The Guardian

I sat in my car at a red light impatiently waiting to get moving but in no particular rush to reach my endpoint. In my peripheral vision, I caught sight of movement redirecting my attention toward two children, a boy roughly eight years old and a girl maybe six. The sidewalk was empty except for these two youngsters running hand-in-hand. Undoubtedly, they were making their way to the elementary school as they carried backpacks adorned with action heroes, cartoon animals, or Disney characters … at that distance it was difficult to make it out clearly. Every few seconds, without ever breaking stride, the boy would turn his head to look behind him. I could not quite label the expression on his face which made me wonder — were they eager to get to their destination or were they running from something? Was he expecting someone to be there in pursuit? I don’t recall a time that I enthusiastically made my way to work so I found it difficult to connect with the concept of running to school in excitement to learn. On the other hand, I dread the thought that these small children might be running from something. Something so awful that being confined to a classroom for eight hours listening to an adult incomprehensibly drone on about adjectives or arithmetic is a better alternative to the terrible from which they were escaping. A car honking jarred me back to my mission. As I drove off, I decided that fledgling gentleman was actually monitoring the street activity as a chivalrous act of protection for his companion ensuring that the traffic remained on the road. We should all be so fortunate as to have someone stronger than ourselves shielding us from all the evil and all danger in this world. Call me a hopeful romantic.

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