The Name Is Dad.

Seven years ago, Melanie Carmichael took her five year old daughter and walked out on her childhood sweetheart to go to New York and follow a successful career as a fashion designer. Now she wants to remarry but her husband Jake refuses to divorce her, so Mel and her twelve year old daughter Emma return to Alabama to settle things. However, Emma is no longer the sweet five year old that Jake remembers.


"Hey Mel!" Melanie half smiled as she opened the back door of the car. Jake, her childhood sweetheart then husband for fifteen years was leaning over the side of the porch, watching her. "Long time, no see" he continued "How long has it been, sweetheart?"
"Seven years" replied Melanie, ducking down to look in the back of the car. Jake grinned and wolf whistled.
"Seven years and you still have the nicest ass in Alabama."
"Grow up Jake." Mel stood up and scowled. "I didn't come here so we could get back together. I came here to get you to sign these bloody papers, agree over custody of your daughter and let me get on with my life."
"You promised you'd bring her with you. Where is she?"
Emma decided now would be a good time to get out the car. She stood up and stared at the man she had once called daddy. Jake avoided the look in her eyes and scanned the rest of her. Seven years could change a lot, he thought. She was taller now but still as slim. Her body had begun to mature, giving her shape which she refused to show. The scruffy jeans and white shirt with sleeves rolled up past her elbows disguised her figure. You would have thought that living in New York with a fashion designer would have caused her to develop some style in the way she dressed, but no, she wore the same as she always had. Her blond hair was braided down her back but a few rogue strands had escaped and curled round her face, blowing in the breeze.
"Emma." Jake smiled and stood up, walking down the steps to meet her. Emma tensed up, stood taller and glared.
"Jake." The icy tone of her voice made Jake feel uneasy. He stood still, wondering what to do. It was Melanie who broke the uncomfortable silence.
"Emma, go inside and get yourself something to drink. Nothing alcoholic." She told her daughter. Emma walked up the steps, stepped past her father and went inside. Jake watched her go, paused and thought for a second then turned to Melanie.
"My twelve year old drinks?" He asked. Melanie pulled the last bag out of the boot of the car and turned to face him.
"Our twelve year old." She corrected "And yes, she drinks occasionally."
"Just occasionally?"
"Only when she's stressed."
He nodded, as though that statement made all the difference. Melanie looked at the luggage at her feet then up at him, her hands on her hips.
"Well are you going to help me with these or what?"