Lorelai's Heart


In the center of the paper, very small, in black ink, I draw a heart,

not a silly Valentine but an anatomically correct heart, tiny, doll-like,

and then veins, delicate road maps of veins, that reach all the way to the

edges of the paper, that hold the small heart enmeshed like a fly in a spiderweb.

See, there's his heartbeat.

- The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)


January 16, 2009 (Week 10)

This is the sound of your heartbeat: Whirr-whirr-whirr-whirr-whirr.

Dr. Thornton had rubbed clammy, sticky gel on the lower part of my stomach, and pressed an instrument that looked like a small microphone against me. Whirr-whirr-whirr-whirr-whirr. That's what I heard, a strange, hollow, rapidly humming machine. She said that was your little 10-week-old beating heart.

In the background, I could hear another, fainter beat: TUD-tod.TUD-tod.TUD-tod. Slower, steadier, the way I always thought hearts beat. What's that? That's your heart, she told me.

Our two heartbeats, side by side. How strange to know–and hear–that there's been a second heart sleeping inside of me. But they sound different. I know how my heart beats. But I do not know yours.


January 18

Your Dad will be home tonight.

Of course, he doesn't know he's a Dad, heart.

(Yes, I need to call you something–and I've decided that is what I'm calling you, for now. Because that's all you are, really. Dr. Thornton said you're small still, smaller than my fist. Do you know my heart is the size of my fist?)

Should I tell him? Stupid question, I know. And shush you, don't berate me. It's not simple.

Your Dad is head of "acquisitions and start-ups" of the Huntzberger Publishing Group. Big words for a big, fat, important position. Overseeing nearly a dozen growing publications, and managing to squeeze in an article or two for his favorite newspapers every now and then. And me, I've been a reporter for the last year-and-a-half at this nice newspaper in New York–the Times, which is pretty important too. (Just think Lois Lane, kid, you'll get it.)

Edgar Stansfield–he's my editor–has been grooming me in the last 6 months for some bigger assignments in the International desk. Already I've shadowed Tim in one of his trips to Beijing, and co-wrote a piece with Greg on the continuing unrest in Pakistan, which are both about as international as you could get at my level. (If you're anything like your Grandma, I know this is more boring than impressive to you right now, heart. But since you are inside me and unable to plug your fingers into your ears as she does, you really have no choice but to hear me out.) Suffice it to say that after two years of working my butt off at this paper–with a senior-year Reston Fellowship under my belt at that–your Mama's finally going places.

I think it would be the bee's knees to be a full-fledged international journalist, heart… This has been my dream, since–I don't know, maybe when I was 12 and wrote an essay for my 6th grade English class on "The Impact of U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War on Newspaper and Television Reporting". (I was obsessed with My Lai 4 then, see. Ms. Tanner couldn't believe I wrote that essay, by the way. She gave me an A- and kept looking at me suspiciously from above her bifocals for the rest of the term.) Or maybe it was even years earlier in 3rd grade, when I stayed home for weeks with the pox, drowning my boredom in chocolate pudding and mashed potatoes and committing to memory the countries of the world and their capitals and landmarks and national flags from a battered copy of The World Atlas Lane picked up for me from the library. (Fes: third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat, believed to be the largest carfree urban area in the world, and home of the Festival of World Sacred Music.) Point is, I've known what I've wanted to do with my life for ever so long: I wanted to see the world, and tell the world what was going on in the world.

But you guessed it, neither Edgar, Tim, Greg, nor anyone at work knows about you. No one knows about you. Not even my Mom.

Back to me and your Dad. Let me give you a snapshot of how our life has been in the last two years: I'm on a plane to California, he's on a plane to Washington. Or, I'm on a plane to Chicago, and he's on a plane to London. Our relationship is pencilled in days and hours on our Filofaxes and Palm Pilots (Oct 27: dinner, 6:30-8:45), squeezed in between meetings, writing, flying. Touch relegated to the buzz of mobile phones and Blackberrys. As if we're secret lovers sneaking a tryst here and there. We actually share an apartment here in the city. But as soon as it seems we've got our daily routine down, sleeping and waking in each other's arms–a couple of nights spent watching TV together lulling us into a false sense of stability–then we're up and moving again, going someplace, waving hello and goodbye. Missing each other.

