Happy Birthday Choc Lit: Marcy’s Dilemma by Angela Britnell

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A sweet little story by Angela Britnell about ‘a party princess’ and somebody who has never had a proper birthday celebration. Aww! 

This shouldn’t be so hard for a woman known as The Party Princess. Marcy would come up with the perfect idea for Jacca’s thirty-seventh birthday if it killed her.

She arranged spectacular birthday celebrations for a living and her outlandish themes, unique locations, spectacular food and signature cocktails were legendary. But worrying about this particular party had kept her awake for the last week.

He told you not to make a fuss.

Marcy came from a large, noisy family and although they weren’t rolling in money her parents always created the most fantastic parties. One of Marcy’s most treasured possessions was her birthday scrapbook capturing the yearly memories – something her parents did for each of their six children culminating with their eighteenth birthday bash. She still couldn’t get her head around Jacca’s recent sad admission.

What do you mean you’ve never had a birthday?

I never said that. Everyone has a birthday – as in the day they were bornI simply mean I’ve never had a birthday party.

His indifferent shrug hadn’t fooled her because she knew him too well. She’d fallen in love with Jacca at fifteen when her oldest brother brought him home from university for the Christmas holidays. When her mother asked the usual questions about his family Jacca gave them a bare bones story about his dysfunctional mother, absent father and the years he’d spent drifting through the foster care system. Afterwards he never spoke of it again. The tall, soft-spoken young man with the stormy grey eyes and tousled black hair turned her inside out then and still did today.

They’d been friends for nearly two decades when she had one too many margaritas after her own birthday party in February and admitted she loved him.

I love you too, Marcy, but I don’t know how to “do” a loving, lasting relationship. I’d break your heart.

Too late. You did that a long time ago. It’s been in two pieces all these years and I need you to put it back together. Give us a chance.

Last Wednesday they’d been lying in his bed, wrapped around each other under the warm fluffy covers in that wonderful half-drowsy state when something suddenly occurred to Marcy.

When is your birthday anyway? You’ve never told me.

The fifteenth.

The fifteenth of June! As in next week?

It’s one day out of three hundred and sixty-five. So what?

That’s when he’d dropped the no-birthday-party bombshell.

I’m going to make up for the thirty-six birthdays you’ve missed.

Don’t make a fuss, Marcy, please. It’s not a big deal.

She’d distracted him with a kiss and he’d foolishly assumed the discussion was over.

 ***

Marcy’s heart raced as she spotted Jacca heading her way across the restaurant.

‘Surprised?’

‘Pleasantly.’ His wry comment made Marcy’s cheeks burn. ‘No horde of people jumping out of the woodwork to wish me Happy Birthday or busty blonde stripper popping out of an enormous cake? You’re slipping.’

‘Cheesy isn’t my style,’ she scoffed.

He smiled and leaned in to kiss her before sitting down. ‘I know. Actually I’m relieved. I thought you’d ignore my warning.’

‘Who me?’ She picked up the menu. ‘I don’t know about you but I’m starving.’ Jacca’s suspicious glance increased her nervousness.

Somehow she got through the meal and then caught the waiter’s eye. He immediately brought over Jacca’s favourite chocolate cake and set it on the table.

‘Nice.’

‘Not too over the top?’

He cocked his head to one side. ‘No.’ Jacca’s dark eyes bored into her. ‘But you do “over the top” for a living.’

Marcy pulled out a black leather photo album from the bag stashed under her chair and laid it down. Next she retrieved a small gift-wrapped box and placed it in front of him. ‘In a minute we’ll have our picture taken to go in here.’ Marcy touched the album. ‘Hopefully the first of many—’ she caught her breath ‘but if you say no—’

‘Say no to what, Marcy?’

‘I know you haven’t celebrated your last thirty-six birthdays but I’m making sure you’ll never forget this one. Open the box.’

Jacca slowly removed the paper.

‘Don’t be afraid,’ she urged.

He tossed the lid to one side and discarded the crumpled tissue paper. Jacca read her handwritten note and a smile slid across his face.

‘You aren’t going to turn all macho and say you should be the one asking?’

Jacca shook his head. ‘Yes, I’ll marry you.’ He reached for her hand. ‘Will you marry me?’

‘Of course I will.’ She flung her arms around his neck and a camera flashed.

‘Surprise!’ A swarm of people poured out from behind the bar and all of Marcy’s family plus a large group of their friends surrounded the table. Indoor fireworks shot off around the room,  streamers cascaded down from the ceiling, a Mexican mariachi band launched into a raucous version of the traditional birthday song and a mass of golden balloons floated around them.

‘My mum vetoed the stripper,’ she whispered.

‘Thank goodness. How are you going to top this next year?’

Marcy smirked. ‘With a wedding. That’ll guarantee you never forget our anniversary. Happy Birthday!’

Jacca tightened his arms around her waist. ‘For some reason I’ve just become a big fan.’

Oh we love it! Brilliant happy ending by Angela. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face :)

   COMPETITION TIME!

If you enjoyed Angela’s story and would like to read more of her writing, then you’ll love this competition. For a chance to win a copy of Sugar and Spice and some goodies, simply tell us what you think of the story, either in the comments below or on the relevant Twitter/Facebook post. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts :)

You have until Friday 17th June to enter.

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10 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Choc Lit: Marcy’s Dilemma by Angela Britnell

  1. What a lovely start to celebrating your birthday. I bet his album will be full of some great photos.

  2. Happy birthday to Choc Lit and Jacca! What a happy story by my favorite author!

  3. Lovely! Certainly a great birthday surprise with photos to mark the occasion – my own parents married on my grandmother’s birthday so my father wouldn’t forget the date – honestly!

  4. He’s just a big softie that needed reassuring-aww. I love this character. Scrapbook is a fab idea and Marcy is a fascinating woman. Bet it killed her raining in her feelings for him over the years. Still, she got him in the end!

  5. What a lovely story, very romantic. Not sure how I’d react to a surprise party!

  6. So simple, such fun! Much sympathy for Jacca both for never having a party, then having that sprung on him.

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