Four girls - sitting at the counter. Each - sipping an ice cream soday thru an ice cream soda straw. Feet dangling from their high stools..not quite yet reaching the floor. All smile and giggles and laughter and light. Nothing in that moment..better.
Couldn't help but wonder about their paths..their journeys..what lay ahead. What would become of them? Who might they be? Where would they live..and how? For a quick flash of a second - I wandered back in time..wondered about me.
The one with the yellow hat. Somewhat the same..but just a little different? Or - the one with no hat at all...never quite able to keep up with the latest fashions..never quite knowing how to fit? Not - for certain - one of those in the matching pinks. Never was. Never am. Never will.
And - these girls? Who might predict? What their futures hold? Who might be left bruised and scarred by a tumultuous adolescence..and who might sail thru unscathed and unharmed? Who might be rich? Who might be famous? Who might marry and settle down with a family - a predictable and ordinary suburban life? Who might remain forever single..and urban?
Nothing other than the silent observer. Sipping my grown-up coffee..from my grown-up cup. Feet firmly rooted on solid ground. I hoped. I imagined that wherever their lives may lead..whatever windy roads and bumpy paths were to follow - that somewhere inside this moment of sweet innocence and youth and carefree abandon they'd carry. That it would forever be.