We hear her voice calling us to come inside. His little heart drops to the dirt. He doesn’t want to go in, even if there is pepperoni pizza waiting on the table.
I don’t want him to go either.
He looks up to the deck; so do I. She’s not there yet. There is still time.
He drives a yellow and black car –Bumblebee– in the sand, making roads with the miniature tire prints. He hums and makes sirens sounds. I play pretend along with him, loving every moment. His eyebrows burrow when he turns corners past his sandcastle and volcano. His dimpled fingers seem small to mine, which are now dark and stretched.
The sun is setting. The warm light making the yellow autumn leaves shimmer.
Mom calls his name once more, warning of the coming night and soon chilled dinner.
“Coming,” he yells, but we stay put. We just need to finish this race, then find the hidden treasure under the hand-drawn X. Gold sand flies as the Bumblebee car wins. He yells in triumph; we celebrate with a happy dance.
The patio door opens with a creak. The smell of cheese and marinara drift down to the sandbox.
“Now, kid,” his Mom says, voice low. She stands on the deck, hand on one hip. Her shadow copies her commanding pose, but long and lean in the glow of the setting sun.
“I just need to get the treasure!” He raises his hands, the victorious car in one palm.
“Remember what I said about just? Just means you’re just not listening.” She raises an eyebrow.
He sighs, and drops the car.
He trudges up the path to the house, looking down at the grass. His stomach growls; he walks a little faster. I follow along trying to hold on to each moment before we part. When we arrive, he stomps his shoe on the deck to hear the sound it makes against the wood. I catch his eye. He stares at me, then waves.
I wave back.
“Good bye,” I whisper.
His mom ruffles his hair and shouts with a smile, “Pizza!”
“Pizza!” he yells back.
Her shadow embraces me. It’s warm.
They walk through the sliding glass door, and I disappear.
Go ahead, try the prompt out for yourself. Leave your story in the comment section below! Imagine you are someone’s shadow for a day.
Or tell us who you would shadow for a day if you could. We would love to hear!