Birthday Blues

I woke up on the morning of my twelfth birthday and immediately wished I hadn’t. It was almost ten and the house had that deathly Sunday stillness. I went to the washroom, peed, wiped the seat clean of the yellow drops and flushed the toilet—all as mum had trained me to do.

I went back to my room and picked up The Dark Knight Returns. I lay down on my bed and began to read. Reading kept my mind off things like how dorky all my birthdays have been. Okay, not all, but at least the ones I can remember. I needed no crystal ball to tell me that today would be no different.

I heard a sudden vroom downstairs—mum must have started on her favourite weekend pastime, vacuuming the whole damn universe. It was only a matter of time before she came upstairs, dragging the machine like a pit bull on a leash. I got up and played Back Street Boys real loud to drown the racket she was making.

Soon enough, without so much as a knock, mum pushed open my bedroom door. Mum believed in surprising people.

Published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, Book 4. Purchase the book to read the full piece.