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TITLE: My 18th birthday
By Karen Petty
04/13/07
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This story is a window into the night of my real 18th birthday. It was truly so much fun. I hope that the reader can catch a glimpse of the excitement that is felt when one is young and maybe a little more carefree. I welcome your constructive insights to this piece. I questioned the last line. While the meaning captures and contains all the emotions I felt at the time, can the reader relate to the "woman in the room" line, as there is no actual room? Thanks.
The bright summer sun gave way to dusk, as I stood at my window. He should be here soon. My pulse quickened at the thought of his warm smile. No guy had ever treated me this way before… as if he liked me for who I was, without expectations. We’d only been seeing each other for a couple of months. But, in my experience, this was the closest I’d come to throwing my arms back and just having fun dating.

The sound of a car door closing drew me away from my abounding thoughts. He’d arrived in his father’s beautiful new car. He must’ve done some sweet talking, to get permission to take me out in that ride. He’d only been allowed to get behind the wheel of that car a handful of times.

My eyes didn’t put up a fight, as I watched him walk up to the front steps. I’ll admit. Jason was a great looking guy. Something about him made my stomach flutter & put me at ease at the same time. He was outgoing, funny, and grounded. Somehow, he brought out the best in me. Each time we’d get together, there would always be laughter. It may’ve had some seriousness mixed in, at times. But, the whole package was completely appealing to me.

Our destination was still unknown to me, as we traveled to celebrate my 18th birthday. Conversation came so easy, as usual, as the sun went down. I sat puzzled as he parked the car, and collected some items from the back. On his ok, I stepped out into the darkness. I followed his lead onto the grassy field. There in front of us, was spread a blanket, a cooler & a radio. I could’ve been frightened of his intentions, but my antennas were not picking up anything unsavory & would not do so, for the rest of the night.

Jason was a server by day. He’d really been paying attention during our previous dates, as he somehow knew my favorite goodies. With a towel across his forearm, he there laid a 2 liter of my soft drink of choice, offering it in such a way as to rival the most well known restaurant in town. After drinking Sprite from slender champagne glasses, we lay back and waited. I hadn’t realized that we were just under an airstrip. Planes flew across our view as we talked and laughed, listening to the radio. We may’ve stolen a few kisses under the night sky, adding to one of the best birthdays to date, for me.

Then there was the quiet birthday serenade. He pressed a small candle into a tub of Haagendaas chocolate ice cream. Purple cocktail napkins & petite golden spoons adorned a magical evening, as Jason sang, just for me. His eyes looked deep into mine, with an ever present twinkle that caused me to smile without thinking. This was turning out to be a great birthday.

We gathered his props and headed for my house. The car held sounds of music, laughter, and talking as we traveled home. We even made plans for our next date. I think we both wanted the evening to last a bit longer but my driveway approached our view. If his intention at my door was to kiss me and make me like it, it worked. Wowzers! I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face till my head hit the pillow (or maybe even longer). This had been one of the best evenings I’d ever had!


Much time has passed since that wonderful summer. My mind holds lots of memories of that budding season that kicked-off my grown-up years. Every woman should have a chance to feel like the smartest, most capable, feminine, and heart stopping woman in the room. And that’s exactly how I was made to feel, that night, on my 18th birthday!
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