Innocence: A Question

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I remember a day back when I was a kid very well.

It was a Friday, my parents took me, my brother and my two sisters out for shopping.

I saw a red balloon and kept looking at it, hoping that my dad would understand that I want it. I used to do that as a kid, I didn’t want to be a spoiled brat, I didn’t want to ask for things, when I wanted something I looked at it and hoped that somehow I would get it.

It’s funny because somehow I’m still the same. My father somehow managed to understand this time, and he got me the red balloon. I was very happy, that red balloon was everything I had wanted.

We entered a shoe boutique, a nice man owned it. He was joking around with me, so he took my balloon and let it fly in the store.

My balloon’s first target was the man’s cigarette lying in his ashtray. My red balloon popped and since the man was nice he started apologizing to me.

My parents told him that it was okay but it wasn’t. My father said that he was going to buy me another one and that I shouldn’t cry.

Even at that age, I was very good at hiding my feelings but that time, I couldn’t. My lips turned down involuntarily and tears started to run down my face. My throat constricted painfully but I was crying silently so that no one would notice but the shop owner saw me cry.

He didn’t pause for a second, he told my dad that he’d be right back and ran out of the store despite my father’s objections.

My oldest sister looked at me disapprovingly as if I’d done something wrong but I was still crying.

The nice man returned with a red balloon in his hand and my day was made again. He apologized again and gave me the balloon, and I decided then that I loved that man and I wanted one of my sisters to marry him, not that I told anyone.

My red balloon did eventually pop after a week or so, but since then, that shoe boutique was my favorite shop of all time.

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