Column: Loathing a special day

‘Slowly, I take a deep breath. Can’t I at least have one birthday where I get something I want?’


“I just want to have fun and enjoy my day. Besides, it’s not every day I turn 13 and become a teenager. I’m pretty sure nothing will ruin my day. I think.” Courtesy of Clarise Tujardon.

May 29, 2015

Excitement runs through my body as I continuously throw bowling balls at the pins, landing in the gutter each try except for one time I roll down one pin. I roll my eyes. Usually, I would be upset by the outcome, but I decide to not be hard on myself because today is my 13th birthday.

I just want to have fun and enjoy my day. Besides, it’s not every day I turn 13 and become a teenager. I’m pretty sure nothing will ruin my day. I think.

At that moment, my friend walks toward me wearing the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on her face. She gives me a hug, wishing me a happy birthday. She sounds happier than the time she won class president. That’s when she breaks the news to me.

She has a boyfriend, and it wasn’t just some random guy. It’s my crush. She promised me she wouldn’t go out with him, even if he asked her out. How could she do this to me? I feel my heart break in half. Doing the right thing, I tell her that I’m happy for her. Goodness, I hate my Hufflepuff pride.

My mom announces it’s time to blow out the candles and eat the cake. I give everyone a huge smile to hide the fact I’m close to bursting into tears. I know this isn’t the worst thing I will go through, but it still hurts. He’s the first guy I really liked. What hurts the most is my friend is going out with him knowing that I like him. She promised if I can’t go out with him, she wouldn’t no matter how much she likes him.

I close my eyes and blow out my candles, wishing this day passes by quickly.

May 28, 2018

I stare at the doorway of the party room at Olive Garden, feeling each moment pass by slowly. I sigh, fighting back the tears. I should’ve known, especially after my 13th birthday, something terrible was bound to happen. While it may not be on the actual day, it happens somewhere around my birthday.

Just like my 13th, my mom announces it’s time to blow the candles. I look at my family and friends, then back at the door. There was no sign of him. He promised he’d be here today to celebrate my 16th birthday. He promised he’d be here before leaving for the Army.

My eyes begin to water. Not being able to take it anymore, I run for the doorway. I want to run for the hills and scream as loud as I can until my voice is gone. “Come on, Clarise,” my friend Lexi holds my hands. “Blow out your candles.” She leads me to the table where my cake is.

After I blow out my candles, I give everyone a piece of the cake without making any eye contact. The kind server looks at me and says she’ll take over. She gives me a small smile.“I’m sorry you didn’t have fun on your birthday.”

Me too.

May 28, 2019

I stare at my phone, looking at my Snapchat while biting my lip. Well, isn’t this fantastic. One of my friends blocked me without any explanation. We didn’t get into a fight or anything like that for her to just block me. I shake my head. I won’t let this affect me in any way possible. Who am I kidding? I know that’s a lie no matter what I tell myself.

Suddenly my phone buzzes with the one name I least expected and wanted to see appearing on the screen. My ex-friend who did nothing but hurt me and the ones I love.

Going against my own judgment, I answer the phone. What am I doing? I scream at myself mentally. Within a minute of the phone call, I immediately hang up after hearing what she told me in her sick, annoying voice. My hands clutch onto the device tightly as I scroll through my contacts attempting to find a close friend’s number.

After three rings, he answers and I waste no time getting straight to the point. The blood travels to my face as a series of screams travels back and forth between us. I couldn’t believe he got back together with her, especially after she tried to ruin our friendship. Our conversation continues for another 30 minutes with hurtful words being thrown around. I yell at him not to come crying to me when she ends up cheating on him.

Then silence travels through the air. I freeze, realizing I’d just crossed the line. Straight away, I mutter a quick sorry to him and hang up the phone. Tears spring down my face and I drop to the floor. I lost two important people I love in one day.

The very next day is my 17th birthday. I’m in a sour mood. Not only did I lose two of my friends yesterday, but now I’m celebrating my birthday in a restaurant I didn’t even pick. Is that too much to ask? Can’t anything go right today?

As if the universe was listening to me, my phone lights up. ‘Happy Birthday. I’m sorry about yesterday.’ I look at the text once again to make sure I was reading it right. At least I didn’t lose him forever. My mood lightens up and I text him back. ‘Thanks. I’m sorry, too.’

Slowly, I take a deep breath, a single plea in my head. Can’t I have at least one birthday where I get something I want?