They'd reserved the table only hours in advance, but it was the best in the house. As it should be. They were celebrating, after all.
If you were there that night, you would've seen them. Couldn't miss them. Couldn't take your eyes off of them. They were adorned in every color under the sun, feathers hidden in their hair, shoulder-brushing earrings catching the candlelight, smiles flashing like beacons drawing in the entire room. They leaned in to hear each others' words, sharing toasts and touching arms to make a point and holding hands just because. It was like no one else existed except them.
And at ten, the cake came. Carried in by two waiters with a third following, making sure it didn't tip or tilt, but mostly because he wanted to be near these stunning women.
They started to sing Happy Birthday in their deep voices, but the women giggled and waved off the song. "It's not anyone's birthday," they smiled.
Well, then, what was it? What were they celebrating? Everyone was dying to know. And so I'll tell you.
One had finally mustered up the courage to leave. Everyone at that table knew the struggle it had taken for her to get to this place in her heart. My God, they'd nursed her wounds and let her cry for years before she finally looked in the mirror and saw the gift that she was to the world. That was the day she left. They could breathe a little easier knowing she was finding herself again. And safe.
One had finished treatment, and was hoping beyond all hope that this third time was the charm. They were all holding their collective breath for her good health to stay forever, and would probably do so for years to come. For now, they'd take tonight.
One had just decided on a career after a grueling soul-searching. Finally, after years of slaving it out in the entertainment industry and making quite a name for herself, she'd decided to change that name permanently. To Mama.
One had stopped something. One had started something else. One had given of herself, and one had taken back what she gave away too long ago. Miracles, all. And well worth this celebration.
They had shared the good times and the bad, in sickness and in health, and vowed to stand together 'til death. That night, they raised their glasses to Love and Friendship and Trust and More Love. May Death be damned.
Better than any marriage was this tribe of theirs.