Ellie sat perched on a soda fountain stool, her small legs swinging gently from side to side. Slurping her favorite milkshake, she watched her daddy work.
He hummed while cleaning the old ice cream machine, a sneaking smile on his face. “Ellie, have you ever seen your daddy tap dance before?” he asked, his brown eyes twinkling.
Ellie shook her head “no”, although she had seen his little comedy act many times before.
Her daddy grabbed one of the brooms from a corner and swept the floor while tapping wildly with his feet. This sent Ellie bursting into giggles, spraying milkshake all over the clean floor.
He just grinned, and swept Ellie up in a big bear hug. The two stood there for a moment, embracing each other.
“You know,” he whispered. “Your momma and I used to dance a lot together. She was real good at it, too.”
Ellie closed her eyes for a moment, imagining her father and mother dancing together. It was a funny thought. For as long as she had been alive, it was just she and her daddy.
“I wish I had known Mommy,” Ellie said. “Tell me again. What was she was like?”
Her father’s face softened. “She was pretty,” he began, “with bright, happy eyes and a dimple in one cheek. She wasn’t a very good cook, but she was the best dancer in the world and she loved ice cream, just like you. You know, she visited this ice cream parlor every week when we were dating. She told me she got a hot mouth for ice cream, but I think secretly, she just wanted to see me.”
“After you were born, life changed a lot.” he said.
He suddenly grew quiet, but Ellie knew why.
“Mommy got sick.” she finished.
He nodded, but quickly added, “You brought sunshine into those sad days, though. You made me smile everyday.” He paused for a moment, caught in the memories of the past.
“Daddy?” Ellie asked, looking into the soft brown eyes.
“Will you dance with me?”
Her daddy’s face brightened. “I would be delighted,” he answered.