I didn't like change. I loved life the way it was. A bigger family? I didn't need one. Just my dad and me. That's the way it was and how it should stay, always and forever.
But my dad was being pretty persistent. "You'll love her. She has an extraordinary personality. Whitney. That's her name. Pretty, isn't it?" My dad exclaimed, excitement littering his voice, a smile gracing his face.
Upon hearing this, a dark cloud descended over me. Whitney? My mum's name had been Brittany. It sounded to me like he was trying to replace my mother. And no one could do that, ever.
Spying my scowling features, Dad tried to step up his argument. "If she moves in with us, just think of all the amazing opportunities she could give you. The wonderful things she could teach you. Love, maturity, responsibility. She could help you become a real woman. Wouldn't it be nice to have another female around the house?"
I didn't want to become a 'real' woman, whatever that meant. I liked how I was just fine, and didn't want to change that.
Looking upon my unmoving stance, I could almost see my dad's enthusiasm deflate, like a ruptured balloon. And that almost crumbled away the last of my resolve. Because despite my reluctance for change, my dad knew just what to say, how to find the chink in my metaphorical armour.
But thankfully he hadn't cracked me yet. Maybe I could still win this.
Seeing his devastated and desolate expression I figured I at least owed him an explanation, of sorts.
"Dad," I tried to say, but my voice fractured with emotion. "I-I-I…" After a few false starts my voice finally kicked in. "I don't want to lose you. I still want to be your little girl." To my absolute horror and embarrassment, I felt a sob choke my throat.
Fantastic. I was crying like an immature idiot. No way would my dad take me seriously now.
To my overwhelming relief, he didn't laugh. Or look at me with disgust, which was a good start. Instead, he pulled my into a warm embrace.
"Oh baby girl, you know that would never change." I let the soft material of his shirt soak up my remaining tears.
Maybe I could do this. "Whitney." I tested, trying the name on my tongue.
Sensing how hard I was trying, I could almost see my dad's happiness rush back and surround him, so profound it was almost tangible. He began nodding so enthusiastically that I thought his head might fall off. I removed myself from the circle of his arms, lest such idiocy was contagious.
"So, waddaya say?" My dad asked.
I didn't want this. Not one little bit. But I couldn't jeopardise my dad's happiness for the sake of my own wishes. If he wanted Whitney, then I guess he could have her.
I sucked in breath, then gave my verdict. "Fine, get your stupid cat then."