Today is the birthday of my heart, whom I cherish for his love, his trust and most of all, the light he shares with me every day…
And the light I share with him always in return…
A Present Given
By Tera for James
There are, for Tera at least, no better days in her life than when she can give to her family. A hug, a smile, something to make their day brighter. When the day is a birthday as well, then Tera tries, very much, to make it something more.
It’s not easy though.
She has the reputation of spending months, sometimes years, looking for the perfect gift, the exactly right moment, to make sure that all that she wants to be perfect…
When her heart’s birthday arrives, it is a day when she would happily give him a parade that shows just how many that know him wish him well. But she wouldn’t do that because her heart doesn’t feel that he deserves such a thing. He is, after all, modest and all.
She could, possibly, paint a banner saying Happy Birthday and tie it between two of the trees in her heart’s backyard and wait there for him to appear on his way to the Koi pond. But again, making a fuss over him would be embarrassing and so she couldn’t quite manage that either.
Perhaps appearing at his front door, a birthday cake in her hands, candles upon it, devil’s food cake of course with red frosting. Tail and Baker would be quite pleased to make that happen. But again, the fuss would be a bit much and so, again, she couldn’t do that.
But there was something she could do.
The thing about being the Succubi Queen was that trying to blend into a crowd wasn’t easy to do. Calling Tera a “sore thumb” would be a bit much, but, she would gain attention from others, be the focus of attention and she was used to that.
The thing was, she didn’t want to be. Not in this day especially. She had spent quite a lot of time thinking about this. She had an idea, and wanted to make it happen, but, to keep her heart from being embarrassed about it, she needed to blend into the background…
..as hard as that was going to be.
The first thing she had to do was gather the gift she was going to give to him. The box was small, it didn’t need to be larger than something she could slip into her hand. A simple white box with a red ribbon holding it together and a red bow on top. Few would realize that the bow, when you looked at it, almost looked like a pair of horns, but then she was trying to be discrete wasn’t she?
Well, she thought she was.
Tera did try to tone down her looks, as hard as that was to believe. Her hair a bit less wild, her looks a little less than she was. The red dress not quite so form fitting, the shoes with a slightly lower heel, the black coat long and concealing as much as she could. It would not do to embarrass him. Tera was trying very much not to do that.
The morning arrived and she left, present in hand and crossed over to the fence, managing not to catch herself on it as she made her way to the Koi pond. She paused there and made sure that the fish were fed some bread she brought along. Then, quietly past her heart’s home, he and his beloved were away of course.
On this day, he had always told her, there were others more important than him. Tera understood why he said that, understood why it would matter to him. But the thing of it was… Tera couldn’t accept that. It wasn’t right, to her, that he couldn’t accept that he was, to those that knew him, wanted him to have his moments as well.
She passed through the backyard and made her way along the streets, her heels clicking on the sidewalk, the gift held in one hand, and, yes, trying very much to blend into the background as much as she could.
She first saw her heart and his beloved at the ceremonies on that day, leading all of them in the moment to remember, the pause that was asked of on this day. It was, as he had told her, a special moment, and she was happy to be at the very back of the gathering, sharing the moment, and just watching him share his light to all.
The next time was at the gathering afterwards, greeting those that needed comfort, sharing moments with those that wished to tell of their lives, giving of himself because that was who he was.
For which, Tera was always more thankful than she could explain to him… but she didn’t interfere. She circulated around, gave comfort as she could to those that she felt needed her. She was taking with an older gentleman, and he was that, a gentleman, when she suddenly chuckled to herself at a thought and excused herself.
Tera watched her heart for a bit longer, knowing that he would give and give and never think of himself, which did remind her of herself and that was what gave her a smile. Still, she decided that it would be best to leave her gift at his home, they would find it there later and she turned to leave.
But a voice stopped her.
It wasn’t her heart, no it was his beloved.
“Tera, you are embarrassing him.”
She was confused, she thought that all she did was for the best, that it would make things better and easier for them both, but now she found doubts creeping in…
“I… I thought that…”
“Tera, you not being you makes you more obvious. He knows you are here, I picked you out the moment you arrived.”
“Didn’t want to… didn’t want to overshadow him… you both…”
She sighed, “Oh we both know that. But you are as much a part of our life as we are of yours. He’d let you hide your horns and tail from everyone else, but we can see them. He would allow you to not take the limelight, but, you trying to hide all you do and are isn’t going to work.”
Tera took hold of one of her hands and smiled wanefully, “When did you know?”
She smiled, “The moment to started to make people smile and have some light in their lives of course. That’s your gift isn’t it?”
“It’s that obvious is it?”
“Well, of course it is. We know you well enough, long enough to know.”
Tera was embarrassed. She should have know better really, but her own worries overcame that and then some.
“I’d best go. Will you give him this?”
“You should give it to him yourself.”
“I give it to him every moment of my life you know.”
She hugged Tera warmly and nodded, “We both know and feel it everyday.”
Tera placed the small gift in her hands, tapping the bow on it once.
“A gift given, is more than a gift shared.”
She held the gift carefully and nodded, “Still, you aren’t leaving Tera.”
Tera was confused.
“I have to go.”
“No, you have to get over this idea of you hiding around here, be you, go with me to see him, and share with us.”
“I really shouldn’t…”
“You know, you are his gift, mine too, and you can’t leave because I said so.”
It was obvious that Tera was uncertain and her heart’s beloved added. “We have tea and cookies and we are not going to be able to finish them ourselves.”
Tera laughed, “Can’t say no to that can I?”
“No, you can’t. Now let me see the Queen, and then I’m going to guide you where you should be…”
Tera held up one finger, “Where we both should be.”
Tera allowed herself to be the Queen again, save the horns and tail, it wouldn’t do, not in public at least.
“That’s better. He would be unhappy with you otherwise.”
“I don’t want to be the…”
“Yes, yes… I know, you are exactly like him that way aren’t you?”
Tera winked, “Family trait you know.”
She laughed, “Yes, we know it well, but not today. Not today.”
The two women joined hands and then made their way towards the one that mattered most to them both.
They found him still sharing his light, being wonderful as he always was, not seeing the gifts he had or the wonderful person he was.
At least until he saw his beloved and his dear one there holding the gift in their hands and knew…
For the gift was to be shared for the joy that they all knew…
Happy Birthday my heart…
And thank you for being part of my life…