Twenty-one

Behind the door is the hallway of your parents’ home. It smells of cake and clean carpets. A machine, somewhere, is washing something; you feel it beat your stomach’s lower bounds. There is a black dog in a basket. It watches as you walk towards the cake and the music and the fuzz of voice.

The candles have been lit. They have been lit for some time. An odd day, this – a turning point. Your stomach has turned in on itself. You cannot eat cake. Everyone here to celebrate you, and the fact you are precisely halfway through being alive.

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