Tea and Cakes and Ices

_MG_0590 (5) Simena is all airy lightness in her gauzy pink party dress with its tiny blue-green ribbons. Today is her birthday–she is eighteen. Her birthday cake was a miracle of white buttercream frosting and sugar-crusted candied violets. The girls ate chocolate mint petitfours and raspberry tarts. Simena’s mother decided they were old enough to each have a small glass of dandelion wine. Now a bit tipsy, they have traipsed into the back garden, giddy with sunshine, giggling, twirling, pretending this is the spring fling, the last dance of their high school year, happy and scared and thrilled with anticipation. Simena’s face is flushed, perhaps from the wine, perhaps from the dancing. She feels as if she is part of the sky, the sunshine, the smell of dust and grass, part of the pulsing heat, until it all blurs and she blurs and all that is left is a perfect sort of joy and a sadness and the feel of the breeze against her skin.

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