“I’m so sorry!”, I exclaimed as I bumped into a sweet old man wondering why my eyes were so fixed on the little cobbled path we were walking on, rather than being trained in front me. As I ambled across this road I seemed to fall into a sort of trance, my head buzzing with countless memories we made here.
I remember my 8 year old self confidently claiming she could ride her bike across the entire road without your help, only crash into a red parked car, making a slight dent in the number plate and running home terrified, leaving you standing there to clean up my mess and my poor bike lodged underneath that car. When you came home half an hour later I’d braced myself for a telling-off, but all you’d said was that next time we could go biking somewhere where my purple LadyBird wouldn’t get hurt.
I remember playing good ol’ street badminton, sending shuttles flying off into different houses and having more fun trying to get them back by stealthily creeping into compounds trying to retrieve them without being seen. And our horror when we climbed over a gate only to realise there was a dog inside, barking it’s head off at the sight of two strangers hastily trying to get off the gate before the owners came out. How we blamed our terrible shots on the “wind”, even on a still, sunny day. And throwing little stones at branches when shuttles got lodged between them, another little game to get them down.
I remember our trips to the park where we spent at least 45 minutes in the sandy area looking for tiny shells to build an already-massive collection, and separated them based on “quality”, shape and size as we walked back home.
Fast forward a couple of years, where you taught me how ride a two-wheeler, running behind/beside me as I nearly accelerated myself into a tree. And your pure joy when I took you for a ride without killing the both of us.
I smile to myself, thinking about every stupid thing we’d done over the years, stupid things we still do.
I guess it doesn’t matter how old I get, I’ll always be Daddy’s little girl.