A/N: Umm….HI! I guess I really don't have much to say except, the author's note at the end of this chapter is very important, so please read it!
Mark Cohen walked up the stairs of his building with his ex-girlfriend, Maureen Johnson, and her partner, Joanne Jefferson. Maureen and Joanne were picking up something from his loft apartment. Mark's roommate, Roger Davis, was staying at his girlfriend, Mimi Marquez's apartment. Tom Collins, a.k.a, Collins was living two floors below Mark with his boyfriend, Angel Dummot-Schunard. When Mark, Maureen, and Joanne got to Mark's floor, there was a young woman in a suit standing outside his door.
"Mark Cohen?" she asked as soon as Mark got to the bottom of the landing leading up to his floor.
"Umm…yeah. May I help you?" he asked as he mounted the rest of the stairs.
"My name is Carla Sanchez. I'm your sister Cindy's attorney." She stopped and looked at Joanne and Maureen who were holding hands. "Is there somewhere more private that we can go to talk? This is a private matter."
"Joanne and Maureen are my family, so I'd prefer that they'd stay. We can go inside my apartment so we're not standing out in the middle of the hallway. Not that there's anyone important here to overhear anything."
"Sure. That sounds good." Carla stepped aside so Mark could unlock the door. She slid the heavy metal door aside, and turned on the lights.
The main room was scattered with Mark's camera equipment, Roger's music stuff, and some of the clothes Mimi had left after spending the night.
"Sorry about the mess. Our friend stayed here for a few days, and well, we haven't had the chance to really clean up yet. I'm sure you understand," apologized Mark. Carla nodded weakly as she sat down lightly on the couch.
"Please, it's 'Mark'."
"Okay, Mark. I'm afraid I have some bad news. Your sister, Cindy, was in a car crash today."
"Well, is she alright?"
"I'm afraid not. She and her husband Harry were killed upon impact." The color drained from Mark's face.
"Oh Mark," Maureen cooed as she wrapped her arms around his shoulders. Joanne didn't mind the sign of affection just that once. She knew that Maureen's heart was in the right place.
"And, and the kids?" he stammered.
"They're fine. Cindy and Harry were actually on their way to pick them up from a friend's house. Now, here's the thing. In your sister's will, she specified that you would take care of Andie, her oldest and only daughter."
"No, I'm sorry, but no. It would be better if my parents took both Andie and Becky. I can't afford a child. Look around you Mrs. Sanchez! I'm a photographer, I barely make my rent every month, and I don't have power half the time. And in case you didn't notice when you came here, I live in Alphabet City! This is not the best neighborhood to take care of a child! I'm sorry, I can't."
"Mark, I have already talked to your parents. They only have room for one child, Becky. On top of leaving you Andie, Cindy and Harry left you quite a large sum of money. Now, I understand if you don't want to leave this, ahem, neighborhood, but this money should help with the rent, bills, costs for Andie, etcetera, etcetera." Carla handed Mark a piece of paper. Joanne immediately took it, and began to read it over.
"Mark, your sister left you $250,000! It says so right here in the will. I didn't realize that she was so rich!" she exclaimed. Mark took the paper, and read it over. He couldn't believe it! He and Cindy weren't really close. Sure, they saw each other a few times a year, but as far as he was concerned, all his real family lived here in Alphabet City.
"Okay," Mark said slowly after several minutes of long, hard, thought. "I'll take Andie."
A/N: If you're a rent-head like me, please check this out: http/ www. fictionpress. com/ read. php? Storyid 2158367 just remember to remove the spaces, and REVIEW (both of them, you'll see!) Until later. Much love!