Creative Writing

One for Good Luck

By Anonymous
We have a tradition in my family.
Actually, we had a tradition.
Every birthday, we celebrated with dinner and cake. Together.
If it wasn’t your birthday, your job was to decorate the living room.
(I’ve always been great with the streamers)
If it was your birthday, your job was to act surprised.
(And to eat the biggest slice of cake)
March came around, and we got ready for our tradition once again.
This year, my baby brother turns 18.
There were many implications of his entry to adulthood,
however, only one was the focus of my family that night.
This birthday was different;
this would be our last family celebration.
I did not realize until then that we would never do this again.
Never the four of us in the same room wearing those dollar store party hats again.
Never excited whispers and surprises and digging through the junk drawer for candles again.
My brother and I are both legal adults now, so my parents can officially rid themselves of each other and move on.
(No custody battles necessary)
Deep down, I know they have both been waiting years for this day.
Deep down, I know that they are both ready for this night to be over.
They did it, they made it 20 years.
They made it to his 18th
And now they are done.
Now we are done.
It did not hit me that we would never crowd in our little dining room with the lights dimmed and candles flickering again after
that night.
Not until I took that photo.
It’s the last little memory that I get to keep from our tradition.
My camera clicks and my mom stands behind my brother on the right, my dad on the left.
Both smiling.
We are all smiling.
In that photo, my brother blows out 19 candles.
One for good luck.

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