Mom, of course, took my arrival as a sign that something was amiss. Worry painted her face, and she zipped over to me.
“Is something wrong?” she asked. “What’re you doing here?”
“Yeah, something’s wrong,” I said. “It’s been three days and I still don’t have the girls home.”
Dad’s walk was a little more composed; he strode over with slow steps.
“Kiddo, why aren’t you at home? You’re supposed to be resting up.”
“There’s no way I can rest up,” I said, shaking my head. “I want to be with my girls.”
Mom and Dad shared a look that suggested they knew there was no sense in trying to talk me out of it. Hell, they’d raised me—they knew better than anyone that once I set my mind on something I’d stop at nothing until it was done.
“We just checked on them,” Mom said. “They’re doing great. We sent you a picture, too.”
Confused, I took my phone out of my back pocket and checked the screen. Sure enough, there was a text from Mom. I swiped it open and saw that it was of the girls, both sleeping peacefully in their bassinets. Just the sight of them was enough to make my heart hurt, for tears to form in my eyes.
“They’re so perfect,” I said, shaking my head in disbelief. “I still can’t believe they’re mine.”
“I know you want to see them,” Mom said. “But they’re only letting us go in there for a few minutes at a time. It might seem unnecessary, but it’s a very good thing that they’re so careful with premature babies.”
Dad nodded. “Those girls needed another month to bake in the oven,” he said, a small smile forming on his face at his turn of phrase. “Things are extra delicate when they come out before they’re supposed to.”
Mom and Dad were reassuring in their own ways—Mom in her concern and Dad in his calmness. All the same, I wanted to see my babies.
“I’m going to see the doctor. He told me that I could go right to his office if I needed anything.”
Mom and Dad were still in the dark about Alex being the father. I wanted so badly to tell them, but I didn’t want to do it without discussing the matter with Alex beforehand. The list of things we needed to talk about was growing by the second, it seemed.
I hated keeping my parents in the dark about the identity of the father of the girls. But I knew it was what was best, at least for the moment. I knew once I told them there’d be the whole process of everyone getting to know one another and joining the families in whatever form that might take. For now, I just wanted to get the girls home.
I took the elevator to the second floor, hurrying down the sleek hallway of the office area. There was no mistaking where Alex’s office was located, the big, white door at the far end making it clear that he was the boss.
I approached, ready to knock. Right as I raised my hand, however, I heard something on the other side. At first, I wasn’t sure what it was. But the more I listened, the clearer I was able to hear.
A woman was crying behind the door.
What the hell was going on?
I lowered my hand, stepping aside. A low voice spoke through the door, a voice that I recognized right away as belonging to Alex. The woman spoke, a bit more crying punctuating her words. Before long, a chair squeaked, followed by two sets of footsteps. I hurried out of the way of the door as the footsteps drew closer.
The door opened and I watched as Alex led a woman out of the office. His hand was on her upper back, tears in her eyes.
“You have my number if you need anything,” he said. “And once again, I’m so sorry for your loss.”
His eyes flicked up to me as he led the woman off, but other than that, his attention stayed fully on her until she was in the elevator and the doors had closed. Right away I felt as if I’d intruded on something that I had no business seeing.
Alex glanced in my direction as he approached.
“Aren’t you supposed to be at home resting?”
“Couldn’t bear sitting around waiting,” I said.
“Figured as much.” He nodded for me to come in.
Alex shut the door behind me. The office was large, clean and sleek as the rest of the place. I spotted Alex’s degrees on the wall, along with photos of New York City and landscapes that I recognized right away as Greece. The big windows behind the desk looked out over the courtyard below, the Rockies in the far distance.
“Is everything alright?” I asked.