In "How She Met Her Father" Series, Non-Fiction, Personal, Writing on January 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm

This is Part 2 of the “How She Met Her Father” series.  The parts are written in chronological order of the main character, the girl, so I recommend reading them in order so it flows smoothly and stays true to the story line.  If you haven’t read Part 1, The Solo Sibling, you should check that out.

Discarded.  All these things, thrown out.  Toys that were once loved and cherished.  Stuffed animals that probably made a small child feel a little safer in a dark bedroom in the middle of the night.  Old odds and ends, gifts from Christmases years ago, things that must still carry memories if the owner took the time to think about where it came from, how they got it, what it meant at one point in time.  Yet here they all were, laid out on a blanket over a borrowed folding table sitting in a patch of dirt and gravel on the side of the road.  So close to the road that passing cars drowned out every voice and added another layer of dust to the already grimy discarded and forgotten items.

Tiny, slender fingers ran over the items, not noticing the dust and dirt transferring over and caking in wrinkles of fingerprints.  Innocent eyes took it all in, and through these eyes this table was a treasure chest.  Large and welcoming and glowing with possibilities of what could be hers.  She hadn’t been livingquite a decade yet and her young mind had never heard the saying of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure, but she was living it right at that moment.  Laughter pulled her away from the beckoning of the dusty table.

The woman who owned these things was standing there.  She was dressed much too fancy to be attending this make-shift roadside market and it was obvious that her jewelery and hair cost much more than she would get from overpricing every item on the table in front of her.  No, money was of no concern for her, but she wouldn’t turn down the chance to make a few more dollars here and there by selling her history and memories.  But right now, even that couldn’t pull her away from the man.

He stood close, almost touching arms as they talked and giggled.  He was not dressed in expensive clothes and his hair wasn’t even cut, falling in long curls down to his shoulders in the back.  But he talked easy and had a nice smile and this must have made the woman overlook the things he lacked.  Innocent eyes took all this in, as well, occasionally glancing back to the table because she remembered that Mom had always told her not to stare.

Where was Mom?  She turned quickly and found that Mom was still behind her, looking over the discarded items on display.  Mom glanced quickly up to the man and woman, but did not seem interested and resumed perusing the table.

Tiny hands reached the end of the table, grazing over the last forgotten item and dropping back to her side.  She waited patiently while Mom finished looking.  Without having the items to look at, there was nothing to stop her from watching the man and woman now, and that’s exactly what she did.  They continued their close talking and laughing.  A few times they must have felt little eyes on them, as they both looked to her during their conversation.  She innocently blinked her big eyes at them and looked away until they became immersed in conversation again, at which point she returned her gaze to them.  As Mom was finishing her examination of the memories for sale, the man said his good-byes to the woman, climbed into a large dump truck parked behind the makeshift market, and drove away.

Mom was ready to go and ushered her back to the car.  Driving away, Mom turned the radio down.  “Did you see the man there, talking?  The one that got into the truck?”  She nodded.  “That was your father.”  Mom’s voice was troubled.  This was hard.

“He looked at me.”

“He looked at me, too.  He didn’t recognize me.  He didn’t know who you were.  I just thought you should know that was him.”

Slender fingers twisted around each other in nervousness.  Big eyes filled only moments before with curiosity and wonder were now filled with confusion.  She didn’t ask any questions.  It was too much for her to figure out.  Her father.  He just looked right at her – smiled at her – and had no idea.  She didn’t even bother to look in the mirror back at the makeshift roadside market.  He wouldn’t be there anymore, but she may have been able to spot herself on the folding table on the side of the road.

Copyright © 2012
  1. riveting, eloquent and touching. Thank you for sharing.


  2. […]  Part 3 of “How She Met Her Father.”  Read Part 1 and Part 2. […]


  3. […] She Met Her Father, Part 4.  See Part 1, Part 2, & Part […]



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