a birthday party

the birthday party

dancing with boys

she was seven years old.
she was seven years old today. it was her birthday. there was birthday cake and ice-cream.
a birthday party.
a birthday party for the birthday girl.
a party with all her friends.
bright balloons and dancing.
dancing with friends.
and dancing with boys.
boys. girls. boys. girls. boys. boys. boys.
boys with big ears, bespectacled boys, and boys with sticky fingers.
birthday presents – shiny and pretty.
she was seven years old.
today was her birthday.
the sun was bright between the splish-splash of april showers.
and there were rainbows and a new bicycle with a big, red bow.
it was her birthday.
she was seven years old.

laughter. smiles. dancing.
spinning until she was dizzy.
giddy with joy.
dancing with boys.
the pretty boy.
the boy with big ears.
then the left-handed boy.
then the bespectacled boy.
and the boy with sticky fingers.

“let’s go upstairs”
he said
“this is like a doll’s house”
he said.
as he led her, by the hand
into an abandoned space. an empty room.
“let’s play a game”
“let’s pretend this is our house”
he said
“we live here, we are married”
“i have come home from work”
he said
“i am a teacher”
he said
she said
“this will be fun”
he said.
he held her little hand in his.

they sat cross-legged on the floor.
opposite each other.
he smiled.
she smiled back.
“happy birthday”
he said as he leaned forward
and kissed her.
she was seven years old
today was her birthday.
he was eleven.
she liked this boy.
he was her favourite.
he held her hand.
she leaned forward
and kissed his cheek.

“show me your front bottom”
he said
gripping her little hands.
she wriggled to free herself
and with one hand, awkwardly tugged her dress down to hide her white panties.
she said
“because that’s what mummy would do for daddy”
he said, and suddenly pushed her down beneath him.
“you’re hurting me”
she said
“what are you doing?”
she said,
as he fumbled, trying to part her legs.
“stop. please”
she said
“i don’t want to get into trouble”
she said
“just let me see”
he said.

she was crying.
she was seven years old.
but she liked this boy, and
she didn’t want him to get into trouble.
slowly she lifted her birthday dress.
“you’re very pretty”
he said
“i want to kiss you, like they do in films”
he said.
he pressed his mouth against hers.
he was eleven
and tasted of caramel.
“i don’t want to get into trouble”
she said.
her face was damp with tears.
he tugged at her panties.

“take them off”
he said.
“no” “stop!”
she said.
she was shaking.
she was seven years old.
she was scared
and confused.
“i wont hurt you – i just want to look”
he said.
“i will let you see my front bottom”
he said.
afraid he would hurt her,
she pulled down her panties.
he gripped her legs and pulled them apart
her panties were stretched taut at her thin little ankles
she grappled with them, trying to pull them up.
struggling against his weight,
she tried to move away from him.
she tried to free herself from his grip.
his eyes, glazed, devoured every inch of her innocence.
with one hand down the front of his trousers
and one hand free, he touched her.
it hurt.
it really hurt.
she started to cry.
he started shaking.
his breath, quick.
she could hear his heartbeat.

“touch it”
he said
as he revealed himself to her.
“touch it – or i will hurt you”
he said.
she cried,
her shoulders shook.
“please don’t make me”
she said.
he lay down on top of her and hugged her.
he stroked her hair.
“you’re very pretty”
he said, smiling
she was seven years old.
he was eleven.
she liked this boy.
she liked him a lot.
he was her friend.
and it’s okay to cuddle your friend
isn’t it?
and it’s okay to kiss your friend
isn’t it?

she was seven.
she was confused.
she was scared.
“i want to go downstairs”
she said.
“in a minute”
he said.
“touch it first –
or i will tell your mummy and daddy and you will get into trouble”
he spat, as he fumbled between her legs.
“you’re hurting me”
she said.
“stop crying”
he said
she said.
“because… because – i love you”
he said.
“now touch it”
he demanded.
“why are you hurting me?”
she said.

he grabbed her hand and forced it down the front of his trousers.
his thing was hard.
it felt alive, like an animal…
his breathing was quick.
his face grew red.
he was shaking.
suddenly he let go of her hand
and started to cry.
“why are you crying?”
she said.
“because… i love you”
he said.

footsteps, outside.
in the stairwell.
he jumped up
and put it away.
she pulled up her pants.
“this is wrong”
she thought.
“i’ve been bad”
she thought.
she was confused.
she was terrified.
she felt dirty.
her pants felt baggy and stretched
“mum will want to know why my panties are like this”
she thought.

suddenly, her bedroom door opened.
a flash.
a camera.
a photograph
a moment captured.
a memory.
a moment.

a photograph.
of a girl
on her birthday.
her seventh birthday.
with her best friend.
a moment caught.
two friends. inseparable.
a picture of innocence.
(of innocence lost)
a secret captured.
a moment stolen –


11 thoughts on “a birthday party

  1. This is beautifully written but makes me want to cry. Innocence stolen by another child whose innocence must have also been stolen at some point makes you wonder if innocence is simply there for the taking.


    • thanks Lily x

      although in this instance it is pure fiction, i am fully aware of the gravity of the situation that so many children find themselves locked in. it is painfully sad.

      this might not be an easy read for many, but i felt compelled write again, and this is where my thoughts led me to this dark place.


  2. Yeah it happens on a scale that is terrifying. I thought it was great how well you captured the thought process of a child in a situation like that. I wonder why our thoughts take us where they do but I’m thankful that your thoughts took you there. Thankyou x


  3. that story realy hurt me as a could see it happen before ma eyes when a was a little girle about 5 or 6 a shared a room with ma brother he was five years older than me it was a normal night mum kissed me n told me good night n a fell asleep with little girle thoughts in ma head when a woke up a was feeling comfused ma brother was sitting looking at me a asked him what was wrong n then a remember him pulling his hands away out from my pants he slowly greept bck into bed n a just lay there wondering what was going on from that night on a was terrified to go to sleep incase he touched me again n a wonder how many times he touched me before the times i hadent woken up.


  4. So many moral comments on the situation and none on the writing.
    Very gripping Kat, it really turned me on. I do love your writing. Very intense. You capture emotion so well and the phrasing is beautiful.


  5. Wow, major coconut balls for addressing this – seriously. Some people have an inner child them and the ones who don’t envy them because their innocence and childhood was stolen from them. I would say this was one of those moments for the girl in the poem. Spiritually, I do think people can reclaim their inner child.


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