I glance down at my watch. Midnight. I turn back slowly to gaze out the window. I can see the city, decked out in Christmas lights. The gently falling snow does little to obscure my view.
I am now 3,650 days late. I wonder, how would my daughter look today? Would she have grown up well?
A sudden, fierce wind rocks the gondola I'm riding. I clutch the seat tightly. I don't like heights, and the Ferris Wheel is bringing me higher all the time. I glance at the toy bear sitting across from me, a beautiful ribbon tied around his neck. She had always wanted a bear like that one. I remember how happy I had been when I found it for her.
...It was hard, living with just the two of us. My wife... the birth was too much for her. Still, I had managed to make ends meet. It had always been worth it. My little girl was everything I had ever wanted. She was smart, well-mannered, and cute, too. I'd have had my hands full keeping the boys away from her.
10 years ago... I had left her home by herself. I still hadn't gotten her a Christmas gift. The bear was perfect, though. I had skipped many meals in the days leading up to that one so I'd be able to afford it for her. On the way home, though, the street was closed off due to snow, and I was forced to take a detour.
If only I had gotten there sooner. When I arrived, my apartment building was ablaze. Nobody knew exactly what the cause was, though they told me that some bad wiring may have been to blame.
I'm brought back to reality by the wheel's gentle stop; I've reached the highest point. As the gondola soothingly rocks, I turn to face the other passenger. The bear smiles at me, knowingly.
I open the door, and step outside.