by bestdianneever

There's always this person who makes us feel different, a person that makes us feel we are someone different from anybody else. Someone who stands out from the rest. Someone lucky enough to be different.
Twilight crawls in every corner of the room. The sun had fallen down, stars start to climb up the night sky. The sounds of cricket began to be heard, fireflies surround the mango tree outside. It was in the middle of December and the cold breeze swiftly touches everything. The smell it brings is a combination of strawberry syrup and chocolate cake.
The door flies open. Then there enter a little girl named Ina who was about ten years old, with her doll, Emma. Her pair of gray eyes are wet from crying. She badly needs someone to talk to, someone who will understand.

A couple of minutes ago, she's outside, trying to join all of the other kids in their games. And Ina, who was interested in joining, tries to approach them and ask if she could join but they did not let her. Instead, they teased her for being such a bookworm who doesn't know the rules in playing games. And it does not only end there, because her doll Emma was taken away from her by the other kids and told her Emma should be thrown away, far, far away.
But lucky for her she was able to get Emma back in her arms. So she went home crying.
"Elise? You there?" Ina knocked in her sister's room door hoping she'll let her in and make her feel better. Elise is 8 years older than Ina and she is already in college.
"Who's there?" she hear her yell from inside. Her hope had arisen.
"It's me, Ina. Can we talk?" She replied ready to go in.
"Some other time, Ina. I'm busy." She yelled but Ina knew better, Elise is probably chatting with her new boyfriend and has no time for her anymore.
With little hope in her heart, she stepped back.
But then she heard a familiar voice. "Hey there, princess."
A voice enough for her to stand paralyzed, unable to believe if it is really him or not. Maybe it is not really him. Maybe Ina is just dreaming or hallucinating. It could not be him.
But she turned around only to meet her father's eyes.
"Did you cry? My princess should not be crying. I told her to be brave, now come here.." his arms extended for a hug.
"Dad!" Another wave of tears began flowing on her cheeks. She never thought he would be home soon. She could cry in happiness all night.
"Ssshhhhh. Did I make my princess cry? I'm sorry," he says with a voice too calming.
Ina's father works abroad. He seldom went home, and Ina misses him so much. More than anything else in the world.
"Dad, you're here.." those are the only words she managed to say. She even pinched her father on his cheeks to check if he is really there. And she was convinced when he said, "Oww!"
"Elise! Mom! Judd! Dad's here..." Her energy poured as she informed the rest of the family about her big news.
And then they all went running where Ina and her father is.
"Rouge is that really you?" Mom. Starts crying.
"Why didn't you tell us you're coming home?" Elise.
"Dad, welcome back!" Judd.
"Surprise!" He said with Ina beside him. And now, Ina is smiling like she has won a lottery. Having her father home, for Ina, is more than winning millions.
Later that night, the whole Harris family joined for dinner. They talk about her father's experiences out of the country. And although Ina is completely left out, it doesn't really matter. She's just there, eating with her father, with the whole family. It feels so good for Ina to listen to her father talk, listen to him laugh and to eat beside him.
Dinner has never been so good when you're eating with your loved ones.
"Dad, will you tell me bedtime stories?" she asked after dinner had ended.
"Sure. But tell me the reason why you cried first." Ina looked down and decided to tell what has happened about her and the rest of the kids.
"Ina, there is nothing wrong with being a bookworm. As long as you're not hurting anyone. As long as this heart," he pointed Ina's heart."....remains true. And as long as it gives love. And that's what matters the most."
Ina smiled after hearing what her father told her. She feels completely different. She feels brave and wonderful. With her father beside her, she realized that tonight is one of the best moments in her life so far.
"Dad, would you tell me about yourself, instead?"
"What about myself? I am just a man, Ina. Nothing special."
No, dad. You are not just a man. You're more than that. You are everything. Everything that the world has ever created. You're a man with infinite sacrifices. A man with hope despite the problems. A man who stands out. You're more than just a man who wishes me good night. A man ready to face tomorrow with a smile. You're that man.
"You aren't just a man, dad. You're more than that."
"If that's what you think. Now, you better go to sleep princess. Good night," and he kissed Ina's forehead as a sign of his love for his daughter.
"I love you, dad." Were the last words she uttered before she dozed off to sleep. And everything went quite as Ina entered her dreamland.
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