The mother and father mount the stairs in silence. They trudge to the second floor of their modest two-story house in Glenview and stand before the bedroom just to the left. They have visited this room many times over the years, but each time they pause for a moment at the door, like mourners collecting themselves before entering a funeral parlor. The father's eyes are fretful, searching. The mother turns the knob with a trembling hand.
The room is heartbreaking. All pastel pinks and powder blues. Porcelain clowns line a set of shelves. The words "Happy Sweet 16" shimmer on a piece of poster board, the letters made of glitter glue.