It’s Not Katy’s Birthday
Kiley Reid


Sister and I heave stuffed whales and teddies and white girls at each other. We have twin beds and I’m winning. But then a very grown man’s hand reaches out from behind her bedpost and throws a soft giraffe my way. He tucks his hand back down. I am smacked with the realization that 1. he doesn’t know how to play. And 2. he wildly isn’t supposed to be here.

My homeroom teacher says it’s my dumbest nightmare I’ve had yet before she cries all over herself and two statement necklaces. But it doesn’t matter because I’m here with the three of you! And I smell like deodorant and stick-on earrings and our moms dropped us off at Chili’s and we tell the waitress its Katy’s birthday. But get this. It’s not Katy’s birthday. My hands are excited.

This could only be better if I was happy enough to believe that you guys really will be my bridesmaids. But my witlessness went and sat in the waiting vestibule when Lauren told us that it’s one guy’s job to make the blooming onion and That’s it. That’s his whole job.

Tonight I’ll go home with Allison because she’ll fall off of something in college and she’ll be inside of it, by herself, for an even number of hours before she’s very famously dead. She also has the best house. And turtles.

Her mom calls me sweet song.


Kiley Reid lives and writes in New York City. She works as a receptionist and has very big hair.