She doubted that it could have ever been how he imagined. After all, it had been quite the train wreck. Honestly, she wasn't sure what he could have expected after they hadn't seen each other in quite a few years.
He was probably right. She had effectively shut down any and all chances of talking. "He shows up after years. No surprise that I'm a little overwhelmed," she pointed out and feeling his arm around her leaned against him slightly, "I know you meant well. It's just... A lot to think of and take in. You real believe he wants to make up? How can he even?" She did trust his judgment... most of the time. Feeling him rub her back, she cuddled more against him. "Yeah, that's why," she agreed with a nod. What a strange hangup to have.
She was thinking on what to do, running a hand through her hair when he said that. She nodded absent-mindedly before staring at him. "What?" she asked, clearly surprised before chuckling, "You are impossible." she leaned over to kiss his cheek, shaking her head.
He shook his head a little bit as she scolded him and he let out a small breath. All in all he figured it wasn't. "I didn't know if it was or not..and you never really talked or didn't about him, just sort of redirected, and he was possibly a part of the wedding..it definitely wasn't like I imagined."He admitted to her, knowing he thought it would go..well better, maybe that he'd have more to say. He scratched the back of his head as he made his way over to sit down next to her. "I'm sorry..he was much more convincing and sounded..a lot more like he wanted to connect with you on the phone..I assume you shut him down from a lot of that."He stated, but looked to her, "Not that I blame you or anything, I'm just guessing as to what happened.."He let out a sigh as his arm found it's way around her. "I think I do have questions, but the first one being if you really even feel like answering any at all right now."He figured she might not want to talk about any of it while she still had a lot of thinking to do. "I guess...One thing that did hit me was why you used to be so against cooking for one..it makes a lot more sense now."He offered to her his arm slowly rubbing up and down her back.
Perhaps some absurd comedy would throw her for a quick loop, "Well..could always just screw the memory out of you for hm?"He glanced over at her, either striking out or dazing her with that one, but after all it was her birthday.
She hadn't gotten a number from him, but she did assume that Craig had one, since he had somehow invited him here. In the end she was happy to see him go, whether that be with an awkward handshake or not.
When the door closed behind him she stood there for a moment, her mind reeling with everything as she tried to process what to think, feel and everything else. When he spoke up she looked to him, not really amused. "What were you thinking? Did you really think this was a good idea?" she demanded to know, not fully mad but definitely irritated, "Did you at least consider asking me first?"
She gave a sigh as she grabbed the last things to bring them into the kitchen. Then she returned to sit down on the couch, looking to him. "Well, was it at least like you imagined?" she asked, now visibly calmer, "I'm assuming you have some questions." It wasn't like she had spoken a lot about her past.
That was rough to say the least, and to top it all off they ended with a handshake. A part of him cringed a little inside that neither of them knew if a hug was okay. "Take care." He said as her father went out of the door and Craig turned to Tamara. He didn't know if he was in for an earful or if he was supposed to comfort her at this particular moment in time. This all seemed confusing to him in the end, there was a lot to process, but maybe she didn't feel like talking about her past anymore today, or leaving anything up to him. She could potentially just be mad and he wouldn't really be able to argue against it this time, but he really had no idea. "So...Happy Birthday.."He said again, maybe being a little of his usual silly self, but not too committed.
The ball was mostly in her court here as he kind of just stood there as well.
It wasn't like her father had been an alcoholic, but he had definitely indulged in the spirits more than he should and at the same time leaned on her too heavily. Either way, it had not ended well and now they were sitting here and she had no idea what to say.
Hearing the suggestion about waiting for an answer, the father nodded. "That is probably for the best. After all, I don't know what you have planned and the like," he agreed. "Yeah, that's probably for the best," she concurred.
She didn't know what to say and it seemed to be clear from the pause that was stretching out. Her father didn't really seem to know what to do either. Finally he broke the pause, "It seems my visit was quite the surprise and it is late. Perhaps we should call it a night for now and we could meet up again tomorrow or whenever else you have time. It would give us time to think in peace." Automatically she nodded. It seemed like a good idea. "Yeah...," she agreed and they both slowly rose. There was another awkward moment before they slowly shook their hands.
