It’s On Me
Fiction takes a lot out of me. I may continue the current series tomorrow. BUT. I stood on my feet for hours giving presentations to Rotarians on Thursday. Public speaking is great fun, but it takes its toll on me. So. A post about my father. Roy. Because he deserves it.
“There’s no sense in dropping me off at my parents’ house, MTM. Nobody will be home at this time of the morning.”
“Well…………where do you want me to leave you? I’ll only be an hour or so.”
“Because, I bet you ten dollars my father will be sitting in there holding court when I walk through the door.”
MTM pulled into the parking lot of the Florence Starbucks. It’s a novelty, a recent addition to the small town landscape where I grew up.
“There. That’s Dad’s truck. Right there. I TOLD you he would be here. You owe me ten dollars.”
“But………I never agreed to this stupid bet, Andra……..unless you will agree to redeem it in COFFEE………then I might rethink—”
“All right! All right! It’s a deal.”
Smug MTM horny face.
“I’ll see you when you’re done.”
I got out of Miss Mini and wandered up to the door of the Florence, South Carolina Starbucks. When I peeled back the glass, who did I see sitting at the table closest to the door?????
My father. Roy Boy. Reading the paper at a table for two.
I walked up to the table, pulled out a chair, sat down and screeched, “HELLO, OLD MAN!!!!!”
(Roy can’t hear. Anything. Not anything.)
He survived the possible heart attack my entrance might have caused. Stared at me through milky eyes. And smiled.
“Andra. My only daughter. How did you wind up here?”
(Yes. Yes. I too was almost sucked into this weepy sentiment. But wait. Roy swings quickly.)
“I’ll buy you a coffee. You’d like that, huh? Get whatever you want. It’s on me.”
He took out a gift card and threw it on the table. It hit me like a punch in the gut.
“But……..Dad. I GAVE YOU THIS GIFT CARD.”
“WELL…………IT’S MY MONEY ON IT. I’M BUYING MY OWN COFFEE, SO TO SPEAK.”
“Huh?………Did you meet the mayor’s wife? She’s right here at the next table.”
“No. NO, DAD. (It’s nice to meet you.) HOW CAN YOU SAY YOU’RE BUYING MY COFFEE WHEN I’M BUYING MY COFFEE???”
“HOW CAN YOU………oh, never mind. What did you want again, Dad?”
“I’ll have a decaf……..I love you, Andra.”
“I love you too, Dad.”