Little Packages Ch. 05

30 Ocak 2022 0 Yazar: admin

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(Spring Break, Late March)

“I must be nuts,” I said out loud for the 500th time in the last month. Kitten looked at me and laughed. She continued to bounce alongside me, holding my hand as we made our way to the Magic Kingdom entrance. It was early and the crowds were, well, slightly less insane. One of the benefits of staying at the resort. You could get in a little earlier and you didn’t waste time trying to get to the park, find parking, and then make your way to the entrance, all so you could wait for an hour.

Six weeks earlier and shortly after she stopped squealing at me over the phone, I told Kit she was in charge of planning our time at Disney. She accepted and promptly took a deep dive into Disney planning. The one time I asked if she wanted me to take a look at what she had planned I got a look that would freeze rivers.

I stopped asking after that. As of this moment, I had little idea of what she had planned and whenever I inquired, I got a “trust me, Daddy”. But now that we were at Disney, I was a little nervous about how well everything she had planned would hold up.

Despite being told I was behaving like a grumpy old man the trip so far was remarkably smooth. I was concerned her ongoing “adorable tardiness” might make an appearance when trying to get to the airport on time for catching our flight. But Disney will focus a girl. We were there in plenty of time, and aside from the usual long lines, delayed flights, and cramped seats, the trip from Montreal to Orlando was surprisingly drama-free.

I didn’t even have to get into a fight with her to get a decent night’s sleep once we arrived at our hotel in the park. She wanted to be well rested for her big day. I thought she’d be up half the night bouncing off the wall, but to my surprise, she was out like a light before 9.

Of course, that meant she was up around 5 am. Fortunately she let me sleep in as she got ready.

Her Disney debut outfit was a black halter top with a flared red skirt and white polka dots. Her collar was a red and white scarf around her neck. She was even wearing a sensible pair of sneakers, knowing how much walking was ahead of her today. All of this was topped with a wide brimmed hat with mouse ears. She desperately wanted to buy and wear a regular set of ears, but recognized that they didn’t offer much shade. And when you’re a fair complexion redhead in Disney, you need all the shade you can get. I still worried about her exposing too much skin so I spent 20 minutes this morning with a squirming little girl putting enough sunscreen on her so she could probably stand next to an exploding nuclear bomb and not get burned.

I got a lot of huffs and exasperated “Daddy…”, but it was not negotiable. I have travelled with cranky sunburnt people. It is no fun.

I was slightly worried about a potential weird tan line around her neck, but one war at a time. Hopefully the sunscreen would prevent that from happening.

She was adorable. She knew she was adorable, which meant she could get away with a certain amount of teasing.

“I never knew you were nuts, Daddy. It’s a complete shocker to me,” she said. “You’ve always made such rational decisions.”

I lowered my sunglasses and shot her a look which made her giggle. Then she got up on her toes and kissed me, which always helped. We also got at least three scandalized looks from other people in the lines around us. Once upon a time that would have worried me, now it just amused the hell out of me.

“Come on, Daddy. It’ll be good. It’ll be the fun kind of nuts, I promise,” she said.

I couldn’t help but laugh at her playfulness. ‘The fun kind of nuts.’ Oh yes. There was no doubt that most of the last six months has been the good kind of crazy, which was a pleasant change from the previous two years of really bad crazy. Reestablishing my life, buying a new house, finding new love even if it was in the package of a 20-year-old, frequently bratty, little girl.

But the decision to take that bratty little girl to Disney might be topping my nuts list.

I was trying to shove those thoughts into a deep corner of my brain. I didn’t want to have them. That was the old me. The one who overthought and planned for everything. I just wanted a week, at Disney, with my girlfriend. I just wanted to keep this miraculous streak of happiness rolling.

I wanted the good nuts. Absolutely.

Because I already had a best friend recently explain to me why I was just plain, straight-up nuts.


(Toronto – Two weeks earlier)

“You are batshit insane for doing this,” Meg said, sipping a gin and tonic, her drink of choice when she wanted to tear into someone a bit, which was normally always. I was nursing a diet coke instead of a pint. Happy or not, I just couldn’t touch alcohol these days. Not since the accident. I’m not sure I ever would again.

