Sal was given one chance to redo anything in the world, one chance only. She was given three days to make a choice or forfeit forever. She thought about it day and night. It kept her up at nights, making her more tired than normal.
She was turning 62 years old on the same day she had to give her answer. If she was eating, she was thinking. What did she want? She had never had this kind of chance in life. Did she want a make-over? Younger looking skin? A bank account full of money? A new car? A marriage proposal?
The day before she had to say her choice, she was sitting at the kitchen window drinking her coffee. She was watching kids playing on the play ground. Her window was open, allowing the new Spring air to rush in.
She could hear the laughter of a few of the girls. Some children were going down the slide. Others were on the teeter totter. Some were jumping rope, and some were just plain running through the grass as if they had no cares in the world.
Sal looked back on her life. It was memories that made her smile. She was or always had been her Papa’s girl. Many times she had sat on his lap and listened to him tell funny stories or pull quarters out of her ear.
Mama always had cookies and when Sal came through the front door, there would be mama holding a small plate with two cookies and a glass of milk was in the other hand. Oh those were the days.
It brought small tears as she thought back to what once was. Mama and Papa were both laid to rest many years ago. Sal had been an only child; so there were no siblings to chat with on the phone or go visit.
Sal had her own friends. She belonged to the church down the block and was still involved with the choir. She helped make quilts to send out as Christmas gifts. She volunteered with carry ins the church had.
She was content, but there was nothing better than her own memories of when she was young. She instantly knew what she was going to wish for. She went about the rest of her day and when sleep arrived; she was ready to rest her eyes, anxious for the next day to arrive.
The next morning, sun came shining through every window. She ate her breakfast and got dressed for the knock at the door. She had only sat down about five minutes after getting herself all ready, when the sound came.
She got up and opened the door. He stood there. He held out his hand, and she handed him the piece of paper, folded ever so neatly. With a nod from him, he turned and swiftly left.
Sal wondered how and when things would change. She busied herself with watering her plants. Some of them needed bigger pots; so she completed that task. The sun felt so good that she decided to sit on the porch swing for just a little bit longer before fixing her lunch.
When lunch was done and she had tidied up the kitchen, she yawned. She always laid down and napped after the mid meal. She took off her glasses and her shoes and made herself comfortable on her pillow. Covering herself up, she fell fast asleep.
She was awakened by her mama shaking her shoulder. “It’s time to get up Sal. I was hoping for your company in the kitchen. You want to help me set the table”? Sal sat up on the edge of the bed. She put her glasses on and tied her shoes.
She held mama’s hand as the two of them walked to the kitchen. Mama hummed a tune while Sal set the table. The back door sounded, and Sal looked up. There was her papa coming in from his job.
He always looked dirty when he came home. It was a habit to head straight to the bathroom and get all cleaned up. She anxiously awaited for him to reappear; so she could sit on his lap until supper was ready.
The three of them shared laughter, and talk about the day. They ate peach pie that mama baked with ice-cream on top. Afterwards, papa went outside to smoke his pipe and Sal helped mama clear the table.
The kitchen clean, and papa reading the paper, mama said to Sal. “It’s getting time for you to take your bath young lady, so hop-a-long”. Sal smiled and went grabbed her pajamas out of her room and went to the bathroom.
She turned on the faucets and poured in a little bit of bubble bath. She took off her clothes and grabbed a wash cloth and bath towel. She turned to turn the water off and caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. She paused for a quick second and then looked again. It wasn’t her, or was it? She was a little girl in an old woman’s mind. Her inner reflection was reliving all that she had once known.