Still think its simple? Our world cannot seem to stop for each other. Let alone for your beating heart.


January 19

Actually, he did want it all to stop. That was around 7 months ago. (June 25, 2008. 9:34 p.m.)

"Let's get married, Ace," he said.

We lay on the couch in a tangle of clothing and body parts, not even making it to the bed. We hadn't seen each other in a week, and things got…primordial when I met him at the door. And messy. And wonderful. (I'll spare you the details, heart.) We were in our habitual pre-sleep position, me leaning into him, my forehead against his neck, him twisting my hair around his fingers. Then he said it, completely out of the blue, echoing in the quiet of the living room.

"That would be the very happy and sated neurochemicals talking," I told him. "Endorphins, I believe they're called." Making light of his words, which weigh heavily in my heart until now.

"Rory, I'm serious." He turned my face up to look at him, his thumb tracing my chin. "Let's get married." He said it again, with more conviction. "I'm getting tired of this lifestyle, of us moving around so much. Maybe there's something to be said about 'settling down', huh?"

It wasn't quite the marriage proposal a woman imagines from the love of her life. But we've been together a long time, I guess we're past the pomp and formality of the whole asking-for-thine-hand-in-marriage. But here's the rub: I can't quite explain why the phrase "settling down" got to me at that time, but it did. As did his eyes, which were an unnervingly deeper chocolate than I'd ever seen them. I ended up giving him an answer that wasn't quite what a man imagines from the love of his life.

"By 'settling down', you mean you want to come home and have me welcome you with a hot casserole, a warm bath, and a baby at my hip?" I couldn't keep the thinly veiled sarcasm–or was it defensiveness? fear?–from my voice.

And he couldn't keep a small smile from appearing on his face, a far-away look in his eyes. I don't think he realized I was mocking. "I'd like that, you being home when I come home," he said quietly.

"Well, maybe I won't." I untangled myself from his arms and legs, picked up a shoe here, my panties there, and marched to the bedroom. "If you wanted–I don't know, a Donna-Reed-Stepford-wife–heck, if you wanted someone like your mother–you wouldn't have agreed to become my boyfriend three-and-a-half years ago," I burst out, unthinking. "I won't get married to 'settle down'," I said, before slamming the door behind me.

I know what you're thinking, heart. What a bitch. And I agree. I was utterly unfair, dumping so-called feminist crap on him like that. When all he said was he wanted us to get married. All he said…it threw me completely off-guard. Settle down? God, I'm so not ready to settle down. Not at 24. Not when I have to–I don't know–fly to the Middle East to cover a groundbreaking story. Not if settling down means organizing fundraisers and ordering salmon puffs (no garnish on the trays!) for some Huntzberger family or company function.

I was pacing back and forth in the bedroom, overcome with an overwhelming desire to run, when my eye caught the picture framed on my bedside table. A close-up photo I shot of your Dad–of Logan–laughing, on his graduation day. And I can't remember how many times I've fallen asleep with that picture clutched in my hand, when I couldn't sleep because the bed–the entire apartment–seemed too large, gaping. It gets pretty pathetic, actually. The thought of falling asleep together at night made my heart literally ache with longing.

What the hell had come over me? I'm no longer 16, for crying out loud.

I finally peeked out of the bedroom long minutes later. He usually followed me, not letting up, when we had an argument. He didn't follow me then. And he was still lying on the couch, exactly how I had left him, his dress shirt open, his hair rumpled by my hand. Looking up at the ceiling.

"I didn't expect that my saying I wanted to marry you would bring on a rant about my apparent gender insensitivity. With a side of Shira, to boot," he said when he heard me say his name. "Guess I missed out on the office seminar on politically correct marriage proposals."

