Birthdays sucked. At least, that’s what Conner thought, as she lay in bed wishing she were one of those Zen types who, with the assistance of some deep breathing, could put her body instantly in a comatose state. No such luck. She lost the fight. The day she hated more than any other had arrived, and there would be no avoiding it by sleeping through it.
Quickly dressing in her customary black pants, she grabbed a matching shirt from the pile of unfolded laundry on the chair. Tugging the shirt down to stretch out the wrinkles, she briefly regretted not ironing it before throwing it on. Putting her hands on her hips, she examined herself in the full-length mirror. She looked like a crumpled-up Hefty bag with a Brillo pad sticking out of the top. Perfect. It was the same look she managed every day for the past ten or so years.
Conner flipped a wave at her reflection, dismissing her ruffled appearance. Throwing open the door, she almost tripped over a beautifully wrapped present sitting in the doorway. With a smile, she picked it up. Birthdays sucked, but birthday presents were great.
Setting the box gently on the bed, Conner took a few minutes to stare at it. The present was truly a work of beauty. Impeccably wrapped in silvery paper, the box was tied with great love and precision with an extravagant blue bow. She hated the idea of untying it. Unable to hold in her curiosity, she tugged it free, ripped off the paper, and tossed off the lid. Inside was a small note:
Every woman needs a dream pair of shoes.
Dare to dream, Cookie!