A Chapter by C. William

Driving down the highway, heading to visit family for the weekend, we decided to stop off for dinner. Waiting outside, for our table to be ready, we watched a small black car, pull into a parking spot near us. A small young girl was getting out of the passenger side, when we noticed the audible clicking sound, as her father came around the front of the car, walking with a slight limp and a cane. This is the story of…


It was a beautiful sunny summer day, and she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. Tommy was in his usual spot, while hanging out, at the county fair. Most people go for the rides or the deep fried foods, not Tommy. He went to hang out in the arcade tent, to see how long he could control the Street Fighter game. Sending challenger after challenger, on their way, pockets lighter after losing their quarters. He was currently in between challengers, getting to battle the computer generated opponent, when a motion, at the edge of his vision, caught his attention. If he hadn’t already had a commanding lead, he would have lost his battle, and his quarter, as he could barely pry his eyes from the vision that entered the tent. Even under the canvas cover of the tent, her golden hair shimmered in its tight braid, as it made its way down her light blue gingham covered back, to the waist of her blue jeans. Tommy couldn’t help himself, he had to meet this beautiful blonde cowgirl. He introduced himself, to discover that Cindy, was there with her brother and friends, killing some time before their next time showing in the ring. There was an instant feeling of comfort, in their conversation, and Cindy didn’t even hesitate, when Tommy challenges her to a game of air hockey.
Despite the fact that Tommy didn’t even consider letting Cindy win their match, and after a small amount of pouting, Tommy found himself accepting Cindy’s invitation to watch her compete. He couldn’t help but giggle at the juxtaposition that stood in front of him. Here was this amazing petite blonde angel of a cowgirl, next to, and directing the movements, of a twelve hundred pound black steer. Even with the instant connection, between them, it took some coaxing, before Cindy would agree to see Tommy again that weekend. Even then, it would be a double date, with her brother and his girlfriend. After all, she did just meet Tommy, in the arcade, and you couldn’t be too careful.
It was obvious, halfway through dinner, that the other couple didn’t need to be there. In fact, everyone in the restaurant could have disappeared, and Tommy and Cindy wouldn’t have even noticed. That feeling didn’t change, for the next five years, and if you would’ve asked Tommy who was in the front pew, as his beautiful bride came towards him down the aisle, he couldn’t have told you if anyone else had even bothered to show up.
It had been an amazing three years, of true love and enjoying every minute that they spent together, when Tommy came home to find a disturbing sight. Cindy was waiting for him, sitting on the couch, wringing a tissue in her hands, and had obviously been crying. He immediately went to her, begging her to tell him what was wrong. He had only seen her cry a handful of times, and never to this degree. She was worried how he would handle the news, having discussed it in the past, and he was vehemently against it, worried about the future and how things would change. She watched Tommy’s expression change, as she explained to him, her appointment that morning, and how the doctor figured that she was roughly two months pregnant. Cindy watched the emotions run through Tommy’s face, and then soften as he looked into her tearful blue eyes. No matter his feelings, he would never do anything to hurt his beautiful bride, and would be supportive no matter what may come.
Over the next few months, things really began to change around the house. Tommy begrudgingly gave up his office, converting it to the new nursery, painting over his grey walls with a light shade of pink. With each parenting book Cindy finished and put down, Tommy would pick it up. He wanted to make sure that he could do everything in his power to make sure he could make life easier on his wife and soon to be newborn daughter.
It was on that fateful night, driving home from her brother’s house after a party, that Tommy’s life was about to take a drastic turn. Tommy was sleeping in the passenger seat, while Cindy, now eight months along, drove the twenty minutes back to their home. He awoke to Cindy grabbing his arm, and a flash of headlights, right before being thrown around the car, the seatbelt being the only thing to keep him in place, before passing out again. Tommy awoke again, staring at a stark white ceiling, unable to move his right leg. Tommy’s first question, to the nurse standing over him, was not about himself, but was of course, about his wife. The look on her face already told the story, even before the doctor arrived to deliver the devastating news. During the previous night’s drive, while coming around a sharp curve, the driver coming from the other direction had passed over the line and hit them head on. Cindy had not survived the collision, and Tommy was bruised with a broken leg, but….but? Tommy’s head was resting on his chest, not able to sink any lower, but with that one word, he looked up, so the doctor could deliver his final statement.
Tommy started in wonder, as the nurse wheeled in the little clear plastic table containing his new baby girl. As the nurse lowered her into Tommy’s arms, the bright hospital light shimmered in the golden hair of his daughter, and he burst into tears, as her little blue eyes struggled and finally focused on his face. He wasn’t sure how he was going to do this, but he knew that he would do anything for this little girl, that had so many of his wife’s features.
It’s been eight years now, since that night, and Tommy’s little girl reminds him more of his wife with every passing day. It hasn’t always been easy, but he has used everything that he could from his wife’s books, rereading them during nap time, and learning as he went. Every Saturday, Tommy still makes sure to do a special daddy/daughter activity night. Despite pouting a little, on the way to the restaurant, from the arcade, Cammy was secretly thrilled. She had come within two points of beating her dad, and she knew Tommy wouldn’t just let anyone win, when he challenged them to a game of air hockey.

© 2020 C. William

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Added on August 2, 2020
Last Updated on August 2, 2020
Tags: Fiction, people watching, cafe, story, stories


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