adrift on the Thames.

Lily watched as her dad exchanged pleasantries with the shopkeeper, his laughter mingling with the clink of coins. The painting, wrapped in brown paper, seemed to hold its own story, a silent promise of beauty yet to be revealed.

As they ascended the stairs to the dining area, the aroma of beef Wellington wafted through the air, a savory prelude to the feast that awaited them. The waiter, with a flourish and a smile, presented their meal, the golden crust of the Wellington gleaming under the soft light.

“Here you are,” the waiter said cheerfully. “A meal fit for adventurers and dreamers alike.”

Lily’s stomach rumbled in agreement, and they all laughed—a simple, joyous sound that felt like another piece of the day’s magic.

They ate heartily, the rich flavors of the beef Wellington melding with the buttery pastry, each bite a celebration of the city’s culinary delights. And as they sipped their drinks, Lily thought of the paper boat her dad would soon set sail, carrying their wishes to the stars the phone rang in dads pocket it was the shopman of the art gallery saying dad was stealing a painting meaning he forgot to pay for it dad said reminding himself of it