Daddy Look


Fiction & Short Stories / Friday, October 13th, 2017

christopher troy

I watched the little boy chase his older sister. His legs were doughy and not yet long enough, so that every hurried step brought him closer to a fall than to his sister. Her hair was coarse and flaxen, and set in a short thick ponytail that made it look more like a bundle of wheat than a pony’s tail. The boy saw exactly what I saw as he reached his tiny hand out in front of him, grasping for it with no chance of success but with every hope for it. The two jutted in and around the endless field of adults, their shrill cries and endless laughter wrapping around us like gusts of warm wind. I watched: She was tireless. He was brave. She was quick. He was clumsy. She was winning. He did not see it that way. Their mother ordered them to slow down and be careful between smiles, but her hollow commands were quickly and easily dismissed. The father was my age, of a similar build and just as eager to see the outcome of the chase scene. We both had a favorite. There was, however, a wistful look forming in his eyes that I cannot clearly describe, let alone pretend to fully understand. It was certainly there, buried under the weight of his title, and yet buoyed by his pride. His children didn’t notice the look in their father’s eyes that afternoon; the present is all they cared for. His children would have to wait many more years to see what I saw being slowly engraved on their father’s face, they would have to wait for time to set those lines deeply, for that look to become more difficult to conceal, and eventually impossible. For now, all the little boy saw was an elusive bundle of wheat floating freely in an open field of tall grass.

– Christopher Troy

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