The Big Daddy

Big Daddy was…well…BIG. Not huge, like a 700lb shut-in you have to saw out of a house, but a big guy nonetheless. Not too tall at 6′. Not too wide at 225. But just big, to a 9 year old girl.

Big Daddy was all there was too. Sure there were the grandparents she’d see on certain weekends and in the summertime, but Big Daddy was there 24/7. He dropped her off at school in the morning, and picked her up in the afternoon. He made all her meals, did her laundry, helped her with her homework and played games with her til late at night on the weekends.

Big Daddy was always there, since Mom left. She used to cry and cry when he would drop her off at Kindergarten until she realized that, just because Mom left and never came back, didn’t mean he would. She slowly realized that he would always be there for her, even if he was late that one time (which made her feel like she was all alone in the world and she had cried, unconsolebly to her teacher until he pulled up in a rush with tears in HIS eyes).

And though he was always there and took care of her, it wasn’t just that…of course she loved Big Daddy…he was her Daddy…but she also LIKED Big Daddy. He was funny. He liked good songs and could sing all the words. He always found new movies, books and games, and even played on the Xbox with her. She even knew when he wasn’t really having fun doing things with her, and was just doing them to be with her and because she wanted him to. She didn’t know why, but she loved him even more at those times.

Big Daddy always seemed to think she had great ideas too. If she said, “let’s go to the park?”. He’d say, “That’s a great idea”. Or, “Let’s go to the Hollywood Grill for pancakes tomorrow morning.” He’d say, “Perfect! we’ll get up early, shower and hit the road.” And he had said the same thing when she asked to go to his work. She liked going to his work because he worked in one of the biggest buildings in town, even though he worked at home in the afternoons to be with her so she wouldn’t have to go to daycare. She loved to go to the cafeteria and eat lunch with him on certain days when she didn’t have school and he got her into the backup daycare at his work. It made her feel important because everyone always stopped by their table to say “hi” to her and Big Daddy. He said he wasn’t important, but everyone in the whole big building seemed to know him and was nice to her because of him.

This time though, she had finally gotten Big Daddy to take her up to the very top, the roof of the big building. She had always asked to go, and he had always said “We’re not supposed to” or “It’s too dangerous”, but she had gotten on the honor roll, and he finally relented. So they went up as far as the elevator would take them, and then walked up the next few flights of stairs to the roof. Big Daddy said it was lucky the door was unlocked because the maintenance men were working up there and we could go up, but we had to stay in the middle and be very careful. The door opened into blinding sunlight and the wind was terrific. She got very excited and held tight to Big Daddy’s hand. It was bright and cold and the wind was ripping at her. So much so that her hand slipped free of Big Daddy’s and she screamed as she slid to the edge of the building’s roof. She saw Big Daddy’s face and it was white and his eyes were wide with fear, which she’d never seen before. He ran after her towards the edge, which, though she was terrified, almost made her laugh…she never saw him run so fast before. He dove onto the ground and grabbed her hand just as she went over the edge. He stood up and teetered on the edge pulling her up to him, but the wind blew even stronger and she could feel them going over the edge. As they fell, she screamed “don’t leave me Daddy!”, and he held her tight and turned them so he was on the bottom. “I won’t sweetheart…ever.”

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