boy with mud spattered clothes on, his strawberry blond hair was
pulled off his face by two pink clips and he had a rusty rake in his
hands. She'd never met the neighbour's son before; in fact she'd never
met anyone from that family. But he looked sad so she decided it was
time for a 'little man' talk.
Bending to his height she said, "So, how old are you little man?"
"Four. And whom should I say is asking?"
"Haha. Well, not since breakfast have I met someone as old as you!"
"And who did you meet at breakfast?"
"Well, I have a little girl who's almost you're age. She'll be four in
"That's lovely. I don't know anyone my age!"
"Maybe you should come over some time..."
Just then the thick wooden door flew open and a freckled face appeared.
"Come in for dinner son. And what have I told you about playing with
rusty things and talking to strangers?"
Just as quickly as it had begun, the conversation was over, with no
more smiles than there are clouds in an autumn sky. And though the
boy's family moved away in the fall, the two children met once,
Nineteen years later, he takes the bus home from work. A girl gets on
the same bus and finds an empty seat besides the boy with strawberry
blonde hair. Their eyes meet for a second and she feels like she's
known him for ages.
She sits down. They exchange pleasantries and get off the bus long
before either of their stops have passed. Now they're walking
down an unfamiliar street, going nowhere in particular.