It's Maddie's fourth day at school. Last week was okay, but today didn't start well.
"Daddy, you stay with me, okay?" she asked, all the way to school. I try not to lie to her. "Only for a short while, Baby," I said reassuringly. But she was anxious all the same.
A short little trip to 7-Eleven was supposed to be a clever little bribe, but my little girl was cleverer. "Coughing cannot drink Vitagen," she tells me. Even her favourite Tic Tacs weren't doing the trick.
In the end I carried her all the way to her classroom. Teacher Mary Ann recognised the problem and attempted to carry her away. Maddie clutched at my shirt, fear and trembling in her eyes, like a tragic scene from a movie.
"Tell your girl it's gonna be alright, Gordon," Harvey Two-Face snarled, waving his gun menacingly as he held on to my child. "Lie," he hissed viciously, "like I lied."
Every impulse in my body wanted to react. I wanted to grab my little girl, clutch her close to me and run out the door. And I would have taken out whoever tried to stop me.
That would have been the Daddy she deserved, but not the one she needed right now.
I abandoned my little girl at the verge of tears today, and it was eating me up just a little bit. But as it turns out, she was all happy and cheerful when Mommy picked her up. See, Babykins? Daddy did it for your own good. :P