You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of dust.
You make beautiful things. You make beautiful things out of us. –Gungor
“I already told you. I’m finished.” She looked up at him. “That’s it, I said. I’m leaving.”
He reached out to take her hand. She turned away and picked up the suitcase from the floor.
“Claire,” he said. “Sweety. We can work through this. I know we can Just, just don’t----.”
“I hate you, David,” she said and left the apartment, slamming the door behind her.
He sat down in a kitchen chair and pulled off his shoes.
“Don’t ever come back,” he said through clenched teeth. “Ever.” He jerked his tie loose and unbuttoned his dress shirt.
“Dad, where’s Mom?”
He turned around and saw his little girl in her nightgown.
“Why aren’t you dressed for school, baby?”
“Mom didn’t lay her clothes out,” his son,Tyler, said, stepping out from the shadows and walking across the kitchen. “Why aren’t you at work?”
“Where are you going?” David asked.
“Is that really any of your business?” Tyler said. “You didn’t ask Mom where she was going.”
“Where is Mommy?” Kelsey whispered.
“Is that really any of your business?” David said to Tyler. He stood up and kicked the chair back under the edge of the table.
“Uh, she’s my mom,” Tyler said. “I kinda think that makes it my business.”
“Where is Mommy?” Kelsey said louder.
“Yes. And you’re my son,” David said.
“Unfortunate, isn’t it?” Tyler rolled his eyes. “It’s your fault she’s gone.”
David gripped the back of the chair till his knuckles were white. “Don’t say that,” he growled.
“Where is Mommy?” Kelsey shouted.
David sank to the floor and covered his face with his hands. Tyler walked out and slammed the front door.
“You never answer me,” Kelsey said, sitting down beside him. She leaned her head on his arm. “I’m gonna be late to school.” She chewed on her thumb nail. “And you’re gonna be late to work. Dad, you gotta get up.” She stood up and pulled his hand. “Come on.”
David just shook his head.
“You know,” Kelsey said, sitting down again and putting her chin in her hand. “Tyler ate the last bowl of Froot Loops.”
David closed his eyes and leaned his head against the wall. Why do all the bad things happen to one guy and all the great things happen to another? If there was a god, you’d think he’d divide things up a little more evenly. Not fair. Nothing is fair. I deserve better. Kelsey deserves better.
“Aren’t you gonna do something about it?”
Do something. Something.
He opened his eyes. “Yes,” he said.
“Aren’t you gonna do something?” Kelsey asked again. “Tyler hogs all the cereal.”
Ben ran a hand over her hair. “It’s time to leave for school, baby,” he said.
“You never answer me.”
“We’re moving,” David announced that night at the dinner table.
Tyler dropped his fork onto his plate. “We’re what?”
“You heard me,” David said, slicing another piece of bread.
“Wow.” Tyler shook his head. “Wow. You’ve got to be kidding me.”
David shook his head.
“What else are you gonna do to ruin my life?” Tyler ran a hand through his hair.
Kelsey picked up her bowl and took it to the sink. “I hate ramen noodles,” she said.
“Well, if you want to be the one to pay the rent on this old place, then fine, we can stay,” David told Tyler. “But I want to have a house. One of our own.”
Tyler rolled his eyes. “Where are we moving to?” he asked.
“I’m not sure,” David replied. “We’ll see.”
“I don’t like this apartment anyway,” Kelsey said, sitting down again. “It stinks.”
They packed up that week and loaded everything into the U-Haul truck.
“When are we gonna get there, Daddy?” Kelsey asked, as they pulled out of the driveway.
“Soon,” David said. “Soon we’ll be home.”
Three hours later, they pulled off onto a small, dirt driveway.
“It’s bumpy,” Kelsey said and unrolled her window. “It’s dusty,” she added.
Tyler slouched farther down into his seat. “It smells weird,” he muttered.
“It smells like sunshine,” David said.
“Sunshine doesn’t have a smell,” Tyler laughed cynically.
“Yes, it does,” Kelsey said, sticking her head out the window and breathing in. “I smell it.”
They pulled up in front of the tiny, white house. There was grass and trees and nothing. David turned the key and shut off the engine.
“It’s quiet,” Kelsey whispered. “Can I get out?”
She opened the car door and stepped out. After glancing at her dad, she walked toward the house. She went up the steps and tried to open the front door but it was locked. She waved at David and then motioned at the door. He got out and took her the key. They went inside. The house was dark. Kelsey walked over to a window and pulled open the curtain. Sunlight poured in; thick and golden. She opened another and another.
“Come on Daddy,” she said. “Help me let the light in.”
He drew back one of the dusty curtains, and let his face bathe in the warm light. The entire house sparkled now. The rays of sun searched out every dark corner and lit it up.
“I’m going outside now,” Kelsey said. “I see a pond.” She kicked off her shoes by the front door and ran out barefoot.
David stepped out on the porch. Tyler crawled out of the car. He squinted in the bright light, and put a hand over his eyes. He staggered toward the porch.
“Don’t try to hide from the light,” David said. “It’s impossible.”
Tyler climbed the porch steps, and lowered his hand to his side.
“Why’d we come here?” he asked.
“Beautiful things sometimes grow out of pain, Tyler,” David said.
“Beautiful things?” Tyler said quietly. He leaned against the porch railing.
Kelsey came running across the field from the pond. Her hands were full of daisies. Pink ones. David pointed at her.
“Yes,” he said. “Beautiful.”
Tyler tugged at his earlobe.
“God brought us here, I think,” David said, sitting down on the top step.
“God?” Tyler whispered. “Where’s he been all this time?”
“Here, I think,” David said. “But everywhere too.”
Kelsey reached the porch, breathless. “Look Daddy,” she said. “Aren’t they pretty?” She thrust a handful of pink daisies at him.
“Yes, Baby,” David said. “They are.” He turned to Tyler. "Here," he said, holding out the flowers.
Tyler reached out and took a pink daisy from David’s hand.