Sisters On Keenan Park Steps
By ice rivers
Virgil saw his daughters every other weekend. Laureen was seven years old and Lily was three. Laureen had been very helpful teaching Lily how to walk. Lily made great strides in her independence. She didn't mind when Laureen stopped holding her hand. Lily understood. Lily followed her sister everywhere but walked alone.
With his life unmanageable, Virgil had been twelve stepping it for a year, one day at a time.
He liked to visit Keenan Park. In the middle of the park a series of twelve ancient steps led into the woods. Virgil always paused powerlessly at the steps and pondered their meaning figuratively as well as literally. The steps were very, very old but solid and reliable as Gibraltar.
One chilly day in early, Virgil took the girls to the park. He showed them the steps. The girls were used to vengeful vigilance during their weekdays. They loved the park, especially Laureen.
"Laureen, honey, take Liliy's hand; walk up those steps and take a look into the woods. I'll keep my eye on you from down here."
Laureen didn't need to be asked twice. She took Lily's hand. The two of them began the climb.
The climb up was slow going at first. These were BIG steps for little Lily. The pair paused after every step. Virgil applauded each advance.
After climbing step nine, Laureen grew impatient and bounded up the reamining three steps alone. She looked down at Virgil and Lily.
She disappeared into the woods.
Virgil watched her go, confident that she was adventurous and curious rather than negligent or non-caring.
By the time Lily reached the top step, Laureen had her view of the woods. She came out of the woods. She hugged Lily.
They looked down at their Dad for re-assurance
Virgil nodded parumapumpum.
The girls waved.
Laureen took Lily's hand.
She had taken a look into the woods.
She felt brave.
She felt like a big sister.
They took the first two steps down together.
Laureen let go of Lily's hand.
Lily could handle it.
Virgil was confident and proud.
Five minutes later, they were all on the ground looking up at the steps and the woods.