My dad showed up six hours later on his bike, with a large smile on his face.
I couldn’t help but be happy that he was happy.
I’d missed him. A lot.
“You’re not going to fit all of that in my saddle bags,” he observed lightly.
I winked at him. “I know. That’s why I have my backpack. This will all fit though, won’t it?”
I held up my Wal-Mart sack of clothes and waggled it at him.
“You’re not going to want to carry that backpack for six hours. Come on, let’s see what we can do,” he ordered, gesturing with his head to the back of his bike.
Three hours later we were stopping at a diner off the interstate.
He was, of course, right.
I didn’t want to carry my bag anymore, and I was tempted to throw it in the trash. He, however, found a dollar store and came back out ten minutes later with a bungee net and a smile on his face.
“You know,” he said as he strapped my bag to the back of the bike. “I know a thing or two when it comes to riding a motorcycle.”
I snorted. He did, didn’t he?
“Let’s go eat. This’s going to have to be good enough. If we lose your shit as we ride down the interstate, I’ll just buy you something new.”
I snorted at his attitude. He really was a laid back person, and as of yet, I’d never seen anything faze him.
His favorite saying, when I was growing up, had been: Try it. If you fall, just get the fuck back up.
That was his standard saying for pretty much everything.
I followed beside him, walking fast to keep up.
“Hey,” I said to him. “I have a question.”
He raised his brows, but didn’t stop as we made our way to the diner’s door and entered inside. “What?”
It wasn’t until we’d made it the booth and the waitress had taken our drink orders before I worked up the nerve to ask him.
“What is it?” he asked.
“Do you think I made the wrong decision?” I asked.
“The wrong decision about what? Leaving your boyfriend or leaving Alabama all together?” He asked bluntly.
That was my dad. Not a coy bone in his big old body.
I pursed my lips.
“Leaving my boyfriend,” I snapped.
I knew, for a fact, I’d made the right decision to leave my father’s house, and he did too.
No matter what he said, he was getting to the point of being over the top, and something had to give.
We’d both said things in the heat of the moment, but our relationship didn’t suffer any. Really, the only thing to have changed, at all, was the fact that I now lived three states away from him.
I knew he still kept an eye on me. And I wasn’t upset about that.
“No. I think if he’s ignoring you like he said he is, he’ll figure out really quick that you don’t like that. But I also think that you’re going to have to give him a little slack. From what I’ve learned about him, and what you’ve told me, he doesn’t have anybody to answer to. Hasn’t had a mother who gave a flying fuck about him in years. No one to care about where he’s been. What makes you think he can stop that overnight if you don’t talk about it?” He asked frankly.
“He won’t talk to me,” I exhaled. “He has nightmares, and every time I ask about them, he kinda wigs out. Which is why I only asked him the once. Then I asked him if I could help him on his house, and he said no, that he wanted to do it himself. Except, he had his friends help him this past week when he very well could’ve had me helping, too. I’m kind of lost as to what to do. Not to mention he hasn’t spoken to me other than a few texts and phone calls in well over ten days.”
“Let him be. You’ll see.”
I thumbed my nose at him, and he chuckled, leaning back to allow the waitress to set our drinks down.
After ordering I said, “You think I should tell him where I’m at?”
He raised his brows at me. “Yeah. I do…when he asks.”
I laughed. “Oh, daddy. I love you.”
He sobered and stared at me. “I love you more than air, baby girl. I hope you know that.”
His serious brown eyes that were weathered around the edges looked at me.
His heart was in his eyes, just like it always was, when he told us, my mom and me, that he loved us.
“I love you too, daddy. Thanks for setting me straight.”