We were at a bar we always liked to hit in Kensington Market. It was laid out weird, but you could always find a cozy corner to have a sivas escort conversation. It was also the perfect spot to introduce Kit to a select few of my Toronto-based friends. They weren’t all huddled around her like she was on display. Instead, we could move from table to table and chat with small groups.

Despite telling her that it wasn’t tit for tat, and she didn’t have to go to Toronto just because I was taking her to Florida, Kit insisted on going for a few days. She thought it was about time she met a few more of my friends. Plus, she figured the longer she was a mystery, the greater the likelihood of her obtaining mythological status.

“It can be fun being worshipped, Daddy, but there are limits,” she said.

At the moment, she was talking to a couple of the women from my former policy shop. She appeared to be holding her own, even if the intricacies of infrastructure policy were a little outside of her interests. I think it was more likely they were trying to determine it was true that she tried to tear the face of their boss’s wife. This provided the perfect window for Meg to pull me aside and do what she’s been wanting to do since we arrived the night before…question my sanity.

“I am not insane. There’s a method to the madness,” I countered. She raised her eyebrow skeptically. It would work better against me if I didn’t know how long she had practiced being able to do that in law school. She thought it would be an effective tool in court.

“Look, it wasn’t the original plan, but this is what I have. It’ll be fine,” I added.

“Out of curiosity, what was your original scheme?” she asked.

“Look, she’s always wanted to go to Disney, so I thought it would be a nice treat. Originally I was going to do it at the end of the school year, but she’s landed a new job and she’s very excited about it and it starts right after classes end. Then I was thinking maybe at the end of the summer, right before classes start, but hey, a redhead in Florida at the end of August…”

She nodded her head. “Unless you want to turn her to ash, not a good idea. Ok…”

“So I thought, why not Spring Break. A bit sooner than I had planned, but it gives her a break from Montreal and the slush, and a recharge before exams. Plus, things are going well so why not?” I said. There, that was a solid argument.

Meg shook her head.

“I enjoy the meticulous planning of your spontaneous decision,” she said, taking a sip from her drink in an attempt to hide her smirk. She failed.

I casually flipped her the finger, which was my way of admitting defeat to her sarcasm.

“So I’ve explained my reasoning. Explain why I’m a mad man,” I said.

Meg put down her drink and leaned across the table. She held up an open hand and began to tick the point off on her fingers. Again, effective, if I hadn’t been around watching her practice the stunt a couple of decades ago.

“First,” she said, tapping a finger, “the two of you have been together about five months. Staying at Disney for five days is a crazy amount of money to spend on someone you’ve known for that long. I know you’re doing fine, and you don’t like hearing that, but it’s true.

“Second,” she said, tapping the next finger and not giving me a chance to address her point, “Vacations together are a huge step. It’s one thing for the two of you to be all cozy together in your love shack when there’s no stress or decisions to be made. It’s something else when you’re dealing with planes, hotels, and deciding who does what.

“Third, Disney is a zoo. It breaks people’s will to live. People who have been together for years can start screaming at each other like lunatics because the line to Space Mountain is too long. You’re going there with someone you’ve only just started dating. You and Beth nearly killed each other there once and you had been married for years.

“And fourth, yes, you’re happier than I’ve seen you in years. But I worry about what happens if someone scandalized by the two of you being nauseatingly affectionate together given your age difference. You and that cane make me nervous. And for good reason,” she said, sitting back in her chair.

“One time I try and kill someone with my cane, and I’ll never live it down,” I said, attempting to bring some levity to things.

“Don’t,” she said, her stare squashing the idea of joking about it, before it got too far. Fair enough.

I sighed. Knowing Meg, she had practiced her arguments in front of a mirror before coming here and had also practiced shooting down my counterarguments. Great lawyer, loyal but occasionally frustrating friend. Spectacularly shitty wife. At least she learned her lesson after the second marriage.

“Look, I’m not going to say those aren’t some valid concerns. But I do have to get out there and start living my life and you know I have the money. Plus I know what Disney is like. We’ve done comic cons, and while they’re not the same, we are somewhat familiar with being stuck sivas escort bayan in an overcrowded space filled with unhygienic lunatics all wanting to do the same thing at the same time.

“Besides, she’s doing most of the planning at the park, and she’s been diving face first into it. Anytime I ask if she needs a second set of eyes, I get a death glare, so I’m content to follow her lead,” I said.