"I'm awful," I said, moving towards him. "I know you probably didn't mean what I thought you meant. Guess I missed out on the office seminar on how to respond to spur-of-the-moment-post-coital marriage proposals."

God woman, way to go on the heartfelt apology. And for the life of me, I couldn't think of anything else to say. Wait? Maybe? Ask me again in a year or two? Yes?

"Logan…I--I'm sorry."

He turned his head to look at me, and his brow was thoroughly confused. "No. I'm sorry. For wanting to be with you more than two or three times a week, Rory. That I want you to be home when I come home, and for thinking that just maybe, you'd want me to be home when you come home too. For thinking that you'd want to slow down a bit, cut back on the travel, because I want to slow down. For wanting to bring our relationship to the next level…to maybe start a fa--" He stopped abruptly, wouldn't even say the word family. Perhaps he thought I might go off on a second round of ranting. Perhaps I would.

He sat up to button his pants and shirt, and ran a hand through his hair. "But I guess it does sound crazy considering where we are in both our careers. So, I'm sorry." He collected his portfolio and laptop bag, rummaged around the couch for his phone. "I never thought I'd want to get married, Rory. Certainly not at 27." Letting me know this wasn't a small thing for him.

"I know…and–and thank you." Oh God.

"Thank you?" He shook his head in disbelief. While I mentally congratulated myself for yet another entry in the Rory Gilmore's-classic-moronic-comebacks book.

"Are you going somewhere? Logan, don't leave. Let's try to talk about this."

"What's to talk about? You're not ready, and I get it. I'm going to the office for a while, catch up on some paperwork."

"But you're upset."

He turned to me from the open doorway and heaved a sigh. "I'm not upset at you, Rory," he said simply. "I'm just tired. Oh, and incidentally, it may have been a spur-of-the-moment proposal, but it wasn't a spur-of-the-moment idea." Then he went out.

After a terrible moment of paralysis, I caught up with him in the hallway before he stepped into the elevator. "I'm so sorry if I hurt you. Logan, I love you, I do love you. You know that, right?" Pressing my nose against his arm. He wants to marry me. My heart seemed to finally respond as it should.

"Yeah," was all he said, so quietly I hardly heard it. But he didn't return the kiss I placed on his lips. And at dawn the next morning, I found him sleeping on the couch, not beside me on our bed.

Seven months later, I'm pregnant with you. And still not ready. Not ready for what it might really mean to have you both in my life.


January 22

I had to get up to drink water. But also, I had to get up because I woke up with his head on my stomach–on you. I was scared he would hear your whirr-whirr-whirr from inside me. There, I've said it.

2:23 a.m.: scared

Of what?

He said my breasts looked different, fuller, when we made love. He loved them. And I realized I'm starting to show.

I wonder if you'll have blonde hair? I wish you could just appear, and he can look at you and know.


January 23

Here's how I found out about you anyway.

Your Dad and I were rushing to get coffee in some shop in JFK (I forgot where–Starbucks?). I had driven him to the airport for his 7:30 flight to—forgot that too–somewhere. I do remember that it was soon after Thanksgiving, because I was chatting with Mom on the phone about her Black Friday shopping frenzy with April, with Luke ranting in the background about instilling "frivolous financial sense" in the "child". "I know, I'm desperately trying to reverse the genes of the cheapskate in her!" Lorelai had called back in singsong. I was laughing as Logan steered me to the counter. Then the smell of fresh ground coffee hit me, and I was reeling.

Now if there's one thing, anything you need to know about me, your Mother, it is this: I love coffee. I live, breathe, die for coffee. Coffee, coffee, coffee! If you're born screaming your lungs out because you're suffering from caffeine withdrawal and they have to place you in an incubator like a crack baby, you know why, kid. (And you have no one to blame but yourself.) On that particular morning, when little else was remarkable enough to remember, I remember not being able to stand the smell of coffee. I remember feeling light-headed, even nauseous, at the smell (the stench!) of perky brewing coffee. I had to make a run for the bathroom to throw up.

