Is Trying Enough?I pump my arms at my sides and focus on the quickly approaching barn. My bare feet pound the soft earth as I sprint towards the safe haven. I hear Daisy's breathing behind me as she attempts to catch up. I can almost sense her presence a foot behind me. Luckily, I duck into the barn just before she gets close enough to tag me. I climb the ladder to the hayloft two steps at a time.
With all my might, I leap off the hayloft and grab onto the rope. I swing over the hay pile down below and laugh giddily. I look at Daisy, still in the hayloft, trying to grab onto the rope. Just as she manages to touch the end of the rope, I drop down into the hay pile underneath me. She giggles and lets go of the rope.
"Look out below!" Daisy shrieks, jumping off of the hayloft and landing on my chest and knocking the air out of me. We collapse in a fit of laughter.
"Girls!" I hear Mama's voice ring out from the house. "We have some important news for y'all!"
Daisy and I race to the house and slide into our chairs at the kitchen table. Mama scrubs the dishes dutifully and sighs. "What is it, Mama?" Daisy asks.
"Emma... Daisy... Now, don't take this too hard, girls, but your Daddy's gonna go off to fight in the Vietnam war," Mama says. She wipes her hands on her apron and turns to face us. "Darlings... I- I know it's hard, but Daddy's a strong fighter. He'll- he'll come back, I can feel it."
Mama nods towards the parlor. "He's in there," she says.
I slowly walk towards the parlor. "Daddy?" I call out. I see him there, sitting on the couch. He turns to look at me.
"Hey, Emma!" he says, welcoming me into his arms. I breathe in his familiar scent of hay and gasoline. I stay in his arms for a while. He finally lets me go and stares me straight in the eyes. "I'll try as hard as I can to come back to you." He stands up and goes into the kitchen to say goodbye to Daisy, leaving me with a question in my throat:
Is trying enough?