HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KATE!
Kate and David started officially dating. It didn’t take long and Kate asked him if he would like to move in with her. Since David was staying at a hotel, he wasn’t against her idea. He didn’t bring almost anything from his apartment in Bridgeport because Jayden was still living there. One day Jayden called David and told him that he was not able to pay the bills… David got to know that Jayden started drinking heavily and all the money he had left he’d spent on alcohol. David decided to call Jayden’s parents. They forced him to come back home. As the flat was bought with David’s money, he decided to sell it. It didn’t take long and one young rising rock star bought the apartment.
Two months later…
It was nearly the 12th August, the day of Kate’s 30th birthday!
The evening before her birthday, David invited Kate for a dinner. Everything was perfect until…
“I was thinking if we should invite Jayden to your birthday party… I know what he’s done in the past, but I want to be better than him. What do you think, Love?” David asked his girlfriend.
“Are you completely out of your mind?!?! I don’t want a person who hid my letter from you at my birthday party!”
“Come on, Kate. I think he wouldn’t do it again…,” David was trying to convince Kate.
“Look, I know that you two were really good friends, but he did THAT thing...”
“I absolutely understand you, Love. We’ll not invite him, okay?”
“Well… I know you’re always right, David. You can call Jayden and invite him to the birthday party, but tell him to get me a present,” smiled Kate.
“I think that real friends know how to forgive. I am happy to hear that you agree,” smiled Davit and caressed Kate on her cheek. “I see you’ve been moving the food around your plate for quite some time. You don’t like your dinner?”
“Well, I think they must have changed the cook because the last year when I ate here it was far much better,” answered Kate.
“Do you want to order another dish?”
“No, no… I think that I’m not even hungry anymore… The vegetable cream was good, though.”
“At least something,” said David. “Well, Kate, my Love, I know it’s your birthday only tomorrow, but I wanted to give you this,” told her David and stood up from the table.
“Can’t it really wait until tomorrow, David?” begged him Kate.
“I think it’s better if you know what it is, so you behave accordingly tomorrow,” smiled David.
“Oh, I see. Now I wanna know what it is! You always find a way to get the people where you need them…,” said Kate and gave him the ‘don’t you think you’ll fool me‘ look.
“Yeah, I know, especially when it concerns the bedroom,” he sneered. Kate didn’t know what to say, David was simply always a step ahead. “So, happy birthday, Kate!!!” said happily David and gave her the gift.
“I hope it’s not something inappropriate… From what you told me before, I can expect really anything from you.”
“Don’t worry, Love. It’s something you don’t have yet.”
Kate was really happy when David finished that sentence. The last thing she’d want to get for her 30th birthday from her boyfriend was another horsewhip to complete her collection.
“Come on, Love, open it up!”
“Okay, okay…,” she said. “I think it’s a book!”
“What makes you think it’s a book?” asked her David.
“Well, the shape is that one… hmm… maybe… maybe it is your favorite fantasy book you used to read when you were just a little boy?” giggled Kate.
“Funny. No, it’s not.”
“Well, then I guess I’ll give a look,” said Kate and opened the package.
“Oh, wow, David… Thank you so much!” said enthusiastically Kate when she caressed the black leather cover of the photo album David gifted her.
“I had the metal letters covered with a layer of gold,” David smiled at her.
“Oh, David, I have no words…,” told him Kate with happiness shining from her eyes. You really have a big passion for leather, you naughty boy, Kate thought to herself as she looked at her gift.
“Well, I didn’t want it to be ‘just’ another album… I thought it could become the family album that our children will pass down the future generations as a part of the family legacy.”
“Thank you, baby,” said Kate and hugged her boyfriend.
David looked in Kate’s grey eyes, whispered the three words of love in her ear and kissed her.
Kate felt so happy that David cared about her so much. By giving this gift to her and speaking about their children, it was the same as if he would say ‘I want to be part of your family, Kate, will you be my wife?’. Kate was almost certain he would propose! When David got down on his knee in front of her, she didn’t have any doubts. She just had to keep herself from screaming yes as a happy little girl who just got her first Barbie. However, instead of the ring, Kate received a bouquet of thirty red roses. Kate felt quite disappointed, so she even had to fake the surprise…
…but once she smelled the flowers, her heart melted again.
