The drive was in a comfortable silence, our fingers intertwined in each other’s and placed on Josh’s lap. My mind whirled with a million thoughts, ideas, scenarios, I couldn’t focus on just one and commit to it. I had the control, I had the power. Now, I just had to make sure to keep it.
“We should really discuss when we should talk to your Dad about you moving in with me” he stroked his thumb gently against my skin. “Hmm, I’ve been thinking about that” I looked out my window. “Well?” he urged. I slowly moved my head in his direction, my eyes traveling along his handsome face. “Would it be horrible to ask for more time? I just don’t want to spring it on him” I knew the answer would be no, I knew I was most likely crossing a very thin line, but hell, why not? What’s the worst that could happen? He could say no, he could yell, be mad at me for a while? Sighing, he squeezed my hand in his a little, “Sweetheart, it was tough for the both of us to even give you the week, which might I add, isn’t over yet. I just don’t know about giving you more time away from us. We’re trying to build a home with you” his eyes flickered in my direction. "I know” I nodded. “It’s just,” I paused and looked out my window “I’m going to miss him” I whispered, my eyes welling up with tears. I really was going to miss my dad, we had a nice, comfortable and reliable routine. We could always count on each other, be honest with each other and we always knew, good or bad, we would always love each other. I was a true daddy’s girl and he was my personal superhero. “I know, sweetheart,” he pulled up in front of my house, leaned over and gave me a tender kiss to the cheek. “but, we all go through it. Move out of childhood homes and become independent people” he gave me a small smile. I returned his smile with a sad one and a nod “Yeah” I sighed. I reached for the handle but before exiting I turned back to Josh “Please don’t sit here all night.” I eyed him “I worked it out with Jason to call him before bed, I’ll do the same for you. Deal?” Josh chuckled lightly “Deal” he leaned in and placed a kiss on my lips and I exited the car. I walked up my path, thoughts consuming me, but I made sure I gave Josh a smile and a wave goodbye, like a good little girl.
“Hey pumpkin” I could hear the happiness in my Dad’s voice, a genuine smile appeared on my face when I walked into the kitchen to greet him with my own hello and a kiss on the cheek. We spoke of our day, did our work together and had dinner on the couch while we watched our favorite shows. Before bed, I walked over to my Dad, gave him a tight hug and let him know how much he meant to me. Of course this threw up red flags for him but I assured him, I was only saying how I felt because I know I didn’t tell him enough. He teased me, pinched my cheeks and told me I was his little princess. I swatted his hands and went up to bed laughing to the point of tears welling in my eyes.
I looked out my window and was content knowing Jason or Josh weren’t hiding in the shadows. I slipped into bed and stared at my screen, who shall I call first? I pressed the speed dial and waited for it to connect.
“Hey, Josh, what are you up to?”
“Just some school work, are you calling it a night?”
“Mmhmm,” I hummed, my eye lids feeling heavy. “just wanted to call and say goodnight”
Josh chuckled and I could hear papers shuffling in the background. “Goodnight sweetheart, I’ll see you in the morning, ok?”
“Ok” I yawned.
“I love you, babe” his voice husky and low had my eyes flutter open.
“I know, take your time. I just want you to know I love you” there was a hint of disappointment but over all I knew he understood why I couldn’t say those words back to him.
“Goodnight, babe” He always loved when I called him babe.
“Goodnight” I heard his smile. I disconnected the call and rolled to my side. Another press of the speed dial and I waited for it to connect.
“Hi love, how was your evening?”
“Good. Dad and I watched a bunch of our favorite sitcoms” I smiled.
“A night of Supernatural, Gotham and Hawaii Five-O, sounds like a good night to me” I smiled and rolled on to my back, my fingers playing with my hair.
“You know us so well” I laughed.
“Of course! I still want to spend the rest of my life with you, baby. I know I screwed up my chances with your Dad, we’ll never become the close friends I had wished to become. But, I still want to know about him, how he’s doing, what he’s been up to. In my heart I still consider him my future father-in-law” I giggled, actually giggled. I even felt a bloom of heat cover my cheeks. “I love when you laugh like that” I covered my face with my hand, sleep no longer pulling me in. When Jason and I finally decided to call it a night, it was three-thirty in the morning. I hung up with an honest smile and a flutter in my stomach.
Lying in bed I pondered, have I forgiven him? Or has my reality been shadowed with something dark and dangerous? Either way, I think I was falling in love with Jason, all over again.