“I WISH I COULD PLAY with you!” Maxzyne breathes to the colorful poodle mannequin on the other side of the glass. The puff of warm air leaves a tiny burst of fog on the window of the old department store. She admires the large Easter egg the dog holds between two paws. “I’d sure have fun in a place that believes in polka-dot poodles. I wish you were real.” She quickly traces a heart on the glass before the fog disappears.
“Maxzyne! Did you hear me?”
Maxzyne imagines the poodle rushing to the window, barking excitedly. In her mind, she sees the dog roll the egg her way, inviting her to play. The delightful fantasy vanishes as Mother hurries over, shopping bags in hand. She frowns, sidestepping a puddle of cappuccino that stains the sidewalk. A light gust of wind swirls the hem of her stylish cashmere sweater coat and tugs at the crackling, white tissue paper in the bags she carries. Mother shivers and sighs with impatience. She raises dark sunglasses that make her look like an owl and peers at the window display.
“What is it this time? If there’s a distraction to be found, you’ll find it. So what’s got your head in the clouds now?”
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