Who was the surprise guest at this birthday party?
Contest Prompt: ▼
My name is Alvin Stone. I live with my dad and his girlfriend. Dad gave up making me learn their names. They change to often. I’m eleven. Dad is old. He just doesn’t know it. You should see what he wears. Clothes and old girls. That’s my dad’s thing. Hey. It isn’t that bad. I get left alone to do my thing a lot.
What? What's my thing? I like watching people I guess.
Yeah. I hear that all the time. I sound older than my age. I don’t know. I’m just me. Dad figures leaving me alone a lot will make me grow up faster. I make my own meals. I do my own laundry. Stuff like that. He calls it making me responsible. That is the excuse anyway. He has a million. You know his favorite one? When I point out something he forgot? Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.
Go figure. It doesn’t make any sense at all. What does it even mean? Dad is so into himself he probably doesn’t even know it is my birthday. I used to try and make a big deal out of it. Make him feel guilty and all that. He just tells me to grow up and stop whining. That is my dad for you.
My mom? I don't have one. Yeah. That is o.k. I'm used to it.
Why am I telling you this? I don’t sound mad, do I? I am just a little nervous. I mean. I don’t usually talk to strangers but you were here picking up your mail and so was I. Look. I got this birthday card. It is from somebody who says they are my mom. I don’t even remember what she looks like. My dad won custody. Dad won’t talk about her. She wants to meet up today.
Do you think I should? Yeah. I do too. I mean you only got one mom, right? The card said we were born on the same day. But there is this problem.
You smell good, you know that?
Hey. I don’t want to keep you if you are busy or something. Probably got something going all dressed up like that. You got any kids?
One? Yeah? About my age? Sure. I’d like to meet him. Well, I don’t know about coming up to your apartment. I know we are talking and all that. But you know we are strangers.
You think so, huh? I don’t seem like a stranger to you? Yeah, we are getting along ok. Look. It wouldn't be right. It might be ok if you brought your kid down here. Meeting in public like this is all right, I guess. No. I'm not getting nervous about you. You talk to me like I'm real.
Hey. Thanks. Nobody ever wanted to celebrate my birthday with me before.
It is O.K. You don’t have to do that. I always celebrate my birthday alone. See? My mom forgot to put a time or someplace to meet. That's the problem. No wonder she and dad got along there for a while. Skipping something like that is crazy.
I never got a letter before. It was addressed to me and everything.
What? The return address? Oh. I never thought of that. It would tell me where she lives wouldn’t it?
Hey. It is right here. Gee. She lives in this building. That is kind of spooky. I mean. Maybe there is a reason dad never talks about her. Do you think my mom is weird or something?
Where do you live? Up on the second floor? That’s where this address is. I bet you met my mom. Think of that. Which apartment? It is number thirteen. What’s yours?
Yeah. I can keep a secret. Your apartment number is what?
Thirteen? No way. You are my mom? Really? How do I know that? What? Yeah, I do have a birthmark on my butt. How did you . . . oh. Hi, mom.
Yeah. We do have a lot of catching up to do. Yeah. Happy birthday to you too. What kept you so long?