Walking up to my front door I smiled, glad to be home. Working late every night this week had taken it's toll and it was Friday. Closing the door behind me I shook my coat off and hung it in the hall. The house was filled with the mouth watering smell of a home cooked meal. I left my keys on the hall table and headed for the kitchen.
My wife had not heard me come in and was busy preparing dinner with her back to me. I sneaked towards her, the cat eyeing me suspiciously but not moving from her basket. We had a mutual hatred but she was too lazy to show her disgust for my presence with more than a dirty look. I slid my hands around my wife's hips and planted a kiss on her shoulder. She laughed with surprise and turned to kiss me on the lips.
"Good day?" she asked with a smile. I nodded and reached round her to steal a handful of grated cheese. "Oi! That's theft!" she objected, slapping my shoulder. I laughed and darted across the kitchen to enjoy my prize. Princess growled at me when I ventured too close to her. "I swear She thinks She's a dog!" I complained.
"She just hate's thieves!" my wife answered with a smirk. She never made any attempt to hide her delight at the fact the cat chose her over me. I scowled at the furry bitch, she turned her head.
My wife poured me a glass of red and placed it on the table as I sat. "Thanks!" I said, "How was..." A noise distracted me and stopped me in my tracks. I glanced up at the ceiling and held my breath in order to hear better. My wife had gone back to dinner, banging the pots in an attempt to cover the sound. "Annie" I said slowly. "Yes Dear?" she replied loudly, as innocent as she could. "Did I not make it clear enough to you both..."
"Oh lighten up!" she interrupted, "You can't wrap her up in cotton wool forever!" My jaw dropped at her words, I shook my head in disbelief. "It's not about wrapping her up in cotton wool Annie! I would just appreciate if when I lay down a house rule, you don't just let her break it when I'm not here!"
"Well you are here now, feel free to march up there and lay down the law but you are just going to embarrass your daughter, him and yourself!" she snapped firmly. We both knew that my Wife had the last say in everything, but this issue was not something I was comfortable with. But she was right, I would not be going up there.
I silently stood and walked over to the radio and turned it on, anything to drown out the squeaking bed springs coming erratically from my daughter's bedroom. "How you feel that this is acceptable I will never know!" I said under my breath. "Oh stop sulking!" Annie scolded as I went to leave the room. "And when they come down for dinner can you be nice please! I'm surprised He came back after the way you acted last time!"
I laid awake that night listening intently to the silence, I was sure I could still hear the mocking bed springs taunting me. Annie lay beside me asleep, Princess curled up at her feet ready to growl if I moved to close to my Wife. I would have kicked her off but Princess normally won the battle. Those claws had penetrated our duvet and shredded my feet many times before as I had attempted to bounce her off the bed. Me cursing her and promising to bury her alive.
Suddenly a thought struck me, the answer to my problem was right there in front of me. It was so simple, why had I not thought of it before?
I smiled and contemplated waking my Wife in order to smugly inform her that I had a plan to end the traumatic torture that my Daughter put me through. I thought better of it. Annie had a tongue sharper than the cat's claws if woken from slumber. Tomorrow I would regain my pride.
I was soaked through with sweat as I dragged him to his final resting place in the garden. I wiped the dirt from my face and straightened up to admire my work. Now my worries were over, my Daughter would be safe. Annie had said nothing when I had arrived home and showed her the contents of my boot. She wanted no part of it, telling me I needed to get it over with before Bella got home.
My heart raced as I heard the front door slam and Bella's voice, She was home from the party. Annie was in the kitchen and I could see her telling our Daughter what I had done. I waited in anticipation for her reaction. Bella came running out into the garden and stopped when she saw what I had done. Her eyes were wide and began to fill with tears.
She looked beautiful in her party dress, She would always be my little girl. I watched her break into a run, towards me. I picked her up and spun her in the air laughing. "Thank you Daddy!" She squealed as I gently tossed her onto Bobby Bounce. I shot a look at Annie who was smiling at me from the kitchen window , an approving look on her face.
Ever since Bella and Tommy, the young lad from next door, had begun using her bed as a trampoline I had visions of her falling again. She had lost her footing and tumbled into the wall. It was only a small bruise but Bella has screamed like I had never heard her scream before. I had run up the stairs with my heart in my throat. I had told them not to do it again, it was dangerous, but Annie had let them as I was over reacting apparently. So what if I'm over protective?
Well now Bella had a giant trampoline with a safety net and padded poles. It may have taken me all day to put together but it was worth it. Being eight, Bella will probably get bored of it within weeks. But 'accidentally' trapping Princess in the giant box it had come in, meaning a night in the garage instead of attacking my feet....
Totally worth it.