Before I left town, I needed to make one stop. I knew my dad and Ben would be at the garage over on Pearson Avenue. I pulled into the lot and braced myself, not knowing if this would be a mistake or not. Dad would either get mad and tell me good riddance, get pissed and yell that I wasn’t going anywhere, or he’d hug me and wish me well. I wasn’t counting on option three since I was his only daughter.
Ben waved at me as I walked past and went into Dad’s office, and I quietly closed the door. He had his feet kicked up on the desk, the phone to his ear. He gave me the just a minute gesture, holding one finger up, so I stood and waited. After he wrapped up his call, he got up and hugged me tight.
“Haven’t had you drop by my work in a while,” he said.
“Well, I needed to talk to you about something. And I’m kind of hoping if there are witnesses you won’t try to kidnap me and toss me into the back of your truck.”
He took a step back, frowning. “Why would I do that?”
I sucked in a breath and braced myself. Mom had taken it well, but I had a feeling Dad would be more like Griffin. I’d been his little girl for so long, and he wasn’t ready to let go. Even when I’d checked out colleges, he’d insisted I not go far from home. Which was why I hadn’t gone at all.
“Because I’m leaving town. I’m moving.”
He stared and didn’t move or make a sound. My fingers twitched and I shifted my weight.
“I’m twenty, Dad, and I can’t live with you and Mom forever. It’s time I made my own way in the world. With Griffin, Ben, and James always lurking in the shadows, I never get a chance to do anything fun around here. I can’t have a boyfriend or any sort of normal life. So I’m going to move closer to Missy. I’ll only be a day’s drive away and it’s not like I’ll never come home.” I stopped rambling and realized my dad was far quieter than he’d ever been in my entire life.
“Does your mom know?” he asked.
I gave a quick nod and hoped I hadn’t just started a fight between my parents. My dad adored my mom, but they’d had some fights that I’d thought would bring the house down. The longer he went without saying anything, the more nervous I became. I shifted, moving slightly closer to the door in case I needed to run for it.
“Guess I can’t keep you home,” he said softly. “You better send your address when you get there and call every day. If I don’t hear from you, I’m coming to make sure you’re okay. Understood?”
My mouth opened and shut a few times before I found my words. “I understand. Thank you, Daddy. I’d thought this would be harder. Griffin didn’t react well.”
My dad grunted. “Figures you’d tell your mom and brothers before me.”
I moved closer, putting my arms around him. I rested my cheek on his chest and hugged him tight. “Maybe I was saving my favorite for last. Although, I only managed to tell Griffin. He took it so badly, I chickened out before I could tell the others.”
He sighed and ran his hand down my hair. “Feels like I’m losing my little girl. Love you, Delilah. To the moon and back.”
“Love you too, Daddy. I’ll always be your little girl, but it’s time for me to go live my life. I can’t promise I won’t make bad decisions, but I’ll learn from them. You don’t have to worry. You and Mom taught me everything I need to know in order to stand on my own two feet.”
He pressed a kiss to my forehead and gave me a nudge. “Go on then. Get on the road and be careful.”