She wanted to take a walk to go and get the mail.

It was that slow time of night after dinner when the sunny is softly coloring in all the corners of the neighborhood. The petals of the flowers in the neighbor’s bed droop heavy. I feel the gravel under our feet. She’s wearing the new pink shoes that she wears now every day.

She runs in front of me. She wants to run. She wants me to run.

I’m wearing flip flops but I run anyway. I jog behind her and she keeps glancing back over the flick of the ponytail on her shoulder. Her dimple winks at me.

I run behind her so I can watch her run.

I tell her how strong her legs are. How fast her arms pump.

We run and bump into each other and slow down to wave at the neighbors.

I take a short cut across the grass and I’m still running until I glance back and discover she’s walking now. It’s steeper and there’s less shade and she calls out loudly, demanding me to wait. Because she wants to hold my hand.

So I hold it out to her.

Until I feel the sweaty, chubby fingers fold into place. And we walk the rest of the way together.