"Look Lor," Chris said, trying to placate the near hysterical brunette, "I can't do this. I'm not ready. I'm only 16 for God's sake!"

"Unless I've suddenly aged I'm only 16 too, Christopher!"

"I'm moving."


"My parents think it would be best if-"

"I'm sure you're fighting this really hard, aren't you?" Lorelai asked sarcastically, shifting the infant in her arms.


"I can't do this alone Chris," Lorelai admitted softly. "Not here."

"You're better off without me." Chris insisted. "I'm not what you need."

Lorelai watched silently as Christopher started his car and drove off without so much as a glance in the rear view mirror. She wiped away a single tear and made a vow to herself as her daughter stirred.

She'd do this alone, even if it killed her.

Her baby would be happy.

He said goodbye from the edge of the porch like she'd been some casual friend

He said, "You're better off without me, I'm not what you need," like her mama had said about him

He started the car, pulled out of the drive, didn't waste any time looking back

She watched him go, thinking even a stranger would have more compassion than that

Lorelai rushed up to her bedroom and held a hungry Rory to her breast. She looked around her room in a strange state of calm; the first way to ensure her daughter's happiness, get out of her parents' house. She mentally catalogued all the things they'd need as Rory fed.

After burping and changing the baby she went to work.

Clothes… money… where the hell was Rory's favorite blanket?

She worked furiously; knowing that if she stopped the feelings of pain, betrayal, and sadness would overwhelm her. She didn't have time for that right now.

She could have cried, but she didn't have time

She had a baby to feed, a pink blanket to find, to rock their little one to sleep

She could have laid in bed for hours, giving misery the power

But she didn't have time

"Are you sure you don't want to go out and hang with your friends or something?" Lorelai asked the 18-year-old red head for what must have been the 500th time. "It is Saturday after all."

"For the last time, no." The exasperated Sookie St. James answered. "I love looking after Rory. Besides, you are my friend, my best friend."

Lorelai smiled as Sookie picked up her 3-year-old daughter. "You be good for Sookie, okay baby?"

The tiny girl nodded solemnly. "Okay, mama. You do good work."

The brunette grinned as she smothered her daughter's face in kisses. "I will." She looked up at a smiling Sookie. "I'll be back at 10 o'clock, after my shift."

"Why don't you go out after work? Party it up, get out of here. I'm sure there are plenty of guys out there who'd die to go out with a hot chick like you."

Lorelai barely gave the suggestion a thought. "Can't. I've got an early shift tomorrow. Plus, I wanted to look into some kind of playgroup for Rory. Maybe a sport…"

Sookie shook her head, "Okay, okay! Go, before Mia fires your butt!"

"Don't get fired, mama." Rory said, her blue eyes wide.

"I won't get fired babe. I'll see you later."

"Bye bye mama."

"Bye kiddo. I love you."

"Love you!"

Lorelai stepped out of the gardening shed she and her daughter had made their home and closed her eyes. Soon she'd be able to relax, go out, party… She let the memories of concerts, and parties, and shopping sprees, and dates overtake her before shaking them off.

No. She started towards the Independence Inn. Work. That's what she had time for now.

She got a sitter, and she got a job, 'cause she had a promise to keep

Her day was a factory and evening survival, and night was exhaustion and sleep

Sometimes she felt life was passing her by, and watching was all she could do

Her friends said, "You gotta get outta the house, and maybe you'll meet someone new."

"Gilmore!" Rory looked up as her T-ball coach called her name. "Get your head in the game!"

Lorelai tried not to laugh as her 5-year-old daughter grudgingly put her book down and took her place in the outfield. "Gilmore's aren't really sports people, are they?" Sookie asked.

"Definitely not." Lorelai shook her head as she and her best friend burst out laughing,

"So Lor," Sookie asked after the two of them had calmed down. "Did you get to the party I was telling you about the other day?"

Lorelai shook her head, watching as the batter struck out and the two little league teams switched positions on the field. "No, Rory had her first ballet class yesterday."

"How'd she do?" Sookie wasn't surprised that her friend had once again passed up the opportunity to socialize with people her own age.

"About as well as her piano lesson."

Sookie cringed. "That bad, huh?"

Lorelai nodded. "She managed to somehow knock over every other girl in the class. It was horrible. Like a very pink, very frilly, human domino game… Miss Patty threatened to beat me with her baton if I signed Rory up for one more class."

Sookie couldn't help but laugh. "At least she didn't threaten you with her second husband this time."

"My girl's got absolutely no sense of rhythm…"

"It's not her fault."

"What do you mean?"

"Have you ever seen yourself dance?"

"Hey!" Lorelai cried, "I'm a good dancer!" Sookie snorted. "I am!"

"You're no Baryshnikov…"

"Hey! I'm good, Michael Flatley good."

"Lord of the Dance?" Sookie asked with a raised eyebrow. Lorelai nodded stubbornly. "Prove it then. Come dancing with me tonight."


"Leave Rory with Mia and come out with me."

"I can't Sook. I have to go grocery shopping… This morning Rory informed me that we couldn't possibly survive on one box of old take-out, baking soda, and moldy, green cheese."

"She didn't go for the 'cheese gets better with age' thing?"

Lorelai shook her head "She hasn't fallen for that since she was 3."

"Oh." The two friends sat in comfortable silence for a few minutes. "I wish you'd come out with me…"

"I can't. I don't have time."

She could have tried, but she didn't have time

She had a five year old to feed, she had ballet class, piano lessons, and T-ball little league

She could have laid awake for hours, giving lonely nights the power

But she didn't have time

Lorelai considered her friend's words as she stood in line at the grocery store. As much as she loved Sookie and wanted to make her happy, she simply couldn't get involved with a man again. There were too many complications, too many feelings, plus the whole being a single mother thing wasn't exactly a man grabber…

"Shit!" She swore as she pushed her cart up to her jeep. The front left tire was flat. "This is exactly what I need right now…" She muttered, kicking at the offending tire.

"Do you need some help?"

The brunette considered lying to the scruffy looking guy for a minute, then looked at her watch and decided against it. Getting groceries had taken up too much time. "Yeah, thanks."

Not time, where would she find the time to trust a man again?

Not time, for that flat tire, a crowded parking lot and then

Not time, but yes, have coffee with the man that got her tire fixed

She was thinking, "Gosh, he's handsome," when he asked, "Do you have kids?"

"Would you like to get some coffee?"

Lorelai looked at 'Mr. God-he-fits-those-jeans-well', she'd named the good-looking blonde as he'd replaced her tire, then at her watch. "I really shouldn't…"

"Oh, well, okay…"

She couldn't stand the sudden feeling of guilt as the handsome blonde walked away. "As long as it's quick. I have to get home…" Maybe she could make a little time for a kind, good-looking stranger… Just this once…

"So," the blonde, Luke, asked as Lorelai took a sip of her coffee. "Do you have kids?"

Lorelai set down her cup and considered lying again. "She's five."

Luke nodded and smiled. "I saw the car seat." Lorelai nodded and turned her attention back to her coffee. She looked up when she felt Luke's hand on hers. "I love kids. Does she have your eyes?"

Lorelai felt herself melt and all concept of time drifted away.

She could have lied, but she didn't have time

All she said was "She's five." He said, "I saw the car seat, I love kids, does she have your eyes?"

And they sat and talked for hours, giving destiny it's power

She could have been afraid to fall in love that night

But she didn't have time

She could have been afraid to fall in love that night

But she didn't have time