The Hallway

Outside our door, there is a hallway.
It has dark carpet and light walls.
I drive my trucks on the walls and momma tells me to put them on the floor.
I learned to crawl on that floor.
Then I learned to walk.
Now I run down the hallway to push the buttons for the elevator.
I count, “one, two.”
It doesn’t matter if we’re going up or down, I like to see them both light up.
“One, two.”
The doors open and we get in.
The doors close and we enter a new hallway.
This one leads to cars and people and motorcycles and buses and if you’re lucky, the park.

Momma says I must hold her hand because cars go fast and could hurt you.
I repeat, “hurt you” as we walk next to them.
Sometimes she pushes me in the stroller, Sis-Sis riding in the seat on top.
I like to sit in her seat.
Sometimes when I don’t want to leave the park, momma lets me ride home like that.
I kick my feet at the stroller.
She pushes us down the sidewalk.
I call it a hallway.
People walking past smile at me or don’t see me, depending.
Cars drive down the street next to me.
“Hallway,” I say.
Then I say, “hurt you.”
I’m glad they stay in their hallway and we stay in ours.

Once I rode a train with momma and dada and Sis-Sis.
It made a loud “choo-choo” and drove on another hallway.
Momma called them tracks.
I called it a hallway.
I know it’s not the same as my hallway, not the one with carpet and crawling and trucks on the walls but my hallway leads to all the others.

Dada even works in the hallway.
Every morning he disappears into the hallway and at night, he opens the door from the hallway.
I like when he comes back better than when he leaves.
I ride my motorcycle in the hallway and smash it into the wall.
I’m not supposed to, but I do it anyways.
Sometimes momma lets me do that when we’re waiting for dada to come home.

Our hallway is the best hallway.
I’m not even scared when I’m in it alone.
Sometimes I stay in the hallway when momma unloads the groceries.
She shuts the door and I can hear her open the fridge.
I stretch up and ring the doorbell.
Then I say, “ha-low”.
Not hello, but “ha-low.”
She opens the door and scoops me into her arms.
I say, “kiss” and I get covered.
I love the hallway, but I love what’s inside our door even more.