She rarely got home before he did. And once she realized he wasn’t home yet, a slow smile crept across her face.
She quickly put her stuff away and crawled into the closet. She knew she shouldn’t, he repeatedly warned her that one day she’d give him a heart attack. Yet, hiding to surprise him was her favorite way of greeting her dad.
It was such fun to see that look on his face. It kept her laughing for hours. If only she knew living alone with her dad would be such fun, she would have begged him to move in years ago…
“As soon as they get divorced, we’re going to live with dad!”
She should have known her sister would back out… “I just can’t do that to mom!” was her response when years later the big day finally came. “But what about dad? Have you seen his apartment? Lawn furniture in the living room? She didn’t even let him take any dishes!” Her sister asked her to stay “Things’ll get better, I’m sure of it.” How could water ever blend with oil? She knew, she was different from her sister, and worse yet a constant reminder of her dad…
“You’re just like your father” What did that even mean?
The jab in her back brought her back to reality. “What the heck am I sitting on anyways?” She fumbled with shoes, boots and boxes until she found what was poking her. “What the hell? Why would he keep an anchor in his closet???”
She heard his keys jingling. Finally he was home. Then giggling. Giggling? Why was he giggling? More importantly – who with? His routine was always the same. Always. Come in the apartment, drop his keys on the shelf by the door. Walk to the living room, put his briefcase on the table, then drop the mail on top. Turn the radio on (She never thought he’d be the kind to call into those talk shows. Until moving in with him she didn’t really know her father at all.) Then he’d go to his room and hang his jacket in the closet before mixing a drink.
With her eyes closed, she always knew where he was and on cue could hear the radio then count his steps to the closet… But everything was different today. First there was the giggling. Then instead of the radio he put a tape in and went straight to the kitchen for a drink. She heard the ice cubes clinking, then another handful of ice cubes. And more giggling.
She’d been hiding for so long her legs were numb and she had no idea what to do. Should she crawl out and sneak to her room? Should she stay hidden? He obviously had company, but who was it?
Before she had time to come to a decision the door suddenly opened and she was engulfed in bright light. And he wasn’t alone, but his guest was the last person she ever expected to see “What are YOU doing here?”
This is a Studio 30+ writing prompt: It wasn’t what I was expecting. Please come and join the newly re-built writing community! Also… not sure where I was going with the anchor. An anchor in a closet? I guess I wanted to leave an option for a follow-up story maybe, not sure. We’ll see.