Running Late

I’m five or six in this memory. My mother takes me to kindergarten every morning except one day a week when she has work early in the morning. Then, one of the two things happen. Either I go to kindergarten with my friend and her mother, or if my father is up, he takes me.

When it’s my father who walks me to kindergarten, because he wakes up late, we always leave home much later than usual. By this time, all my friends are gone. My father and I move our legs fast on the deserted street to kindergarten.

At my kindergarten, there is one friend who always comes in the last minute before the class starts. She is very punctual, though. Her father and little sister walk her to kindergarten exactly at the same time every morning.

One morning, my father and I get particularly late, and there is not even a single kid with a yellow bag in our sight.

“Daddy, are we the last?”

As we speed up the hill to my kindergarten, familiar figures come from the other side. They are my friend’s father and little sister. They’ve already dropped off my friend and are now heading back home.

“I think I’m the last!” I murmur urgently to my father before we catch up with them.

After polite greetings, my father and I start running toward the green gate of my kindergarten. As I run, I recall the relaxed atmosphere of my friend’s father and little sister, and I think to myself what a great contrast it makes with our huffing and puffing.