A Few Days Later.
Fisherman’s Pier | Brindleton Bay.
It was Sunday afternoon which meant Bridgette was busy prepping catering orders that would take her the rest of the day to finish. It also meant Camilla was finally free so James took advantage of this rare opening in her schedule to invite her out. He was never the type to try to control his child’s life or make decisions for her but Bridgette did have some valid concerns about Camilla’s relationship with Salim that he wanted to talk with her about.
James: It’s been good having you home, Pumpkin, [nudges] even if it is just for a few weeks.
Camilla: [laughs] Did Mama tell you to say that? I already promised her I would come home more.
James: [shakes head] Nope. This was all me [winks].
Camilla: Yeah, I bet [laughs].
Sitting on a boat with her dad in the middle of the river took her straight back to her childhood, right around five years old. On Sundays, her mom was always busy in the kitchen, too busy to entertain her, so she would just find an available spot on the floor and wait for her to get done. After awhile, James noticed her sad, bored, little face and started taking her fishing with him. Over time, it became like their own little tradition. Once she got older though, and started butting heads with her mom, these fishing trips became more of an excuse to talk.
James: So tell me about this boyfriend you have back in the city, Salim is his name?
Camilla: [smirks] So Mama, did put you up to this.
James: [laughs] There’s no kind of conspiracy here, I promise. We just had a conversation about it a little while ago so now I’m talking to you.
Camilla: Okay … what do you want to know?
James: Anything- tell me something you like about him.
Camilla: Well … remember that time you took me to that little bookstore, the one that was next to the antique shop?
James: Yeah, it was right after your birthday and you had me running round town trying to find that one book.
Camilla: [laughs] Yeah and remember how the owner lady, Miss Annabelle, I think is her name, gave me all those old books that none of the kids at school ever heard of?
James: I remember. You spent a lot of time in your room that summer.
Camilla: Yeah, well Salim read all of those books too [smiles] and we talk about them all the time and it’s like he picks up on all these things in them that I would’ve never noticed and he’s a writer too so the stuff he comes up with, I just love reading it.
James: Oh so, he’s into the same stuff as you?
Camilla: Yeah, and he does all these other little things too like … if I’m working on a project, he knows I won’t leave my apartment till I’m done so he’ll have food delivered from this Chinese restaurant I like to make sure I don’t forget to eat [smiles] and he remembers the most random things like the anniversary of the day we met and then, at work, when I got hired for my first big project, he got me these shoes that I mentioned in passing, like I only mentioned them once and he remembered that I wanted them and got them for me [laughs] and this one time, I was rushing for a meeting at the office and forgot to grab my glasses cause I couldn’t find my contacts so he went all the way back to get them for me so I wouldn’t be late.
The way she smiled when she spoke about him, he could tell Salim was someone special to her. Nothing made him happier than knowing this. That his little girl felt loved and that she was happy but at the end of the day, her well being was his primary concern so he had a few words of advice that he felt would benefit her in not only this relationship but any relationship she may have in the future.
James: This Salim sounds like a good guy then.
Camilla: [smiles] Yeah …
James: But your mama tells me he has some other things going on too so I’m going to tell you something that I need you to make sure you always remember, okay?
James: You had goals, hobbies, friends, all before you met him. These things are apart of your life [points at her], Camilla’s life, [shakes head] not Camilla’s life with Salim. Cause sometimes, relationships get tough, stressful, especially when kids are involved and you’ll start to feel like you need to work harder at it, to make things work and slowly, you’ll find yourself giving up all the things that belonged to you to make things work with him. So no matter what happens, don’t lose yourself in him, okay? It’s a good feeling to be loved and I’m glad you found it but make sure he doesn’t become the only thing that matters in your life, okay?
Camilla: [nods] Okay.
James: [hugs her] That’s my girl.