Flight (Page 3)
“You actually know some of my friend’s parents?” Cranky from the drive I wasn’t holding back.
“Yes, Tyler Henderson told me something interesting.” He searched my face.
“And what did Mr. Henderson have to say?” I groaned. Toby must have gone crying to his dad.
“He told me you and Toby were experiencing some sort of misunderstanding.”
“Yes. I let him know that I thought the two of you were old enough to work out your problems yourself. ” Dad smiled.
“I can’t believe his dad called you. But be honest, did you even know Toby and I were dating?”
“Hey, give credit where credit is due. I know more about your life than you think.”
“You’ve seen me twice in the last year. You barely ever come home to visit anymore.” I tried not to let it get to me too much, but he’d always made it clear that Westchester, even with me there, was the last place he wanted to be.
“True, but we video chat once a week, I thought you liked that.”
Jess laughed. “You Skype Mr. Davis?”
“First, Allie accuses me of not knowing anything about her life, now you think I’m incapable of using basic technologies. You ladies are hard to dine with. But, we’re together now, Allie, isn’t that what matters?”
“So does that mean you’ll be sticking around this summer?” I took a sip of water, already sure of his response.
“I will be in and out. I’ll try to be around as much as possible, but you know travel is part of my business. One of the reasons I invited you down here was to introduce you to that business. You need to start getting your feet wet; this is going to be your company one day.”
Words sat on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn’t let them out. I wanted to tell him that I didn’t want his business, but that was a fight for another day.
He took advantage of my silence. “Are you going to tell me what happened with Toby?”
“Nothing happened, it just didn’t work out.”
“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to give me? Jessica, a little help here?”
“Sorry, I am so not getting in the middle of this.” Jess held up her hands in defense.
“Can we please change the subject?”
“We can, once you tell me what happened.” He swirled around the ice in his glass as though he had all the time in the world. I knew otherwise, so I didn’t leave him waiting.
“He isn’t the one for me. There was nothing real between us.”
“You’re not going to elaborate more? He just wasn’t the ‘one’?” He made air quotes.
“What else is there to say? There were no sparks, all he ever wanted to talk about was our future careers and how great it was that our families would join if we got married.”
“Is that all he talked about? Last time I checked, eighteen-year-old boys had other things on their minds.”
“Dad!” I snapped. There are certain conversations a girl never wants to have with her father.
Evidently he got the hint. “All right, I’ll drop it, but who would have believed a daughter of your mother and I would grow up to be a romantic.”
“Did you ever think I ended up this way because of your relationship with Mom?” I could go on for hours about everything that was wrong in the relationship between my parents, but the cliff notes are that they were married five years and split up two years after I was born.
As though he could read my thoughts, Dad looked at me sympathetically. “I don’t mean to disillusion you sweetie, but fairytale endings don’t happen in the real world. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you should date Toby, but I want you to understand that if you spend your whole life searching for perfection you are going to be alone, miserable, and old.”
“Wow. You are such an optimist, Dad.” I tried to shake his words off, but I couldn’t quite get the image of myself as an old cat lady out of my head.
“You know it.” He signaled for the waiter. “Let’s go ahead and order.”
After that, lunch was pleasant enough. The food came quickly and was a nice change from the fast food we ate on the road. We discussed our jobs for the summer. Dad was making us work at the front desk, convinced it would give me real insight into the hotel business.
“What do you ladies have planned for tonight?” he asked as he signaled for the check.
“I’m not sure, maybe we’ll head out to explore a bit,” I said vaguely.
“Have a good time, but be smart. Things can get pretty wild down here.”
“Like you have to worry about us getting into trouble Mr. Davis,” Jess said sweetly.
“It’s not you girls I’m worried about. You are walking targets for men to take advantage of. Stay together and be alert.”
“Next you are going to be giving us a curfew.”
“Yes, because it’s so crazy for a father to worry about his eighteen-year-old-daughter out in the French Quarter.” He shook his head. “I trust you, so I’ll stop the lecture, but one thing.”
“My room is right down the hall from yours.”
“Duly noted.” I kissed his cheek before Jess and I headed back upstairs to our room.
“You’re no fun!” Jess cried out as I untangled her from the latest guy she was hanging on. It only took a few drinks for Jess to get tipsy. Maybe it would have taken longer if she didn’t insist on accepting every drink a guy offered us, and there were lots. I played along at first, but it didn’t take long for me to switch to club soda. Someone needed to stay sober.
“I’m fun. I’m so much fun that I want to dance.” Grabbing Jess’s hand, I pulled her into the center of the bar. The thick layer of smoke permeating the air seemed to highlight the intense lighting.
“But I was having fun with Drew!” she whined, swaying drunkenly to the music as we danced with little space between us. We were attracting attention, but I pretended not to notice.
“His name is Dave, by the way.” I laughed.
“Drew, Dave, same thing.”
“I distinctly remember you agreeing to a girl’s night out. No guys, remember?”
Jess sighed dramatically. “Fine. Besides it’s probably almost our turn.”
“You don’t actually expect me to sing karaoke in front of everyone do you?”