I have a girlfriend. A beautiful, smart, talented and amazing girlfriend. I had that on repeat in my head all night. My dreams were of Bella and our evening together. I damn near floated through the door when I got home. I think I even 'squeed' when I brushed my teeth at what had happened between us.
God, I'm turning into a girl.
I woke up the next morning refreshed and happier than I've been since the end of my marriage. I went up to my loft in the townhouse to do some work on some choral arrangements for my concert choir of some African American spirituals. But I couldn't focus on those. Instead, a melody filled my mind that I couldn't shake. I spent most of the morning working on that.
"Hello?" called my mom. "Where are you, Edward?"
"In the loft," I replied.
"Daddy!" Emma squealed as she ran up the stairs and onto my lap. "I missed you! Did you have fun?" she asked as she hugged my neck.
"I missed you more, sweet girl," I replied as I kissed her cheek. "And yes, I did have fun."
"Is Miss Bella your girlfriend now?" Emma asked as she smooshed my face. "It would be awesome if she was."
"Why would it be awesome?" I asked as best I could while my lips were pressed together by my silly daughter.
"Because she's pretty," Emma said. "And she makes you smile. You have the best smile, Daddy. You do it more when Miss Bella's around."
"I do," I said with a crooked grin. "Well, to answer your question, Emma-bear, Bella is my girlfriend. I asked her last night and she said yes. PLUS, I want to take you and her out to the Zoo Lights at Lincoln Park Zoo tonight."
"Did I hear that correctly, Edward Anthony? You have a girlfriend?" asked Esme. She was leaning against my desk in the loft. I was sitting at my keyboard that was attached to my computer.
"Yes, Mother," I quipped. "The date was perfect and…I'll tell you more in a second. Emma, why don't you put your clothes in the hamper?"
"But, Daddy," she whined. "I want to hear about your date."
"Later, angel," I said as I kissed her forehead. "Scoot."