I'm sitting at the computer and she walks in and leans over my desk. Long legs are criss-crossed as her elbows rest inches from my keyboard, her fingers are cupped vertically over her mouth as she begins her story. She's chewing cherry gum and I smell her sweet breath as she explains something she did three years ago.
She ends her story with, I wasn't that smart then.
She laughs and covers her mouth with her hand; a little self-conscious because she doesn't like the way her teeth are coming in. Even at age ten it's obvious she has and will have beautiful hands. Her fingers are long with strong shapely nails. There is a little mole on her left hand ring finger. One day a wedding band will cover it and that's bittersweet because it is beautiful and unique.
I gaze into her eyes and move the hair back behind her ear. It falls again, and I move it again. I touch the two scars on her forehead. Her face has big features - large eyes with long eyelashes that curl naturally, a nose growing a little faster than the rest of her face, and a wide mouth with full lips - until she smiles, and then the top lip nearly disappears. She's changing before my very eyes. Slowly but swiftly.
She leaves and moments later returns again as her hands nervously play with the tie on her robe. She's bargaining with me about her bedtime. It's a nightly ritual.
If I could go back in time I would study her face and write down every detail at every age. The way it changed. The way her baby face disappeared and became the face of a girl on the verge of the verge of womanhood.
But, I wasn't that smart then.