The Perfect Day

Robbie Lange closed his laptop and leaned back in his chair. Yawning, he looked out the window into the black night. Another evening at the office, he thought. He counted the other lit windows in the skyscrapers around his building. “Goodnight, everyone. I’ll see you in two weeks.”

The elevator door dinged and opened; Robbie walked inside, his briefcase dangling at his knee. The door closed and he disappeared.

The night was crisp as Robbie drove home with his windows open. There was a chill, but it was a great break from summer’s humidity. As he drove, he thought aloud about what he had to pack when he got home. Hopefully Carmela has already started. Hopefully the kids were asleep, though it would be nice to tuck them in for a change.

Pulling into the driveway, Robbie noticed the garage door wide open — dark, but open. The Caravan sat there, waiting for tomorrow’s journey. Robbie kicked the rear tires and then noticed the suitcases and bags packed snugly in the trunk and stuffed into the back seat, barely leaving enough room for the kids. What a woman.

Carmela lay, curled in a ball on the couch with a blanket draped over her torso, her feet uncovered. Her long, dark, shiny hair spilled over the edge of the pillow. He sat next to her, leaned over, and kissed the top of her head. She stirred but didn’t wake. He leaned back and closed his eyes.

The kids, four-year-old Brandon and six-year-old Amy, scurried across the soft, hot sand and found an open spot on the beach. Robbie and Carmela followed behind carrying beach necessities — a bag filled with towels, suntan lotion, beach tags, snacks, sand toys, a small, single-string kite, and two folding chairs.

“Let’s fly the kite, Dad,” said Amy.

Robbie plopped the chairs, toys, and other items down. He took the kite out of the bag and walked toward the water, toward the darker, harder sand. The sun was hot and low, with a tint of red. Only a few wispy clouds were scattered in the sky, so the sun shone bright, and the spray from the break cooled the nearby sand. Carmella lathered the kids and then they scampered to their father by the water.

“Are you ready to watch the kite soar?” asked Robbie.

“Yay!” cheered the kids, jumping with their skinny arms high over their heads.

Robbie unrolled about five feet of string and laid the kite flat on the sand. A light wind blew low. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to lift the delicate kite and let it hover just a few feet off the ground.

“It’s flying, Daddy. You’re flying the kite,” they cheered. The kite flew no higher. It didn’t have to. The kite soared. The wind was light. The sun sat low and had a red tint, and only a few wispy clouds were scattered in the sky. It was the perfect day.

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