"Mommy?" A young Cody asked, his arms wrapped around his teddy bear innocently.
"Yes, Cody?" her voice sounded dull and bored, as if she couldn't be bothered to talk to him.
"When's my birthday?"
"April 1st," she replied in monotone. Cody could see that she didn't want to continue the conversation, and he walked away, clutching his teddy bear for all it was worth.
April 1st, 1997
"Today is my birthday, Mommy. I'm six," he declared, using his fingers to count up.
"Happy birthday, Cody," his mom muttered to him.
"Are we going to celebrate?" Cody asked anxiously, the words barely escaping his mouth.
"I've got to work, sweetie. Maybe next year," his mom said, a fake smile spreading across her lips.
Cody didn't know what to say, so he just nodded and walked off.
March 3rd, 1998
"My birthday's next month, Daddy," Cody smiled, looking up at him.
"That's nice," his father replied, not really listening.
"Are you going to be there for it? Are you on another business trip?" Cody asked, his eyes filled with fear.
"No, son, I'll be there."
April 1st, 1998
"Mommy, where's Daddy?" Cody asked when breakfast was served, panicking as he looked around for him.
"He had to go out on a business trip for a week."
"But he promised he'd be there for my birthday! He said to me he would!" Cody cried angrily, his face crestfallen.
"This is very important, Cody. Now, I'll be at work until five, and then I'll come and collect you at Noah's. Noah's mom will come and pick you up from school, okay?
"Are we going to celebrate after?" Cody asked, wiping away his tears.
"Maybe, Cody, but it'll be a busy day. I might just want some sleep, okay? But next year, Cody. We'll celebrate next year."
March 7th, 1999
"Mommy, I want a Game Boy Color for my birthday this year," Cody tried, hoping that his mom might remember his birthday this year.
"We'll see," was his mom's automatic tone.
"You will remember my birthday, right?" Cody insisted.
"Of course, Cody. We'd never forget it."
April 1st, 1999
"Mom, did you get me any presents?" Cody asked, hopefully. He knew it was very rude to ask a question like this, but he couldn't help it.
"Why today, son? Didn't we get you an encyclopaedia at Christmas?"
"Mom, today is my birthday, and I asked for a Game Boy Color, you see," Cody continued, hoping this was just a joke.
"Maybe next year, Cody. You're Dad and I have to go out all day, so your aunt will be minding you."
"This always happens," Cody cried. "You always forget."
March 19th, 2000
"Auntie, why haven't me parents come home yet?" Cody asked, worryingly. "Are they going to be home for my birthday?"
"What did you say? Birthday? In our family we didn't celebrate birthdays and either will you," the aunt said, looking astonished. She slapped Cody across the face and then finished, "Now go and read that nice book I got you."
April 1st, 2000
"Are you okay, Cody?" said Gwen, his next door neighbour as they sat outside.
"Yeah, it's just that it's my ninth birthday, and I haven't got no presents or no cake, and my aunt says it's stupid to celebrate birthdays," Cody murmured angrily.
"How about your parents?" Gwen asked, intrigued.
"My parents haven't come home for a year. I miss them." There was an awkward silence as they stared at each other.
"Happy birthday Cody," Gwen asked, patting him on the back.
"It's just not the same, but thanks, Gwen," Cody said, lousily.
March 12th, 2001
"When are my parents coming home, auntie? Please tell me!" Cody begged, his eyes filled with tear.
"April 2nd," the aunt replied, looking at her nephew.
"But they'll miss my birthday!" Cody cried in despair.
"What have I told you about birthdays? We don't celebrate them," his aunt replied harshly to him.
April 1st, 2001
"They're coming tomorrow, I just know it. It's a pity they couldn't come today, but…maybe they'll bring me a present back from their trip?" Cody told Gwen in awe.
"I'd hope so. It's been two years since they last saw you."
"You're right. I'm ten now, they must have brought me home a present!"
March 24th, 2002
"Can I have a party, Mom? Can we celebrate my birthday? Can we have a cake, and can I have a Game Boy Advance, and will you be there?" Cody said, rushing in excitement.
"Maybe, darling. How old will you be? Eight?" his mom asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Mom, I'm going to be eleven! How could you forget? You were away for two years, and you didn't even bring me home a present!" Cody cried in anger.
