It was my birthday yesterday. I am now officially 23, something I've been telling people all month. It just felt right, ok?
And it was awesome.
Look, I'm not a big fan of birthdays. I think I even wrote a post on that 2 years ago. So I had planned a small, intimate dinner at the Sugar Bowl with 6 of my closest friends. You know, manageable, able to pretend it's not really my birthday, relaxing, safe. But my friend Linds (the farm! Last weekend!) called me, and asked if she could get a ride from me. So I went to pick her up. And walked into a huge SURPRISE PARTY!
I've never had a surprise party for me before. I felt so loved. I couldn't believe that all these people came together for ME. Anyways, I was stunned, and embarrassed, and glowing. We sat around and drank beer, ate pizza and poutine, listened to the Beatles, and laughed. A few hours in, Linds grabs my arm and says, Hey, come with me. I've got another surprise for you. So I go with her to her bedroom, and her boyfriend Steven is in there, on his cellphone. Here, he says, handing it to me, Someone wants to wish you a happy birthday. And then they both leave, shutting the door behind them.
Hello? I ask in to the phone. I have a twisting gut feeling about who it is, who I really really really want it to be, who if it isn't a small part of me would feel crushed, but I shouldn't get my hopes up...
Hey, how's it going? says a sultry Australian twang.
HEY! I squeal. Because somehow it is, and I know that this is what I really wanted for my birthday all along, but I hadn't even admitted it to myself until now.
He laughs. So, how's life in Canada? How is your birthday? Happy Birthday!
Good, good! How is Perth?! How is being home? Is it hot there? What time is it there? How is it being back with your twin? Are you having fun? Are you working? A million questions pour out of my mouth, and I realize I am talking too fast for anyone to understand, let alone someone on a crappy cell connection from the other side of the world.
He laughs again, and seriously, he starts answering all of my questions, one by one, and trying to ask how I'm doing too, but I just want to hear him talk.
It feels like 2 minutes, but actually is 15, when Steven comes back in, grins at my face, and says Sorry hun, it's international phone billing. Time's up.
Look, I say into the phone, I have to go. I'm wracking up a huge bill here. But I miss you. Write me a letter sometime, hey?
And he stumbles Yeah, OK, I will, I started one yesterday, miss you too...
Byeee, I sigh
Bye he says before I hand the phone back to Steven who hugs me.
I leave the bedroom, find Linds, kiss the top of her head and give her a giant hug. That was... awesome. I say.
Haha, I thought you might enjoy that, she said.
Mmhmm. Though I feel a little bit like crying too, I said quietly, so no one else could hear.
Save it for when you get home, darling, she said. Chin up. This is your party!
Which reminded me of this...
So I just smiled and carried that phone call like a happy glowing ember in my stomach for the rest of the night.
Another memorable birthday to add to the list.