Wendy had wanted at some point in her father's story to reach out her hand and take his hand in hers. But, like a nervous teenage boy on his first date, her hand had only made it a few inches across the table. "I . . . well, I'm sure you know I drank," Paul confessed. "Dad, seriously, you don't owe me an explanation." She felt a bitter taste reside in her mouth and took a drink of her water. The water did nothing to dispel the bitterness she both tasted and felt. "Well, I just want you to know, little girl, I don't plan on drinking again. Eighteen years of sobriety is way too long to throw away." "I know, Dad," she said with little emotion and even less conviction. She sat back and crossed her arms, wishing she had some food to quell the uneasiness in her stomach. The waitress, as if on cue, set their meals down in front of them.