Chapter 2: Strange Meetings
I toy with my fork not knowing what else to do, letting the noises of the diner fill the silence. I look at the man sitting across me for the millionth time. I had my doubts before this meeting. I mean, seeing who gave the information, I had every right to have my doubts. But one look at him and I knew that it was true. That man is my father.
“Lysandra,” he says more to himself.
Yeah, quite a mouthful, I try not to look agitated hearing him call me by that name. I have no idea why my beat mother gave me that stupid name but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
“Call me Lysa.”
“Listen, kid,” he tries. “I don’t...” he messes with his gray hair.
“It’s OK,” my voice bears its usual cold tone. “I came here out of curiosity.”
“No, what I mean is...Fuck...” he looks up to me. “I thought your mother was fucking with me. But now...”
He takes my face in. I might be a girl half his age and weight but I know I am his spitting image. Instant DNA money-saver. He is a lot heavier now – beer I am guessing – and there are lines around his eyes but it’s the same big eyes I have. When he was younger, he must have been a looker with those cheekbones still visible under his grey thick beard and those fleshy lips we share. At least my mother had a good taste in men. I knew that I looked nothing like my mother but who knew I would take after that stranger so much. The only thing I got from her is her Puerto Rican skin tone.
Daniel is still looking at me and his look is piercing so I need to avert mine. I glance again at his cut and the patch that reads “Earl”. I knew my mother wasn’t going for white collar men but imagining her with a bad-ass biker is too much even for her.
“What does Earl mean?”
He takes his eyes of me and looks at his patch.
“I am the Vice President of the club.”
“Well, the Riders are from Sweden originally. We see ourselves as Vikings. Tyr is a Scandinavian war god and we are his Riders. We call our President King, the VP Earl and the Sergeant is the Herre.”
I nod. I look out the window of the diner we are meeting and I see the bikers that escorted him here. They look alert and dangerous and their symbols are different. I have seen them cruise through the city with the hammer on their backs but my father wears an arrow...Fuck. Father. Too much.
“I am sorry I missed the funeral,” he distracts me.
“Yeah,” I have nothing to say to that.
I knew my mother was dying for about a year now. To be honest I was surprised that she was still alive. She has smoked, snorted, drunk and swallowed more pills, weed and blow than a Disney Channel teen idol. And has been at it for years. Even so, she decided to go with a bang. She told me that she has lied to me about not remembering who my father was and went forth and called the poor bastard that has probably forgotten that twenty something years back he has stuck his dick in some random bitch.
“Lysa,” he fusses with his grey beard, “I was thinking... You can say no. I am fine with that. I mean that we don’t...”
“Say it,” I throw at him.
“Well, I was thinking if you want to come back with me.”
I frown. OK, I didn’t see that coming.
“I am sure your family won’t appreciate you bring home your bastard.”
He glares deadly and I see how that man was raised to be the Earl of an MC club. Not that I was expecting him to get there ’cause he is good at crochet but he seems mild enough. Till someone steps on his toes, if I am to judge by the flashing anger.
“You are not a bastard,” he hisses. “You are my fucking daughter.”
Wow. I shift on my seat and look out the window. It is still pretty fucking surreal. I knew that I was not a product of immaculate conception but actually hearing someone call me his daughter is...I don’t know. But do I want to know.
“Plus, I have no family. Other than my brothers that is,” his palm hits the patch. “You are the only thing close to a family for me.”
“How can you be sure that she didn’t bullshit you?” I try.
He chuckles. I had to try. He too sees the undeniable resemblance. He drinks his beer and pins me with his look still waiting for an answer. I want to say no and be done with this awkward situation. But deep down I don’t want to. To say I grew up with a chip on my shoulder would be the understatement of the century. One reason was growing up in a trailer park in Whitetrashville. Second was doing so with a junkie whore of a mother and no father in close vicinity.
“What do you say?” he insists. “You can stay at the clubhouse, meet my brothers, know my life. We will have the chance to spend some time together.”
“Too late for father-daughter quality time, don’t you think?” I snap.
“Actually, I don’t,” he is calm. “If I had known you existed, we would have done this shit over candy and soda. Now we get to do it over whiskey and beer. Doesn’t matter to me.”
“I don’t drink all that much,” I can’t help but smirk.
“For real?” he smiles. “I am starting to have my doubts whether you are mine.”
“You haven’t asked shit about me.”
He shrugs. It’s not an insult, it’s his way of life. He accepts what he gets and moves on. I must have gotten that from him.
“I wasn’t in your life till now so I am not going to judge,” he takes out a smoke. “And nothing you can tell me can make the fact that you are mine less.”
Shit, I breathe heavily. That fucker just told me the right fucking thing and did so without even blinking. He isn’t judging me or measuring me to see whether he should be proud of me. I am his daughter and that’s all he needs to know. I look out the window once more.
“I’m going to come.”
“Fuck yeah!” he hits the table and the whole diner turns to us. “The Riders will love you, you’ll see. They are loud and nosy and well...violent...but they are family. And now you are too.”
I look up to him. Is there some book out there titled “Things To Say To Your Long Lost Daughter”? Because he sure has studied the hell out of it. His enthusiasm is contagious and I nod.
“You could have look less...” he points at me.
I look down at me. I am in my usual attire, jeans and tight crop top. My long hair is in a messy bun. It gets in the way but I kept growing it thinking that I could sell it if push came to shove. And yeah, I grew up that bad.
“Less what?” I demand.
“You are beautiful, Lysandra,” he looks away awkwardly but comes to quickly. “Hey, I guess that can’t be helped. It’s in the genes,” he wiggles his eyebrows.
“Thanks?” I shrug.
“No worries. I might have to bash a few heads in to show them that my girl is off limits but other than that we’ll be fine.”
My heart tightens. He is going to protect me. I don’t have the heart to tell him that I can do some of the bashing myself. Have been to most of my life. I just raise my eyebrow. This is going to be interesting.