“Okay guys, you have to get ready!” I shout. “It is Emilies formal birthday party. It’s a special day for her, and we cannot miss it!” The children spring to life, each jumping with excitement. All of them file down the stairs, and I look at each one, dressed up in party clothes. So they did not have to get ready. I am surprised — usually, they are forced by their mother to get dressed and go to events — but they do not dare to fight with her today. I am very happy for these children –I guess it is the excitement of going to this party.
“You look very good Chip!” I say to the youngest one, who is five. “And you look gorgeous Cynthia!” Cynthia, who is seven, giggled. Then…I see their mother come down the stairs. She looks stunning. She has an elegant red dress on for the party, and wears her long brown wavy hair in a ponytail.
“And you look especially stunning.” She laughs, rolling her eyes.
Everyone files into the car. I am pretty anxious about this birthday party; I am not a people pleaser. I am always locked in the corner minding my own business. People stare at me like I have two heads. I cannot help it that I am shy. I will never get out of my comfort zone. It’s just who I am.
“Now — Are you gonna be a mope?” The mother asks. She looks at me. Her eyes almost out of their sockets from the stress I am causing her.
“A mope? Why would I be a mope?”
Then she talks to me, explaining how I am shy. People think I am crazy for not talking.
“I — I just want to keep to myself.”
Ugh, my brother and sister are bickering. Yes, the person I am helping out today is my sister. She has two young children — brother and sister — and a husband who is never around and always on business trips. Sometimes, I am skeptical about this guy. I always have been since they got married. He seems sweet and innocent, but something about him seems off; I guess it is the overly-protective-brother-type thing going on.
We park in front of the house. It is huge, an 1800’s Victorian. Lights are on every corner of the house, even though it is daylight. There is a huge Christmas wreath on the doorway, made of white. When I first glance at it, it is overwhelming. It made my sister’s house, and my house, looks like crap. I never realised how rich my sister’s friends are, although it makes sense since most of them are business people, like her husband. However, my sister happens to be a teacher.
“Wow… your friends are rich,” I say, parking the car and taking off my seat belt. I help the children get out of the car, and hand them each the present they are to give. My sister hit me in the shoulder. I winced. She never questions how rich someone is, or how poor. hy? She does not let envy get in the way. She is grateful for what she has, despite how poor both of our families are.
The hostess of the party, Nora O’ Henry, greets us. She is tall, with short blonde hair, plump, and green eyed. She greeted my sister with such passion.
“Anna!” she cries. “So glad you could celebrate our daughter’s birthday.”
We walk into the formal living room where everyone is dressed in etiquette ball gowns and tuxes. I am in a tux, for sure, and I put my hands in my pockets. A gal, standing across from me, smiles. She looks incredibly shy, but she is pretty in ways I cannot describe. Nora introduces us to each other.
“This is our first cousin, Georgia Sunshine. Georgia this is Aiden Blake.” She shook my hand; it was firm.
“Nice to meet you,” I say as I study her face. It looks full of worry, or nervousness, all in one. I understand where she is coming from, since I am the shy guy. I can see that she really wants to keep to herself.
During the birthday party, I love everything about this girl. She is quiet, and I actually got the guts to talk to her. We leave the party for awhile and she shows me her instruments . She is a musician. She stores all of her instruments in Nora’s basement, and Nora loves to look at them and show them off.
“Wow, that is pretty cool. I am a musician too,” I say to her. Yes, it is true; I am a musician. Guitar, drums, keyboard, you name it. I once had my own band called The Dutch Dragons, but I had to quit to help look after my sister’s children when the father went on business trips. Our parents lives in North Carolina, which is pretty far from Texas, to take care of the children.
“You should open up to people more,” Georgia explains to me. “You are a fine young man.”
She gulps, covering up her mouth. Embarrassed. I tell her not to be. She has the right to express herself. Her eyes twinkle as she speaks with passion. That is what I love about this girl. She is exuberant in nature, and I look for passion and happiness that people share.
“Thank you,” I reply to her. I decide to do something daring. I go to hold her hand for a while, and it feels soft. She giggles, of nervousness, and says she thought she’d never been able to really talk to another musician!
We begin to have a deep conversation about life. She says she makes a lot of money being in bands and all, which helps her family out. She also works for her first cousin in a huge business located here in Texas, which is why she stays over some nights.
Nora came in to ruin our conversation; it is cake cutting time for Emily. Emily is at the end of the table in her living room. We hear many rounds of “Happy Birthday” and I see Georgia clap. After the cake cutting, Emily opens presents. I did give her one, a guitar pick. I know she is quite fond of my music, for being a five year old. She squeals and hugs me.
After the birthday cake cutting, Georgia and I talk while my sister and Nora chat in a separate room, drinking wine while the kids go outside for fresh air. The father is watching the children.
“Well,” Georgia said whipping a bang from her face “It was nice talking to you.”
I smile, trying to get the bang away from my face as well. “I hope I get to see you again, maybe?” She nodded her head. Then… we kiss. I know it is too soon, to kiss, but what we feel is love at first sight. My sister comes barging, blushing.
“I am sorry,”she says. “Party is over. We must get going.”
I look at Georgia–one last time–and give her my number. She is pure sunshine to me. I call her Georgia Sunshine. Everything about her at this party is…flawless. I really hope to see her again. And soon.
“Hope I get to see you again,” I manage to say out loud, embarrassingly, in front of my sister and the rest of the people here. I place my number in her hand, gently. It is on a guitar pick. When my sister drives me home, I mumble: “Well, the party’s over.”
I think of Georgia’s warm but fine embrace. I cannot help but to smile at that thought. Everything about her was the best thing a miracle could ever grant me! Georgia. Such a beautiful name. I love her. Georgia Sunshine. But… I never see her again.