Her mittened hand felt small and cold in his. Even though the wool hat hid her face he knew she was crying.
“Two more times around, honey,” he said, voice almost obscenely cheerful. “Then we can go get some cocoa.”
Twice more they made their laborious way around, her ankles splaying birdlike despite the heavy leather of the skates. Other skaters whirred past as they struggled. He knew it was tough, perhaps even cruel, but he could not become one of those weekend Santa-daddies who taught their children nothing.
Over the promised cocoa she stared at the park with hatred.