“Papa?” asked Kyra.

“Yes, my dear?”

“You never did answer my question. And you know what?”

Papa played serious. “Tell me my precocious one, what?”

“I’m holding you hostage, til’ you talk.”

“Is that right?” responded Papa, trying his best to hold back a grin.

“Right as rain off a pampus back,” shot back Kyra in all seriousness.

“Well, we can’t have that now can we. Repeat the question.”

“You told me you painted because of Luin, but you didn’t say why?”

“Didn’t I?” Papa smiled.

“Oh Grand?,” called Kyra.

“Hey, hey, now I didn’t say I wouldn’t tell you, but wouldn’t you rather I show you?”

Kyra frowned.

“Okay. How bout this. I show and tell?” Papa held out his hands.

Kyra hesitated before slapping both her hands down on his aged palms, weathered soft with care and concern. “Deal!”

“Come here child.” He motioned to a blank canvas. “Tell me what you see?”

Kyra squirreled her cheeks into the dimples that would later melt hearts. “I see a Papa messing with my deal.”

“How so?” asked Papa with false indignation, tilting his head and widening his eyes for effect.

Kyra huffed, “You said show and tell.” Then matching him, for effect, she put her hands on her hips. “Not, tell and show.”

Papa couldn’t hold back as laughter rolled from belly to cheeks. Then he lowered his voice and his face took a serious tone. “I paint because it makes you smile.”

Kyra looked into his eyes and Papa returned the gaze. Then quick as lightning she leaned over and kissed his cheek. “I love you Papa.”

“But I’m not finished. Don’t you want to hear the rest?”

“No, not really. Got what I needed.” Then Kyra jumped off his lap and skipped away.

“Zeke?” asked Grand, watching Kyra fly past her.

“Yes dear?”

“What did you do now?”

“Whaaat? I was just educating the girl on the aesthetic philosophies of Luin.”

Shaking her head Grand smiled.

“See. It works.” Papa smiled and opened his arms. Grand folded into the embrace, warmth on warmth, her head on his chest finding comfort in the beating of his bottomless heart.

“You haven’t told her yet?” asked Grand, her voice barely a whisper.


Categories: Story, Papa, Kyra, Grandma Kyra