"OK you can do this." I said to myself.
"I can't do it." I thought.
"All you have to do is pretend you don't know." I argued.
"But you do know." I thought again.
Mackenzie and Fox's meowing interrupted my inside-my-head-argument.
"Well, here we go." I whispered as I walked into the living room.
Taryn and Charlie were setting something on the table, but I couldn't see what it was.
"Hi, guys." I said, kind of loudly.
They both jumped and turned around.
"HI!" Taryn yelled.
"Whatcha got there?" I asked, trying to peek around Charlie.
"Snacks." Taryn answered.
"Snacks?" I repeated.
That was not the answer I had expected.
"Yeah," Charlie said, "for the football game."
"Oh." I mumbled, "And there's ah, um, nothing else happening today?"
"No." Charlie said.
"Not that I can think of." Taryn answered.
"Oh, um, I feel kind of tired. I'm going back to bed." I said, sadly.
I mean how could they forget that today was-
"Claire, we were joking!" Taryn called.
I turned around and saw, on the table exactly what I had hoped for.
"Happy Birthday, Claire! Charlie exclaimed.
"Wow! Thanks guys!" I said.
"Hey, you guys even got me that picture from that store in the mall!" I added, "For a second I really did think you guys forgot my birthday."
"You really think we're that terrible?" Taryn asked, "Now, let's eat some cake!"
After the cake was gone, they made me sit in a chair with my eyes closed.
"Can I open 'em yet?" I asked.
"No." Taryn and Charlie said in unison.
I felt someone place something in my hands.
Then Taryn said, "This is from both of us, and the Human. Now, go ahead and look."
I looked and it made me gasp.
I looked up at Taryn and said, "Is this what I think it is?"
All I got for an answer was, "Do you like it?"
It was a telescope.
And not just any telescope, it was a Constellation Tube, one of the best.
"I don't like it. I LOVE it!"
* Bonus pic *