English Girl in New York

By: Scarlet Wilson



She shook her head. ‘I don’t know. Five minutes? Maybe a little more?’

His feet moved quickly. He grabbed for the jacket that hung behind the door and shoved his bare feet into his baseball boots.

She stood up. ‘Where are you going? Don’t leave me alone. I don’t know the first thing about babies.’

He turned to her. ‘Carrie, someone left this baby on our doorstep.’ His eyes went to the window, to the heavy snow falling on the window ledge as he slid his arms into his jacket. ‘Outside, there could be someone in trouble. Someone could be hurt. I need to go and check.’

She bit her lip and glanced at the baby before giving a small cursory nod of her head. He stepped outside into the bitter cold, glancing both ways, trying to decide which way to go. There was nothing in the snow. Any tracks that had been left had been covered within minutes; the snow was falling thick and fast.

He walked to the other side of the street and looked over at their building. Why here? Why had someone left their baby here?

There were some lights on in the other apartment buildings on the street. But most of the lights were in the second or third storeys. Theirs was the only building with lights on in the first floor. It made sense. Someone had wanted this baby found quickly.

He walked briskly down the street. Looking for anything—any sign, any clue. He ducked down a few alleyways, checking behind Dumpsters, looking in receded doorways.

Nothing. Nobody.

He turned and started back the other way. Checking the alleys on the other side of the street and in the opposite direction. His feet moving quickly through the sludgy snow.

He should have stopped and pulled some socks on. The thin canvas of his baseball boots was soaked through already. The temperature must have dropped by several degrees since the sun had gone down. He’d only been out here a few minutes and already he was freezing.

He looked up and his heart skipped a beat. Carrie was standing at his window, holding the baby in her arms. There was a look of pure desperation on her face—as if she were willing him to find the mother of this child.

It was a sight he’d never expected to see. A woman, holding a child, in his apartment. She’d pulled up his blinds fully and the expanse of the apartment he called home was visible behind her. His large, lumpy but comfortable sofa. His grandmother’s old high-back chair. His kitchen table. His dresser unit. His kitchen worktop. The picture hanging above the fireplace.

Something niggled at him. His apartment was his space. He’d rarely ever had a relationship that resulted in him ‘bringing someone over’. He could count on one hand the number of girlfriends who’d ever made it over his doorway. And even then it seemed to put them on an automatic countdown to disaster.

He didn’t really do long-term relationships. Oh, he dated—but after a few months, once they started to get that hopeful look in their eyes, he always found a way to let them down gently. They eventually got the message. It was better that way.

So seeing Carrie standing in his apartment with a baby in her arms took the wind clean out of his sails. The sooner all this was over with, the better.

Still, she was cute. And even better—from London. She’d have no plans to stay around here. Maybe a little flirting to pass the time?

He gave himself a little shake and had another look around. There was no one out here. The streets were completely empty.

It was so funny being on the outside looking in. He loved his home. He cherished it. But he’d never really taken a moment to stand outside and stare in—to see what the world must see on their way past if he hadn’t pulled the blinds. His grandmother had left it to him in her will and he knew how lucky he was. There was no way a single guy on a cop’s salary could have afforded a place like this.

But it was his. And he didn’t even owe anything on it. All he had to do was cover the bills.

A little thought crept into his mind. He hadn’t quite pulled the blinds fully tonight. He just hadn’t gotten round to it. Was that why someone had left their baby here?

Did they see into his home and think it would be a safe place to leave a baby?

It sent a shudder down his spine. The thought that a few minutes ago someone could have been out here having those kind of thoughts.

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