That wasn’t the last time you saw them. Although you never learned the girl’s name, her father was called Keith and despite how painfully awkward the situation seemed to be, he turned out to be just as embarrassed as you were. So in the end, it gave you a strange sense of common ground. It wasn’t every day that you found yourself thrown into a situation where a hot, single guy’s daughter called you her mother. That ice-cream was definitely needed to cool you down after that fiasco.
From that day, you found yourself bumping into them a whole lot more, the girl still fully convinced that you were her mother. She’d ask questions a lot in the brief moments she had alone with you; genuine ones, like if you were ever going to come home. But always, before you could answer, her father would cut in. Over time, he became more relaxed with his daughter calling you that - it had quite obviously deescalated from pure horror to expected repetition. Although, this did make it quite hard to decipher what on earth had gone on for his daughter to be calling you ‘Mummy’.
It took you having to say it before you got an answer. With tears in her eyes, the girl had come running up to you in the middle of the street and you had bent down to meet her level. With a sniffle, she tried to climb into your arms, rather than for a hug, urging you to pick her up. She was surprisingly light once you had her scoped up to your level, still crying. But by this point, you were used to her antics.
“Why don’t you come home?” She cried softly, grabbing the material of your shirt with her tiny hands.
“I’m not your Mummy, sweetheart.” You finally said, trying to be as kind as possible to her.
“That can’t be true!” She argued, puffing out her cheeks. “Daddy said that Mummy was beautiful, with pretty eyes and nice hair.”
Your eyes flickered between the girl and the man stood in shock before you. Keith looked back, half knowing and expectant of what his daughter was going to say next. He half-heartedly tried to interject, motioning to take his daughter out of your arms.
“She smells nice and has a kind heart.” The girl continued stubbornly, not at all impressed by her father’s interjection. He reached forwards and attempted to pull her away from you. However, this time, the girl was having none of it. “And most of all…”
The grip on your shirt tightened a little as the girl’s other hand reached out to her father’s. Unaware what she was up to until it was too late, you barely had any time to react before you felt yourself being pulled forwards with a surprising force. Your hands, rather than try to steady yourself, only wrapped around the girl tighter in case you fell. A hand pushed at your hip and the other over your’s, Keith’s surprise voiced in a muffled yell. You collided face first with him, roughly forced forwards by your stumbling - lips first into bruising contact.
“She loves my Daddy!”
Fuck the ice-cream; you were going to need a trip to the arctic to cool you down from this one.