“Why don’t you slow down a bit, Lilli? We haven’t even cut the cake yet.” Mum frowned, not happy with the amount of juice I’d had already.
“Let her have her fun. Don’t you remember your 18th birthday?”
“I do, actually, which is my point! If she keeps going like this she won’t remember a thing.” Mum did look a bit wistful I thought, and I remembered her telling me a while ago that she had moved out right after her 18th birthday. I had never met anyone else from my family, but I knew that they lived quite far away. Mum had literally moved across the whole country once she had been old enough!
Milan was right – my big day was finally here, and I intended on celebrating it properly, with a lot of juice and a lot of dancing! You do only turn 18 once, after all. I had really wanted to invite some guys as well but given my recent ‘breakup’ I didn’t think it’d be a good idea. Mum did believe that the ‘breakup’ had been genuine, and I didn’t want to give her a reason to think otherwise, or to start watching me all over again.
So it was just Mum, Milan, a cook and a bartender. A very talented bartender, who obviously knew his stuff and who kept the juice flowing, much to Mum’s dislike. Thanks to the cook Mum had hired there was more than enough food. By the time I was ready to blow out my candles every one felt pretty stuffed already, but it wasn’t so much about the cake as it was about finally being a grown-up and away from under Mum’s watchful eye. I knew she really loved the house – I did, too – but I was definitely able to move out and live on my own, too. Being able to invite over whoever I wanted, at any time of day or night, seemed almost too good to be true, but now that I was old enough I could do just that, and I was looking forward to that more than anything else.
Everything was a bit hazy by the time I went into the kitchen to blow out the candles. Mum and Milan were having a slightly tipsy discussion in the living room (given how tipsy they were I was surprised that neither of them had tried anything!) and didn’t pay any attention to me in the kitchen, but I was excited enough not to care. I was an adult! I was old enough to move out, have woohoo without my Mum getting mad, and I would be able to start my career in two months time. I had been to an interview during which I had really impressed the interviewer with my stamina on the field track outside, and just had to sign the contract now.
People always said that they felt the same on their birthdays, but I definitely didn’t. I looked the same, but I was going to change that soon, too. I was excited, full of energy, and ready to start my life!
But for now I had more important things to do. Like enjoying my birthday party. Tomorrow I’d break the news to Mum that I wanted to move out. Tomorrow I’d start looking at houses, or maybe have my own place build. Right now, I had two drinks in my hands which needed to be emptied, and there was more yet on the bar.
Mum wasn’t happy with how much I had to drink and told me so several times, but Milan just laughed and told her to let me enjoy my big birthday. Maybe once I had moved out he’d move in with her? If he did they’d become an official couple soon after for sure, there was no way they weren’t-
Slowly, I felt the juice kick in. My legs were feeling unusually soft and things were blurring quite a bit, so eventually I turned in for the night. My new life wasn’t going to be easy to start if I was hungover in bed all day – as it was I’d probably sleep in and would need Mum to make me some eggs on toast.
But, much to my surprise, I didn’t feel too bad! I did sleep longer than usually, but once I got up the initial sickness and dizziness subsided pretty quickly. Which meant that I was well enough for the first step on my new path.
I went shopping and bought a few things that I felt suited me better. I also changed my hair a little to look more full and softer. Guys liked soft, full hair, right?
On my way back home from my shopping trip I had noticed a beautiful, small one-bedroom house which would be perfect for me. I didn’t need much room to myself, as long as I had a nice bedroom, a big bathtub and a spacious sofa (maybe a nice, sturdy table) I’d be happy. And because it only had the one bedroom it was fairly cheap, too. It definitely fell easily into our budget! And with my career kicking off soon Mum would have nothing to worry about in terms of me not being able to pay my bills.
I just had to convince Mum to let me go now.