“No, you’d be the daddy,” she said in her sweet, tiny voice.
It was a wonderful spring day with the perfect weather and the perfect company. Everyone was napping when I took her outside for a walk. She loves walks like this but wouldn’t go by herself. Not because she was too scared (“Only a little bit,” as she always defends), but because she didn’t want to disappoint her mom who’s one rule out of a thousand was to not go exploring in the forest without someone.
The smile that formed on my face was automatic. “And who would you be?”
Feeling all grown up, I conceded in her begging and followed her through the trees before she halted and turned to me fro directions. My little girl was not the best at geography. Not that it’s a bad thing. It only means I get to lead her anywhere I want her to go and she’d follow because she’d be lost otherwise.
Though I already know what she might answer, I still asked her because I wanted to hear it from her lips. However it surprised me when she said, “I’d be the baby.”
Her bright blue eyes danced with mischief behind her newly bought glasses, as she sways the skirt of her blue dress around. It has always been in her eyes. She’s a good girl from head to toe and acts like it, but the fire hidden in her eyes tell a different story.
She insisted on the game, and, sneaky little me chose family as the next category. In three rounds of rock, paper, scissors, which I won three out of three, we determined who’d choose the first category.
We’d done the hospital - in which I had to justify my being a veterinarian when she’d chosen to be a pediatrician. I chose it because I knew it would make her laugh. She got annoyed at first but saw the silliness in it and all was right in my world again. Then we did the school, her obvious choice. Of course she’d want to be the English teacher and gave such a passionate speech about literary fiction I almost tear up, almost, but I couldn’t help myself and answered student. I won that point when I told her it was because I wanted her to teach me after being inspired by that speech. That was the truth. I knew from that moment she’d be a great teacher. Then it was my turn again and, afraid that I would lose time to ask because we were on our way back, I said family. And we couldn’t choose being cousins.
I told her I’d be the weird distant uncle nobody knew anything about until it was time for me to hand over my millions of dollars inheritance when she told me it suited me better being the father.
“You want to stay a baby forever?” I questioned, catching a wisp of her hair and tucking it behind her ear. Even at seven, she already had me wrapped around her finger. Long before that if I’m being honest.
This game of ho would you be was slowly becoming my favorite. She invented it so we wouldn’t get bored passing time touring the property. I didn’t mind. We could do nothing and I’d still want to spend that idle time together.
Her answering smile was like an arrow to my chest.
“No, silly. Not like a real baby.”
My heart continued to hammer inside my chest as she snaked her arm in mine, pulling me to her and peering up at me under her long, thick, curled eyelashes.
“I’d be the youngest. You’d take care of me more than anybody else, that’s why I’d be the baby.”
I understood what she said, it almost made my feet rise up the air, but I cocked an eyebrow anyway.
“You’d be the baby because you always cry.”
Something flashed in her eyes that was gone an instant. The sudden rigidness of her body was not lost to me even as she tried to act comfortable.
I felt like my heart was being squeezed.
“I am not.” Her voice lacked conviction and I felt guilty.
The smell of lavender hit my nose as I leaned down to kiss her on the top of her head. “I was only teasing.”
She hugged me closer to her and laid her small head on my chest as I led her back to nana’s house.
“I know,” she murmured.
We were silent for a moment as we see the roof of the house come to view. She nudged me gently with her shoulder.
“Admit it, you’re better suited as the daddy. Like I said, responsible and protective. You’d never let our family down. We could always rely on you, the mature one.”
Pleasure blossomed inside my heart at her words. Such a sweet talker but she was unaware of it. Just being her honest self. Beautiful inside and out. My lips broadened into a smile.
I was beginning to like the idea. Someone to keep her safe and spoil her. Not bad.
“But if I’m the daddy then you need to be the mommy.”
I felt her cheeks heat up on my bare arm before she tipped her head up and stammered. “N-no. I can’t be the mommy, Harry. I - We - ”
My heartfelt laugh carried on to the surrounding area.
“It was just a game, Callie.”
She was rather cute when she’s embarrassed. She dropped my arm but I quickly grabbed her hand in mine, entwining our fingers together. I wasn’t able to see her face then but the warmth she radiates was demanding to be noticed.
I raised our hands to my lips and kissed the back of hers.
“Mom and dad, huh? Does have a nice ring to it.”
Her head fell lower to the ground and I guffawed. With one arm wrapped around her, I walked us back into the house through the kitchen doors.
“Don’t worry, Callie. I’d take care of you like a champ. You can be both the mommy and the baby.”
I smirked at the confused reaction on her face.
I’d take care of you. I will.
The sliding door opened before I could reach out to it. Ane stepped out, giving us a small smile. She looked well rested. I almost bumped into uncle Ken when I stepped inside, his arms were stretched above his head as he yawned loudly.
Both Callie and I chuckled.
He leaned down so he was eye level with us. “Where did you two squirts have been, hm?”
“Just out the back, uncle Kenny,” Callie answered as she planted a kiss on his waiting cheek.
Uncle Ken cupped her face and gave a small squeeze, careful not to include her eyeglasses. “Good girl.”
“You,” uncle Ken pointed a finger at me. “Take care of her, okay?”
I gave him a nod, then we heard Ane call out to him.
“Better get ready for dinner kids,” was his last reminder before he stepped outside and slide the doors shut.
Hi everyone! 🤗 How are you all doing? I hope you like this little flashback scene 🙈 I’m trying to make up for four missed updates so here’s another one apart from the chapter yesterday. Who’s ready for “The Dinner from Hell?” 😂 That’s what I’ve been calling that dinner scene for a while now, have planned it before I wrote the last couple of chapters, actually 😆 Can you tell I’m excited? 🙈
A special thank you to @deannagrelecki04 for reviewing this story 🥰
See you all very soon! 😘 Take care and stay safe 🌹