And when a Gilmore throws up at the scent of coffee, you know that something is terribly wrong. That things are not as they should be, and the world as we know it is coming to an end.

I haven't had coffee since then. Haven't even craved it. Logan suspects that I've simply outgrown my addiction, as if it were some childhood allergy.

"Who knows, I may yet live to see the day when Rory Gilmore eats a brussel sprout sans any disgusting facial expressions and gagging noises," he had said while we had a rare Sunday breakfast in bed. Breakfast without coffee.

"Or you may not live to see the day because the sudden drop in caffeine in my blood stream after 24 years has transformed my personality to that of an axe murderer, so you watch your back mister."

"Aw, is that any way to talk to the man who feeds you your almost-as-good-as-Luke's blueberry pancakes? Besides, you're practically sitting on my lap, Ms. Axe Murderer," he chuckled, tugging my hair playfully. "I'm actually kinda liking this. You're cute when you're grumpy. Now I get to see you grumpy every morning."

"Cute! Stop gloating and mocking my decaffeinated spirit," I had growled, downing his orange juice.

He had yet to realize that I haven't been too crazy about blueberry pancakes lately, either. I was just grateful that he had not put too much meaning into the change in my eating habits. I know of course that this is one of those gazillion things that change when a person has another person inside of them. Dictating what they can and can't eat. I've been eating a lot of bananas, actually. And I haven't been drinking coffee. I kind of miss that coffee-chapter of my life. Things are not as they should be.


January 27

Okay, found it wadded up at the bottom of my purse. The list I made from Dec 4, on a Starbucks napkin. (Where I ended up having OJ. What can I say? I tried.) Pasting it here for posterity's sake:


1. the whole labor thing

2. not being able to smell or drink coffee

3. stretch marks

4. my (job) career on hold

5. swollen feet

6. Shira-- (you being related to her by blood)

7. the whole motherhood thing


1. maternity clothes

2. L.

3. the whole motherhood thing (?)

Let me explain a few points about the Cons. About the labor–my threshold for pain is pathetically low. I stub my toe and I howl like a banshee, loud enough for Babette to barge through our back door waving a pan over her head (in case I was being attacked). Being in a hospital tends to freak me out (and that's when I'm not even the patient). God knows what apocalypse might break out with me in a hospital having a 7-lb watermelon come out of me. (Oh God, I'm making myself sick just thinking about it.)

Coffee–already told you about that tale of woe. Stretch marks–ugly. (Okay. Fine. I know I probably won't parade around in a bikini in a public place to save my life, but just in case I wanted to, huh? What then?)

And my feet swell horribly in long flights, blood pooling and all that from falling asleep in a sitting position for too long. Can you imagine my tootsies when I've ballooned to ten times my size 4? Not pretty. But on second thought, this isn't really a Con you know. It's not likely now that I'll be taking any long flights in the next 6 months (refer to Con #4). Perhaps not for a long, long while after, even. I haven't heard of any globe-trotting-baby-toting-Pulitzer-worthy foreign correspondent, have you? Didn't think so. After all, who's going to read you–and bawl over–The Velveteen Rabbit night after night? Who is going to initiate you to Willy Wonka and the charms of oompaloompas (and wake you up from your nightmares of tiny orange men afterwards)? Who's going to quiz you for your spelling test so you don't make the same humiliating mistake of spelling rendezvous as roundevoo? My mother did all that for me (except for the spelling thing, obviously). And if I ever hope to measure up to even her little pinky finger…

Well that's the thing, isn't it? Thinking of myself as a mom (not that I ever did, 'til now), I envision myself as the "cool mom", the one the Parises, Madelines, and Colins of this world would secretly envy you for. Like Lorelai. I'm not very cool though, heart, not really. Let me set you straight on that early on. In fact, I think I'm pretty boring sometimes. Some people have even called me "odd". Oh I know, motherhood isn't about being cool. It's about…love, and being there, and support, and friendship, and all the hundred other catch-phrases copyrighted by Hallmark. I trust they know their stuff, that being a mother is some wonderful, unparalleled experience. (They invented Mother's Day after all.) I wonder, though, do those things just…happen? Are women just born that way? Or are these things learned? Is there some crash course out there, Motherhood 101, that I could join ('cause I'm an excellent student, heart). Would the course tell me why I'm not jumping up and down at the thought of being a mom? At the thought of having you?

