Mindy stuffed the house keys in her backpack and dropped it on the floor. She sighed as she closed the door behind her. I’m so tired of coming home to an empty house, she thought to herself as she made her way into the kitchen for an after school snack.
“Oh great Dad, you still haven’t been shopping; now there’s nothing to eat,” Mindy slammed the refrigerator door closed. “I guess I might as well just get online, at least I have someone to talk to there.”
The evening rolled by, Mindy washed up and was almost finished getting ready for bed when her father finally arrived.
“Pumpkin, I’m home!” Her father tried to sound cheerful but he was exhausted after a long hard day in the office. “Mindy?”
“Hi dad,” Mindy managed to seem happy to see him. “I’m glad you made it back before I was a sleep tonight.” Mindy stretch up and gave her father a peck on the cheek and started for her room. She paused a few steps away from him and coldly spoke over her shoulder, “We still need groceries, I didn’t have any dinner tonight.” With that she ran to her room.
Mindy’s dad arrived at her bedroom door just in time to see her throw the stuffed bear he had bought her for her thirteenth birthday across the room, and plop down in a ball on her bed. Her father sat beside her and placed his arm tenderly on her shoulder. “I’m sorry I forgot buy food. I promise tomorrow there will be more food in this house than you’ve ever seen.”
Mindy pulled away from her father’s touch, she glared at the man sat next to her, tears covered her face. “Daddy, I don’t care about the food, I want to see more of YOU in this house than ever before,” she broke down sobbing.
Her father was speechless. Ever since Mindy’s mother died all he ever wanted to do was give her the best life he could. He worked from sun up to sun down in order to give her everything she wanted. He bought her the lasted gadgets, the top brand in fashion, and everything he could image a thirteen year old wanting. He was sure he had eased the painful memories of the tragic lose of her mom; but now he didn’t know what to think.
“Daddy, don’t you understand? I’m tired of coming home to an empty house. I’m tired of eating alone at night. I’m tired of going to bed without even being able to say goodnight to you. I need you, daddy! I need you. I want you to take me shopping. I want you watch my volleyball games. I want you to be my friend. What I really want is for you to take me fishing like you used to when Mom was still here!” Mindy fell into her father’s open arms.
He held that night until she was fast a sleep. Then he quietly whispered a promise to his only daughter, the one remaining family member he had left. “From now on Mindy, you and I are going to be a team. You’re going to have a permanent shadow; wherever you are, I’ll be!” He gently kissed her goodnight.
Mindy frowned at the door in front of her. She didn’t want to unlock it, she didn’t want to walk through it and find that same empty house. She fumbled to find the key. Just as she reached to unlock the door, it opened. “Daddy! Daddy, your home!” She flung her arms around him and kissed him.
“Yes Pumpkin I’m home, but I need to go to the office.” Mindy’s face dropped and she didn’t see the glow in her father’s eyes. “This time your going with me, come on!” He put her arm in his and away they went.
Mindy’s eyes misted and the writing on the sign became blurred. Never-the-less she knew exactly what the words said. “Gone Fishing.”
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