We had plans for my birthday worked out when the French door opens. Five minutes later Mom and Dad sit at our kitchen table. As often happens living in a mother-daughter home.
“We didn’t know what you guys were doing,” Dad says, “We bought a cheesecake.”
“We celebrated last night,” I reply.
“That was for Robert, since he was home,” Mom answers.
“What about the Realtor’s party?”
The one they were supposed to make without us.
Mira wipes the counter. Showing only her stiff back and cringing shoulders. Frankie pulls a kitchen chair to the sink and opens the faucet.
“Wash your hands in the bathroom,” she shouts.
He continues to run the water. “Do what she says!” I snap.
He jumps down from the chair, runs into the bathroom and slams the door. I sigh and shut the faucet.
Dad and Mom get up. “We’ll go to the Realtor’s party,” she says, “you’ve got your hands full.”
Puzzled parents carry an
unlit Birthday cake
Photograph by Ryan McGuire