Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (please do not use without permission)
Her mum had been missing for three excruciating days and though the police report had been filed and a search coordinated, her mother did not want to be found.
She stared at her dad, slumped at his computer, and spoke softly, “Dad?” her words no more than a whisper but with filled with a hopeful plea of desperation, “Dad, if I ever run away, will you come and find me?”
Tears illuminated his red, swollen eyes and a quivering sigh escaped his lips as he crossed the room in a few short strides and crushed his daughter to his broken heart, “Sweetheart, if you ever run away and you want me to find you, no matter how far or how long it takes I will find you, I’ll walk every road and sail every sea until you’re back in my arms, I will find you, I’ll always find you.”
She tightened her arms around him, there was no need to worry, no matter how much she wanted to run, to run until her feet were sore, until her legs could barely carry her, she would never hurt her father, and so she would never run.
She was not her mother.
Written for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction.