“I’m really, really happy you came, dad.”
“Me, too. I know we haven’t exactly been seeing eye to eye lately, kid, but… I really do love you. And I am so proud of you. I have to be honest, I was so afraid that this music thing wouldn’t work out for you and that you’d end up on the street somewhere, a starving musician, and too proud to come to me for help but… I can see that you’ve got things figured out. A lovely woman, a good career, a daughter, even.” His eyes lit up at the thought of his grandchild. “You surprised me. You really did.”
“Thanks, dad,” I said softly, “it’s good to hear you say that. I never thought you could be proud of me.”
“I was always proud of you,” he said, putting his hand on my arm. I scoffed. “Even when I told you I wanted to go into the music business instead of going to law school?”
Dad sighed and nodded. “Look, kid. I know I wasn’t supportive at first. But I had my reasons.”
“And what were those reasons be?”
He turned his face away from me and I could see his eyes blinking behind his glasses.
“Before your mom past away,” he started explaining slowly, “she asked me one thing. Only one thing. To make sure her little boy would have everything he wanted. To make sure he would have a good life, be happy, be healthy, and have the perfect life, even if she wasn’t there to see it.”
I had to swallow hard at the mention of my mom. Dad and I never really talked about her, but seeing him so emotional made me reAllieze that Mom was his Evie. And I couldn’t even begin to think what I would do it if I lost her, especially with our daughter being so young.
“So, I promised her I’d make sure of that. And the only way I could imagine that happening would be if you did well in school, got a solid career, and lived a cookie cutter life.”
“But that wasn’t exactly what you wanted.” An involuntary smile flashed across his face. “You were quite sure of what you wanted to from a very young age. And, honestly, it scared me. A musician’s life is full of insecurities and risks. I didn’t know if I could keep my promise to your mother if I let you go down that path. But, of course, I couldn’t persuade you…”
“I never realized,” I said, my voice barely above a whisper. “I thought you just… didn’t have faith in me.”
“I always knew you were a great musician, Mattie. I just wasn’t sure if other people would know that too.”
He shrugged apologetically. “Do you forgive me? For everything?”
I smiled. “Do you forgive me?”
Dad grinned at me. “Only if you introduce me to my granddaughter.”
I found Evie on a balcony, looking out over the gardens.
“Hey, you,” she smiled. “I saw you two talking. Everything okay?”
I grabbed her hips and kissed her softly on the cheek. “Everything is perfect. Thanks for doing this, Evie. You’re amazing.”
“Anything for you,” she said, squeezing my hands. “We’re husband and wife now, after all.”
And of course, that had to be celebrated right then and there…