I remember my eighth birthday party with astonishing clarity.
There had been other parties before—small gatherings at home with cousins and brothers and grandparents—but this was the first one to which I invited friends.
This was the first proper one.
I wore new jeans and a denim jacket; both much-longed for presents that I’d unwrapped with glee earlier in the day. There was a table piled high with sausage rolls and mini pizzas; an enormous cake with icing and candles. There were generous gifts from all my friends, and a stash of party bags for when they left.
It should have been perfect.
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