I stay awake and wait for you like a dog outside your door on the mat— waiting to be let in, like a cat scratching at the door. But I am not a dog or a cat; I am your abandoned, little girl.
My deep blue eyes look through the keyhole. I have rung the doorbell five times.
My soggy teddy bear slumps in my red wagon as I watch the lights go out in the living room. I am a bold five-year-old. My nanny taught me not to cry, even if things got to the worst.
It was drizzling. My jumper, one-size too big, hangs down over my left shoulder. My kite lay on the ground next to me. My animals were going to get ruined.
I picked up my kite and pulled my wagon to my parents’ bedroom window. It was closed. I could still see them, awake. It made me angry. I wanted to break the window, but I didn’t. I stood there and watched.
I pulled my wagon back through the gravel. I left my kite by the window. I left it there in case my parents looked out the window, they would know I was out there. Then they would come and take me inside.
I rang the bell one last time. No one noticed except for Emmi, the cat. She scratched at the door to be let out. I walked away with a pang in my stomach. How could they forget? I was too big to be forgotten. My mother could forget her keys, but she couldn’t forget her only daughter.
I rubbed my eyes. I was tired. I pulled my wagon under a tree. I chucked my doll and clown out onto the wet grass. I left my dogs and my big teddy in. I snuggled up with them.
It would be hard to go to sleep in the rain, but I was going to try.