Or attempting to right the “wrongs” of Gilmore Girls Season 6
When we made the schedule for this week and it was decided that I’d be writing today’s piece, I was honored. I had the opportunity to write about Gilmore Girls on. June. Third. So exciting!
For those who may not know, June third is possibly the only date of significance in the GG universe. Most notably, it was the date Lorelai picked out for her wedding to Luke in Season 6 (that was sadly postponed and eventually called off). I think most fans know that. However, what they might not know is that June third was also mentioned in Season 5, as the date of Rory’s upcoming court hearing (you know, because she stole a yacht). Is there any real reason Amy Sherman-Palladino/the other writers chose this date twice? Honestly, probably not. But you know how fandoms are — we’ll take any potential holiday we can get.
So, what did I decide to write for my June third piece? Strange as it may seem, the only thing that really felt right to me was a fanfiction piece. A piece in which I could “right the wrongs” of Season 6 (although for the record, I’m a bit of a Season 6 stan). Luke and Lorelai’s eventual wedding in AYITL is lovely, but isn’t there a part of each of us that wishes June 3, 2006 had been their anniversary after all? So that’s what I set out to depict. It’s maybe a bit rushed, and the prose is not as elegant as I’d like, but I do think it feels pretty Gilmore-y on the whole. But I guess I’ll let you be the judge of that!
Without further ado, I present to you: “June Third.”
For possibly the first time in her life, Lorelai Gilmore woke up feeling perfectly calm. That is, until she turned her head and noticed a pair of bright blue eyes staring right at her. “Ahh!” she screamed as Rory broke her intense gaze and let out a giggle. Shuddering off the initial shock of finding her daughter in bed with her, Lorelai scoffed, “Isn’t that kind of my thing?”
“On my birthday, yes. But today is your day!” Rory grinned, sprung out of bed, and started pacing the room. “Now, come on, we’ve got lots to do. We need to get you showered, get you made up, get you dressed, get you — ”
“Coffee?” Lorelai interjected.
Rory skidded to a halt. “Right! I’ll go make some coffee.”
Lorelai smiled for a moment, then suddenly shouted, “Don’t forget the pop-tarts!”
“Already unwrapping them!” Rory called out from downstairs.
Part of Lorelai couldn’t believe the day had finally arrived, but most of her just couldn’t believe it had taken this long to happen. She picked up the phone and dialed the all-too-familiar number.
Luke yawned dramatically as he answered the phone. “Hello?”
“You were still asleep?” asked Lorelai, somewhat surprised.
The sound of Lorelai’s voice jolted Luke awake. “Wh-what time is it? Am I late? Jess, get up! Ahh, jeez, I knew this would happen, I — ”
“No no no! You’re fine! I just…wanted to talk.”
“Don’t you do enough of that?”
Lorelai gasped. “That’s no way to talk to your bride-to-be!”
“Oh yeah…isn’t it bad luck or something for us to be doing this right now?”
“You know, this sort of…telephone rendezvous…”
Lorelai was chuckling to herself when she heard the clamor of pots and pans downstairs.
“I take it Sookie just got there?” Luke asked.
“Either that or it’s New Year’s Eve.”
Luke smiled. “No, it’s definitely June third.”
“Definitely June third.” She hung up the phone.
In the kitchen, Rory was helping Sookie set up an enormous spread of breakfast “delicacies.” Sookie lit up when Lorelai appeared in the doorway. “Ohhhhh, there she is!” She squeezed Lorelai for a moment or two longer than was probably necessary. Then she got serious. “How’re you feeling? You got cold feet? You better not go all Julia Roberts on us and get cold feet, because I mean we’ve all been waiting, and waiting, and — ”
“I’m not running away this time.”
Sookie looked into her best friend’s eyes and knew that she was telling the truth. Her own eyes began to well up, so she tried to distract herself. “Ahh, where were we? Yes, yes, breakfast! I prepared all your favorites.” She gestured to the various trays and bowls that covered nearly every surface of the kitchen. “We’ve got waffles, and a topping bar…there’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch au lait, and donuts — some jelly-filled, some not…ooh, and over here we have — ”
The doorbell rang, and both Gilmore girls decided to run and answer it as Sookie continued prattling on. Rory chirped, “Let me get it! We can’t have just anyone seeing the bride before the ceremony!” Lorelai “conceded” by standing behind Rory and facing away from the front door. Rory opened it. “Grandma!”
