Hurdles… #3

“See that one, Dan-Dan?” her father pointed out.  “That’s the big dipper.  And that one, that’s Orion’s belt.”

Dana and her father were laying down the backyard staring up at the sky.  They were both in jeans and t-shirts; the Texas weather made them sweat in almost anything else.  Dana had on her brand new cowgirl boots with pink strips up the sides.  Her flimsy cowgirl hat was lying next to her in the grass.  Her dad’s cowboy boots were flung off to the side and his ugly toes were sticking up out of the grass.  Dana giggled every time he wiggled them up in the air.  Her laughter was treasure to her father’s ears, but that was soon going to change; Dana’s mom was pregnant with her little sister.  She was in the house with Dana’s grandpa and she had a watermelon on her stomach.  Even though the girl was in high school and was old enough to understand it all, it still felt weird.  She had been the only child for her entire life, and now her parents were going to have another one.  She was excited, of course, but there was a part of her that was jealous.  Was she not good enough?  Dana’s father noticed her silence and glanced up at the house.  He could see his glowing wife through the kitchen window.  His father was standing next to her and they were carrying on a conversation that was making her laugh.  The girl’s father turned back towards Dana and pulled her closer to him.

“I know it’s going to be weird, Dana,” he started, his husky voice ringing across the sky.  “I know you’re used to being the only one in the house.  But this will be good for all of us.  Your mother and I have always wanted two adorable daughters, and now is our chance.”

“I know, papa.”

“I know you do,” he confirmed.  “You’ll be the oldest, so it will be your job to take care of little M&M.  Show her the ropes, stuff like that.  Do you think you can do that, Dan-Dan?”

Dana glanced up at her mother and then back at her dad.  “I’ll take care of her, papa.  I promise.”

“That’s my girl,” her father kissed her on the head and then went back to pointing out constellations.

~~

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