Dad's The Man Ch. 03byAmeaner©
Daddy got to his questions about Gina after supper tonight. It was only a matter of time and I'm surprised he waited this long. We were watching the news and he just came right out with them.
"So, what's Gina like?"
" ... Gina?"
"Yeah, you remember her. What's her last name?"
"Gina Green," he repeated thoughtfully. "Kinda catchy, isn't it?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"What's she like?"
"A lot of fun. She's,... a very interesting person."
"Really? In what way?"
" ... Well, maybe only in that she's different from me."
"She live with her parents?"
"No, she has her own apartment."
"How old is she?"
" ... She's got eight years on you."
" ... Umm, look, she's not bringing you around to parties and,...?"
"No, Daddy, don't worry. We usually start out with coffee at Tim's and then we do some shopping, see a movie, then hang out at her place, like I say."
"I have to at least ask, you know. ... Is she telling you to dress like you have been, lately?"
"No, I want to dress like that," I said, slightly nervous as I was sitting there in my new stretch jeans and white shirt that showed a bit of cleavage.
"Okay, I'm just asking. Does she dress like that?"
"Yes, but I'm not doing it because she is, it's just easier when you have a friend that dresses like you want to, is all. Please don't get all down on her."
"I'm not getting all down on her, It's just that you've changed a bit lately, since about the time you became friends with her, and I was,..."
"Checking up," I finished for him.
"Well,... yeah. I can't help it."
I moved from the opposite end of the couch to snuggle up against him, taking his hand and saying, "I know, it's okay."
"It's not that I don't trust you, I know you're a good girl. I can even understand why you wouldn't tell me you're working for Barb Sutton."
My heart leapt to my throat as I slowly looked up at him, guilt written all over my face. I'd lied to him and he caught me.
"I,... didn't think you'd let me and I,..."
"I know. I'm not mad, Kitten, just,... disappointed and,...I just thought you trusted me better than that."
"Daddy, no!" I insisted, touching his strong forearm. "I know I can trust you, I just didn't want to,... I mean, I didn't want you feeling all messed up because of it, and you know I need the money."
"I hope you don't tell those used up old whores any of ours or your Aunt Peggy's business."
"No, Daddy, I swear I haven't, I would never do that. I know what they are."
"Good. I would have understood, you know."
"I just didn't want to make you feel awkward, but I wanted that job,... not just for the money."
"I figured," he sighed.
"Well, that's the part I didn't want you to feel awkward about. That's the only reason I didn't tell you, I swear."
"I believe you," he said, putting his arm around my shoulders. "I suppose they were pretty surprised to see you come in."
"You could say that. They don't like me."
"I would have figured. You know, Barb probably only hired you because of her curiosity and to treat you like shit. In her mind, she'd have a reason. Same as that ol' pig, Norah."
"Cause of Sheila."
"Yeah. I hope you realize that half the things they tell you are probably lies."
"Probably not the things I hear through doors, though."
"Ohhh," he expressed with a small grin. "You really are making the most of your time there, aren't you?"
"You have no idea," I said with a wider grin of my own as he sipped his coffee. "Profitable, too. The job keeps getting delayed because of all that paint mysteriously disappearing down the toilet."
Daddy's coffee spewed from his mouth and nose, despite his desperate attempt to avoid his sudden laughter. It was pretty gross, but really funny as he jumped up and ran down the hall for the bathroom, coughing, choking and laughing. I was still laid out on the couch laughing almost hard enough to pee myself when he came back.
"You did that on purpose!" he charged, pointing at me.
"Nooooo!" I managed, knowing he wouldn't believe it.
"Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!" I exclaimed giddily.
In a flash he was back to the couch, quickly grabbing my legs just above the knees in his big hands with a short yell, squeezing just enough to get my attention with the smile of a troublemaker. It was more his startlingly quick action and yell than the pressure on my legs, he having done this to me ever since I was a child.
I screamed almost loud enough to shatter the window panes, which is my traditional response to that particular form of horseplay, and laughed desperately as I twisted and struggled against the grip of his human manacles. Daddy's a really strong man.
It was a really fun Sunday evening, somehow all the more fun since I met Gina.
