“You know it’s Father’s Day on Sunday, right?” Emily asked me.
“You know it is, Mother.”
“Okay, you got me. So what about it?”
“Well, shouldn’t we do something nice for Dad?”
“Go ahead. He’s your father, not mine.”
As soon as I said it, I wanted to grab the words out of the air and shove them back down my throat.
Meanwhile, my fifteen-year-old daughter snatched her Coke from the counter, took a long gulp, and then set the can back down carefully, as if she needed to steady herself. “Are you and Dad fighting?” Her blue eyes squinted just a bit, ready for a battle.
“No, Emily.” It wasn’t a lie; he’d have to be home for us to be fighting.
She immediately brightened. “Okay, good.” She sounded relieved. “So, I was thinking maybe we could cook his favorite dinner, that manicotti thingy, and play his favorite music—you know, that jazz stuff he likes—and then we could go to Omega for a brownie sundae. He loves that place.”
Huh? How did she know his favorite dinner when I had no clue? And jazz? When did he become a jazz fan, for heaven’s sake? “That sounds like . . . well, like quite a plan. I didn’t know he liked . . .”
“Omega? Yeah, he loves it there.” She smiled her radiant smile, the one that lit up the whole world, the one that would have had me trekking up the Andes to celebrate David being her father if that was her wish.
“Okay, then that’s what we’ll do.” I slid the telephone bill into my pocket. The bill that showed numerous calls made by her jazz-loving father from a hotel in Pittsburgh to a person called Candy. That much I had figured out by calling the number myself.
“I bought him a golf shirt.” She took another swig of her Coke. “I know he’s got a million already, but I guess they wear out, right? Or get lost . . . or something.”
“Yes, I expect they do,” I concurred. “He’ll love it.” I flashed to the golf shirt he’d last worn, and the makeup stains on the collar. No doubt courtesy of Candy.
She skipped out of the room, her plan set in motion. And I was left wanting to call her father to remind him just how damn lucky he was to have such a precious gift as Emily. The problem was, I had no idea just where he was, but it certainly was not where he was supposed to be. I just hoped he remembered where he should be on Sunday.