Farewell by Alexis
“So, what are we doing here, Dad?”
The aquamarine waves sparkled beneath her as she leaned on the wooden railing. Her father stood beside her, sipping lemonade from the boardwalk restaurant.
“Is there a reason why I can’t spend time with my daughter?”
“No, just asking.”
Not answering immediately, he set down his cup and fiddled with the straw. She stood there, the breeze stirring her wavy black hair. The evening sun flushed her cheeks. He noticed how she had seemed to grow in the blink of an eye: the last of his children, and his only daughter.
“I feel like I haven’t had a chance to speak with you in a while.”
“Well, I’ve been pretty busy,” she said, flashing a grin that resembled her father’s. “About to go to college and all.”
He smiled slightly, looking away from her.
“Really, though, what do you want to talk about?”
He tapped the sides of his cup, trying to keep his composure.
“Since you’ll be heading off soon, across the country, going to live your life, I-I just wanted to tell you-”
She saw a tear fall onto the wood, darkening it to a charcoal gray. “Oh, Dad,” she said soothingly, embracing her father. “It’s just college.”
“You’re my only daughter, Kate. I’ve tried to show you my love, even with your older brothers clamoring for my attention. I just want you to know that you’re special.”
She pulled away. “Of course I know that, Dad. I never felt, not for a minute, that you didn’t love me. Sometimes, I knew it was hard for you, with Mom gone, but we always pulled through. I know you worked hard to care for us, for me.”
He looked into her eyes and wiped the corners of his own. She giggled.
“I love you.”
“I love you, too, Kate.”