This week’s Tuesday Tale
The sand spread out before her. Her little toes buried in the soft white grains. She looked out at the ocean. The waves rolled to the shore and crashed before her. The noise of it drowned out the sound of the seagulls. The breeze grabbed the curls of her soft blonde hair and whipped them across her face.
Little Kit wiped the hair from her eyes and cried. She did not yet understand the ways of the beach.
Her father took her by the hand. A smile spread over his face and transferred an agreeable temperament to the child. She studied his face until her own produced a mimicked reflection.
Together, hand in hand, they walked to the shoreline. The waves crashed and receded and Little Kit thought their motion curious. She chased it forward and when another wave came, it chased her out. She played at this until one wave grew so big it knocked her off her feet. Little Kit wailed, but her father found her hand and pulled her out. She cried and clung to him. He felt warm to her body chilled by the water. He held her for awhile and she quieted down.
Her father pointed out to the end of the big water, “Look, a ship.”
“Shi- shi- ship.”
The word tickled her tongue.
They stared at the distant ship.
A woman walked behind them on the sand and Little Kit twisted to watch her with growing excitement. She pointed and tugged on her father’s shirt and pointed again.
Her dad turned. He saw the woman. She waved. Her father smiled and waved back. A frown shadowed his face when he looked back at Kit. “That’s not your mommy. I bet you wish she was here.”
Kit frowned and nodded.
“I do, too.”
Her father did not say anymore and Kit did not like to see him upset. She wiggled and squirmed until he let her down. She knew how to make him happy. Her father’s favorite game was tag. She grinned at him.
“Catch me!” She screamed and started running around until he shook off his sadness and darted after her, laughing.
He tired of the game quickly. Kit could run forever, but not her father. He liked to stop after he caught her and hug her tight. Kit let him hug her without squirming. His hugs were too tight these days, but she knew better than to protest. He needed her hugs when mommy was not around.
They built a sand castle, but the waves came and it disappeared. Her father laid back on a towel on the sand and Kit played with the shovel and pail ai. When she grew weary of her play, she studied his face and pondered the solemn features. The sun beat down on them, turning his face older and redder, and she thought to wake him before he got any older, but he had not slept in a long time.
Little Kit looked towards the shore. They had looked out of their hotel window at this beach for months now, but today was the first time she saw it and felt it. Today they did not go to the hospital. Little Kit did not know why. Today they woke up late and went to the beach. Mommy did not come. She must still be at the hospital. Little Kit wished she would have come. Mommy would like it out here where the sun was warm and the birds. It was much nicer than the cold buildings where she stayed. Maybe if Mommy came, she would not look so pale.
Inspired by her plan, Little Kit pulled on her father’s hand. He would know how to bring Mommy here.
“Mommy. Mommy, come here.”
Her father, aroused from his nap, shook his head. “Mommy can’t come, Kit.” He frowned and pulled her into a hug. Kit let him hug her, but she was not satisfied with his answer. Mommy could come if he wanted her to. “Mommy! I want Mommy!” She wailed and pushed against his embrace. He held her tight. She burst into tears. He held her gently and rocked her in his arms. Little Kit did not want to be quieted, but the roll of the crashing waves and the soft hum of her father’s voice lulled her to sleep.
Her father clung to her limp form and looked out over the sea. He hummed the song his mother had sung. He did not notice the tears that streamed down his face as he whispered into the steady breeze, “Please come back to me.”
Thank you for reading this Tuesday Tale. Comment below. -Abby