Birthday Cake

When Larry Geilburg was a little boy, he had a tree house in his back yard. Up until he was about eight years old, he'd play various games like magic castle and dragons with his mom Melinda.

On Larry's ninth birthday, Melinda drove to the store to pick up his cake. Even though the rain was pouring down, it didn't take her off her pursuit. But the weather was violent. Her car slid off the road when she swearved to avoid what she thought was a child, but was an umbrella.

(Image: Ante Hamersmit)

Meanwhile Larry's dad, Todd, was watching him. They were watching tv, while they waited for her. But she would never come home. Todd called her hundreds of times before the news came on an hour later.

Melinda had been killed on her way back, with Larry's cake splattered over the windows. He never forgot the image the news cast showed. 

As he grew up, his father couldn't handle the grief, he became a drunk, passing out several times a day only to pass out again. Larry had to fend for himself. He cooked, cleaned, washed, shopped, and went to school, all by himself at age 10. His father was too broken to do anything.

While being hard, it was okay. Not like the afterwards. Todd began getting angry. His wife would have never died if she didn't go to get Larry's cake. At first he'd simply complain about the house not being clean enough, or him getting the wrong lettuce. Then it turned to name calling, saying he was stupid when he got a bad grade, or ugly when he talked about girls he liked. Soon enough it turned into full blown beatings.

When Larry would sit and watch tv, Todd would sit next to him. On Larry's leg. He would call him a chump if he cried, which he always did. Then he'd slap him in the face. He make Larry cover his scars with his mom's make up she left, which triggered even worse abuse. Todd began sexually raping Larry. Tying him to the bed for the weekend, beating him on the weekdays. He made him cook his food while he got nothing, and nearly beat him to death when he tried to got a crumb early.

Life became a living nightmare. Todd not only raped Larry, he slept with various bar woman, resulting in him catching herpes. Todd knew that herpes was a horrible and incurable disease, so he gave it to Larry in spite.

When Larry went to school, the kids teased him, and he eventually dropped out. He never got to graduate. Not having a release from the pain he turned to suicide, but failed because he was incapable of doing it. Todd, who was more mature handled the herpes somewhat fine, but Larry couldn't.

At 15, he was hospitalised. His immune system was particularly against the virus. His system shut down. He was given less than a week to live. His father never came, and he had no friends. On his last day of living, he could feel his heart ready to stop, though he fought to live, despite his troubles. His nurse had a long flow of brown hair, like his mother, so it gave him comfort as she checked on him. She claimed that she didn't feel he should die. 

In his final moments she looked down at him in the bed.

"Happy birthday," she said to him.

"It's not my birthday," he struggled to say.

"It was six years ago," she smiled.

Through his nearly shut eyes the once young face of the girl resembled his mother completely.

"I'll see you soon," she said as she kissed his forehead while he dozed off to sleep. Forever.

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