The door was not locked.
He told me to stay in bed. I was a toddler. When he left; I told Blackie, the dog, to STAY. I opened the wood and mesh screen door and kept it from creaking. I did not want my mother to wake. She would be mad. He had said to take care of her. I thought that meant do not wake her up, do not make any noise and she will not be angry.
How lucky was I? Playing outdoors until the middle of the afternoon without lunch, I was dusty and thirsty and hungry. The other kids in the neighborhood had shared their food with me. Too young they were to know I was a toddler and needed regular infusions of water to keep me hydrated. As the buses began to roll by on the other streets, the children put away the marbles they had won. One of the big boys made certain I got the ones I brought as well as my takings from the morning. I do not remember his name. He was twice as large as I was so he was probably four or five. All these children had not gotten to the age where school ruled their daily lives; usually around age six in our county. No harm ever came to me that I recall. When everyone left, the big boy told me to go home. Since my mother was still sleeping, angry or gone to get more cigarettes, I walked over the hill to the woman I knew as grandmother. I knocked on her door.
It was locked. A short, petite gray-haired lady came to the white door; oh, my, where have you been, Baby? You are very dirty. Come in and we will get a bath, a nap and I will peel you an apple when your Daddy gets here. Where have you been? Have you been out all day?