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The Unexpected

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Chapter 2: Meeting a Princess

Lily's POV...

I took in my surroundings and noticed that I had lost track of time. I noticed the park was now crowded with mothers and their small children holding hands.

I've always been envious of other children, especially those who have doting parents. I, on the other hand, would never know what it would feel like to have a mom to comb my hair. A mom to read me bedtime stories before tucking me into bed at night, or have her pack a delicious lunch and to take me to this very park.

I stood up quickly trying my best to ignore a little girl with two long ponytails and deep-set dimples on her cheerful face. From the corner of my eye, I see her began to jump up and down while giggling as she watched her dad blow massive bubbles into the air.

I felt a small pair of hands tapping rapidly on my leg just as I to turn around and was about to walk in the opposite direction. I looked down and notice that it was the little girl from a few seconds ago. She had such adorable eyes and an innocent infectious smile that was bright and bubbly. Her beautiful smile and constant tugging on my shorts made it hard for me to resist seeing what she wanted.

“Hi beautiful,” I say as I smiled back at her. I looked around and noticed her dad was now staring and laughing at our little interactions.

“Lady, lady, can you take me to the restroom? I hear her say while still tugging on my shorts frantically.

“Where's your mom sweetie?" I asked somewhat skeptical that this was a sick ruse her dad was using to lure me off by myself. I've seen too many Criminal Minds episodes that depicted an evil perpetrator using small, innocent children to do their dirty work.

“I've never seen my mom before!" She says with unspeakable sadness in her voice and big fat tears filling her once happy eyes.

“I'm sorry sweetie,” I said after being able to relate to the pain she was feeling. I knelt in front of her then says, “It's going to be okay.” I gently wiped her eyes and softly pinched her rosy cheeks which brought back her infectious smile. Capturing her tiny hand in mine, I stood up and turned to walk towards the restroom that was a few yards away.

“We'll be right back dad and don't move,” she yelled over her shoulder. Her father let out a hearty laugh and then responded, “ok princess.”

“What's your name, sweetie? I asked once she entered the first stall.

“My name is Ashley Rowen's and my dad's name is Liam,” the adorable little girl says.

“What a beautiful name for a cute little lady,” I say to Ashley.

“What about my dad? Ashley asked as she exited the stall, walking over to the sink to wash her hands.

I was a little stumped on what to say as I watched her struggle to reach the soap dispenser. “I think that you're a bit too short, let me help you out,” I say as I reach down and carefully lift her small body towards the soap dispenser.

“Lady, what's your name? Ashley asks as we leave the restroom heading back towards her dad.

“Lily,” I say, not very comfortable providing anyone my whole name, not even a small, little adorable girl. I've always been cautious of other people; not even Mandy knows my last name.

“Daddy, daddy I made a new friend!” Ashley yelled happily while running towards her dad.

“And who's this new friend that has stolen my princess heart away? Liam asked with a radiant smile on his face. He intensely stares at me all the while picking his daughter up and kissing her on her left cheek.

“Her name is Lily,” Ashley answered before I had a chance to reply. I keenly watched as the gleam in his eyes began to sparkle when they interacted with each other. I could tell he loved her very much.

“Thank you so much for helping my little princess out. I would have done it, but she's too embarrassed to go into the men's restroom with me.” Mr. Rowens answered in between giggles as he looked at his daughter.

“That's okay, at least I got to meet a beautiful princess! I say while looking down at a blushing Ashley.

“Lily my name is Liam Rowen's,” he says as he extends his hand towards me.

I've never made physical contact with anyone my age on the first contact. My palms began to sweat, and my body felt like a bottle of nerves as I gradually extended my hand. A spark of electricity surged through my whole body. I've never felt that with anyone, granted I usually don't touch anyone on purpose, though. I swiftly pulled my hand from his and slowly looked up into his eyes and knew I wasn't the only one that felt what happened.

“It was nice meeting you Lily,” Liam was saying when Ashley asked him could I join them for ice cream.

“That's up to Lily,” he responds while looking at me.

Please come with us, Ashley begs while at the same time hugging my leg and giving me those puppy dog eyes.

“Okay, just ice cream,” I say as she starts squealing and capturing her father and my hand. Ashley talked non-stop the whole time as we walked to the ice cream shop. My mind began to travel back to a time when Nana and I went to an ice shop when I was twelve.

Flashback started:

Remembering that day is always tough on me because it's my mom's death anniversary day. Every year around that time it seems as if the world was out to get me. The other kids always tortured me more on that day. Somehow Nana always knew what to do to make me feel better.

This particular day she picked me up from school and took me to my favorite place “Joe's Sundae Shop.” Pick out whatever you desire Lily Nana said. I picked out my favorite three scoops of strawberry swirls. We sat at a table, and I began to eat my ice cream and Nana caressed the side of my face. Every year she would remind me that I did nothing wrong to deserve what other people did or said to me.

“Lily sometimes people are just miserable human beings and merely want to hurt others to make themselves feel better!” She says while profusely apologizing to me for what they did.

“Lily, I think it's time that I tell you the whole truth about why your, mom died but not here,” she says as she wiped tears that I didn't even know I was shedding.

Flashback ended:

“Lady, lady, are you okay? I hear a frightened little voice ask instantly breaking me out of my thoughts of the past. I looked down at Ashley who was extremely concerned.

Why are you crying? Did I say something terrible, Ashley asked?

“No sweetie, I'm overjoyed that I agreed to come along to spend some time with a charming little girl and her dad! I say trying to sound convincing. My little lie might have worked for Ashley, but I knew it didn't work on Liam from his facial expression. He never asked any questions the whole while we were there, and I was thankful for that.

“I thank you for inviting me to join you both,” I say while pinching Ashley's cheeks softly and stood to leave.

“When can we see you again? Liam asked, catching me off guard as a giggling Ashley sat there watching happily.

“I'm not quite sure,” I say.

“How about next Saturday? We will meet at the same place. “I'm not taking no for an answer,” Liam says.

“Next Saturday it is,” I responded as I turned to leave not before I felt a gentle tug on my leg. Ashley grasps my hand and pulls me down to her and hugs me tightly while thanking me for sharing the day with her. I've never felt so liked by anyone other than my Nana as I did right now.

“You're welcome beautiful,” I say as I take one last look at her gorgeous dad and leave the ice cream shop.

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