Friday, 3 October 2014

It was my mum's favourite time of the year.

It’s night time and many people are sitting around the fire.

The evening is chilly but the flames are keep everyone warm as they drink and laugh, talk and nod as they listen; some just sit and stare at the embers remembering other nights just like this.

There is a vet, an architect and a builder too. A teacher sits next to a farmer. A writer is there, an artist and a social worker. Their children are with them. The social worker is married to someone famous. But they couldn't come. There’s an historian, an interior designer , a yoga teacher and of course a potter and a curator.

And in the centre – dancing - a young girl.

Everyone, even those who are lost in the embers, watch her.

And they smile.

They are happy for her for it is her birthday and she is the reason they are all here together.

And she is proud.

She is wearing her flowery party dress and though she is disappointed that it doesn’t fly out when she twirls, she feels special.

Her eyes sparkle as much as the stars that burn overhead in the October sky.

And the stars are jealous.

In the shadows, where he can’t see the stars, a young boy stands and watches.

He is wearing shorts and his legs are cold; he is too far from the warmth of the fire that crackles and spits into the night.

But he is too nervous to walk forward.

He has a present for the little girl, he wrapped it himself but the wrapping was not so successful and he is worried that she will be disappointed.

He hopes that she will look up, see him and call him over but she is spinning, looking down at her green shoes that look like silvery fish as she spins faster and faster; she does not know he is there.

So he stays in the shadows and whispers happy birthday where only the trees hear him.

Then he places the present on the ground for her to find later.

And leaves.

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