He see shades of the little girl he once knew, as the confident woman takes the podium to make her inaugural speech. Who knew then that the little girl would someday grow up to be a Governor? He watches the woman closely, hardly taking in her words, his mind wandering. He could have be in the front row watching her. He could have had the pleasure of giving her a hug when she finished her speech. He could have had the pride of looking around the audience and saying, “That’s my little girl all grown up.” Instead, he stands right at the back of the hall. She wouldn’t want him here.
He knows he lost it all when he put the bottle before his wife and little girl. He couldn’t face his little girl in the morning, after a night of drunkenness. He had to leave. After years of misery and self-loathing, he found his redemption. He got sober and started working again. He called home but his wife didn’t want to speak to him. He buried himself in his work and started investing his money well. Soon, he had money to send to his wife. Every month he sent her a cheque marked “For Kathy’s Education Fund.” She never acknowledged them, but he knew they were being cashed.
Years later, he tried calling home and a young woman took the phone.
“Kathy? It’s your Dad,” he said.
“My father’s been dead for many years, Mister,” she responded.
He knew then that he would never meet her again.
But today he smiles, watching in the shadows, knowing that he had contributed in some small measure to her success. “That’s my little girl,” he says to himself.