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"Mommy? Can I have a cookie?"
Sammy stood on tip-toe and she pressed her nose against the glass of the pastry display. She reached out and grabbed a fistful of Mommy's pantleg. Tug, tug.
"Mommy?" Sammy raised her gaze from the iced snowman cookie, but Mommy was still talking to the lady behind the counter. Sammy would be here forever. Mommy loved to talk.
Whenever Mommy took Sammy anywhere, this happened. She talked. Sammy waited. This horrible, awful, never-ending, no good waiting. In line at the grocery store, in line at the bank, in line at the post office, always at Mommy's knee. Sammy's life was full of waiting.
And where there was waiting, there was whining.
"Mommy, can we go now?" Not yet, hunny.
When Sammy grew up, she'd never have to wait in lines. She'd be a princess ballerina. Lines would part before her. Sammy, still clinging tightly to Mommy's leg, raised herself onto the toes of her velcro sneakers.
But they weren't her boring old black shoes anymore. They were silky pink ballet flats. Sammy lifted her chin and found herself standing on an empty stage. A spotlight illuminated the curtains just to her right.
Beneath the stage, the orchestra readied their instruments. A harmonious cacophony rose from the floorboards. With a quick rap the conductor gathered together his musicians.
In the darkness of the stage Sammy prepared for her performance, delicately raising her arms with perfect poise. Her heart pounded against her rib cage.
At once, the music began and the light swung onto Sammy. Behind the spotlight the crowd burst into applause. Sammy danced.
"I'll just be a few more minutes, Sammy" That's okay, Mommy. I don't mind waiting.