Today I grabbed some ice cream with my dad for lunch, we were in the mood for sprinkles. After sitting victoriously in the parking lot with our chocolate ice cream with chocolate sprinkles we notice sitting on the bench was a teenaged girl with blue hair, sobbing her entire life out. We both looked at each other and immediately felt horrible. She had to be at least 15 or 16 years old, and the only thing I assumed was somebody had to have broken this girls heart. Everyone was just walking by her too, ignoring the fact that this girl was clearly crying. A lot at that.
My dad started nudging me and gave me a couple of dollars, “go grab her something from the ice cream shop” he said. I looked at him weirdly, “we live in the city, pop, she’s going to think i’m trying to drug her or something, or hitting on her, or something equally as weird as that” i said pushing the money away. He reached over and took my ice cream from my hands, “go get that little girl an ice cream Kyoko” he said sternly. I ninja rolled out of the truck, and ordered a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles for the crying girl with blue hair. I walked out with the ice cream, walked up to her and held it out in front of her (to be honest, i really felt like Forest Gump and this girl was Lt. Dan), “I guessed what you might like, you really can’t go wrong with rainbow sprinkles, my dad and i thought you might like an ice cream” i said as least creepy as possible. She wiped her eyes with her sleeve, took the ice cream and said thank you. My dad came walking toward us both holding my ice cream and his and we both sat next to her on the bench. “Don’t mind a little company do ya?” as he said while pushing me over to make room. She smiled lightly and nodded.
Nobody said a word, not me, not my dad, not the girl with blue hair. We just sat on the bench eating our ice cream with sprinkles. My dad knew there was nothing he could say to probably make her feel better, he knew that there was nothing I could say to probably make her feel better, and she knew that there was nothing we could say to probably make her feel better. But as a father, it broke his heart. It broke his heart that nobody stopped to ask her what was wrong. He didn’t want her to have the ice cream to make her feel better, or to make her stop crying. He wanted her to have the ice cream to make the pain go down a little softer, and a little more tolerable. And as for us joining her, well, he’s the kind of dad that extends his paternal instincts.
We didn’t just sit there until we were all finished with our ice cream either. We sat there until she was okay enough to move on without us. I kept looking at my dad motioning for us to go, but he shook his head at me and just continued sitting next to her. After about a half an hour, she got up, gave my dad a hug, thanked us both and walked in the opposite direction until she was no longer in our sight. “You think she’ll be okay?” I asked him. “I hope so, everyone is usually okay after some ice cream” he said while poking me. I didn’t ask my dad why he did it. Why he wanted me to go buy her ice cream, or why he wanted us to sit next to her until she was better, because I already knew. My dad saw me in that girl with the blue hair that was crying on the bench. Even though his daughter sitting right next to him is 27 years old now, he still saw the 15 or 16 year old me sitting there crying. He dropped me off in front of my shop, and when I hopped out the truck he said, “you know I can never stop being a father.” I shut the door behind me, leaned into the window and replied, “and the world is a lot more tolerable because of that.” Because you know what, there was a time where I was that girl with the blue hair, and nobody stopped for me.