“These are the most beautiful roses someone has ever given to me. I’m really happy it is you, David. Thank you so much…,” said Kate without realizing that she sounded like a robot who is programmed to say the same words over and over again.
“Is everything all right, darling?”
“What did you say?”
“You look sad… don’t you… don’t you like the roses? I thought you loved roses…,” said sadly David.
“Oh, no, the roses are fine… they are really beautiful…”
“Good, I knew you’d love them,” David smiled at her. “Let’s take a picture together?” he proposed enthusiastically. “I’d like to have at least one picture from this special day!”
I don’t know what’s special about it. It’s not my birthday today, you didn’t propose, the roses are nice, but… they’re just roses… maybe the album could be ‘the special’ of the day, Kate thought to herself while David was setting the phone.
“Here we go… 3, 2, 1…”
“Look! You look so beautiful… I don’t know which Kate I like more, if the one on the picture, or the-,” David didn’t finish the sentence because Kate interrupted him.
“David, there is only one Kate and she’s standing right in front of you,” said Kate, feeling slightly annoyed.
“Shall we… shall we go? Or do you want something to drink?” David felt confused by Kate’s behavior. He took her out for the dinner, he just gave her the gift and the roses. What was wrong with his girlfriend? He has never seen her act this way before… David felt really sad because this was the night he’s been planning since he saw this girl for the first time in his life.
“Yeah, let’s go… I wanna go to sleep early tonight because we’re going to stay up late tomorrow, aren’t we?” Kate tried to pretend she was okay.
“Sure we are! Come on, it’s just across the street,” said David and wanted to take Kate’s hand but she was carrying the album in one and the flowers in the other.
As they walked across the street, George O’Connor – Kate’s best friend – was going home from his old friend Al who moved to Monte Vista from Bridgeport the last year and bought a house in the center to share with Cécile Petite, his girlfriend and owner of the Petite Pony center.
Look at my girl, she looks so pretty! I wish I was young again… I’m sure she wouldn’t be with this David guy, George thought to himself while he watched them walk in the restaurant. Although he was almost thirty-something years older than David, he was still a man. And Kate is one hot woman, that many men would love to… well you know.
As George got in the car, he started looking forward to tomorrow’s party. He had a big surprise for Kate.
Kate and David were standing on the balcony and warm summer breeze was gently moving Kate’s black hair, so she looked even more beautiful in David’s eyes. He approached her, took her hand and whispered in her ear “I hope you didn’t think it was all for tonight, my Love.” Kate felt a sudden weakness in her legs.
When David got down on his knee for the second time, Kate wasn’t almost breathing.
The moment he took a small box out of the pocket of his trousers, Kate’s heart almost stopped.
When he opened it, a golden ring with a little diamond sparkled in the box.
Kate could almost hear the ring whisper to her: Yes, just say yes and I’ll be on your finger… I know you want me…
“My dearest Kate, will you marry me?”
Kate didn’t need any time to think. “Yes, yes, YES! I will marry you, David!”
David pushed the golden diamond ring on Kate’s finger. His hands were trembling. Even if he didn’t show it, he was very nervous since the very morning.
“The ring is wonderful, David!” said Kate while she was looking at her finger.
“Thank you, Kate. I’m the happiest man in the world,” he said and hugged his fiancée.
“I love you so much, David,” Kate whispered to him while they were still hugging each other. I will finally have my family and hopefully even my home soon, Kate thought to herself and a little tear streamed down her cheek. ‘My family’ and ‘my home’. Words that many people use on a daily basis… but for Kate, they weren’t just words. They had the value of something that cannot be bought with all the money of the world. Only a child that grew up without his parents and without the real home could understand.
The next day…
It was the evening of the 12th August, the moment to celebrate Kate’s 30th birthday! David insisted on organizing the birthday party for his fiancée. He invited some of Kate’s friends and his friend Jayden. The place he chose to throw the party at was the same club where he met Kate one year ago. When the first guests arrived, the barmaids started making the first drinks.
