I love days consisting of Starbucks coffee in the early afternoon. She gets a spinach muffin and I don’t understand. I get a blueberry muffin (clearly the more sensible flavour) and laugh at how late we’re going to be. I’m completely inconsiderate about time. I need to stop being late. I was late to my own birthday – half an hour to be exact, and it could’ve cost me a table. In order to compensate/apologize for my tardiness, I promise to buy Katie a vanilla latte.
After the fashion show, we decide that no, we don’t want to go out. We want to stay at home, sprawl on the chairs and slouch in our clothes. It’s just too much effort to move. We call up a sushi place, check Ebeneezer’s and McD’s but they either don’t do delivery or they don’t answer our calls. Finally, we settle on KFC and order wings, crisscross fries and chicken rice. To top it off, I open a bottle of white. Then, we feast and talk because there is never a shortage of words and comfortable silences to share amidst bites of crispy chicken.
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It’s my birthday. I go for a run for some alone-time before dinner and thank God for life. Running just makes you more aware that you’re breathing; my muscles tell me I’m here.
He calls and says he’s close by, deciding to bring me the letter himself before I meet the girls. I try to piece the letter together (it’s cut into squares) but the wind is determined to wreck my life. So I have a quick look through the sections of photos he’s printed out (on the flip-side of the writing) and tuck them back into the envelope. Safe.
I’ve booked a table at a steakhouse when most people I’ve invited don’t even eat red meat. My bad. The salmon and chicken are delectable but the poor vegetarians have only potatoes and steamed vegetables to eat. My besties are late but I let them off because they have something planned for me- I can’t wait for the cherry on top of my birthday when we finally come home.
The waitresses come out with a cake and candles, and everyone starts singing the birthday song. What is one to do in a situation like this? Sing along and smile because there is nowhere to hide. But I’m officially embarrassed, surrounded by the eye of multiple iPhone cameras and making an appearance on snapchat stories. As we dig into the slice of tiramisu cake, I take out the puzzle pieces from the envelope and arrange them into the letter. I’m touched by his fatherly tone, the protective, caring voice in his words. “He’s in love with you”, my friends say. But I know that’s not true. He’s just one of the more sensitive, sentimental guys I have the pleasure of knowing, whose friendships with people are more like the friendships between girls (because somehow girl-girl friendships are different from boy-boy ones). I reach into the envelope and find the USB that he mentioned, stocked with a plethora of high quality torrented movies. Sweet.
“ID”, he gives us his best poker face. We show him with arrogant smiles and I can’t help but laugh at her memorable “HA!” That playful, mocking tone is exactly what he deserved. Yeah we’re 18! #served
The very best thing about my 18th was the words I received. How crazy it is to think that some people appreciate me the way I appreciate them! How lovely it is that some people think I’m one-of-a-kind, that I’m a loving person and friend. I could not ask for more. I hold the letters close to my heart, strapped to my chest, and hope to keep them forever. My incredible friends have a way of making me cry happy tears… Nothing can explain how blessed and humbled I am.