18th June, 11:00 P.M.It was past office hours when the members of the Events and Festivals team of the Crazy Creative Company popularly known as C3 were sitting in the conference room, attending one really late meeting."Ladies! Pay attention!" Yuvika, the Birthday team leader slapped her hands over the desk demanding attention.Mahi rubbed her eyes open, Arthy shook her head in annoyance, Sayani and Meena yawned while Nishi just leaned back on her chair and closed her eyes, "Yuvika we have already been over this 5 times! I know it like the back of my hand now. Can we just end it here? We are humans and humans need sleep", Nishi huffed.Rolling her eyes Yuvika replied, "Fine! Fine! Go!" And everybody ran as fast as they could.
19th June, 8:00 A.M.
At Annie's place;
Annie woke up with a huge smile on her face. "What's the day today? It's my birthday!" grinning widely she hopped out of the bed. Turning on the music player, she danced a little as she did her routine chores.
Crazy Creative Company's basement
"Mahi what are you doing? Come help us with these.", Arthy pointed at the packets of balloons. As according to the plan, the E&F teams members were decorating the basement for Annie's surprise birthday party."Why did we even agree to this plan? It's the Birthday team's job to do all this, not ours", Mahi said."Well because it's a surprise birthday party and Annie shouldn't know about this. We all work in the same office and if the Birthday team members were here instead of us then Annie would have guessed they are planning something for her. That's why they need to be in their office right now so that Annie would think that they aren't doing anything for her birthday", Sayani explained."Wow", Nishi murmured sarcastically but continued blowing balloons.Suddenly Meena came rushing, "Guys, Annie arrived. It's time", she breathed out.
E&F Department, Annie's cabin
Humming her favourite song Annie entered her cabin. It was when she sat on her chair that she noticed that all the members of her team were absent. "The whole team isn't here, why so?" she thought.She then busied herself with the final changes in the upcoming festivities plan. All that ended within 30 minutes. Hadn't I informed them that we had to start preparing for June's events and festivals?! How can they all be so careless?! she thought. The actual reason behind her anger was that it had been 45 minutes and nobody had come to wish her."Where the hell are they?!" Just then her phone started ringing."Good God Nishi! Where are you?" she asked."Annie!" Nishi cried."What? What happened? Why are you crying?" Annie asked, the worry evident in her voice."She died! She died Annie! She left me alone in this harsh world.", Nishi started wailing."Nishi...Nishi stop crying." Annie said softly, "Who died?" "Bobo, my hamster. My one and only best pet friend in the whole world. I used to share everything with her ", Nishi replied, sniffling.A mixture of amusement and irritation replaced the initial worry, "You had a hamster named Bobo?""Yeah." Nishi sobbed, "I just called to inform that I wouldn't be able to come today, I have to prepare for my Bobo's funeral.""Oh okay", Annie ended the call. "Rest in peace Bobo-the hamster... You are more lucky than me... you die and get a funeral, its my birthday and I don't even get a birthday wish" thought Annie sadly.
After a minute her phone rang again."Hey Meena. Why aren't you here girl?" Annie asked."Annie...I can't come in today. Actually Naina went into labour early this morning, so I took her to hospital. Sorry I can't come today", Meena informed."Naina who? Your sister?" asked Annie.Meena laughed, "No. Naina is my pet Labrador. Oh she just gave birth to her third son. I have to go, okay bye!" and the line went dead.
After 5 minutes Annie's phone rang once again.
"Yes Sayani.""Annie", came Arthy's voice. "Arthy? Are you with Sayani right now? Where are you two?" Annie questioned.
"Yeah I am with Sayani right now, we are searching for Titu. He went missing this morning and the police won't file a missing complaint because of the 24 hours timeline. So I am helping Sayani find Titu.""Titu? Hmm. Sayani's dog?" Annie asked rolling her eyes. "No. Her parrot", replied Arthy slightly irritated that Annie didn't know who Titu was. Before Annie could say anything, Arthy had hung up.
After 10 minutes"So Mahi, let me guess. Your grandma's cat broke her leg when she jumped off a tree and because you have to take care of her that's why you can't come today. Am I right?" said Annie.
"Annie", Mahi sounded surprised, "How did you know that?"
"You look after your cat. I have to go somewhere. Bye."
Crazy Creative Company's basement"Ouch!" Mahi giggled as she ended the call. "She sounded annoyed and angry.""She'll be alright. Once she sees that cake she will forget everything else." Said Sayani admiring the cake on the table before them.
"Looks like they forgot that it's my birthday today", Annie pouted, "Maybe the Birthday team members are planning something for me. I should go and check." Feeling happy she walked out of her cabin and went towards the birthday department's office.She knocked at the door before entering. "Oh. Hey Annie", Greeted Sidra. "Why are you standing there? Come on in and have a seat.""I hope I am not disturbing you guys", Annie said, smiling."Nah! We are not that busy. So what brings you here?" asked Sam as she sipped her coffee."Nothing. I was getting bored so I came here", replied Annie all the while looking around to find the desks of every team member empty. "Seems like they have forgotten my birthday too," thought Annie to herself."Even I am feeling bored. Annie, come, let's play ludo. Har, Debo do you also wanna play?" Megha tapped her fingers over the ludo board.Annie smiled forcibly as Debo and Har nodded in positive and went over to Megha's desk, "Come on Annie join us.""Oh..actually I just remembered that I have some work pending. So I'll just go. Bye." And she literally ran out of the room."Ludo. Seriously?" Maliha chuckled.
"Looks like everybody forgot that it's my birthday today." Annie felt sad. "I should focus on doing something productive rather than thinking about those forgetful people!" she huffed and started working on the June events and festival plans.
Annie saved the word document and sighed, "At least now I won't have to worry about the whole planning issue", she switched off the laptop, picked up her bag and walked out of her cabin. It was time to leave. She was still feeling depressed and angry.Just as she was about to step inside the elevator, someone came from behind and blindfolded her. "What? Who are you? What's going on?" Annie yelled but she got no response.
"Leave me!" she tried to get out of her captivator's hold but couldn't. She was scared now, her special day had just turned more horrible."Please let me go", She felt her blindfold being removed and had to blink her eyes thrice in order to adjust to the bright light.
"Surprise!" she heard.
"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Annie! Happy birthday to you." All the members of E&F team and Birthday team sang in chorus.Instead of the happy and surprised reaction that they all were hoping for, Annie's face was blank. "Hey! Aren't you happy?" Ramya asked, smilingly.Annie smiled in response, "Whose brilliant plan was this by the way?""Well it was Har who originally suggested the idea but we all added something something and modified it", Yuvika replied."Oh." She smiled, "In that case you all deserve this."
"This." Annie replied as she emptied the huge jar containing fruit punch over her fellow team members. "Thanks for the cake!" She covered the box containing her favourite cake, picked it up and walked away leaving behind her now drenched in fruit punch fellow members.