She slipped down into the bubbles of water. The perfume entering her nose, leaving her feeling intoxicated. Tonight was a very special evening, her sweet 16 birthday party. Mama had taken her clothes shopping, and after going in and out of different stores, the two of them came up on a small boutique, and once inside, they discovered a fabulous sale.
The dress was chosen, layers of taffeta, a light blue in color, matching the shade of her very own eyes. Mama had allowed her to buy her very first make-up items. Mascara, a light shade of eye shadow, and matching lipstick.
Now as she lay under the bubbles, she was dreaming about all of the guests that would be arriving in two hours. She had been dreaming of this moment, ever since her older sister had her own sweet 16 party. She, herself, had been allowed to attend the first fifteen minutes or so, and then was asked to disappear, letting the sister bask in the attention, and now it was her turn.
She gently washed each area of her skin, and scrubbed her face until it shone. Her hair was up in bobby pins so the water would not damage the great works the hairdresser had performed.
Family and friends and the special boy of her dreams would all be here. Last night she had hardly slept,due to the excitement running through her veins. She had helped her mama decorate the living room and the back porch. The kitchen shined from over cleaning. Banners were hung, and balloons had been blown up and dangled gently in the air.
As she rose from her bath, she looked at herself in the mirror as she was drying off. She was proud of who she was and how she looked. Mama had taught her to take good care of her skin and what foods to eat for nutrition and longevity.
She wrapped herself in her robe and letting the water out of the tub, she walked down the hall into her bedroom. Closing the door, she walked to her bed, and admired the dress she was about to put on. It was a treat to have something so beautiful to wear. She had her Sunday clothes for church, but nothing this beautiful ever hung in her closet.
She sat down at her vanity, and began to paint her toenails and her fingernails, in a matching color. Mama had gone all out for her. She had told her daughter about the memories that she had of her own sweet 16 party, and she wanted this to be a special night for her also, so mama had went the extra mile for all of the finishing touches.
After her nails had dried, she slipped on her dress, and twirled around in front of her mirror. She felt beautiful inside and out. She put on the matching ballet slippers and walking back to her vanity, she took the pins out of her hair. She shook her hair from side to side to fluff it out. Long gentle curls fell to her shoulders, giving the dress an extra soft look.
She grabbed her make-up and went to the kitchen where her family was bustling around trying to get last-minute details finished. Mama took one look at her daughter’s hands, and stopped what she was doing and she took her by the shoulders and guided her into her bedroom.
The daughter was not allowed in this room. This was mama and papa’s room, so she felt even more grown up that for this night, she was a princess, she was special . Mama sat her down on the bed, and put the make-up on the young face, explaining how to do it and to not use too much. The point was to make the beautiful face glow. Too much paint, and a harshness would tarnish the beauty. She watched her mama and thought that she could do it herself the next time.
It was time for the party, the doorbell was beginning to ring, guests were being welcomed in, and the music began to play. She was sitting in her room, with butterflies twitching in her stomach. Nerves were beginning to take over. She took a deep breath, and looked in the mirror and smiled at her reflection. This is your big night, my friend, leave the smile on and go enjoy your evening, she told herself.
As she entered the living room, camera lights were going off, and many compliments were being tossed her way about her dress and hair, and how grown up she looked wearing make-up. She felt like Cinderella going to the ball. It was all that she had dreamed about.
She mingled with each guest, and when the doorbell rang once again, her parents opened it to her boyfriend. He took one look at her and laid the gift down on the table that he had brought her, and walked straight to her, telling her that she was the most beautiful girl in the world. She thought her heart was going to bounce right out of her body. She loved him so much.
After everyone had arrived, the party took on a personality of its own. Laughter and conversations could be heard echoing through each room. The food tables looked wonderful, and her boyfriend brought her a plate and had gotten one for himself also.
The plates were filled with tiny sandwiches, cheeses, nuts, olives and crackers. She barely touched her plate, while she observed him having no problems eating his. After they were finished eating,the cake was cut and everyone gathered around her, and sang happy birthday to her. She was showered with gifts, and after opening each one, she said thank you and passed around the gifts so that everyone could see what she had received.
When all packages had been opened, the music changed to more of a dance style. Nice and soft with a nice beat. One by one, people grabbed their partners, and the dancing began. Her boyfriend came up to her and asked if she would like to dance, and without saying a word, she let him lead her to the center of the room, where all eyes fell upon them.
She was not a good dancer, but neither was he, but all could see that they were enjoying themselves. The dancing went straight through to the end of the party. Some stopped dancing and went back to mingling with others, but she and he stayed glued to the music, hand in hand, step to step, she, leaning on his shoulder, and he, with a big smile.
As the party winded down, everyone pitched in to help straighten up a bit. Plates and glasses, and silverware, were all taken to the kitchen for cleaning. Wrapping papers were gathered and placed into a big garbage bag.
After all was semi clean, one by one started to leave, each saying what a wonderful time they had, and they were so glad that they could share in this special moment. As each one left, the room grew quieter, and the music was shut off. Soon all that was standing around was the family, she and her boyfriend.
She asked her parents if she could walk him to his car, and they agreed, so hand in hand the two walked out the front door and down the side-walk to his car. When they arrived at the car, each of them turned toward each other, and he thanked her for inviting him. She began to say that she was so glad that he came, but before the words could be spoken, he reached over and gave her, her first kiss on the lips, and then he disappeared into his car and out of sight.
She touched her lips where he had kissed her, and branded that moment in her memory box forever. She walked back in through the door, and went over and gave her parents a big hug, and thanked them for the party. She exclaimed how she had such a wonderful time, and she would never forget this. Her mama said to her, I was hoping this is what you would say.