Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Make a Wish
Oh God. There's nothing worse than having a group of people screaming at you at the top of their lungs. Edward hated surprises. He hated his birthday. He hated people remembering his birthday by yelling surprise as he walked in his front door. All he wanted was to sit on his couch with a cold bottle of beer, and have his brain drip out of his ear as he watched really bad porn. Porn so bad it didn't even arouse him anymore, just embarrassed him. Because at the age of forty nine he shouldn't need to watch porn anymore. Except he wasn't forty nine. Because today was his birthday.
People began to crowd around him, kissing his cheek, shaking his hand, patting him on the back. He put his brief case down and began to take off his jacket, loosening his tie as he walked towards the kitchen. Carla was standing in the middle, like a captain at command, sending out hot hors d'oeuvres and drinks to the assembled masses. A saucy grin appeared on her lips as she caught his eye; she paused momentarily to inspect a stuffed mushroom concoction before launching it, then opened the refrigerator, pulling out a bottle of his favorite imported beer. She deftly flipped the cap off, then sauntered over to him. She handed him the bottle as she stood on tip toe, planting a soft kiss on his lips.
"Surprise," she whispered softly.
He took the beer and chugged half of it down in one gulp. Damn, that was fine beer. He burped loudly and leaned against the counter top, giving her a look mixed with disappointment and resentment.
"You promised you wouldn't do anything."
She patted his hand, and nodded her head towards a large woman in bright colors, yards of beads jumbled up around her neck and wrists.
"I didn't. Aunt Molly has been planning this for the last five months. Molly said your mother would have wanted this, since she missed so many of your birthdays when you were little."
He winced as he took another swig of beer.
"When your mother dies in child birth, she misses all of your birthdays when you're little."
"I know. Molly's heart is in the right place, it's just her head . . "
"Is firmly up her . . ."
Carla nudged him as Molly appeared, her face sweaty, her eyes moist and puffy. Molly staggered a little as she flung her arms around Edward's neck.
"There's my sweet boy! Happy birthday darling! It seems like only yesterday you were born! Where has the time gone? Oh my sweet, darling boy!"
She began to sprout fresh tears, letting her head fall against Edward's chest, leaving fresh stains of mascara and lip stick on his shirt. Edward sighed, and put his arms around her, hugging her tight, his hands patting her back.
"I hear all this was your idea, Molly Dolly. Don't you know I hate people making a fuss on my birthday?"
Molly lifted her head, a look of shock and pain appearing with fresh tears.
"Oh, Teddy Bear, I know, but it's a special birthday, you're fifty! You've lived twice as long as your dear mother."
The tears came harder now as she clung to him.
"Oh, Teddy Bear, fifty years! Do you know what it's like to lose your twin? Fifty years is such a long time to be alone."
Edward looked at Carla. He didn't know which was worse, still being called "Teddy Bear" at the half century mark, or having to hear the story of the missing twin once more. They weren't even identical. Carla came up and managed to pull Molly off of him. She wiped the old woman's eyes, making her blow her nose like a toddler after a tantrum. Carla smiled sweetly at her.
"Did I show you the cake Auntie? It has lovely little bears on it, just like you wanted."
Molly brightened up, and turned towards her nephew, pinching the side of his cheek.
"Nothing's too good for my little boy."
Edward gave her a tired smile, then looked out towards the throng milling about his living room. He could hear Molly's happy exclamations behind him as she saw the cake, then felt Carla's hands wrap around his waist. He looked down and kissed the top of her head. She stood on tip toe again, whispering in his ear.
"Don't worry, birthday boy. I made everyone agree to leave after two hours. My parents will take Molly to their house for the night, so we can have some alone time. I'll be able to give you your present in private."
Edward looked at his wife; she really was amazing. Not many women would be willing to accept an elderly relative into their home, especially one with such a slippery grasp on reality like Molly. He kissed Carla again, then once more, just for good measure.
"When we're alone, will we have a chance to get naked?"
That marvelous saucy grin reappeared; God, he loved to see that look on her face.
"I guess that depends on what you wish for when you blow out your candles, Teddy Bear."
Edward laughed; Molly began to laugh too, clapping her hands in delight. Edward put one arm around her, the other around Carla. The three of them walked into the living room, ready to celebrate.