he hugs me twice and i talk to him when he leaves. c lurks nearby, with her flamboyant orange dress and freshly inked arm, pretending to look for the cat in the the bushes.
my cake is pink and white and green. i blow out the candles and make a wish. almost before i've opened my eyes it's come true.
at the end of it all i'm so giddy i can hardly sleep. i fall asleep smiling.
once again, all is well in my world. i am happy.