The Knight

It was past Blake’s bedtime but he had to finish his drawing. It was a knight with all his armor. Tomorrow is the art competition at school and he must submit his picture to the teacher. His brother was already sleeping so he tried to work quietly. He didn’t want his mom and dad to wake up. They, again, had one of their fights. They were so mad at each other, they even forgot to check on him and tell him good night. He hates it when that happens. The knight didn’t look happy. Blake tried changing the mouth, the eyebrows, the nose, but nothing helped. Well, too late now. Maybe in the morning he will fix it. Time to sleep.

“Hey! Hey!”

Blake jumped out of his bed.

“What?” he looked at his brother across the room in the other bed. He was sleeping.

“Hey! It’s me. On the table.”

He got up and reached for the table near his bed. The only thing on the table was the knight picture.

“What took you so long?” said the knight.

“I was sleeping. How can you talk? You are my picture.” Blake was surprised.

“So? Does that mean I can’t talk?”

“Never mind. I am tired and I am probably dreaming. What do you want?” Blake just wanted to go back to bed.

“I need your help,” said the knight.

“My help? I can’t help a knight. I am only a kid.”

“You are the one that drew me in the picture. You didn’t draw a helmet on my head. I need my helmet.”

“This is my picture, not yours. I drew you holding the helmet in your hand. I wanted it to be a smiling knight. Not a knight with a helmet that covers his face. ”

“Well, I am not smiling now, smart guy!” the knight said rudely, “I lost it. I need you to draw it again, and this time on my head.”

“I need to go to sleep now. Maybe if I have time in the morning before school I will add the helmet,” Blake just wanted to end the conversation.

“You can’t go to sleep now!” the knight almost cried, “The joust is about to start. I need my helmet!”

“What is a joust?” Blake had never heard of it.

“How can you draw a knight without knowing what a joust is? Jousting is a sport in which two knights on horses fight with lances.”

“And a lance is a kind of sword?”

“Not exactly. It is a long wooden shaft, which we use to knock down the other knight from the horse. I must win the joust and I can’t do it without my helmet. Come, “ a small hand stretched out of the drawing, “Help me look for it.”

Blake looked at the hand. He didn’t move.

“My mom told me to never go with strangers”, he said.

“I am not a stranger. I am your knight!” the knight screamed. “Please help me”, he begged.

Well, Blake thought to himself, he has a point. I drew him, so I might as well help him find the helmet.

“I can come but I have to be back in time for school tomorrow morning”

“Don’t worry. You will not be late for school,” smiled the knight.

Blake reached for the hand. His room disappeared. He found himself in the middle of a big field surrounded by hundreds of cheering people. The knight was near him on the horse. On the other side of the field was the other knight, ready for the fight. Suddenly, the crowd got quiet and sat down. Only one man with a long white beard wearing a red and white robe remained standing.

“This is the king”, whispered the knight.

“I am calling for the beginning of the joust,” announced the king, “are you ready?”

“I am not ready!” said the knight quickly, “I am missing my helmet.”

“Your helmet?” the king was surprised, “where is it?”

“He drew it in my hand instead of on my head, ” he pointed at Blake.

“It’s not my fault”, screamed Blake, “You lost it.”

“Calm down, you two.” said the king, “Now, Blake, can you please describe what the helmet looks like?”

“It is a blue helmet with a red rose on top of it,” said Blake.

“Are you sure about the rose?” the knight didn’t like the idea of a rose.

“Yes, I am sure about the rose!” Blake didn’t like questions about his drawing.

“Did anybody see a blue helmet?” the king asked the crowd.

“With a red rose on top of it!” yelled Blake.

“With a red rose on top of it”, the king smiled softly.

A woman came out of the crowd and got closer to the king. It was Blake’s mom. She had a blue helmet in her hand. “Here it is,” she said handing the helmet to the king.

“It is blue,” said the king, “but I don’t see a red rose. I am not sure it is the right helmet”.

“The rose was there. I am sure I drew it just before I fell asleep”, yelled Blake.

“Maybe you just dreamt that you drew it?” said the king.

“No, I didn’t dream about it. I did draw the rose. Besides, how could I have dreamt about it if I am dreaming now?”

“Are you sure you are dreaming now?” smiled the king.

“Well…” Blake wasn’t so sure anymore.

