Number 5


It told her that I knew a secret about her.

She looked at me solemnly and answered quietly with a tone of hope in her voice, ” you don’t…”

“I do, but it is okay”, I assured her.

She stared silently with her little furrowed brow.
I went on.

“I met a boy. He was hiding behind a low stone wall under a gnarled old tree. As I crept up silently he turned and held a finger to his lips.  When I reached his side he pointed over the wall into the meadow beyond.  In the morning mists I could see the number 5.  He whispered carefully in the lowest of possible voices, ‘Its her favorite number'”.

Her eyebrows shot up in surprise.

“You know!”, and then after a short concerned pause, “What will you do with it?”

I smiled just a little, “Why, buy you 5 tulips in the spring, of course.”

She sat stone faced. “Will you tell?”

“No, of course not, then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore.”

“Oh, well, okay then”, and she allowed the barest trace of a smile to play across her lips.