Cami hadn’t walked too far from Diego before she ran into her father and his heavy hand.
“I’ve never been more ashamed of you than I am today,” Frank said vehemently, temporarily flinging his military conventions away like a boomerang that he’d receive back when he got good and ready. “I can’t believe how slutty you’ve behaved at a church function of all places.”
“I…I…” Cami stammered out, holding the smarting side of her face. Tears of humiliation glistened in her eyes. She looked around to see if anyone had witnessed that smack by her angry father.
Even though Diego was the only one who’d seen the encounter and was currently leaving the area so that father and daughter could have even more privacy, that was still one person too many for Cami. As a result, her face grew redder all over.
“Don’t try to deny it, Cami,” Frank continued, not letting her get a word in edgewise. “I watched you flirt with these Christian men all day, trying to tempt one after the other into sleeping with you. That kind of trampiness is the exact reason I ended up divorcing your mother. It’s also the reason I’m putting you out of my home. In fact, those extra suitcases I brought along on this trip are filled with your things.”
My things?! Cami mused in shock. Aloud she said, “But I have nowhere else to go, Daddy.” Tears began to roll down her cheeks now as she realized exactly what he was saying or rather what he was doing – kicking her out of his house.
Frank was obstinate. “No, Cami. I’ve had five and a half months of watching you throw your life down the drain. You won’t keep a job and I’m tired of seeing you on the arm of a different man every weekend. What kind of example are you setting for your son? A son that has been in countless fights since you moved in with us because kids are starting to call you the neighborhood whore. A son that you might never get full custody of again unless you straighten all the way up.”
Cami was truly speechless now. She had no idea that she’d been the cause of Little Man’s recent neighborhood brawls. She thought the other kids had just been jealous of how nicely she kept him dressed. Even now her son had on the latest in name brand attire from head to toe. Attire that Cami purchased with some of her own money, but mostly with money she got from her various male friends in
“I asked you to come to
“Yes, you did,” Frank snapped, interrupting her lies. “When you took too long coming back to
Cami inhaled sharply at those words. Her cheeks burned with shame.
“Yes, I heard you in there,” Frank confirmed with glossy eyes. “I was so proud of Royal when he rejected you. So ashamed of you as a daughter for even trying to tempt a married man in the first place. A relative’s husband at that.”
Cami hung her head. She didn’t dare try to say anything else. What was there to say? She was guilty as charged. More tears rolled down her burning cheeks.
Frank sniffed back his own tears and continued. “And yet because you are my daughter, I’m not going to leave you completely destitute. Before I leave town, I’m going to give you enough money for two months of room and board. Now you can stay in
“Yes, Daddy. I’ll stay out of
She’d spent too many years away from her son. She wanted Little Man with her. She wanted to be with him. She also wanted to prove to everyone that she could be a better mother to Little Man than Delia ever was.
Somehow, some way, I’m going to find a man rich enough to take care of us both, Cami mused, totally missing the main point of her father’s heartfelt reprimand as Frank walked away.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier