The sound of the rain falling on my jacket.
I run to the place where he waits for me. He’s soaking up this rain to help him grow.
Clomp, clomp, clomp; my dress feels so heavy on my thighs. The cold drips stick to my bangs, gathering as they finally let go and stream down my pink cheeks.
The pavement pushes back underneath my feet, daring me to land again. I push back, running towards him. I go as fast as I can. It’s gray outside. Not a happy gray, either.
The sky stares down at me, its angry eyebrows shooting down sparks in the distance. It cries on me. It cries on everybody.
I see the sign coming towards me and I stop. He lies in front of that tree. He’s waiting for me.
I gather up my dress and run towards him, my ruffled socks sloshing in my shoes, but I don’t care.
My legs slow as I come closer to him, where he’s waiting for me.
I walk on the damp grass, and stop in front of the big patch of soil, where he’s lying.
“Daddy,” I whisper, “I’m here. Did you miss me, daddy?”
He won’t talk to me. Or maybe he is, but I can’t hear him from underneath the ground.
“Daddy, I said I’m here. I miss you. Come home, now.”
I lay down next to the muddy square of soil as my hair tangles into the ground. The coldness of the ground makes me shiver. My dress becomes one with the mud, and I put my ear as close to him as possible.
“Mommy will hate me if you tell her I’m here. Don’t tell her, daddy, please don’t.”
I can’t hear him. I dig my glittered fingernails into the soil and grab a handful of mud, slopping it behind me. It smells earthy and kind of like Christmas trees.
“Daddy!” I yell into the small hole.
I dig deeper and deeper, crying for my daddy. He won’t answer me. I know he can hear me, though.
I hear muffled cries in the distance. They’re high pitched and drawn out. They come into focus.
“Annie!” It’s a familiar voice.
“Baby, its mommy!”
I stare down into the hole and yell, “I thought you wouldn’t tell mommy! You’re a liar!”
The red truck flashes its lights at the tree, where Annie lays, screaming at her father.
The car door slams, her mother grasping her hand over her mouth.
“Oh Annie,” she sobs, “Oh, baby.”
She stumbles to the ground and trembles for Annie, grabbing her and slowly moving the hood of her jacket from her face. She holds her close to her chest, squeezing onto her thin, blonde hair.
“I know, baby I know,” she sobs, squeezing her tightly.
They lay at the foot of the tree, digging up the mud that’ll never make daddy alive again.