The happiest little girl in the world approached the counter politely.
“Hello,” she said brightly, putting her hands down onto the counter.
Her hands were exceedingly small. There was little other virtue in them besides their size, sans perhaps their odd, mocha color. The girl’s face, too, had this strangely swarthy color, but it was dispersed with a generous amount of rosiness, a rosiness that crept across her cheeks and bled into her lips. Her eyelids were heavily stained with mascara.
“Yes, please. I would like a hot chocolate, please,” she rallied off stoically to the barista.
The barista scowled.
“Would you like a small, medium, large or extra large?” she asked exasperatedly.
The girl stared up at her with bright eyes quizzically, apparently taken aback. There was a moment’s pause, during which the barista continued to look at the girl apprehensively.
And then, suddenly, the little girl burst into hot, furious tears, stamping her feet against the tile, wrinkling her nose, screaming,
“I WANT A SMALL!” she cried. “SMALL, PLEASE, I WOULD LIKE A SMALL, YES PLEASE THANK YOU!”
The other two baristas lurking behind the counter perked up their ears, grinning broadly. The one behind the counter appeared to be chewing gum. She began to blow a bubble as she leaned over the counter, was almost nose to nose with the little girl.
“That’ll be $3.14, miss.”
The bubble ruptured, effectively quelling the noisy tears.
Timidly, meekly, humiliatingly, the little girl reached into her purse and extracted a bill.
“Do you have change for $100?” she asked quietly.
“Sure, kid.” The barista, still scowling, handed her the change. The little girl looked up at her imploringly, her eyes still wet.
“Oh, for heaven’s sake!” she exclaimed.
Reaching into her pocket, she pulled out a stick of gum and handed it to the little one. The latter reached out instinctively to accept, smiling widely.
“Why, thanks a lot lady.”
And without another word, the little girl walked out, turned a corner, and headed for the nearest coffee shop.