Just another short story.
"Daddy, I made you a picture."
He turned to his daughter and smiled, "And what might it be?" He said as he took the paper from her hands. The drawing was small, only up in one corner, and he pushed back his glasses to see.
"It's you daddy, it's you and me."
The stick figures smiled out from the paper, their wobbly arms entwined, a comical sun in the corner, green grass beneath their twig legs. I lov yoo daddy was scrawled at the side, some letters backwards, some not there at all.
"My darling, it's beautiful, I'll treasure it always." And he hugged her and stroked her light hair. She hugged him hard, with the strength of a bird, and he held her and laughed with her.
Several years passed and the drawing was saved, although the child forgot, the father did not. It was safe in a drawer in his desk at his work, and he'd take it out and smile at it often.
She drew him more pictures, but none quite so special as the first. He watched as she blossomed, she was three, five, seven, and he loved her more every day.
It was Thursday. The same as every Thursday. She'd gone to her school, there were many other kids there. She had friends and they played in the playground after lessons. Climbing high in the treetops and swinging on swings, while her father made his way back from his office job.
He was close to the school, perhaps if he'd been a little closer things may have been different, but he was not.
His phone began ringing, he pulled over and answered. The colour drained from his face as he slammed on the pedal.
He raced to the hospital, crouched by her side, but the fall she had taken whilst climbing the tree, had fractured her neck, and broken her spine.
The funeral was quiet, not many attended. The Vicar spoke words that the father did not hear.
He went back to work, and on leaving the office, pulled out of the drawer the picture. He stroked the pencil lines, now faded with time, and placed it into his briefcase.
He drove to the town, and entered a shop. He showed the manager what he wanted, and sat down to wait. When it was done, he went home and framed the picture.
He didn't need it at work any more, it was his now, tattooed on his skin, and his heart, forever.