Cindy had absolutely curly hair. Shirley Temple would have given her dimples. Eli had seen her many times on the street in Rosemont where she lived…. a stones throw from Wilkins’ Drug Store. He recalled how often he had taken the long way home just to walk by her house.
She was a year older than him, but they were about the same size…. maybe he was about an inch bigger. He stood very tall every time their eyes met. Sadly, if he had lived ten blocks closer, they could have gone to the same school. He conceded that he would just have to make do with those casual ( but planned) encounters in and around the Drug Store.
One day Eli had just tooled up on his bike as she was coming out, and she smiled it him. He quickly dismounted, and ran to hold the door open as she had two ice creme cones in her hands. He stood tall, then dipped into a bow, his hands ushering her out into the street. She smiled again. No ice creme however.
That was it……that’s all he needed. “What then, was the next step? he asked himself.
The answer was, of course, a box of candy, and the drug store had just the right one; foil rapped and ribbon tied. It was a thing of beauty… and on sale for $1.50 ( he, not realizing that it had a corner crushed a bit).
It found it’s way onto his dresser and was noticed by his mom who quickly said; “Who’s that for …..me? As if he had been caught red handed, Eli replied…” Ah..No, it’s for a friend at school. His mother not wanting to put him on the spot, but had her suspicions, just said; “That’s nice….. I hope He enjoys it. But did you notice the bad corner on the box?
He did not answer, but the thought of it bugged Eli; so later he picked it up and gave it a little shake. I didn’t even rattle. Now, really curious, he slipped the ribbon aside to make sure everything was O.K.. The sweet smell of chocolate found his nose. However, he immediately realized how crowded they were. It was near certain that any further transportation would endanger them…..particularly the chocolate cherries.
And, sure enough the one in the corner had a crack in it; apparently from the blow to the corner. He ate it, rather than throw it away. He left the ribbon off just in case further investigations might reveal additional problems,
The next morning, he realized that he had not completely closed the box top and as he pulled out the first drawer to take his shorts out…….there it was, that juicy smell again.
He briefly toyed with the idea of taking them back to the store for a refund because of the damage; he was sure that Mr. Potter would not go for it, since it was a sale item…. further; one chocolate was somehow missing…..perhaps more before he got to the store.
Eli had a puzzelment; There was no way he would have give Cindy a box with a bad one in there. It seemed reasonable that he should eat it… even smart that he loosened things up a bit by rearranging them so she wouldn’t notice.
No one could imagine that another could have been damaged ( a very fragile one with nuts on it) just by moving it over a little. Down it went.
The ultimate truth surfaced.. There was no way that this box would make it to her house in tact and presentable. He would have to save them both the embarrassment.
Satisfied with his conclusion, Eli resolved; “Some day I will buy her a soda….I should have known, there was no way that this box could have survived the trip from my hand to hers.
He pulled another sample from the box. smiled and declared… ” Here’s a perfect one! This is the best present ever gave to myself…… funny how things often turn out for the best!”
Footnote…………Cindy moved anyway; before he could deliver the soda.
So sad, but she was way too short for him anyway…………..and her hair was way too curly.