It is Mark’s birthday this weekend. My man will be twenty years old. No longer a teenager. No longer ‘just a kid’. My blessed status will last for two more months, until March, but then childhood will screech to a halt for me too. Instead of being ‘just some teen’, we’ll be twenty-somethings. I suppose that’s different, somehow.

Nevertheless, we have big plans. Since it’s Mark’s birthday, he’s forbidden from having anything to do with it. He’s casually overlooking me as I sit with the notepad and write the names of people that I want to invite. The list isn’t that long. I mean, it’s his day, and I don’t want him to abandon it after an hour because there’s too many people there.

What I have planned is renting the entire upper floor of a pub, having a dinner first, and then open the bar. Nothing special, in other words, but special enough to be different. Special enough to mark the transition from being ‘just a kid’ to a being ‘responsible adult’.

In all, I think we’ll invite 15-20 people. All the friends he’s comfortable with. I have roped in Stephen to do the organisational stuff, and he’s happy to help, I have kept the invitations firmly in my hands, though. If Stephen were to invite people, we’d probably end up renting a stadium with thousands of people and with Muse as the party band. Mark’s parents are coming on Friday for a pure family thing including my Aunt and at least one of my cousins in this bit of the country.

We’re both firmly back in the rut of school again, so there’s that too. My second day back today, and I’m quietly content about that. There’s a comfort in routine and habit, and now I can look forward to six months of having by days framed for me – instead of having to think things up by myself.

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