Chapter 05

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The party was a celebration for Brian’s fortieth birthday.  Brian’s favorite jazz music permeated every corner from the surround sound system.  Paper lanterns donned the stairwell and were hung in strategic points of the house so that the fireplace and a few scattered candles appeared as the primary light.  The twins had helped make decorations and a banner that read ‘Happy 40th Brian’.  Balloons were scattered across the ceiling.

Caroline had borrowed a young bartender from the Stone Tavern to pour drinks and a neighboring high school girl to take coats.  Champagne flutes were filled with peach or mango belinis and given to guests as they arrived.  Proseco filled other flutes for continual toasts to the man of the hour.  Bob Jensen, owner of the Stone Tavern and close friend of Brian’s, walked among the guests with a bottle in hand ensuring everyone was well provided for.

Brian looked ahead to each year as something new and was pleased at forty as he was at thirty and would be at fifty.

Abby was not sure she would feel the same as Brian when she turned forty and thought that when her time came the celebration would be a wake for her youth and vitality.  This party contrarily celebrated Brian’s ongoing adventure and the conversations he was having with his guests reflected as much.  Brian spoke of plans for his home, his family’s cross-country vacation, and most of all planning for his guests.  Some of the guests at the party had Brian and Caroline design or renovate their homes and many more would have liked them to.

If Abby was afraid that forty was a tiresome ending point then Brian was there to assure her that he was still peaking.  Listening to Brian discuss architectural designs with the guests was exhausting to her.  So much so that she mentioned to Caroline, “ How can you actually pull off all of those amazing things Brian is talking about?  How can you do all of that?”

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