“And you’re both ok with that arrangement?” she said.

“Sure. Of course,” I said. I got the raised eyebrow, but she moved on to the topic that tended to worry her the most.

“And your temper?”

I leaned across the table to look her in the eye. I had been joking before, but I want to emphasize how serious I was. “Unless I run into that piece of shit on the ‘It’s A Small World’ ride, I think I’m safe. Besides, it’s not my temper you have to worry about…

As if on cue.

“Are we talking about my temper,” Kit said, plopping down in the chair next to me at the table making me immediately feel lighter. I took her hand, gave it a squeeze and put it up to my lips to give it a kiss. She giggled. Meg made a face that indicated she was probably going to need another drink.

“Meg has concerns we’re about to go all ‘Natural Born Killers’ at Disney,” I said. She gave me a puzzled look.

“It’s a movie. Before your time,” I said. She shrugged. Once again I made a mental note to encourage her to watch some of the movies that didn’t involve superheroes, science fiction, or wizards. Oh, and that wasn’t animated.

“We’ll be fine. Ben’s in charge of getting us there and I’m in charge once we get there. I’ve got everything planned out. It’s all good. Unless someone says something bad about my man, then I get all Wolverine on their ass,” Kit said, making some kind adorable gestures with her hands, indicating claws popping or something.

I turned my head away and covered my mouth so she couldn’t see me smirking. Meg just shook her head.

“Just remember, I’m not licenced to practice law in the States if you get in trouble. And they have the death penalty there,” Meg said.

“Disney has the death penalty?” Kit said, with big, wide-eyed seriousness that I was getting used to but for which Meg had no defence. I could tell she was wondering if Kit was serious right until she started cracking up. I joined her. It was apparently the final straw.

“I hate your nauseating geek love. I need a drink,” she said, getting up from the table and heading towards the bar.

I looked at Kit and shook my head.

“You are an evil little girl,” I said.

She leaned towards me, smiled, and said quietly. “Yes, but I’m *your* evil little girl, Daddy. Too bad we’re staying at Meg’s tonight or I’d show you how evil.”

“Maybe you can be quietly evil,” I replied. She looked doubtful.

“So how was talking with my friends and former co-workers?” I asked.

“I’m considering switching out of design and becoming an infrastructure policy analyst. It’s a deeply fascinating subject and I’ve become smitten,” she said, nodding her head in an attempt at being serious.

I was not fooled for two seconds. No one is eager to become an infrastructure policy analyst. It’s one of those things where you wake up one day, look around and think, “how the fuck did this happen?”

All of which I summed by responding, “Uh huh. Really?”

“Well, maybe not,” she said, seeing I wasn’t going to go for the bait. “Mostly it was about how we met and if it’s true I was arrested after punching Marie in the face.”

That got my attention. I knew things had been too quiet on that front. I could feel the urge to grab Meg, drive to Matt’s house, and show him what assault and battery really looked like. Kit could see I was getting agitated and put her hand on mine.

“Relax, no one believes it for a second. They didn’t believe it when she just happened to pop by the office to loudly say it in the office, and they really didn’t believe it after meeting me. Most of them are already looking for other jobs, by the way.”

I sighed. “I said she was trouble.”

She leaned over and kissed me on the nose. “I believe a wise Daddy told me to ignore people like that and just focus on being happy.”

“He sounds like a clever bastard,” I said.

“He’s got his moments,” she said, and then took a sip from her ginger ale. “So, what do you want to do next to drive Meg nuts?”

“I thought you were warming up to her?”

She nodded her head. “Oh, I am. But she’s so easy and fun to tease. And honestly, I think she could use some. She’s wound too tight.”

“Whose wound too tight?” Meg said, magically reappearing. I’d forgotten how easy it was to surprise people in this place.

“Oh, Marie,” Kit said, lying with an ease that should be a little worrying to me. Before Meg could warm up to the subject, Kit hit her with the jab. “Sooooo, we were wondering…just how soundproof are the rooms in your condo?”

I swear I could see a new escort sivas strand of grey hairs spontaneously develop on her head. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath.

“So how long is the karmic punishment for being a bitch to you after I caught you parading around naked at his house?”

