“Good, I’m sure I will,” Amelia replies. Leona smiles at her, but she quickly glances out the window to keep from smiling back. When they arrive at the lake Amelia’s stunned by the size of it. “This is a big park.”
Leona puts her arm around her. “What did I tell you? Why don’t we unload the car and set out the food at the picnic area.”
Eli and Navid grab the cooler and the food while Amelia gets their bags and follows behind Leona. She looks around and sees people swimming in the lake while others are over by the trees having a picnic. She makes a mental note that the beach area is where she’ll be spending most of her time. While grubbing on Eli’s famous grilled burgers, he and Navid joke about throwing Amelia in the water as a birthday gift. Leona appears to be really enjoying herself as she laughs at their silliness.
“All right, let’s get out some presents!” Leona suggests, still chewing.
Wow. I didn’t think they would actually get me anything. Each of them pulls out a gift from their bags.
“Guys, you’ve done enough for me today. I really don’t need anything else,” Amelia declares.
“Oh nonsense, you only turn sixteen once,” Leona replies.
“Here, open mine,” Eli requests. He waits in anticipation like a child.
“A perfume set? That’s really cool of you, Eli, thanks,” Amelia says.
“No problem. The store clerk said that all you girls like to smell like fruit, so I got you peach preserves.”
Amelia nods, laughing. “Thank you, I’ll wear it every day.”
Navid hands her his gift with a smile. She quickly opens it and looks up at him in amazement. Whoa! She pulls out a snow globe with a giant silver butterfly in the center. Each wing is designed with sparkles around the rim, and her initials of ALW are crafted into the wings. It’s the most beautiful thing she’s ever seen. The butterfly has blue diamonds for eyes and sits atop a sparkly yellow flower. On the front of the globe is an inscription that reads:
To the sister I never had.
Happy 16th birthday, Amelia! You rock!
From Cousin Navid
Without thinking, Amelia gets up and hugs Navid and Eli and kisses their cheeks. From the looks on their faces, she can tell they’re both uncomfortable with affection. It’s understandable, given their mother’s inability to be human.