Lorelai whipped around. “Mom? You do realize the wedding isn’t for another five hours, right? And it isn’t happening at my house?”
Emily gave Lorelai one of her signature stares. “Yes, Lorelai, I’m aware of when and where the ceremony is taking place. I read the simple invitation you sent.” She said the word “simple” like it somehow had a foul taste to it. “I wanted to help you get ready.” Lorelai and Rory exchanged an inquisitive, yet not unhappy, look.
“Well, that’s…really nice, Mom.”
“Yes, well, I wanted to make sure my only daughter won’t be walking down the aisle looking like that Angelina Jolie.”
“Not sure if I should be offended or flattered,” Lorelai murmured to Rory.
“I’d go with flattered,” Rory responded.
Suddenly, Sookie rushed into the living room and flung her arms around Emily. “Oh, Emily! Can you believe this is really happening?”
Emily tried to retain her composure, but she couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Lorelai chimed in. “Your disbelief is touching, Sookie, but I think — just this once — I don’t want you to squeeze my mother to death.”
“Oh, gosh, I’m sorry!” Sookie let go of Emily, who promptly brushed herself off. “I’ve gotta run anyways. I need to put the finishing touches on your cake!” She paused to look Lorelai over one last time. “I’m really proud of you, Lorelai.” This time, it was Lorelai who pulled Sookie in for a hug. Next to them, Rory beamed, and Emily pondered.
As Rory worked on the finishing touches of her mom’s makeup, Emily inspected Lorelai’s bedroom.
“Looking for something in particular there?” Lorelai called from the bathroom.
“No,” Emily said somewhat absentmindedly. She ran her fingers over the smooth wooden bedframe and lightly scoffed at the unmade bed. She thought about making a snide comment to Lorelai, but decided that on this particular day, doing so wouldn’t really bring her any satisfaction. Instead, she got to work making the bed.
Lorelai appeared at the doorway. “If you’re looking for sex toys, you’re looking in the wrong place.”
“For God’s sake, Lorelai!” Emily huffed as she straightened the pillows. She paused for a moment, then looked at her daughter. “Luke did a nice job remodeling this house. I still think he would prefer the house your father and I picked out for you two, but if you insist on staying here, I suppose that’s your choice.”
“I’m really glad you came by this morning.”
Emily looked down, trying to conceal a smile and, even more so, the tears forming in her eyes. “I guess I’d better be going. I’m sure your father needs help with his tie.” She walked past the bathroom. “Goodbye, Rory! I’ll see you at the church.”
Emily stopped at the doorway. “Lorelai, I — ” She hesitated.
“I’ll see you at the church. Don’t be late!”
Lorelai rolled her eyes. “Bye, Mom.” She rejoined Rory at the bathroom mirror and threw an arm around her.
“Uhh, hair! Be careful!” Rory yelped, leaning away from her mom.
“Oh, come on,” Lorelai chided. “It’s not like you’re hosting a DAR function.”
Now it was Rory’s turn to roll her eyes. “No, I’m not. I’m just attending my mother’s wedding!”
Grinning, Lorelai said, “Yeah, you are!” She threw both arms around Rory, who made a face, but eventually gave in.
Luke looked himself over in the mirror with exasperation. He could count on one hand the number of times he’d worn a regular necktie, but a bowtie? This was completely out of his wheelhouse. He messed with the tie some more before he was interrupted by a “tsk tsk” sound behind him.
“I feel like you shouldn’t be allowed to wear one of those if you’re scared of ‘em.”
Luke gave Jess a look that was both irritated and helpless. “Could you — ”
“Come here,” Jess said. In a matter of moments, Luke had a perfect black bow around his neck.
“They teach you that in Philadelphia?” Luke asked.
Jess chuckled. “You’d be surprised what you can learn if you pick up a book.”
Luke was all dressed and ready to go fetch April. He absentmindedly walked through the diner and out the door, but quickly spun around and came back in. “KIRK! What…are you doing?”
“I’m waiting to be served. I’m a regular patron of this establishment, and it’s your job to serve me.”
“Not today, Kirk!” Luke was seething.
“Isn’t the customer always right?”
“I would like a cheese Danish, please.”
