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Pinky Promise?

Little Katie sat in the lobby of County General Hospital. She twirled the frayed hair of her rag-doll between her fingers. The smell of bleach and poo made her eyes sting but she would not cry. Daddy said big girls don’t cry. He said Katie was a big girl now and Daddy is never wrong.

She tried to ignore hushed voices down the hall by scuffing her shiny buckle shoes on the dingy floor.  She doesn’t have to hear them to know what is what. The doctor has blood all over his clothes. The officer might be crying. He was nice to Katie when he pulled her out of the car. He tried to give her candy but Daddy said Katie should never take candy from strangers. He is a stranger and Daddy is never wrong.

Katie could also see the funny lights dancing down the halls. Katie couldn’t count high enough to count all the lights. And she heard them singing. It was the song  Daddy sang every night after Momma went. He said she use to sing it to Katie. Daddy told Katie that Momma had gone home because she was weary.

The song made Katie think of warm blankets on a cold day or chocolate ice cream in the hot summer. It smelled like cotton candy and apple pie. Then, there was the face that always filled her mind halfway through. A face like Daddy’s but better. The face loved Katie and she liked to look at it. She knew if she was ever afraid all she had to do was close her eyes, hum the song and he was there. And if she listened really, really hard, Katie could hear him singing too.

Katie was afraid now. She set her doll down beside her, closed her eyes and hummed with the lights. Everything around her began to sway. Her feet no longer scuffed the dirty floor and the hushed voices faded to silence. The sounds were replaced by trickling water and a single voice singing.

He was singing.

Katie opened her eyes and she was no longer in the stinky hospital. She was in a meadow. And there before her was the face of her song. The face that made her think of all the most wonderful things. He stopped singing and smiled at Katie.

“Hi,” Katie said.

“Hi!” He smiled bigger and motioned for Katie to come closer.

“I know you,” Katie said as she moved a step closer.

“I know you too, Katie.” He placed his hands in his lap and waited.

Katie looked around. Butterflies swam through rainbows and fish flew through waterfalls. Katie had only ever dreamed of such a silly place. She took another step forward.

“Daddy said I’m not allowed to talk to strangers.”

The smile slipped from his face. “I’m sorry I had to take him, Katie. I can’t tell you why but it was important. And I thought we already said we knew each other?”

Katie bit her lip and laced her hands behind her back. She thought about it. Really, she had known this man as far back as she could remember.  She thought it might be okay with Daddy if she talked with the man now that she was all alone.

“Oh Katie, you are never alone. I promise you. And I never break my promises.”

“Pinky promise?” Katie took the last steps to the tree stump the man was sitting on and held out her tiny finger.

“Pinky promise,” he said as he held out his.

Their fingers intertwined and they shook. Katie gasped when she looked at his hand.

“Did that hurt?” Katie ran her finger over the scar on the back of the man’s hand.

“Yep!”

“As bad as my heart does now?” Katie asked as she looked up with doughy eyes.

“Yep!”

Katie continued to rub her finger over the bubbled thin skin. “Did you cry?”

“Yep!”

“Daddy says big girls don’t cry and Daddy is always right.”

“Yes but Daddy forgot the last part of that.” The man placed his other hand over Katie’s, showing another scar there as well.

“Wh…what is the last part?” Katie’s lip trembled.

“Big girls don’t unless they have someone to catch all their tears.”

“Well, that’s silly,” Katie said.

“It is but it is true. Just try and I will show you that I can catch all your tears. I promise.”

Katie thought about it. He did say he never breaks his promises. And he did pinky promise. “How?”

“How do you cry? I will show you how to hurt then heal.” He looked deep into Katie’s eyes.

In that instant Katie could see a beautiful woman laughing. She knew it was her Momma. Her throat felt very thick. Then a picture of her doggie, Jack that was hit by a truck last year. Her stomach rolled. Last, her Daddy swinging her around until she was dizzy. He giggled and so did Katie.

A salty sea shed from Katie’s eyes.  She couldn’t hold it back any longer. Her head dropped and her tiny shoulders heaved. Warm blanket arms wrapped around her and he began to rock and sing.  Katie cried until she had no ocean left to pour forth.

She hiccuped and went to wipe her eyes. They were dry. She looked at him and he smiled. In his hand were a lot of diamonds in two bottles.

“What are those?”

“They are your tears, sweet one. I told you I would catch them all.” He put the bottles in his pockets. Then, he softly swiped the stray hair from Katie’s brow.