“I am sorry,” said the king to the knight, “I can not give you the helmet if Blake says it is not the helmet he drew.” He returned the helmet to Blake’s mom.

“I don’t care about the red rose! I just want my helmet!” the knight was very frustrated.

“Wait!” a man came out of the crowd and approached the king. It was Blake’s dad. “I found the red rose. It just fell off the helmet. “ He approached Blake’s mom like he didn’t know her. “Can you please give me the helmet to see if the rose fits?” Blake’s mom handed him the helmet with some suspicion. His dad pushed the rose’s stem into a hole in the helmet.

“So, what do you think?” He asked the king “Does it fit?”

“I am not the one who drew it,” said the king “we need to ask the boy. Blake what do you say?”

Blake got closer to the king, took the helmet and checked it. He looked at his mom and dad. The crowd was silent. Everyone was waiting for his word.

“It fits! This is the red rose I painted,” he said. The entire crowd cheered. The king and the knight smiled to each other. His mom and dad hugged and kissed.

The knight got down from the horse, gave Blake a hug and took the helmet.

“Do you want to stay and watch the fight? You can sit near the king”, said the knight.

“I really want to but I am very tired and I don’t want to be late for school,” Blake was disappointed.

“I understand,” the knight was very friendly now. He hugged Blake and jumped on the horse, “Don’t forget to check for the rose when you wake up.”

“Wake up?” asked Blake.

“Wake up, Blake. Wake up. ” It was his mom, “you don’t want to be late for school. It is the big art competition today and you drew a beautiful knight”.

“The knight!” whispered Blake. He jumped to the table. His drawing was there. A knight with a blue helmet in his hand. And a red rose sticking out of it.

“I like the rose.” It was his dad behind him. “Goes well with the blue helmet.” He winked at Blake’s mom. Blake looked at them and smiled. The knight looked happy.

I miss my little kids

I miss them fighting for me to sleep on their side of the bed,

I miss them holding me in the swimming pool like I am everything in their world,

I miss them running at me when I come to pick them up from the daycare like it’s the first time they see me in their lives,

I miss them insisting that I will hold them in my hands since they are too tired to walk,

I miss them holding me so tight when we walk on the street that my hand hurt,

I miss them saying “This is my dad” to their friends at kindergarten when I come for lunch,

I miss the time I could let them win the games without them even noticing it,

I miss the time I could play with them in the car pretending it is a spaceship and I have a button which makes it fly, about to press it, and they actually wait for something to happen,

I miss the time they jumped on my back and it felt like a cat,

I miss the time I asked them “who is your best friend in the world?” and they said “you”,

I miss the time I played superman with them, ran to the bathroom, and they believed me when I said I flew outside and came back from the drain,

I miss the time they hide under my blanket and they were sure I had no idea where they were,

I miss the time I told them “everything is OK, daddy is here” and they actually believed me,

I miss the time I could put on them their pajamas two sizes smaller and they didn’t even notice it,

I miss the time they wanted me to read them ten books before they go to sleep and they were mad at me because I got tired after the sixth one,

I miss the time they needed me to go with them to the restroom and had to announce it so I will take them,

I miss the time they kicked me and punched me and it didn’t hurt,

I miss the time I was running faster than they did and had to slow down to let them win,

I miss the time we walked and got to a traffic light and a small hand reached to my hand like there is no other way to pass,

I miss the time we played soccer and they were running around the ball since they had no idea what to do,

I miss the time they said “yesterday” and meant “three years ago”,

I miss the time they gave me a hug and it didn’t feel like they were in a hurry,

I miss the time they thought water is the only drink in the world,

I miss the time I explained simple things about the world and they would be excited like we just landed on the moon,

I miss the time I was waiting to take them to new places knowing I was actually opening the world in front of their eyes,

I miss the time we played hide and seek and they really thought I had no idea where they were,

I miss the time they were never tired and were eager to stay awake and learn new things about the world, until their eyes said “enough”,

I miss the time I played board games with them and they didn’t feel as though something better was waiting behind the door,

I miss the time I was proud to swim fast in the swimming pool so they would be impressed,

I miss the time I told them “today we are going to the park” and they just said “yay” and hurried to the door,

I miss the time they told me they don’t want me to get old,

I miss the time they were impressed by every small toy I bought,

I miss the time they were innocent, the time they needed me, the time their small hearts and bodies were still part of me,

I miss my little kids.