Luke took a breath, stomped around the counter, lifted the lid of the pastry display, grabbed a cheese Danish with his bare hand, and slammed it in front of Kirk. He yelled, “Lock up when you’re done!” on his way back out the door.
Kirk called after him, “What do I owe you?” Upon receiving no response, he shrugged and dug into his Danish.
“I can’t believe Lorelai’s really getting married!” exclaimed Lane. She noticed Rory looking somewhat distracted. “Aren’t you excited?”
Rory was watching Jess through the window. She hadn’t seen him since that kiss in Philadelphia. That kiss…she knew it was wrong, but for some reason…it had stayed with her.
Lane’s voice knocked Rory back into reality. “Huh?”
“Didn’t you hear me? I asked if you’re excited about the wedding.”
“Oh. Yeah. Yeah! I’m so excited. Totally thrilled.”
“That’s good.” Lane thought for a second. “Is there part of you that kind of wishes she were marrying your dad instead of Luke?”
“Oh, I don’t know. Obviously that’s what every kid wants — for their parents to be together. But Luke — well, he’s basically already been like a dad to me for as long as I can remember.”
Lorelai stepped out into the main part of the bridal room, dress halfway on. “Buttons!” she cried. “I need help with these buttons, Rory!”
Rory sprung up and got right to her maid of honor duties. Lane, Sookie, and Liz fawned over Lorelai.
“You’re just radiant,” said the ever-airy Liz.
Lorelai reached behind her back, attempting to help Rory button up the dress more quickly. “I feel like that sad, creepy girl in The Nightmare Before Christmas,” she whined.
“She had stitches everywhere, not buttons,” Rory replied, slapping Lorelai’s hands away. Lorelai pouted for a moment. Then, she started tapping her feet and humming “This is Halloween.” “Do you want to get buttoned up or not?” Rory snapped.
“Sorry, Mom,” Lorelai said in a sing-song way.
“And…there! All buttoned up.” Rory took a step back to admire her mom in her perfect wedding dress. Lane, Sookie, and Liz stood up to do the same.
“You look beautiful, Lorelai,” Lane said.
“Yes, she does,” crooned another voice. Emily had apparently entered the bridal room. Before anyone could say anything to her, she continued, “Your father is wondering where he should wait.”
Lorelai looked puzzled. “What do you mean?”
“Well, he wasn’t sure if there was a designated place for him in the foyer, or if perhaps he should just take a seat in the back row of the church for now. Obviously I’m going to wait in here with you until the start of the ceremony.”
“Why can’t he just go sit where you guys will be sitting during the ceremony?”
“Won’t that be rather cumbersome, for him to have to come all the way back here to you when everyone else is piling into the church?”
Lorelai shook her head in confusion. “Why would he…” And then it hit her. “Oh. You think…you think Dad’s going to walk me down the aisle.”
“Well of course your father will walk you down the aisle. It’s tradition,” Emily stated firmly.
Lorelai let out half a laugh. “Right, well, in case you haven’t noticed, Mother, I haven’t really gone the traditional route on most things.” She gestured towards Rory.
Anger swelled in Emily. The other bridesmaids made themselves busy with the bouquets in the background as they attempted to not look like they were eavesdropping (which, of course, they were). Emily said, “Fine then. If you’re so insistent on always doing things your way, then so be it. Your father’s feelings be damned.” She quickly turned and left the bridal room.
“Mom!” Lorelai called, but the slamming of the door drowned her out. She turned to her bridesmaids. “She’s ridiculous!”
No one knew how to respond. Hesitantly, Rory said, “I’m gonna go talk to Grandma and Grandpa. Just to smooth things over.” Lorelai attempted to interject, but Rory continued, “You really don’t want them to be angry with you today, do you?” Defeated, Lorelai gestured for her to go.
Like some kind of weird trick of fate, Rory almost immediately bumped into Jess in the church lobby. After some awkward apologies, Jess said, “How’s your mom doing?”
Rory was a bit thrown off. “Wow, I don’t think you’ve ever genuinely asked about my mom.” She smirked.
“Well, I think today’s a special enough occasion.” He smiled back at her. Their hurried kiss lingered in the back of both their minds.
