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I watched her feet, one then the other, climb the steps that essentially led to nowhere. There was a rumbling thunder in the distance and a dark cloud overhead; I didn’t want to be the one to rain on her parade so I failed to mention either. I watched her navigate random stairs we stumbled upon and peep into the window of a shop at the landing. I watched the wind play games with her brown curls while she attempted to tuck a few strands behind her ear.

I watched her explore.

I watched her reach the top of the stairs and the inevitable realization that it wasn’t what she thought it was going to be. She turned around, looking left and right, then she looked down to make her way back to me. I watched her take every step with caution and intention. I watched her get distracted by a random penny resting just under her shoe. I watched her pick it up, a souvenir she would have missed had she found another way down.

I watched her smile.

She asked if she could do it again, climb the stairs that led to nowhere. She wondered if things would be different once she got up there, if something along the way would stop her or catch her eye or turn her around. She questioned if once she reached the top, would she find another way down, would she follow the same path as before or find another souvenir. She was curious to know if the view would be different as it's almost guaranteed to be. 

I encouraged it. There’s a metaphor in there somewhere, I’m sure.

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