Daddy's Little Girl (Chapter 2)
"Melinda...." they both spoke at the same time, then laughed nervously.
"Sorry," Melinda said.
"Linda, uh...we uh...what..happened last night was..." Eric said, struggling with his words.
"I...I...know dad," Melinda interrupted. "I'm sorry, I spoiled everything," she said, almost in tears, waiting for his anger.
Eric looked at her in surprise. "It wasn't your fault sweet pea. It was mine. Let's just forget it. It was probably just the wine," Eric lied. "I shouldn't have drunk so much."
"Can...can we uh...go out again?" Melinda asked hopefully.
"I don't think that would be a good idea."
"I knew it," Melinda said in an angry tone. However, she was angry with herself. She arose from the table with tears in her eyes and rushed out of the room.
"Melinda!" Eric called after her. However, she was already out of the house. Now Eric was heartbroken. He was the one that had messed everything up, he thought as his tears began to flow.
Later that evening, Eric tapped on Melinda's door. He pushed the door open gently when he heard Melinda tell him to come in. She was lying on the bed reading a book. "Melinda, can we talk?" he asked, sitting on the bed, his face tense with thinly veiled emotions.
"Sure," she answered, putting down and supporting herself on her side with her elbow.
"I'm sorry, Melinda...sorry about...about everything," Eric said struggling with his words. "I was the one that suggested the date. I've thought all day about it and I know it's entirely my fault. We're both lonely and we both miss Mom so much." Suddenly, Eric stopped talking as his voice choked up. Then he began to sob, cupping his face in his hands.
Melinda sat up quickly and moved closer to her father. She carefully put her arms around him and pulled him into her chest, tears streaming down her own cheeks.
Although Eric felt comfort in her arms, he sobbed even harder. All of his pent up emotions seemed to come out of him at once. 3 years of loneliness, a new job, struggling to make the bills and now this. It was all too much.
Melinda held him for a long time until his sobs turned to sniffles. "Dad, I love you so much," Melinda said sincerely.
Eric sat back and dried his eyes. "God, Linda, I feel the same way about you. We need each other, maybe more now than ever."
"Can we just be honest with each other for a minute?" Melinda asked, acting more grown up than she felt.
"Absolutely! We have to be honest with each other," Eric said, wondering what she was getting at.
"You.....You are a handsome and very sexy man," Melinda said, trying hard not to stutter. "I...you...uh...Oh hell, I'm just a horny teenager, and I'm sorry I got out of line," she blurted and then laughed self-consciously.
Eric looked at her with raised eyebrows then a smile came to his lips. Suddenly, they both burst out laughing. They laughed so hard that they nearly fell off the bed. The situation now seemed so ridiculous. They were making a big deal out of nothing.
When they had composed themselves, Eric turned to Melinda and said, "We can go on a date anytime you want to." Then he kissed her lips briefly.
"Good because there's a graduation picnic next Sunday and I need a date," Melinda said hopefully.
"It's a deal."
Melinda sighed with relief. Everything was going to be okay.
Melinda's high school was hosting a farewell picnic for the graduating seniors, their parents, and boyfriends and girlfriends. Melinda wasn't planning on attending, because she didn't have a date. She knew that all of the girls would bring a date. She didn't expect any of them to come with their parents. Suddenly, that didn't matter to her anymore. Her dad would be her date.
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