“She’s actually doing really great,” Rory said.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
“A bit of a mess, of course, but between me and April, we’ve got him under control.” Jess continued to say something, but Rory didn’t catch it. Her focus had shifted to Logan, who had just entered the church. Jess turned around to see him too, then looked back to Rory. “I see you’re still with that Porsche-driving douche?”
“Jess!” Rory cried, fighting off another smirk. Logan, leaning on his cane, approached them.
He smiled at Rory. “Hey, Ace.” His face fell as he turned to Jess. “Josh.”
Jess pursed his lips, nodded, and went back to the huddle of groomsmen. Rory gave Logan a look. “You know what his name is.”
“I know I don’t like him!” He gave Rory a kiss, then leaned back to check her out. “And I also know my girlfriend makes one hot bridesmaid.”
Rory’s face fell. “Haven’t you had enough bridesmaids for one lifetime?”
“Oh, come on — ”
“Teasing!” Rory playfully grabbed Logan’s hands. His frustration melted away.
“How’s everybody doing? How’s your mom?”
“She’s doing great, she — well, actually, she got into a fight with my grandma.”
“Naturally,” Logan replied. “What was it this time? Programs aren’t fancy enough for Emily? Her DAR friends didn’t make the guest list?”
“No, she just thought that my grandpa would be walking my mom down the aisle,” Rory said nonchalantly.
“Well, why isn’t he?”
“You know my mom.”
“Yes, and I know your grandpa. I bet he’s devastated about this.” Rory didn’t know how to respond. Logan offered, “I could talk to your grandparents if you want? Try and smooth things over.”
Rory smiled, a bit sadly. “That’s okay.” They stood in silence for a moment. “I should probably get back to the bride.”
“You do that, ‘Ace of Honor.’” He kissed her as she shook her head at him.
Rory began to open the door to the bridal room but was greeted by a familiar voice behind her. “Hey, kiddo!”
“Dad!” Rory went to embrace Christopher. “We weren’t sure if you were coming.”
“Aww, I wouldn’t miss it.” They exchanged a glance. “I’m just happy your mom’s happy. Speaking of, am I allowed a minute or two with the blushing bride?”
Rory looked over her shoulder toward the bridal room. “I bet I could squeeze you in.” She led him over to the room and added, “Just don’t mention the buttons.”
“I warned you!”
The bridesmaids’ chatter stopped suddenly when Christopher entered the room. From the doorway, Rory motioned for them to join her in the lobby.
Lorelai looked up at the man she’d known for 20-some-odd years. The man that, admittedly, she’d always kind of thought she’d wind up with. But when she looked into his eyes at this moment, she knew in her heart that it wasn’t meant to be. She tried to come up with something clever to say, mentally whipping through quip after quip, comeback after comeback, but she ultimately decided to go with a simple, “You came.”
“You look great, Lor.” Had anyone seen the look he gave Lorelai in that moment, they would have had absolutely no doubt about his feelings for her. But Christopher was resolute in his aforementioned belief: as long as Lorelai was happy, he was happy.
“You don’t look all that bad yourself,” Lorelai replied. She motioned for Christopher to join her on the couch.
Christopher noticed something in Lorelai’s face. “What’s going on? Don’t tell me you’re getting cold feet now.” Was there a tinge of hope in his voice? He tried to conceal it.
“No, that’s not it.” She gave him a small, bittersweet smile. “It’s…my parents.”
“Uh-oh, what’d they do this time? They are here, aren’t they?”
“Oh yes — they’re here.” Lorelai wrung her hands. “Apparently, my dad wants to walk me down the aisle.” She paused, expecting a reaction. Instead, Christopher looked mildly amused.
“And…there’s something wrong with that? I think that’d be really nice for you and Richard to walk down the aisle together.”
“Yeah, maybe…I don’t know.” More hand wringing. “Is it weird that I’ve never really pictured him walking me down the aisle? Well, not that I can remember, at least.”
“Is that it? Or maybe…have you never even pictured yourself walking down the aisle?” Christopher offered.
Lorelai looked as if she’d just had an uncomfortable epiphany. She sighed. “I think I need to go talk to Luke.”
“Before I go, Lor, I just want to say…” Christopher hesitated. He got one last good look at Lorelai Gilmore, the single woman. “You don’t know how long you’re going to have your dad. Don’t…don’t blow it like I did with mine.” They held each other’s gaze for a moment. “Also, how many buttons are on that thing?” He leaned over to look at Lorelai’s back, but she playfully pushed him away.
