34 4 6

The thing I love about instant pictures is that they capture a moment. A snapshot of time that you can travel back to like a time portal whenever you look at it. One such picture was taken at a costume party.

It was the year I'd lose most of my friends. For this was the year we graduated, and from the way they discussed future events, it seemed none of us were sticking together.

The last thing I felt like doing was celebrating. At my request, my 18th birthday came and went with little fanfare. Secretly, I hoped they'd override me, but nope. Then my best friend hands me an invitation to a costume party.

"I'll need your help to set up. You'll be there, right?" she asked with pleading eyes.

"Yeah, I'll be there." Despite my feelings, I couldn't let my friend down.

The day of the party, I dressed up in a kitty costume, with full face makeup.

"You're not going to the party dressed like that, are you?" my mother asked.

"Yeah, why?"

"Aren't you going to be hot while you're doing the setup? Why don't you get changed into your costume later?" she suggested.

"It would be stupid to change now. It's already done," I said, pointing to my face.

"Don't wear it over there. Just take it with you."

Not in the mood for demands, I retorted, "I'm 18 now, Mom. I got this."

Her brow rose at my tone, and she shrugged. "Okay, don't say I didn't warn you."

Well, that was an odd thing to say. No time to dwell on it, though. I had a friend in need. Arriving at her house, I rang the bell. No one answers. I rang it again. I could hear movement in the house. Seriously, where was she?!

My best friend opened the door. Her eyes grew wide and her lips pressed together to suppress a giggle. "Hey, you're here!" she announced unreasonably loud since I was standing right in front of her.

"Inside voice," I said, irritated. "You asked me to be here early, remember? To set up for the party?" Had she gone daft?

"In your costume," she added, nodding and now was openly grinning at me... why is she grinning at me?

She swung the door open wide. I took a step forward and my friends leap out from everywhere, yelling, "SURPRISE!"

I'd seen the flash. I heard the laughter. There was nowhere to hide. Can you die from embarrassment?

My mom walks past me with a cake in hand. "Next time, listen to your mother."

My friend giggled and pulled me inside. I was the only guest in full costume, and that is how I remained for the duration of my surprise birthday party created by my friends and family to celebrate my turning 18.

We did all moved on, but every time I see that picture. I'm right back there with all of them, dying from embarrassment but feeling the love.  


Oops! This image does not follow our content guidelines. To continue publishing, please remove it or upload a different image.
SURPRISE!Where stories live. Discover now