Anaïs quickly parked her car in the lot. She threw the car door open and ran up to the front door of the daycare center. She rang the doorbell over and over, cursing her friend Mary for not being fast enough. She paused for a moment and raised her hand ready to knock on the door. After a hearing locks clicking open, she let out a sigh of relief. The door opened slightly as a face peered from inside. Then it was flung open.
“Oh, Ana, it’s just you! Why you here so early? It’s only two.” Mary saw the look on Anaïs’s face. “Is something wrong? Did something happen?”
Anaïs shook her head, “ No—well, I don’t know. Aalando called me at work. Said it was urgent. I just came to pick up Angelesa.”
“Alright,” Mary stepped inside, “I’ll get Angie.”
Anaïs followed Mary in and made a beeline to the cubby shelves, picking her diaper bag. She tossed it onto her shoulder while Mary put Angelesa’s shoes and light jacket on. She picked up picked up the small toddler and handed her to her mother. Anaïs smiled. “Thanks Mary.”
Before she could turn to leave, Mary asked, “Really, Ana? Is everything okay?”
Anaïs looked away. She looked at Angelesa who was waving goodbye to Mary’s daughter who peaked at them from the doorway to the playroom. Anaïs met Mary’s eyes. “I don’t know what’s going yet, but I may have to ask you to keep Angelesa for a few days.”
She looked at the door and considered how to manage the knob. Switching her baby to her other arm, she reached for the door and pulled it open. Much better; she was, of course, right-handed. Passing through, she paused to transfer Angelesa to her other arm and pulled the door shut with her left hand, as was only natural: she was on the other side now, of course.
The steps to the street she negotiated in the usual manner, one foot after the other, poising one firmly in place while lowering the other until it was itself reliably settled. At last, she reached the sidewalk and began her journey, mindful at all times of the precise sequence of actions that were required to convey her to her destination. Fortunately, as she was in a hurry after all, she'd found a parking place near the front of the lot. At her car, solutions were required to deal with a new set of conditions: where to hold Angelesa while she searched for her keys; securing the baby in the car seat; starting the car; accurately selecting the proper gear, depending on whether she'd parked head-in or out; applying just the right amount of pressure to the accelerator to assure effective but not reckless motion; it was daunting, the plethora of details one had to deal with to accomplish the simplest tasks in life.
She had to pause and think; at this rate no one, least of all she herself, would ever find out what was going on.
Opening: Xiexie.....Continuation: Paul Penna