Skylar pressed their forehead against the window. Peering through the rain they could see the group of children running up and down the street, jumping into puddles and laughing. While most of them were sticking to the puddles on the sidewalk and the street, there was one child jumping between puddles in the grass in front of their house.
John was out with Hannah and Emily was at a book club meeting. Skylar tapped their fingers on the window, eyes drawn to the small child jumping in the grass. Water and mud flew up with every splash. The child’s yellow rain coat hung down to the tops of their matching yellow boots, and it was splattered with mud.
The other children moved down the block, but this one, face obscured by the yellow hood, stayed in their yard.
Skylar bit their bottom lip, watching the kid go just past the sidewalk. For a moment they paused there, face towards the kids hopping their way down the block. The rain started to smear the mud droplets on their gear before the child turned away. They grabbed the pole of the bright yellow road sign and used it to swing around and make a really big splash in a puddle at the very edge of their yard.
Without rain gear of their own, and not wanting to dig through John’s closest didn’t stop Skylar from going outside. The rain was still steady, though much gentler than the recent thunderstorm. It didn’t take long for Skylar’s hair to stick to their skin and to feel the chill sinking in.
Skylar crossed the street, bare feet splashing in small puddles along the way. The child was back to bouncing around, squeezing their eyes shut as the water came back up at them.
Skylar passed the yellow sign, understanding the message, they paused on the sidewalk and waited for the kid to look at them. When the big green eyes looked at them Skylar waved. A slow wave, the hand still close to their hip was returned. Skylar jumped into the puddle next to them on the concrete and smiled.
Jumping and grinning the two of them moved back and forth in front of the child’s house. Skylar stuck to the sidewalk, while the young boy’s boots would sink into the mud at the bottom of each puddle. While a sharp eyed mother watched from the window, the two of them continued puddle hopping even after the rain stopped.
The mother came out to stand on the porch as the sky glowed orange from the sun approaching the horizon. It was a much more enthusiastic wave which said goodbye to Skylar.
Skylar had to wash bits of mud and other gunk off their feet before John let them back into the house, but he smiled as they told the story of hanging out with the child on the rainy afternoon.
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