My 'Sweet Sixteen' was a surprise birthday party thrown for me by one of my then-close friends. I remember strange bits of the party. For example, that it was held on the night before my birthday so that we could all be together when the clock struck midnight. I remember that we had cake and other food that people made. I remember that the host was nice enough to invite a friend of mine that she didn't personally like. I remember Jeff coming from Scarborough by bus to be at my party. I remember taking his baseball cap and wearing it for the rest of the evening. I remember Marlene [my sister] leaving early to go with Jeff to the subway, and asking to borrow my sweater because it was cold. I remember one of the attendees' asked her parents to drive me home.
What's distinctly memorable is everything after the party. I remember driving to the street that my apartment was on and my friend's parents insisting that they drop me off right at my door to ensure that I was safe. I remember waving good-bye as they drove away. I remember the moment it hit me that my house keys were in the pocket of the sweater that Marlene had taken with her when she left. I remember knocking and screaming really loudly hoping that someone, any one of my family members would awaken and let me in. I remember thinking back to the moment that my friend and her parents offered to wait until I got inside, and shooing them off. I remember walking to the nearest payphone and collect calling my home in hopes that that would awaken someone, and being really upset that it didn't. I remember how cold it was, that I bore only a short-sleeved t-shirt [because I had given Marlene my sweater] and thankfully, Jeff's baseball cap because I'd forgotten to return it to him. If it weren't for that cap, I would have been freezing. And finally, I remember my Deus Ex Machina: a successful collect call to one of my ex-boyfriends who happened to be home, a fun walk in the middle of the night.
Getting locked out of your home is dangerous and fun when you're sixteen. When you're twenty-seven, it's just a nuisance.