Welcome back to my annual birthday story. Ready to find out what happens next with David and Macy? Read on. Or, if you missed Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, or Day 4, follow those links to catch up!
Macy hadn’t been able to get a good read on David this afternoon. Had he been pleased with his party? Was he upset? Was that why he wanted to talk to her?
He had mentioned to his mom that he didn’t want a party. And that’s exactly what she’d thrown. Maybe she’d ruined her chances for an office friendship before it could even start. Her own mom often chided her for eavesdropping. This exact situation was the reason.
“Macy?” David’s voice in her doorway startled her from her brooding.
“David. Hi.” She set her pens straight on her blotter for the next day.
“I have a question for you.” David leaned against her desk.
“Why did you think today was my birthday?”
Her hands stilled and she slowly lifted her gaze to him. “What?”
Welcome back to my annual birthday story. Ready to find out what happens next with David and Macy? Read on. Or, if you missed Day 1, Day 2, or Day 3, follow those links to catch up!
Something strange was going on. David frowned as another coworker walked past his cubicle. An awful lot of traffic for a Tuesday afternoon. Had he missed a meeting memo?
A quick scan of his emails showed nothing. But three more walked by, whispering as they passed his desk. Maybe someday he’d have a close bond to some of his coworkers too. In the last month, he hadn’t really had time to get to know anyone. But surely that would change now that the Tyler project was wrapped up.
“Hey. Meeting in the conference room.” Macy poked her head through his doorway.
“I didn’t get a message about it.” David motioned toward his screen.
She shook her head. “It was last-minute.”
He frowned. “What’s it about?”
“Standard stuff. You know how it goes.” Macy moved her head in a ‘follow-me’ sort of way. “You coming?”
“If only to appease my curiosity.” He grabbed a memo pad and a pen. “Lead on.”
Welcome back to my annual birthday story. Ready to find out what happens next with David and Macy? Read on. Or, if you missed Day 1, or Day 2, follow those links to catch up!
“I don’t know, Macy. I’m sort of on a diet right now. Gotta stay thin enough to fit into my wedding dress next month, ya know.” Hilary ran her hands down her perfectly skinny waist and Macy barely kept herself from rolling her eyes.
“Even if you don’t eat the cake, you could still come sing.” Macy cocked an eyebrow. “I didn’t get a huge cake anyway. Our birthday budget was pretty much blown for the month already.”
“We have had a lot of birthdays lately.”
“If I remember, I’ll try to swing by. You said three?” Hilary jiggled her mouse to wake her computer back up.
“In the big conference room.” Macy backed out of the payroll office. “And tell the others when they get back from lunch.”
Hilary waved at Macy, but no telling if she actually heard her words or not. Something had already caught her eye on the monitor in front of her.
Macy huffed. Things were not going as well as she’d figured. Maybe people were birthday’d out or something, but barely anyone seemed excited about celebrating David this afternoon. They’d sure be put out if no one showed up to celebrate them on their day, but apparently it was too much trouble to give the same courtesy to their newest co-worker.
Welcome back to my annual birthday story. Ready to find out what happens next with David and Macy? Read on. Or, if you missed Day 1, it's here.
David stepped into the small kitchenette and the three women congregated around the microwave practically gasped as they straightened. Strange. Not that David had ever confessed to understanding the female half of the species. Still … he didn’t think he was that startling.
He eased around them to grab his leftovers from the fridge. A few titters of laughter burst from a couple of the girls before they smirked and headed out of the kitchen. That left only Macy.
She occupied the cubicle on the other side of his wall. Often he heard her soft voice chatting on the phone or with other co-workers. But he rarely had time to actually experience a conversation with her for himself. Since he’d started a month before, their schedules hadn’t cooperated for much more than a smile in passing.
Maybe that could change soon. He leaned back against the counter on the other side of the microwave while she waited for her meal to finish heating. Glancing her way, he discovered her watching him, but she quickly turned her attention to the beeping machine.
She hissed as she grabbed the hot container and let it slip a bit, some red sauce splattering over the countertop. “Shoot!”
For the last few years, I've shared a short story here on my blog, one piece a day for the week of my birthday. This is my fifth year to do this, although my birthday isn't technically until next week. It fit my calendar better this week.
All the others are still on my blog under the link "Short Stories." Feel free to go back and read the others. And in the meantime, I have a new one this week. Enjoy!
Here's part one.
Macy tried to tune out the voice filtering over from the next cubicle, but it was hard. David was worked up about something. Not that it took much for him to catch her attention. Between his mellow voice and his thick dark hair, he made it hard to focus on work several times a day.
“That’s very sweet, and you know I love you for it. But no. I don’t need a celebration.”
