Things Like That

Cindy pulled the loop of string onto her finger imagining the handsome prince and his large engagement ring before he leaned in to kiss her.

Except gross, she thought. I mean, the ring is nice, but no kisses.

She threw her hand down, releasing the yo-yo, then jerked it back up. The twirling wooden circle snapped back into her hand, the court jester in her future life with the prince.

But still, that felt not right. Unhappy. She could live with it, she supposed. For the glamour and prestige of being a princess, sure, the prince would be fine. But if she had to do that stuff they talked about in school, the classes that her parents kept trying to take her out of but she kept sneaking in to, well, that just sounded terrible. Why did she have to let some boy do those things to her? Why not a girl?

Why not Carla?

Carla was so pretty. She sat beside Cindy, she was always reading and finishing her work early and had the cutest eyelashes and always wrote Cindy’s name with a heart above the “i”, which Cindy had now adopted herself, of course.

She had only mentioned Carla being pretty to her mother once. “Don’t say things like that,” her mother had said. “It’s disgusting.” So Cindy stayed quiet. She went outside. She threw her yo-yo.

Mom said people were pretty all the time, Cindy thought. Why can’t I? It’s not like I’m trying to kiss James Smith all the time, like all the other girls in class. If Mom was in class, she’d call him the school’s bicycle, like she does about that woman over on Elm Street when doesn’t think I can hear her on the phone.

Cindy sighed. Maybe I should learn how to kiss someone, though. How will I become a princess unless I do? Maybe Carla and I can be co-princesses, like James and Carla are co-class-leaders. I guess then I could kiss James. But none of that other stuff.

She threw the yo-yo again, but didn’t snap her hand back up. She let the circle bounce part-way back, then rest at the bottom, hanging.


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