Kate noticed that Jayden didn’t come alone. His date was a young girl in sunglasses. Why would she wear the sunglasses inside? Kate wondered to herself when she saw them enter the club together. I’m sure she’s not from around here, probably she’s from Bridgeport, Kate continued making opinions on ‘miss sunglasses’ while she went to pick the drinks at the bar and offer them to the newly arrived guests.
As she was going to offer the cocktails to her friends, she noticed David enthusiastically explaining something to the stranger. I really don’t like this, Kate thought to herself as she scanned the girl. She was quite pretty, but Kate didn’t panic much because she knew she was hotter than her anyway.
When Kate gave away the last drink, David was still speaking to HER. Kate noticed Jayden standing alone at the bar, so she decided to approach him and get some info about the girl.
“Hey, Jayden! It’s nice to finally meet you! I’m Kate,” she said happily.
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you too,” smiled Jayden, but Kate felt somewhat strange around him. She didn’t know if it was because she was standing in front of the person who nearly ruined her relationship with David or if it was caused by something else that she couldn’t really explain.
“So, have you read it?” Kate asked him sharply.
“What do you mean?” Jayden felt really unpleasant when Kate suddenly raised her voice.
“Oh, come on. We both know really well what I’m talking about!” Kate was getting angry.
“Look… I’m sorry… I’ve never had to…,” Jayden started apologizing, but Kate didn’t let him finish.
“I don’t really care anymore about what you’ve done, Jayden. What interests me now is whether you’ve read the letter or not!” Kate realized she was probably speaking really loud because the barmaid standing behind Jayden looked very astonished.
“Yes, I have… but trust me, that-,” Jayden wasn’t able to finish the sentence because Kate interrupted him again.
“And what do you think you’re doing now, Jayden?”
“What do you mean, Kate? David told me that you agreed on inviting me to your party, I don’t understand…”
“Yes, Jayden, I’ve agreed on inviting you, but not HER. Who is she anyway?” asked him Kate and pointed at the girl in sunglasses.
“Oh, sorry about that… It’s just… It’s just my good friend from Bridgeport. She’s never been to Italy before, so I thought…”
“Yes? What did you think, Jayden?”
“I thought… I thought that… it was a nice idea to bring her here, so she could…”
“So she could talk and flirt with David all the evening? Is that what you thought, Jayden?” Kate was really getting furious.
“No, of course not, Kate. Please, don’t be angry with me… it’s… it’s your birthday.”
“I know it’s my birthday! Thank you for the lovely gift,” she said acidly, gave him the ‘I really want you dead’ look and went to get something to calm herself down at the other bar.
“Could I get a glass of warm milk, please?” Kate asked for her tested ‘calm-downer’.
“Warm milk? I’m afraid we don’t have any,” the barmaid apologized.
“What do you mean you have no milk?”
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Loewe, but we don’t really use it here.”
“Oh… So, do you have something else that could possibly calm me down?”
“Well, I can make you a cup of green tea, if you like. It increases the brain’s output of relaxation-inducing alpha waves and reduces the output of tension-making beta waves.”
“Just a second, what did you say?” asked puzzled Kate. This time it was her who felt astonished.
“I said, that the green tea should calm you down,” smiled the barmaid.
“Oh, give me that, then.“
While Kate was waiting for her green tea, Jayden went to talk to David.
“Heyyy, Jayden! Nice to see you, buddy!” David smiled broadly and hugged his friend.
“Be careful, bro, Kate perfectly matches the model of the Italian female stereotype,” laughed Jayden and patted David’s back.
“She’s not Italian, Jayden, but anyway what do you mean?” David asked him uncomprehendingly.
“Well, I must admit, that she’s a beauty and… ahem… very fiery.”
“Well, I’ve noticed myself that Kate is a very beautiful woman, but fiery?”
“She kinda got angry with me over the letter and she wasn’t happy that I brought my friend to her party,” explained Jayden.
“Ah, that’s strange because we talked about you yesterday and she seemed okay with it.”
“Probably, when she saw you talking to Heidi, she wasn’t okay with it anymore,” sneered Jayden.
“What? Is she really that jealous?” wondered David and looked at Kate sitting alone at the bar.
