He thought he was doing her good by working to become successful. Little did he know that she was abandoned in the process.

In his greed of success and prosperity, most birthdays were forgotten. Anniversaries were a thing of the past. Every occasion that was marked red on her little calendar passed by without a celebration.

She hated it.

She wore designer clothes and travelled in luxury cars. Oh! How she was envied by her friends.

But every time her car stopped at a red light, she would look outside the window at the less fortunate. How happily they played on the street. For her, they were the real fortunate. She could’ve given anything to trade lives with them.

Then came another birthday! She spent it in her room as per tradition, silently singing Happy Birthday to herself. Was it really a ‘happy’ birthday? She wondered.

The morning of her birthday she hesitantly stepped into his study. There he was, screaming away on his phone. He didn’t notice her. She entered and coughed to grab his attention.

He – What are you doing here?

She – It’s my birthday. Here, I baked a cake. Have a piece.

He – Keep it on the table. What do you want as a gift? A ring? Expensive goodies? Designer outfit?

She – What I want you cannot afford.

He – There is nothing in the world that I can’t afford. What is it that you want, tell me.

She – What I want is your time, Dad ! It seems like such a little thing to be asked for but you still can’t afford it.



Author: Zainab Haji

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