Louie picked up the picture laying on his desk. His heart skipped one beat, then another. He blinked twice. If he inhaled too deep, his chest ached. How had she found him?
He laid the picture back down. Picking up the envelope he’d recently opened, he glanced toward the office door. Good, it was shut. No one would dare bother him for another thirty minutes. Being the boss had its moments, like taking lunches behind closed doors that none questioned. Well except Bettina, and she didn’t follow protocol unless she made the declaration. Sometimes her queenly ass could be a royal pain. Their nightly strolls down to Miss Elly’s dinner for Red Blood Sundaes had folks talking. Miss Elly’s homemade ice cream topped with her secret chocolate sauce and dark Bing cherries cured many a shifter’s sweet tooth. Bettina’s cravings had cleared out Louie’s baked goods as fast he could make them until he introduce Bettina to Miss Elly. Now sanity reigned most of the time.
Louie turned the envelope over, examining front and back. No return address. A smeared postmark revealed little of the city of origin. The date showed 1974. Thirty years plus. Where had the time gone? His little---no his grown daughter might be a parent herself. Maybe even a grandmother. Easing the card out of the yellowed envelope, Louie stared at the simple lettering stating Happy Father’s Day. His hand shook as he opened the card.
The usual generic verse about Dads and their importance decorated one side of the inside two pages. A handwritten note on the opposite page caught his attention. Louie swallowed hard. He knuckled a tear off his cheek as he read.
By the time you receive this, Arisa and I will be gone. There was a time when love would have kept me by your side and our daughter not asking where Daddy is as I tuck her into bed each night. Your choices proved too costly and dangerous for our safety to stay.
No matter how good the money and prestige, working for the mob, especially the supernatural mob, is not worth putting your wife and child at risk. Maybe someday, I’ll tell Arisa the truth about her father. Until then you are as dead as your name. Thank the Gods I never took your name. Nor do you know my real name. There was a time I would have trusted you with that. Not now, probably never will you know who I am.
Why am I even sending this picture to you? Maybe I want you to hurt as much as you’ve hurt me. You’ll never know your daughter’s love or see her grow up. I will and every day I’ll be the center of her world, not you.
Maybe someday you’ll find peace. I doubt shape shifters know the meaning of the word.
Your soon to be ex wife
Louie carefully laid the card down. He pushed away from his desk. He moved toward the window closest to him. Closing the blind, he inhaled. No one would see the tears he needed to shed. He turned and made his way across the office.
Life on the streets in New Jersey taught him many lessons, hard ones and ones that remained with him to this day. Trust never came easily. It was earned and could be taken away just as easily. Lord, how he had that one knocked into his head many life times over. He’d taken risks along the way. Learned that life was given for a reason. He didn’t regret many of the last few choices he’d made. The one big one he did was not finding his daughter before now.
Louie lay down on the couch he kept in the office for late nights and naps. He needed one. Once he woke up, Mooney, Nick, and Penelope’s Aussie Penguin were getting a visit. Somewhere out there a daughter waited for her father to find her. This Father’s Day signified a new beginning.
Happy Weekend Gang! Happy Father's Day to all our male readers! I'm glad the warm weather is here without the abundance of a heatwave. What a week! Two nights of power outages. One last Sunday authorities say a raccoon juiced himself on. Last night another two! The joke around the spice homestead is a squirrel or two decided to try jury rigging their power supply. Watch out Gill!
I'm off to enjoy a good book or two with my spice and loves!
Have a great weekend!