Pippi watched the leaves slowly fall to her feet. One leaf, two leaves, three leaves. Red leaf, yellow leaf, brown leaf. She turned her head to watch them be slowly carried away, then descend into a whirlwind vortex and land softly back at her feet. She sighed, then began to walk.
At her core, she was Pippi. Penelope, actually, but in the warm and sometimes burning furnace of her heart, she was still Pippi. Penelope, beautiful as it sounded, was too long a name, so she was given this nickname. But she outgrew it, and exchanged it first for Penny and then for her full name again.
Only at home, when she would be more like herself again and sit in the warm and comforting atmosphere of home, would her parents and brother bring back the memories of a past long gone, left behind somewhere on the side of a road by herself. It was a past of “WELCOME!” banners, of playdates in a treehouse, of a room covered floor to ceiling in shelves stocked with toys. It was a past of not understanding everything, of bedtime stories, of little children’s secrets whispered quietly into a friend’s ear.
It was a past of Pippi.