One Candle For Each
I stride through the hallway. It is the home of my childhood, a place I no longer live in. A small boy, maybe five, runs past me. He is being chased by another boy who looks slightly older.
I enter the living room.
It is filled with people of various ages. In the corner, a slim teenager with a dark ponytail converses intently with taller boy of similar coloring. Another two sit at the piano, taking turns playing. Their slim fingers dance across the keys, and occasionally they mark notes upon a sheet of blank musical staff. Amidst a large pile of Legos, several more children busily play, their blue eyes scraping the mess for the next piece needed.
I pass my father as he is handing a beer to the oldest, who notices me walking by.
“First?” I ask him.
He smiles. “Yeah. Cheers.”
Mother brings the candle-covered cake out and sets it on the table. We gather around, laughing and smiling. Everyone is delighted that, young and old, we have all arrived.
It is the day of my twenty-first birthday.
I am seventeen.