Hearing what just took place he felt something click in his head, retroactively feeling bad for now knowing why she might not have liked to cook herself anymore, but they had gotten over that hurdle already. He really had no idea that was part of the problem but he understood more now. It seemed anyway that she was caught, being engaged and all, though truly wearing a ring did kind of give that away.
He didn't really know they had such a drinking problem either, just that Tamara took care of him and not the other way around. Craig truly couldn't answer whether or not he was invited either, again she mostly brushed off the question about him if their planner asked. "I can't decide for you..but there shouldn't be any pressure to answer right away."He stated, though that was more as a tip for her father and not as a comfort to her, he hoped both feelings would come through so she wouldn't be able to tell though. At the very least this could bring up some much needed discussions between the two about her past, not that she enjoyed talking about it much, it just seemed a lot that he didn't know about her.
It was nice to feel Craig move behind her. It sort of meant to her that he was backing her, figurative and literally. Still, she was aware that she hadn't mentioned the wedding. Why should she? She saw no reason why she should until some things were cleared up.
The question made her think. Had there been anything good between them? "You mean after my mother died?" she asked before thinking more. Most things she could think of were when her mother was still alive. "We had some fun cooking together. You were always amazing at that," her father reminded her. "You mean the few time I bought food and you were sober," she pointed out, not sure if that point was helping her.
She reached for her glass on the table for a sip of her drink. That was when her father saw the ring on her finger. "You are engaged?" he asked, indicating towards the ring. She paused unsure how to answer. "I am," she finally replied slowly, pulling her hand back to her lap. "Congratulations...," her father told her before it slowly dawned on him, "I am not invited, am I?" "There hasn't been a decision on that yet," she admitted, since honestly she hadn't thought on it until now. Now she had to make a decision.
It was still sort of the same in Craig's eyes, what would this man have to do to get into her life, or if he realized that he was missing out on a great person, or maybe it was more selfish? He didn't actually know, but he did go over behind Tamara's seat to stand behind her, in a more figurative and literal way. He leaned a little on the seat behind listening to this man. Probably not the greatest start by referring to himself, but it made sense he would have to come up with some way to prove it to her, and it wouldn't be walking her down the isle since he didn't even know about that yet..well hadn't exactly observed it anyway.
He didn't really remember her ever talking fondly of her father, but it couldn't have been all bad times, sure she moved out as soon as she could and she was really being in the parent roll but there had to be something that they shared, though Craig really had no idea, maybe they didn't at all. All he knew was the man wanted to reach out now for whatever reason and Tamara really hadn't ever talked on the subject, even when brought up for their wedding she just mentioned that her father was around, but not if she'd get him involved, which was still up to her. "There was nothing nice between you two at all?"He wondered aloud, in no certain accusing way at all.
He wouldn't have had to referee, if he hadn't invited her father in the first place so technically it was all his fault to begin with. Honestly, she would have been fine leaving it buried in the past, but now she couldn't. Either way, it wasn't like she had prepared for this.
Hearing him interject, she gave him a look. "Then what is the idea of this?" she asked before turning back to her father. "I am aware that things haven't gone well and I want to make amends," her father said, looking to her. "Well, you can't give me back my childhood, can you?" she pointed out, but seeing the look Craig gave her she sighed and sat down to at least be on eye level.
"Unfortunately, I cannot. However, I want to be there for you now. I've gone to rehab and sobered up," he told her, looking to her insistently, "I want to be in your life again and prove to you that I deserve to be in it." She looked at him. Sure, they were nice words, but was it more than that? "And how would you prove that to me?" she asked, since she had no idea how he could ever turn her opinion of him around.
It was hard to referee something like this, he would try, but he couldn't be on both of their sides really, he knew some of the story and he knew their general relationship, where Tamara was more the parent. He walked over after he had finished picking up all of their things and putting away some leftovers. He heard what Tamara said anyway, and shook his head a little, "The idea of talking isn't just taking what he's saying and throwing it back harder."He felt his face heat up a little after he said it, he didn't know if he should of or not, or if he'd now be in hot water, but he had to believe that her father meant well here and wasn't just being the jackass she so assuredly thought he was. At the very least Craig had made sure,as best he could without actually knowing the man personally, on the phone that this wasn't some sort of trick or something, that it was genuinely him wanting to reconnect with his daughter, or start trying to be some sort of father. He couldn't understand how bad loss might have felt, but he knew how he would be if he lost Tamara, maybe not to her father's extent, but at the very least he somewhat understood. All in all, Craig did look at Tamara in a sort of pleading way, he didn't want her to go into this being angry right off the bat, he knew she was a hothead to begin with, but she did turn out this way in part because of her upbringing.
