A Memorable Birthday – Nandini Agarwala

Somewhere in the city of Seoul, lived Mrs. Kim, she was a poor lady living with her beautiful daughter who was as loyal and kind as a dog or a cat.

“You can come outside now!” shouted Mrs. Kim at her daughter Chae to come outside and see the gift she bought for her. When she came out, she saw a small teddy bear in her mother’s hand.

Though she didn’t like it, she said, “Wow! It is”— she tied her braid with a rubber band—“amazing. This looks amazing!” She didn’t want to hurt her mother.

Her mother said, “I booked a table for you” —she started walking towards the kitchen —“at ‘Four Seasons Hotel Seoul’ for lunch today, you can take Iseul with you as well after all she is your best friend.”

Chae agreed and was excited for the lunch; she thanked her mom and ran cheerfully taking her teddy to call Iseul. Iseul replied, “Sorry, I can’t come as I have some work to do.”

Chae was sad after hearing this. She told her mother that Iseul will not be able to come. Her mother asked her to go alone. Around 12:30, Chae was getting ready for lunch. Her aunt, Mrs. Jin Kyong, came home to give her birthday greetings but Chae was not willing to meet anyone. So her aunt gave a letter for her.

Chae told her mother that she will read the letter once she returned home. She went out of the house. As soon as she went out of the house, a boy came and gave a letter to her. She was surprised that strangers also knew about her birthday. She thought about opening the letter and reading it the minute she reached the hotel.

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She reached hotel and ordered some food for herself and then went to the washroom. She returned to her table and saw multiple letters on it. She opened them all the letters one by one. To her surprise, all the letters had same thing written on them:

Come to New Hotel Seoul at 9 p.m…

She ate her lunch and went home and didn’t tell anything to her mum. At night after dinner, Chae sneaked out from her window. She was feeling like her heart has stopped beating because of fear. When she reached the hotel, she saw no one was there. Suddenly, everything turned dark in front of her eyes. She opened her eyes. She saw three people with masks who were walking in front of her. She got to know that it was a plan done by some junior students from the school where Chae and Iseul.

48 hours ago:

Chae was a high school student, she and Iseul were the biggest bullies of their class. They bullied all their juniors and made fun of them. Two days back, they had played a prank on few juniors which was a cause of great embarrassment for them. The juniors were not happy about it. So, they planned to take revenge on Chae’s most precious day.

Present day:

When Chae looked around she saw Iseul tied with a rope. They have learnt a language together through which they could talk with just the tone of their voices.

“What should we do?” asked Chae.

“Let’s make plan to get out of here. These are juniors, we can easily fool them. We will ask them for food. Two of them will go and leave one for security. When both of them will go we’ll say the last one for water. He will go to inform them to bring water. I carry a pocket knife for safety every time I go outside at night. When three of them are gone I will take out my pocket knife and cut the rope of mine and yours.”

The juniors threatened them that they can’t make any sound. Chae understood the plan. She agreed to Iseul’s plan.

“Can we have some food, it will be better if it is McDonalds?” said both of them.

The juniors shut them and said, “You will only get plain rice.”

As they went to buy food it seemed that only one of them was going to bring food and left the rest two for security. Iseul and Chae were shocked when they saw that only one of them was going. They began talking in their voice tone.

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“I think we have to bribe them. Or you suggest what should we do?” Iseul sounded confused.

“I think we should apologise to them for bullying them at that time. If the police catch us bribing we will be arrested for lifetime.”

“What the hell! I can’t apologise to my juniors! I will try to bribe them,” said Iseul.

“Don’t be a vain, Iseul! You should not be that selfish” — she called one of the juniors by nodding her head—“do you understand Iseul.”

She whispered in his ear, “I’m really sorry for what we did to you all. I promise to apologize for our misdoings in front of the whole school tomorrow. Call the police, I will not make you all get arrested instead I will make Iseul get arrested as she is trying to bribe you three. Call the police as soon as possible you understand!”

The junior agreed to call the police and told both the juniors about it. Soon the police arrived and Chae told the cops about Iseul. The cops asked some questions to Iseul and the juniors and one of the juniors said, “Isuel gave money to us for kidnapping Chae. She said that Chae is bullying us so it will be good for us to kidnap her. Also we’ll get $10,000 from Iseul’s parents and $15,000 from Chae’s mother.”

Chae always thought that Iseul was her best friend but then she got to know that Iseul was jealous of her because she always got good grades in the class.

The juniors also confessed that Iseul herself asked to bring her in so Chae doesn’t suspect her. Hearing all this, Chae was very upset. She asked the juniors, “Why did you agree to call the police if you knew about Iseul?”

One of them answered, “I realised that the thing we were doing was not good and I told all my friends, then we realised that we should break Iseul’s ego as well and we were glad that your ego was broken and you realised your mistake.”

Chae finally smiled. Everyone gave a great round of applause for them except Isuel. Iseul was staring at the juniors while going with the police. Chae went home and told everything to her mom. She apologised to her mom for sneaking out of the home.

Suddenly, she started hearing a voice, “Wake up Chae! Wake up! Stop sleeping! It’s already 10 am,” Chae opened her eyes, she realised that it was her birthday, she never had a friend named Iseul. It was all a dream she thought.

As she went to the mirror to wish herself, she found a letter on the cabinet. She opened it reluctantly as she has not got over her dream yet.

Dear Chae

Come to New Hotel Seoul at 9 p.m…

Your loving aunt

Jin Kyong

No one knows if it was a dream or it was a reality!

Read about the young writer, Nandini Agarwala, here:

I am from class 6, Delhi Public School. I am very interested in singing and dancing and am really fond of studying history and civics. My friends describe me as an honest, caring and a clumsy person. I am into reading suspense, fiction, history-fiction and funny books. My favorite books and authors of all time are ‘The Magic of the lost Temple’ by Sudha Murty and the great series of ‘Harry Potter’ by J.K Rowling. One of the teachers of mine is a good writer and she inspired me to write. I like to read the stories her daughter writes. Recently, she wrote one novel ‘The Land of Mourns’ and it was fantastic. I aspire to be an IAS when I grow up so that I can do something good for my country.

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