“I have nowhere to go. Can I stay with you?” Katie asked.

“How about I stay with you instead?”

“How?”

He placed his hand on Katie’s back and rubbed. “In here, my treasure. Forever if you want.”

“Pinky promise?” Katie held up her tiny finger once again.

“Pinky promise.”

Katie closed her eyes as something warm shot up her finger and filled her heart. It caused her to take a deep breath like when she went under water to swim. The throbbing ache that had been there since Daddy swerved off the road stopped. It was replaced with the song. Light filtered through her eyes and she could hear hushed voices down the hall once again.

Joshua 1:5 KJV

There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will not fail you, nor forsake you.

Psalms 56:8

Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll– are they not in your record?


Peace, love and God’s will.

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About Diane Graham

Diane Graham lives in the mountains of eastern Oklahoma with her husband, children and many dogs. She is an avid reader and lover of all art forms that encapsulate imagination and goodness. Her debut novel I Am Ocilla was released in March 2012.

41 comments on “Pinky Promise?

  1. Thanks for making me cry. :D

  2. Not cool, Vaulter. I have to go to work and I’m a blubbering mess! Good thing I don’t wear makeup or I’d have to wash my face and start over for the day.

    My favorite phrase? “the face of her song.” Beautiful.

    Thank you.

  3. Beautiful! Beautiful!

    Robynn – you took my favorite phrase! May we share? ;)

    But really, why do you guys insist on making me cry first thing in the morning? lol!

  4. My dearest youngest daughter,

    One of my very favorite hymns! I feel like running home to him every time I hear it. We are all that child!

  5. […] greater gifts from the Father than anything else.  My friend, Diane wrote a beautiful short story, Pinky Promise?, that truly touched my heart this morning.  God wanted to continue this simple message of love as […]

  6. oh, Diane, you are a writer for Him indeed. Gorgeous, gorgeous gorgeous. And Anointed.

  7. Sniff. Excellent….now you’ll have to excuse me a moment, I seem to have something in my eye.

  8. I have to agree with the first comment. Wow. Just wow.

    And then with all the others as well, I’m a blubbering mess…but in a good way. Thank you for this cherished moment, Diane. (I knew you were a great writer!)

    • Aww…I am blushing. I mean it when I say my mind was hitting a brick wall last night. I took to Him and asked that He give me something to share for His glory. God never fails me. Never. =)

  9. My dearest youngest daughter,

    Just last week, a mean spirited comment had you down and out and God in His wonderful comfort just hugged you! He is a gracious God.

  10. Nice detail. There are a group of unbelievers who balk at Christianity because of “the question of evil”, as in when little girls lose both parents and become orphans. I wonder how they would like/ hate this story?

    • Ha! They would hate it because I am a believer that acknowledges loss and unfairness but shows the glory of God even in suffering. Thanks, Frank. :D

  11. Um, OK, I left a comment way earlier today and it’s not on here! What happened? WordPress burp?

    Anyway, awesome job, Diane. Really, really beautiful.

  12. Finally got around to reading this. Very nice. This is like the opposite side of the same coin as my story!

  13. Lovely, Diane, simply lovely. ;)

  14. My dear Turtle suggested I read this post. I usually read them all, just not on the day they are written. Your story touched my heart. You are a gifted writer, don’t stop.

  15. This is beautiful, especially the week I have had. It’s wonderful to know HE is catching and carrying all the tears that fall from life’s hurt. If I can figure out how to print this, I would like to share with a therapist friend of mine. She works with a lot of hurting women. She has stated one of the biggest obstacles in working with these women is their belief they cannot cry. My mind is working overtime how I could print this with a picture of Jesus catching tears. But wait, this is your story and I don’t have a right to do that. But it would be a great image for her office.

    Thank you – More importantly – Praise God for using your writing.

  16. Ugh. I really needed this. I am boohoo-ing. With Ray gone for training for a month before deployment, I have been feeling very alone. This really put me in my place. Thank you Sis, and God, and Jesus.

  17. You truly have a talent cousin of mine. :)

  18. I don’t have a clue if you ever took me seriously that you are prophetic….but you are! And God let’s you see things “first” so that you can intercede and comfort. That is my gift from G-d too , that is why I recognized it in you early on. If you look at the date of this dimensional , alive story and think about some a tragedy that occurred to someone on the 4th, you will know who I am talking about ( I hope)….stunning how God works. I am always thanking you for your creative gift, I will continue to do that.

    But he that prophesieth, speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

    -I Corinthians 14:3

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