About the Pros, I couldn't come up with many (and I'm thinking that's pretty sad). Only that I loved Sarah Jessica Parker's pea-in-a-pod outfits, heart, when she was pregnant ages ago (she was the fashion and sex icon in my day, hon). I'm sorry, I suppose that is just the height of shallowness and frivolity. That would be the genes of your grandmama Lorelai in me.

And there's your Dad. Nothing shallow there. I can't even write about him without sounding utterly corny. (But it's just you, after all.) What Logan is to me–that goes without saying, you know? He is as regular and unseen and…vital as the beating of my own heart. I'd want him to be happy. And in my heart of hearts, I think he will be, with you.

While me, God help me, your own Mother, has to write up a damned list to sort out how she feels.

Damn. I should just tear up this stupid, lame list to pieces. A 7-point Con clearly outweighs a 3-point Pro. When I'm choosing between pizza or Chinese, or a blue or green tie for your Dad, that is. Not when its about babies, or this…this whole motherhood thing, how crass. Not when your heart, and your Dad's heart, are on the table. That messes up the whole equation.

By the way, I know I haven't told you anything about Shira and Mitchum yet, heart. But that deserves another entry on another day, when I can afford to be in a really crappy mood.


February 7

And that day would be now. Well brace yourself, heart. This is going to be a sordid story of rejection and betrayal.

The New York Times Company–of which my paper is a part–hosted a black-tie dinner last night to commemorate the success of its annual Neediest Cases Fund campaign. Normally I don't attend these occasions–not that I don't want to, because these are the best places to get starstruck with the greats of journalism. (Yes, the words "starstruck" and "journalism" go together in my book. Such as Seymour Hersh of My Lai 4 fame, who shook my hand on June 14, 2008 at the Adolph Ochs benefit dinner and said, "Nice to meet you Ms. Gilmore". Quite a defining moment in my life.) At my level, I don't get invited very often to these grand parties, except that the Neediest Cases project is all-important to the company. Having raised 10 million this year–well that's something certainly worth celebrating. Worth celebrating with the campaign's most generous benefactors, such as the Huntzberger Publishing Group, in fact. And its those occasions I do my best to avoid.

Because walking into a room on the arm of Logan Huntzberger, tagged the Golden Boy, the heir apparent to the HPG media empire, one of the most eligible bachelors in New York city (the list goes on), is like walking into a den of wolves. Hungry, prowling, sinister, sly.

Meet the den mother herself, Shira Huntzberger (yes, that would be your grandmother-to-be). She took one look at me at my first dinner-cum-shanghai with the Huntzbergers four years ago, and dismissed me as an unworthy girlfriend (your Dad's first, might I emphasize). This, despite Chilton and Yale, a coming-out party, and ancestors disembarking from the Mayflower. Because in the end, I want a career in journalism, don't I, travel the world and all that. A girl like me couldn't possibly know what it means to be a Huntzberger. Which, I suppose, entails knowing which fabrics would be appropriate for summer versus winter draperies, the caterers that serve the best sushi (fresh), and which DAR ladies to invite and not to invite (because of some horrible scandal or other) in the annual fundraiser. Now I've organized a few DAR events in my time, heart, and they were a blast, because I'm nothing if not organized, right? But I'll never want to make a career out of being like Shira. I find that lifestyle a bit sad, even empty, even though Twinnie Halpern, I like, and Emily Gilmore, I admire and love. But Shira knows–and I fear–that when all's said and done, I may very well end up like her if I "settle down" with Logan, my aspirations be damned. That, or I don't end up with Logan at all. That's why she can afford to be so smug.

