Midnight Pub

4. The Birthday Party


"Krsnah! Krsnah! Hey wake up!"

"Arghnnnnmmmmm." I opened my eyes a tiny bit to see Claire hovering over me.

"Claire?!" I sat up, rubbing my eyes. "Oh good! You recognize me!" "Yes." "There's someone waiting for you downstairs. She says she's an old friend." "She?" "Yes! She!"

"Well that's new!"

I dragged myself out of bed and stretched. Then I headed to the washroom. "Where are you going?" I poked my head out. "My tank's full. Whaddaya want me to do? Piss on her shoes?" "Eww! That's disgusting!" She made a face.

"Why are you always so blunt?" I asked as I dried my hands. "Blunt? What do you mean blunt?" she demanded. "Well, I was going to say rude but you just sound like me when I wake up. Except you sound like that all day long." "Excuse me?"

I turned around to face her. "You know what I'm talking about." "No I do not! Enlighten me birthday boy!" She glared at me. I stared at her. An eye contest. Who would blink first? I smiled. She held on for a few seconds then laughed. "Go on now. She's waiting for you." "I don't know of any she." I crossed my arms. "Krsnah! Will you please go downstairs?" She was exasperated. "You should smile more often. You look gorgeous when you smile," I said. "Kid, are you flirting with me?" Her eyes turned into slits and her nostrils flared up. "I'm just being honest, grandma," I smiled. She hit my arm. "Go on now. You're wasting my time." "Okay!"

I went downstairs into the pub. It was dark and eerily quiet. "Hello?" I called out. "Claire, it's dark in here." The suddenly the lights came on and "Surprise!" A huge crowd in the pub. The music came on and everyone broke into a chorus, "Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to youuu..."

I laughed nervously. Well well well! What a surprise indeed! A beautiful lady held my hand and led me to the table. A big cake with my name misspelled on it. I laughed. "Okay this is a huge cake! Nobody throw it on my face please. I think everyone should eat it and not break my nose in it. Deal?" I looked around. "It's not your birthday without your face in the cake," someone said. "Well get some whipped cream and have at my face. But don't ruin this cake."

And then Claire appeared. "I'll get some whipped cream," she said, "And some plates." She looked around and pointed her finger, "You heard the man. Don't ruin his cake."

Well, that was enough to bring order into the chaos.

Whipped cream was smacked all over my face, and hair. The cake was served. It was a splendid evening.

"I'll help you to your room," the new girl offered. "Thanks!"

She held my hand and led me up the stairs. "What's your name?" I asked her. "Anne," she replied. "Nice to meet you, Anne." "The pleasure's all mine," she smiled as she opened the door for me. "Thank you!" "You're welcome." She closed the door behind me, and was gone.

I washed my face at the sink and then took off my clothes. It was time to shower.