Akram watched Adil turn the handle-bars as he pretended to fly the old vespa 100. His wife stood guard beside him, ready to break his fall, just in case. She smiled at him lovingly, a shadow of amusement crossing her face, now and then, thanks to their son’s wild imagination. As Akram waited for his turn at the shop across the street, he saw Adil hop off the vespa and stoop in front of a closed shop. From what it looked like, Adil was trying to sneak a peak underneath the shutters. Akram saw his wife pull him back. The two were clearly having a debate. Akram grabbed a juice for his son, as color was rising in his cheeks from the heat, asked the shopkeeper to put it on his tab and made his way across the street.
As soon as she saw him arrive, his wife suppressed her smile and let Adil have a go first. In an exasperated voice he said, “There is a cat in the shop!”
“Is there?” Akram looked at his wife for confirmation. With a nod and a shrug of her shoulders she said, “Adil is worried that it might die of hunger.”
“Yes! It has no cheetos, no water and not even Coke!” Adil rationalized his argument with concrete facts.
“Not even Coke?” Akram did his best not to smile and pulled on a horrified face. “Why! The poor thing must be so hungry in there!”
Adil shook his head vigorously.
“Lets see. I think I have an idea.” Akram went back to the shop while Adil craned his neck to spot his father midst the bobbing heads on the street.
“Here! Slide some cookies beneath the shutter. That way the cat won’t be hungry until the shop’s owner returns.”
Akram passed his 5 year old a cookie and slid one in, himself.
As he stood up he saw a thankful expression on his wife’s face.
“He wouldn’t have left this place otherwise,” she said.
©2013. Habiba Danyal
For Trifecta Week 73.