He’s at home watching the kids play in front of the TV, he smiles, a sad smile, knowing they’re still innocent and don’t understand why they haven’t eaten dinner, they just know they’re hungry. They’re waiting for mom to get home from her shift to see how much she made in tips. She walks in, they run to her, she gives her little ones a tight squeeze, each a kiss on their foreheads, and she looks at him, he looks at her, his eyes ask the question, and her eyes answer. She goes to the kitchen because she needs to give them something to nibble on before baths and bedtime. She finds a few slices of bread and a little butter left in the tub. They love buttered bread; she smiles knowing they’ll eat it and be happy. Buttered bread is gobbled up, they want more but don’t ask, they get their baths, they get tucked into their little warm beds, night night, love you, see you in the morning, lights out.
She sits with him watching the news, they don’t talk much but they are content in their warm little home, knowing their little ones at least had a little something in their growling tummies before bed. Time for bed, he has an early shift tomorrow, one last cigarette. He steps outside, smoke wafting through the cool night air. Last puff, throws it down, twists it into the ground with the point of his shoe, looks down to make sure the last few embers are put out, suddenly the wind picks up and there at his feet he hears a slight rustling. It’s paper, folded, green, and beautiful.
She’s wondering what’s taking him so long, she hears the front door open she goes to meet him and before she can speak he’s emptying bags, grocery bags, only two but it looks like so much. There is a gallon of milk, a box of frosted flakes, and a loaf of bread, a small tub of butter, bologna, and cheese. And two little red boxes, with golden yellow arches as handles. She stares at him, she doesn’t understand, he hardly understands it himself, she smiles, he smiles, resigned to their unexpected gift. As she begins to put the cornucopia of groceries away he goes to wake the little ones. They dutifully follow their father into the dimly lit kitchen where their mother is brimming; they see the precious little red boxes with the golden arches. Their sleepy eyes widen, their groggy smiles brighten. He looks down at their happy little faces and says “Look what the wind brought us!”I lost a twenty dollar bill last night and I hope the wind took it to someone who needed it.