He walked into my grandma’s old shop on Main about the same time the noon sun started to come through the windows. I wasn’t able to see his face, just a sun-kissed ball of thick, curly raven hair. He looked like a giant to me as he walked straight over to where I was playing on the dirty hardwood floor.
He joined my game without me having to tell him the rules. Matter of fact, I didn’t have to say a word, he knew exactly not to step on the round black stains where the feet of an old set of shelves used to stand. Grandma’s store was a book shop when she bought it 20 years ago. Now the shop sold camping and fishing equipment, mainly because there wasn’t much else to do where we lived.
We hopped around the bottomless stains, trying not to fall into each one. He was right behind me, and I could see the tip of his large brown moccasin just behind my steps. They had blue and yellow beads at the end of the laces. We frolicked around in our private world, laughing, playing—but we never said a word.
There were dusty metal floor fans in the corners of the room, gasping on what was left of the summer swelter. But the thick, heavy air wouldn’t budge. That was, until Mama walked in…
“What are you doing here? You shouldn’t be here—someone will see you, someone will know—” I heard her say in a hot whispered breath.
She reminded me of a dragon at times like this.
“I had to see. I had to see for myself. Please, just a few more minutes. Then I’ll go. I promise. I promise I will never come back—Just had to see with my own eyes,” he said. I could’ve told him
begging didn’t work with Mama, but no one paid me any attention. I just sat in between them looking up at them like a forest of tall pines.
“No, you have to leave. That was your choice. Go back, go away. Get out of here. Leave us alone,” Mama hissed. She bent over and scooped me up in her bony arms. I could feel the breeze of the fans pass over me as she rushed me to the back room.
He had already turned around and was walking out of the door. I could only see his giant outline pass through the tunnel of afternoon sun. Maybe he was a giant, maybe even the one from Jack-and-the-Beanstalk. Maybe he crawled down to visit and he crawled back up to his kingdom in the clouds.
Maybe, but he never looked back. I never saw the giant’s face.
Catina Tanner is a communications professional just to pay the bills. Her real passion is raising her two half-American, half-Dutch kiddos she likes to call Dutchlings. She has lived in Amsterdam more years than she has fingers and blogs about her adventures of being an expat mom at www.amsterdammama.blogspot.com.