I went to see Aunt Peggy after work with some more of my old clothes. She really is something with her sewing machine and I'm learning a whole lot. I'm even thinking of getting my own machine, betting Daddy would get me a nice one for Christmas if I ask.
"How did you ever get so good at this, anyway?" I asked her as she was showing me how to reinforce seems.
"Same as you," she answered, sitting there in her usual rumpled housecoat, untidy hair, concentrating on what her fingers were doing near the lit up, mechanized needle, me standing behind and watching over her shoulder. "Mum and Dad bought us kids used clothes, so I had to work with what I had. I think I did pretty good."
"Looks like you must've," I replied, remembering her low cut tops and the cleavage from my pictures. "Did you get this sewing machine when you got married? I mean, did your husband get it?"
"Yes, but I had one before that. An old manual one that I convinced my father to buy for me. It was in the same place he got my clothes at."
"Weren't they electric back then?"
"Yes, but it was a really old and inexpensive one. Kind of has its advantages, though."
"You like this one better, though," I assumed.
"Yes. It's a Singer, they last. Actually, my manual one is too, so it just goes to show."
"How old is this one?"
"That's older than me."
"Almost half my age. You see what I'm doing here?"
"Yes. ... Did he buy you a lot of stuff?"
"Not a lot, but yes, he bought me things."
"Do all men buy women things?"
"Most of them, to varying degrees. At the end of the day, that's not what really counts."
"What do you mean?"
She stopped what she was doing and looked over her shoulder at me with a funny expression, holding it for a brief pause before speaking.
"Kathleen,... whatever it is you heard at the salon, I,... I wish you could have at least just come out and asked me. I'm not stupid, you know. I told you, I saw your mother for what she was right away."
" ... I,... I'm sorry, I just didn't want to offend,..."
"You were pumping me for information about my ex husband."
"I'm sorry, Aunt Peggy," I said, looking down in shame.
She didn't say anything for a minute, only went back to what she was doing under the Singer's overhead light as I stood there feeling awful, her being so nice in helping me with my clothes, teaching me stuff and there I am acting sneaky with her.
"Before your mother came along,... things were different. ... Yes, she and Dennis had an affair, one of her many. He bought her 'stuff', too. A lot of stuff with our hard earned money, as little of it as there was back then. So many opportunities lost because of that,... little whore and my intentions. You can't begin to imagine, let alone understand what I lost on account of her. (sigh) ... Is that what you wanted to know, Kathleen? Have I told you enough?"
"I-I'm sorry, Aunt Peggy," I repeated in a small voice, feeling a lump forming in my throat.
"You're a lot like your mother, you know."
She didn't respond, only kept at her sewing.
"What do you mean?" I dared to ask, my voice even smaller.
She kept sewing for another moment, then stopped. She stared at her work as though it had defeated her, then turned and put her arms around me, giving me a glance at two wet trails down her cheeks before her face rested against my stomach.
"I'm sorry, Kat. I'm so sorry, you didn't deserve that. I- I just,... It was always so hard to get over. It was a long time ago, but,... "I'm sorry, it's not your problem and I shouldn't be taking it out on you."
She rose, sniffing and wiping her tears away, arms still around me as she smiled sadly, saying, "I know it's understandable that you would want to know about her and if I was a little more forthcoming, you wouldn't have had to try getting it out of me like you did. But, Kat, you should,... You should be careful of how you treat the people you love, okay?"
I nodded, saying nothing as my own tears broke free.
"You know I love you, right?" she asked."
"Yes. I love you, too."
"I know you do. Gimmie a hug and we'll get back to this."
Just before she sat down again, she added with a careful smile, "And remember, Kat: Social circles aren't the closed loops you think they are. They overlap."
I took this to mean that, even though she didn't have anything to do with the crowd at the salon, she knew people who did and took note as she advised.
But, I didn't bring it up again and neither did Peggy. She pretty much told me all I wanted to know anyway, didn't she? I still feel bad about that. Also, I'm a little disturbed at her comparison of me to Sheila, since she never told me that she didn't mean that afterwards.
It was quite a day, my last day at the salon, as I wrote last night, and I'm at Gina's place right now for our little celebration. She's in the tub, singing and humming with her wine. I'm on her bed with my laptop, shirtless in my black bra and wearing a short, blue denim mini skirt that went through Peggy's sewing machine and now looks great, despite my aunt's concern at the hemline.
