I had practiced for several hours before it was supposed to start. Staring at the photo of my daughter, I recited the small talk that would occur. Hello. How was your trip? Hope the place was easy to find. But I knew as soon as she walked through the door, I would break down. Already tears threatened my eyes.
A knock at the door.
“It’s open,” I said. As the door swung wide, I saw my little girl for the first time in two years. The worn picture I’d been holding fell to the ground. The tears were now attacking my cheeks.
There were no reunion hugs. No “I missed you so much!” moments. She walked in and waited for me to calm down. She shifted back and forth, briefcase in hand. This wasn’t the effect she was supposed to have.
I had to remind myself, not for the first time, that she was not my daughter. An excellent facsimile, but not the real thing. My daughter was dead.
At least that bastard drunk driver fried.