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I’ve always wanted someone to throw me a surprise party, but to date no one has. Today my dad did the next best thing though. All week he’s been telling me about this “thing” he can get a hold of that no 21st birthday party should be without.

He gave me clues like that parts of it were silver, if there were more than 6 guests, they’d have to share, he’d show me how to plug it in and operate it etc.

My grandma knew about it but she wouldn’t tell me a thing. My mum, in Vietnam, knew about it and told me that it wasn’t silver but lots of colours and that it would probably need two power points.

I txted dad everyday with new guesses. A fondue fountain? A duke box? A disco ball? A photobooth? A ball pit? A confetti machine? To each he answered “Maaaaayyyybbeeeee”. I even guessed he might fly my sister down for the weekend but when I called to ask what her plans were she told me her weekend would be full of assignments and work.

He told me he’d come round at 8 on Saturday morning to show me how to set the “thing” up. I set my alarm for 7.30, expecting enough time to wake up and shower before he arrived. Unfortunately at 7.34 he txted me to say he’d be arriving in 15mins, so I opened the locks on the door and jumped in the shower.

Shortly before I’d finished my shower I heard my phone buzzing. I thought it was dad calling so I just yelled out that it was unlocked so he could let himself in. The missed phone call was actually from my sister and I decided I’d call her back after I saw dad this “thing” he was bringing.

I walked out into the loungeroom and said hi and gave dad and Anke (my step mum) a hug and followed dads directions into the kitchen where I saw an inflatable cake that I’d briefly contemplated buying for myself. Then Toni, my sister, stepped out from behind the cake and scared the shit out of me! Dad had flown her and her friend Eloise down for the weekend and everyone who knew about it had kept it a secret from me.

Best birthday surprise ever.