Arianna sneered instead.
The flash from the camera blinded her. She looked down at the white sheet cake on the table, now obscured by dark splotches. One big red candle in the center of the cake sparkled, looking more appropriate for the Fourth of July than a birthday for a woman in her 40s.
Beneath the paper birthday hat, Arianna marveled at her brother’s tackiness as she adjusted the elastic string that was slowly cutting into her chin. It seemed to worsen every four years.
Around the lit candle were the words “Happy 10th Bissextus” in red icing.
“You’ve finally hit the double digits, Ari!” Bruce screamed. “That’s worth a smile or two.”
He lowered the camera. His smile fell with it.
“Come on, Ari,” Bruce said, more quietly, “if mom and dad were here, you know they’d celebrate this day.”
Arianna calmed herself. As a Leap Day baby she only had to endure this moment every four years, so why not reward her brother’s hard, if not misguided, work and blow out the garish candle? Besides, if he talked too long about their parents he would end up in the fetal position in the corner, Continue reading