She feels his breath hot against her cheek.
His drinking had gotten significantly worse and as angry as she was at him - she was worried.
Manny was speechless. Technically, what his friend was saying was true, but he didn't want to admit it to him. That would be like kicking him when he's down. The two haven't seen eye-to-eye lately, but he didn't want Dave to go through this.
"Alicia, did you have something to say to your father?" Manny asked.
She wanted to be anywhere but there at that moment. You could cut the tension in the room with a knife. The anxiety of the situation was making her sick to her stomach.
"C'mon, Alicia, spit it out," Manny barked.
"I...I'm sorry...about...everything. I really am."
Dave started laughing, but his joy wasn't shared by Manny and his daughter. In fact, it made them uncomfortable. They weren't sure why he found humor in all this.
"You're sorry? For everything? I'm the one who's sorry! I put you up to this! I'm the one who made you this way!"
Manny gestured with his hand to Dave to lower the tone of his voice. Alicia looked as if she wanted to cry.
"Calm down, Dave. She's trying to apologize. She's trying to make this right. You two don't need to be fighting this way. She's all you got and you're all she's got. Hash this out for fuck's sake."
Dave nodded at Alicia to continue to speaking.
"You didn't...turn me into what I am. This is who I want to be. I agreed to do the party last Friday because I know we needed the money and..." her voice trailed off. Manny and Dave waited to hear the rest of what she had to say.
"...I wanted to do it, because...I can't do this. I can't talk about this. This is crazy!"
She picked up her phone and started to dial Tommy's number. Manny put his hand over hers and took the phone away from her.
"Finish what you have to say. You want this to get better, right? Do you want to keep fighting with your father? Now, out with it. Let's go."
Alicia locked eyes with her father. His disheveled face was full of sadness and regret. Instead of being mad at him - she felt sorry for him. Doing the gangbang last Friday had changed both of their lives. It was a sexual awakening for Alicia, which made her feel alive for the first time - but it had turned Dave into a slobbering drunk.
"Daddy...I wanted to do it, because...the idea...turned me on. There. I said it."
Dave's eyes widened. He wasn't ready for that. He figured that she was turned on by having sex with strange men, but he wasn't ready to hear her say it.
Manny nodded, telling her to continue.
"When you said you have these kinds of parties, I got really turned on I guess. I really wanted to do it. My life was pretty boring. It was the same old thing with Peter. Day after day. I'd go over to his place or he'd come over to mine and we'd hang out. We acted more like friends...than boyfriend and girlfriend. It was boring...I wanted a change. I'm sorry, daddy."
"See? That wasn't so hard. Now, Dave, what do you have to say?"
The two waited for Dave's response. He looked at Manny, then over at Alicia.
"Alicia...I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have asked you to do it. I...know you..." what he had to say next pained him, "...liked it. I'm just...afraid of you leaving me."
Manny and Alicia were taken back by what he said. It even surprised Dave. Maybe it was the alcohol that loosened him up to admit something that he thought he'd never say sober.
"Daddy...why would you worry about that?"
"Because...your mother did the same types of things you're doing...and she left me."
"Oh, no...I'd never leave you, daddy. I promise! I may do some of the same things she did, but I still love you and I don't want to leave you!"
Alicia's words were bittersweet to Dave. On the one hand, he felt relief knowing that she didn't want to leave him, but on the other, she admitted to acting like her mother.
"I love you too, angel," was all he could muster for a response.
Alicia smiled at him.