Thank you, Jesus.
A Daughter's Goodbye May 23 Upper East Side, New York City Jose had driven alongside Seventy-Ninth Street through Central Park to her parents' building while anxiety cooled Taddy's thoughts. The Brillfords resided in the San Remo, a twenty-seven-story luxury high-rise, home to Manhattan's elite. Staffed with servants and guards, the building was primed for celebrities who sought privacy in the Big Apple.
The summer Taddy's b.a.s.t.a.r.d child rumors had circulated, she'd overheard San Remo's doorman discussing Irma's past affair. They'd mentioned she'd fallen in love with another man in the building. Notable residents at the time included Steven Spielberg, Bruce Willis and music band U2's lead singer Bono. She'd created a birthfather list in her head but conceded that no one could replace her dad, Joseph Graf. Maybe he couldn't love her as his own but she'd always loved him.
Taddy glanced out the Cadillac's window, feeling Warner resting his face against the back of her neck.
"I hope to be." She turned to look at him and kissed his cheek. Then she sat forward to talk to her driver. "Jose, this is it."
Jose pulled up front, parked the SUV and opened the door for her and Warner. "Good luck, Miss Brill."
"Thank you. I'll call when we're leaving for you to come back around." Drawing her sungla.s.ses up into her hair, she noticed Warner staring at her. He was worried.
"Come here." He hugged her and whispered in her ear, "I'll help you through this, as much as you want me to."
"I can lean on you?" she asked.
"Any final advice before we go in?"
"Listen to what your mother has to say. Focus on what she says."
"I intend to."
"We can leave whenever you're ready." His arms cinched tight around her waist.
Having a guy with her for emotional support was new for her. It felt pretty d.a.m.n good. Taddy hoped to get used to having Warner at her side. He gave the doorman their names, and he buzzed them up.
When the elevator doors opened, Taddy smelled a familiar cleansing agent the maids wiped the walls with. Built in the 1930s with mediocre ventilation, the staff used tea tree oil was used to keep the building fresh. She stared at the double doors for a minute. The sign read "26EFG". The cooperative occupied three units. Half in eagerness, half in terror, she rang the bell. Her pulse throbbed as childhood memories came back to her.
Taddy did her best to drop the self-preserving defenses she'd used in the past so she could remain open to whatever her mother wanted to talk to her about. Standing in this building felt awkward but she had missed her home. How could they have let so much time elapse? Why had they done this? Maybe soon she'd have the answers she finally longed for. And maybe then the hole she'd felt in her heart would finally be filled.
When she rang the doo
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