“You will think about it. Right?”
He glanced over her shoulder at the valley beyond. The cottonwoods along the creek were just budding out. Almost spring. Strange, how life just keeps moving ahead, despite everything.
She grabbed his hand and squeezed. “Dad, please. I’m worried about you up here in this big old house all alone. I know Amanda’s coming for a visit, but after that… promise me that you’ll at least seriously consider it. Okay?”
She wasn’t going to make this goodbye easy. He looked at her and swallowed the lump in his throat. She was so perfect---this child of theirs. Her eyes, the same tawny brown as Ellie’s, were brimming with tears as she clutched his hand in hers. “It would mean so much to me, and the kids to have you with us.”
Her lower lip quivered and the image of a gangly seven-year-old with a banged up knee flashed into his mind. In his heart, she’d always be that seven-year-old. But, as much as he wanted to give her what she wanted, he knew he couldn’t. Her life was in Scottsdale, with Jack and the kids. And his life was here at the ranch, as it had always been. He took a deep breath and gave her what he knew was a sorry attempt at a smile. “Ah…Kate. Come on now. You know this old cowboy wouldn’t fit up there in Scottsdale.”
Her tears spilled, as they used to when he would deny her ice cream for breakfast, but she had to know he was right, that he wouldn't fit in Scottsdale. He hugged her tightly, so tightly he feared he'd crush her with his embrace. Then he waved as she drove away.
"Silly Kate," he sighed. "Not only would I not fit in Scottsdale, I'd crush the place."
He never understood how he, the tallest giant of them all, had fathered a munchkin daughter.
Opening: Valerie Davis.....Continuation: ChocolateMonster