After a long morning of paperwork, Isaac was ready for a nap. He changed into his pajamas and got into bed in the middle of the day. He had a list of things to do as long as his arm and wasn’t doing any of them. It was marvelous.
Just as he fell asleep, Marianne came in. “Are you feeling sick?”
“Hmmm?” Isaac dragged himself away from the dream where he’d just remembered the secret of how to fly. “Just tired.”
“Okay. Well, you have a nice nap then. Charlie and I are going to the garden center. We want to plant some garlic today.”
“You too.” Marianne left and Isaac slipped back into sleep.
When he woke up sometime later, the light in the room was different. It was brighter and warmer. He sat up and looked around suspiciously.
Usually, a nap during the day meant waking up with a bit of a headache and feeling like his head was packed full of cotton. Or gravel. But not today.
Today he felt like he could leap out of bed and run down the hallway and he’d have energy left over and his knees wouldn’t hurt. He looked down at his hands. They looked smaller.
He jumped out of bed and looked in the mirror. As he’d suspected, he looked a lot younger. He looked Charlie’s age.
It was strange. Being young again, he now realized how old he normally felt. That was a little depressing. He decided not to think about that or about how he was going to manage a grown up life if he stayed looking this young.
Instead, he decided to run outside and play. He put on sweatpants and rolled up the legs, and a sweatshirt and rolled up the sleeves. Then he shoved on a pair of Charlie’s sandals and ran out the backdoor, only remembering to close it at the last second.
Charlie and Marianne weren’t outside. They were probably still at the garden center. However, Miss Marta was out in her yard raking leaves. “Hello,” he called.
She came over and looked over the fence. “Well aren’t you looking young today? It must be the change in the seasons.”
“Do you think it will last long?”
“No.” Miss Marta sighed. “It never does.”
“Do you need help raking your leaves?”
Miss Marta smiled. “What a polite boy you are! I can take care of the leaves. They’re almost already done. But I could use your help with Toby. He needs a nice walk. Let me go put him on his leash, and I’ll bring him to the front gate.”
Isaac met her there. Toby, a fluffy little black dog, was running in circles and wrapping his leash around her ankles. Miss Marta stepped out of the loops of leash and handed the end to Isaac.
Isaac spent the next hour running behind Toby as they explored the neighborhood. It was amazing how a tiny change in perspective made everything seem new and interesting. When they passed by, the park was empty, so they stopped there to play.
Toby was great at fetching sticks and bringing them back. Just like when he was younger, Isaac pretended he was a professional pitcher as he threw the sticks. Every throw was perfect, of course.
And then he felt the first drop of rain hit his arm. When did it get so dark? Where did the clouds come from?
He clipped Toby’s leash back onto his collar and they hurried home. He returned Toby to Miss Marta. “I hope you had fun today,” she said.
“Lots of fun.”
The rain drops were falling closer together. Just as he reached his front porch, it started to pour. The rain was falling so hard that it was like trying to look through a waterfall.
Suddenly, the sandals were pinching his feet. Isaac took them off and went inside. He put them back in the closet. When he looked down again, his feet were their normal size.
Isaac unrolled his sleeves and pant legs with a sigh. Old again. Being young was fun while it lasted. Feeling nostalgic, he made himself a cup of cocoa and sat in the living room to watch the rain and wait for Charlie and Marianne to return home.