Alethea’s Birthday

5:45 a.m.  01-11-2015

The stained wood floors are cold to the bare feet upon awakening in the typical Chicago (Bridgeport) January deep freeze.

Still, the heart warms the extremities in quick fashion knowing how special today is. Birthday special.

Adjusting to the pre-dawn Sunday morning quietude, I tip-toe softly, I think, into the kitchen to prepare the morning Java. Not expecting any semblance of consciousness, I immediately take notice of Alethea’s door. Ajar. A thin golden bar of light peers through casting its warm stripe vertically and dead center of the near side of the refrigerator.

Hearing movement, I clear what’s residing in my five-hours-of-sleep throat intent upon the days’ first proclamation “Happy Birthday Ali !”

I weakly choke.

For just a second.

That’s all it took.

“Each new day is kinda like a birthday, right Daddy?” Alethea exclaims hearing me and my choke. Her voice beams slightly louder and more pronounced than her usual timid chirp.

“Yes Honey. But today we celebrate the very day you were born into this world.” I relinquish.

“What other worlds are there?” Alethea inquires.

“In infinite or never ending multiverses, who’s to say.” I respond forgetting her age and quicker than even I expected at 5:48 a.m. (thank you microwave clock.)

Bad move.

A moments silence.

“What would you be doing RIGHT NOW Daddy, in this world, in this universe, if I wasn’t born 7 years ago today?” Alethea queries still unseen.

Another moments silence. Check that. A few moments silence.

“Probably making some coffee…” I respond with a grin and a pause, “…but with colder feet.” I add with an out loud smile.

Alethea’s unsuccessfully suppressed giggle finds its way through the crack.

The door flies open and as Alethea leaps into my arms, the light inside envelops the entire kitchen. My eyes try to adjust from the sudden near darkness to the blast of bright but warm light and hanging onto all 60 lbs. of the light wrapped around me.

Just as my pupils dilate and my sight returns, Alethea wards off her sudden shortness of breath and whispers, “Good morning Daddy.”

“Yes Ali,” I whisper in return, “it is.”

from the upcoming book, Alethea’s Qi

copyright 2015 Samuel J Krucek

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