Happy Forgotten Birthday
Martin locks himself into his apartment and throws the keys on the counter just inside the door.
As soon as he’s inside and alone, he starts talking to himself, “No, I’m not disappointed. Why should I be? It’s not like I’m turning something important, because I won’t call thirty-three important. Now I’m just one year older than thirty-two and one year younger than thirty-five. But I can’t stop myself from being a little disappointed that no one has congratulated me. Okay, I kinda understand that Jack hasn’t said anything, because I don’t think he even remembers his own wife’s, or ex-wife’s or whatever, birthday. But I thought Sam and Vivian would remember. They have remembered for the last three years. But okay, I have to be fair; we have had some rough cases recently and we have all worked overtime to much this week, but…*sigh*. I can live with the fact that Jack, Sam and Vivian forget my birthday, but Danny forgot too. I mean, come on, we have been together in the last two years and he has always remembered my birthday. “
Suddenly he stops and starts laughing. Even if he’s sad he can hear how stupid he sounds, standing here talking to himself. He shakes his head amused while walking to the answering machine. He presses the play button and moves to the bedroom to change his clothes.
There is only one message which is from his father. Or more exactly, from his father’s secretary. Sure, she’s saying she’s calling on behalf of his father. “Great, he couldn’t even call himself.”
Suddenly the phone starts ringing and he almost jumps. Maybe it’s Danny who has remembered his birthday after all. Better late than never, but he won’t let him get away with it that easy. He struggles all the way out of his shirt before rushing to the phone. He grabs it with a barking, “Martin Fitzgerald”.
“What’s that, honey? You’re not happy on your birthday?” a happy woman voice says.
“Aunt Sue!” Martin almost yells, now suddenly happy again. He should have known that aunt Susanne, Sue for short, wouldn’t forget his birthday. She never has. Not when he was five and not now.
“Happy birthday, honey”, she laughs, before asking, “Is something wrong?”
“Well…,” Martin sighs. “No one has remembered my birthday today. No one except you, aunt Sue.”
“Now that I can’t believe. Don’t tell me that your parents didn’t call you.”
“I got a message from my father’s secretary saying ‘happy birthday’ from my parents.”
“Well, he could have told you himself, but when does he?” Susanne says, trying to cheer him up a bit. “What about Danny? Don’t tell me that he didn’t remember.”
Susanne was the only one in the family who didn’t care that Martin preferred being with men instead of women. That was why she was one of the first persons, and the only one from the family, Martin had told about him and Danny being an item. She had been more than happy for him; she had even insisted that he and Danny would come visiting her. They had and she had immediately liked Danny, but that hadn’t kept her from assuring Danny that if he *ever* hurt her favourite nephew she knew how to hide the body. They had laughed, all three, but Martin knew that Danny respected aunt Sue and didn’t want to jeopardize his life by upsetting her.
“Okay, I won’t tell you,” Martin said simply.
”He didn’t!” She exclaimed forcefully.
“He did,” Martin confirmed.
“He’s got a nerve! Just wait to I…,” she scold, but he interrupts her.
“Relax, I’m okay. I’m disappointed, but I’m sure he didn’t forget my birthday on purpose”
“I hope you’re right! Otherwise I know how to hide the body. I’m not a crime writer for nothing!” she says proudly and he knows she’s totally seriously.
“Thanks aunt Sue. I don’t know what I should do without you.”
She chuckles. “You would be excused from flying to Washington all the time.”
He is about to replay, when his cell phone starts ringing. “I’ll have to go; someone’s calling. Maybe…”
“…it’s Danny. I understand,” she says with a smile.
“Yeah. I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?”
“Okay, honey, once again happy birthday.”
“Thanks. Bye,” he says before hanging up.
He grabs the cell phone. “Fitzgerald.”
“Hi Martin, it’s Sam,” she says with a warm smile. “Happy birthday”.
“Thanks, Sam,” he says, trying to sound happy. He really had hoped that it was Danny.
“Do you want to come over? That is if you haven’t got any other plans, of course” she asks.
Martin hesitate with replying, because he is afraid that Danny will get jealous on Sam. Sure, Sam, Vivian and Jack know about Martin and Danny, but that doesn’t keep Danny from being jealous. But hell, it was Danny who forgot Martin’s birthday and not reversed. “No, I haven’t got any plans.”
