Snow crunched beneath his feet as he marched down
the street, eager to escape the bitter cold wind. On the way to his
car, Daniel passed The Peacock and Eagle Pub. Laughter erupted
inside catching his attention. He stopped and peered in the window.
Mugs of frothy beer held high above several men’s heads soon emptied
with a raucous roar. A fireplace emitted radiant heat.
Daniel pulled the door open and stepped inside,
rubbing his hands. He selected a chair near the fire. Glowing embers
of orange warmed him as he slipped off his coat and strung it over
the back of his chair.
“What can I get you?” The bartender wiped his
hands on a semi-clean cloth.
“I’ll have a beer.” Daniel knew he should head
home. His wife, Emma, and daughter, Eliza would be waiting. He
watched as the bartender filled a heavy glass mug with beer.
“Here you go.”
Daniel’s gaze roamed the pub. Everyone looked the
same, tired, worn out after a hard days work and anxious to find
something to relieve the monotony and boredom and solitude of every
An hour and three beers later, Daniel left the
pub, hailed a taxi and headed home. When he opened the front door,
his daughter ran to greet him. “Daddy! I’m so glad you’re home. We
were worried about you.” Eliza wrapped her feminine arms around his
thigh. “Did you have a flat tire? Did you have to stay late and
work? Why are your eyes all red? Why are you late, Daddy?”
Emma rushed into the room and placed a kiss on
Daniel’s cheek, smelling the beer on his breath. Her smile changed
to a scowl of disappointment. She took her husband’s coat and hung
it up in the front closet. Without uttering another word, she headed
into the kitchen in an attempt to salvage the overcooked supper
she’d spent so much time preparing.
Daniel and Eliza stood near the front door. He
looked down at the four year old girl. “I guess your mum is angry
with me. Why don’t you go upstairs and play with your dolls for a
few minutes while I go and talk to your mum.”
“All right, Daddy. I’d give her a big kiss, if I
was you.” With that, Eliza ran up the stairs and disappeared into
As she played with her dolls she heard shouting
coming from the kitchen. She dropped her toys and ran to the door,
placing her ear against it. “Oh no. Mummy and Daddy are fighting.” A
few minutes later she heard Emma running up the steps and slamming
her bedroom door shut.
Eliza opened her bedroom door. She saw her father
standing at the bottom of the steps. His eyebrows arched towards his
nose and his lips were clenched in anger.
Sobs echoed through her parent’s bedroom walls.
Eliza turned the door knob and entered the room. “Mum, are you all
right? You’re not hurt, are you?”
Emma lifted her head. Tear-stained cheeks,
swollen and red, glanced at the girl. “Mum’s all right. I’m just
sad. Your dad and I had a disagreement. Everything will be all
Eliza stroked her mum’s tears away. “Mum, do you
ever miss heaven?”
Emma sat on the edge of the bed. “Why do you say
things like that, Eliza?”
“I miss heaven. Nobody in heaven ever shouts at
each other and everyone is happy. You know what, Mum? I think you’re
Emma burst out crying. “Eliza, let Mum be alone
for a while. Go down and talk to your dad. I’ll be down in a few
“All right, Mum.” Eliza closed the door gently
and went down the stairs. Her father sat in the living room. “You’re
sitting in the dark, Daddy.” She moved closer to him.
He opened his arms and she fell into them.
“Daddy, there’s an angel crying upstairs.” Eliza
kissed his stubbly cheek.
“An angel?” He gazed into his daughter’s eyes.
“Mum. She’s an angel. She came from heaven. God
sent her here to love you and me. I don’t like to see angel’s cry,
Daddy.” Eliza lowered her head in sorrow.
Daniel fought back tears. He reached for Eliza’s
chin and raised it, so their eyes met. “You’re right, Eliza. Your
mum is an angel and so are you. I need to go upstairs and talk to
her. Can you set the table until we’re finished?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. I’ll go and set it.” She rushed
into the dining room and grabbed a handful of cutlery.
She’d no sooner finished when her mum and dad
came downstairs, hand in hand and both smiling. Eliza ran over to
them and hugged them both. “You both have red eyes now.”
Daniel and Emma couldn’t help but laugh. “You
know what, Eliza?”
“You are the angel. Come on; let’s cook some
chips and beans. We’ll let the cat have the rest of the food.” Emma
took her daughter’s hand in hers.
Love spread across Daniel’s face as he followed
his two angels into the kitchen.