Dean had been happily dating a high school teacher for a month and was just arriving home from their most recent date which ended with their first kiss on her porch. He pulled into his driveway, stopped the car and was on his way to the porch when he heard a voice.
“Hey you! Yeah you! You stay the f—k away from my girlfriend or I’ll burn your goddamned house down and anybody in it.”
“I’m sorry. I am hard of hearing. What did you say?”
The guy moved closer. The only thing bigger than his mouth was his body. He had been drinking and was obviously out of control. Dean figured it was his date’s ex but what he was trying to find out was if there was a weapon involved.
The guy got right up in Dean’s face and said,
“OK, a—hole can you hear me now?”
He was close enough now that Dean could see that his hands were empty. Before he became a cop Dean had been in special forces with the Canadian military. Big didn’t count a lot from his point of view, but training was another thing. He knew that few highly trained military fighters would start a fight, but they were good at finishing one if it was unavoidable. This guy was too eager to fight to be skilled.
“I can hear you fine now but I want you to listen carefully to what I will say, son. I am a cop. You are trespassing on my property. You have made a death threat. I will give you one chance to walk away.”
“You piece of sh-t. I’ll show you what you can do with your cop badge.”
He took a swing. Dean ducked grabbed his arm as it went past his face and pulled. The guy ended up sprawled on the driveway on his face. Unlike American cops who frequently carry their guns when off duty and most times are required to do so, Canadian cops do not carry weapons when off duty. Dean twisted the guy’s arm up behind his back and said,
“If you struggle, I may have to break your arm. Think about that before you cause more trouble for yourself.”
Quinn and Olivia had heard the commotion and were at the door.
“Call 911 sweetheart and tell them an off duty cop needs assistance and give them our address.”
In less than five minutes there was a cruiser with two cops pulling up to the house.
“Hey Dean, what are you up to?”
“I was just discussing with this gentleman why it is not advisable to threaten a police officer. I think he is starting to understand. If you will take him to the station, I will be right along after I talk to my daughters.”
He gave both girls a hug as the cruiser pulled away.
“I am sorry girls but I think I met that pretty school teacher’s ex. I have to go down to the station but I will probably be back in an hour.”
At the station Dean had various charges laid against the ex while he screamed police brutality. He wanted a phone call. They allowed him to place a call and then he said he was not saying another thing.
Dean was still at the station when the school teacher walked in.
“What did you do?”
“I think the more important question would be what did your ex do.”
“He told me you hit him.”
“And you believe him?”
“Yes, I do.”
“That being the case I will have to treat you like anyone who walked into the station. Your boyfriend used his phone call to summon you. He should have called a lawyer. I will give him the opportunity to talk to the duty counsel. I will be discussing nothing about this case with you. They will not allow you to see him tonight. He will contact you tomorrow but the charges he has brought on himself are serious. Because of our relationship I will ask another officer to deal with you. Wait here and another officer will be right with you.”
He turned and walked away. His daughters would be disappointed.
When he got home, both girls met him in the driveway when he pulled in.
“I am sorry girls but that didn’t go well. I can’t tell you too much except that her drunken boyfriend came to our home and threatened me and I arrested him. Unfortunately, she wasn’t over the relationship and I won’t be seeing her again.”
He got them settled down and off to bed. He sat in the living room and wondered if this is what dating was like for everyone else. He had it lucky when his wife had asked him to be her husband when they were five years old. It wasn’t messy. Dating as an adult was turning out to be messy. He would not bother with it but he knew his daughters would not be easily deterred.
They were up in the morning waiting at the breakfast table for him.
“Did you like her daddy?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Is there no hope?”
“I don’t think it will interest her to see me again but I don’t want to see her again either.”
“Oh, daddy” Quinn said and came and hugged him. Olivia, being the more pragmatic of the two said, “OK three down and only twenty-two more to go to find Mrs. Right.” Dean laughed.
“I am starting my hunt for Mr. Right. I have my first date scheduled for Saturday night. We are going to a movie so you can’t set up a date with a new lady because I want one of us to be here with Quinn.”
“You realize that Quinn is fifteen years old Mrs. Right junior. She is legally allowed to babysit once she is twelve.”
“Yes, but she has never been alone in the house after dark.”
“And she never will be if you don’t allow it. Olivia you have done a good job of taking care of your baby sister and I am proud of you. But one of the hardest things for parents is letting go.”
“Do I get a say in this?” Quinn asked.
“You do.” Dean said.
“Olivia, I love you but I need to learn to be alone in the house. You are starting to date and dad is dating and eventually it won’t be convenient for either one of you to babysit me. Soon I will be sixteen and that is when mom said I could date.”
Dean said, “I have a plan I think everyone will be comfortable with. I will call some of my cop buddies and get together with them Saturday night at Tim Hortons. I will have my cell phone and I will only be five minutes away from the house so if Quinn feels the need and calls I can come right home.”
“OK” Olivia said.
“Now we need to find another lady for dad to date.”
“I might want to take a break from dating, girls.”
