I’ve been told she’s just like me.
The same wavy hair, heads as round as cantaloupes, almond shaped eyes oozing with chocolate brownness, concave noses, dimpled chins, oval faces.
The only difference, I’m a grown-up man and she’s a tiny four-year-old.
Even her laugh echoes mine, wild and chaotic.
When she walks, her legs move in a rhythmic pattern of long strides. Just like her daddy’s.
It’s not just the physical ties we share, but a deeper, psychological aspect.
I’m cheerful, so is she. I can be stubborn, but nothing can beat her persistence. We both love the outdoors. Our souls crave for the smell of dirt and pine.
Strawberry ice cream tickles our palates, brings out the shine in our greedy eyes. She loves her toy guns, precious hand-me-downs from her doting daddy.
I hear myself when she talks. Those overly rounded ‘R’s, the extended ‘T’s, and slippery ‘S’s. We speak our minds with a lot of heart, talking about everything while really saying nothing.
We sleep on our sides, arms curled over our heads.
Give us rock music any time of the day. She dances herself into a frenzy. I control the urge to join her, don’t want to look like I’m crazy.
And when we’re not mimicking each other, we let ourselves loose with a game of cops and robbers.
She’s the cop, I’m the robber.
I usually hide behind a bush. She sneaks up on me with her toy gun. I jump up and she shoots me.
But this time I don’t pretend.
There’s something red and wet on my shirt. I fall backwards, my head hits the ground.
The gun’s real. It’s mine. Supposed to be under lock and key.
Before my eyes close, I see her tears.
My little girl even cries like me.