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Decisions

The little boy eyed the candy that was displayed before him. The items were in a variety of colors. He looked up at his mom who was busy placing the grocery items on the counter. Next he glanced at the cashier. She was busy as well. Her attention seemed to be focused on picking up each package and scanning the price code. Walmart was one of his favorite stores. He and his mom visited the store at least a couple of times a week. Mostly they shopped for groceries. Occasionally he could talk his mother into getting him toys or candy, but today his mother seemed impatient with him.

He wanted to ask, but after he spilled his Kool-Aid in the car, he knew better than to ask. He looked back toward the candy display. He began to wonder what candy he wanted. He looked at the red wrapper of the skittles. Did he want the sour one or the regular one? The candy bars also looked good. The selection was enormous. The store was well-stocked. He saw the shiny wrapper of each one. He even stretched his arm out to touch the Three Musketeer Bar. His mom looked down and shook her head.

“No, not today!” she said.

His hand jerked back in response to her command. Today would not be a day for a tasty reward. He continued to scan the selection. His attention was caught by the pink wrapper of the bubble gum. The last time he chose gum he fell asleep and woke to find the gum in his hair. His mother was really angry about that. She had to take her scissors from her special sewing box to cut the gum out. She had tried using peanut butter and a cube of ice, both being unsuccessful, before resulting to her scissors. His hair ended up looking like his sister’s doll. The doll had been abused by the family’s pet dog. Hair had been yanked in strings.

His attention returned to the display. He was now eyeing the packages of potato chips. He remembered the taste of the sour cream and onion chips. While he remembered, he even stuck his tongue out to lick his lips. He knew his mom would never “give in” to allow him make a selection. He could take the items he wanted. His pockets were deep and could hold numerous small items. The store was busy. Maybe no one would notice. He glanced behind him. There were not any other shoppers behind him. He knew it was wrong, but he knew he deserved it. He had helped his mother pick up the toys in the living room before their shopping trip.

As he reached out to make a selection, his mother turned abruptly around and grabbed his hand and said, “Come on, let’s go.”

The opportunity had passed. He left the store empty handed with a frown and a feeling of regret. If only he could have made a decision faster.





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