sides when a girl grabbed our hands and took us to the school basement. The girl was Ellie, Ellie had saved us from getting squished. We were in the basement for almost about half an hour and till now nobody had said a word.
All of a sudden Ellie started to talk, “Do you know what happened?” she asked us. We shook our heads and she went on “Yesterday… when you two had gone home, something happened”, she continued “I had just gotten to school when there was a rumour going that someone had stolen the school trophy. Then there was an announcement and everyone walked into the school hall. The principal was there and even the whole staff members, everyone was seated and the principal said that he was really disappointed that someone could have done such a thing. At the end the principal asked if anyone had anything to say… for a while no one said anything… but after 2 minutes Asena, the mean girl of the school, stood up…. walked to the front then whispered something into the principal’s ear which shocked the principal…... then after listening to everything Asena had to say the principal watched a video that said that you were the ones who stole it…... the principal came to a decision and said that when you two come back then he would talk to you but until you two come back he had banned the use of devices in the school!!” she paused for a second or two then said, “ and that is why everyone has started disliking you” !!!
After a while the principal had us brought to his office. We went in and the principal started talking. The principal said, “Why did you do this? …. I had never expected this… at least not from both of you “He turned his back on us, called our father then we were off back home. On the way home Nora and I wondered how father would react, we thought that father would be really angry at us. When we arrived home, we went straight to our bedroom. After about an hour our father came in and started talking, “I know that you can never do something like this, I know you two” he paused, “what happened? Why do all of the students say that you stole the school trophy?” Then we told our father what had happened after we had entered the school. Our father was shocked to hear that and he said that he believed us. He made us feel that he will do anything and everything to get to the root of the matter.
We didn’t go to school for two days, on the evening of the third Ellie came visiting. After that event, no one from school would ever want to even hear our names. Ellie came in and asked how we felt. She told us that she knows who really stole the trophy. We urged her to tell us, so she did. She said that Asena had done all of this because she wasn’t popular anymore after we came to the school. We asked her how we would convince the principal that Asena was the thief and not us. Then Ellie said that she could go into the school’s camera system and get the tape of Asena stealing the trophy. I asked Ellie, “You would do all of that for us?” She happily answered, “Of course… that is why I said that I would be there if needed… when you came in school I felt like I had found my friends and that was why I told you that I would be there for you if needed!!”
Many days passed as we made a plan on how to get the video tape, then came the day when we sneaked into school at midnight and took a copy of the tape. The next day we went to school but this time Ellie came with us. When the principal saw us in school he had us brought into his office. In his office when he asked us why we came back we showed him the tape and he was shocked. He then made an announcement for everyone to gather in the school hall. The principal had told everyone about Asena and even showed them the video. After that day Asena never came back and everyone started to like Nora and I again.
Now Ellie was never alone again because she has Nora and I as the best gift ever and so did we, the Quinn twins have the best gift ever. The wonderful gift of FRIENDSHIP!!!