“It should be here,” I said, looking up and down the street. My friend drove a bright orange truck and I knew where he usually parked. But it wasn’t here. My two friends looked at me, wondering what I was going to do next. I’d had this planned for weeks. I’d baked cookies, gotten balloons, roped them into helping me, and now his truck wasn’t here. He was supposed to be in class right now, so it had be around somewhere.
“Maybe he parked down the other street,” I said, and we set off across campus. It wasn’t there either. We tramped back again, and I scanned every side street for some glimpse of orange. One of my friends started grumbling that no one had baked him cookies or gotten him balloons for his birthday. Both of them knew, though I was trying to hide it, that I really liked this friend whom I was trying to surprise.
We eventually gave up and returned to the cafeteria. I put the cookies back in my locker, disappointed that my grand plan hadn’t worked. Later that afternoon, several of us were sitting outside on a bench, enjoying the early spring sunshine. I was done classes for the day and had some studying to do, but it was nice just to enjoy the fresh air with my friends. Then he walked up.
We chatted for several minutes, joking around and teasing each other. I ran to my locker and got his cookies, and he shared them with us. He mentioned he’d skipped class, and I scolded him. The only reason he’d come to the university was to see the registrar. He soon left to do that. As soon as he was inside, I hauled my friends off to find his truck. Sure enough, it was right where I knew it would be!
In a few minutes, we’d blown up several balloons and tied them to his antennae. Not sure when he was coming back, we scurried back to our bench, and that was where he found us when he returned. Then the others went to their classes, and he and I said goodbye and headed in opposite directions to our respective vehicles. I was almost at my car when an orange truck came around the corner, balloons flying. He pulled into the parking lot and I walked up, grinning.
“Do you know who did that?” he demanded, pointing to the balloons with a huge smile on his face.
“No, I don’t!” I exclaimed, laughing too hard to keep a straight face. “What a great idea!”
“If you find out who did it, tell them thanks, okay?” he said, looking like a kid at Christmas. I was sure he knew who had done it. He kept exclaiming how much fun the balloons were, and finally we said goodbye again and he pulled onto the street. I watched his orange truck – now even more conspicuous with bright balloons on the antennae – until it was out of sight, and then walked to my truck and drove home, grinning all the way.
That was three years ago, before we started dating. I’ve made him those cookies again since then, and we still laugh at me trying to hide my feelings for him while baking him cookies and decorating his truck. His birthday is tomorrow, and he’s trying to find out what surprises I have planned for him this year. Just something to say “Happy Birthday…”