Part II: Keepsake
Another lazy summer afternoon. Another ridiculous nickname.
Inspired by the tale of the infamous red-head with wacky braids, Ashley had deemed herself “Pippi” until further notice.
Losing patience with her constant clamor for attention, I retreated to the living room and curled up on the couch to find solace in the Disney princess that I so adored—Cinderella.
Unfortunately, Ashley/Pippi had other plans.
“Whatcha doin?” she asked as she plopped next to me.
“Nothing, Ashley,” I said flatly.
“Who’s Ashley? I’m not Ashley. I’m Pippi! Remember?”
As I struggled with the rising desire to tie Ashley/Pippi’s ridiculous braided hair into one massive knot, her mother entered the room and sat in the easy chair next to me.
“How are my favorite two girls doing today?” she gushed. “You are just too precious! Best friends already. I knew it!”
If she only knew.
“Ashley—oops! I mean, Pippi!” she continued, “tell me about Pippi Longstocking’s latest adventure.”
I turned to listen as Ashley /Pippi basked in the spotlight. Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“Hold still, Sara, honey,” Ashley’s mom interrupted.
Obediently, I froze.
“You have a runaway eyelash there,” she said.
I waited for her to brush it away.
“Give me just one moment…now hold still…” she said with a furrowed brow as her two fingers lightly pinched my freckled cheeks.
“Got it!” she shouted triumphantly then deposited her trophy into the nearest ash tray.
I shot her a quizzical glance.
“I like to keep them for good luck,” she said smiling.
I scooted away.