“He’s downstairs waiting for you,” said Dad, balancing on his cane.
He was Danny, the terrific guy I’d managed to snag thanks to an online dating service.
“You going out again? You were just out the other night. This fellow is rushing things… doesn’t he have anyone else to spend time with?”
Dad’s tone was disgruntled. Illness and old age had made him waspish.
“I won’t be out late, Dad. I’ll be home in time to say goodnight.” I finished brushing my hair and glanced at the mirror. I’d never be beautiful, but the face that smiled back at mine was pretty – full of happy anticipation.
“I don’t like this online dating stuff,” said Dad. “Back in my day, we met people at church or through family. We sure as hell didn’t meet ’em on some machine!”
Dad had been one of the reasons I’d looked into an online dating service. Working full time and entertaining him in the evenings didn’t leave much time for meeting men the traditional way. Besides, I was tired of waiting for my prince to come. I was young and I was lonely. I wanted my chance for love.
“That fellow could be anybody. You’re too trusting. I don’t like him.”
“Dad, please. Danny’s a gentleman. I’ve met his parents. There’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“He’s not good enough for you. You could do better. Even your girlfriends say so!”
Stung, I answered more snappishly than intended. “What they say or think isn’t important. Now stop it, Dad – I’ve got to get ready.”
With sour mutterings, Dad turned away.
Since that magical morning several weeks ago when Danny and I had driven past my office, intent on playing hooky for the day, we’d been seeing each other regularly. Before him, my life was lonely. Now there was happiness and fun.
Maybe even love.
We were living our own fairytale… or would be, if people would leave us alone.
Dad didn’t try to hide his dislike of Danny. Neither did my girlfriends, who had a habit of making cutting remarks: he was too short; too shy; too awkward.
Like Dad, they told me I could do better.
It wounds a person to discover that people closest to you don’t always have your best interests at heart.
Dad’s an old man. I understand his feelings. He’s afraid of losing me.
It’s the attitude of my friends that hurts. I’d expected them to be happy I’d found my soulmate. Instead, they bruised me with their criticisms. But I guess I understand them, too… lonely, themselves, they didn’t want to lose a fellow member of The Lonely Hearts Club.
I almost let them ruin things for me. I almost looked at my sweet guy through their jaundiced eyes.
But love won out…
Did I give two figs if Danny was an inch shorter? If he tended to be quiet and shy around others?
We had something special. To hell with the unhappiness and acid opinions of others. This was my life.
After one final look in the mirror, I hurried downstairs where my guy was waiting.
Word Count: 519
Author’s Note: This story is written in response to ThainInVain’s weekly flash fiction challenge. This week’s challenge (here) was to continue an author’s story that had already been posted to #FFC41 over the past 41 weeks. I chose to continue Heather B Costa’s story, All I Need Is You (found here).