You are John Egbert and you do not have the time for this tomfoolery. Actually, though, you have quite some time, and there isn't really any tomfoolery going down. You just kind of wanted an excuse to say tomfoolery in your head.
"Are you ready, Casey?" You check, crouching down in front of her. She carefully adjusts her shirt so it's just right before making sure her plastic tiara is perfectly straight.
"Ready!" She confirms, giving you a big smile that you return before scooping her up. She maneuvers herself so she's on your shoulders and you slip her shoes on before you head out the door. You can sense she's feeling nervous by the way she's wiggling and fixing her tiara. There's a new worker at her daycare centre starting today, and you've heard that she's heard that it's a boy which you guess is very exciting. You, frankly, are getting a little worried about how conscious she's becoming of things like this.
"Do you know what today is?" You ask her once you're outside and walking down the street.
"Do you?" She asks in return, bouncing a little.
"Boy, I forget, but I feel like today was something pretty big!!" You ponder.
"Daddy!!" She accuses, taking your head in both of her little hands and shaking it just a bit. You laugh.
"Oh gosh, it's your birthday! How old are you now? Six?"
"Daaaddy!!" She complains again. "I'm seven today!"
"Six is so yesterday," you return, and she giggles at this. "So what do you want to do? Anything special?"
"Can we go out to eat?" She hopes.
"Jeez, of course we can. And where would the birthday girl like to go?"
"Chinese!" She decides without thinking.
"It's your birthday and I will take you anywhere and you want Chinese? Are you sure? This is a life-changing decision you know," you waggle a finger in her face and she huffs at it.
"Well..." she sounds like she's second-guessing this choice.
"Tell you what, you can tell me when I pick you up and you just think about it until then, okay?"
"Okay! Are we gonna have cake at home?"
"Who do you think you are talking to of course we have cake at home. I started it last night and I just need to finish it up and it'll be all set," you promise. She hugs you around your neck, not quite squeezing hard enough to hurt.
"I love you Daddy!!" She squeels, and you laugh.
"I love you too, sweetiepie," you answer, "oh man, we're here, are you ready?" You ask, placing your hand on the door knob of her daycare centre.
She jolts and starts fixing her hair and adjusting her tiara and telling you to put her down, which you do. "What if he doesn't like me?" She frets, and you give her a little, uneasy smile, taking her hand, which she immediately pulls away from you. "You don't need to hold my hand, Daddy! I'm already seven, you know!"
"Oh right, how could I forget," you chuckle, opening the door. As you do so she slips her hand back into yours and walks so closely to you that you're almost tripping over her. "Casey Egbert," you inform the man at the desk, who's back is to you as he's doing something on the computer.
He spins around, looking a little, you think, like he is far more entertained by the fact that the chair spins than his expression lets on. "Egbert?" He raises one red eyebrow at you and you take a second to process everything.
"Oh, gosh, Dave? Dave Strider?" You smile at him and you can feel Casey trying to disappear into your leg. "We went to school together, right?" Even though you ask this, you know it's true. Dave wasn't exactly someone you forget easily, and even still he hadn't changed much in the 7 years you'd been out of school. He still wore his big, and you think kind of silly, shades which you assumed meant he was still pretty big on irony, although you're not sure why you associate his shades with irony, and also he's looking at you with a perfect poker face.
"Yeah, we did," he nods ever-so-slightly.
"What brings you around here? I always imagined you'd be one of those kids that got right out of town life and headed straight for the nearest city," Casey nudges you a little and you smile down at her, before you gesture to her. "And this is my daughter, Casey," you add and she smiles shyly.
"I didn't much take you for the kind to have a kid at your age, either," he notes. "You married?"
"Oh, uh, no.... Actually we never got married."
He raises his eyebrow again. "When did you even knock her up, your kid looks, what, six? So you were 19? Yeesh, Egbert," he starts.
"I'm SEVEN!" Casey cuts in, quite loudly and you smile nervously.
"It's her birthday," you add, not really wanting to discuss what had happened, especially not with your former coolkid classmate. "But hey, I gotta head to work, it was... nice seeing you again," you lift a hand in a small wave before leaning down to give Casey a kiss on the forehead, "I'll see you after work, sweetie. Think about where you want to go," you add and she nods, giving your legs a little hug before she scampers off to find her friends and you shuffle off to the small pet store you own.