Chapter 20

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In New York, even the spring is a bit chilly. Although the trees were beginning to grow their leaves back and the flowers were beginning to bloom, the temperature was still only about 50 degrees. And because it was nearly April, the spring rains had already begun.

I stood outside on the stoop of stairs in front of my apartment buidling, my black Burberry umbrella opened over me. I dug one of my hands in my pocket while the other--the one holding the umbrella--became cold in the chilly, rainy weather. I gazed at the street in front of me. Even on a Saturday morning, the city was bustling. But today, instead of people walking around in black and gray and navy business suits, people were wearing more casual outfits. But it was still the city. The weekend and a little rain never stopped anyone from continuing on with their lives.

I sighed and checked my watch. Carter wasn't due for another five minutes, but I was impatient. I hadn't slept the night before and I couldn't bring myself to eat my breakfast in the morning. I was nervous, to say the least. After all, in about four hours, Carter would be meeting Lillian for the first time.

Nearly a week ago, Carter had come into Matthews and Newton Law Firm dressed in his wedding suit announcing that he had broken off his marriage with Julie and that he wanted to meet our daughter. I hadn't spoken to him since. I had no idea where he was staying, whether he had gone back home to Saranac, or if he was residing in the city somewhere. He hadn't contacted me after he had left the firm that day and I hadn't made an effort to reach out to him. I had no idea what I would say to him; we didn't really have anything more to discuss. So I just didn't say anything. Whatever would happen, would happen. Now it was just time to wait.

I felt my heart skip a beat when I saw Carter's black Mercedes pull up to the curb. He had his lights on and the windshield wipers going. The rain had started to pick up. I made sure my umbrella was covering me completely before I ducked into the rain and ran to his car. He had gotten out to open the passenger side door for me. Once a gentleman, always a gentleman. 

I ducked into the car, closing my umbrella after myself. He jogged back to the driver's side and got in, shaking the water from his hair as he did so.

"Jesus," he said, shivering slightly from the cold rain.

"Welcome to New York City," I mumbled, stuffing my umbrella under my seat.

"I still don't understand why you love this place," he said, putting his indicator on to signal that he was about to turn into the street. 

"It's not that bad," I said. Just as I said this, though, a taxi honked at Carter as he pulled out. He gave me a look and I pursed my lips. "It's like an acquired taste. You have to learn to love it," I said. He rolled his eyes at me. I settled back into my seat.

"Do you know how to get there?" he asked.

"Don't you have a GPS?" I asked back. 

"Yeah, but I figured you'd know the way," he said, pulling his phone out and handing it to me to put the address in. 

"I do know the way. It's just easier to follow a GPS," I said. 

"That was such a typical girl thing to say," he said.

"And that was such a typical boy thing to say," I replied. The corners of his lips tugged up a little. 

I put in the address to the adoption center and the placed his phone in the coffee cup compartment in his car. I adjusted the air vents in the car so that the warm heat was aimed at my face. I placed my hands over the vents, warming them up. 

Four hours was a really long time.

"So where are you staying?" I asked him.

"In a motel," he replied. 

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