She blew out the candles on her birthday cake, and the world we knew was extinguished. The next day, streamers and half-deflated balloons still taped to the walls and ceiling, Dad came home and pulled Mom into the kitchen and they spoke in whispers.
Jenny looked at me and snuck up to the television and turned down the volume, so we could hear was they were saying, but Mom knew and stuck her head in and told us to go down to Grandma's for the afternoon.
We walked down the block, turned right at the corner store, left after two more blocks, and stood at the crest of the hill before Grandma's house. I liked to throw pennies from here and then try to find them as we walked down, leaning back slightly so we didn't fall over. Jenny wiped away tears and I gave her a penny to throw. The copper plates sailed down the hill and we ran after them.
Grandma fed us pie and ice cream, and when she drove us home later, she ordered pizza with disgusting onions cause mom was sad and dad was gone.