The last guest departed three hours after Anita blew out two candles on a chocolate cake. These had been number shapes, a three and an o. Prachi and some of the others behind her yelled Make a Wish! and Anita caught herself hastily addressing an anonymous invisible entity in her mind. She made the wish as one would make a request, politely and matter of factly.
Please let me find someone special.
She hadn't meant to say that. But this was the first coherent thought that crossed her mind, catching her slightly unawares.
Now that she was alone, she was quite confused. She had thought she was reasonably happy with her life. But it seemed a part of her had long acknowledged a missing aspect and now suddenly, the rest of her had woken up to this realisation that could no longer be ignored.
She sat herself down with her diary and a pen. She always found she could deal with things better if they were down on pen and paper. Preferably in lists. She thought for a minute and wrote My Problem, underlining the words twice. Adding a colon, she wrote some more, and inspired, continued in a similar vein. It struck her that she had also created another subheading, Next Steps. This was a manhunt. She was definitely not being spontaneous, "Which should be a key ingredient in a romance, at least in my opinion", she thought.
Which is also when she realised, she wanted romance. Not just a man. She wanted to be swept off her feet. But she definitely needed to aid that occurence. Romance would not come knocking on her door while she sat writing her diary.
The bell rang.
Anita jumped a little in her chair and stared at the door, then slowly went up to it and rose on her toes to position her eye at the peep-hole. A man in a check shirt looked solemnly back, without any apparent weapons or accomplices lurking nearby.
"I am the person that moved into Flat 4A. I just managed to lock myself out. I need to make a phone call. And yours is the only flat on the floor that still sounded like people were awake. Oh and happy birthday. Sorry - it was rather obvious, the reason for the party, after the song, and you know the walls are thin...."
This was the point where Anita, under the influence of three glasses of champagne and another of red wine, opened the door to a neighbour she was not even aware she had had. The man was smiling a little, she still couldn't say much.
"Anita". She shook his hand, and then stood there, until he said very correctly, "Sorry could I make a call please? I really am sorry about this. You must have been ready to hit the bed".
The word bed seemed to ricochet in her brain until Anita willed herself to shut the door and try to locate her cellphone.
"Right there, on the telly".
Wordlessly she handed him the phone and tried to calm her jangling nerves. She desperately wanted to stop thinking, but her mind was playing divine intervention - brown eyes - nice smile - divine intervention - tall - about 6 feet at least - weird checks though - divine intervention - how about that a birthday wish coming true the same night- really sweet smile, in an endless loop.