“So, you want to come over? I don’t want you to sit alone on you birthday,” she says and Martin thinks she sounds relived. Why, he doesn’t know.
“You’re welcome. See you then?” she asks.
“Yeah. I’m at your place in an hour, okay?”
“Of course. See you.”
“Bye” he says before hanging up. He goes into the bedroom and changes before heading out of the door.
An hour later he is standing outside Sam’s apartment and is ringing the bell, but no one is answering. “That’s strange,” he says to himself. He reach for the door handle and presses it down. To his surprise the door is open. He pushes it open and takes a hesitant step into the dark apartment. “Hallo?” he calls, but no one answers.
Suddenly all the lights are turned on and several voices yells “Surprise!”
Martin gets so surprised that he half steps, half jumps back. There his boss and two female co-workers are. And some of his friends, both his alone and friends who he and Danny share. And there, in the middle of them all, his boyfriend is standing with a big, happy smile.
Danny takes a few big steps before he is standing in front of a stunned Martin. “Happy birthday, baby,” he whispers before claiming Martin’s lips in a passionate kiss. For a few seconds Martin just stands there, overwhelmed. He has a bad conscience about the fact that he didn’t believed in Danny. Soon, he starts returning the kiss. Suddenly he realizes that the others are looking at them and he breaks the kiss, blushing.
The others starts laughing and they all start moving again. Some start talking together, others go to the bar to get a beer or snacks.
Vivian walks to the two men who are embracing each other close. “Did you really think we had forgotten your birthday?” she asks Martin, smirking.
“Maybe for a second,” he answers laughing. This day has gone from being a sad birthday to being the best birthday of his life.
“Susanne Fitzgerald”, she says, answering the phone. It’s the next morning, around 9.
“Hi aunt Sue,” Martin greets happily.
“Hi, honey. You sounds happy. I’m guessing that Danny hadn’t forgotten your birthday after all?” she says smiling.
“You’re guessing correctly,” Martin begins, but is interrupted by a barking.
“What was that?” Sue asks, frowning.
“A dog,” is Martin’s simple answer.
“Since when do you have a dog?”
“Since yesterday,” Martin answers smiling and bents down to pet the dog.
“Danny got you a dog?” she asks.
”Among other things, yes,” Martin answers, the secret smile visible in his voice.
“Don’t tell me he has bought a house to you,” Sue says, laughing.
Martin can’t stop himself from laughing, too. “No. It’s smaller. And round.”
“Oh! My! God!” Sue exclaims before throwing a hand before her mouth. “He has proposed to you?”
“Yes!” Martin answer; beaming.
“Aww, honey. I’m very happy for you,” she says with tears in her eyes. She feels like it’s her daughter, and not her nephew, who has just gotten engaged. “Both of you.”
“Thanks, aunt Sue. It means a lot to me that you’re happy about it,” he begins, but he’s interrupted by barking again.
”So, who’s the little noise maker?”
“It’s Indy, our little German Shepherd puppy,” Martin answers proudly.
“She sounds adorable. Promise me that you’ll bring her with you when you and Danny come visiting me?”
“Of course, Sue,” he answers happily.
“Who’re you talking to?” Danny answers while rubbing sleep from his eyes.
“Aunt Sue. Did I wake you?” he asks.
“The absence of you, yes,” Danny answers yawning while walking towards Martin.
Martin suddenly laughs. At Danny’s frown he says, “Sue says that maybe we should go to bed again, because you sound like you haven’t slept all night.”
Danny starts chuckling and says, “actually, I haven’t” in a tone, so that Sue is aware of that none of the two men have slept that much last night
When Martin starts blushing, Danny can’t stop himself from laughing out loud.
Martin listens to what’s Sue is saying, then he’s handing Danny the phone while saying, “she wants to talk to you.”
“That sounds scary”, Danny teases before saying into the phone, “hi aunt Sue.”
Sue has been insisting that he should call her ‘aunt’.
“Hi, honey. Congratulation with the engagement,” she says with a warm smile.
“Thanks!” he says, beaming. “I haven’t exactly realized that we’re going to get married; it’s so…,” he begins and she continues:
“Yeah, something like that.”
“Don’t worry. I know you’ll manage it together,” she says, smiling.
“yes, you’re right. You always is.”
“Take good care of him?”
“Of course. I’ll never let him down,” he says seriously and with a small smile he adds, “or make him think that I have forgotten his birthday!”