Today’s daily prompt: By Hand
What’s the best present you’ve ever received that was handmade by the giver, not store-bought? Tell us what made it so special.
Nothing is really coming to me under the label of a handmade present. Well, other than food, but my mom’s cooking is usually better than any food ‘presents’ I’ve received.
I have, however, received several wonderful handwritten or handmade cards with my present. These were much more common back in high school when my close friends and I try to outdo each other by making our cards longer, sappier, or more extravagant. The goal was to make the other person cry.
The cards themselves are special simply because of the content that’s inside it. They are comprised of memories, inside jokes, and good wishes for me, so how can they not be special? Everything about it was created for me.
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
“Your thesis isn’t strong enough. A thesis is kind of like a road map, it should tell the reader how the rest of the paper will flow.”
Two weeks have passed since the accident. Samantha did not come to school for a week, but here she was now on the first Monday of December, sitting in the empty library, reading Connor’s thesis statement. Connor could hardly believe it.
How could Samantha continue being his tutor knowing that Father was the reason for her father’s death?
It was an ugly truth to swallow for Connor. Growing up, Father had always been the man to look up. He was the powerful silhouette, the one who could do anything. Father was always right and smart; he was the good guy.
“Are you sure you still want to be my tutor?”
Samantha’s eyes peered up at his for a moment, and for the first time ever, she looked away first.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
She sounded so sad.
Connor could tell from her short answer that she had thought about it hard. He pictured her sitting at home on her sofa, pondering about whether or not she would continue being his tutor or not. She would’ve told herself that it wasn’t Connor’s fault that her father died- he wasn’t in the car at all. He imagined Stevie yelling at her from across the dining table, food spitting out in anger on her decision. Connor knew she would’ve stuck with her decision. He wasn’t sure why he was so certain since he didn’t really talk to Samantha that much, but he was sure she would’ve stayed adamant even in the disapproval from Stevie.
Connor didn’t know if he could’ve made the same decision if he was in Samantha’s shoes. Logic and understanding told him that it wasn’t his fault and Father definitely had no intentions to kill anyone. It was an accident.
Nevertheless, how could Samantha even stand to be in the same room as him?
“If you could tell your Father actually… my family would like it if he stopped sending us gifts.”
It took a second for this information to register inside Connor’s brain. He didn’t even know Father was sending gifts.
“Uh, yeah, I’ll tell him.”
Samantha looked at him again and looked away. Awkwardness fell upon the two of them.
Connor felt distressed. He never felt that comfortable being with Samantha, but that was because she was always so arrogant and self-righteous. Now she seemed so meek and Connor couldn’t help but feel but like an asshole just by existing. It was a whole new level of discomfort. He felt bad for her, a little guilty even, as if he owed her something.
Connor realized that this was probably how Father felt. He knew Father was greatly disturbed from the result of his reckless driving. Father must have felt ten times worse than Connor. He had gone through great lengths to cancel his appointments to attend the funeral. And now he was desperately lavishing Samantha’s family with gifts.
“Father… he wants to know how he can help. If there is anything he could do…”
“Why? So he can get a peace of mind for himself?”
The sharp tone of Samantha’s voice pricked his ears like needles. Her green eyes flashed at him the way Stevie’s did at the funeral. She was mad.
And then, she wasn’t. Her anger fizzed out like a deflating balloon and her eyes glossed back over in misery.
“Sorry. It’s not like I want him to feel guilty forever… I just… if he thinks he can just give us money and we’ll be happier, he’s wrong.”
Connor understood what she meant. Samantha didn’t care for fancy stationary, she preferred crayon doodles on colored paper from her brother instead. She was the type of girl to really appreciate handmade gifts. Her favorite sweater was probably knitted by her grandmother. But at the same time, Connor wished that Samantha could see that bought things could still come from a sincere place. He wanted to tell her that money was all Father had to offer. He wanted to explain to her that Father wouldn’t know what else he could do for them aside from sending them expensive presents and things. Father was just like that, it was his only way of showing his feelings. Connor knew because he was like that too.
But Connor couldn’t tell her all that. So instead, he just worked on his thesis until Samantha approved of it.
To be continued…