The Gift: A Short Story
She had always wanted a gift like this. A gift that would make her feel special, loved, and appreciated. A gift that would show her how much he cared for her. A gift that would surprise her and delight her.
She had hinted at it many times, dropping subtle clues and suggestions. She had shown him pictures of similar gifts, pointing out their features and benefits. She had even told him where to find it, how much it cost, and when it was available.
But he never seemed to notice. He never seemed to pay attention. He never seemed to understand.
She was disappointed, but she tried not to show it. She tried to be patient and understanding. She tried to be grateful for what he did give her: his time, his attention, his affection. She tried to convince herself that those were the real gifts, the ones that mattered.
But deep down, she still wanted it. She still dreamed of it. She still hoped for it.
And then, one day, it happened.
He came home with a big smile on his face and a large box in his hands. He told her to close her eyes and hold out her hands. He told her he had something for her. He told her he loved her.
She felt a surge of excitement and anticipation. She felt a flutter of joy and gratitude. She felt a spark of hope and curiosity.
She closed her eyes and held out her hands. She waited for him to place the box in her palms. She waited for him to tell her to open her eyes. She waited for him to reveal the gift.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he placed the box on the floor and opened it himself. He took out the gift and held it up for her to see. He told her to open her eyes and look at it.
She opened her eyes and looked at it.
It was a vacuum cleaner.
She stared at the vacuum cleaner in disbelief. She felt a wave of anger and resentment. She felt a pang of hurt and betrayal. She felt a burst of frustration and disappointment.
She looked at him and saw his proud and happy expression. He seemed to think he had done something wonderful. He seemed to think he had given her the perfect gift. He seemed to think he had made her day.
But he hadn’t.
He had ruined it.
She wanted to scream at him. She wanted to throw the vacuum cleaner at him. She wanted to tell him how much he had hurt her.
But she didn’t.
Instead, she forced a smile and thanked him. She told him it was very thoughtful and useful. She told him she loved it.
But she didn’t.
She hated it.
She hated him.
He smiled and hugged her. He told her he was glad she liked it. He told her he had spent a lot of time and money on it. He told her he wanted to make her happy.
But he didn’t.
He had made her miserable.
He kissed her and told her to try it out. He told her it had many features and functions. He told her it would make her life easier.
But it wouldn’t.
It would make it harder.
He plugged in the vacuum cleaner and turned it on. He handed it to her and told her to have fun. He told her he would watch her and admire her.
But he wouldn’t.
He would mock her and judge her.
She took the vacuum cleaner and started to clean the floor. She felt a tear roll down her cheek. She felt a lump in her throat. She felt a knot in her stomach.
She wished he had given her something else. She wished he had given her what she wanted. She wished he had given her the gift.