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‘A‘ole Maopopo

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She doesn't understand.

She should have asked, earlier, when they were standing. Waiting. She should have asked, but she didn't, she clammed up like she always did when she could feel tension thrumming in the air like static electricity, when Mommy and Stan fought, when Mommy and Daddy fought. She went quiet and now they are on the plane and Daddy isn't here and Mommy is crying and she still can't speak, the words won't come out, but it's too late anyway, because the plane is in the air and Daddy isn't here.

She turns her head to the black window and she can see her own reflection in it, and she is crying too.

She doesn't understand why they are leaving. She understands that Mommy and Stan have been fighting. She understood when Mommy told her that she doesn't love Stan anymore. She understood when she saw Mommy and Daddy together, hugging and kissing and smiling. Mommy and Daddy love each other again, and that's good. She likes Stan, but he's not Danno.

But she doesn't understand why they are leaving. She misses New Jersey, and a part of her is excited to be going back, excited to see her friends again. But she likes Hawai‘i, too, and she has school tomorrow, and she doesn't understand why they are leaving.

Mostly, she doesn't understand why they are leaving without Daddy. Mommy told her they were going on a trip, all three of them together. She said Daddy would meet them at the airport. She called Daddy from the airport, and she smiled and told her that Daddy was on his way. And they waited, and waited, and waited, and the other people started getting on the plane, and Mommy stopped smiling. She pinched her face up and said things under her breath and they got on the plane without Daddy, and she doesn't understand why.

Because her Daddy is Danno and Danno loves her. And Danno always always keeps his promises... except for sometimes when he has to work instead. She understands that. She's okay with it. It's like those comics Tommy is always reading at recess, about Superman. Superman is a hero. It's his job to fight bad guys, and he has people he loves but sometimes he has to leave them to help everyone, to save everyone from the bad guys.

Danno is like Superman. Her Daddy is a hero. And he promised to be at the airport, and he broke his promise, which means he must be working. He must be fighting bad guys. So they should have waited, they should have taken the trip tomorrow so Daddy could come with them, because Daddy always keeps his promises even if sometimes he is late. They should have waited for Daddy and she doesn't understand why they didn't.

She just doesn't.