February started amazing. I really didn’t forsee it, I woke up on the 4th feeling like nothing to celebrate as I aged twenty-eight. I even forgot it was my birthday until Fakhrul whispered “Happy Birthday” in my ear at midnight when I was half awoke on bed. Really, I thought it was the 2nd instead of the 3rd.
I went to work sloppily and our receptionist wished again. How the hell did she know, I don’t know. By afternoon in between our discussion about the dome details of the mosque project we’re doing, Abah hinted a surprise. He wanted Fakhrul to come with him to town after lunch, apparently they were going to go wax the car. Really, in the middle of office hours? Well, he was the boss so I didn’t question. They came back with two cakes, apparently my favourite American Chocolate from my favourite bakery. One to share with the staff and the other to ruin my diet. When the time came, I told them I didn’t want them to sing. I was twenty-eight, not eight. But they sang anyway, and I endured what happened to be the longest song in my life. I was red faced and embarrassed. They probably thought I wanted to be celebrated but I only wanted to share cake.
I didn’t use Daisy to put things right with my mother, I used cake instead. I walked in the meeting room and offered her a slice, which she took and then asked for more. I was relieved. The last thing I wanted in this world was not in talking terms with my mother on my birthday. After all, this was the first birthday we had together in a long time. I remember feeling pathetic applying for one day holiday in UK just to feel special on my birthday. Birthdays were just another day so there were hardly friends around to celebrate with. Only a day off from work seems to guarantee you’ll have a good day on birthdays.
By the time we got home, everybody rushed and dressed up. We went to for dinner at some fine Thai restaurant in Wangsa Maju, masterminded by my little sister. My brother were there too, only I wished that his wife and their children would’ve joined too. Although I was the birthday person, Daisy seemed to get all the attention. The girl who greeted us, who I swear had the highest slits on her cheongsam that I thought she probably didn’t have any panties on, put this red flower on Daisy’s ear. She looked all flowery with her already flowery blouse and flowery name. It was so cute, I myself couldn’t get enough of her. We ate the fine cuisine and the fantastic drinks and then out of the blue these traditionally dressed up waiters sang Happy Birthday, handing over this shiny Secret Recepi’s tiramisu cake that I love. Again, I endured. This time it was even more embarrassing with the strangers around who joined in the ‘choir’. It was quite spectacular, as I couldn’t remember the last time I was being celebrated that way.
It was more than I wanted for. The Tiffany’s pendent or the Dior sunglasses seemed far from my mind. I forgot everything that was material and gained all the lovely emotions instead. I was so overwhelmed that I woke up the next morning with a fever. And got a day off anyway.