tall raspberry mocha

two pumps chocolate

two pumps raspberry

single shot espresso

milk to 145


Edward has an apartment

It's small

Really small, actually

Smaller than anything I've lived in before

But I don't tell him that

Because I don't want to be rude

He seems so proud of it, too

Showing me around

Though it should only take about five minutes

To cover the space

He goes through everything

Draws it out

Tells me about how the fridge only sometimes works

And how

In the middle of the night

If you listen hard enough

You can hear the prostitutes talking quietly across the street


He has a mattress on the floor

That he looks embarrassed by

"I meant to buy a frame," he says

His hand cupping the back of his neck

His cheeks blushing lightly

"I meant to buy it before you got here but I didn't have time"

There are three blankets thrown haphazardly across it

He walks over and tries to straighten them

But it's a lost cause


"It's great," I say

And he looks so proud

Pushing his chest up

With a quiet smile


I tell myself that

Just for this night

I won't think about anything

Not the future

Not the past

I will stay in the present

With Edward

On a worse for wear couch

Staring at the spot

Where there should be a television

But isn't


"I'm glad you're here," he offers, cradling my chin in his hands

"I'm glad I'm here, too"

He kisses me lightly at first

Like he's afraid

Like it's his first kiss ever

And he fears that with any misstep

I'll pull away

And tell him that he's doing it wrong

But he isn't doing it wrong

Of course

My fingers wrap around his neck and pull him closer

Which is all the encouragement that he needs

We don't make it to the bed

Which is okay

Because it's not much of a bed anyway



He's up early the next morning

For rehearsal, or something

But I sleep through it

And don't wake until early afternoon

When he's already back

With a sack of bagels and two cups of black coffee


"Hey," he says

And kisses my cheek

Over his shoulder is the same bag he's always had

One constant in everything else that has changed so drastically

And even though it is worn and dirty and desperate to be replaced

I can't help but feel grateful that he's kept it

To give me something to hold onto


We pick apart our bagels and drink the coffee

The kind I used to make

And vow to never make again


While Edward showers I call Charlie

He doesn't seems surprised that I've made it to New York

In a way, I think he's relieved

I think we were both worried that I'd never go anywhere

Or do anything

He urges me to stay for as long as I need

But to come back and visit, of course

Once I become famous via osmosis of the New York aura

I don't tell him that the aura is just

The shouts of angry, rushed people

And pollution


For the first week

I can tell that Edward is still a little bit afraid

A little bit wary

On Wednesday

He comes home about an hour and a half late

I'm sitting at the kitchen counter

Reading the newspaper

I hear him open the door

But don't turn around

He rushes up behind me

His breathing heavy

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he says

His hands moving forward to touch me, then retreating

"For what?" I ask, confused

"We had to stay late, I'm sorry," he says, continuing to apologize

"That's fine. There's nothing to be sorry for"

Bewildered, I touch his cheek

The corners of his eyes are turned down in worry

"I didn't want you to be here alone. I didn't want to stay there"

"It's fine. It's fine," I repeat

He opens his mouth, hesitates, then closes it

"What?" I ask

"I'm afraid you'll leave," he confesses. "I feel like I can't hold onto you"

Even though it's sad, I smile because he's so wrong

"You couldn't get rid of me if you tried"


Around two months after my arrival

Edward receives a call from an unknown number

Which turns out to be a pay phone from the heart of Seattle

"Carlisle?" he asks, shocked

My eyes dart up from the book in my hands

I set it down and walk over to Edward

Who puts his phone on speaker

"I think I found my daughter," Carlisle cries


At first, I think Carlisle is delusional

After all, he hasn't seen her since before she even hit puberty

How would he ever recognize her?

Yet, as he continues to speak, even I believe it

I believe he's finally found her

On accident, really

As he happened to be passing by her apartment

On his way to meeting one of his boys


He's too afraid to go to her

He doesn't want her to see him like this

All broken

He calls himself a failure, repeatedly

A mixture of pride and regret

As his daughter has succeeded in life

Without him


Carlisle gives us her address

The moment Edward asks

After all, he is willing to do anything for Edward

Even 2,500 miles away


I call her the next day

While Edward is at rehearsal

I sit on the ledge of our one small window

Leaning out over the fire escape

The city beneath me

She answers after the third ring

And while I shouldn't be nervous

I am

My heart thundering in my chest

My head whirling



The beginning is innocuous at best

Yet, as I begin to explain to her

Who I am, why I'm calling

I can tell that she is closer and closer

To cutting me off

"Who exactly are you again?" she asks

Sounding annoyed

Which is understandable

Given that I'm calling about her

Long-lost homeless father who happened to see and recognize her while standing on the street outside of her apartment

She doesn't believe me

She still doesn't believe me

She still doesn't believe me

Until I say

"Was your father's name Carlisle?"

There is a long, drawn-out pause

"My birth father. I haven't seen him since I was very young"

She agrees to meet with him

If only briefly

At the coffee shop I used to work at


Getting back in touch with Carlisle is difficult

But after calling several of the homeless shelters in Seattle

I manage to find him

When I tell him that she's willing to meet him the next day

He cries


Carlisle's daughter calls me fifteen minutes before their scheduled meeting

"I didn't know who else to call," she says, "But I'm nervous"

Edward looks at me curiously

Wondering who I'm talking to

His brow furrows

"I know him personally. He's a wonderful man"

I don't know how else to convince her

She has no reason to trust me

But she does

I hear her take several deep breaths

"Okay," she says, and hangs up the phone


I don't receive a call from either of them afterward

And begin to get worried

Edward rubs my back

Up and down and up and down

As we wait by the phone

For either of them to call

"What if something went wrong? What if she hates him? What if she's the wrong girl?"

"No one can hate Carlisle," Edward says softly

And I see just how much

Carlisle's life has affected his

For the better


When Carlisle calls a few hours later

Happier than I have ever heard him

I think I feel whole


Two weeks later

Edward slides into bed after me

His dress rehearsal having run late

He groans when I rub his back

Kneading the taut muscles

"Bella, I was thinking," he says in an almost whisper. "Do you think, maybe, we could try and get in contact with my parents? Or, maybe you can. I don't think . . . I don't think I'd know what to say."

I pause for a moment

A siren screams in the distance

"I think that's a great idea," I reply


Finding Edward's family is harder

They have moved several times since he last saw them

Without leaving a clear record

It takes me a little over a week

But I do manage to track them down

In a house eerily close to my own father's

Just outside of Forks, Washington


I sit with him as he calls them

I sit with him as he worries

I sit with him as he apologizes

I sit with him as he finally smiles, weak with relief

As he tells them about dance

As he tells them about Carlisle

As he tells them about me


I find an organization

That already works with reuniting people with their families

They're a nonprofit

And accept me readily when I apply

It's much more legal and technical than what I had done with Carlisle and Edward

Sometimes people don't want to be found

Sometimes they do

And when I finally match them

And when they finally meet again

It's like that day I saw Edward in the airport after so long apart

That feeling, replicated a thousand times


And I think that maybe I've found my dance

The one thing that I can do constantly and never tire of

But, let's be real

There are the days that I don't want to go in

The frustrating days

The days I really don't feel like doing it

But, overall

I enjoy it

And maybe that's the most I can ask for

The most anyone can ask for


After all, maybe that's life

Getting the pieces to fall into place

And even though you technically can't fight gravity

You have to have the will

And the passion

And the strength

To at least try

the end

thanks for reading