He couldn’t wait to go home. In all seven years of being alive, he couldn’t remember ever being so excited before.
His heart hammered relentlessly inside his tiny chest and his mouth felt cotton-dry as he fidgeted and squirmed in his chair, bursting for a pee and not paying one scrap of attention to anything going on around him.
In his mind, all there was, was THE TOY.
He’d first seen THE TOY in a flea market when his mom was shopping for some black dog to grill for supper. Amongst the chaos and the noise and the thick clouds of oily smoke that mingled and moved like dragons through the narrow, dirty alleyways, he’d spotted it.
At first he wasn’t quite sure he’d seen correctly. He adjusted his glasses, thick as coke bottle bottoms, on his practically non-existent nose and squinted across the alleyway at the adjacent stall.
There it was. THE TOY. The most incredible toy ever invented. The second he comprehended what he was looking at, the child’s mind came alive with possibilities.
How was it possible that such an amazing toy had come into being? He had to have it. He would do anything to get it, even crawl over his own dead mother.
He immediately started tugging frantically at his mother’s leather pants, squealing at the top of his lungs, much like a pig being skinned alive.
His mother had never seen her son so furiously locked in paroxysms of overwhelming desire. The way he twitched and screamed almost involuntarily frightened her and she struck him hard on the back of his head to try and knock some sense into him.
If only it had been that easy.
That night, her son refused to eat any of the succulent dog she had prepared for him. He sat in a slack-jawed kind of daze while a thick, translucent trail of drool crept steadily from the corner of his mouth to his shirt front.
He sat like that for days, wasting away. Eventually she began to fear for the child’s life as he halved in size before her very eyes and so, in a huff of desperation, she finally agreed to buy the child THE TOY for his next birthday in three weeks time.
The change in her son was instant. He leaped up from where he was sitting and began to hop around the room, singing irreverent songs of praise to no one in particular in a language only he understood.
The bell for the end of school sounded like a prison exoneration as the boy, after three torturous weeks of jittering constantly and wetting his pants in excitement, jumped nearly two feet in the air and bolted, legs pumping, to the parking lot outside where his mother sat on her motorbike with his present neatly wrapped in her hands.
He ran in slow motion, the sun shining down like a host of holy angels above him as tears of unrepentant joy streamed down his face.
This was finally it, the moment his brief life had been building towards, the reason he was sure he existed.
Finally, finally his wildest dreams had come true.
Finally, he could shave the baby.