Higher

“Daddy, daddy, look at me!”

Daddy looked, and smiled as Casey swung higher.

“Careful, if you go too high the sky might swallow you up.”

“Really?” She stopped moving to stare at him wide-eyed, letting momentum carry her back and forth. “Then where do you go once it swallows you up?”

“Somewhere amazing,” he said softly, flicking away the butt of his cigarette and clasping his hands before him as he watched her, a smile on his lips.

She swung.

Higher, higher.

The old man stood, sparing one last glance over his shoulder.

“Just watch me.”

Today was the day. Fifteen years later, and today was the day she would finally make it. She kicked her legs out before her, pushing forward and falling back as she urged the swing higher, higher. And all she could think as her fingers let go of the ropes and she lifted from the seat was that she was going somewhere amazing, somewhere that she would see her father again, with his whiskery beard and sharp blue eyes, and he would hold her in his arms and tell her he never meant to go.

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