“Hi, can I have one Chocolaty Delight please?”, the little boy with the flaming red hair asked me.
I looked at him and replied, “Here kid, that will be one dollar.”
He sat down in one of the plastic red chairs I had kept out for my customers and started digging in. There were no other customers in the shop, so I joined him.
“How old are you, kid?”, I asked him as he licked off the last bits of chocolate from the wrapper of his first pastry.
“I am five. And you, Mister?”
“I am thirty-four.”
“Oh you are so old. My mamma is twenty ten.”
“You mean thirty?”
“No. I mean twenty ten!”
I allowed myself a small smile. He suddenly got up and slapped his hand to his forehead. “Oh I almost forgot! Mamma forbade me to talk to any strangers.”
“But I thought we were friends.”
“Are we? Oh goody! Mamma also told me to share all my things with my friends. So if you are my friend, would you like a bite of my Chocolaty Delight, Mister?”
“You can call me James,” I said and smiled at how well his mother has brought him up. “Do you love your Mamma?”, I asked him.
“Of course I love her. She is the best in the world!”
“And your Papa?”
“Oh I love my Papa too! But I have never met him. Mamma said he went away before I was born. She does everything for me now. But I wish I could meet him. Do you have a Papa?”
“Oh yes I did! He was a carpenter.”
“He painted cars?”, he asked me, his eyes all big and curious.
I laughed. “A carpenter is a person who uses a hammer and nails to join bits of wood together to make us tables and chairs,” I corrected him.
“Wow! Your Papa was a magician! He made chairs from wood?”
I joined in his excited laughter, but inside of me, I could feel a sudden sadness welling up.
By then he had finished his second pastry and got up. “It’s almost dark,” he said. “I have to go back to Mamma now. Bye.”
“Hey wait!” I caught his arm before he could run off. “Take this to your Mamma as a present from me.”, I said, handing him a Peach Pastry.
“That’s funny”, he said as he looked at me with his large brown eyes. “My Mamma’s name is Peach.”
And as he turned and ran out of the store, I watched him go till he disappeared from my sight. Turning back, I ran my fingers through my mop of flaming red hair and whispered to myself,
I come from a country where Medium hasn’t introduced the Partner Program yet. So if you liked my work, you might consider buying me a beer.
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