From Their Perspective (edited)

From Their Perspective (edited)

A Story by Willys Watson

FROM THEIR PERSPECTIVE


After riding their bikes along the path that circled the park Gina and her father Doc were resting on one of the park benches adjacent the path. Perhaps thirty yards to their left was an enclave that housed a bicycle and skate rental shop and a concession stand. It was from tha booth that Gina had gotten the cup of iced tea she was sipping from as they watched the Sunday afternoon parade of passerbys: the bikers, joggers, hikers and causal strollers who were democratically sharing the wide cement path.


"I should have bought one of those, Pop," she suggested.


"Not too late," he assured her as he followed her gaze towards the concession stand and made the connection to a young mother holding the hand of a little girl, between three and four, who was clutching a double scope ice come with her free hand as they headed in Gina’s direction.


When they were within five yards of the park benches the girl stumbled on a crack in the cement. The cone popped upwards from her grip and she instinctively fumbled to catch it from falling, doing so by pulling it safely into her chest as her mother responded to the sudden physical movement of her daughter.


"It’s okay, Mommy, I saved it," the girl beamed with childhood pride while holding the cone out to show her mother.


"Oh, Honey, look at your Sunday dress!" the mother uttered with a deep sign when she noticed to the stain left by the ice cream.


The little girl looked down at the stain and emitted a muted cry as her face displayed a gauntlet of confused, conflicting emotions she was trying to control. A male voice laughed and Gina and her father glanced over towards the bench next to them where a young couple in their thirties had been cuddling. Hearing the man’s laughter, the girl stared at him and reacted with a sense of shame and embarrassment, letting the damaged cone fall to the pavement. When the young woman also laughed the little girl started crying.


"It’s okay, Honey," the mother reassured her as she cradled her daughter. "We’ll just go back to the car and change your clothes."

 

Gina watched while the mother scooped up what she could of the ice cream cone and drop it in the nearby trash can, then lead her daughter by the hand towards the parking lot. When they were out of hearing range Gina addressed the rude couple.


"Why were you laughing at her," she demanded.


"Because it was funny," the man stated. "I mean, that kid was acting like it was the worse thing that ever happened to her, like she was dying of cancer or something."


"How do you know she isn’t?" Gina challenged him.


"That’s not likely and we didn’t ask for a lecture from a little kid," the girlfriend smugly added.


"Little kid? I’m nine now and it wasn’t a lecture," Gina scolded her.


"Look, I know you mean well and you seem to be smart," the young woman replied while softening the tone of her voice, "but life can be a real b***h and the sooner she learns that the better for her."


Trying to suppress her anger, Gina rose and started for their bench. Doc gently grabbed her arm and when she turned back to him he shook his head no. Gina shrugged her shoulders, leaned closer and whispered in his ear. Her father responded by pulling a five dollar bill from his pocket and handing it to her. Gina then walked turned towards the concession stand and as she passed the young couple she gave them a look of disgust.


"You think that little child knows anything about the wars in the Middle East, the mass bigoted shootings in this country or even our current political mess?" Doc sincerely addressed them both.


"Maybe not now, but she will soon enough," the man answered with a retreating defiance.


"And the sooner the better for her," the girlfriend repeated herself.


"Yes, we all know life can be tough," Doc admitted, and when the woman nodded and smiled assuming he agreed with her he continued, " But don’t you think a childhood filled with wonder and joy and kindness received and given will help her to learn that even with evil there is still a lot more good, decent people in the world?"


"Maybe so," the young man suggested rather timidly. "But she still needs to learn the truth."


"And you two think you have the right to determine her growing up timetable, I suppose?"


As the boyfriend started to reply the girlfriend glared at him, abruptly stood, pulled his arm and guided him down the bicycle path in the opposite direction of the mother and daughter.


Doc sadly shook his head and then focused on the concession booth and watching Gina standing just to the right of the service window and noticed the attention she was paying to the area of the parking lot. When she saw the mother and daughter approaching the stand Gina quickly paid for a double scooped ice cream cone and waited for them.


"My dad says I’ve already had one and another will just spoil my appetite for supper," Gina told the mother as she held out the cone.


"They wouldn’t take it back?" the mother inquired.


"Nope, I tried and they won’t take it back and I don’t want it to be wasted."


The little girl, now wearing a t-shirt and cut-offs, looked up at her mother and when the mother smiled and nodded Gina handed it to the daughter.


"Hold it with both hands. I know because I’ve dropped these myself." Gina instructed her as the child accepted the cone. "And it’s okay if we drop things. Even grownups drop things all the time, too."


Both the mother and daughter thanked her and as they walked away with the daughter smiling and clutching the ice cream cone with both hands Gina skipped back to the park bench.


"That was a sweet thing you just did, Kiddo" Doc proudly exclaimed while unlocking the bicycle chains.


"I guess," Gina replied modestly. "Did you spank them with words?"


"Those silly lovers? I don’t do things like that."


"Yeah, right, Pop," was Gina’s retort as she mounted her bike.


"I just asked them if they had the right to set other people’s timetables. And I’m so proud of you, Sweety," he told her as they started peddling towards the parking lot.


"Just remember that when I start getting an attitude like Janie," she teased him with a laugh and a reference to her

teenage cousin. Then she sped quickly ahead of her father.


"Don’t you dare think about growing up too quickly," he called out to her.


© 2017 Willys Watson



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Added on July 7, 2017
Last Updated on July 7, 2017
Tags: childhood, good, evil, hope, understanding, nature, sociality

Author

Willys Watson
Willys Watson

Los Angeles, CA



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