You're out of breath. You've spent the whole day looking for the perfect gift for your patriotic, All-American boyfriend, Alfred F. Jones.
Today happens to be his birthday, which coincidentally also happens to be Independence Day, and he has a huge cookout party in his backyard. Of course, you're invited, but you need to make sure you get the best birthday present ever! This is the first birthday of his that you're spending as his girlfriend, so the gift needs to be extra-meaningful!
But so far, you've gotten absolutely nowhere.
You groan as you sit down next to the wall between stores in the mall.
Finding a gift for Al is turning out to be more painful than you expected it to be. You mean to say, what can you get the blonde American that isn't either painfully cliché or something he already has?
And it isn't that you haven't found good ideas of what to get him; you've found many good ideas, but they either didn't seem like much of a gift or cost too much.
Last year, your "gift" has been your confession to him, the way you kissed him out of the blue, completely making his day perfect. The next day, he was outside of your window with a huge banner that read, "(NAME), WILL YOU BE MY GIRLFRIEND?" Of course, the answer was yes.
But that was a year ago. You can't just expect to kiss him and hope that makes the perfect gift.
Suddenly, your phone rings. At first, you're terrified, thinking it's Alfred. You've been ignoring his texts and calls all day so to not get sidetracked. Most places weren't open on the Fourth of July, and this mall has only be open for limited hours and will be closing within the hour.
However, caller ID tells you the person calling is Arthur Kirkland, and you let out a sigh of relief and hit TALK.
"Arthur!" you exclaim loudly, earning some disapproving looks from the other shoppers.
"(Name), love, where the bloody hell are you? Alfred has been crazy wondering why you're not answering him, and you know I'm not in the best mood, especially around
Arthur has a personal grudge against Independence Day and Alfred's birthday, spending the day moody and drunk in his home in England for quite a few years now, and Alfred just turned twenty today. Your original gift was going to be to convince Arthur to come visit Alfred on his birthday, but Arthur was being a difficult wanker, so you gave up after two weeks of trying, today at noon.
"I'm trying to find the perfect present for Alfred!" you blurt as you bury your face in your arms. "But what can I give him, Artie? He already has everything!"
Arthur goes quiet for a few seconds, and then he answers, "If he already has everything, (Name)
then you shouldn't worry about getting him a gift. He'll understand. You
you should head over to his place before he loses it, okay, love?"
"But then I will look like a terrible girlfriend
" you whisper.
as long as Alfred doesn't think you're a terrible girlfriend, you
you shouldn't worry about it, okay? He
he is the only one whose opinion should matter to you when it comes to your relationship, eh?"
You smile lightly and finally decide to stand. "You
you're right. I guess now I'll just pick up some extra fireworks and get ready. Thanks for the advice, Arthur." You glance around the mall. "I still wish that you would come for his birthday though
but I understand. Besides, it is probably almost July 5th over there by now, huh? So, goodnight. I hope you have a
"Goodbye, (Name)," he whispers before hanging up.
You look at your phone as it goes back to its home screen, and at the top, it tells you that you have three missed calls, one voicemail, and four unread messages. You quickly go to your inbox; they're all from Alfred.
Good morning! I can't wait to see you today!
Hey, don't you usually respond after that? It's been an hour
Now you're scaring me, babe. Is everything ok? Are you sick? Mad?
Look, I'm sorry if I did anything! But please respond! Pick up! It's nearly 5PM!
All the missed calls were also from Alfred and so was the voicemail. You clicked on that, quickly putting in your password, and then you pressed the phone against your ear.
"(Name)! Are you mad at me? I am really, really sorry if I did anything! Please tell me you're not mad! Please!" His voice cracks at that, and it is kind of painful to hear. "(Name), I
I love you, so please don't be mad
answer me, okay? Can we
can we talk about this? Please
" Then the message ends, and you're left feeling pretty crappy for making him feel that way.
You quickly stand and go find a store for fireworks, and you spend your money on some of the best ones in there to at least sort of make up for how badly you've treated Alfred today of all days. Then you rush to your car and head home.
You don't have time to shower or anything, but that's okay since you showered this morning anyway. You simply pull your hair into a side braid and change into a black tank top high-waisted denim shorts with the US flag printed on it. You put on some sandals and grab your purse and the bag of fireworks. Right before you pull out of your driveway with the car, you quickly text Alfred.
I'm on my way, birthday boy! (:
You figure you can explain everything once there.
The fireworks are already going off when you reach Alfred's, er, mansion, and the space is packed. You can barely find a place to park your car, but you manage to squeeze into a spot, and you rush out of your car and into Alfred's backyard.
There are a ton of girls in his pool, even if most of them aren't wearing swimwear. Most of them are just in their underclothing, and the pervy guys (including Francis Bonnefoy) are absolutely enjoying it and flirting with the girls. You stop by the food table to get yourself a hamburger; you haven't eaten all day, so you're absolute starved.
Where are you? you text him.
he answers soon after.
You hand over the fireworks to Matthew, Alfred's half-brother, before you head into the house and up to Alfred's room.
He's sitting on his bed, his elbows propped on his knees as he buries his face into his hands. You immediately drop your bag as you rush to his side, pulling him into your arms. He grips you by the waist, burning his face into your stomach, and you realize he's
?" you ask.
