“Who in the world would ring the door bell at 6 am Sunday in the morning,” I wondered and got out of bed.
It was cold in the bedroom; I couldn’t find my slippers and tiptoed barefoot to the window and peeked outside. A little girl was standing in front of our house; she was all bundled up.
“This is not happening,” I thought to myself and shook my head in disbelieve. I grabbed my jeans, socks and a warm sweater as quietly as I could.
“Where are you going?” my husband mumbled from under the covers.
“I am going for a walk,” I managed to say and went to the door.
I got halfway dressed on my way down and opened the front door. I wasn’t dreaming, there she was, the little girl I had just met the other day. She stood there with a big smile on her face.
“Here I am,” she said, “Are you ready?”
“Just a minute,” I managed to say and invited her in.
“Do your parents know where you are?” I asked her and she assured me they knew.
I put on my boots and my coat, grabbed the leashes and called the dogs. They looked at me in disbelieve; they were still sleepy and not ready for an early walk in the snow.
I didn’t even have to ask; I knew what had happened, the moment I saw her standing there in front of our home.
I had met her the other day, had introduced myself and the dogs to her when she had asked me about them. She told me she loved dogs, but couldn’t have one, because of her little brother and his health issues.
She and her family had just moved into the beautiful house across the street. I was glad the old house was occupied again, and I welcomed her in the neighborhood.
“Can I join you on your walk,” she had asked me, and I told her that it wasn’t possible. I was in a hurry, and on my way back to the house. I had an appointment with a customer, and I didn’t want to be late.
“Why don’t you come by another time?” I had said when I walked away from her.
“How about tomorrow?” she had replied, and I had nodded.
“Promised?” That was the last word she said, but I didn’t pay too much attention, my thoughts were already at the meeting.
PROMISED –that was the word that came to my mind when I saw her standing there so early Sunday in the morning.
I went for a long walk with her, brought her back to her house afterwards and met her parents for the first time. They hadn’t even noticed that she was gone, hadn’t found the note she had left on the table.
That happened a couple of years ago, and a lot of people have asked me why I went for that walk. “Why didn’t you just tell her to come by later,” they asked me and I never really knew what to say.
What is there to say?
I do remember broken promises in my early childhood years; I remembered the hurt and the disappointment. I think that was the reason why I got up that early, that, and the smile on the little girls face.
It also taught me that it couldn’t hurt to be a bit more specific. 🙂