Have you ever wondered what happens when all the candles have been blown out, when all the presents have been opened, when all the guests have left? Have you ever thought of what happens after the birthday party?
In my opinion, we each take a pause within the day (maybe just before the day runs out), and just dwell in the yesteryears. That is what After the Birthday Party is all about.
It’s about the free-roaming thoughts that come once the dusk settles in. It’s about the little incidents that have molded us to who we are today, to who we are to become tomorrow. It’s about the little heartaches that swell in our hearts, persistent and ever-nagging. It’s about the little tears we’ve shed because we felt pain and happiness. It’s about almost-forgetting, but never quite letting-go. It’s about remembering.
The stories here, as varied as they are, are all about these memories. The themes ring of hope, love, regret and loss, but they also sing of strength, passion, loneliness and darkness. They take note of childhood escapades, of far-flung dreams, of wanton wishes. They declare in poems and move in stories. They cling desperately to the present, while shakenly staring at the past.
They are you, as you are your friend, as your friend is the kid crossing the street.
What makes each of these pieces closer to my own heart is the fact that I know these people. These are people I don’t see everyday, but I know who they are. These are people who have decided that I, a stranger in their midst, can look into their own hearts to view their miseries and joys. These are people who have poured forth words to describe their most beautiful and poignant moments to me, for me, by me. A piece of these people are in my hands, and, as I have contributed my own whispers in this book, a piece of me is in yours too, dear reader.
After the birthday party, when all of the guests have gone
Go open up your own heart, and let it burst into song
Inside are laid memories, buried oh-so deep within
Enjoy the tear it gives you, and let the party truly begin
Thank you, friends, for a beautiful read :’)
Bonus material: This is the initial (unpublished) piece I contributed to this work.
“He came. I fell in love. I hoped it would last.
He left. I regret nothing. I am still whole. “ (highlight for spoiler)