“We’re nearly caught up with each other when we make it to the sidewalk. I don’t hear anything. I only see the concrete below my feet and the tail and hind legs of my dog in my peripheral vision. I see my dog step off the sidewalk and in the next instant, my right arm is nearly pulled from my body. I hear a car, its breaks squeal, but I don’t know what that is until I piece together this memory decades later. An old lady between the age of 20 and 90 asks me my name. I don’t remember my answer. She asks me where I live, I point up the hill. She looks up the hill. She asks if we can get up there by using the road. I nod.
She keeps me from looking back, shielding me with her whole body. She takes me by the left hand and we walk together. I don’t remember what was said though the singsong patter of a child’s voice rings in my ears. My mum told me I was a very talkative and social child and I really liked grownups. I’m sure I was my precocious and charming self.
We climb the big hill street next to mine. It’s steep and hard to climb. At the top, I point that I know who lives in the red brick house at the top but that’s not my house. We turn right on the asphalt path that connects the big hill street with my residential street. I think that the grass is green. I don’t think we’re holding hands anymore.
My mother is crying. She tells me to never, never run down the hill again. I don’t remember what my dog looked like. I never saw her again.”