Do You Ever Wonder

“I just don’t fit in, Grandpa,” Fluke said, looking out toward his grandparent’s corn field. “I’m not like everyone else.”

“That’s okay, Fluke. Why do you want to be like everyone else?”

Fluke sighed and shook his head. “It’s easy for you to say that. You’re…you’re…”

“Old? Over the hill? Out to pasture?”

Fluke nodded. “You don’t know what it’s like today.”

“Sure I do. There are sports players who hang out with other sports players. There’s even a hierarchy in sports with football at the top, badminton on the bottom. There are the drama kids who are always rehearsing, even when there isn’t a production going on. There are the –”

“How do you know, Grandpa? You’re not in school!”

Grandpa smiled and turned Fluke around so he could look him in the eyes. “Am I right?”

Fluke nodded.

“Do you ever wonder why your mother named you Fluke?”

“To make my life a living hell?”

Grandpa chuckled. He knew. He understood. He may have gone to school nearly sixty years earlier, but people don’t change. At least, kids don’t change until they grow up, raise kids who act just like they did, then deny they know where it came from.

“No, Fluke,” Grandpa said. “Because you are very special. One of a kind.”

“Yeah, right.” Fluke looked at the floor. He couldn’t look Grandpa in the eye. “If I’m so special, then why…” Tears started to flow down his cheek.

“Why she left?”

Fluke nodded and snuffled.

Grandpa sighed. There was no reason for her leaving. At least, he didn’t really know why she left. She just woke up one morning, asked him to watch Fluke for a while, and never returned. Police stopped looking after two weeks. Twelve years later, she still had not returned.

“Do you ever wonder what life would be like if she took you with her?” Grandpa asked. “You are my Fluke. My second chance to make the world a better place. It was just a fluke you came along. But I am mighty glad you did.”

Fluke wiped his nose and smiled.

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