“No breaks. You fell off the horse, and the horse kicked you. So get back on the horse. You can help Quinn and I find a date for you and call her or we can do the whole thing and tell you where to pick her up. I don’t think it will impress her with your daughters arranging your date. Are you coming to the computer so we can get to work?”
They found it difficult to find the next date. They were becoming at a lot more suspicious of the profiles that the ladies had put on-line. Dean had to go to work, and they had to go to school with no success but Olivia laid down the law. They had to work on it again that evening.
When he arrived home for dinner, he found the girls excited.
“We have found three ladies we think might be worth a phone call. You can pick the one to call since you won’t date all three which we both think would be more efficient. One of them has a daughter. We like that she was up front about having a child still at home.”
“How would you two feel about having another sister?”
“We have already talked about it and we would have to meet her.”
“OK, let me see your selection and I’ll ask about their profiles but don’t tell me which one has the daughter.”
All three worked for him. They were looking for a relationship, not a fling and he found all three attractive when he looked at their profile pictures. So he closed his eyes and randomly picked.
“Do we have to go upstairs daddy?” Quinn asked.
“No, you can listen but not while I am looking at you or I might laugh.”
He found her to be easy to talk to, and they agreed to meet for dinner the following night.
When he returned after the date the girls were eager to hear the results.
“Was she nice? Did you like her? Are you going to see her again?”
“She was nice. I liked her. We will not see each other again.”
“But why?” they said in unison.
“Because she is a cop like me except that she is in the RCMP. Neither one of us wants to be involved with a cop.”
“Oh, damn!” Olivia said.
“Sweetheart I don’t like to hear you talk like that. I am disappointed too because we had a nice dinner together and a great talk. But do you know what we talked about. Policing. My job is something that a person needs to get away from and if we continued dating, we would both be getting 24 hours a day cop talk.”
“Let’s move on to another lady.”
Quinn said, “I want you to try the lady with the daughter.”
“Why have you picked her Quinn?”
“Because I want to meet the daughter.”
“OK, give me her phone number and I will set up a date for you.”
“No, daddy you have to date the mother first and like her and then I get to interview my potential sister.”
Dean called and set up a date. He found it was getting easier. At first he had felt guilty as though he was betraying the memory of his wife. However, with time he had gotten past that and knew that the girls were right. His wife would want him to move on and be happy. Since he had dated he had become happy, but it wasn’t with the dates. It was the relationship with his daughters that was making him happy.
It surprised him when he picked the lady up for dinner. She was very attractive. Over dinner he learned that she was a dentist with her own practice. Her husband was an alcoholic, and she had finally shown him the door. She ended up having to pay him support although she was raising the daughter. She really was not happy sending her husband money to support his drinking, but that was the court’s ruling. She turned out to be two years older than Dean and her daughter was leaving for university in the fall. Her phone rang, and she answered and said everything was fine.
“That was my daughter checking up on me. If you had turned out to be awful, I would have had to rush home for some made up reason.”
“Does that mean that I have passed a preliminary inspection?”
She laughed. “Yes, you passed.”
“That’s good to know because my phone will ring shortly for the same reason. Why don’t I call them and tell them I don’t need the emergency bailout?”
“Before you do, there is a concert I was going to this evening before you called. You sounded nice on the phone and I was right, you are nice. Would you come to the concert with me as my guest when we have finished our dinner.”
“I’d love to.”
“I should probably warn you that this is the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra I am taking you to.”
“I was raised with classical music in the home. I am looking forward to it. Let me call my overseers and get permission.”
She laughed and said, “I know that feeling. I am sometimes not sure that my daughter remembers who the mother is.”
“Hello Quinn. I couldn’t wait for your call. I am hiding out in the washroom. She is awful. She brought her daughter with her and they want to go back to her place so we can all do drugs.”
“Daddy do you want us to come and get you?”
“How are you going to do that? I have the car.”
“We’ll take a taxi.”
“Quinn, honey, I am joking. The lady is very nice. We are going to go to a concert so I won’t be getting home until later. Tomorrow is a school day so you and Olivia should go to bed.”
“Are you sure daddy?”
“Yes honey, I am sure she won’t hurt me.”
His date indicated that she would like to talk, so he handed her his phone.
“Hi Quinn, my name is Margaret and I promise to take good care of your dad and send him home before curfew. Will that be OK with you?”
“Oh, you sound nice, OK.”
“Good night Quinn.”
“Good night Margaret.”
“I assume that was your fifteen year old. She sounds sweet and very concerned about her dad. Now I also need to call my junior level parent and tell her we are going to the concert.”
They enjoyed the concert and Dean realized that he missed the classical music he had grown up with. When he dropped her off, he walked her to her door and she gave him a hug and said,
“Dean, I need to move slowly into another relationship. I hope that will be OK with you.”
“I recently had a bad experience with a lady I was dating for a short period. Slow will work for me as well. I would like to call you tomorrow and set up another date if that would be OK.”
“I look forward to it. Good night.”
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