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Quality Time - Short Commuting Story

Updated on June 18, 2013

The morning was chilly but the sky was clear so it should warm up later when the sun will show its face. Lilly was waiting with others on the platform as usually, but she was in an extremely good mood today even though it was Monday.

She just heard on the radio that it's only 40 days left till Christmas and she has already started to feel it was coming. She was going to visit her sister this year in her new place so she was looking forward to it. Besides it was always reminding her about the childhood, much simpler and careless world.

She got on the train and managed to take her usual sit. She liked the one on the right hand side, in the middle of a carriage. In front of her she could see two rows of three seats, usually occupied by the school girls. She could hear them chatting happily about different things, teachers or boys most often. She was commuting every day for more than a year now on this route so without looking she could recognise girls’ voices that's why she was puzzled today hearing a new one, very girly in sound and excited.


She looked up and to her surprise noticed that it was the shy girl talking. Among girls was a skinny one with big blue eyes and dark short hair. She always kept quiet and had sort of withdrawn look in her eyes, like she was lost in her own thoughts. But not today. Today she was very animated telling others about her weekend.

Suzie felt utterly happy and couldn't stop talking. Finally she had something to say and she had to share it with her friends. Last weekend was very special in her life and she was still reliving it in her mind. 'And we went to this fantastic place where we could catch fish, and I caught two but my dad seven, and then my dad started a real fire and we cooked them all!' she said excitedly. 'A real fire?' Nicky was in awe 'I wish my dad took me to the lake and made a camp fire’ she added dreamingly. 'And we used these sticks, you know, just dry thin branches, and we put fish on them, then dad allowed me to cook it. I've never have eaten anything better, never!' Suzie was going again through her experience not willing to stop and girls were listening with their mouths open.

Yes, the weekend started in an unusual way to Suzie. On Friday afternoon when she came back home daddy was in a really foul mood as his computer broke down so he couldn’t play his favourite game. He would normally have a dinner and play all evening but tonight he found his machine dead. He was pacing anxiously around so Suzie ate her dinner quietly and hid in her room as the atmosphere was really tense.

But on Saturday morning things have changed a lot. Her dad took his computer to a service place in town early in the morning and then came back bringing delicious pastries for breakfast. He was in a very happy mood and told them that he has a surprise for all of them. He didn't say a word but only told Suzie's mom to pack some warm clothes for them for two days and urged them to a car.

He took them to a beautiful place in Cornwall. They have stopped in a small cottage in the middle of the forest. When they looked through the window they could see a quiet lake in front of them with a small pier. The old boat was towed there. 'Dad, it's so beautiful here!' Suzie shouted 'Can we take a boat and go around the lake?' she asked excitedly. 'Of course we can sweetie, but let's unpack first' her mom said and they went back to the car to grab a few shopping bags. They stopped in Tesco on their way there and her dad bought some interesting things which raised her curiosity.

Two of them were fishing rods, one for and adult and another for a child, fully equipped and coming with a free bag of bait. They loaded some snacks, fishing rods and a bucket on the boat then dad took them all around the lake.

After half an hour or relaxing trip they found a quiet spot, perfect for fishing or at least the dad said so. She was never fishing before and was really looking forward to try it for the first time. She put on bait and dad showed her how to throw the rod into water. Then they waited. It was a bit boring but dad was telling them his childhood stories when he was fishing with his dad. Then suddenly something started to wriggle on her rod and with dad help she pulled out a fish. 'Dad, dad, I caught a fish' she was screaming happily. It was so awesome.

They caught several more fishes before they headed back. Mom took all fishes to the kitchen to clean while Suzie and her dad walked into the forest to search for dry fallen branches for a camp fire. They have built a huge warm fireplace in a special area and put their fishes on sticks to cook them.

It was magical. The fire was enchanting and the stories her parents were telling were amazing. She loved her family so much and had such a wonderful time. When she has fallen asleep at the fire, their parents took her inside and put into the bed.

Next day they went on the cycling trip and had a picnic on the grass, she even spotted a reindeer! They were laughing and chatting and simply having great time. Suzie really didn't want to go back, it was the best time in her life. Unfortunately they had to go back as the school week was starting next morning.

But it wasn't that bad either, she could share her story with every girl she met and everybody was envying her. She was so full of energy that day. Still when she was on her way back she became a little nervous of what she might find at home.

But things were good. Dad was helping mom preparing a dinner, they were cuddling and kissing, ‘Gross!’ she thought giggling. Well not really, she liked when her parents showed each other attention and she could cuddle with them. After dinner dad took out very dusty box of scrabbles and they were playing till late hour.

'And I won, I found the longest word, and had all those double points' Lilly heard excited voice of this shy girl again on Tuesday morning. 'Something must have changed for this girl' she concluded 'so many exciting things to tell, life must be good' she thought and smiled happy for this little princess.

On Wednesday morning Suzie had more news for her friends, as she spent the evening helping dad to fix the shed. She was assisting him and giving him all the necessary tools and before dark they not only fixed the door but also made a few new shelves so mom was really pleased. And dad told her that without his little girl he wouldn't be able to do anything. She was so proud and so pleased.

Suzie was almost flying back home looking forward to another fantastic evening. She was wondering what they will be doing tonight with her dad. She was considering different options but the fact she actually didn’t know, was adding to her excitement.

Next morning when Lilly took her place in the carriage, the shy girl was already on her place. Straight away Lilly noticed that she had the same withdrawn look as earlier ‘Oh dear’ she thought sympathetically. She looked closer and noticed that the emptiness in girl’s eyes was stronger than usually and that her shoulders were down in the same manner as her lips corners. ‘You’re not a happy girl anymore, are you?’ thought Lilly giving this girl a mental hug.

No, she wasn’t. When Suzie came back from school the day before, her world turned upside down again. She found her dad sitting in front of his computer deeply engaged in one of the battles. With the remaining enthusiasm she asked ‘Daddy, what will we be doing tonight?’ But his only answer was ‘hi honey, I’m busy right now, we talk later’ and he didn’t even look at her!

She was devastated, she didn’t know what to do. She ran to her room and slammed the door behind.

Her mom came after her worried about her but he hasn’t even noticed. She was crying all evening. She felt betrayed and angry. She was just given a chance to feel how the life can be and it was taken back from her without a warning. ‘I want it back’ she was sobbing. ‘I want my daddy back’ she was whispering through her tears.


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    • Ania L profile imageAUTHOR

      Ania L 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Totally agree @FitnezzJim, have seen it too many times unfortunately.

      However I've seen the opposite scenario which isn't much better either - making childen the center of the adult's world to such an extreme that a mother for example do things only the kids want and nothing she would like. She gives up on her life for kids but it's not healthy either - kids needs to see their mom has a life and interests herself so they can have a life, they lookup to her for the lead.

      Luckily I know many parents who know where the balance is and they teach their children how to enjoy life leading as an example.

    • FitnezzJim profile image


      6 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia

      Yup, yup, there is more to parenting than just having kids. If only more parents could remember that through a kids eyes.


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