“Daddy!” She runs into my arms and peers up with such curious eyes. “I got in trouble and Mommy almost took today away.” Willow was walking in when Payton said that. She walks over and tells Payton to go get her sweater. I take Willows hand and studied her face. Something was off; I know the way she was behaving. It was the same way she would act whenTyler was around. I let go of her hand and pull her into my arms.
“Willow, what’s wrong?” I was afraid of the answer. She pulls her head away and her gorgeous blue eyes shine up at me. “You know you can tell me anything. Being apart didn’t change that. I’m here now and I will be until you tell me to get lost. I hope you don’t do that.” I tease.
“It’s nothing really, I will tell you about it later but for now I just want to spend the day with you and our Daughter.” I give her a skeptic look
“You will tell me though?” Willow has this uncanny thing about keeping secrets to protect other people. I still remember the day she broke up with me like it was yesterday. She was trying to protect me from Tyler and even herself. “I want to help you if I can.”
“I will tell you but not right now.” Payton came running back into the room with her sweater and stuffed Elephant in tow.
“I’m ready to go.” She giggles when she sees her mother wrapped in my arms.
“I just need to purse and phone then we can go.” Willow pulls away and walks out of the room. As we wait I ask Payton about her Elephant, and she tells me the story about how she got her. She’s a very animated storyteller.
Willow comes walking back but her face is crestfallen; when she sees us she puts on a smile. Something is really wrong here and I feel a sudden sense of Déjà vu. I really hope it’s not what I fear. Could Tyler be back? Nonetheless, I have to respect her wishes and let it go for today but tonight when we are alone I will find out.
The day went as planned and we all had a fun time. This morning I took my Girls to breakfast, and then we went to the Aquarium. Of course, Payton loved every second of it. She even got a new stuffed friend out of me; she had to have a blue stuffed whale.
By the time we finished with the Aquarium, Payton was worn out so I drove back to Willow’s. Payton had fallen asleep in her seat so I carried her in, you know me being the good Dad that I am. Willow told me where her bedroom is; I walk in and lay Payton down on Willow’s bed.
It looks like they share a room. Hopefully, soon this living arrangement will change. The time will come for me to propose to Willow but we still need time to get to know each other again.
“Will you please tell me what is bothering you now?” I ask when we leave her bedroom.
“Yes but not here.” She answers. “I just need to let whoever is home know that Payton is here sleeping. I’ll be right back.” She walks away but comes back a few minutes later. “We’re good, my mom will take care of her.
“Ok, where do you want to go?” I take her hand and we walk out to my car.
“How about we go walk around Silver Lake. It’s always so pretty and peaceful this time of year.”
“Silver Lake it is.” I’m really hoping this conversation is not going to be like the one we had in Erin’s kitchen on that dreaded day. I’m also hoping that she is just nervous about having me back in her life and having a hard time processing it but whatever it is I will do what I can to be there for her.