When I was ten, I discovered we were poor. Mama came home with tickets to the Nutcracker Ballet. She was so delighted, dancing around our small living room. I think she always wanted to be a dancer. She was in one of her good moods where she opened up all the blinds and played the record player loud. She’d been saving all year to take me.
We got all dressed up and took a cab to the show. There was a long line outside to get in. The lights on Broadway were so bright. A long black car pulled up to the curb in front of us. A man, wearing a funny hat, stepped out and opened the car door for the people inside. My eyes made contact with a pretty blond girl about my age. She was wearing a beautiful green dress, with shiny sequins all over it, and a red shawl. We looked at each other closely. I ducked behind Mama not wanting the little girl to see my old black coat. I wasn’t sure why I did that. It was the look in her eyes. She was looking down at me. Her family didn’t have to wait in the line. They went right to the front and the doorman let them in.
Our seats were so high I could barely see the performance. I spotted the girl sitting in a balcony very close to the stage. Mama said they were rich. After that day, I was on a constant look out for these strange people with long cars.