"Can mommy read my
I look down
at her from across the yard. Shestandsat the edge of the pool in
the shade of a large bush, curious eyes wandering. "She's busy,
honey," I tell her, softness in my voice.
her gaze settle on thesky, watching the clouds roll across the
blue. "But she can make exceptions for me," she has a smile on her
face, a smile that tells me she's wishing, "becauseI'm special,
you are. You're very special," I say, making an act of peering over
the high fence. "But mommy's across the street."
grow fierce. "No." Her voice is raised and angry. "She's right
there." Damia runs over to the large glass door and peers inside
with her hands cuppedagainstthe sides of her face."Why doesn't she
want to read my story?" she asks, locking eyes with me, holding up
a thin stack of paper.
She just can't," I whisper. Then, "I can read it if you
With a small
shake of her head she retreats back into the shade, balancing on
the edge of the pool.
sure? I'm very good at reading," I tell her hopefully.
her head again. "I need mommy to read it first."
I tilt my
head to the side questioningly. "Why is that?" I ask.
I close my
eyes and think of something to say. "You can show it to her later,"
A gust of
wind blows the papers from her hand. They spiral through the air
and land delicately in the pool. Without a second thought she jumps
in after them.
surrounds her tiny body and she struggles with the weight of her
clothes to reach the surface. My feet take me to her side and I
reach into the pool to grab her hand. Fingers tightening around her
wrist, I pull her from the water. Damia hauls herself onto the
ground on the side of the pool, soaked.
okay?" I ask, but my question isn't heard over her cry. "Get my
story!" Dread fills her voice.
I run to the
other side of the pool where the most of the papers had sailed in
the wind. They are dripping and water logged. Ink runs down each
page, the wordsunrecognizable. I lay them on the sun scorched
bricks to dry and turn my attention to the paper that had gotten
loose from it's crowd.
isn't as wet as the others. It had managed to get to avoid the
wind's worst. Most of the words are smudged or running but there's
asentenceat the end of the page that I can make out.
little girl's mommy loved her more than anything.
onto the ground, tears welling in my eyes. Iwatchas Damia makes her
way towards me, leaving a trail of water on the ground.
wrong, daddy?" she asks me.
wipe the tears away I smile a tired smile. "Nothing," I say.
her head. "Don't lie to me. I can tell when you do."
sits on my lap, wetting my clothes but I don't care. I wrap my arms
around her and lay my forehead on her shoulder.
her, Damia, I wouldn't have you," I whisper in her ear.