Sandy was impressed. Her son, John, had never thrown a ball back like that before - so hard and fast that it bypassed her completely and flew over the wall at the bottom of the small garden they shared. "Nice one, Johnny!" she yelled. "Let me go and get it, I'll be right back!"
She yanked open the wooden gate recessed into the red brick wall and entered the narrow alleyway at the back of her house - and all the other houses like it. She looked left and right and spotted the ball rolling away from her, towards the main road. She suddenly put on a sprint, chasing after it before it could get too far away from her. She came up close behind it, passed it, moved in front of it and stopped it with her foot. She laughed to herself. That had been fun.
She knew Johnny was still waiting for her in the garden, but she thought he could wait a little bit longer so she rolled the ball, hard, back up the alleyway, waited until it was far enough away to present a challenge, then chased it, laughing like a child. She felt like a child. She hadn't had this much fun in what felt like decades. Catching up with it again, she grabbed at it, picked it up, started to make her way back to the garden, to her son, to her life in which she was a responsible adult.
Halfway back she shook her head. No. Not today. Instead, she threw the ball once more, chased it again. When she caught it, she picked it up, and then kept going. Towards the main road, and she didn't look back.