I was at a beautiful gathering; a gala maybe? I wore a gorgeous floor length gown that glittered when I twirled and was dancing, slow dancing, maybe the waltz in a grand hall with a marble floor. The hall had giant intricate pillars that lifted for miles and I truly would have felt like a princess except for an aching feeling in the pit of my stomach telling me something was wrong. Servers carried platters of champagne and finger food by me as I danced with him. I looked over his shoulder anxiously, looking for anything suspicious, but all I saw were happy party goers minding their own. It was nearing the time I had to leave. I had a work party or something I needed to make it to, but I wasn’t planning on going. He was up to something, something he didn’t want me to know. I had been with him for a while now, and my gut told me there was something he was hiding. My head did the rest, thinking the worst, as I searched the room, looking for her. Nobody looked out of place. When it was finally the last moment I could leave and get to my other engagement on time. I excused myself, parting with a hug and words of well wishes. I headed toward the door, but ducked behind a magnificent pillar, he didn’t seem to notice. It didn’t take long for her to appear. Her gown was beautiful and she seemed a bit younger, but I was too far away to get a good look. Her long blonde hair looked natural, but as I got closer, I could see her darkened roots.
With all the stealth of a graceless bull in tap shoes, I marched to his side, placing m hand on his arm while they danced. He gave me a surprised look, but didn’t appear alarmed. Neither did she. I began to question if I had been wrong the whole time, and cut in, lying that I’d gotten a text message saying my meeting or party or whatever had been postponed. The other girl stayed close at my heels as we danced, waiting for the moment I stepped away, a moment I didn’t plan to give.
After a while, my manners got the better of me. I turned to her and introduced myself as Amy. She smiled at me. A genuine smile, like one you’d see on a kid usually picked last for kickball being the one chosen first for a team. My man stopped dancing and looked at me, his face clearly embarrassed.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I should have told you a while ago.”
My stomach turned to knots as I anticipated the gut punch I already felt coming.
“This is my daughter, Suzie.”
And with that, before my eyes, Suzie transformed from the beautiful young woman that she was into a small, child; sweet, adorable, and full of life. I smiled at her, a real smile.
“It’s great to meet you.”
I shot her dad a look that I was hoping said “Why didn’t you tell me?” but he just smiled and shrugged.