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Josh rolled his eyes when Samantha dashed for yet another shop covered from ceiling to floor in pink, white and lavender. Somehow, in all the years of raising a daughter, he’d never thought of taking her clothes shopping. Even worse, they were looking for bras. He’d tried to talk every one of their female friends into going with Samantha, but they’d all laughed at him. One, and Josh could hear her young sons yelling in the background, told him it would do him good to take his daughter shopping.
This wasn’t easy, or comfortable.
And no, being gay didn’t make it any easier. At least not for him. His idea of dressing up was having a new pair of wranglers that were starched. Dressing up was more Trent’s thing. But he’d had an appointment in the city.
“Why don’t you wait out here with the other single dads and grandpas,” Samantha said.
For some reason the words like a challenge to Josh. And he was not a single dad…and everyone should know it.
“I’m fine. You just lead the way and I’ll be right behind you.”
He thought he heard a sigh, but once they entered the store she disappeared into the warren of frills and skirts that looked the size of postage stamps. He cringed as she started in one corner. It looked like they would be at this for awhile. But then, he was like that every time they went to the big box store. She had the same look of wonder that he got when they opened the garden center up each spring.
He followed his daughter through the store for quite some time until he finally admitted defeat. Glancing around he spotted a bench close to the store entrance, sat down and started playing one of the games he’d downloaded onto his phone. He lost himself in the maze of his latest conquest.
Josh finally realized they were calling for him. When did I get to be Dad instead of Da. He sighed and put the phone away. Pushing himself off the bench, he made his way to Samantha’s side.
“What’s up, Sammy?”
She gave him ‘the look’.
“Sorry. What do you need?”
“I want these.”
Josh’s stomach knotted as he looked at the tiny hangers she was carrying that were filled with pastel panties and training bras. He swallowed hard and then looked back at his daughter. “Did you find something you like?”
She picked up a small card and held it out for Josh to see. “Aren’t these great, Da? I love them.”
He realized Samantha was showing him a pair of earrings. Pierced earrings. His heart plummeted. They had more or less avoided the whole pierced ears issue with Samantha. He’d hoped this would have happened when Mitch was the adult on duty. But it appeared that it was going to be his problem. He was going to try and avoid it one more time.
“Honey, those look nice. But lets not pierce them today. Let’s look for some clip on earrings. Okay?”
Samantha lifted her gaze to Josh. “I want to get my ears pierced. They said if I buy the earrings here they’ll do the piercing for me.”
“Honey, don’t you want to talk with Daddy? He has a lot more experience with getting piercings, and I don’t think he likes the piercing guns they use in these places.”
A look of rebellion flashed across her face. “I want to do it now. It’ll be fine. My friends get their ears pierced here all the time. It’s just in the earlobe. It won’t be a big deal.”
Josh started to argue, but thought better of it. If this is the most rebellious thing she does…I’ll be thrilled.
“Okay. Let’s go talk to the girls who are going to do the piercings.”
Samantha threw her arms around Josh and held him tight. “Thanks, Da! It’ll be great.”
They made their way back into the store and Josh asked the employees all the questions he could think of. By the time he was finished, Samantha was obviously frustrated with her father. Josh signed the paperwork and found himself standing beside his daughter, who seem a lot less nervous about the procedure than Josh.
His stomach knotted when Samantha jumped as the gun clicked once, and then twice. Tremors were traveling through Josh as he paid for Samantha’s purchases and they made their way out of the mall.
As they made their way out of the mall parking and Josh noticed she kept reaching up to touch the new jewelry.
“You better stop messing with it, or you’ll get it infected.”
Her hands dropped to her lap without any comment. Josh wasn’t certain if that was a good thing or not. But at this point he had her out of the mall and they were headed home. His goal was in sight, and he was thrilled about it. Then it hit.
“Can we make one more stop? I promise it will be the last one.”
Josh tried not to sigh. “Sure. Where did you want to stop.”
“The western store. I need to look for Danny’s Christmas present.”
Some of the tension left Josh. “Okay. Is that the only thing?”
“My boots are shot. I need some new ones to work in.”
Josh chuckled as they turned into the store’s parking lot. His Sammy wasn’t gone, just hiding under a layer of pink.
If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.