Okay, as I wrote, Gina has been encouraging me to say something rotten when I was all done the job today and Daddy's appreciation of my inventive way of wasting supplies egged me on all the more, but I couldn't come up with the right speech, or comment. As it turned out, I needn't have bothered. Like Gina says, these things just come when they should.
Well, I was standing there, having been paid up and getting dressed to leave while Barb was talking, Norah and the others looking on.
"-and if I ever have any other menial labour, I'll call someone else. At least your mother was a competent disaster. My god, you said you knew what you were doing, but it took you twice the time it should have and I don't know how many coats of paint you think you need on a wall, but you cost me a lot. Both in time and money."
"Um, well, that's because I stretched the job out for as long as I could," I told her, looking at the floor because I didn't quite have the nerve to look her in the eye as I said it, going on in an apologetic tone. "Sorry, it's just that it was a lot better for me that way and I figured I'd get away with it, sooo,..."
" ... What?"
"And I'm sorry I forgot to put the cover back on the paint all those times, and,... I honestly thought that it would be okay to flush all that half dried paint down the toilet but, well,... I guess I was,... well, sorta wrong about that."
"You're the one who fucked up my plumbing!?"
"Uhm, I'm afraid so, yes. But nobody got hurt."
"You,... lit-tle bitch!" Barb seethed.
I actually dared to meet her eyes for a few seconds and said once again, "Sorry if that was the wrong thing to do," before looking down again, putting on my pink ski touk with the white pom-pom, grabbing my mittens and adding, "Well, I gotta go meet a friend. We're going out shopping later. Thank you for the job, goodbye."
And then I just walked out.
The police haven't tracked me down yet, so I assume everything's alright. Gina loved it and I suppose Daddy will, too. Who knows what Aunt Peggy will think? I probably won't bring it up with her, especially since she'll probably hear about it anyway.
Speaking of Daddy, I finally thought of something nice I could get him. A watch. Even Mr. Practical can appreciate a nice watch and his is old and all beat up. Best of all, after I told Gina about my idea, she brought me around to some hawk shops until we found a really nice one, nicer than the man behind the counter knew, as it turned out.
Once she struck a deal at sixty-five dollars and I had it and the receipt in my purse, she told the guy that it was worth almost five hundred new. He got this sick look on his face, but brightened up after she used his own selection to show him how to recognize a quality watch. What a gal.
Anyway, I can't wait to give it to him and tell him all about it. He's so hard to buy for.
Oops, gotta go, Gina's wants me to wash her back.
Aunt Peggy finally heard about my last day at the salon. I was driving her to the house for the holidays and she brought it up out of the blue while I was thinking of something more pressing.
"So, you caused Barb a little trouble, huh?"
" ... Excuse me?"
"Your last day at the salon?"
"Oh. Yeah, well they weren't very nice and I didn't want them to think they got away with anything."
She grinned and, after a few moments, commented, "Those people never get away with anything, just look at them. Barb has been a victim of her own choices almost her entire life, sitting down there like she's Queen Shit of Turd Island all these years in her own filthy misery. Ardie is her fourth husband, you know."
"No, I didn't."
Here's something else you might not know: Barb always claimed that Sheila stole her land tax money when she took off."
" ... Really? Did she?"
"I think so. Sheila told me once, after Norah found out about she and her husband, that Barb was ripping her off on her wages and she suspected she wasn't getting a fair share of the tips. At that point, she was just over six months along with you and her cavorting days were over, at least for the time being. She stayed because she needed the job and, soon after, I found out about she and Dennis. In addition to other,... reasons, Sheila and I never spoke after that. So, I don't know what became of the situation, other than Barb's claims, but yes, I think she did it. I would guess that half the reason she stayed on there was to look for a chance to get back and that would've been it."
"How much money?"
"I forget exactly,... two or three thousand. Her then husband, Alfie Como covered it for her."
"Alfie Como?" I asked, furrowing my brow at that name. "The dead mobster that owned Como Construction?"
