The old man stared at the distance, at Ruby jumping off the swings and chasing him. Ruby, sweaty-haired and smiling.
He imagined what she’d think of him now, his face lined with a slower temper. She’d grow tired of his shuffling body before it stretched to its diminished height.
But she couldn’t see him, or if she could, he couldn’t hear her. He was spared that indignity.
“Dad!? We’re going home for lunch!”
The old man got up, stepping in line behind his fidgety grandchildren for the headcount.
He looked back, wishing Ruby would catch him just one more time.