“You know, I think I just want to have a quiet celebration this year, you don't have to—”

“Hush. We're taking you out. Get in the car.”

Drove downtown through the lamp-lit streets, all the way to an incredibly sketchy movie theatre, tucked into a back alleyway & sandwiched between a questionably hygienic tattoo parlour & a flickering neon-lit ice cream shop. Climbed an increasingly narrow staircase to the 7th floor, then spent far too long attempting to catch our breaths in the cigarette-smoky air. Paid $5 each to see a screening of a melodramatic indie film amongst hipsters, biker guys with more tattoos than skin, & fellow lost teenagers. Piled into rickety cinema chairs. Spent most of the film drinking warm root beer & making out with respective S.O.s & giggling at the painfully stereotypical dialogue. Stumbled down the stairs once more, found ourselves in the ice cream shop, bought a decadent ice cream sundae & gorged ourselves on whipped cream-covered loveliness. Sang a beautifully off-key rendition of Happy Birthday as I blushed furiously & other midnight ice cream eaters stared unabashedly.

I have the most ridiculous, irreverent, flawed, wonderful friends in the world. What a perfect way to turn 16.