It seemed too soon when Jess found himself standing in front of his father's house. The trip over had taken a lot longer than he thought, and it was already growing late. Almost to emphasize the late hour, Jess gazed at his watch as he walked up the concrete stairs.
The house seemed bigger than he remembered. Although his father had never moved, it had been awhile since he had paid him a visit.
Not caring if he was quiet or not—letting his presence be known—Jess knocked on the door quickly. His breath swirled in the air. Funny, because he didn't remember it getting cold—or maybe he hadn't been paying attention. For most of the time over here, he was just focused on trying to remember the way, and couldn't stop thinking about what he was going to say to his father.
By the time the door creaked open, Jess could feel the icy rain on his skin. His father now had a scruffier look as he leaned against the door. "Jess?" The patio came on with a flick of a switch.
"What are you doing here?" His father was wearing a dark blue dress shirt and black jeans, as if he had just arrived home from work— but it was hard to think of his father as anything other than a person who could care less.
"Just paying you a little visit."
"For what? Jess—I haven't seen you in what four years?"
"My point exactly. See, I didn't even have to say it. You seem to get that you were a lousy father, but I'm not going to be you." Jess argued, quite irritated.
"So I heard. This visit is probably why I got a message from Luke, asking me if I knew where you were. Something you not picking up your phone." His father ignored the insults, "I think you'd better come in and sit awhile."
"That's all I came to say to you." Holding his hands up, Jess started to back up and walk away.
"I think you're going to want to hear what I have to say!"
"No thanks." Jess refused walking towards the driveway and taking his keys out of his pocket; unlocking the door to the rental car.
"It's about Rory, Jess." His father called out, almost in pleading tone for him to hear him out.
"What?" Jess whipped around, trying to figure out if this was some latest joke that his father was dishing out on his behalf. His father was standing on the patio, with a serious look on his face. The front door was closed now, as if blocking out the impending argument.
"The phone call from Luke—"His father hesitated, rubbing at his arms. "It was about Rory." Jess could only stare at him; the ringing in his airs almost caused him to miss the rest of the conversation. "She's okay. You should at least come inside—grab some coffee— it's freezing out here."
"This better not be a way to get me you to meet your family—because you might just find that I punched a hole in your wall." Were the only words Jess offered, before walking into the house.
As they walked out of the hospital after visiting Rory—William asleep with his head resting on Luke's shoulder—Lorelai reflected about their son. "He's almost too big to be held now." It was both a happy and sad thing, in her eyes. Sad; Like Rory—William was growing up way too quickly. Happy; since William had been her and Luke's miracle baby.
When Lorelai had found out that she had been pregnant with Rory, it had been quite a scary thing, but she had made it work. After their many breakups and Christopher leaving, Lorelai had always found herself wanting another child—exception that it be with someone she truly loved and spent the rest of her life with.
"He is." Luke sighed and smiled at her. He had always treated Rory as his daughter; always protected her, and was like the father that she had missed out on as a child. And when he held William in his arms for the first time: well that look still hadn't gone away, almost three years later.
"My baby is going to be a mom." Lorelai felt his hand squeeze hers in support, at the sad tone in her voice. "I'm not just going to be a mom anymore, but a grandma."
"You raised a good kid—" Luke offered, trailed off thoughtfully. It was apparent that he was thinking about Jess, among other things.
"Who's going to be devastated if she doesn't find out what happened to her husband."
"So, I called Jimmy." Luke confessed as they walked along the parking lot.
"You didn't. When?" Her eyes sparkled with interest, as she stopped where the light hit the asphalt. "What did he say, Luke?"
"Well, as far as I know—they haven't talked in almost four years. He said that he hadn't seen him—and if he did happen to come his way—then he would be sure to let us know."
Lorelai let out a small disappointed sigh at his confession. She had been hoping just as much as he had that he would know where Jess had gone, since they had now called his friends, mom, dad and his office—all of them giving the same answer . . . that they didn't know where he was, and if they did find him—to let them know. They had even called his phone over a dozen times, which each time they would proceed to get his voicemail.
"Why would he leave without telling Rory? He hurt her—after promising that he would never leave again, Luke."
"He'd better have a good explanation for leaving." Luke fumed, and then sighed. "Unfortunately, we won't know that explanation until we can locate where he is."
"He's in New York, Luke. The city of the Big Apple."
"I know that! That we know that." It was silent until they reached the car, and Luke had buckled William up in his car seat with not so much as a stir. It was already eleven-thirty and they were both exhausted—so tension was high. "Let's just go home and sleep on it. We both need to be able to support Rory tomorrow when she gets released from the hospital."
"I'm sure she's going to want some carrots with that doughnut." Lorelai quipped, getting into the car.