I'm not sure the site has sent out notifications, but for those of you that were interested I have the sequel up. Go to my profile and scroll down to the bottom. Title is no return.
If you're still undecided, here is a little sneak peek for ya.
No Return: Chapter 1: Five Years Later
I closed the cover of 'Goodnight Gorilla' for the second time in as much as ten minutes. It was a favorite and we both knew the words by heart. As I did every night, I mentally noted that I needed to buy a new copy of the treasured story since the pages were tattered almost beyond recognition. The small book held such sentimental value, even in its deteriorated state; I could never bring myself to actually replace it.
I placed the book on the bed table and patted the little head lying on my chest, silently wondering how I deserved to be so fortunate. My heart filled with an unexplainable love and devotion every time those tiny little arms wrapped around me. My life was complete.
"You brushed your teeth, right?" I asked, fully knowing the answer. It was a fun game to see what creative way Arden would dance around the truth. She would never overtly lie. She was too good and honest like her father, I supposed. But, she definitely flirted with minor untruths from time to time.
"I did this morning," she said sheepishly. Aha, the "truth as it does not apply to the current situation" tactic. Clever, I thought.
"To the bathroom," I gently scolded.
"But I want another story," she pouted, using her best stalling method.
"No, brush your teeth and then it's off to sleepy land you go."
"But...I want to kiss Daddy goodnight." Again with the stalling, I thought. Charlie was right; she did have a recognizable stubborn streak in her. I definitely had my work cut out for me.
"Daddy isn't home yet, but as soon as he walks in the door he will come straight up to your room to give you a goodnight kiss."
"But...," the little deviant protested. A battle of wills was a certainty at bedtime. Although mostly exhausting, it was sometimes fun to watch her test her boundaries.
"Tomorrow is your first day of Kindergarten; you want to be well rested for all of that fun," I reminded her.