Realizing she was completely alone, and remembering her dire need to talk to Luke, Lorelai performed an elaborate Mission Impossible-esque routine on her way to the door. She flung it open — well, just a few inches — then took a peek outside. Lots of guests were arriving: Kirk and Lulu (dressed eccentrically, at best), Ms. Patty (also dressed a bit eccentrically), Babette and Morey (also — well, you get the idea), and even Taylor Doose (sensibly dressed). Lorelai scanned the area, desperately searching for one of her bridesmaids.
“Lorelai!” cried Babette.
Lorelai’s eyes widened as guests tried to identify where Babette was looking. She slammed the door shut, then waited for the general chatter to resume. Creaking the door open, she whispered, “Babette! Babette!”
Babette snuck over to the door, trying a bit too hard to seem casual. She rasped back, “What’s goin’ on, sugar? What d’ya need?”
“I just need to talk to Luke for a second!”
“But you can’t do that!” Babette cried. Lorelai shushed her. “Oh, sorry, doll! But really, it’s bad luck for you two to see each other before the ceremony.”
“We don’t have to see each other!” Lorelai said. “Can’t you figure something out? Please?”
Babette nodded resolutely. Now it was time to drop the whisper. “Attention! Attention!” The Stars Hollow crowd seemed unphased by Babette’s yelling, but the other guests weren’t sure whether to be amused or deeply concerned. Babette continued, “Everybody get your butts into the church! There’s…umm…” She looked to Lorelai for guidance.
Lorelai wracked her brain for a fake reason to get everyone out of there. “Gift bags!” she whispered with a shrug.
“There’s gift bags!” Babette exclaimed. The guests oohed. “That’s right, there are gift bags under the pews! First come, first serve!” The crowd instantly dissipated, with only the bridesmaids, groomsmen, and Luke still in the lobby. Babette chased after her husband. “Morey! Morey, that was just a lie! Don’t get your hopes up!”
Rory spotted a sliver of her mother’s face from behind the bridal room door. She rushed over to her. “What, exactly, is going on?”
“I need to talk to Luke!” Lorelai whispered.
“Right now?” Rory asked. “Aren’t you guys about to be talking up at the altar in a little while?”
“All right, all right. Hmm…okay.” Rory strutted over to the bridal party. “Bridesmaids, groomsmen, countrymen — I need a favor. Can you guys all go hide out in the bridal room for a bit?”
“You mean all of us?” TJ asked.
“Yes, everyone. It’ll just be a minute,” Rory said.
TJ looked incredulous. “But isn’t your mom all — ” He made some crude gestures around his body. “ — all naked in there?”
“TJ,” Luke scowled.
“I can assure you, everyone is dressed. Now go!” Rory commanded.
Luke had thought he was used to the Gilmore girls’ shenanigans by now, but this one seemed particularly strange to him. “Rory, what’s going on?”
“Just turn around, and stay there.”
“Okay…” Luke slowly spun to face the wall.
“Good.” Rory moved back toward the bridal room to fetch her mom. With Lorelai facing the other wall, she carefully led her over to be near Luke. “There,” Rory said, satisfied with her work. “Now, promise me you two won’t look at each other.”
Luke began to turn around, saying, “Lorelai?”
“No!” Rory and Lorelai both shouted. Luke abruptly returned to his designated position. Smiling, Rory shook her head, mouthed “men” to her mother, and went to join the rest of the bridal party.
“Fancy meeting you here,” Luke said, attempting to be playful.
Lorelai was serious, though. “Luke.”
“Are you sad…that your dad can’t be here today?”
Luke went silent. He fidgeted with his hands a bit. Sighing, he replied, “Yeah, I…yeah. I really wish he was here. But that’s life, I guess.”
“Hmm,” Lorelai pondered.
“Does this have something to do with Richard?”
“How did you know?”
“Well, I know you.” They couldn’t see each other, but somehow, they were smiling at each other.
“He wants to walk me down the aisle.”
“And you don’t want him to?”
“…I don’t know? I’m not sure I agree with the whole concept of a man presenting his daughter to the altar for slaughter like she’s some kind of prize heifer!”
“I don’t think your dad sees you as his prize heifer.”
