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Word Count: 363;
He sat in the rain and thought about everything. How the days seemed gloomy and the nights were too alone. He wondered what it had all meant. Did it even mean anything? But then a robin flew down and landed on the grass, hopping this way and that, flicking water with its beak, drinking, looking for whatever bits robins look for. It stopped a moment, cocked its head, and looked him in the eye. It chirped, made two short hops, and flew off. As he watched it fly away, the sun came out, shining through the rain. He smiled, amused, and smiled wider as the sun shone brightly. Maybe things would get better. He started to hum. He paused a moment, stricken, when he realized it had been one of their favorite songs. But then, the robin’s cocked head came to mind again, and he got up, humming, and splashed in the rain, like they had when they were kids. He didn’t give a damn how the people walking in the park frowned at him from beneath their drippy umbrellas. A robin had noticed, and now he felt free, for the first time in weeks. He eased out onto the sidewalk and began walking forward, but now with a spring in his step and a silly grin on his face. “Daddy,” he heard one little child say, “I wanna splash in da puddles too. How comes da man can splash in da puzzles an’ I not can splash inna puddles too?” He was too far away to hear the man’s answer, but he turned around, to see a man and a little boy, splashing through the puddles, hop-skip-jump, hopscotch. It seemed the dad was laughing more than his little preschooler. With a sigh of relief, he turned forward again and left the park. On the sidewalk now, the dad and little son stood laughing together. He didn’t see the man looking after him, a wistful, contented expression, but a question in his eyes.