I edged the gate open as gently as possible hoping to avoid Aida’s wrath, but the long, drawn out squeal of the rusty hinges gave me away. I swore under my breath as Aida poked her head out the window. The look on her face and the exasperation in her voice matched well. Toby, on the balcony next door, lay perfectly still with his head on his paws, his eyes following the action between Aida and me.
“Oh, Tommy,” she called out. “You forget again the oil.”
I grimaced when the hinges squealed again as I closed the gate. “I’ll bring the oil home tomorrow, Aida. I promise.”
I avoided the clucking chickens as I sprinted across the flower-lined courtyard, ducked under the clothes drying on the clothesline, said hello to Toby who wagged his tail, and ran into the house. I reached for the post-cap but caught myself, skipping…
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