An ice cream cake with my name spelled “Rain” instead of “Rayne” in pink frosting sits on the breakfast table.
A text message from my parents tells me they’re at the airport picking up my sister and I should eat dinner alone. I reach past the cake to my presents. I rip off last year’s Christmas paper on a Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice, almost certainly a gift from Mom since Dad knows I already own two copies. Dad’s gift is heavy, the wrapping paper rips as I try to pick it up. An aquarium falls to the floor. Water, glass, and goldfish explode all over the kitchen. Another ruined birthday.
After moping the floor clean of blue rocks and fish.
I open my last present. Inside a tiny box from England is a hair-tie with a metal medallion of a horse surrounded by twisted Celtic patterns. Only my sister would give me a present that I actually like. I braid my brown hair and tie it with the Celtic horse. I check myself in the mirror of the guest bathroom. The only room in the house that’s always clean, smells of lavender and has embroidered hand towels that I’m not allowed to touch. The hair tie gives my braid a medieval look and the black band matches the frames for my glasses. I’m always disappointed that my reflection isn’t older. Even at sixteen today I look twelve, with my skinny face and freckles.
A Novel being written.