"Can you please tell your daughter to stop fidgeting?" Mrs. O'Donnell, my tailor, asked me frustratedly.
"Lily, quit moving around," I said to my daughter.
Lily was standing on a stool in Mrs. O'Donnell's studio getting fitted for her flower girl dress. She wasn't happy about it, especially because she kept getting stuck with pins. But this was mostly her fault because she wouldn't stop moving.
"But this dress is itchy!" Lily cried.
"You're the one that picked it out! So stop complaining!" I exclaimed. She frowned, crossing her arms over her little chest stubbornly. I rolled my eyes at her and she stuck her tongue out at me. I smiled despite myself. Here was my daughter, in front of me, trying on a flower girl dress that she would be wearing to my wedding. It was so crazy how far we'd come.
When Carter and I had come back to the adoption center the day after he had first met her, we sat Lily down in her room and told her who we really were. I was the one to tell her, but Carter was by my side, making sure I didn't lose faith in myself, just like he had promised.
Lily had been confused at first. She wasn't angry and she didn't become angry, either. But she had been extremely confused; so much so that she told us she didn't want to see us for a while. We decided to give her her requested space and we both went back to Manhattan until she was ready to make a decision.
When Carter and I had gone back, Carter moved his things to my apartment. He commuted the hour and a half from the city to Saranac Hospital for his rotations, but he came back everyday. It had been a very big change for me, having someone living with me. But I soon found comfort in coming home late to find Carter waiting up for me in bed or in making a late night dinner when both of us had late night shifts. Things were still far from all right between me and him, but we were making progress.
It wasn't until two weeks after our big reveal that Rachel had called us and said that Lily was ready to talk. We both drove back down to Boston to hear what her decision was. But Lily didn't tell us what she wanted right away. Instead, as always, she had questions.
"Why did you put me here?" she had asked, directing the question towards me.
"Because I was young and stupid and irresponsible," I had replied.
"But why?" she asked.
"That is exactly why, kid. I didn't think I could take care of you, not when I was so young myself. And I wanted you to be able grow up somewhere where people would take care of you. So I brought you here," I had explained.
"You thought this place was better than being with you?" she had asked. Her question had brought tears to my eyes and I nodded.
"Like I said, I was young and stupid and scared," I had told her.
"What about you?" she asked, now looking at Carter.
"I didn't even know about you until a couple weeks ago," Carter had responded.
"Why not?" she had asked.
"Because I was stupid and angry with your mother and she was angry with me. If you'll believe it, we hadn't seen each other for six years before she went back to live with her Grammy," he had told her.
"I'm six," she had said, doing the math in her head. He had nodded. "Why didn't you tell me before?" Lily asked, now looking back at me.
"I didn't know how to. And I was afraid of what you would say," I had replied.
YOU ARE READING
Aria Hansen and Carter Williams were in love. But after a pregnancy scare, Aria ended it, too immature and ambitious to handle a baby in her life. Leaving Carter broken hearted and confused, Aria moves to Boston to pursue a college career studying l...