Kite and Starfish: A Jogger

Girl and her brother walked along the sidewalk on the street where she lived.  She turned often to look back at her house, to remember how it looked different from the other houses.  She saw that the trees were still small on her street, and that there was not much shade.  She remembered that her father had not liked that.

“Ah!” said Girl, spotting a jogger, and she made her brother run across the empty street.  The jogger was a woman, and she was wearing all light blue.  She was also wearing earphones and Girl and her brother ran alongside her awhile before she noticed them.

“Oh dear,” said the woman, jogging in place and removing one earphone, as she watched Girl bend over and pant.  Girl’s brother dropped to the sidewalk and lay down, puffing.

“Oh my,” said the woman and stopped jogging in place.  “What is it, Girl?”

“I—made a wish—that turned—my brother invisible,” said Girl, catching her breath.  “Do you know how to turn him visible again?”

“Well!” said the jogger, raising her eyebrows, and she considered Girl.  She removed her other earphone, thoughtfully, and said, “I’m from the city myself.  I jog here for the peace and quiet.  In the city,” she continued, “everyone’s a stranger, you know?  You can be on a bus and nobody will look at anyone else.  I guess that the only people who really see me are my husband and my kids.  I—I’m happy with that, you know?”

“Thank you very much,” said Girl, and she turned to go on.  She looked at her brother and found that he had spread his limbs out like a starfish.  She sighed, picked him up under the arms, and tried to haul him down the sidewalk.

“Girl!” said the woman.  “Where are you going?”

“I’m going home,” Girl called back, and she did not turn to see the woman looking after her.


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