New jeans with my new favorite belt, the one that reminds me of Phoenix. Turquoise earrings, zigzag blouse with the keyhole cut out, sandals with the heels just a touch higher than what I normally wear. Girls night out and we’re leaving the island. The mini van is our town car for the evening.

Laughter and stories about the week behind us drown out the rain on the windshield. A hint slips into the conversation inadvertently and several of us raise an eyebrow at the offender. Easy, sister. Don’t blow it. We park, and make our way to the restaurant in the ultra-urban, up and coming part of town. The balloons are a dead give away and before we can say her name, she is paused, hand over mouth. Surprise.

Drinks and thoughtful words and even a song are offered in honor of the occasion. We are interesting and curious, colorful, like songbirds on a fence railing, oblivious to the restaurant around us. We are good at this. Harmony and alliance. Remembering the gift, leaving the rest on the floor, like ribbon trimmings.

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