Little Matilda held back her tears as the flash of the camera went off. Her father’s hand felt warm and reassuring, something she did not feel at the moment. Holding her father’ other hand was her big brother, Brian. He looks sternly at the camera, the same look a wrinkled old man would give to teenagers that walked by his yard.
“Now little Matilda don’t cry, it’s just a picture” her father tells her in a soothing voice.
Matilda looks up at her father, his gray tie matching his black wavy hair, only tamed by the density of his favorite gel.
“But daddy, momma was always there when we took our yearly picture” After Matilda says this her mouth begins to quiver and tears forms in her eyes, her face turns a shade of red that only meant she was trying to stop the tears from falling. “Why did momma go away daddy?” Matilda asks, each word brings a stab of pain to her father’s heart and a deeper scowl in her brother’s gaze.
Her father kneels down to her height and grabs Brian arm so he can join. He looks at both of them, his gaze strong and as reassuring as it can be.
“Your momma had to leave, she had to meet with somebody important far far away” he tells her.
“Where daddy?” Matilda asks.
“The same place Woof had to go when he ate something funny” her father tells her.
“What’s that place called again?” Matilda asks, her face is now returning to its natural pale color.
“Heaven, she had to go to heaven”. As he says this her father’s voice breaks,
“If she ever coming back?” Matilda asks with her in her voice.
“No sweetie, she can’t”. And with those words Brian covers his eyes with his right arm and his father grabs his left.
And with those words Matilda finally understood why people wanted to believe so badly in this place called “Heaven”. It gave them hope that they would eventually meet again the person that had to go away.