~ The little boy was walking slowly along as if he was in no hurry to get anywhere, or that he had nowhere to go. He was scruffy looking and gave the appearance of a rag-a-muffin from the pages of a Dickens’s novel.
As I approached closer to him, he had yet to see me. I wanted to observe him more and see if he, indeed, had a destination in mind. Not wanting to move too hastily, I paused in my advance and kept my distance without losing sight of him.
It was obvious that this could take hours as the little boy played with something almost every few paces. Whatever time it takes, I knew I had to stick with watching him. He might be alone, then what. It was worth it to me to know that this child or any child would be safe.
About an hour had passed since I first saw the little boy walking along when something told me to keep an eye on him. Silly I suppose, but it was something I felt I needed to do. We had gone about two slow, playful blocks when he looked up and in my direction. He stood motionless as if he was looking right at me. Was he? Had he noticed me following him?
He stood there for the longest time, looking right at me. Then, he turned and started slowly in the direction he had been going. Whether he had seen me or not, I could not tell. If he had, what could it matter? I meant him no harm, but he probably did not realize that.
He stopped again, but this time he looked to his left. He was standing in front of a small house with a weathered look to it, as if no one had cared about it for some time. For a few minutes, he just stood there looking in the direction of the house. Maybe, this is where he lives.
He began walking up the walk toward the house. I closed the distance between us before he disappeared inside. When I got closer, the little boy was at the door of the house. He had his hand on the doorknob and as he started to open the door, he turned in my direction once more.
It was at that moment, when his eyes met mine that I realized I was the little boy. I had been following myself. I was remembering when I was young and carefree. I was remembering my parents and the house where I grew up. I missed home…
… There are bright lights…and voices that I had not noticed before…The boy and house are gone…I am no longer on the street…I feel like I am lying down…yet a part of me has the sensation of floating…What is going on…?
“Daddy, it’s time to get up. It’s Saturday. We’re going to the zoo…wake up daddy.”
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