Happy Birthday to Me

Dec. 3rd

Prompt: Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

It was an early March night on Alki Beach in Seattle. The scent of impending rain and seawater lingered, and I remember my nose being unusually cold. I remember walking through the sand in my fall boots and black hoodie,  next to the boy I had wanted to be with for many years.

Although it was dark out, the lights from the beachside businesses let out enough yellow light to illuminate our path. Eventually, we found a beach fire still burning, and I remember the sudden, soothing warmth. There was a pile of dead trees and driftwood near by, and the boy and I climbed it, finding a part that made a makeshift teeter-totter. I remember sitting down because I was too afraid to stand. The boy stood on the other end of the lever.

A girl’s voice called out, “People have been doing that all day!” I looked over, and a group of people– they seemed to be in their teens– sat nearby at another fire pit. The girl asked, “Do you mind if I take your picture?”

I wish I could find her and see that photo. Find the photo of that boy and me. Before the heartbreak. Before the glass shattered. Before all the tears and choked-back I-love-you’s.

I am 25-years-old today, and I am starting this chapter of my life with a broken heart. Twenty-five years of laughter, and hard work, and adventure, but all I can think about is the uncertainty of the future and how awful it feels to know that instead of a bouquet of flowers or a thoughtful gift, I was presented with another round of heartache.

I am lovable, brilliant, beautiful, and worthwhile. I am the most awesome young lady I know.

But it still hurts.

Happy birthday, Ardith. Chin up.


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