His shift had been one of those that left him drained and as he slid his key into the lock to the apartment Luka felt the exhaustion left by the long day wrapping itself around him.
"Abby, I'm home." He dropped his satchel and keys on the small table next to the door as he entered the apartment.
"In here. Joe...you hear tata?" Abby's voice carried in from the nursery. "We'll be right out, I'm just doing a diaper change."
"Okay." Moving to the refrigerator, Luka pulled a beer out and twisted the cap off as he made his way back into the livingroom and took a seat on the couch.
"How was your day?" The question followed his first pull off the beer, though he didn't really expect an answer before Abby joined him. Reaching for the remote he switched the television on, only to move quickly through the channels before settling on a soccer match.
"Ready to see tata?" Joe's answering giggle forced him to turn and he immediately reached up to take his freshly changed son.
"Hey, Joe...how's my big boy?" After giving him a kiss he settled the baby onto his lap.
"You got a package today, I think it's from your father." Freed of Joe's care, Abby had moved over to the table to gather up the mail and as she brought it back to the couch she handed a small padded envelope to him.
"You didn't open it?" He was already tearing into it with the question.
"No, it wasn't addressed to me." Abby found herself watching him, just as curious as he was by the unexpected gift.
"It's a book." Luka handed the envelope to Joe, hoping to distract him as he flipped through the pages of the old hardback, it looked familiar, but the significance behind his father having sent it to him was lost. Frowning he looked for a note, and as he opened the book fully to the page marked by the folded slip of paper he saw it. Realization hit him with a force that almost took his breath away as he saw the childish crayon scribbles that seemed to deface the book. Opening the paper revealed a short paragraph in his father's cramped scrawl.
Luka, my son,
I found this on a shelf while cleaning some things away, I think it's our angel Jasna's work, and I knew you would want it. Give my love to Abby and baby Joe.
I love and miss you,
Without saying anything he refolded the letter and slid it back into the book before turning it so that Abby could see the page.
"So many years have passed, how could he know?" The words came softly as he laid his hand on the faded crayon lines, irrational hope looking for a connection to the small girl so long gone.
"He knew I'd want it."