Sparrow looked out the window of her new apartment overlooking Central Park. It was only temporary and she had told Vincent she would pay rent here, which she was sure he would fight her on when the time came.
With a coffee mug in one of her hands, she leaned back against the tan leather chair that face the window. She wasn’t quite ready to sit down. She wanted to see the view, to marvel at the wonder. There was something so beautiful about the park below right now, when inside her chest she felt like something ugly was growing. She needed the balance this view created for her.
Letting out a long sigh, she tugged the hem of her t-shirt down over her lounge shorts and sipped at her coffee.
Her phone vibrated on the small glass table next to the chair she was leaning on.
Glancing back over her shoulder, she read Jake and turned away.
This was at least his dozenth call. She had no intention of answering, she knew exactly what he was calling about. He was calling because when he did finally decide to return to her apartment after sleeping with Brittany, he saw that picture she had taken of the two of them together taped to the front door. It was only the first of many surprises for him. The other surprise was when he opened the door and found the apartment completely void of all furniture and decor. All that she had instructed the movers to leave behind was his clothes, his guitars and the few other things in the whole of the apartment that belonged to him.
He had arrived him at nine in the morning, no doubt returning to take a quick shower and get ready for his shitty job as a barista that supported him while he worked on his music.
Looking back now, she couldn’t help but think Jake had made such a big deal about moving in with her so he could save in the rent. Sparrow owned her own condo, which meant he helped with the small maintenance fee and nothing else. Did he care about her at all, or was she just some stupid girl he had manipulated to get what he wanted?
On the counter was the third surprise he would encounter that morning, she had the movers leave a lease for him to sign. If he wanted to stay there, he was going to have to pay the steep rent that went with living in a condo you didn’t own in downtown Toronto, or he had 30 days to vacate.
She had been sure to own her own home. The money from her mother’s life insurance was a good lump. Not really enough to think she could slack off, but enough to get her a leg up. When her father had passed away when she turned twenty, she had received some money from his insurance as well. It seemed he forgot to take her off his policy just as he had forgotten her.
In the back of her mind she had been afraid that if she had struggled, renting a shitty apartment, clipping coupons and living that kind of lifestyle, she would set off a beacon that would bring Vincent running to her rescue, with Harrison in tow. That thought had terrified her in the beginning, and pushed her to work harder.
Now all that hard work had allowed her to shove it to Jake.
It was petty, and Sparrow was sure that when she wasn’t so close to it all and had some time to process everything, she would feel a little bit guilty. If there was one thing she learned about herself last night, it was she was not someone to be trifled with.
The door to the apartment opened. “Good afternoon, Sparrow.” Vincent, who was the only one who now knew where she was staying strolled into the apartment. He paused before the single steps that led down into the living area she was standing in. Slowly taking in the clothes she clearly slept in, and the messy bun piled atop her head, he nodded to the mug in her hand. “First cup?”
Letting out a long breath, she nodded. “Yes.”
“Taking two flights in less than a day would tire anyone out. You left late afternoon and were back before morning. Anything you want to talk about?”
Sparrow looked back over her shoulder at him. The casual tone and glint in his eyes told her he already knew. “One of these days I am going to figure out how you know everything, Mr. King.”
He winced at the formal way she addressed him. Walking over, he sunk down into the leather chair she was perched on. “You’ll come to learn that money can really buy you anything.”
A light smile spread across her face.
Taking her hand, he pressed a kiss to the back of her hand. “Sometimes people disappoint you. People you love with every piece of yourself, and people you don’t even love at all… the heart always seems to hurt the same.”
“I always felt like something was missing, between Jake and I.” She told him, turning to look out the window at the park.
“Well then you are better off.” he told her.
She nodded. “What about you, Vincent. Was something missing between you and Meredith?”
Groaning, he let out a sigh before taking her mug from her hand and sipping from it. When he had taken his shot of caffeine, he leaned back in the chair. “Not at first. At first she was everything I ever thought I wanted. In a way that was worse. Your heart feels cheated… sorrowful even when it’s experienced all it can and then, little things, things that used to make it skip a beat slowly start disappearing. I guess it would be better to be hungry than have a bite of food. Once you’ve had that bite, you know exactly what you are missing.”
It wasn’t long ago she had written something so similar in her journal. She had felt the love Harrison had given her as her best friend was something even romantic love couldn’t measure up to.
The silence built between them, the two of them passing her mug back and forth as they stared out at the park.
“Harrison doesn’t know about this place.” Vincent said finally. “I acquired this property while he was living with Meredith overseas. You can be confident you won’t have any unexpected visitors. Stay as long as you like, as long as you need.”
Turning, she smiled at him. “Thank you.”
Eyes wide, he looked at her. “Just like that? A simple Thank You with no argument, no bargaining, no telling me what you will pay or that you don’t need my help?”
Her mind had been completely bursting with thoughts from the moment Vincent’s letter arrived in the mail. She had questioned every moment of her life, every character in it. She had painted all these different paths, trying to figure out which one she was walking now and what she was walking towards. Once again she was up on the attic of her mind, sorting through moments like dusty old boxes that had been packed away.
She still had a lot of sorting to do, but she thought she had at least settled on something. “Vincent, I don’t know what made you want to get in touch with me after all this time. It has been ten years since I have seen Harry, the last time we saw one another was at an awkward dinner five years ago when I told you I thought I needed a little bit of space. Harrison seems to think you reached out to me because of his relationship with Rachel. I could tell by the way he looks at me, waiting for me to tell him he has to throw this one to the curb. Rachel and Meredith both think you brought me here to throw a wrench in whatever plan she has cooked up for Harry and his future with Rachel. I have thought about it for a long time. I don’t think you reached out for Harry, or even for me. I think you did it for you. It’s the first thing you’ve done for yourself in a really long time. And what you need right now is for me to say Thank You and not put up too much of a fight. So that is what I am doing.”
He smiled, the deep blue of his eyes lightening slightly. “I always tell people about my daughter and how she has this way of reading people that is just brilliant.”
Sparrow smiled back at him, her heart fluttering at Vincent calling her his daughter once again. She missed him.