It was a great birthday, my friends and their parents both surprised me with a trip. It would be a birthday to remember and one of the only I cared to actually think about. Then an overwhelming sense of dread came over me. The trip home I suddenly found myself not able to hold down my birthday cake. Pulling up to the driveway I could see, with the light on, my grandmother in her bedroom on the second story.
By the time we got to the door, she was already waiting. It would be a feat that I would never see again; how she flew down those stairs I will never figure out.
The two friends who were with me were scared already. My grandmother, keeping up appearances smiled at the parents and thanked them for taking me.
But then the door shut.
‘Go to your room’
It would be a beating I would never forget, which is saying something in the scale of abuse I took from her. My presents were taken and thrown away and I would cling, desperately, to the memories of the earlier hours of the day, instead of the abuse that occurred that night.
That would be the last birthday I ever celebrated.
Most who know me don’t know when my birthday is, I don’t care to tell them and no one really cares to ask. Birthdays are usually announced by the person and that was fine by me.
I woke up with a sense of dread. The teeth of the monster called anxiety already gnawing on my insides. Something BAD was going to happen, I knew it.
But then I was showered with gifts, something that made me horribly uncomfortable, gifts were given in my household to only be taken away after the photos and bragging. But these weren’t and I knew they wouldn’t be. It didn’t quell the feeling of anxiety, but I hoped that I could somehow muster the energy to fight off those feelings in my gut.
A late lunch or early dinner thus followed. Chuck E. Cheese was where we went to celebrate [really!], it would be my first time going and let me say, it was worth it. I had a ton of fun despite the anxiety and the feelings I had. The ones where if the walls were to crumble down around me, all the other kids and my wife vanished, and all that was left was sorrow and torment… well, let’s just say, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
Then the ice cream cake, I had never had ice cream cake before [watch out for the blue frosting that stuff stains skin, teeth, tongue, everything]. On the scale of life, it was a religious experience. No, the cake wasn’t that mind blowing good, it was incredible don’t get me wrong, but what made it so great was the fact that my wife, had planned all this out.
So with a few small tears for the gift that was given to me, not the food, not the presents, but for the woman who loves me, my wife, who would do something like that for me. I am now happy to announce that my last birthday, was the best birthday.
Which was a gift I never thought I would ever get.