I was panting heavily as I carried both Annie and the heavy grocery bag to the car. The guilt feeling of purchasing unimportant items increased as I thought of the money spent.

I thought about the pending writing works to do as soon as I reached home. And the unpaid bills.

When I finally started the car, she raised the request to go to the park. Children had a great sense of time and place. How else did she knew that the park was near. It had been days since we went there. I would be selfish if I did not give her play time and drooped in work instead.

The park was bit crowded. There were mothers and fathers and then there were families. Granny walking along with Grandpa while smiling at the children played frisbee.

Annie was very happy. The smile on her face vanished all my thoughts of the pending jobs. Work can wait. The night is still young when she sleeps. Annie moved on to her favourite slide, and I occupied a nearby bench.

I searched through my bag, as the phone rang. It was the owner.
“Hi dear, How is it going.”
The elderly voice always sounded caring unlike the hidden words she poured out.

” Good, Mrs. Lawson. Struggling to pay the bills as usual. ”
A little stretching is always good.

“Oh dear, and here I was asked to remind you of the rent. You see, John is particular about the numbers and dates. It had been his job, so has grown them in his blood over time.”
My brows narrowed. I realized what’s coming.

“Yeah, Mrs. Dawson. I do realize I am late. I am sorry, but will pay by Saturday for sure.”
“Thats perfectly fine with me Rita, I am not that particular, you know, its only him. Saturday then, Okay?”
“Sure, Mrs Dawson. That’s my word”.

My mind rattled as I finished the call. Saturday is just four days from today.
From where? Who?
If I finish that writing on parenting column, maybe i could ask Suzy for immediate payment. But I am yet to start.
Time to go home.

My eyes looked around for Annie. Slide. Swing. Sand pit, Grass lawns. Pathway. She was nowhere.

I called out but the sound was feeble. “Annie…”
Blood rushed in, and my face fell. I shouted, Annie… All the onlookers stared at me. It didn’t matter. I was on autopilot now.
I asked the boys near the slide and swing. And they pointed to the pathway towards the North..
Unbelievable. Why would she walk down there?

As I walked frantically in the direction pointed, I called out again, “Annie..” I kept searching with my head swinging in all directions.

I then saw a fleeting glimpse of her in his arms, as he walked towards the car.
I sped across, but the grass was wet. I tripped over as my eyes followed the face behind the wheel.
Her father.

#Fiction #Fragments #story #snippets

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