Hi! It’s me! Lily!
I met my birth father.
So, umm,., I was nervous all day. I had school and homework and stuff but my heart wasn’t in it. After I got home, I did something similar to what I did with Emiko, and dressed nicely – but this time I didn’t go for cute or pretty, I went for businesslike. I wore a medium length pencil skirt, a nice blouse, you know, stuff I’d wear to a job interview. Emiko needed to see I was doing well. Robert needed to see that I was serious.
Sabby whipped up a nice meal, and around 5 PM, the doorbell rang. I went to the door and opened it. A man about Dave’s age or a little younger was at the door. He was a nice enough looking older man, wearing nice clothes and what appeared to be a very expensive watch. He wouldn’t have been out of place on a golf course or eating lunch after church in an Applebees. He actually did look a little like me. I have his ears.
“Lily?”, he said, sounding a little more uneasy than he looked.
I just nodded and beckoned him inside. Sabby and Dave introduced themselves.
Sabby told him to have a seat, dinner would be ready soon. Dave sat down with me, bless him.
“So…”, he said, blowing a breath out. “I have a daughter.”
I nodded. “I guess you do.”
He was quiet for a moment. “I had absolutely no idea,” he said. “None at all. I… All I could think about when I was that age was drinking and partying. Your mother… your birth mother… I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember her.” He sighed. “I wish I did. I… I didn’t even respect her that much.” He paused. “I don’t blame her for not telling me.”
“If you had known”, I said, “I wouldn’t be even speaking to you right now.”
“And I wouldn’t blame you,” he said softly. “After I left college, I married my wife and we had a baby. A little girl. Her name is Rebecca. She… she’s everything to me. Absolutely everything. My wife married me, but my daughter changed me. And… I keep thinking about what I missed with you. Maybe I would have wanted you, maybe I wouldn’t. But I never even had the chance to find out.”‘
“Do you want me now?”, I asked. That was a stupid question.
“It’s a little late for that, isn’t it?”, he said with just a touch of bitterness in his voice. “You turn seventeen in… a few days?” I nodded. “Whether I want you or not… you’re almost a grown woman. You don’t need me. You… I’ve been reading your diary. You have a beautiful family. You have people who love you. You have lots of friends. You have everything I would have hoped for you if I’d known about you, and more even. The question isn’t whether I want you. The question is… where do we go from here?”
I thought. “I’ll change the question, then. Do you even want anything to do with me, now?”
“I was irresponsible,” he said, with a touch of vehemence in his voice. “I did something stupid that I didn’t know was stupid at the time, and here you are. And I have to own up to that irresponsibility. I don’t deserve to be a part of your life, but… I’d like to get to know you anyway. It’s the least I owe you.”
Sabby came out and said dinner was ready. Thankfully he didn’t seem to notice or care that Sabby was black, that’s something that worried me. He told us a little bit about his life. He said that he was the marketing director for a tech firm, and that he comes to Dallas frequently on business, because his company has an office there. He told us about his daughter – she’s about Beth’s age, was very pretty (he had a lot of pictures on his phone he showed us), and told us about his house in California. He said he was considering moving because, well, California. He and his wife have been talking about moving to Dallas, but no concrete plans yet. It was nice how his eyes lit up every time he talked about his daughter, you could tell she really is the apple of his eye.
I told him about my being found and loss of memory – he really had read my diary. All of it. That’s impressive, there’s.. a lot to read. He asked me what I want to do when I grow up, and I told him I really didn’t know. I told him about my and Sabby’s plans to open a cookie business, and he seemed interested in that. He didn’t try to get in (thankfully) but he did offer some marketing consulting if we wanted. That was nice of him. We’ll need that.
He also invited me to LA at some point to stay with him and his family for a while. I…. told him I’d think about it. It’s not that I mind too much, but I just met him, and haven’t had a chance to figure out quite how I feel yet. I think he understood.
After a nice dinner, he needed to head back to Dallas. But we exchanged contact info and we’re going to at least keep in touch. I guess that’s about all I could ever expect. He said something about child support, and I told him that I have a very large trust for some reason, and that I don’t need or want his money, but if he really wants to support me he can be there for me if I need him. He said, simply, “that’s the least I owe you.”
We did not hug when he left, but he did grasp my shoulder, look me in the eyes, and say as sincerely as anyone has any right to expect, “I’m sorry.”
Under these circumstances, what more could a girl ask for?
Sabby and Dave think he’s sincere, or at least mostly sincere. I think I agree. So, we’ll see where we go from here.
He was irresponsible. He and I will both agree on that. He treated Emiko like crap, and even though he didn’t know it, he treated me like crap too. He was more interested in drinking and partying and taking advantage of women. But then he had a daughter he actually knew about, and… he grew up. If he were the same person he was, I would tell him to pound sand. But… I don’t think he is.
But the proof of the pudding, as Dave says, is in the eating.
I don’t love him, but… maybe someday I’ll like him.