[Black text on white]

by Jenn Dolari

          Anniversary, Shmanniversary.
          All Jana knew was she was bored. Bored bored bored. What was it about grown ups that make certain dates so important that she had to get dressed up in uncomfortable shoes, sit quietly for an hour and be bored bored bored while they stared at each other over candlelight? She poked at her asparagus. Even the food was boring. There was so much for the eight year old to be doing right now than trying to figure out where asparagus came from. The back scales of some kind of reptile, she thought. Why couldn't Becky baby-sit her today? They always had fun when she came over. Lots more fun than she could have had on that stupid date with her icky boyfriend.
          She was looking up at the ceiling again, trying to make shapes in the stucco while waiting for the waitress to come around with dessert when her parents, for the first time since the main course, acknowledged her.
          "I need go powder my nose, dear, do you need to go too before we head home?" Jana shook her head at her mother, anything to just get home sooner. Jana shifted in her seat, Momma never took too long in the bathroom and they'd be home pretty soon, as long as Dad didn't get up as well.
          Jana watched as Dad got out of the booth, and then, to her horror, never reached for his wallet. "I'm gonna go as well, kiddo. I'll be right back." As he shuffled off, Jana sank down in her seat, and poked the asparagus again. She'd be here a while.
          "You'll get more good out of that asparagus if you eat it. Pushing it around your plate is cute, but unless its running a race, it's not gonna win any awards, hun." Jana looked up into the friendly clear blue eyes of her waitress and smiled. At least she was paying attention. "Any room for dessert?"
          Jana picked herself up. "Oh, yes. But I gotta wait for momma to say it's okay."
          The waitress beamed, "Well, think about what you'd really like and I'll come back with the check. Just have your folks ask for Sylvia."
          "Anything that I want?"
          "Anything you'd like, hun."
          "I'd like everyone on the planet to get their wish."
          Sylvia smirked. "That's a tall order...I don't think Earl in the back could cook that up."
          The eight year old smirked. "Then everyone in the restaurant."
          And with that, the world warped.

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