A hand shook Ann’s shoulder, pulling her from a deep sleep. “Mama?” she asked through a yawn. “What is it? It’s the middle of the night.”
Mama’s eyes were bright, a toothy grin spreading across her face. “Wake up, there’s something I want to show you.”
“I’m sleepy,” Ann whined. Didn’t Mama know tomorrow was a school day? Mama usually cared about those sorts of things…
“This is more important.” Mama clapped and Ann started to sit up, only to have a pile of clothes land on her head. “Get dressed.”
Ann followed her Mama’s orders right out the door of their tiny home. The darkness had waned a little, the pitch black transforming into a dark purple.
“I’m very excited for you, Ann,” Mama explained. She swayed on her heels as Ann pulled on a jacket while Mama got them flashlights. When we were both ready she snapped her fingers. “Come on, chase me!”
And then Mama was off and Ann remembered her bed, and wondered if this was still a dream. But still, she followed Mama and ran.
On the top of the hill, the dark purple had changed to a dusky blue, if not for the flashlights, Ann would not know where they were. “This is where we lost our relay race.”
Mama turned, face unreadable until Ann shined the flashlight in it. Even Mama’s squinting couldn’t detract from her smile. “Oh honey, this is where a lot of things happened.”
“Like what?” Ann asked, still unable to forget the sting of defeat.
“Well, for one,” Mama held up a finger. “This is where I first felt you kick in my belly.”
“What else?” Ann looked around the hillside, the first bits of sun rising over the horizon.
“It’s where you Papa first told me he loved me.”
“What else?” Excitement ran through Ann now, because Mama was looking towards the horizon, as if she was expecting something.
“Well, sweetheart. In just a few minutes the sun is going to rise, and you know what’s going to happen?”
Ann pulled at her sleeve until Mama wrapped her arms around her, rocking Ann against her body. “What?”
A car rumbled in the distance and Mama leaned low, pressing her lips against Ann’s ear. When she spoke her voice was barely a whisper. “We’re going on an adventure.”