The Birthday Party
Updated: May 12
They finally reached the door that separated the house from the bar and Helena opened it. Once Vic stepped out of it a crowd of familiar faces screamed: SURPRISE! The whole saloon was decorated for the party, there were a few balloons, colorful strips of paper, and a big sign hung up on the wall written “Happy Birthday Vic!”. It was Vic’s first surprise birthday party, and he was moved by all that. He hugged everyone, thanked Helena, Tina, and the others a million times, and finally, they sat down to eat. It was breakfast time and everyone had to wake up disgustingly early to be there. But it was all worthy, Vic was very dear to the community and so was Helena, and everyone knew that they would have a feast with the best beverages in town since Helena was a master brewer.
They sat together at the table, which was filled with the best from the region’s cuisine: Tapioca, couscous, at least 2 types of stew (one with chicken, one with beef), rice, corn cake, cassava cake, marmalades, cheese… Vic was in heaven for sure. They laughed and shared stories from when Vic was just a baby, most of them had known him since he arrived in Karu 15 years ago. Vic was brought to Karu by an odd couple who claimed to have found him wandering by the side of the road. The couple left him on the orphanage where Helena used to volunteer on the weekends. They bonded well and after a few months, Helena decided to adopt him. Vic knew all of this of course, but to him, Helena has always been and always will be his mother. He was never really curious about his parents. That is until Vic found out he didn’t have powers, and he started to think that knowing who they are might give him a clue as to why he is this way. But he never went looking for them.
However, these were not the stories being shared that morning. Erica, the owner of the fabric store, told everyone about how she thought he would become a tailor since he loved so much to be in the store and touch all the fabric. She had two very vivid memories. One of when he got lost in the piles of fabric scraps and it took half of the town to find him buried in it. And the time when he got in the store after playing in the dirt and managed to stain every piece of fabric at his height. Claudio, the butcher, had a funny story about an argument he got into with a five-year-old Vic about why Claudio should plant some chicken feet to grow chickens. It was a whole process to explain to Vic where meat came from…
The party lasted the whole day, they ate, drank and had lunch, that is how parties worked there, there is always a time to start, but never a time to finish. Around 5 pm Helena brought out a frosted cake, all blue with constellations. Vic’s favorite color and thing to look at. There was a 1 and a 7 on top of the cake. The conversations died down a bit, Helena lit the candles and someone turned off the lights. They sang Happy Birthday to Vic, and he took a moment to take it all in. All of those familiar faces, the community that he grew up with, the people who had so many stories and memories with him. He was very grateful to be part of that because he knew that no matter where he went, how much he lived, this moment would never happen again, and would never be able to be recreated anywhere else. He was grateful for the food, the company, and the familiarity of everything. And for them loving him even before he could understand who he was. By the time the song was over, tears were coming out of his eyes and a big genuine smile on his face.