The sun was just setting when I arrived at Timothy Burton’s birthday party the next day. Even though I didn’t know him that well, Mary Anne insisted on me coming. Maybe he’ll know something about who Elizabeth Doll is. Was. I’m not really sure how to say that.
Kristofer and his mom arrived shortly after me. He seemed really nervous for some reason, but I couldn’t figure out why. It was like he saw something that I didn’t.
When I entered the house, I found everyone in the kitchen. There were a lot of familiar faces there: Nathalie Leavitt, Anika True… I recognized the guy with the moustache as well, but I don’t remember his name. Mary Anne was the caterer and was almost done baking the birthday cake when I arrived.
Once it was done, we all cheered on Timothy as he blew out the candles. I felt kind of sad at that moment, almost like I knew what was going to happen to him. Just like my mother.
After we cut the cake, Jessica Knight arrived. I couldn’t believe how many people were at the party.
Since there were so many people, a few of us went into the bedroom to eat and talk. There also wasn’t enough cake to go around, so after the candles were blown out on the first one Mary Anne had to get back to work.
I also met my sister’s youngest son, Everett. “So… do you like video games?” I asked him, trying to find something that we had in common.
“No, I’m not allowed to play them,” he replied. Wait, what? I wonder who made that rule. I didn’t say anything, though. I just smiled politely.
“Do you like cake?” I asked.
“No, I really don’t like warm things.”
At that point, I got frustrated. What was up with this kid? I mean, how do you not like the heat? He lives in Oasis Springs, for goodness’ sake.
“Uhh… so what do you like?” I replied.
“Crafts are fun.”
Since I had finished my cake and was getting nowhere in this conversation, I took my plate to the kitchen. It turned out that Mary Anne hadn’t actually been baking the second cake before… she had been making chocolate pudding.
“It’s for Everett,” she explained. “It’s the only thing besides ice cream that he’ll eat. I’m guessing that you talked to him?”
“Yeah,” I replied.
“I know that look. It’s the one that people make when they don’t understand something properly and are trying to make sense of it. Trying to make it fit into their perception of reality.”
I nodded. That’s exactly what I was doing. Trying to make everything- my mom, Elizabeth, Everett- fit properly. “So what should I do about it?”
“Ask questions. Try to understand people better and figure out what they want and need. And if you make a mistake, apologize and ask what you can do to make it right. That’s really all you can do.” Then the cake came out of the oven and she needed to concentrate to frost it, so I went into the living room.
The Annual SimCity Music Competition was on T.V.. I’m not too big into music and hardly notice whether a video game soundtrack is good or not, but in this case I would rather watch the competition than participate in one of the heated discussions that were happening around me. I was surprised when I realized that the song that was on was one that I knew, and I mouthed along the words to the chorus:
I was thinking about her, thinking about me
Thinking about us, what we’re gonna be
Open my eyes, it was only just a dream
So I traveled back, down that road
Will she come back, no one knows
I realize, it was only just a dream.
Author’s Note: The song at the end of this chapter is called Just a Dream by Nelly. The first time that I heard the song was when Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie sang it, which you can find here. Unfortunately, Christina was one of the victims of a tragic shooting. She was an amazing and talented person and will be missed. My heart goes out to her family and friends.