Little pudgy fingers splayed across glass, finger smudges blurring the surface. Eyes wide and awe-filled as one tentacle slowly unfurls, its color a deep, coral orange. Her little feet jumped up and down in excitement, as the octopus took it’s own time sliding free of it’s home. Lily squealed when it’s great eye came to rest upon her. She breathed shallowly, waiting to see what it would do next. With a casual swish of it’s tentacles it sprawled itself out across the glass, it’s suckers seem to reach for her. She so desperately wanted to reach back.
“Mommy,” she murmured, unable to tear her eyes away. Children roared and giggled around her, their bodies pressed just as closely to the glass, their weight heavy upon her. She forced herself to look back, to get mommy to see the amazingly funny looking creature before her. “Mommy…” her excitement flittered away. Her mom stood ten feet back, one arm braced on her waist the other clutching her phone to her ear, as she talked furiously into the speaker. Her brows were drown down in anger as she whisper shouted at the recipient on the other end, trying to at least refrain from full on screaming in public.
“No George, I can’t take her next weekend, you know I have a meeting I can’t miss out on… Yes, I get that you need to go to New York…Well, take her with you.” Her stance got harsher and harsher with each word. Lily’s gut seemed to keep crawling to swallow her up. “I know she’s my daughter, but you are supposed to have her next week. Look I took her to the Aquarium what more do you want!”
Lily blinked slowly, refusing to let the ache in her eyes escape, she knew how much mommy hated tears. She glanced back, the colorful exhibit before her now bleak and gray. Slowly a tentacle reached out, and rested across the glass over her hand. She bawled her hand into a fist, and thanked the octopus for his kindness.