CREDOS : Voicing a wish — III

The kitchen table was covered in a pile of balloons. Frankie walked up to me and handed me 50 cents and a fork. His eyes were lit with anticipation. “Pop one!” he urged.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I stared at the balloons in disbelief and then jabbed one with a fork. Frankie and Sarah laughed as I let out a loud whoop when it popped. A piece of paper fell out of the balloon. I opened it and recognised Frankie’s awkward scrawl. “What does it say?” Frankie prompted. “Fifty cents,” I whispered, too choked up to speak loudly. Frankie got business-like and asked, “Well, do you have 50 cents?” I handed him the two quarters he’d given me moments earlier.

“OK then!” Frankie walked over to the refrigerator, pulled out a homemade banana split and handed it to me. Mounds of vanilla ice cream were covered in chocolate sauce, Cool Whip, and peanuts. Underneath it all was a banana, split in two. My eyes stung with tears as I held the banana split Frankie lovingly made to right an ancient wrong. “Now you finally got to pop a balloon for a banana split, Mom.”

Frankie beamed. I hugged him again, and then hugged Sarah, who stood back and marvelled at her brother. We took turns popping the rest of the balloons and laughed when I finally got the 1-cent balloon. It was a long time coming but well worth the wait. Each spoonful of ice-cream reminded me that the first step in making any wish come true is giving it a voice. — (Concluded)