Through long and winding roads, leaping gleefully over puddles of water, hugging my thick jacket tighter to trap the warm air then clutching my father’s large hand, feeling its warmth radire all over my arm, peering up into his hooded face and enjoying the rush of emotions- happiness, contentment and trust in the one big bear of a man.
We were taking one of our evening strolls and no matter how often we did it, the exciting thrill was ever present. I was his little girl and nothing could change that. No one could take me way from the haven I had found, not even Mother who never grasped the bond I had with this man who was not even my biological father. He was just a gift specially delivered to me by fate when my real father had decided to walk away even before he heard my first cry or I smiled up at him. No worries anyway, those defining moments were saved up for this big guy who cherished and deserved them.
As we made our way back home, he suddenly stoppd at the waist high gate (waist high for him but practically my height) as though he had just remembered something and knelt on one knee then scooped me up in one swift move to plant me on his bended leg. I giggled and he smiled then pointed at the vast black sky spotted with tiny lights.
“What do you think of that?” I had always looked at the night sky and thought it beautiful but here I was actually stopping to think so as to give him a reasonable, honest answer he would be proud of. I furrowed my eyebrows and thought for a moment. I took in the slow blinking and the arrangement of the stars. It reminded me of raisins my mother usually sprinkled in the bread she baked; seemingly random yet perfect. They were really diamonds nestled in a sea of black. The contrast was astounding yet breathtaking. The moon was well rounded and full. It glowed and seemed to smile down at me.
I finally sighed out an answer, “It is perfect.” He smiled and his eyes twinkled like the stars. Kissing my forehead, he murmured, “It really is. No hand holds them there and they each know their place without anyone ever telling them. Cool, huh?” I nodded then he told me to go in while he went to get the crate of eggs he had forgotten to buy. I went into the house and waited all night for my comrade in experiencing nature to return but he never did. At no time did I grieve or throw get angry at fate that had allowed an accident claim his life. My mother feared for me but I knew better- a man like that had to have an eternal place among the stars, gazing down at me in magnificence.