In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Race the Clock.”
There a knock on the door. The first thing going through my head is that something didn’t fit in the mailbox since it was an unexpected visitor. Slapping on my slippers, I shuffle off down the hall and open the door. A little girl is standing on the brick walkway looking up at me as if she didn’t know what to say. I’d never seen this child around the neighborhood so I looked over towards the driveway in case someone thought they were dropping someone off, yet at the wrong address.
After a minute I realize there is something so very familiar about this child. Her eyes looked similar to a memory of another’s. “Do I know you?” squeeked from my throat, a sudden sense of dread consuming me. “You’ve known me my entire life!” she looked confused by the question. Now I’m wondering if this is the child of some friend playing a game with me.
There are no cars on the street that I don’t recognize. But the biggest question is how did she get here? It’s a school day, I’m all for playing hooky, but why at my place? But the feelings that I have seen this child before keep creeping into my thoughts. Searching my mind, I’m close to being in a panic because I’m not sure what to do. My neighbor’s daughter loves to walk up to my back door, knock and walk in before you even have a chance to respond. She’s always welcome, maybe this is some joke on her part?
Those eyes are so damn familiar. This is where the concern begins. Do I invite her in, only to have the cops knock on the door seconds later? Too much late night “To Catch a Predator”! But some distant paternal instinct overrides everything. Sitting down on opposite sides of the couch,
“I know it’s been some time since you last saw me!” Now I completely searching the recesses of my mind. But more importantly how is it that this child is so comfortable being around me?
“How old are you?” Simple question, some children look a little older; and her speech pattern is much more advanced then her outward appearance.
“You were didn’t make it in time to the hospital the day I was born, but you were there.” Sadness on her face, when did she end up sitting in my lap?
I’ve only ever been present for family, one friend but he’s 20 years old!
“Daddy, why are you playing games with me?” And it hits me like a brick. Those eyes are mine!
We talk about her friends, she talks about people I have no idea how she knows. People from my past, people long since passed on…
It was a wonderful conversation, but then she turns to me kisses me on the check and says that she needs to go now. I’m confused, scared, not sure what to say next. Tears are running down my face.
Then I wake up, those same tears flowing. I want back into that dream, one where my child is still alive. One where she tells me abut her day. One where I’m not just a grieving parent, but a “daddy”!