“Soft serve or regular?”
“Soft serve!” I reply. I’m excited. And why wouldn’t I be? I’m seven years old and I see ice cream looming over time’s indefinite horizon. The red-aproned woman holds my small wafer cone under a silver spout, from which emerges a frigid flow of milky, creamy, sugary goodness; cold enough to freeze the brain, sweet enough to overlook the mind-numbing pain. The scarlet-garbed ice queen turns my way and takes one step towards me; and then she takes another. Finally reaching the counter, she smoothly extends her hand; the sweet icy prize goes to, drum roll please, the kid next to me?
“Say thank you, Billy,” his mother urged.
Billy said “thank you” but it didn’t mean a thing. My world could not be supported by this thief’s rehearsed expression of gratitude. That was my ice cream and it was stripped from me. I look to my mother’s soft face for reassurance. She nods and smiles. That’s it? Don’t you understand what has taken place? The Mona Lisa of ice cream cones has been stolen from me and you don’t even bat an eyelash? My art, my muse, my glory! Why did this happen to me? Why am I fussing so much? My mom still handles all my troubles.
“Do something, m–”
“Take your ice cream, David,” She says caringly, extending a fresh cone to my pleading hands. I grasp it in awe, gazing into the cream-based philosopher’s stone. Could it be? My redemption. My beloved icy prize. So soft, so smooth, so sugary, so –
Ah. And I’ve dropped it.
Edited by Edwin Colon