"Pfft! Alfie was no mobster, despite how much the old fool liked people thinking he was. He had connections, everybody kind of knew that, but he wasn't that connected. But, I imagine Barb wouldn't be very impressed with you right now. Maybe you should have kept quiet about it your little escapades?"
"She had her chance to be nice," I said without concern.
I caught her head turning from the corner of my eye, looking at me strangely, but she stopped after I looked back. We drove the rest of the way without comment and my mind eventually drifted back to a more immediate concern, biting my thumbnail in thought when my hand wasn't needed for the stick shift until we got home.
I needed something from Daddy today, but I couldn't bring myself to ask. I stared at him when he wasn't looking, fidgeting with my nails just under my boobies, elbows out like I do when something's bugging me, until we both ended up in the kitchen and away from Aunt Peggy.
"What's the problem, kitten?"
"You've been stressing over something all morning, what's the problem?"
"I think I need a really big, humongous favour from you."
" ... Okay, how big?"
"Uhh,... well, maybe pretty big."
"Lay it on me," he said, taking a bite of a shortbread cookie and leaning his hip against the counter.
"Well, it's about Gina."
"She said she was going home for Christmas, but,... well, somehow I don't think that's true."
"I just don't. She never talks about her family much and when she does, it's only when I ask, plus I called her a few times and it says her phone is turned off, out of her zone, or whatever, but I don't believe it."
"I know what you want," he groaned.
"I bet if I drove over there, her car would be in the lot and she'd be home all alone."
"Aw, kitten." He complained.
"Well, how would you like to be all alone on Christmas?"
"She's probably with friends, or-"
"Nope. Trust me, I know. She's over there all alone and not wanting me to know, so I won't feel bad."
"She'd never ask, so I gotta drive over to her place and drag her here on her bum, okay? Please, Daddy, Plee-eee-eee-ase?" I asked, bouncing up and down and giving him 'that look'.
Of course, he couldn't say no to me. He never can when I do that, which is why I don't overuse it.
Sure enough, her car was in the lot. After parking the truck right beside it, I used the key she gave me to get by the security door in the lobby and rode the elevator to her floor, getting out there. I walked down the hall and, again using a key she provided, walked right in.
She was sitting at her couch in front of her laptop, dressed as though she was about to go out for a night on the town with a bottle of wine and a glass on the coffee table beside the computer. We both stared, she in surprise at me, all bundled up in my warm, red, thigh length wool coat, scarf wrapped around my face, knit mittens and ski touke.
"Uh, Kat. Heh. What a surprise."
"What are you doing?"
"What am I doing?"
"You said you were going to see your parents."
" ... Yes, well I'm afraid I,... Slutty, I'm sorry I lied, it was just an awkward situation for me. I hope you understand."
"Why aren't you with your family?"
"My,... well, we don't,... look, it's old stuff that I'd rather not get into right now. We don't talk, is all."
" ... Okay."
I'd unzipped my coat, taken off my scarf, mittens and finished kicking my boots off. Walking into the room, a little "bing" sound came from her laptop, which she ignored.
"I thought as much, but I didn't just come over to catch you trying to pull the wool over my eyes."
"You didn't?" she asked as I sat down beside her, taking note of the small amount of wine left in the bottle."
"Nope. I came to get you. You're coming home with me for a few days."
"Kat,... I can't-"
"Yes, you can. It's okay, I already got Daddy to agree, plus Aunt Peggy's there, so,... it'll be okay. Come on, get ready."
"Slutty, baby, I can't do that. He doesn't even know I'm a dancer and that kind of thing tends to come up when-"
"I'll take him aside and explain it to him."
A short, panicked laugh escaped her mouth while she looked at me as though I'd just sprouted another head.
"Once you're there and he sees what a great person you are, it won't matter, I promise. Just dress yourself up nice and,... you know, like somebody's mother, and don't try to win him over by flirting with him like you do out at the mall and stuff, cause I've seen other women try that and it doesn't go over with him at all. In fact, one time in Sears, when he was buying me a-"
I was rudely interrupted by the sound of a monkey flipping out. The intrusion was coming from her laptop and I asked irritably, "Smutty, what the hell is that?"
"It's nothing, just-"
"Who's that?" I asked, pointing at a video of a man with no shirt at the top left corner of her screen.