After everyone has left the theater, Drew stumbles to the restroom. From her clutch, she takes out a photograph taken on her tenth birthday. Of all the birthdays, Drew remembers her tenth most vividly because of this picture and because that was the last one they celebrated together.
Drew is barely visible in the shadow behind her mother, who is captivated by the candles on the cake and doesn’t bother looking up at the camera.
She was always like this, absorbed in something else, something others couldn’t see.
Her mother had spent the whole day in the kitchen, carefully measuring and pouring and decorating the thing. It was chocolate with blue frosting and sloppy yellow stars. The candles were already dripping into the frosting while her father, who didn’t like to waste film, fiddled with the dials on his camera.
“Aren’t you going to take a picture?” she said, and he replied, “If you’re in such a big rush then go ahead and blow them out. I’m not the one who wanted a picture.” He stopped fiddling with the dials to give her a look.
The rest of this chapter is waiting for some agent/publisher to notice. Waiting.