“Okay,” I responded calmly before hanging up. I stared at my iPhone as if it’s sleek screen could compute what just happened. But there isn’t an app to guide girlfriends on meeting their boyfriend’s daughter.
My shoulders tensed. I rotated my neck and heard a crack. I was Rocky. No. The Karate Kid. In seconds, I would meet my Hello Kitty-loving, Dora the Explorer-watching little nemesis. I was ready. I would “whataaaa” her miniature ass back to the Bronx so she knew not to mess with her “Chachi’s” current and permanent girlfriend.
Hours passed and my anxiety escalated. It didn’t matter how much I waxed on and waxed off. I was freaking out! This little human with a little pepa™ had so much power. If she hated me, what would be of me and my boyfriend? He would surely choose blood over sexy loving. The tightness and moistness of my pepa™ had nothing on his daughters indisputable DNA.
“Knock! Knock! Knock!”
That was them. Ready or not, I was going to meet his four year old daughter. I reached for the golden knob. I grasped the knob with sweaty palms and pulled it toward me. Door open now and there she was in a light pink, knee-length coat. Her ash brown, wavy hair cascading down her shoulders. She rushed in as if she owned the place. My boyfriend walked in behind her and planted a kiss on my…cheek. He’d told me it was safer to not be affectionate in her presence. “She’ll get jealous,” he concluded.
She was already winning.
“Esta es Sujeiry,” my boyfriend introduced. She looked at me for a split second before coming in for a hug.
And then she was off.
The four year old hurricane known as my boyfriend’s daughter stomped down my long corridor and into my living room where Mami and my stepfather watched novelas.
“Hola!” She greeted them. Mami and my stepfather returned her “Hello” and began asking questions about school and cartoons. My boyfriend pulled her to sit next to him; his attempt at reigning in her exuberance. He was going to comb her hair, he told her. “Ese pelo esta muy enredado,” he explained while holding onto my wide-tooth, black comb. I then watched as my boyfriend played the role of doting father, something I never experienced as a young girl. I also witnessed his brusque manliness when he pulled her hair by accident.
“Ouch!” She cried.
“I have to take out the knots, baby,” he soothed.
And in he went again with the grace and softness of a football player. This little girl needed a woman’s touch, and so I intervened.
“Mamita, would you let me comb your hair?” I asked sweetly. She took one look at me and nodded, her eyes begging for mercy. My boyfriend handed me the comb and moved over to the side. I proceeded to untangle her hair, gently and cautiously.
“Let me know if it hurts, okay?” I reassured her.
“Ok,” she responded.
“Can you put her hair in a ponytail, baby?” My boyfriend asked as he watched me take care of his daughter. I nodded but my little nemesis shook her head fiercely. She wanted her hair down. He told her no. I played middle man and presented another option.
“How about I put your hair in a ponytail but with two braids in the front?”
“No, I want moñitos aqui y aqui!” She pled stubbornly while pointing to the spots where her pigtails should go. And I knew the battle was on. I couldn’t let her win. If she got her way, I would always be Sujery, “Chachis” weak girlfriend that gave her anything she desired. So I took a persuasive, manipulative approach.
“You will look even prettier and then later I can give you your surprise!” I exclaimed. She looked at me, brows raised, and nodded feverently. I went to work. The finished product? A ponytail with two side braids coming from the front of her hair toward the crown.
It was time for the surprise. That’s what she yelped, anyway. For half and hour she pled for “Chachi” to get off my Mac so she could receive her gift. He continued typing away, searching for a pair of Creative Recreation boots he was meaning to purchase. I finally nudged him and he slid the computer from his lap to mine.
I clicked open the FashionPlaytes deal that I had purchased from KBG Deals. She lay her head on my shoulder and grabbed onto my right bicep due to the anticipation. The page fully loaded and I presented her with her gift: a chance to design her own clothing and get it shipped, all paid for by moi. She looked up at me slightly confused.
“We’re going to design a dress the way you want it and then you’ll get it in the mail,” I explained. “It’s like you’re a fashion designer!” I encouraged.
“A fashion designer?!” She shouted, her eyes wide. I nodded and we got to work.
What occurred next was…special. My boyfriend’s daughter and I were bonding. My once nemesis held my hand as she chose pink for the color of her dress and a purple flower detail to fall along its neckline. My former opponent became my kryptonite as she hugged me tight and said “Thank you” and “I love you” once the design was complete. And then it was their time to go. But she didn’t want to go. “I want to stay,” she pled to “Chachi.” He said no; they had to go. “Otro dia.” She then turned to me, gazing pitifully at me with her droopy eyes and long eyelashes. “Come home with us!” She implored. I smiled, truly touched that my boyfriend’s daughter wanted me to be a part of her life. I told her I would visit soon and, in that moment, felt my boyfriend’s eyes pierce through me. He was watching me…how I treated his daughter, how we interacted, how soft and patient I was toward his only child. He didn’t have to worry. My karate kicks and boxing moves would be reserved for one of the teens at work as I would embrace her as if she were my own. With FashionPlaytes and hugs, my nemesis and I would call a truce and be okay.