A girl waits for her sailor dad every day by the shore and is disappointed when his ship returns without him. She wonders why her dad didn't return and gets worried. Finally, she shares her worries with her granny, and together they discover something unexpected about the man's life.
Like every other day, 12-year-old Lily Spencer sat by the shore, hoping to spot her father Carlo's ship. After her mother Julia died during childbirth, Carlo raised Lily with his mother, Mrs. Spencer's assistance.
Carlo was a sailor, and he was away from home for several months in a row, so Mrs. Spencer was Lily's guardian. She accompanied her to school, spent time with her, and looked after her like a daughter. Lily loved her granny a lot, but there were times when she missed Carlo terribly, so she would go to the shore, waiting for his return.
Carlo worked as a sailor and was away from home for several months in a row. | Source: Pexels
One summer day, Lily was sitting by the shore. The wind was whipping through her golden locks as she stared out at the vast sea in front of her, her chin resting on her hands. Carlo had been gone for about six months and was expected to return any day and Lily was eagerly waiting for his arrival.
"Will daddy come today, mom?" she asked her mother, looking at the sky.
When another couple of minutes passed, Lily lost hope of seeing Carlo's ship. After all, she'd been waiting there all day, and there was no sign of a boat or yacht, let alone a ship.
Lily finally got up to leave. "I'll come back again tomorrow. I hope daddy comes home soon," she told herself. But then she saw something...something resembling a vessel. She squinted and realized it was Carlo's ship.
"Daddy! He's finally home!" Lily's delight had no bounds as she sprinted from the shore to the port, eager to hug her dad.
Lily waited by the shore every day for her dad's return. | Source: Shutterstock
When the ship finally arrived at the port, she saw men getting down and hugging their wives and children. Her hands clasped together, she looked intently at the crowd disembarking from the ship to spot her father.
When several minutes passed and almost everyone started leaving, Lily's heartbeat hastened. "Why isn't daddy here?" She looked around but couldn't see Carlo anywhere.
Her shoulders slumped as she finally realized that her dad had not arrived on the ship. Her eyes welled up with tears as she returned home to Mrs. Spencer.
"Mom, Lily," he said. "Meet Gracie."
The older woman's face turned pale as she saw Lily entering the house, her eyes red and swollen from all the crying. "Lily, honey, what happened? Why are you crying?" she asked.
"Daddy," she sniffed. "He didn't come, Gran. Daddy doesn't love me. He didn't come home to me!"
Lily came home crying and told Mrs.Spencer why. | Source: Pexels
"Oh, that's not true, sweetie," Mrs. Spencer hugged her. "Daddy loves you! He would never break his princess's heart!"
Lily shook her head. "His ship arrived, Gran. I saw it, but he didn't come home! Why did he do this? I miss him so much…."
Mrs. Spencer was now concerned too. She decided to call Carlo's headquarters and inquire about it, and she found out Carlo had gotten off at the penultimate port because he had some business to attend to. Fortunately, the phone attendant was Carlo's close friend, so he knew Carlo was at a hotel in the city.
Mrs. Spencer took the hotel's address from him and came up with a plan. "Lily, I know where daddy is. Should we go surprise him?" she asked, hoping it would cheer up Lily's mood.
The young girl finally stopped crying and smiled. "Yes! I want to, Gran!"
"Okay, then," Mrs. Spencer told Lily enthusiastically. "Go and get ready. Let's leave soon. It will take us a while to get there!"
Lily and Mrs. Spencer decided to surprise Carlo. | Source: Pexels
"Yay!" Lily chirped as she ran to her room and got ready quickly.
Mrs. Spencer and Lily took a bus, and when they finally arrived at the hotel, Lily couldn't contain her excitement. They approached the receptionist's desk to ask for Carlo's room, but before that, Lily spotted him. "Gran! Look, daddy's there!" she said and dashed up to him.
Mrs. Spencer turned back to look at Lily and saw Carlo wasn't alone. There was a woman with him. "Who is she?" she wondered.
Carlo panicked when he saw his daughter. "Lily, honey, what are you doing here alone?"
"Daddy, I missed you!" She hugged him. "I saw your ship arrive, but you didn't come home, so Gran and I found out where you were!"
Lily hugged Carlo tightly. | Source: Pexels
"Oh, really…." Carlo flushed.
"Who is she, daddy?" Lily asked, looking at the woman standing next to her father. "Is she your friend?"
The woman and Carlo exchanged a glance and Carlo knew he had to come clean. It was time Lily and his mother knew about the new woman in his life.
"Mom, Lily," he said. "Meet Gracie. We've been seeing each other for six months now, and we really like each other."
Mrs. Spencer covered her mouth in shock. "Carlo, Lily's here," she whispered. "We adults can talk about it later. Can you not—"
"I'm sorry, mom. I can't hide it forever! I want Lily to know the truth about her dad's life…Sweetie," he said as he knelt to face her. "You know, when you're lonely and need someone to talk to, you have your teddy and granny by your side?
"Daddy was also lonely after mom died, so he found someone to spend time with when he was alone and sad. You don't mind daddy having a friend, do you? He isn't forcing you to like her, but you can be friends with her too."
Carlo revealed he was dating Gracie. | Source: Pexels
Lily smiled at him. "I'm not so silly, daddy! I understand everything, and I know she's your girlfriend! One of my friend's dad also has a girlfriend and she is very nice to her. I am happy you have a girlfriend too. My friend said her daddy was very sad when her mom died, but now he is happy. If you're happy, I'm happy too."
Carlo's eyes welled up. "Oh, you're so grown up and smart, darling! Daddy's little princess is not so little now!"
Lily chuckled. "Hi, Gracie! I'm Lily. I love my daddy, and I don't mind being friends with you. Would you like to be my friend?"
Gracie smiled. "Who wouldn't want a lovely girl like you to be their friend? Of course..." she replied, hugging Lily. Lily hugged her back and Carlo and Mrs. Spencer's eyes were moist. Carlo was incredibly proud that her daughter was so supportive of his decision.
From that day on, Carlo didn't need to hide his relationship from his family. In fact, he and Gracie got married a few months later and Lily accepted Gracie as her new mom. She was happy that she now had a complete family with a loving mom, dad, and her Gran. Moreover, she had company when she waited for Carlo's ship, as Gracie would join her.
Lily and Gracie now looked forward to Carlo's arrival together. | Source: Pexels
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