"Logan!" She pounced, minutes upon our entry, kissing Logan on both cheeks. "You look wonderful," she beamed, automatically straightening his bowtie.

"Thanks Mom, you look well yourself."

"I've been waiting for you because I'm dying to introduce you to the Fitzgerald girl–do you remember her? Her father was former publisher of The London Times? Well she's here on a break from her studies in Les Roche in Switzerland…"

She looked positively predatory, on the prowl for a good match for her son.

"…She'll be taking over the management of Plaza Athenee in Paris, you know, she's absolutely brilliant. And not knowing anyone here, I thought…"


"…that you could keep her company for tonight…"

"Mom! Stop it, stop doing that. Rory's here with me."

As this exchange was going on, I counted the marble pillars around the room while mentally testing to see how many "Fitzgerald-Huntzberger"s I can roll of my tongue in 5 seconds. It is quite a tongue-twister.

Keeping a smile plastered on her face, Shira finally turned to me and said, "Why, Rory. Of course, how rude of me. It's just that I haven't seen you in a while. Glad to see you've decided to tag along this evening. I hardly ever see you at our parties."

"I work at the Times, Shira. I'm part of this company. So we actually invited you."

"That's right. It must have slipped my mind. So how's the job coming along? Not tiring you out, I hope? Wouldn't want you to lose that youthful look too early now. I dare say Logan would be disappointed. Why, he needs someone as beautiful and accomplished as him in every way…" Laugh-laugh-laugh. Logan clutched my hand tighter.


"Work is wonderful, Shira. You should try it sometime. Now if you'll excuse me, I think I see people I must say hello to." I turned to leave, feeling like I swallowed a dozen knives down my throat.

Just for kicks, I had the urge to drop the bomb and tell her, crudely, that her precious son whom she's saving for Ms. Fitzgerald, has knocked me up. She would have paled. Fainted, perhaps. Threatened to sue me? For hoodwinking her son into marrying me and thereby ruining his prospects. Pre-nups would be flying out of lawyers' offices. But that's just fodder for my fantasies I guess.

Logan caught up with me and murmured against my hair, "Don't let her get to you, Rory. You'll always be good enough for me." Good enough.

As always, I sensed people were looking at us, or rather at Logan. Wondering who he was with. Who I am. I've had my face splashed on society pages a number of times in the last few years. I hate it. I'd rather have my face on an op-ed column, or my by-line under the title of a really important story. Not my face half-hidden by my purse shielded against the flashing cameras, half-running with Logan into a building as if we were being pursued. I am just Rory Gilmore. At that moment, I had to get away from him.

Patting his hand on my arm, I smiled at him. "Let's catch up with each other later, okay? I think I'd like to hang out for a while with Sharon and Tony over by the crudités. You go hobnob and ham it up with the head honchos."

"Some fancy use of alliteration there, Ace. Okay, don't go too far."

"I'll be within radar, if you need me to rescue you from Ms. Frenchie Fitzgerald," I cracked, smiling weakly.

And then he does what I was hoping he wouldn't do, not in a place like that. He leaned over to kiss me, his arm automatically pulling me against him. I turned my face ever so slightly so that his kiss landed on my cheek. "Logan, not here," I murmured. His face morphed from smiling to confused to blank. "Right," he said, "I forgot." He released me and nodded quite formally, then turned to mingle in the crowd. As always, I ended up wishing–belatedly–that I could have just let him kiss me.

"Wow, girl. You sure know how to keep a secret. So much for trying to wangle a hot date for the prim reporter girl. Who would have thought, Logan Huntzberger? So spill, have you been dating long?" Sharon immediately asked. Quite innocently I'm sure, but the question–already so expected–still made me squirm.

"Uh-hm, date?...no, not really, no. We were in Yale together, and we get together a few times, every now and then. You know, lunch, hanging out, catch-up stuff. We worked together at the Yale Daily News, too. And our families know each other quite well…We're more casual than anything really, um, good friends, I'd say…" Oh, and did I mention that I'm carrying his child?

