When You Were Young (Chapter 7, page 1 of 4)


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Chapter 7

Samantha stopped in disbelief as she and Mama Veronica emerged from the forest. Everywhere she saw balloons and streamers the same pink and white as her pretty dress. Stretched between the rows of shops was a pink banner with something written on it in white paint. "What's it say?" she asked Mama Veronica.

"It says, 'Happy Birthday Samantha.'"

"Weawwy? You mean aw this is for me?"

"Of course. It's your big day." Mama Veronica picked Samantha up, lifting her high enough to touch the banner. This is all for me, Samantha thought. All for her first big girl birthday. Mama Veronica must really love her to go to so much effort for the party.

"I wike a pwincess," she said.

"You are a princess. You're Mama's little princess." Mama Veronica lowered Samantha enough to kiss her on the forehead. Samantha giggled at this. Mama Veronica was so silly.

They turned the corner and Samantha squealed with both surprise and delight. "Happy Birthday Samantha!" shouted a crowd of children. Mama Veronica echoed them.

Right away Samantha noticed all the children in the crowd were bigger than her. They all looked five or six at least. "Mama, why's everyone bigger than me?" she asked.

"That's because you're our baby. Our special baby."

"I don't wanna be the baby! It no fair."

"I know, sweetie, but you're much more important than anyone else in the whole town because you're my baby." Samantha kissed the top of Mama Veronica's head, feeling better now. She might be the littlest, but Mama Veronica didn't care about anyone else like her. She was special.

Mama Veronica carried Samantha into the crowd, who all reached out to touch Samantha as though she really were a princess. Some pinched her cheeks or patted her on the head or tugged on her dress. She waved to them as Mama Veronica carried her through the crowd to a table piled high with gifts. "Ow these aw for me?" she asked.

"Of course they are," Mama Veronica said.

Samantha reached out to take one from the pile, but Mama Veronica slapped at her hand. "Now, sweetie, it's rude to open your gifts before we serve the cake and ice cream."

"Cake and ice cweam?" Samantha rubbed her hands together, forgetting all about the gifts for the moment. Balloons, streamers, signs, gifts, cake, ice cream, and the whole town here to greet her; no one else ever had a birthday like this.

A thin, blonde girl and chubby, dark-haired girl wheeled in a cake taller than Samantha and Mama Veronica put together. Three sparklers topped the cake, showering the pink frosting with sparks. In white icing was text that looked similar to the banner over the street. "This for me?" she asked.

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