As vagabonds, their little car was pretty full. The back seat was littered with jackets, a bowling ball bag, a motorcycle helmet, and a few hangars. Not to mention H-‘s booster seat. Despite the fact that she’s a big girl now, he still thought it best to place whatever worksheets and artwork she carried out of school or church at the foot of her seat. These days, however, she was doing all the climbing-in and buckling-up herself. This meant that those papers and art projects might get trampled if care was not taken.
He opened the door for her and straightened out her seat-belt before backing up to allow her room to climb in. Seeing her choose her footing slowly in an effort to not step on the papers, he plainly observed, “Man. There is so much trash in this car.”
For her, probably just an instant passed. For him, an eternity. All he could do was look away and wait. His lips couldn’t purse together harder, nor his head shake with more regret. He certainly couldn’t look towards her face in the interim. A face that was staring at papers colored with love and care. Neither increasing the time it took to inhale, nor searching the sky proved effectual towards relieving the impending doom.
“My papers are not trash,” H- finally concluded, her voice begging for clarification.
“You’re right. They are not trash,” he said.
She seemed satisfied by the new decree, but that didn’t stop him from wondering how many more breaks he would receive. Probably too many.