Welcome back! I'm continuing with the next part of my work-in-progress, tentatively titled Sunlight and Shadows:
Brad Carmichael buckled his daughter into the back seat and gave her another hug before closing the door. His heart still beat furiously as he thought about the danger his little girl could have been in if the lady at the quilt shop hadn’t taken her in and called him. How could he have been so irresponsible? He’d known what time the party was over, but he’d gotten engrossed in the task of finding parents to chaperone the high school band’s trip to the festival next week, and the time had slipped away.
Starting up the car, he checked his rear-view mirror. His little miracle sat quietly in her car seat, content to gaze out the window.
“How was the party, Princess?”
She looked up and connected her gaze with his in the mirror. Her grin showed the gap between her teeth and he felt his lips lift in an answering smile. “It was fun, Daddy. We played games and stuff. And we had ice cream and cake.”
“Sounds good. Were all your friends there?”
“Yes. Sherry, and Callie and Bethanie…”
Brad smiled and let the girl chatter while he navigated the car toward their home. He and Lynn had made plans to buy a bigger home and expand their family, but now he was glad they hadn’t moved from the tiny bungalow. Upkeep on a bigger house would have been a greater expense and more effort to maintain, and right now his time and money were stretched to the limit.
“Where are we going?”
“We’re going home to have supper. Why?”
“Because we passed our house already.”
Rats. Daydreaming again. He turned the car around in the nearest driveway. If his daughter hadn’t been on the ball, there was no telling when he would have realized where he was going. He might have ended up in the next county. Spotting a family smorgassboard type restaurant, he pulled into the lot.
“Princess, I changed my mind. If I start cooking when we get home it’s going to be late by the time we eat. So would it be okay with you if we eat here tonight?”
Jennie’s eyes lit up. “Okay, Daddy. I like their chicken. And they have corn with butter and stuff on it. And mashed potatoes and applesauce…”
The rest of jennie’s list faded away as Brad opened his door and got out. He went to the back seat to unbuckle his princess, who continued to name off her “favorites.”
“…And can I have chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert, Daddy?”
“Sure Princess. Anything you want.”
He’d be a good dad and make a home cooked dinner for his daughter some other night. Right now he just needed to get them both fed. One of these days he’d get caught up, and then he could think about nutritious dinners. In the meantime, they’d have to make do with someone else's cooking.
Thanks for stopping by! Please leave a comment to let me know what you think about Brad and the others in this story. Is he believable, or too syrupy? Be sure to check out other excerpts by going to Sweet Saturday Samples.