Home > Single Dad Seeks Juliet(2)

Single Dad Seeks Juliet(2)
Author: Max Monroe

Hailie shimmies her chest, and I let out a deep sigh when I realize just how off track she’s managed to get us.

“Do I need to remind you that today is the last day to enter this contest?” I glance over my shoulder and glower at her with a stare. “I need you to stop shaking your ta-tas around and help me write this thing.”

“I’ve been helping,” she whines. “You just don’t want the help I’m giving.”

“That’s because you’ve taken a leave of absence from reality, Hailie. You really think I’m going to write about my dad’s penis in a newspaper personal ad? Can you even fathom the number of hours I’d have to spend in therapy if I did something like that? Not to mention, if my dad actually saw it? The money he saved for my college tuition would end up going to our freaking therapists!”

“I don’t know why you make that sound like such a big deal. Everyone is in therapy these days, Chloe. Everyone.”

“News flash, girlfriend,” I say and shoot a pointed look in her direction. “If I don’t have money for college tuition, then you’ll end up going to Berkeley by yourself.”

When Hailie and I were thirteen, we begged my dad to drive us seven hours to see the Golden Gate Bridge. And my dad, being the awesome dad that he is, gave in and took us on a three-day trip to San Francisco. We did all kinds of touristy things that weekend, but the one thing that stuck with us girls the most was walking around Berkeley’s campus.

Ever since then, that school became our dream college, and we’ve been bound and determined to go there together.

“Fine.” She blows an annoyed breath from her pursed lips. “How about this? Man seeks woman. Not to turn his world upside down, but instead, to help him keep it right-side up. Must have sense of humor, heart of gold, and big, fat tits.”

I choke on my spit as a laugh catches in my throat, and Hailie has to slam the flat of her palm on my back to save me.

It makes a hell of a ruckus, and the door cracks open gently. “Everyone okay in here?” my dad asks.

Of course, Hailie cackles like a hyena. A nervous habit she’s had since we were in elementary school.

“Yeah, Dad. We’re good,” I sputter over my best friend’s insanity. He smiles, obviously surmising by my track record of staying out of trouble that I’m continuing my streak, and chalks up Hailie’s laughter to her being her usual, crazy self.

Instantly, though, with him standing mere feet away from the computer screen that showcases the evidence of my in-process crime, cramps make my toes curl into the carpet, and an anxious twist wrenches my belly.

Why am I doing this? He’s going to kill me.

I hold my breath and hope he doesn’t decide to come any closer.

“Okay. Then I guess I’ll leave you girls to it,” he agrees with a laugh, and I offer up a silent thank you to the Big Guy upstairs that I will live to see another day.

And while I hate when Hailie rambles on about my dad being a total babe, with him standing right there in the doorway, his thick, dark hair kind of mussed and his handsome smile and bright-blue eyes directed at me, I can’t deny he is an aesthetically good-looking man.

I study his face and the lines around his eyes. Lines I know are there from laughing with me, and before I know it, I’m trying to picture him after I’ve left for college next year. I’ll be over seven hours away from him, and he’ll be here, alone, in this big house, having completely wasted all his best years raising me by himself.

He’s such a good guy, and I hate the idea of him feeling lonely at all. That’s why I’m doing this, I remind myself. For him.

He’ll freaking hate it at first…but he’ll thank me later, right?

Goodness, I hope so.

I turn back to the computer as he shuts the door and try really hard to focus. Hailie is right about one thing. There will probably be hundreds of entries, which means this thing is going to have to be good if he’s going to win.

Even the title needs work. Man Seeks Woman.

It’s so mundane. So regular. So blah.

I need a wow factor. Something that’ll hook everyone right from the start.

“We need a better title,” I tell Hailie. “Something that really grabs people.” She opens her mouth to speak, but I cut her off preemptively. “And it cannot have the words dick, cock, or penis in it.”

She frowns but laughs at the same time. “Don’t worry, Chlo. My vocabulary is bigger than that. And I’ve moved on from your dad’s dick—at least metaphorically speaking. In some sense, I feel I’ll never move on from your dad’s big, beautiful—”

I slug her in the shoulder, and she laughs.

“Fine. How about Single Dad Seeks Juliet?”

“Single dad? Should I really say that?”

She nods with wide, convinced eyes. “Oh yeah. That’s, like, at least fifteen percent of Jake’s hot factor.”

I groan. “You know I hate it when you call him Jake.”

“I could call him Daddy. But somehow, I thought you’d prefer this.”

“Forget it.” I cringe. “Let’s just get back to the ad.”

I turn back to the computer and start to type inside the personal ad template on my dad’s Bachelor Anonymous application.

 

Single Dad Seeks Juliet.

 

Yeah. That’s it. It’s got flair without being too ridiculous. I mean, it is for a contest being run by our local paper in which readers vote on the personal ad of their choosing to select an anonymous, unnamed bachelor who will be farmed out on several dates to find his Mrs. Right, so a certain amount of absurd is welcome—necessary, even—but I don’t want it to be too over the top. It should, at the very least, capture some sense of who my dad is as an actual person.

Fingers poised at the keyboard, I continue.

 

At 40 years old, after almost eighteen years of raising my daughter on my own, I’m ready to find someone for myself. I’m loyal, passionate, grounded in reality, and looking for someone who can say the same. I’m looking for my Juliet—without the tragic ending. Sense of humor is an absolute must.

 

Hailie looks over my shoulder, reading along with me as I type. When I get to the end, she whispers the addition of a finale so close to my ear, I squirm. “P.S. You’re beautiful. Yes, you.”

“What?”

“Talking to the reader always ups a feeling of engagement. That ad with that ending?” She shakes her head. “He can’t lose.”

“Great,” I say aloud as I type the addition into the template on the SoCal Tribune’s website.

On the inside, I am a mess.

But Hailie? Apparently, she’s just peachy-keen-jelly-bean with the whole sordid situation and reaches around me, scrolls down to the end of the page, and clicks the big red Submit button at the bottom.

“Hailie! What the heck?” Panic makes my heart lurch inside my chest like it’s stubbed its toe on the leg of the living room sofa.

But my best friend just smiles at me. “Too late to back out now, sweetcheeks.”

It’s really happening. My dad, Jake Brent, is officially in the running to be Southern California’s first Bachelor Anonymous.

Holy macaroni.

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