Not mine! I’m not into those creepy-weird adventures, come on! No, it was The Father of the most beautiful, gentle and smiley little girl I’ve ever seen in my entire life. And her father may well be the most charming, gentle and smiley man I’ve ever met. But, you know, sometimes you have to be selfless and think about the happiness of others before your own so… Yeah. Let me explain…
I was working late at The Bookstore, trying not to worry too much about how this end-of-semester was attempting to kill me when a little finger touched the back of my leg.
“Excuse me, madam,” said a tiny, shaking voice. I don’t like being called “Madam”, but I don’t mind at all when it comes from a small girl with huge, pink cheeks.
“Can I help you?” I answered, lowering myself to the girl’s level.
Her big eyes were filled up with tears, it crushed my heart instantly.
“I lost my father…”
“Don’t worry, we’re going to find him together,” I said taking her hand before she had the time to really start crying. My heart just couldn’t stand being double-crush.
I was heading to the cashiers’ counter to ask one of them to call out for the parents when I spotted a man with a pink star sticky on his cheek holding a Dora the Explorer backpack, looking anxiously around the store.
Or he was the father of the little thing holding my hand, or he had some particular styling habits…
As soon as he spotted us, he ran into our direction.
“There you are, honey!” The Father said, picking up his daughter. “Thank you for helping her out,” he added out to me.
“Oh, that’s nothing!” I answered.
“Maybe you could help us some more? It’s the birthday of her friend and I’d like to give her a book instead of some useless plastic toy she’ll forget about the second it leaves her sight!”
Normally, I would have direct him to my colleague in the Children’s Literature section, but they were just so adorable, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with them.
I know I’m not old yet (I’ll turn 23 this June!), but when you have your first crush on a father, it makes you realize you’re growing older. It had never happened to me before! But The Father was just too good-looking.
But you know, he also was a father. So chances were there was a gorgeous mother not far away, shopping some boring home supplies while pushing a stroller and carrying junior-the-third in her belly. So I figured this one would stay in the category of The Unfulfilled Desire (right next to The Teacher, but with less disappointment).
Except when I was helping him choose a book, The Little-Girl said something that caught my attention:
“Will Mommy be there at the birthday party?”
“No, honey. It’ll only be you and me.”
“But why?” answered The Little-Girl with a cute sad voice.
“You know it’s not her week. You’ll see her Monday,” he told his girl before saying to my intention: “Sorry ‘bout that. She is not used to it yet…”
“Divorced, eh?” I said trying not to look too happy. “Must be hard…”
“Yeah… We haven’t even signed the papers yet, but…”
He seemed sad about it, I could easily see how new this situation was. And I only wanted to make him feel a little better when I said:
“Would it be inappropriate if I’d ask you out? Just to have a good time. You look like a great guy who could use a break from life.”
I ended my proposal with my cutest smile. Do you know what? I think I’m getting good at this with some practice!
“That would be fantastic, really,” The Father said with almost a relieved expression. “I would have proposed straight this Saturday, but—” He pointed his child discretely.
“Oh! It’s your choice, but I don’t mind at all! I love her already!”
“Well, great! Just give me your address and I’ll come and pick you up after the birthday!”
All I could think about was how much work I had to do for school that weekend, but I figured out a night off couldn’t do me any harm, so I gladly accepted his offer.
The evening was truly amazing. It made me realize that I wanted the future father of my children to be exactly like him. Watching him interact with his daughter was a pleasure in itself.
We had this lively conversation in the car about the birthday party and how The Little-Girl’s friend loved her book so much, and I couldn’t stop smiling the whole time. Once at The Father’s place, I build a house in Legos with The Little-Girl on the living room floor while her father was cooking us dinner, giving us construction advice from the kitchen island.
Then the three of us ate the lasagna and salad while we talked about pretty much everything. After The Little-Girl took her bath and went to sleep, The Father opened a bottle of wine and we had an adult conversation.
As I suspected, we got on the subject of his almost-ex-wife very fast. They had been together for six years before they mutually decided to end the relationship. They had bumps on the road, like every couple, but from what The Father told me, they were mostly happy together. Until The Little-Girl was born. From that moment on, they stopped being a couple. What set things on fire was how much arguing they had lately about the education of their child, that’s why they concluded that they weren’t really made to be together.
“But deep down, there’s a part of me who feels like we didn’t give ourselves a real shot. We didn’t really try to solve our problems because it seemed impossible. At least I know I did. I felt just too tired to do anything about it,” he told me once the wine made him talkative.
“You miss her, don’t you?” I asked him, even though I knew this conversation wasn’t heading in the I-want-to-get-in-your-pants direction.
“I really do… This night was supposed to be a way to occupy my mind, but it just made me realize how much I missed us being a family. And I know how much it breaks [The Little-Girl]’s heart to see us apart.”
“And did you tell your wife about all of this? It seems to me like you’re ready to make some efforts. It’s not too late for you to try!”
“You know what, you’re right,” he said to me, a real smile appearing on his face. The first real smile I’d seen on him. But it couldn’t help myself, and I sighted.
“I’m sorry… That’s not quite the night you were looking for, eh?”
“Not really, no! But… Your family is more important than this night, that’s why I want to give you something. Do you have a pen and some paper?”
Once he gave me some, I wrote:
Dear [The Almost-Ex-Wife],
It was important to me to write you this note to assure you that I did not have sex with your husband. We had dinner and drink wine while talking about you. [The Father] cares about you very much, and that’s why we didn’t have sex. You have to believe him because he is telling the truth.[Christy Palmer]
P.S.: You’re a lucky woman; you have a beautiful family. I hope you’ll find a way to bring it back together.
“Here’s your ticket out of a bad situation when your girl will mention you had dinner me! Now I think it would be better if I leave right away before I drink too much and I stop caring about your family.”
And I did, but before leaving I gave him a huge hug, asked him to give a hug to his little one for me, and wished him good luck in getting back his wife.
So The Father is going on the Did-Not-Do-Him list, but I’m still glad we met. I hope he’ll find happiness, no matter what will happen. And I hope the future father of my children will be as awesome as him.
But, you know, I’d prefer he wait a bit before coming into my life.
Tell me in the comments!
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