"Don't go angry with me, sweetie. This year we'll make up for the years we missed."
April 1st, 2002
"MOM! Today you promised. You promised today mom," he shouted angrily as he stared at the note on the kitchen table, saying she had to go on a day trip with his Dad. He felt as if everything his parents had ever told him was a lie. Gwen knocked on the door as he finished his sentence.
"Cody, what's wrong?" Gwen inquired, her eyes wide and panicked.
"My parents. They've left me. Again."
"I'm sorry Cody," Gwen said to Cody. "They never celebrate. They'll do it next year, hopefully."
March 29th, 2003
"You'll be with me this year, right? You never are. I just want you to be there for me, Mom. Please stay," Cody begged.
"Cody, we'll see what comes up," Cody's Mom replied automatically.
"Can I at least have a cake? It doesn't have to be a big one, Mom. It can be really, really tiny."
"Cody, I told you that we'd see," his mom replied, slowly getting angry. Cody walked away, secretly knowing they probably won't be there.
April 1st, 2003
"I'm sorry they let you down again," Gwen said sympathetically.
"I suppose it's okay. Maybe one day they'll remember."
"I got you a present, although it's not much…" Gwen said nervously.
"What is it?" Cody asked, astonished that someone actually bothered.
"It's a Game Boy Advance…I had some pocket money, really-" Gwen started, but before she saw Cody cry.
"I'm sorry, I know it's pretty bad, and I know you wanted your parents to buy it or you, but…"
"It's the best birthday present ever, and it's also my first. Thanks, Gwen. I'll never forget this."
March 8th, 2004
Cody sat in silence, doing his homework as his Mom made dinner. He had given up on reminding her it was his birthday – she never remembered. He took out his Game Boy Advance he had got last year, and started playing it. He had got Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire for himself with his Christmas money he got from relatives, and he played it every single day.
"What are you doing, Cody?" his Mom asked, looking over at him.
"Just doing homework." He decided to give it one last shot. "My birthday is on April 1st, and I'm going to be thirteen. I thought we could go and do something, like go to the movies, or see a play, or even have a party."
"Why would you want to do that? There's hundreds of books in this house, and you could read them, couldn't you? Or do something educational? Why would you want to go and see a movie?"
Cody sighed angrily, "No reason." Having a dad that worked as a professor and a mum that worked as a psychologist was always difficult.
April 1st, 2004
I miss you when you're on holidays. Our other next door neighbour, Harold, just annoys me, so I've no one to talk to. It was the usual today…nothing. I don't mind as much as I used to, but it still sucks. Next year, maybe…I won't remind them anymore…it's pointless…
Cody Emmett Jameson Anderson.
April 1st, 2005
"Nothing?" Gwen asked again, her eyes wide at Cody.
"No. Absolutely nothing. I think they forget I'm here sometimes."
"But you aren't them. They don't remember me. They only ever had one child, and they forget I exist most of the time."
April 1st, 2006
"Happy birthday, Cody!" Gwen said enthusiastically.
"Thanks, Gwen," Cody mutters under his breath.
"My Mom and Dad left…"
"But they'll be back, right?"
Cody's eyes met Gwen's as she stared at him. She was already so much taller than him that she had to look up. "I don't know, Gwen. I really don't know."
April 1st, 2007
"I sent my audition tape for Total Drama Island this summer. Did you?" Gwen asked looking at Cody.
"Uh-huh. I just hope we both get in."
"It would be bad if only one of us got in, after all."
There was a silence for a second or two, before Gwen broke it by saying.
"Have you heard anything about your parents?" she asked anxiously.
"No. But it's okay. I think."
April 1st, 2008
When Sierra showed the cake to Cody, he nearly burst into tears. His parents had forgotten his birthday so often that he was genuinely surprised someone had remembered.
"Are you okay, Cody?" she asked sweetly to him.
Cody's eyes drifted to Sierra. "Yeah, Sierra. I am."
A/N – This took 155 minutes to write. That's the longest I've ever taken to write something. I like Cody, as you tell from the name. Cody was awesome in WT.
Hope you enjoyed this.
UPDATE: I've updated this so it sounds less British. Enjoy!