Good Morning, Daddy :
This all started with simple, little events. They were the kind of things that you question for a moment, and let pass without too much thought. I’ll start from the beginning:
It was a warm Saturday morning in spring. Saturdays were always early days for me, since my daughter loved to wake up early for cartoons and cereal, seeing as she was only 5, it wasn’t surprising that she couldn’t fully appreciate sleeping in on the weekends. At first, this Saturday was no different from the rest. Kaiya came into my room, kissed me on the cheek, and woke me up with a pleasant, “Good morning daddy!” I stirred a bit, and told her to go ahead and get Doc, our dog, some food while I got up.
My wife had already left for school, so there was no one save Kaiya to keep me from drifting back into a light sleep. When I woke again, I left the bedroom and went to the living room to check on Kaiya, since she’d been waiting for me to get her breakfast. When I got there though, the Television was not on, the dog had no food, and Kaiya was nowhere to be found.
I checked her room, thinking she may have gone back to play with her toys while she waited for me, but when I opened her door, I found her asleep in her bed. This was odd, as she never goes back to bed in the mornings, but I shrugged it off and got her out of bed for breakfast and cartoons. She opened her eyes, smiling, and said “Good morning daddy”. The rest of the day passed with no trouble.
The next weekend, everything was normal, Kaiya did not go back to bed after waking me up, and we spent the morning watching cartoons. The normalcy was short lived though. That afternoon, I was in the driveway working on my car while Kaiya read in her room. I had the car up on a jack and was pulling the oil pan when I heard little feet run by. At first I smiled, Kaiya was always curious about anything I was doing. I could hear doc barking from the window, which was the first alarm as he was generally a quiet dog. Then I watched as Kaiya’s little pink converse ran up to the side of the car, stood still for a moment, then reared back and slammed the jack out from underneath. I pulled myself from underneath the car, but Kaiya was nowhere to be found.
I was furious! I stormed inside, doc was still barking at the window, running around franticly. I flung open Kaiya’s door and began to yell, “What the hell do you think you were doing!? You could have killed me! You’re DONE for the day, DO NOT LEAVE THIS ROOM! Understood?”. She set down her book and gave me a puzzled look. “Daddy, I haven’t left my room at all.” I didn’t care to listen to her, but thinking back now I wish I had. I wish I hadn’t been to furious to think about the converse, the laces, and the fact that she was not wearing them when I burst into her room.
I explained everything to my wife that night, since I wasn’t too badly injured, she convinced me to chalk it up to a curious little girl’s accident. The daylight was almost gone, and we decided to go out for dinner. Kaiya couldn’t find her converse anywhere, not on the shoe rack, in the living room, or on the porch. After a bit of looking we found them neatly placed and untied in her closet. This was another thing I wish I had put some more thought into.
Now before I bring you up to speed, let me explain a few things. Kaiya, though smarter than the average five year old, was easily frustrated with learning new things. The most important of these being tying her shoes. She hadn’t figured the whole process out yet, and with that came untying her shoes. She usually just pulled them off and left the laces tied up. Another piece I wish I had taken into more consideration was Kaiya’s fascination with mirrors, and her recent ramblings about her imaginary friend. She would go on about how her friend thought that she was so pretty, and wanted to be just like her.
Back on topic now: The next few months went by without any major issues. A few more oddities like Kai’s shoes going missing for a day, or thinking I saw Kai on her bed, reading during the week, when I knew that during the week she was with her mother. A few mornings I woke up to knives out of place, the back door wide open, or the gas stove left on, but disregarded these things as the wife’s forgetfulness on her way out to school.
Now to explain how we got here, to this point, with me, locked inside my bedroom. This weekend, Kaiya’s mother asked to keep her for some family Christmas parties, which I agreed to since Kaiya does not have much family on my side to visit. I took advantage of this to get some extra sleep in. As I was lying in bed, half awake, half asleep. I could faintly hear doc barking in the kitchen. The bedroom door opened slowly with a muffled creak, and little footsteps walked towards my side of the bed. I kept my eyes closed, and tried to convince myself it was just doc coming in to remind me he needed food. I felt a small kiss on my cheek, I couldn’t move. I opened my eyes and there was Kaiya, smiling down at me. “Good morning, Daddy.”
I gave the thing a forced half smile, and asked her to wait in the living room. I think it’s aware that I know. I can see the wife’s car still in the drive way, and it’s started clawing at the door. Doc has stopped barking, and I fear the blood running under the door is his. The clawing, the giggling, those damned shoes!
The clawing stopped, and a soft, quiet whisper comes from behind me. “Good morning, Daddy!”