My neighbour has a 10 year old daughter with mild mental retardation, which means that while her body ages normally, she has the mental capacity of a six year old… She has a mop of curly brown hair on her head, big brown eyes that can melt the coldest of hearts and the sweetest laugh ever. Even under the special circumstances, she's an absolute angel.
I usually babysit her when her parents aren't at home and today she wanted to go to the park. I have never been able to refuse her anything, so 10 minutes later we were strolling down the canopied lanes of the only park in town.
She was lactose intolerant (as we found out at one unfortunate birthday party) so she wasn’t allowed any ice cream; not that it stopped her from asking. I was at my wits end wondering how to say no, when you showed up with a puppy on a leash- effectively distracting her. Then you just gave me another one of those small smiles and turned to watch her play with your dog as if it was something you did everyday.
When she looked to you and tried to ask you something, a little part of me was afraid that you’d realise something was not normal with her and leave –but once again, you surprised me. You sat down with her, spoke softly and acted like you would if she was your little sister. It was such a heart-warming sight; you with a little girl in your lap laughing at something….It brought tears to my eyes.
When it was finally time to leave, you promised her you would come back and play some other time and smiled bashfully when she squealed and gave you a sloppy kiss. It was too cute.
What I did next was so unlike character, but I couldn’t help it. I leaned over and kissed you on the cheek. The way your eyes widened and you turned so red, I had to bite my lip to stop myself from cooing!
There’s something about you, Ravi that most people wouldn’t have. An air of understanding- like you’ve seen and heard things you shouldn’t have had to. And then there was the way you looked at her- the unidentifiable glint in your eyes. You’re hiding something and it won’t be long before I find out what.