Andy tapped on his daughter’s open door and smiled as he watched her at the mirror. “You look beautiful, my princess.”
Shelby looked over at her father. “You always say that.”
“I say it because it is true.” He kissed his daughter’s cheek. He couldn’t believe how fast she was growing up. “Your mother is downstairs.”
Shelby rolled her eyes. “Why did she have to come? She doesn’t bother any other time.”
“It is your birthday and she loves you.”
“No, she doesn’t. If she did, she never would have broken our family apart and made stupid life choices.”
Andy knew what she was talking about. After Cara had gotten out of jail, she moved back to San Myshuno. After her parents died, she was left with nobody to take care of her. She was evicted from the apartment because she could not pay rent. She took to the streets using drugs and turning tricks.
“Daddy, my friends are going to be here. I don’t want them to see her.”
“Go down and spend time with her until your friends get here. Then I will keep her and your sister occupied with something in the house.”
She hugged her dad. “Thank you, Daddy.”
Andy watched Cara and Nakusa watch a movie. Despite all her faults, she did try to be a good mother to the girls.
After Shelby’s friends had gone home and both girls had gone up to their rooms, Andy was left alone with Cara.
“I guess it’s time for me to get going.”
“Just wait a moment. I would like to talk to you about something.”
Cara sat back down.
“I talked to Shelby earlier. She is embarrassed to have her friends meet you.”
Cara looked down at her hands in her lap and could feel the tears in her eyes. “You want me to stop visiting the girls?”
“No. They both need you to be in their lives. Even Shelby.”
“What do you want me to do then? I am already doing the best that I can do. The city isn’t an easy or cheap place to live. You know that.”
“I do know. Which is why I want to talk to you. I have a deal for you.”
Cara listened as he talked to her about rehab and moving away from the city. She knew that it would be best for her and for the girls, but she was scared.
“I tried living in Willow Creek before and it didn’t work well.”
“That was because you missed your parents. They aren’t there any longer, Cara. Your family is here. Don’t you miss your daughters enough to want to be with them?”
That was a stab straight to her heart, but she knew he hadn’t said it to hurt her.
“I do miss them. I want to do better for them.”
“Then go to rehab tonight. I will drive you and help you get checked in. I will pay for it. When you are finished, I will have a home ready for you and will help you find work.”
“I’m not qualified for anything though.”
“Let me worry about that. You just focus on getting yourself healthy again.”
She nodded then hugged him. “Thank you.”