Life as I Know It · My Writing · Singledom

A Soured Birthday

As I normally do, here is your introduction to this story. As I previously mentioned, I wrote it at six in the morning because of my lovely father. As I lay on my sister’s bed, my entire body (including my head) covered by a moth-worn blanket listening to E.S. Posthumus’ NaraI got this thought of Scott on that fateful birthday. And as I wrote this story, thoughts were bombarding me. I realized I had sent him a birthday email in 2009, but he never replied back to it. That was the day that I began to think he was never going to speak to me again. Its tone is that of a memoir, so I cannot submit it for my CW paper next week. Besides, I want to be able to share it with you lovely people, and not have my CW instructor think I nicked it from this site.

Every October, he waited for that email. Though they were no longer together, he waited to receive that email. For the last three years, she always sent him an email that wished him a happy birthday. Though he’d lost the novelty in birthdays, she always found a way to make the day special for him, even though they hadn’t seen one another since a warm January afternoon that she cherished more than he had. He felt this birthday would be no different. He’d be turning 27 that year, a birthday that reminded him that his twenties were approaching their end.

He awoke that October 9, and did his normal morning routine, getting ready for work. He got a phone call from his parents, wishing him a happy birthday. It always seem more genuine coming from his mother’s mouth than his father’s. He could sense from his father’s tone that his mom had made him say it, and that always left a bitter note on his tongue. It irked him that his father had that disconnect, for whatever reasons he had. But his mom could always be counted upon to make him feel good, even if birthdays seemed meaningless, except to remind us we’re getting older and that our days of fun have been over for some time.

He went to work, spending the day occasionally thinking of her. She was now on the West Coast, close to where he had wanted to live at one point. She hated it. She longed to be back on the East Coast, enjoying the bitterness of the winter and the closeness of his presence. He thought: At this moment, she could be emailing me. She hasn’t missed a beat in three years. It was just her way. Though he hurt her badly, she never failed to send him an upbeat message that always made the day just a bit more bearable than it had been. And as the day went on, he wanted that email more than anything.

He rushed home that night, ate his dinner, and sat down in front of his computer. He was playing back some music he had recorded a few days earlier; when he remembered he hadn’t checked his emails that day. He clicked into Gmail, and scoured the senders for her familiar name.

She wasn’t there.

A part of him, however small that part may have been, was somber. They had been exchanging emails lately, and her tone was basically her usual excitement. She hated where she was living, missing the East Coast lifestyle something terrible, but she was always happy to hear from him. It was like he was the one bright thing she had in her life at that moment. So he was kind of shocked that she hadn’t sent him an email. He decided to check his MySpace account, but there wasn’t anything there, either. Maybe his tone in his last few messages indicated she shouldn’t email him like she would have on this date.

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