Hartford, Connecticut, 1988 — “Mommy, why is there money in here?” Connor asked, standing on his toes to peer over the edge to a water fountain.
“People make wishes with them,” Margaret explained. “They make a wish and then throw a coin in, hoping it’ll come true.”
Connor tilted his head. “That’s weird,” he said. He looked up at her and grinned. “I wanna try it!”
Margaret laughed and bent down, digging into her purse for loose change. “Alright, here you go,” she said, handing him a penny. Connor took it and shut his eyes.
“You’re not supposed to tell, kiddo.” Margaret said.
Connor opened his eyes. “Why?”
“Because then it won’t come true.”
“Oh.” He shut his eyes again and wrinkled his nose, like he always did when thinking hard. “Okay, I know what I want now.”
He dropped the penny into the water and watched it sink to the bottom. Then he started looking around at the passerbys around them. After a few minutes, his shoulders sank and he looked up at her with a disappointed expression.
“Mommy, my wish didn’t come true,” he pouted.
“It takes a while, sweetie,” Margaret replied. “Maybe it’ll come true tomorrow.”
“But I want it to come true today!” Connor said. His chin trembled. “It’s supposed to be for you too!”
Margaret sighed. “Oh, Connor,” she said. She now had an inkling of what he wished for, but what good would it do to tell him it was hopeless?
©H.S. Kylian 2019
(Critiques are welcome and appreciated!)