Fish

The lovely Novus Lectio is a dear friend and a wonderful example.  I am grateful to her for eloquent kindness, her friendship and her unique and poignant perspective on life.  Aside from her blog above you can also check out her new endeavor at Centi Script.  Thank you my dear, for YOU.  

Again… it seems I have to let prompts simmer a while before they burst out.  I will get better with more practice I suppose.  Here is another prompt from a friend.  Thank you Novus!!!

Prompt: fish  

Little Beatrice took hold of Daddy’s right hand. She was so happy to join him in this shopping trip. Mommy had given them a long list. Ice cream, cookies and cream, was the very last item. She was super excited. Her little hand locked in his protective glove felt cozy to her. Her Daddy was the best man she ever knew and the best friend she ever had. At nine years old, one tends to recognize these things. She was no dummy. On the way to the grocery store, which was only three blocks from home, she noticed a man slumped over on the corner where they turn towards the entrance of the store. He was dirty, unshaven and disheveled. His finger nails were blackened. She noticed a tattoo of a fish on the back of his right hand. She was not frightened, not one single bit. As they made their way, Daddy pulled her to his left side to avoid her getting closer to the stranger. She looked up at her father, curious as to why he had pulled her so. She said nothing, and her little mind began to wonder. First, the ice cream she would be having after supper but then… the stranger and his tattoo.

“Daddy.”

“Yes.”

“Why did you pull me away like that when we walked by that strange man.”

Daddy wanted to be cautious. He did not want to instill prejudice in her tender heart. Still, he was being prudent himself, having made the judgement that the stranger may be dangerous because of the way he looked.

“Well, I just wanted to keep you close. I don’t ever want anything to happen to you.”

“Oh. Umm… but that man. Why is he on the street like that?”

“I suppose he has no place to go. Some people wander through life not really finding a home.”

“That is so sad.”

“It is.”

“He has no home?”

“Perhaps not.”

“No food?”

“Umm…”

“Oh Daddy! What if he gets cold and hungry?”

“Well…”

“I know! Let’s get him some food and maybe a coat. Oh… he could use a blanket and an umbrella, in case it rains.”

“B… you are very sweet. You have some good ideas. However, I don’t think that would be very wise.”

“Why? You said we should be good to people.”

“I know. We should and that is very, very good…”

Daddy stopped himself, deep in thought. He was impressed with his little girl’s caring heart. He understood his answer would affect her and he knew she would persist.

“Daddy… why won’t you buy him any food?”

“It’s complicated. Let’s get this list done so we can make it home in time for supper.”

“Daddy! Please! He’ll starve to death.”

“Beatrice, some people don’t know any better. I’ve seen that man before. He will be just fine.”

“You’ve seen him? You’ve known about him and—”

“Sweetheart, that man is likely a drunkard. He probably lost everything because of his addiction. He has no use for food. It’s likely he will want money for beer or wine instead.”

Beatrice became very sad. If that was true, she would have nothing to do with it. Still the thought of the stranger starving to death didn’t appeal to her.

“He can have my ice cream. I give up my ice cream. At least he’ll have dessert.”

“Beatrice… that ice cream will melt and—”

“I give it up and he will at least have something.”

He was in awe of his little champion. He thought long and hard about what he should do. His heart began to race. He looked into Beatrice’s tender eyes and smiled.

“I have an idea. You won’t have to give up your ice cream.”

Beatrice smiled. They concluded their shopping trip and once again walked passed the stranger. Beatrice swallowed. What was Daddy’s idea and why were they still walking by without doing anything?

“Daddy, what’s your idea?”

“You’ll see. Let ‘s get home.”

Beatrice was anxious. She was worried about the man. He now occupied mostly ninety percent of her brain power. The rest was on that ice cream.

When they arrived home, she was ushered into the family room while Mommy and Daddy went deep into discussion in the kitchen. She couldn’t make out what they were whispering about. She didn’t mind as her focus was now on her favorite Disney show. She laughed out loud and then became serious as the whisper became loud. Mommy and Daddy were arguing. She walked up and stood next to the island in the kitchen. Mommy and Daddy stopped and looked at their little girl.

“Why are you both fighting.”

“Darling… we’re not fighting. We’re having a discussion.”

“Sounds like fighting to me.”

Mommy knelt and hugged her daughter. Then, she looked her straight in the eyes and smiled. Daddy took a breath and knew Mommy would change her mind to meet his. Mommy looked up at Daddy and nodded. Daddy walked out in a mad rush.

“Where’s Daddy going?”

“Oh, he’s going to take care of some important errands. Let’s you and I have supper.”

Beatrice didn’t feel good about what was happening. The man with the tattoo was going to go hungry and die. Her life had been complicated by the fact that her heart was too big. Mommy noticed the sad face staring down at a bowl of soup. Beatrice sighed and pushed the bowl away.

“I’m not hungry. Can I be excused?”

“B… your supper.”

“I’m not hungry. Can I be excused? Please.”

“What about ice cream?”

“I don’t deserve it.”

“B…”

Beatrice walked upstairs to her room and laid in bed. She closed her eyes in tears. Night came, left and the morning greeted Beatrice with sunshine on her face bolting through the sheer curtains in her room. Her stomach was growling. Pancakes. Suddenly the stranger didn’t seem that important. She wondered about him but not as strongly as the day before. She ran downstairs coming to a full stop as she heard an unfamiliar voice give praise to Mommy.

“These are the finest pancakes I’ve ever had in my life.”

The strange voice was strong and loud. Her heart began to race. The pounding in her chest was unfamiliar. Daddy noticed her as she stood now behind the stranger.

“B. come meet Mr. Lopez. He’s going to be working with me now. I’ve hired him to help me out. He’ll be staying in the room over the garage for a while.”

Beatrice swallowed walking cautiously towards her Daddy.  He was a handsome young man, clean shaven and tall.  Mr. Lopez held out his right hand for hers.  Beatrice let out a giggle and smiled, hugging him instead.

© 2018 Mel Gutiér

 

20 thoughts on “Fish

  1. You’re always full of surprises Mel, and this is truly a beautiful story with a lovely message of a little girls goodwill and innocence verses her dad’s protectiveness and prejudices. …… sometimes I would just like to see dad stay at home, and have the mum be the one to confront the situation and have the prejudices, but I suppose I’m showing my feelings about how modern society view males, always the on negative….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re kind with your words. I think B and her Daddy make a good team. She pointed something out and he recognized she was right and tweaked the idea to help the man help himself instead of just feeding him.

      Mom was there for moral support. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL! Mommy and Daddy were discussing whether or not to allow the man into there home and help him that way. Mommy agreed when she nodded and Daddy rushed off.

        Let’s say that Daddy was prudent and wise to consult Mommy on the matter. 😊

        Hugs and love to you.😘

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh … now I’m happy, can I go to bed now, since the fairy tale is finished and everyone lives happily ever after. Although I’ll need to be tucked in, and a good-night kiss on my forehead xx

        Liked by 1 person

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