"Father, where are we going?"
Archibald Cabret smiled down at his son, holding the boy's little hand warmly in his own. Hugo's eyes were round with wonder, staring about him at the many people milling down the streets of Paris. Women's bright skirts swirled, shoe heels clacked on the cobblestones, and men's canes tapped a rhythmic tattoo in tempo to their pace. Archibald watched Hugo with amusement. "It's a surprise," he told Hugo.
His outward appearance of serenity was only for the sake of Hugo. Archibald smiled and laughed when Hugo pointed at the yapping little dog dragging the elderly woman holding the leash. He suppressed the urge to sigh. In reality, his head was aching, and his heart was too.
"Look," he told Hugo, crouching down to his son's height and pointing to the grand building on the corner of the street.
"Les films muets," Hugo read slowly from the lighted sign above the elegant, white marble doors.
"Like seeing your dreams in the middle of the day," his father whispered in his ear.
And it was. Hugo could hardly believe his eyes, as moving pictures told stories while a piano plunked away in the background. It was the most amazing thing he had seen.
It was easy to forget about life, Archibald decided, smiling as Hugo laughed in delight. He wrapped an arm around his son and laughed too, letting himself forget that his wife was dead, and that he could barely support his child with two jobs. Instead, he held his boy close and made the decision to enjoy life and love what he still had while he still had it.