Brynn doesn't think much of birthdays. They are like any other day. You just happened to be born on that one. This one promises to be particularly lousy. After a bad day at work, hope comes in the ...
Most people expect some kind of special treatment on their birthday. As if the sheer fact that they were born merits some big parade. Hell, everyone is born on some day. It doesn't make you special that you were born on the 17th of June, or even the 29th of February. You had to be born sometime, so who cares when it was? The presents are cool, but who should really be given gifts for being born? You had no control over that. It wasn't some great feat on your part. Your mother should be given gifts on the day you were born, for pushing your little baby body out of her own. Not to mention the nine months she carried you around. Even your father should be given gifts, for having to put up with your hormonal mother...but, what are you being rewarded for? Existing? You do that every day. Big deal. Congratulations.
My birthday is no different, nor is it usually treated as such. I think we're having a birthday cake for me later on, but I'm not sure if anything else is going on. It seems like no one is around. Pete's on tour in god knows where. I stopped keeping track. Just tell me when he's back in Chicago where he belongs. Until then, it's just me. I'm fine with that, but I'd be even finer with him being around. Too bad for me, I guess. I'll hang around the house, alone. Normally, when there is no party planned, I have him to spend it with. I guess this is a drawback to the rock star boyfriend - unpredictable schedules.
Happy birthday, June 17th babies. Hope it's happier for you than I.
She dated the page and closed her journal, sticking it under her mattress, where it always was when her pen wasn't writing away in it's seemingly endless pages. Brynn pulled herself out of bed, frowning at the mirror in the bathroom. It was a cruel critic and seemed to show her every flaw, on this particular morning more than others. Now, she wasn't one to think everything should go peachy, just because it's her birthday, but she always kind of kept the optimism that it would. She didn't expect special treatment, but she sure as hell hoped for it.
On the radio, she heard traffic was brutal, so she stopped off at 7-11 to get a coffee and a bite to eat. It was a few minutes before she pulled out of the spot, but someone pulled out behind her and she had to stop suddenly. Coffee everywhere.
"Damnit!" She yelled out, slamming her hands down on the steering wheel. Cars honked at her, which only served to frustrate her more. Calming herself down, she pulled some napkins out of the glove box and started sopping up the mess. She frowned, wishing she had drank more of the coffee while she was sitting there, instead of saving the majority for the ride. Some ride it was going to be, now. Drenched in coffee. She pulled out of the spot and got on the road, catching every green light, which made her smile a little. It was making up for lost time.
That was short lived, however. Once she got on the highway, the roads were so congested that it would have been faster to walk. Literally. She contemplated it, but realized how stupid that would be. Sighing, she stuck it out. There was no where to go. She couldn't even pull off to attempt some alternate route. She was stuck there.
"Why are you so late?" Her boss yelled at her, as she walked in.
"Traffic." She mumbled under her breath, shaking her head in a dismissive way.
"You're an hour late, Ms. Moore. I can't have this happening."
"With all due respect, Mrs. Garcia," She began angrily, spinning around to face her, "You know as well as any one else in this office that I am always on time. I never use traffic as an excuse unless it is exactly what happened. I am not having a good day and I am trying as best I can to just get through it, alright?" She spoke quickly, breathlessly, exhilarated by her courage to finally tell her boss off.
"I am not concerned with your bad day. I am not having a good day, either, but I managed to get myself here on time. Don't use excuses; they'll backfire on you." Mrs. Garcia shook her head and walked away.
The rest of her work day was no better. Whether it was the shortage of staples, the paper jam in the printer, the second cup of coffee she managed to spill on herself, or the specialty ink cartridge she misplaced, it was always something. She was never happier in her life for her lunch break.
Rather than purchase yet another cup of coffee to further ruin her jeans with, she decided to walk around, instead. There were a few interesting stores in that neighborhood, that she had always meant to pop into. It was a good day to finally treat herself to that. In the first store she entered, a gorgeous pair of jeans struck out at her. They were slim fit with sequins and a satin belt, with fabric hanging off to the side. She adored them. Reaching into her pocket, she went to pull out her wallet. But, it didn't happen. It wasn't there. She never kept her wallet anywhere but in her pocket, so it must have fallen out. She hoped to god it was in the car, because she was flat out screwed, otherwise.
