My mother would watch from the bottom of the road all the way until I reached my aunt’s house. I remember turning, straining my head to always look back at her.
My aunt’s house was small then, not built the way it is now and my uncle would berate me for not wearing pants like his daughters (he would die 10 years later, but I didn’t know it then). We would walk right to the top, cross the road and make a mental note to visit the lady who sold sweets on a wooden crate outside the long dark passage, after school.
Once in the passage I would stand on the tip toes of my new school shoes (and jump) to see the neighbour’s black dog/pool. I didn’t know I would visit that house years later, debating whether I loved the boy in there enough.
And if the buzzer rang, that long droning sound, we would run helter-pelter up the hill to make it for assembly.