When You Were Young (Chapter 7, page 2 of 4)

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Chapter 7

"That's right," Mama Veronica said. The two girls left, returning a minute later with buckets of ice cream-chocolate, vanilla, fudge swirl, and mint chocolate chip. The chubby girl tried to lick some of the melted vanilla ice cream dripping down the side of the container, but Mama Veronica slapped her hand as she'd done to Samantha. "Phyllis, you can have some later if our guests leave any."


"You and Helena wait in the kitchen until it's time to clean up," Mama Veronica said. The girls stalked off towards the shops. Samantha wanted to ask why the girls couldn't stay like everyone else; they looked so sad. Before she could ask, Mama Veronica held her up to reach the top of the cake. "Make a wish and blow out the candles."

Samantha closed her eyes, thinking hard about her wish. She already had everything she wanted in the whole wide world. Except for maybe one thing: friends her own age to play with. Being special was good, but she didn't want to be lonely. Please God, give me some friends to share this with.

She blew out the candles all in one breath. This meant her wish had to come true. Mama Veronica set her back down at the table and smiled at her. "I have a very special surprise for you, sweetie," she said.

What could be more surprising than all this? Samantha wondered. A pony? A kitty? A puppy? She hoped for the pony. She would name it Princess and they would go everywhere together. They would have such exciting adventures.

A scary-looking man dressed in black came forward. Samantha cringed at the sight of him, which seemed to make him smile. What a meanie, she thought. He couldn't be the surprise, could he?

But no, he lifted up a hatch in the top of the birthday cake, reached inside, and pulled out a little girl. She wasn't much bigger than Samantha, but much skinnier, so that her green dress hung off her as if it were on a hanger. Copper hair hung in waves down to her waist. It must be heavier than her, Samantha thought. How can she stand up? The little girl had freckles on her nose and cheeks that almost touched when she smiled, as she did now. "Hello. My name is Prudence. How are you? It's so stuffy in that cake. I didn't think I would ever get out of there. Oh, look at that, you have a bow just like mine only mine is white. Isn't that interesting? And your hair is so pretty." Prudence hugged Samantha before continuing, "I know we're going to be bestest friends. My birthday was yesterday. I turned four years old. It's really not any different from three so far."

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