On the other side of town —
Wendy, also ten-years-old, has on a starched white blouse underneath a jumper. She's sitting on a kitchen stool, swinging her feet. Her two-tone saddle shoes are new. She watches her mother make a ham sandwich. Along with a banana and carrot sticks, her mother fills her yellow lunch box. On the lid, a picture of a golden-haired mermaid.
Clifton Elementary School. Morning recess.
"Can I sit with you at lunch?" Reggie asks.
"No. You smell," Wendy pinches her nose. "I'm going to call you Stinky. How do you like that, Stinky?"
"I don't stink." Reggie twists her mouth as she scratches her neck.
"Yes, you do." Wendy stomps. "Why are you scratching? You have cooties." She saunters off.
Wendy joins other classmates. They jump rope and sing, I like coffee. I like tea. I like the boys and the boys like me.
Reggie sits alone on a wooden bench. A grey sparrow lands on the ground in front of her. Looking for crumbs, it pecks at the cement. It stops. Cocks its' head. Reggie bends over and reaches out.
Wiggling her fingers, she asks, "Do you want a friend?"
The bird flies away. Reggie closes her eyes and sweeps through clouds too.
Staying several feet behind Wendy, Reggie calls out, "I'll let you have my chocolate cookie."
Wendy turns. She glares at Reggie.
Reggie attempts to win Wendy's friendship, "A cookie." Reggie lifts her lunch bag.
"Give it to me."
"Can I sit at your table?"
"No." Wendy pauses and turns. She stares at the sack. With narrowed eyes, she says, "Yes, but I still want that cookie."
In a shaded area, at a lunch table. Reggie reaches inside her sack. "Here." She hands Wendy the cookie.
Wendy nibbles. "Hmm... this is good." Slowly she bites, chews, and savors.
Reggie watches Wendy, and proudly, she says, "My mother made it."
Twenty years later, Reggie owns a successful bakery featuring: Mother's Chocolate Cookies.
Remembering the chocolate's taste, Wendy grips a ten-dollar bill and stands in a line wrapping around the corner.