Dorian's Birthday Moment
From the Southern Charm Series
Even in the middle of construction and chaos, Dorian Stewart could see the promise of what the beautiful old Southern plantation-style B&B would become when finished. The Southern Charm was always filled with grace and beauty from the time he came here as a child to enjoy a meal with his mother. From the first time stepping in the doors, Dorian told his mom he would work here one day. It was in the style of any determined kid who wanted to figure out what he would become as a grown-up. His mom laughed, but encouraged him to join her in the kitchen. He learned the basics of cooking and creating from her, but taught more under the studious careful hands and mentoring by head chef Dakota Mitchell and sous chef Malcolm Bissete. Mal became his best friend over the years.
Walking up the back porch, the new 'entrance' during construction, and entering the side hall of the restaurant. Dorian looked around, seeing new signs of construction, but no one was around.
"Hello? Anyone here?"
Turning a corner, Dorian pushed through the doors.
Dorian jumped and screeched at the thundering sound of all the voices screaming together at him.
"Happy Birthday, Dorian!"
Pressing a hand to his chest, Dorian learned how to breathe again. "Holy crap."
"Oops. I think we were a little over enthusiastic," Mal said as he pushed forward through the crowd.
Mal cracked up laughing. He wrapped his arms and hugged Dorian off his feet. "Happy birthday, buddy." He patted Dorian's back several times.
"Wasn't expecting all of this," Dorian said.
"Did you think we would forget about your day?"
"Silly guy," Mal said. "Come on. We have a day planned for you. With a special surprise…"
"Me, son, I'm your surprise," someone said with a soft voice.
Dorian turned and saw his mother, Penelope Stewart, appearing from the crowd. Curled in her wheelchair, she had a blanket wrapped around her legs. Most of her body was useless from the ravaging effects of the multiple sclerosis, but her eyes were bright and full of love. He looked from his mom's face to Dakota, who pushed the chair for her.
"Mom, what are you doing here? How…" Dorian crouched in front of her. He kissed her soft cheek, smooth and unwrinkled.
"I wanted to be here and Dakota helped the nurse and I leave the house. There's no way my son would spend his 20th birthday without me."
"Thank you for being here, Mom, but you're not strong enough."
"I'm strong enough for today," Penelope said.
"Come on, Dorian, it's a celebration," Mal said, tugging Dorian away to the gathering crowd.
Hours passed with the celebration, no work, no arguments, and fun. Dorian and his mother enjoyed everything from the music, to the guests, the delicious food, and large cake created for the party.
As the day wore on, Dorian and others could see his mother start to fade. Her energy and health wasn't good. He didn't know how much longer he would have her in his life. This made the celebration even more special. His mother was with him. He would cherish whatever time they had together.
This made this birthday the best he'll have in his life.
See more about Dorian and the others who live and work around the Southern Charm in my series with Pride Publishing:
Book 1: Rules of the Chef – Available now!
Book 2: By the Numbers – Available now!
Book 3: On the Green – Available now!
Book 4: When in Bloom – Available now!
Book 5: Following the Law – Available now!
Book 6: According to Design – Coming Soon in 2016!
Book 7: Beach Wedding – Coming Soon in 2016!
Book 8: Unexpected in the End (Dorian's story) – Coming Soon in 2016!