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The Speech

The Speech – A Short Story by Angela Clapcott

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The Speech

What was it he’d said, “How proud he had felt when this beautiful baby girl came into his life”.

Was that her father, did he actually say that?.

Sophie hugged herself as she lay in bed that night, her new husband sleeping soundly by her side.

How happy she felt, she could never remember a feeling like it.

Her mother, bless her, had worked so hard to make sure the wedding day was perfect, and it could not have been more so. However, the icing on the cake had been her father’s speech.

How did it go she thought, desperately trying to remember every word.

Whilst I am delighted to hand my Sophie over to this very special and responsible young man, I am also very sad to give my lovely daughter away, she has brought me and her mother so much pleasure during her 23 years.”

So much pleasure, she mulled these words over and over again.

Oh dad, if only I had known she thought sadly, why did he never say these words to me.

“The house will be so empty without her”.

If only she had realised how much she meant to him.

Sophie had always thought her father had been disappointed his only child was a girl, and she had tried so hard to please him over the years, but he was never one to show his feelings. Today, however, she was touched to see tears in his eyes as she came down the stairs to meet him in her wedding gown.

During his amazing speech, Sophie also detected an emotional quiver in his voice, although hidden by the odd convenient cough.

She had never heard her father say so much in one go, even when she excelled in her school work, he would pat her on the shoulder and say “well-done girl”. If she failed in her sporting activities, he would just mutter and say “never mind, you can’t be good at everything”.

She was sure she was a great disappointment. He had always been a keen sportsman, footballer for the town’s team in his young days, and still playing tennis on a regular basis. She, on the other hand, was hopeless at all sports, and any attempt to give him a game was a complete fiasco.

Sophie turned and gently wrapped herself around the sleeping Greg, she felt so complete, a wonderful husband, of course, her mother who she loved dearly and her father, dear father. His speech was said with such feeling, why, he didn’t even have notes to refer to. The words came straight from his heart, he was proud of her, there was no doubt at all!

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