Friday, September 16, 2016

Homecoming

Jerry walked with his daughter to the homecoming game.
Come on hurry up.
I don't want to go.
His daughter had just turned twelve and recently started junior high school. She didn't want a ride anymore to school. That was his time with her and they would talk about the day. Now she wanted to ride the bus with her friends. But the homecoming game at the high school seemed like something they could do together.
 Come on it will be fun.
His daughter stared in fear at the other kids. She was there with her dad. Jerry noticed the boys all around and Cindy looked like she wanted to melt into the ground.
Don't worry about them...we can stand at the end of the field and watch. Cindy pulled her hat low and slowed down even more. At this rate they wouldn't see the kickoff. Jerry stopped.
Look. I'm going to go ahead and watch the kickoff. You stay here by the fence.
Cindy just stared at him.
Ok?
Ok she muttered
Jerry took off. He was heading back to homecoming. He had played high school football and this was a good old fashioned Midwestern homecoming game with cheerleaders and the band and now the team coming out in a cloud of smoke. Jerry watched the cheerleaders begin their routine and saw the jazzed players tearing for the goal line. He remembered that. He remembered being seventeen and feeling the glory of the game. It was all in front of him. He felt the old nirvana of youth settle on him. He remembered Cindy and looked back. She was gone.
Oh shit.
Jerry hurried to where he had left her. Nowhere. He couldn't find her her. He frantically ran for the gate.
Have you seen a little girl with a white hat?
The ticket lady shook her head.
Jerry turned frantically.
Dad?
He turned around. He saw Cindy's hat behind a pine tree.
Where did you go?
 She sniffed and he saw she had been crying.
Can we go  home now?
 Jerry turned back to the game. The kickoff sailed high and he watched the home team return. A night at the homecoming game vanished. It was gone. Just like that.
Sure.
They walked back in the darkess and got in the car. They went for ice cream and sat outside in some adirondak chairs. The next weekned Cindy went to the game with her girlfiend.

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