In the One Word – Many Moments Flash Fiction series,
Previous Word : Rain.
She was bawling! He tried asking her what happened. Their mother shushed him.
“This is for you, Mary. You only get to play with this,” the mother said to her crying child.
“What happened, Mom?”
“She wants the train your Daddy bought for you.”
“Oh! I’ll get it for her. Wait.”
“No. She’ll play with her doll. Or else she’ll break both toys by tomorrow!”
“But she’s crying!”
“Let her cry. I’ll get her milk. You go and play with your train. Your friend is waiting for you,” the mother walked away, patting the boy on the head.
Quietly, he went into his room, picked up the train much to his friend’s surprise, and went and gave it to his step-sister.
“There you go!” he said, placing a peck on the three year old’s cheek, who miraculously stopped crying immediately!
“This time we’ll go to the fair together!” he told his son, placing him on his shoulder and walking around in the house looking for his wife.
“Maa! Maa! Papa’s back!” the child shouted excitedly.
“What happened?” asked the mother as she came out hurrying from the bathroom, soap suds on arms and a semi-washed towel in hand!
“We are going to the fair together this time! I got my leave from office,” a smiling husband told his wife.
The next morning, the little kid heard his parents talking. The police force required more personnel. The father’s leave had been cancelled. They didn’t know how to break it to the son.
“Papa, we’ll meet you at the fair. And then you can buy me an ice cream,” the kid said, boldly walking in to the room.
Tears welled up in two pairs of eyes.
Finally, a customer entered. She greeted the person with a bright smile!
“Would you by any chance have change worth Rs. 500?” he asked, extending a note of the same denomination.
Her face fell! She barely had 250 bucks in her cash counter! Her shop was running at a pace slower than a snail’s. She politely turned down his request. Murmuring not so kind words, he left the shop.
Soon enough she heard the dog whimper outside. Taking that as cue for her lunch hour, like everyday she divided her lunch into two equal halves. Keeping her part aside, she went and served the rest to the old street dog lying on her spare ‘WELCOME’ door mat by the side of the shop.
P.S. : The sacrifices made silently are the ones most worthy of applause, because they are least driven by it!