Lorelai scoffed. “Don’t be so sure!” She paused. “It just seems silly, him ‘giving me away.’ I already gave myself away a long time ago.”
“Then don’t look at it that way,” Luke reasoned. “Think of it as…the two of you taking a stroll. Just a nice little stroll in the middle of a church, wearing fancy clothes, and with everyone watching you.” In spite of herself, Lorelai laughed quietly. Luke continued, “Look, ultimately, whatever you wanna do, I’ll support it. But aren’t the happy memories you have with your dad few enough as it is?”
Lorelai reached behind herself to squeeze Luke’s hand. “Thank you,” she said, and then she ran back into the bridal room.
Lorelai took one look at Cesar, TJ, and Jess. “Out!” Cesar and Jess quickly headed for the door. TJ lingered. “Now!” Lorelai shouted.
“Bossy like her daughter,” TJ murmured, as a smiling Liz pushed him out of the room.
“Rory?” Lorelai asked.
“Would you go get your grandpa?”
Rory beamed. “Gladly!” She returned a minute or two later with a disgruntled-looking Richard.
“Is something wrong, Lorelai?” Richard said dryly.
“Dad?” Richard glanced over at her, appearing somewhat impatient. “Would you…would you please…walk me down the aisle?”
Richard’s expression changed dramatically. He looked to Rory for support, who gave him a simple smile and nod. He was smiling, too, but quickly put on a more serious facade and cleared his throat. “If that’s what you wish, then it is what will be done. After all, it is your day, Lorelai.” And then for the first time in a long time, Lorelai and her father just grinned at each other.
From a small crack in the door, Emily Gilmore watched the pair, and she grinned, too.
Luke took his place near Reverend Skinner. Even though this wasn’t actually his church, Lorelai couldn’t imagine being married by anyone else. He was happy to oblige.
To the side of the altar, Zack began softly plucking a simple version of Pachelbel’s “Canon” on his acoustic guitar. The first to come down the aisle were Liz and TJ, looking shockingly normal in a satin pink dress and tux, respectively. Liz’s baby bump was just barely visible, but TJ was sure to point it out to everyone.
Next were Sookie and Cesar, whose whispers about proper marination techniques could easily be heard by those seated nearest the aisle.
Zack almost fumbled the melody he was playing when he saw Lane arm in arm with an ever-handsome Jess. She gave him a “Really?” look, and he snapped out of his brief moment of jealous rage. Jess didn’t notice, as he was too busy sizing up Logan over on the bride’s side.
Last were the daughters, Rory and April, giggling to each other as they pranced down the aisle. Rory looked stunning in her smooth pink dress, and April looked precious in her tux. Luke had pushed for her to wear a dress, but she insisted: “Am I your best man or not?”
Zack finished off his lovely rendition of “Canon,” and Morey instantly started banging out Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” on the organ. Everyone jumped and shuddered a little before quickly springing up and turning around to see the bride.
Lorelai and Richard beamed as they strode, both of their eyes sparkling in the light. Lorelai couldn’t help but swoon a bit in response to the look Luke was giving her. All of the guests — friends, family, miscellaneous townies — had their eyes glued on Lorelai. She really looked perfect.
Although, there was one guest not looking at the bride. Emily gazed inquisitively at Luke for a good while. His happiness was palpable; his love for Lorelai was radiating off him. He wasn’t what Emily would have picked out for her daughter — not by a long shot — but his feelings were pure. Suddenly, Richard and Lorelai appeared in Emily’s peripheral vision. Her mouth dropped, and she threw a hand to her heart. Reputation be damned — she let the tears stream onto her face this time, even letting out a little sob here and there.
“Who gives away this woman to be married?”
“Her mother, Emily, and I do,” said Richard proudly. Luke winked at Lorelai, who rolled her eyes in return.
Lorelai turned to face her father. “I love you, Dad,” she said quietly, looking up into his watery eyes.
Richard was clearly touched. “I…love you, too.” He reached out to shake Luke’s hand. “Luke…be good to her.”
Lorelai looked at Luke, the man who had always been there for her. The man who would open his diner at the drop of a hat just to serve her breakfast. The man who built her an ice rink to salvage her relationship with snow. The man who loved Rory like she was his own. This was it.
“Don’t worry, Dad,” she smiled. “He will be.”
Originally published on June 3, 2020