We passed the motorcycle shop and I lost myself in thought for a minute remembering the events of that night. I remember Penny’s big boobs bouncing as they rough-handled her. She had only her shirt in her hand over them. That must have been so embarrassing. She didn’t try to cover her crotch, just her breasts. I wonder why? It still burns me up that they would be having sex while my Billy lay on that cold floor unconscious.
“We’re here,” Greg announced and he turned into the driveway. Headlights raked around the yard and the front of the house. It was modern and nice, not at all what I expected.
Greg told me that this was a middle-class house but, oh boy, if this is a middle-class house, then I wondered what a rich house looked like. It was so nice inside. I was afraid to touch anything. There was a basement and an upstairs, but we all went into the kitchen. Janice said that is where everybody congregates. That was her word, congregates. We entered and there were some stairs right away, one set went up, one went down. We went up and then to the right through the living room into the kitchen. Billy was there. He had on a nice shirt and jeans. He had washed his hair and combed back real nice.
He came to me and we hugged. He rubbed my hair. I think I was crying again, I wasn’t sure.
“Why didn’t you come with them to get me?” I asked him. I was burning inside to ask that.
“There was something I had to do,” he said.
Behind him something glowing was coming down a hall and there were more people coming, too. They turned the corner into the kitchen. The burning thing was a cake. They started singing me “Happy Birthday” just like Mother use to do! Everybody clapped at the end.
The last I remembered was somebody said, “Catch her!”
I was only out for a few seconds. They got me back on my feet.
“What have you had to eat today, Ronni?” Billy asked me.
“She doesn’t eat?” Janice asked. Janice got me sat down in a kitchen chair.
“Mom, she gives her plate of food to her Papa sometimes, then she goes without,” Billy said speaking to Janice. He held me and helped Janice get me in a chair.
“Papa works so hard,” I said. “I can eat at school.”
Billy squatted down beside my chair, then kissed me. “You can’t keep doing that. You have to eat,” Billy said, then turned to all the people there. “She’s weak, and then when her emotions shoot up, she faints. She’s done it before.”
“We swarmed her, overwhelmed her,” Evangela said.
“Evangela! You’re here! I recognized your Spanish. Come!” I stood up on shaky legs and hugged Evangela’s neck. Then I had to hug Monique!
“Happy birthday, Ronni,” Monique said when we parted. She cast a glance toward Billy. It made me wonder how this night was going to play out.
“This cake is going to burn the house down,” Janice said, “Come! Blow it out!”
“Yes, make a wish, then you suck in real big, and blow as hard as you can!”
I stared into the flame and as I took that deep breath I thought I saw something in the flames. Something moving. I saw myself in the candle fire. Then I blew hard, I blew all my breath out. Then I came to myself sitting in the chair and everyone huddled around me.
“I fainted again,” I said.
“Blowing real hard wasn’t a good thing,” Evangela said. Everyone laughed. I remembered the cake and I was relieved to see the candles were out.
“Let’s eat cake,” Janice said. She brought paper plates over and Billy helped her get plastic spoons and cups. We had soda pop and birthday cake.
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