The Birthday That Changed My Life

The Birthday That Changed My Life


A series of letters found in an old chest at the home of Marianne Beachley after her death. They have been placed in order and published so that all the world may find the intriguing story within. The tale of a young girl beginning with the birthday that changed her life.


Dear Marianne                                          MARCH 14th 1868


I hope you are doing well, yesterday was my fifteenth birthday as you know, but I have to tell you all about it because the most extraordinary thing happened…

I woke up with a sense of great expectancy, today is my birthday I thought. Kate sat up yawning in the bed beside me. “Well Sue, are you excited?” I laughed, was I excited? I was popping!

“Remember to dress well, just in case Mother has something up her sleeve” said Kate. I stared at her, then I remembered. On Kate’s 15th birthday Mother had planned a surprise party, Kate of course did not know about it and came downstairs in her dressing gown; fortunately it was an all girls party that time. I dressed up for a party and the Kate and I did each other’s hair.
I ran down the stairs with my eyes closed (that was stupid of me by the way) and waited to hear the customary “surprise!!” Nothing happened. I opened my eyes and found that it was just me and Mother and Kate, no one else was there, there was no party. Trying to hide my disappointment, I kissed Mother good morning and we went to eat breakfast.
“Well dear” Mother said after we had all finished eating, “it is time to see your presents.” I opened all my present pretty quick as you might imagine. I will tell you what I got in another letter, but this one must be finished so that I can mail it by the noon post. Anyway…

After I was done Mother said: “now dear, it is time for the big and the best surprise.” They led me to the parlor, and made me close my eyes before they would open the door.
“Open up!”
Sitting in one of the chairs was a young man, just a little older than myself. He looked very excited about something, but I was too disappointed to notice.
And oh Marianne! Do you know what I said, I didn’t think I could be that rude. I actually said: Mother, if this is your idea of a joke, I don’t like it. This is not even classified as a present and I will not speak to him, now if you will excuse me, I must be going now. Then I actually stuck my tongue out at the poor man. It still makes me blush to think about it.
“Susan! Wait until you hear what the man has to say.”
“Well…” I looked at the man.
“I…uh…well, I am from the BTSD (Barley Town Space Depot) and I was sent to bring you your license, and offer you a scholarship in the advanced training program,and offer you a job. All the details are written down here.”

Oh Marianne! You can only imagine how thrilled I was. And it is true, tomorrow is Monday and I will be going in to my first training session. I am so excited and I will try to write you everyday, but I am going to be so gloriously busy. I can’t wait to see you this summer and wish you the best of luck with your play. I am so sorry that I can’t come, there is absolutely no hope now that I have this job. Kate is over the top happy as well because she is going to River Town next week after all.

Much Love


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