May 22, 2016

The Second Date

When I was eight years old, I caught a leprechaun.

He was taller than I thought he'd be - almost my height. I remember him looking like a child with a grown-up's face, dressed in loose clothing. He didn't wear green, except for a bright green feather in his cap. He said his name was Ril.

Catching him was quite the task. I had made an entirely inappropriately sized trap that in hindsight would have only caught a dormouse. I was hiding behind my bed when Ril climbed into my window, and broke the trap with a single step. The pieces ended up slicing through the fabric of his shoe, and when he ventured into my closet to look for a replacement, I vaulted over my bed to slam the closet door and sit against it so the leprechaun couldn't escape.

He was quite agitated at first, and thrashed around the closet for a clip, knocking down hangers and kicking shoes this way and that. Soon, he calmed down and - as the stories my teacher had read to me that week in class had taught me - offered me three wishes.

I immediately wished that I didn't have a sister, which didn't make sense, because as I finished the sentence, I realized I didn't have a sister. I had never had one - I was an only child. The voice from the closet assured me that it was done, and that I had two more wishes, but I was furious at myself for having wasted a wish on a sister that had never existed.

Instead of making another wish, I stood up and opened the door. The light hit the inside of the closet and the leprechaun blinked, looking into my eyes at amazement. In a flash, he was running past me, jumping onto my bed, bouncing higher than I had ever bounced, headed straight for the window.

I shouted at him, wished that I had never opened that closet door, but he was gone. I ran to the window and looked around, but there was no sign of him. No green footsteps, no trail to follow. I sat down resigned on my bed, and that's when I heard it.

A rustle from inside my closet. I looked over and noticed that the closet door was closed. And there! Was the handle turning? I slammed back against the door, heard another bump from inside - or perhaps it was my body against the door - and waited.

After a few minutes, I spoke through the doorway, asking Ril if he was there. There was no response, but I knew he was. I knew that this wish had worked, and that I now had one more.

So, yes, Ruth, there is a very good reason why that dresser is in front of that door. And, yes, that's why I have full confidence when I say I can literally make any wish of yours come true. So, let's have it. What's your wish?

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