Two nights ago, I had a dream about a house.
It’s a house I saw every day on the way home from school. It’s pale yellow adobe with colorful tile steps and red shutters. There are three little iron balconies on the second floor, each outside of a set of narrow doors. Through some beautiful iron gates you could see a large courtyard, with a fountain bigger than ours; there were lots of flowers and some nice trees, and a huge red bougainvillea spread its blossoms up a column and across the second floor.
Sometimes, when I passed, I would see an old lady sitting in a chair, feeding the birds. Her white hair was pulled into a bun and her arms were thin like sticks. But she liked feeding the birds, I could tell. Some days she would smile and wave at me. After a while, I waved and smiled back.
Maybe I had the dream because I didn’t pass her house anymore during the summer time. Maybe some part of me missed seeing the courtyard and her feeding the birds. I don’t know. I just know I had to go there after my dream and see if she was okay. I took a bag of stale bread and cake crumbs.
At first, I thought I would just walk by, like I was on my way somewhere else. But as I got closer, I really wanted to look inside that courtyard, so I slowed down. Then I stopped. I peeked around the corner of the wall and through the iron gates: the fountain was still splashing, and for a moment, I thought the courtyard was empty. Then I saw the lady there, sitting in a chair, drinking coffee. I watched her for a moment. She seemed okay, though maybe not so cheerful.
I don’t know what I would have done next if a loud voice hadn’t yelled, “Hey! You!” right behind me. I jumped into the air and was going to run away; but a large hand clapped itself on my shoulder and held me fast!