This story has been set to a rating of PG. Age verification is required to proceed.
“Hello Mr. Porter.”
“Hello Mrs. Wilson. How are you?”
“I’m fine. Yourself?”
“I’m very well thank you.”
“Are you here for Elizabeth? Her mother didn’t say anything when she dropped her off this morning.”
“Actually, Mrs. Porter doesn’t know I’m here. I wanted to surprise my daughter for lunch.
Do I need special permission?”
Even though he and Maxine were divorced Melvin was on the approved parent/guardian list to take custody of his daughter from school though he rarely did. His not knowing the protocol wasn’t too surprising to Ms. Wilson. What was unusual was his sudden appearance without warning which concerned her that perhaps something was wrong.
“Of course not, Mr. Porter. You don’t need permission. It’s just that parents or guardians usually let us know in advance of any changes in their child’s routine. It’s just a precaution to promote awareness for our staff to take the best care of the children entrusted to us. I apologize if I offended you, I didn’t mean any disrespect.”
“Mrs. Wilson, it’s me that should apologize. I’m sorry for my gruffness. It’s perfectly understandable and appreciative that your priority is protecting the children.”
“Thank you. Mr. Porter.”
“So, what is the protocol?”
“Dropping in to have lunch with your daughter is perfectly fine but I must let you know that we can’t have children leave the premises or have food brought in. You’re more than welcome to stay and eat in the cafeteria. We’re not a five-star restaurant but hopefully you can find something on our menu to tempt your palate.”
“I’ve never heard Elizabeth complain and she’s a very picky eater. I’m sure it’ll be fine. I’m mostly here for the company. I really don’t spend enough time with her. Since I was in the area, I thought I’d take advantage of it.”
“Yes, of course. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to see you.”
“May I get her now?”
“You’re a bit early for lunch Mr. Porter. Her class is in story-time. They break for lunch at 11:30am.”
He had a 30-minute wait. Melvin wavered on whether he should hang around or just forget about the surprise visit. It wasn’t as if his daughter would be disappointed since she didn’t even know he was there. Then again, he’d really been looking forward to spending some time with her, and his meeting later that afternoon was in the vicinity. It wouldn’t make sense for him to go all the way back downtown to his office to just come back in a couple of hours.