I guess one lives with the fear from the first day………But today it came quite unexpectedly.

Dad, I need to apply at the mall for a job….Can I be dropped off?

Sure, call me when you need picked up.

No call. Three hours later.

The door opens. Curiosity. “How did you get home?”

“I walked.” oh. “Dad can you get a light bulb?”

” I have to buy some.” Oh.

Nine minutes later my daughter walks by with her bookbag and bass guitar.

“I’m leaving.” Yeah right. but why the bass…….

Out the window she heads in the wrong direction. “Where is she going” the wife asks…..

“I’ll find out” as I open both doors. She moved fast. I needed to run a little.

She is putting her stuff in the back of a real nice pickup……..I try to memorize the license number.

What to say……..It could have devastating consequences forever if I err.

“I don’t even get a hug?” I get my arms around her……”Be careful, don’t get pregnant on me……” Silence for a moment.

“I’ll be careful”

“What about school?” “I don’t know.”

“You sure you want to do this?” arm still around her.

“It’s time for me to take some risk.” I felt her shaking.

“You don’t have to go,”

“Yes,….I do.”

“Ok, girl.” I had forgotten the license number so I rechecked.

The back window of the cab opens and a male voice calls out: “I’ll take good care of her. ”

“Who are you?” I ask.

“It’s me. ” answers her first date of three years ago.

“Sorry, it was dark, I didn’t recognize you.”

“Understandable.” he said.

Car starts: lights come on. I stare at the plate again, having forgotten all the numbers and create some type of association to help me remember.

Her last words, “Goodbye, Daddy. See you in church……”

Goodbye my love……….