I did tell you that this was a story of rejection and betrayal, heart. My rejection and betrayal of Logan, that is.

"Really." Tony looked at me pointedly. "Methinks the lady doth protest too much, Sharon. Huntzberger rarely brings anyone to these sorts of shindigs. You are the chosen one this lucky evening. You must have done something to earn the honor…" he leered sarcastically.

I put on an air of indifference and waved his comment away with my hand. "So which one looks more like a potentially edible morsel, the pink poufy thing, or the green leafy thing?…" I had to put something in my mouth, fast.

"It wouldn't be so bad, Rory," Sharon said, raising her brows up and down suggestively. "For a friends-with-benefits kind of arrangement, Huntzberger's quite the friend. I'd kill to have that kind of connection," she winked conspiratorially.

And I would die to be thought of as using Logan as a "connection". Especially since Mitchum had ditched my journalistic aspirations and abilities with much finesse when I interned for him at the Stamford Gazette. (Yes, Mitchum would be your grandfather-to-be.) If you knew me at all by now, heart, you'd know that this hurt me more than Shira's jabs or condescension. And while the drama has long passed and I no longer feel like throwing up when I see him, more than anything, I still have the need to show him–and myself–that I do have it (whatever it was that he said I "ain't got") as a journalist. My eyes roamed the room frantically, needing to latch onto a new topic of conversation, when my glance fell on Logan with Mitchum. Speak of the devil.

"Hey, Rory? I was only kidding, I'm sorry." Sharon was squeezing my arm. "You've become pale as a ghost."

I shook my head, then laughed. "Yeah, what a struggling reporter wouldn't do to land a Logan Huntzberger, right? I'd probably marry him. Poor thing, he's actually been fighting me off." Rejection and betrayal. One more time and the cock should be crowing, if my memory of St. Peter in Finn's Passion of the Christ serves me right.

"So give it to me. What was he like in college? Was he already that gorgeous? He's so…elusive and mysterious," Sharon pressed in hushed tones.

"Oh, please. For all we know he could be gay," Tony interjected with disinterest. "I'd rather know if back then he was already writing the kind of stuff he's writing now."

"He was jumping off seven-storey scaffolds, actually," I replied. With me. Can you believe it, heart? Little ol' me having a bit of a wild side after all. I owe that to your Dad. But now I feel like he's staring up at me from far below, waiting. Me stupidly clutching an umbrella, and you. Waiting for a safety net. I was beginning to feel awful about how the evening was unfolding.

"And on that intriguing note, I think I'll say bye for now. Enjoy the rest of the evening, you two. Take notes of Sulzberger's speech for me."

"Whaat? Rory, you just got here, come on!" Sharon pleaded. "No fair. Jumping off scaffolds…so the thing about him being a daredevil of sorts is true. God, I love him!"

So do I. "Sorry guys. I do feel like I have something coming on, which would explain my creepy pallor. Or maybe it's this stuff I'm eating. The pink thing definitely tastes better than the green."

I left without telling your Dad, leaving him a text message on his mobile instead. Will wait up for you at home. Didn't want to disturb you.- R. He's used to me doing this; he knows I'm not crazy about big parties, nor his mother, nor seeing my face on the society page.

I told you the tale was sordid, heart. Complicated enough for me, without you being added to the mix. Why can't Logan be just…Logan? (His reply to my text message: Save me a slice of pizza. The food here sucks. Now how regular is that?)

I've worked hard to get where I am now, heart. I know it isn't much yet, but I've had my little achievements. Fresh from my highly competitive Reston Fellowship, I was a shoo-in at the Times, and I've been turning in pretty solid stories. My editor likes me, and things are going by the book–my book, anyway. And if I marry Logan now, if people realize just how long we've been together and that we're having you, the heir/heiress to the "heir-apparent"…then I'm afraid that everything that I've done in my grown-up life will mean nothing or be seen as false. That I would be swallowed up and disappear in the larger-than-life world of Logan Huntzberger.