Celebration? One of Macy’s favorite words. Something told her this spreadsheet would not be finished today.
“Mom, seriously. No.” He paused. “Yes, I know it’s been three-hundred and sixty-five days. But that doesn’t mean we need to celebrate. Seriously.”
A tapping followed, as if he were letting out frustration through his pen. Macy lifted a brow.
“Yes. We can have dinner. But nothing more. I don’t want a big deal made.”
Was it his birthday? What else could he be talking about? A celebration for something that happened once a year.
Macy stifled a squeal. Any excuse to eat cake was a good one in her book.
We're three months into 2023. Normally, I'd have some sort of exciting news to tell you about what I'm working on. Want the truth?
I haven't written much this year.
It's a shocker, right? Well, not so much, considering everything else I've been doing. And I did start the year off with a book launch in February, which took up quite a bit of time. So does editing. And my other jobs. And my kids. And you get the idea.
These aren't excuses, though. Simply life. All that to say, there's not much new to talk about right now. But ...
Thanks so much for joining us this week. This is the final part of my birthday gift to you, a fun short story. I hope you loved it, or that it at least made your week a bit brighter.
If you need to catch up, the first day is here, Tuesday is here, Wednesday is here, and Thursday is here. Enjoy the end!
“And isn’t this year a big one?” Kathy lifted a brow.
Ginny narrowed her eyes. “I suppose you could say that.”
“The big 4-0.” Pete walked to the front door and opened it.
“What are you doing?” Ginny stepped that way, but froze as more friends piled into their house. Friends who weren’t simply parents of her son’s friends.
Balloons and flowers came in with several of them. As well as another cake, this one decorated for her.
Ginny’s mouth hung open. She had literally given up on a party or anything else for her birthday other than the card Pete had handed her that morning. And here was her wildest dream come true.
“You did this?” She turned to her husband as he stepped next to her.
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here, Tuesday is here, and yesterday is here. Have fun!
“Whoa, Mom! This is amazing!” Carter spun in a circle in the middle of the dining room.
The night before, Pete had hung the banner while Ginny placed all her candy Lego bricks on the store-bought cake. Honestly? It didn’t look that bad. Maybe even better than not bad, considering the boy’s reaction.
Balloons and streamers hung in other corners. Ginny had printed out a game online where the kids could challenge each other to build different structures or vehicles. And Michelle had helped her make a pinata that looked like a big Lego brick. It was enough to make any almost-seven-year-old boy happy.
Still, it would’ve been nice if the first words out of his mouth to her this morning were, “Happy Birthday.”
Just a single recognition. Was that too much to ask?
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here and yesterday is here. Have fun!
“Hey, can you come grab that?” Ginny attempted to tie the balloon in her hands more quickly as the oven timer went off.
Pete grunted from his chair. “Yep. Give me just one minute.” His fingers flew over his phone screen, typing who-knew-what.
“Pete …” Ginny pushed the tip through the knot around her fingers, but it slipped back out again.
“Yeah. I’m coming.” He rose and started walking toward the kitchen, but slowly.
An acrid smell filled the air. No! Ginny let go of the balloon and rushed toward the oven, but she slipped on the edge of the tablecloth that draped longer on one side of the table than the other. She hit the floor, her palms slapping the linoleum.
“Ginny, you okay?” Pete leaned over her.
“Don’t stop for me! Pull the cake out!” She flapped in the direction of the oven.
He turned, jerked the door open, and a bit of smoke wafted out. Too late. He groaned as he pulled out the almost-black dessert.
Thanks so much for joining us this week to read my birthday gift to you, a short story. If you need to catch up, the first day is here. Have fun!
“But Dad, what ARE we doing for Mom’s birthday this year?” Michelle took a big bite of chicken finger.
Pete’s gaze met Ginny’s across the table, fear palpable in his expression. He did not do parties if he could at all avoid it. Most of the time, he made sure Ginny got some gifts and a bag of her favorite chocolates. And she appreciated it.
But this was a big year.
Sure, Pete hadn’t wanted any deal made when he turned forty the year before. But he hated being the center of attention, too. In fact, he’d rather skip his birthday completely, if he could find a way to do it. But he’d married Ginny, who loved any and all excuses to celebrate.
“Chelle, Mom’s birthday isn’t for two more weeks. I know because mine is two weeks and two days away and hers is right before mine.” Carter dipped a French fry in ketchup.
“I know hers is before yours, Carter. That’s why I suggested we start planning for it. Because we should celebrate hers BEFORE yours.” Michelle, at age twelve, had the patronizing eye-roll down perfectly.
“Are we going to give Mom a party?” Carter’s forehead wrinkled.
All eyes turned her way.
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)