Emily sighs, watching the ice creep up the waiter’s stiff back.
Her father is easy to hate, that’s the thing.
So often he’s just mean, and she’s the one who gets embarrassed by it. It’s not that she doesn’t see the manuevers and manipulations behind it — she can read his pride or stubbornness on his face, but also his compassion, his insight, his desire to shock people into better behavior, his determination to elicit the truths they’d rather keep hidden. It’s that no one else can see that his heart isn’t callous, but calloused, and although given time she could explain all the thousand things that tell her so, she doesn't even have a chance to blush halfway decently before the waiter has turned away.
She looks into her father’s eyes, and lets her devotion and her exasperation combine into a micro-expressive question: why are you so easy to hate, and so damned hard to love?