July 21st, 2011

"The Birthday that Wasn’t" By: Nestor J. Herrera Newhall

“The Birthday Party that Wasn’t”


The preparations were made. The invitations sent out. Now all that needed to be done was to wait.  The time flew by so fast and all of the sudden nightfall was once again upon me. I stepped out to the rooftop terrace to bask in the effort made and I smiled for I felt that tonight was going to bring everything that I ever wanted to an occasion like this, a birthday, celebrating having me in someone’s life of all reasons to celebrate and I felt alive just thinking of the night’s deeds that would come to my door seeking resolve. The lights all around shone translucent from far and near, in the distance the skyline view and close by from the ones hung from the corners of the terrace, everything seemed to be illuminated even though darkness loomed all around. The music was perfect, the ambiance it gave off raised the small details of the matters of the human soul a renewed importance to all, like the true meaning behind the words spoken out into the air, from a sound of an innocent laugh not so far off, all the way down to how your heart seemed to realize that right now in this instance, with this song playing in the background, all could be yours. I couldn’t have a better setting even if I could create fantasy into reality by the move of my hand. Tonight was going to be the night, my hopes soared with expectations and desires yearning to become more than just that and as they did swell, the first guest arrived.

I took the spiral staircase down into the more mundane lower floor and the instant I opened the door the beauty of everything shot up in the world so fast that I lost my breath and I am still trying to recover it even now because it was her, the girl of my dreams finally at my doorstep and by all gods definitions did she look amazing. You smiled at my wonderment and asked permission to enter and I replied from my dumb stammer of amazement with a smirk:

“I don’t know… If you came in I might never want this night to end.”

She comes inside and from the first step of the spiral staircase that leads to the place that fantasy seems to come alive she said with a grin:

“Who says that it has even begun, for it to ever end?”

She heads upstairs to the terrace and just when I went to close the door and rush right after her, one after another, the guests arrived. All my dear best friends that have been with me in good and bad, those two friends that I consider brothers for life and that one girl that’s been there from past too present a sister by all means. My crazy acquaintances always up for a good time, my departed family that I’ve so missed to share time with like this, one after another they arrived and the night ensued.

After many awhile of pleasantries and felicitations, some small talk of life, some stories played out for some crowds to laugh upon hearing them and I couple of good times I make myself back towards the roof’s shadowy corners with a beer in each hand, one for her of course because at the end of all this at heart, this party isn’t for me but for her. How my heart needed to see that remarkable girl with jet black hair the envy of all others, with legs that never seem too end, a smile that brought the meaning of happiness charging out of your soul too smack you upside your head a couple times and with such a spirit that made your expectations fall each single time because she would only exceed them by a million each time you even tried. She stares out into the nights caring grace, looking upon the same sights that I’ve looked upon yearning that she would be there right next too me and just by seeing her in that same spot from behind makes all the romantic moments of a lifetime of thousands come to shame.

As I approach her, my dear friend, one of those brothers I mentioned, steps into my path and says:

“This is your night my brother, you deserve all this…  All that your heart desires, you deserve.”

He looks back and sees her and continues with a smile of mischief:

“Go get her but remember who says the pursuit of happiness has a happy ending or that the righteous lover ever gets what he deserves?”

I laugh with him broadly and then continue to where she is but just when I am about to reach her in that place that the stars could all dim down and still the night would shine. Just when I was going to pour my heart out into the air of the night for this beautiful mysterious dark skinned girl to hear and tell her with such vigor that if had to give all my other years of life just to have this night with her, I would do so and never let her wander away from the love that I have held so dearly for so long, ever again. The cake is brought out, the song has begun to be sung. I see you so close, so near and as I turn to give myself too the moment that beckons, it’s all right in front of me. There in that place, my friends, family and the love of my life all right in front of me and I don’t want anything to end. I look at the candles that burn flames of earnest promise of the future in them and close my eyes for the briefest of moments. I wish all the wishes of my hearts dominion with the breath I held dearly within the reaches of the contemplation of what is known as the soul’s desire.

When I open my eyes, all is gone, nothing remains, vanished is all before me. You see, in that place that was prepared to make dreams seem just at hand to take them, you never came, no one came and all I was left with was the fantasy of what never came to pass into reality. I blew out the candles and the shallow smoke trail revealed all that there was, I wished for love and she never came, I wished for happiness and it didn’t come, I wished for a night filled with hope’s desires to come true and it never was, I wished…

I wished…

And my wish didn’t come true…

So welcome to the birthday party that never was.

Where the night was perfect but never seen, where not even a pleasantry was called in, where the only presents were bitterness and heartache, where a love cherished for so very long never appeared and where dreams never came true.

The birthday that wasn’t…

Happy Birthday too me…