*-This story was inspired by a writing prompt at the Write-In at the Gotham Writers Workshop.
It was an image framed in time. His daughter, at five years old, yelling “Daddy”, running into his arms when he got home from work, eager to share her day with him.
But that frame and the image within the frame was getting older. The little girl who eagerly ran into his arms and shared her day with him was now eighteen. Tonight was her senior prom. Next month, she would be graduating high school. In August, all of her belongings would be packed into the van for college.
She has a boyfriend. He didn’t want to like the kid. He didn’t want to like the fact that his little girl was growing up. But the kid was respectful and treated her properly. She was in the throes of young love, it wasn’t so long ago that he was in this kid’s shoes, his wife reminded him.
“What do you think, Daddy?” she walked down the stairs in her prom dress.
“Beautiful” was the only words he could utter. She was as beautiful as her mother. As beautiful as the day she was born. Just after they took her home from the hospital, his late father in law told him to treasure the moments when she was young. It wouldn’t be long before she was grown and out of the house.
It wasn’t easy to admit that his daughter was eighteen and growing up fast. She would soon be on her own, she wouldn’t need him anymore. But she would always been his little girl and he would always be here, waiting for her, when she needed him.