Lovingly Yours Daddy
A Gentle Forbidden Romance
Twenty years ago on a balmy subtropical evening, I slowly drove a narrow winding road through the ranges inland from Byron Bay as we left our old home for a new life. Driving through a small village, the car was filled with a sweet aroma. Windows down to let the scent’s full power in, I drank in the last of the honeysuckle.
To this day, I can still smell that sweet perfume, and dream that before I die I will have one more chance to sit out on a balmy summer’s evening, cocooned in syrupy heaven.
Jenna dreamed too. Both arms crossed, grasping her books close to her chest as she walked between classes, mind a thousand miles away. Body guided by the hustling crowd around her. College friends hardly mattered.
“Liven yourself up girl. Don’t be a dreamer like your no-good father. Now go and start your homework before dinner,” her mother said when she came home, still clutching her books to her breast, mind in a happy place.
“Dinner’s ready. You finished your homework yet?” her mother yelled outside her room later.
“Not yet mom.” An open excercise book showing a half completed scene of a country cottage.
“Come and eat and then make sure you do it properly.”
“Yes mom.” Drawing book closed for now. Dreams on hold.
I had the cover before any idea of a story. My cover artist has a range of pre-made covers, and this one caught my eye. Trying to create a story to match this cover proved much harder. I knew it had to be a particularly loving story, and the girl had to be one that would love to touch her man tenderly. I saw her walking at school, dreamily holding her books to her chest as she moved between classes, her mind on some distant place, with no real interest in the world around her. I named her Jenna.
Now for her parents. Her mother had to be strict and controlling. Her father a bit of a dreamer like her. Quiet, gentle and long suffering, working to see his little girl get the best start in life she could.
As for the dream, well that was easy. No one dreams of seeking freedom in the city. It had to be country, and pretty country at that. The idyllic image of a cottage set in rolling green hills, surrounded by freedom. Jenna had her dream and my job now was to see her get it.
While looking for property, Jenna and her father stop for lunch at an old fashioned diner in the country. It’s here that Jenna fully realises her future, and thanks to the old man serving them, they get help to find their future home.
My original story plot had them return to this diner after they’d found Honeysuckle Cottage to thank the man for his help, only to find he had died shortly after their visit. They were to find his family had no interest in the shop and were going to throw the contents away. Jenna and her dad were going to buy the whole shop with the idea of setting the business up near their cottage. When I came to write that part, I decided to delete it. Two reasons. It was a very sad event, and I didn’t want this much sadness in this story, and their cottage was already full of their old house contents and there was no room to store the shop.
It was a mistake.
With the story finished and some weeks passed to clear the mind, I realise I should have left the sadness in. Life is never always success and happiness, and the despair of finding they might have been the last-ever customers of this kind man would have grounded the story more than anything else.
The story starts with Jenna being completely controlled by her mother, and as Jenna grows, so does her independence and self-confidence, until the story ends with Jenna showing control over her mother. For that to happen, I needed her mother back in the story for more than a quick visit, and with very little room, and only one bed, there had to be three in a bed, and that never works well.
Of course, the mother chose to sleep in the middle, keeping Jenna and her man apart and continuing her dominance until Jenna takes the initiative and comes up with a plan to take control back and leave her mother sandwiched.