Perhaps she was just in an affectionate mood. Naturally, she would never say no to sex, but it was hardly the reason for being affectionate. It was a fun party and she did appreciate that Craig set it up for her, even if it had required a terrible day to start with. Having friends and family there was nice, especially considering that they usually only celebrated things on their own, because no one really knew about them. Though she doubted that even if people did know that they would stop celebrating alone. Those were always fun.
Slowly the party was winding down and without realizing it she was left with her father more or less alone, since Craig clearly wasn't going to referee this. She still wasn't sure, if she wanted to talk, but her father clearly wanted to. "Please, Tamara, let us talk. I know a lot of things went wrong between us," he said as he moved to sit on the couch. "A lot of things went wrong? That's the understatement of the century," she pointed out and did move over to the couch, but didn't sit down.
He was curious if all this affection was because her father was there or she was just in need of some of it today, he knew the surprise was kind of underhanded and made a worse day to start, but he hoped to make it up. As they doled out the cake and finally got a word in with her father he just sort of looked over at her trying his best with a small smile. Cake did help once he got a piece though. The party was pretty good as far as things went, it wasn't a large party or anything like that, but that didn't matter too much, the one's there were important to them to some degree.
As the day went on and the few slowly left it seemed it did finally come down to them and her father, the last one left.
He did look to Tamara as he picked up the slight mess from the party and put away leftovers. It was really up to her whether she talked to him at all or told him anything as well.
It was something. He didn't know about the wedding yet, but at the same time she felt like she had to decide now whether she wanted him there or not. After all, any later it would seem weird to her father. "Okay," she replied with a nod.
Chuckling, she followed Craig into the kitchen. She had to say she was impressed by the cake. It wasn't fancy, but self made and looked delicious. "It looks delicious," she told him with a smile and kissed his cheek softly. Naturally, she knew Craig could never refuse the little girl her cake.
Cutting the cake into even pieces, she took one for herself before handing one to the little girl and then the others. Her father came last and she handed him the piece silently. "I am very glad he invited me. Maybe we could talk later," he suggested carefully. "Maybe," she replied before taking a bite of cake, "It's amazing, Craig." Again she kissed his cheek.
He didn't feel he really decided it, aside from he supposed this current gesture. He looked at her and he let out a small breath, nodding, "Well..I didn't tell him about the wedding yet."He let her know quietly, figuring that would be a little comforting. He listened to the child and her converse, and he made a mock offended gasp, "Of course not, I made one I didn't get one."He announced as he brought them over and presented the cake to her, a simple enough one, but a 'Happy Birthday Tamara' was written on it and it was large and frosted with chocolate.
The little girl excitedly walked along with them and looked up at Craig, "Well, I think it's fine if everyone got some cake now."He chuckled a little bit, "Of course the birthday girl gets her pick of the pieces first."
Of course, she was happy for the birthday party. It was a sweet gesture. What she didn't understand was why her father was here. How did Craig even find him? Seeing him brought back a lot of memories she wasn't really ready to face.
If she was quite honest, she hadn't thought as far as to, if her father should be at the wedding. It had been something she had pushed off thinking about. She didn't mind walking down the aisle alone. "I don't know, but it's not something you should have decided over my head," she pointed out, calmly. It felt like now the decision was taken from her.
She did give him a small smile when he said he would allow her to do whatever she wanted. When the little girl came up to them and hugged her she gave a big smile and hugged her back. "Thank you. You are so sweet," she replied, hugging her back for a moment longer, "Shall we go see, if Craig got a cake? I'm sure he did." At least she assumed. Her father was here so it seemed like playing nice and figuring out what to do next was the name of the game. Taking the little girl's hand and then Craig's, she looked to him with a smile to lead them to the cake.
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