“Yeah, she’s probably getting calmed down… she was pretty furious I must say,” said Jayden as they were both looking at Kate now. “So, tell me. Is she good?” Jayden asked impishly.
“Oh, come on, Jayden! She’s my fiancée!”
“You are getting MARRIED?!”
“Yes, I proposed yesterday.”
“Did something hard hit your head recently?”
“No. Jayden, I think I’m ready for this. I really love her.”
“Slow down. Slow down…,” Jayden couldn’t get over the ‘terrible’ news. “You’re just twenty-six, bro, you’re in your best years! You should be having fun, but instead, you are getting hitched?”
“You don’t understand, Jayden. I know why you’ve brought this girl from Bridgeport and my answer is no.”
“Why not? You’re not married yet, bro!”
“I’m not going to play these games anymore. Cross me out off your list.”
“Come on, Dave! We used to have so much fun!” insisted Jayden.
“Well, not anymore, Jayden,” said decisively David and went to get a drink.
When he sat down, he looked at Kate who wasn’t drinking tea anymore. Heidi ‘obediently’ followed Kate’s fiancé to the bar. Kate hasn’t noticed either of the two because she was too concentrated on her cocktail.
Then her phone rang. As she was going away from the bar to answer the call, she could not possibly miss David in the presence of THAT girl. So what now, David? Are you going to get her a drink? Kate thought to herself and started feeling angry again. However, the noisy ringtone prevented her from any further speculations…
“Hi Kate! It’s me, George!”
“Sorry I didn’t make it to the party on time, I was getting your gift ready.”
“It’s okay, George. You haven’t really missed much!”
“So, have you cut the cake yet?”
“No, I haven’t, but hurry up!”
“Okay, I’ll get there in twenty minutes. Bye Katie.”
“Perfect! See you soon then!”
Katie? Why would he call me Katie? Kate thought to herself when she hung up.
She turned around and saw David sitting on the couch and drinking his cocktail. Finally alone, now I can go and ask him what was it all about with the girl, Kate thought to herself as she walked towards him.
Unfortunately, before she had the chance to sit next to her fiancé, the girl jumped on the seat right next to him. What the hell!!!
Kate’s heart started beating fast again, but she decided not to care anymore and rather went to have fun on her own. After all, this was her birthday and she’s barely had some fun! As Kate looked around, she spotted Cécile Petite by the other bar.
They have already met but until now they have never actually had the chance to get to know each other well, so Kate decided this was the moment to change that. They talked for a while and then they also danced together.
As they were dancing, Kate noticed that the girl who was attached to David all the evening has finally found another victim. Finally, Kate thought to herself.
Kate was having way too much fun to speak with David about the girl at the moment. She rather went to speak with her friends.
However, Kate couldn’t stop thinking about David’s conversation with the girl. Kate also had the feeling that the ‘spy’ in the sunglasses was checking her out. By the time Kate ordered the next cocktail, George has already arrived to the party.
“Hello, George! I’m happy you’ve made it to the party!” smiled Kate. “Would you like something to drink?”
“Not for now, maybe later, thank you,” said politely George.
“As you wish!” Kate smiled at him.
“So, happy birthday, Kate!”
“Thank you, George, I’m really happy you’re here tonight!”
“I’m happy too, it looks fun!”
“So, may I know what was it you were getting ready?”
“I am giving you Bella, Kate.”
“Are you for real?”
“Yes, I’ve been thinking all this time what I could possibly gift to you, but nothing was coming to my mind. While I was cleaning the stables yesterday, it suddenly seemed so obvious.”
“Thanks so much, George! It’s so generous of you!” said Kate and hugged him. She managed to spill some cocktail while she hugged George and when she was checking if her clothes got stained, she noticed that David was sitting on the couch all alone now.
“Can you excuse me for a minute?” Kate asked George politely.
“Yes, of course! I’ll go and try one of these,” smiled George and pointed at Kate’s cocktail.
“Cool,” said Kate and went to speak with David.
“Hey honey, wanna dance?” Kate was feeling really nice since she got to know about Bella so she decided to avoid the unpleasant questioning and rather proposed dancing.
“Sure, Love, let’s dance!”
As they danced together, Kate noticed Jayden dancing with his date. About time, girl, about time, Kate thought.
