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Episode 794: Miss You More

“You're sure I'm not bothering you? I won't be in your way?” Cal asked his daughter as he breathed in the heavenly aroma inside her small kitchen while she quieted the volume on the Christmas music.

She gestured for him to take a seat at the kitchen table, and brought over a plate of sweet treats, along with coffee for each of them.

“I feel like we haven't seen each other in a long while,” Ava said, sitting opposite him and biting into a gingerbread man.

“I'm sorry about that, it's not that I didn't want to stop by more, I've just had some business in Europe that I really wanted to clear off my plate before the holidays. I was thinking maybe, if you want, you might come over at some point and help me decorate a tree again, like last year.”

“That would be great.” She grinned, and it was just about the best thing he'd ever seen, his daughter, clearly pleased by the idea of spending time with him, after the slip up many months ago when she'd caught him on the phone to her mother, he'd thought that might strain things between them, but that had yet to be the case.

She said, “I actually kept thinking about calling to ask if you wanted help with a tree… I just wasn't sure, you haven't been around much lately, I thought maybe you'd be too busy, and I mean, not everyone's as into a homey Christmas as I am, and it's not like it's a tradition for-”

“I'd like it to be our tradition,” Cal said, reaching across to give her hand a squeeze. He was so vulnerable around his daughter, so leery of rejection, that it didn't always occur to him that she felt every bit as insecure and uncertain about their relationship.

“And, for the record, I'm never too busy for you. Believe that. If you ever need me, or even just want to say hello, don't hesitate. I always have time for you, I promise.”

“It's been a long time since I've had a parent to turn to,” Ava said.

“Well, now you do, so catch me up, the wedding is only a couple months away, is everything alright with that?”

“It's good, really good.”

Admittedly, Cal still didn't know his daughter terribly well, but he was fairly certain that was not the face of an eager bride-to-be, that was forced joy, and that, was unacceptable.

Episode 795: Wonderful Christmastime

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