I saw her on the library, sitting on her usual spot, next to the large window. She looked so surprised seeing a piece of cake and a box of gift addressed to her, there. She looks over the library and she sees me between the bookshelves in front of her. She runs toward me, with a big smile on her face. She opens her arms to hug me, when she is close, she gives me a tight hug.
“Thank you.” she whispered.
I just smile and caress her hair, hug her back.
“Happy birthday, little girl.” I mumbled.
“Happy birthday to you, too.” she said then pull my hand to her favorite spot.
We sit in front of each other. She eats the cake I gave her while reading a tale book. I smile, it was peaceful, looking at her. I open one of her books on the table and start reading. It was a story of a girl who fell in love with a prince. I sigh, now that must be the happy ending book, I’ve read them a lot. Enough to make me believe that happy ending is real. But then, as I grew up, I was hit by the fact that, girl, happy ending is all in books. I close the book and decide to take out my book on the bag.
“You want some?” ask her.
“No. It’s for you. Too sweet for me.” I answered.
“You used to like this.” she said with a sad face.
“I know. Things change.”
“Then growing up sucks.”
“Indeed. It really sucks.”
“What does it look like on 24 years old?” she asked.
I don’t know what to answer. I shrug my shoulder and lean my back on the chair. She looks at me with her dark brown eyes deeply. Hoping I would give her an answer.
“I honestly don’t know. I just living it for a day. But, I could tell you this, based on another years I’ve been through, it’s exhausting.”
“It’s exhausting because 1. we have to keep up with everything that escalate quickly, 2. we have to do exactly what people expect us to do, 3. we have to put on our smile just because we don’t want to hurt someone, 4. no one cares. At the end of the day, you’ll be alone in your room, looking at empty space and wondering, whether you walk away or try harder.”
“Is it too much to take?” I asked her.
She shook her head and put on a smile and said “You’re tough.”.
I snort, not believing her. She shows me her teeth.
“You might said it’s exhausting and sucks, but you still hang in there. You’re tough.”
“So, you see it that way, huh? I’ve been give up, lots of times. And eventually, there always be someone waiting on the edge. And I am glad. You should believe in that tale. You will make happy ending. We will make happy ending.”
“It’s a promise then.” she smiles and give her little finger to be tied by mine.
“Happy birthday, Adeline.” we said it together and then everything becomes blurry.
I opened my eyes, I still see my sisters sleeping besides me. I walk to the mirror, whisper “Thank you, little one.”