A birthday cake sits before me, laughing at me. The candles whisper mean things, they know my thoughts. The ocean of red frosting simmering in the lights above, the little black flowers that everyone has dibs on. So elegantly outlined in more black lace, this cake is not for a funeral, no of course not. It's for me and the year that passed, for the one coming my way at full speed, the year of tears and stress. The year of chores and closed doors. Birthdays were never my strong point, they always make me sweep. Makes me want to just draw the curtains and sleep the day away, but no that would be letting me off the hook. Much too easy, everyone must talk big and do nothing. The sickening smell of plastic and mold radiate from the cake, must of been on clearance from the bakery down the street. They show up at my door bearing a balloon and small bag and this atrocious cake. Mother always said it's not how good the gft is it's the fact they got one. I must smile and hold it all in till they leave but in the meantime blow out these taunting candles and force down the oily sponge. Open the gift, a bag inside a bag, a old plaid, partly fake shiny leather purse that only a five year old diva would love. The leathery fur lining the mouth of this little monster is coming off with every touch, wonder where they got this thing, but you must be nice and give them the meanness only middle school girls can pull of, the meanness with a smile and a dis but thanks all in one. I rather think of anything right now, terrible “gifts” or the fact they showed up without even picking up a phone, anything than standing here with this thing burning on my kitchen counter waiting for the howled song to be over to blow this thing out and get alone again. Go back upstairs to my little nirvana and sleep the rest of this nightmare away. All their four faces glare at me, they know exactly what I’m thinking. One stands with my balloon in her giant hands and bounces it off my head, how I wish I could take the string and strangle her with it but I do a half assed giggle and ignore it, she keeps doing it, finally her mother has the brainpower to yell at her to stop. Even she knows I will attack, don't you think I’m on edge enough as is? I feel like the candle, starting to sweat like hot wax, hands grip the knife mom handed me and can't wait to cut this thing. Big breath, be sure to get them all in one try, pretend to knock ‘em all dead.