Phoebe looks up to see her dad pull up in the parking area. She runs excitedly from the building where she spends her days after school learning ballet. Eli promised her that they would stop at Gertie’s pastry shop to select the dessert they plan to have after dinner. Phoebe’s earthly love for her Dad is not equal to the love she has for her mom. Phoebe knew this the minute she saw her dad for the first time. She remembers looking up at him as her mom held her, and she immediately knew who he was in the time before.
“Hi Daddy!” Phoebe says as she jumps in the passenger seat, “I was able to pique today! It was awesome!” She shuts the door, and looks to her dad.
“That’s great, sweetie. All that practice, eh?” Eli says.
Phoebe looks at her dad noticing immediately the change in the air and with him. His face resonated that he’s troubled by something.
“Dad, tough day at work?” She asks.
“Oh pumpkin, do I look distracted?”
“I’m sorry. It no worry—quit being such a worry wart! Let’s go to Gerties and grab some cupcakes!” Eli laughs as he winks at his daughter.
Phoebe tries to wink back, but fails. She could never wink. Eli laughs at her, and Phoebe smiles at her dad. When she looks out the passenger side window, her smile abruptly disappears and turns into worry.
Phoebe had always been aware that her dad believed she was a weird kid. She did not expect him to understand. He was never capable of understanding the protocols of lives, and to explain it to him would take away what he set out to learn in this life.
The poor man has a lot more to go to reach a higher awareness of all that is, and all that ever was, Phoebe thought.
They arrive at Gertie’s, and Phoebe waves at Gertie behind the counter. Gertie’s pastry shop is a wonderful place. The ambiance provides a warm and cozy environment. Phoebe loves the rich cedar wood walls and floors that envelopes the shop. She adores the string of lights that hangs along the counter and the ceiling. Gertie would always have white flowers on the counter and on the tables. When she opened the shop, Phoebe told her, “white flowers are my favorite! They are so ethereal!” Gertie smiled and said, “me too, little one!” Phoebe was only two years old.
Phoebe loves the pastries, but most of all Phoebe loves Gertie. Gertie had been her advisor, her lady’s maid, her friend and comrade in arms in the lives before.
“Hi Gertie! I’m going to claim my table!”
“Hi Phoebs! All yours, darling!”
Phoebe places her backpack on her favorite able and runs back to her dad who is standing in line.
“Ohhhh can I have a macaron for right now? And, can we bring some of them for mama?”
“Sure, pumpkin. Just one macaron though. We’re going to have dinner soon.”
Phoebe selects the macarons while Gertie folds the white treat box to place them in.
“Gertie, I’ll take one raspberry, three chocolate, and four vanilla, please.”
“Sure thing, your highness!”
Phoebe giggles, “dad says I can have one now. I’ll eat the raspberry. Did you make the jam yourself?”
“Yes, of course! I know it’s your favorite!”
Phoebe smiles at Gerite, but stops when she saw Gertie’s worried face. She follows Gertie’s glance and notices that she is looking at her Dad. When Phoebe looks at Eli, his eyes are distant as if is not in his present state. He continue to have a faraway look as if he is contemplating, or is simply not in the moment
“Dad? Dad, what macarons would you like?” Phoebe tucks at his jacket sleeve.
Eli blinks a few times, and looks at his daughter. He looks at her intently, and shakes his head. Phoebe is his daughter.
“Sorry, Phoebe,” he says, “Gertie, I’ll take a chocolate, please.”
“Sure thing, Eli. I’ll get this packed up for you,” she says as she gives Phoebe a quick glance, and Phoebe nods in return. The two of them: a woman in her 40s, and a ten year-old exchanges a look that has passed between them a million times before.
Careful, Bella. Careful.
Eli pays for the pastries, and as he reaches out for the box, Gertie tells him, “go ahead Eli, I’m going to add a little something for the little one here.” Eli smiles at Gertie and nods his thanks and walks to Phoebe’s favorite table.
“Bella, ton per se reveille. Vous devriez donc agir prudemment avec votre peuple.” Gertie whispers. Tread lightly with your people.
“Oui, je comprend, mon amie,” Phoebe whispers back, and nods as she walks back to the table where Eli is waiting for her.