A father needs, in his eyes, to do anything to make his daughter happy. But how far will he go?
The day started like they had done for the past few months. She’d get up, bang about her room and then appear looking fresh but grumpy. Her uniform was always immaculate but the sounds she made left me wondering how it was possible. Her room’s always a mess.
‘Stop looking at me like that.’
‘I can’t help it, my eye deceives.’ That always raised a smile even when she’s grumpy. Never fails.
‘Are you busy today then?’ I gently put her requested bowl of fruit down in front of her. She’s become slightly moody recently but it helps her to deal with it so I’ll allow
‘Have you ever thought about wearing a patch?’ She said just as I was about to tuck into my cheese on toast. I hate it when people start conversations when I’m about to
‘Well, I’m glad to hear you’ve got an easy day then?’ She frowned before tucking into her breakfast. The doctors advised me as I have advised her that it’s a permanent thing and my eye will always look like this and a patch won’t help. I do however have a nickname at work which has helped me to fit in so it could be worse. It’s always been something that fascinated her and I’ve said a thousand times how I ended up with it but she still looks at me like I had the accident yesterday.
Driving her to school was always a quiet time for us. We would just enjoy each other’s company without having to force a conversation. Kissing her goodbye for the next seven or so hours was always a chore. I only worked a ten minute drive away but the school days always seemed to last forever and I hate to see her leave.
‘Red! How goes it?’ A generic colleague of mine said as I walked into the office. He was nice enough but I could never remember his name. I’m in work mode now so I say my hellos and good mornings in response to my ingenious nickname and get started. I’ve got a target to hit and a present to get. Hailey’s twelfth birthday is coming up and I want it to be a happy day for her. I would like to have a quiet birthday with my daughter but the constant calls from parents asking if I was throwing a party as their daughters wouldn’t stop going on about it forced my hand. That also meant that I needed to get her a present that will surpass all the others but not by so much that those others are forgotten about. Thankfully I’ve found it but I need this bonus to secure it.
The day’s gone as well as I’d hoped and the bonus is as good as mine. I’ve always been good with computers and with all things to do with telephony so I’ve already worked out how to see the number of calls my colleagues have made throughout the day. It’s illegal but it’s also untraceable so I can live with it. After all, I had been getting away with it for ages.
The length of time someone is on a call for usually determines if they made a sale or not. Today there have been a lot of short calls which is good. Any call’s higher than that are the ones I’m interested in and I seem to be one of the few who’s making them. I’ll do one last check and...Hold on.
‘Red! Just got off the phone with an old lady in the middle of a tea party or some such thing and managed to sell to all of them. That’s ten sales in one my crazy eyed
friend and the highest score for the day.’
‘Congratulations.’ How the hell am I going to afford the present now?! After fine tuning my budget I still need an extra hundred to afford it. What am I going to do?
‘Tell you what Red; I’m going for a drink after work to celebrate. Come along if you like.’ He reminded me of Kryten from Red Dwarf when he spoke and he always wore
completely black suits which added to the image. I’m sure he’s now in smug mode
as he ponces back to his desk.
I got one of the other parents, who I knew would say yes at such short notice, to watch Hailey as I needed to figure out what to do and a drink usually helps. I have to come up with something now and a nice pint of real ale usually allows me to think on another level. I’ve tried to explain it to Hailey on more than one occasion but she doesn’t understand.
Kryten bought me a drink and then left the pub within ten minutes. I didn’t really know anyone else who came out, all three of them, but I managed to come up with some conversation and they all said goodbye to me so I can at least let on to them
at work. Sitting at the bar nursing a pint wasn’t helping the creative juices to flow. The present is perfect for her and something she’s had her eye on for months. What am I going to do?!
‘Robbery isn’t such a bad thing.’ I overheard the man next to me say. I thought he was on his own. ‘It’ll be easy and the fact that you look so loveable means that you’ll
get away with it without a hitch.’ I’ve been called loveable before even with my eye. It does give me a shifty look according to some people and security guard’s have stopped me before whilst leaving a shop only to be left as red as my eye that they’ve jumped to a conclusion. Actually, the present is from a shop that has a security guard who’s done this to me several times. Maybe I can use that to my advantage? No. No I can’t. I best get home before my mind runs away with the idea.
‘Hello Daddy, did you enjoy the pub?’ She asked as I got home. She always made me sound like an alcoholic when she asked that question. I have a feeling it’s her intention as well. Although, since she learned about the hazards of drinking and consequently vowed never to encounter them I really shouldn’t be complaining.
‘The pub was ok. Thank you for watching her.’ I said to Sarah standing just behind her. That sounded forced but I’m so worried everything’s become a huge effort. Walking home was bad enough and it’s only five minutes from the bus stop.
‘It’s ok.’ She said curling her hair in her hand. I’d been getting this type of look from her for months now. She always flirts like crazy with me and I know she knows how uncomfortable I feel. It also didn’t help that this particular mother was amazingly fit.
‘Would you like to stay for tea?’ Where did that come from?
‘No I can’t I’m making tea myself soon. Another time perhaps?’ There she goes again. She’s insatiable and the wedding ring shining of her hand doesn’t help either.
‘Yes that would be nice. I could thank you for watching Hailey.’ Now I’m doing it. I think the ale’s finally starting to kick in.
‘BYE HAILEY!’ She shouted down the hall. Hailey was making me some toast as she usually did. ‘I look forward to you thanking me.’ She whispered as she left the house. Did she brush her hand against my bum? Why me?
‘I’ve only had one drink.’
‘This is the last piece. Dad, is everything ready for my party?’ She said with her arms
around my neck. I can’t resist her when she hugs me like this.
‘It will be.’ I’ll get her the present tomorrow. I’ll make sure it’s busy so that it can be
done quickly and efficiently. I hope this works.
I can see it and the shop is its usual busy self for a Friday afternoon. Great! Here comes a big family which will be the perfect distraction. I’ve got it! OK, keep looking
around at some things nearby and move the items around on the shelf to make it
look like nothing’s been taken. Now, turn around to look for the security guard. The guard hasn’t moved and I’ve been looking around for the ten minutes now.
‘You alright there sir?’ The six foot god-knows-what security guard asked as he saw
me looking around. Good, that flash across his eyes means he remembers and I can tell he’s still embarrassed about how he treated me.
‘Could you tell me what time it is? I’m worried I’m going to be late to meet my daughter.’ My best panicked tone still works.
‘It’s half past twelve sir.’ He said with a big grin.
‘No problem. Take care.’ He said keeping the same smile as he stood back in his place. Does he live in that wall?
I walked fast out of the shop and started to run until I got round the corner and stopped. I still can’t believe they haven’t fixed the broken detector thing near the
doors. I feel terrible but after my so called wife left us high and dry I thought the light would never return in my little girl’s eyes. This will go some way to getting it back. I hope.