My heart leapt when I heard the click, then the creak, of the front door. The jangle of keys landing on wood announced that Daddy was home. Usually my heart jumped in a good way when he got home from work, but not today, ‘cause Mommy said I was in trouble bad.
I heard Mommy’s voice echo in the entryway. She’d probably ambushed him before he could even kick his shoes off. Couldn’t wait to tell him, I suppose. I felt the weight of his sigh travel all the way up the stairs. His heavy footsteps followed. Twelve…thirteen…fourteen. I gulped. Seconds later, his knuckles rapped on my door. I buried my head in the crook of my elbow, but didn’t answer. He opened the door anyway.
“I hear you’re in some trouble. Tell me what happened.”
I sat up and rubbed my eyes, trying not to cry again just thinking about it. I stared at my fidgeting fingers which were wriggling like a bucket of riled up garter snakes. “Well, Mommy made me dress in Sunday best, on account of church this morning,” I began, trying out my big girl voice. I thought I did good for seven years old.
“Well, Mommy dressed me in my favorite black and white polka dot dress with the red tie around the waist, and then my bright white ankle socks with lace trim. I wanted to wear my favorite boots, but she told me God would listen to me better with my shiny black shoes that are hard to buckle.” I looked up at Daddy. “I wore them, ‘cause I wanted God to hear me.”
“I’m sure he heard you fine,” Daddy said. “What happened after church?”
I stared at my hands again. “I saw this girl across the street looking through bags of trash with her mom. Her brown moccasins had holes in the toes. I crossed the street while Mommy talked to Mrs. Henderson . The girl told me they didn’t have a house ‘cause her Daddy left and didn’t come back. So, I gave her my shoes. Told her that God would hear her if she wore them.
When Mommy saw I had no shoes and my white socks were filthy on the bottom, she got mad and told me you’d have to work an extra day to buy me new shoes ‘cause we barely had money for food.” I bit my bottom lip, but it was no use; I cried anyway. “A-and she said G-god was m-mad tooooo,” I said in between sobs.
“Interesting,” Daddy said. “I don’t think God is angry with you at all. In fact, he told me to give you this.”
Daddy wrapped his strong arms around me and pulled me into a tight hug. He held me till my tears stopped. When he let go, I saw his face. I noticed his red eyes first, then his damp cheeks. Finally, I glimpsed the hint of a smile.
Maybe I wasn’t in trouble after all.
At around 500 words, this story was way too long for any Trifecta challenge (333-word limit). I’ve sat on this one for several weeks and finally decided I can’t trim it. So, since I’m bowing out of the weekend challenge again, I wanted to go ahead and share it. Let me know what you think – it helps to know what works (or doesn’t work). Have a wonderful weekend 🙂