Like most kids I was allowed a birthday party. It’s strange to think about it, because in our house kids were only supposed to be seen, not heard. I woke up all excited, got out of bed and put on my dress for the occasion, and my mother helped me fix my hair before breakfast. Then I helped set the table with cups, plates, spoons, napkins, soft drinks and cakes. We lit the candles, and my heart was jumping with joy on this one day of the year that I was allowed to be a child, a child whose adoptive parents for once smiled at her and told her kind words. This was better than Christmas, because I was having guests.
There was this one year, as I was helping set the table, I was carrying a little crystal sugar bowl and, to my horror, I stumbled down two small steps leading into the living room and dropped the bowl. There was sugar all over the place, and the bowl was in a thousand … miserable … pieces. I started to cry because I was sorry for the bowl, and the mess, but then my heart started racing because I knew what to expect next. Yelling, for starters. I was completely dissolved in tears and almost impossible to comfort, but my guests would arrive soon so I had to try to find my smile.
The day went by surprisingly well, I almost forgot about the broken bowl, and when the evening came I was happy, looking at my presents and wishing that I could have birthdays more often.
But at bedtime my adoptive parents told me that, since it was my birthday, I would not get a beating today. It would wait until tomorrow. My happy feeling was gone, and I was that frightened little girl again, who wished that she could disappear quickly to the end of the rainbow.