When it was almost time to blow out the candles, David gathered most of the guests to celebrate with Kate. The barmaid took the birthday cake out of the fridge and lit up the candles. Kate stood above her cake while everybody sang the birthday song.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, dear Kate, happy birthday to you!”
Kate was about to blow out the candles when David called from the crowd: “Don’t forget to make a wish, Love!”
“Hmm...,” Kate thought about what she could possibly wish for and when she was decided…
… she blew out all the candles.
Everybody asked her to tell what she wished for, but Kate wouldn’t tell them.
As everybody clapped their hands and cheered, Kate literally turned thirty. What a strange feeling, Kate thought to herself when she felt the stream of time pass through her very own body.
She looks more beautiful than ever, George thought to himself as he watched Kate age up.
Kate closed her eyes.
She hoped that the moment she’d open them again and look in the mirror, she would be still looking at a beautiful woman.
When Kate opened her eyes she felt the same as before. Only when she looked at her hands, they would have new wrinkles. I hope my face hasn’t changed the way my hands have! Kate panicked silently.
But then Jayden approached to get a slice of the birthday cake and Kate heard him say: “Don’t worry, gorgeous, you still look hot. I’d burn my hand if only I could touch you.”
What, how?!?! Kate couldn’t understand. She was sure she was thinking to herself before and that nobody could have heard her say anything. Kate couldn’t stop thinking about Jayden’s words… Could he read her mind?
It was nearly 3 AM and most of the guests had left. The only people that were still at the club were the two barmaids, George, David, and Kate. David approached his fiancée. Kate was about to ask him a question, but David put his finger on her lips before she had the chance to say anything…
“Hush now, my Love,” he said with a very soft voice. “I know it looked like I didn’t care about you all the evening. Please, let me explain everything to you.”
Kate just opened her eyes wider than usual, like if David was about to tell her he was breaking up with her.
“I don’t want to hide any secret from you, Love. Before we get married I want you to know everything about me, and I’d like to know everything about you. No secrets… So, the thing is that Jayden and I, we used to do really crazy things back in Bridgeport. We used to wake up in the morning with a stranger in our bed… We used to wake up in places we didn’t know at all… But it’s all gone now, I promise. You see, this girl he brought with him from Bridgeport wasn’t his girlfriend, it was just a stripper, or a call girl if you prefer. He wanted us to go home all together, that’s why you might have noticed the girl checking you out…”
“Why would he do this?”
“It has always been his gift to someone who invited him to a birthday party…,” said David and looked down at the floor.
“Have you… have you…,” Kate couldn’t bring herself to ask it.
“If I’ve ever participated?” David finished her question. “Yes, Kate, I have.”
Kate’s cheeks got suddenly covered with tears.
“Love, please, look at me,” David put his hand on Kate’s chin and pushed her head up. “It happened only once and I don’t even remember it anymore.”
Kate hugged him tightly and whispered in his ear: “I trust you, David.”
David could feel his shoulder getting cold as Kate’s tears soaked his jacket. He looked into her eyes and said: “I would never hurt you, Kate.”
Kate looked back at him and said: “I know you wouldn’t.” David gave her a soft kiss on the forehead and then he kissed Kate on her lips. It tasted salty, but he didn’t mind.
While they were kissing, one barmaid saw them and told to her colleague: “I wish I knew what true love feels like.”
Her colleague smiled and said: “Love is a friendship set on fire.”
“Well, I have one really good friend,” the first barmaid thought. “So all I need to do is go and burn his house down? Will he love me then?”
Oh, gosh, the second barmaid thought to herself. “Of course not, you silly! Do you know what a metaphor is?”
“No. Wait, a big meteor?”
“Never mind…,” said the second barmaid and started polishing the cocktail glasses. George was eating his second or maybe already the third piece of cake, because he really loved sugary food…
“Thank you for everything, David,” said Kate as she gazed into his eyes.
“Ask me anything, Love, and I will do it for you.”
“Just take me home…,” smiled Kate at David who already knew what she had in mind.
“With pleasure, Love,” David smiled back at her.
*Warning: This page contains spoilers. Clicking the link above will take you to the up-to-date version of The Family Album.