Kit grinned.

“Half naked,” she corrected. “And long.”


(Disney – Spring Break)

Once we got inside the park I became concerned Kitten’s face might be permanently locked into some kind of Joker grin. She couldn’t stop smiling, absorbing all the Disney she could. However, I could tell Main Street was torturing her. All those shops, with so much Disney stuff she couldn’t buy.

Going into the shops violated her plan, which was to hit a bunch of rides before 11 am, which is when the crowds were supposed to surge. So no time for shopping. But that wasn’t the only reason why Main Street was torturing her. Even if we had the time, she couldn’t buy it all. And I wasn’t allowed to buy it for her.

It was part of The Deal. She couldn’t say no to a trip to Disney. She didn’t have that much willpower. But she was adamant I wasn’t spending anymore money on her once we got there. That meant I wasn’t allowed to buy her anything. Even last night, after we hit the hotel, I was still trying to change her mind. I figured once she saw the reality up close, she might ease up.

It was a longshot and she wasn’t going for it.

“Kitten,” I said, trying to warm her up, “I’m not sure you really know what you’re taking on by saying that. Disney is designed to make you want to spend money. They hired people with doctorates to design a park that makes you want to joyfully part with your money. You are subjecting yourself to a hefty level of torture.”

She continued to unpack, ignoring me.

“We’ve been through this, Daddy.”


She turned around and put her hands on her hips. Yes, it was her Serious Little Girl look, but it was honestly so adorable it was all I could do to keep a straight look on my face.

“Daddy, are you going to tell me how much you spent on all of this?” she asked, knowing the answer.

“You don’t tell someone how much their gift cost, Kit. It’s pretty tacky.”

“Ok, but I know roughly how much you spent on this and it was thousands, Daddy. Thousands. No one has ever spent that kind of money on me before and it blows my mind you would do this for me,” she said.

“But…” I started. She held out a hand.

“Nope. I’m thrilled that I’m here and I love you for doing this. But I’ve saved up money over the last couple of weeks and I have enough to get a few nice things while I’m here. Plus, I’ve done comic cons. I do have some will power. I’ll be fine,” she said, ending the discussion.

And now we were walking down Main Street and I could tell her will power was taking a beating. Sure, you can resist things at a comic con. You can go to areas of the con where they aren’t trying to sell you things. Disney is designed to make you buy things everywhere you look. Go to Disney…see how long you last before your childhood starts screaming in your brain to buy all the things. Good luck resisting it.

“How are you holding up, Kitten?” I asked, as we continued down the street. Her head kept swivelling around.

“You…weren’t wrong about it being hard to resist stuff,” she admitted.

It seemed inappropriate to gloat. I had an idea of how to help, but I was going to mention it to her later. For right now, I got her mind back on task.

“So, where to first, my Kitten?” I asked. We were getting near the end of Main Street, so a decision had to be made soon.

She shook her head and looked up at me.

“Pirates!” she said with glee. We hung a left and headed in that direction.

The next few hours were a lot of fun. Disney can be fun if you just relax and don’t stress out. Kitten must have read that somewhere, because that’s exactly what we did. We didn’t beat it from ride to ride, trying to frantically cram in as much as we could. We would do a couple of rides, take a slow stroll over the next Disney section, moving in a clockwise fashion. Kitten would consult her phone and then say she wanted to take a break in some shade, or hint that something cool to drink would be nice.

I didn’t ask, but I could tell she was moving at a slower pace so as not to hurt my knee. We were ambling slowly around the park. Her need for breaks and shade were all designed to make sure I didn’t strain my knee. I smiled as she went over to one of the waterways and waved at people going by on a boat. Her joy was infectious.

Just before noon, we finished the Haunted Mansion and she then called for mercy, which meant food, shade, and air conditioning. We managed to find a spot and enjoy the quality, reasonably priced food that Disney is known for. She took off her hat, and ran her hands through her hair.

“Blah, I’m a sweat spot,” she moaned. “I knew it would be hot, but gah.”

I took a pull on my water. I learned a long time ago not to drink soda in this kind of heat. It was creeping over 30C and it probably had another five degrees to go before it peaked. The humidity also felt like it was about 110%.

“I know. What kind of lunatic builds a theme park in a marsh in Florida?” I said.

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