He lets you go as he stands, and then he swiftly cups your chin as he brings your lips to his. You don't have time to catch your breath, but you gradually melt into this kiss. Alfred wraps his arms around you, gripping you against his body. He gently turns you around, laying you down on his bed, and he climbs on top.
"Alf" is all you manage to say before your question is muffled by his lips.
He takes a break from your mouth by lightly pecking your cheek down your ear, where he slightly nibbles on the lobe before whispering, "I love you."
The sensation makes you moan out a bit of a "Nngh" as your fingers wrap themselves around the fabric of his shirt.
He pulls away with a dark hint to his smirk, and he murmurs, "I like that reaction, (Name)."
"Alfred," you finally gasp out, and you push him off.
The sexy look Alfred was working for breaks, and he stares at you, dumbfounded.
why were you
"I was nooot," he whines, pouting.
Yep, he is definitely back to his usual kid-mode.
"Okay, why were you sad? It's your birthday. Shouldn't you be outside releasing the fireworks and eating as many burgers as possible?"
"Well, how can I be happy if you're mad at me?"
You sigh, shaking your head. "I'm not mad at you."
"But you've been avoiding me all day!"
Your face turns red. "Yeah
I'm sorry. It is just
I've been shopping for your birthday present
and I couldn't find anything
because you already have everything
and I am so sorry
" You lower your gaze. "I really, really wanted to find you something perfect since this is your first birthday that we've spent as boyfriend and girlfriend, and
" You can feel hot tears spilling out, rolling down your pink cheeks before reaching your chin and plunging towards the bed. "A-arthur said
that you'd understand
you talked to Arthur
?" he asked quietly, and you weren't sure if he was mad or confused or relieved
"He called me and told me about how you were feeling
because I wasn't answering you
"Why did you pick up for him
and not me?" he asks, his look hardening. "Do you know how worried I've been all day? I kept thinking that you hated me or were mad at me or something bad had happened to you
This is definitely not how you expected him to take it. You expected him to laugh it off and hug you, to tell you he understood
just like Arthur said he would
"I called everyone, even your parents! Do you know how scared I was? (Name)
why did you have to ignore me?" he yells, and you stare at him as your heart rises in speed, as your whole body starts to shake. You try to contain the sobs within you. "(Name)
you're always the first to text in the morning. You've never missed a day of talking with me
even before we went out
I thought you wanted to break up
or that you were hurt or had passed out
I was scared
And he's right. He's so right. Even when the two of you were just friends, you'd always say hi to him, you'd always tell him good morning or inform him when you're busy that day. To have ignored him on his own birthday for the whole day
No wonder he is mad at you right now!
"I'm sorry," you gasp out as you climb out of his bed, trembling. "I didn't mean to
I was so focused on getting your present
I'm sorry, Alfred, for ruining your birthday
But he suddenly grabs you and presses his lips against yours, pulling you on top of him. "Don't cry!" he protests, and he sounds like a little kid. "I'm sorry for being so mean! So, don't cry!" You're staring at him with wide eyes, wondering why he switched emotions so quickly. "I was just scared
" he whispers before kissing your nose. "A-and
um, I kind of want to ask you something
" he says awkwardly, still holding you close to him. "Will you marry me?" he asks.
"Of course I will, Alfred," you murmur.
He pushes you off him, scrambling to get on one knee as he pulls out a black, velvet box from his pocket. Suddenly, you understand why he was so worked out; you weren't responding on the day that wasn't just his birthday but also the day he was planning to propose to you!
He takes your left hand in his, and he slides the silver ring into your hand. The ring has a sweet, simple design to it; it isn't too showy, but it isn't too reserved. The diamonds on it are beautiful.
You smile at the silly American, who can go from freaking out to warm and loving in seconds, and he grasps his face, wiping away the tears.
"C'mon!" he says excitedly as he pecks your forehead before pulling you to your feet. "Let's go see the fireworks!"
And that is where you go.
Fireworks are single-handedly one of the most spectacular sights in the world, and they fill the clear sky, lighting up the ground below each and every one of them.
It's already early morning, but the partying hasn't stopped, and it is already the fifth of July.
That is when you catch sight of himArthur!
Alfred is too fixated on the fireworks display and celebrating really loudly to notice, but after you pull on his hand a few times, he finally glances down
and notices him too.
Arthur comes up to the two of you, and he attempts a smile. "Happy belated birthday, Alfred," he says, holding out an arm.
You realize how painful this must be for him.
you came all the ways from England
for my birthday?" Alfred says, incredibly astonished. He starts laughing obnoxiously. "Ha! I knew the hero always prevails! I win! HELL YEAH!"
Arthur tries hard to keep in his temper. "Well, (Name) has been working hard trying to convince me for the past two weeks
I guess I am sort of like your birthday present from her to you." Arthur blushes when he says that, and as he glances down, he catches sight of your engagement ring. "Ah, congratulations. Am I invited to the wedding?"
"Yes," you say just as Alfred laughs loudly and says, "No way!"
You give him a scornful look before taking Arthur's hand, asking if he's hungry, and Alfred stops laughing. "I was only joking!" he protests. "(Name)! Don't
don't go inside with him! But you're my fiancée! (Name!) I HATE YOU, ARTHUR!" He's flailing his arms dramatically.
You giggle to yourself.
Silly American. Will he ever learn?