"Where do we go from here?"
Asked the boy.
His dad shook his head.
"I don't know son, I don't know. We've never been this far out before."
The boy saw his father's concerned look. He has seen it before when mother was sick. He had seen it before when the boy was having a hard time learning how to read. He had seen it before when the neighborhood's grocery store closed down and the nearest shop was a Wallmart ten miles away from town. He had seen the concerned look before, but this time there was also wonder in those big brown eyes.
For a moment, the boy thought he saw a little rabbit reflected in his dad's eyes. He turned to look where his dad was looking. There was nothing there. No rabbit, just a tunnel. One that leads somewhere. But where to?
"Daddy. I'm frightened."
His dad turned to him with a smile.
"Now where did you learn a word like 'frightened', is that what they teach you in school, son?"
Yes. It was exactly the kind of thing the boy was learning in school. Words that would impress his dad. And he also learned that he never got the seat he wanted in class because Mrs. Wilford had favorites and sadly, the boy wasn't one of them. He also learned that he wasn't very good at kickball. Or softball. Or baseball. Not enough to go to college. He was only in third grade, but he had already learned that college was very important. His father never went to college. Neither did his mother. He was to grow up and be the first in the family to go to college. He knew that at third grade.
The boy held his father's hand tightly.
"I'm freighted, because I don't know where I'm going. And neither do you."
His dad nodded.
"You are right, son. I don't know where we are going. You sure are a smart kid, aren't ya? But do you know what I DO know? I know where I've been. Change comes with fear, son. it's a package deal. You can't have one without the other. But we're together in this, you and I. I, with my years. You, with your smarts. Together we'll get through this. Don't know where. But it will be different. It will be...somewhere else. Somewhere we've never been before."
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman