“Daddy, may I ask you a question?” you inquired of your British father, Arthur, as he had just come home from work. With the time being nine o’clock at night, you were awfully tired but determined to see your father before heading off to bed. Arthur, however, looked dreadfully exhausted as his work day seemed to have taken a toll on him. That being said, no cheery greetings were made between the two of you. As he made his way to the kitchen, Arthur barely seemed to give you a glance.
“Sure, what is it dear?” Quickly, you followed him into the other room, seeing as he was actually willing to talk to you tonight.
“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?” A gasp left Arthur’s lips as his mind began to wonder why you felt the need to know. He shook his head to rid himself of sleep, seeing as he could barely see straight.
“Why do you ask such a thing?” he questioned while setting his briefcase down on the kitchen counter.
"I just want to know,” you shrugged. “Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?"
"Well, if you must know, I earn £100 an hour,” he answered matter-of-factly before heading over to the fridge to heat up some of your babysitter’s leftovers from the night’s supper.
"Oh.” With your head down, you then timidly asked him, "Daddy, may I please borrow £50?” You noticed your father froze in his position in front of the opened fridge. Needless to say, you knew him well enough to know that he was mad. The reason for this behavior, however, was unknown to you. Arthur stood up abruptly and turned towards you with anger quickly filling his eyes.
"If the only reason you asked that is so that you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or some other nonsense, then you can just march yourself straight to your room and go to bed. Think about why you are being so selfish. I work too hard every day only to end up coming home to this childish behavior."
Hoping not to irritate your father anymore, not a single argument left your lips as you quietly went to your room and shut the door.
Meanwhile back in the kitchen, Arthur sat down at the kitchen counter and steamed in his anger, causing it to rise with each second that passed. Your questions were something that he was not planning on coming home to. In fact, how dare you ask such questions only to get some money out of him?!
After about an hour or so, Arthur had calmed down, and started to think, “Maybe there was something she really needed to buy with that £50…and really, she doesn't ask for money very often. Bloody Hell, why did I get mad in the first place?” Your blonde father quietly walked up to your room and opened the door.
"___, are you asleep?" he asked, trying not to be too loud in case you really were asleep.
You peeked your head out from under the blankets and quietly uttered, "No daddy, I'm awake". Arthur sighed as he opened the door further and let himself in. Slowly, he sat down on your bed and gave you a look of remorse.
"I've been thinking, maybe I was too hard on you earlier. It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you.” Your dad then reached into the front pocket of his trousers and pulled out a piece of paper that you soon recognized as money. “Here's the £50 you asked for." You quickly sat straight up, and smiled in delight.
"Oh, thank you daddy!" you exclaimed, grabbing the money from his hand.
Then, reaching under your pillow you pulled out some crumpled up bills. Arthur, seeing that you already had money, started to get angry again. You slowly counted out your money, and then looked up at your father with a big smile.
"Why did you want more money when you already had some?" your dad growled. You, too happy to care, looked past your father’s anger and continued to grin.
"Because I didn't have enough, but now I do.” Gathering up all of the money that you had stocked up, you held it all out to your confused father with outstretched arms. "Daddy, I have £100 now. May I buy an hour of your time?” you asked with pleading eyes. Arthur’s eyes widened in shock as he seemed to become breathless. When he didn’t say anything, you continued on and elaborated more on what you wanted from him. “Please come home early tomorrow. I would like to have dinner with you." Arthur was crushed. He put his arms around you, his tiny little daughter, as he begged for your forgiveness.
“I’m so sorry ___,” he sobbed into your small shoulder. Arthur continued to cry after realizing how dreadful his life had become, revolving around his job and focusing so little on you. He felt truly awful for how he treated you, his only child. In the end, you didn’t want money, or a new toy. All you wanted from him was some more time.