Her lunch hour was drawing to a close, and she walked out of the store, crestfallen. It almost pained her to leave the pants behind, but with no money, what was she going to do? She walked back into her office building, not wanting to deal with the frustrations that came with her job. But, that's how it was. Birthday or not, she had work to do.
The wallet was nowhere to be found. Not in her office, not in the car, not anywhere. She knew she at least had it while she was in the car, so there was no chance she left it at home. She drove home, miserably, trying to keep her focus on the road, and not the thousands of things troubling her. She didn't even want to go to her parents' for cake. It's her birthday, and she should have been allowed to do what she wanted. All she wanted to do was get drunk and go to sleep. But, she knew that her parents would be horribly disappointed if she failed to show up, and it was her gift to them to do so.
After taking a long warm shower and changing her clothes, she left her house once again. She tried as hard as she could to smile while she drove, hoping to get into the habit for when she was in her parents' house. It was to no avail. It was just going to have to come naturally, or not at all.
"Brynn, happy birthday, sweetheart!" Her mother smiled, greeting her at the door. She gave her a big hug and an even bigger smile. Brynn smiled slightly, for her mother's sake.
"Thanks, Mom. Who's here?"
"Oh, just me and your father."
"As usual." She shrugged slightly, brushing it off.
"Is Brynn here?" Her father's voice questioned from another room.
"She's here! The birthday girl is here. The guest of honor!" Her mother said brightly, leading her into the house, "Right on time."
"Why? What's going on?" Brynn asked, looking at her.
"We just got back with the cake. Oh, if you had come even five minutes earlier, we wouldn't have been here. How disappointing would that have been?" She laughed, shaking her head. Brynn smiled and walked into the dining room, sitting down at the head of the table as was Moore family tradition for birthdays.
"Come on, let's get on with the cake." Her father said, sounding impatient. Brynn looked behind her, at the presents scattered about. Most were small but, there were two large ones at the end of the table. One stacked on top of the other and she smiled genuinely. She was going to get the TV she wanted so badly.
"I'm going, dear, I'm going. Turn out the lights." Her mother said as she exited the room, walking into the kitchen. A moment later, she returned, singing and prompting her husband to sing with her. She cut the cake and served it to the guests present, sitting down.
"Want to open your presents, Brynn?" Her father asked, laughing, as he caught her eyeing the largest box, "Open the smaller ones first. They're just little things. Save the biggest box for last."
"Okay." She smiled, taking the smaller boxes and ripping the paper off. She held in her hands some of the prettiest jewelry she had seen in a while. It wasn't expensive, but more the style of vintage thrift shops around the area. She loved it and it was perfect.
"It's very heavy, so just open the second box where it is. Open the one on top, first." Her mother instructed, unable to keep back her smile. Brynn did as she was told and took the smaller box off of the larger. She unwrapped it and found her jeans inside. The ones she had been admiring that day with such longing, and was forced to part from. They were here, in her hands.
"Mom, Dad! Thank you so much! I saw these jeans and I was going to buy them but I lost my-" Brynn started excitedly, but her father held up a hand to quiet her.
"Open the second box." He smiled. She brushed off her annoyance at being interrupted and pulled back the wrapping paper. As soon as she did, it suddenly sprang to life and she stumbled back in surprise.
"Surprise!" Her gift yelled, pulling her into a hug and kissing her.
"Pete! Were you seriously in that box this whole time?" Brynn asked, incredulous. She didn't expect to see him. She was only just coming to terms with the fact that he wouldn't be there, and here he was.
"I seriously was. You like your pants? I thought they were very you." He smiled wide, pleased with himself.
"I love them." She smiled, throwing her arms around him, "And, I love you."
Later that night, Brynn was reflecting on her day. It was rare that she made two entries in one day, but it was just as rare that her day had such a complete turn around. This definitely merited a second entry.
I'm back. Happy birthday to me, indeed. No, no sarcasm intended. Peter is here. Actually, he is in bed with me, but is sleeping contentedly. I just couldn't help writing in here.
I was so very cynical about the whole birthday thing. I never really understood the pure magic that can happen when someone has a day for themselves. It isn't about why you're special. It's just that you are. It isn't about why you are celebrating. It's just that you are. It's a day to be happy because you survived another day through all the nonsense life can throw at you, and to reward you for yet another year of life. Birthdays are about other people doing for you, when you are so used to doing for them. It's for miracles, and I'm sorry I wasted so many birthdays thinking otherwise.
Happy birthday, June 17th babies. I hope it's half as happy as it was for me.