Chapter One: 8409600 Moments So Dear
New York. December 24th, 2007.9pm. Eastern Standard Time. Instead of snowing it is raining, heavily, causing me to regret travelling to this part of the city. I hope I've found the right place. It looks similar to the one in pictures. The weather has caused me to get the flu and I know I shouldn't be out here but I've been waiting for this moment my whole life.
I walk up the stairs of the apartment block trying to figure out which door will lead me to the answers I've been looking for. I've forgotten what floor I'm on the second? third? fourth? All I know is I'm near the roof, I might as well start knocking on doors.
A few seconds later a blonde haired man opens the door, his glasses resting on his head, puzzled that someone would be knocking at this time. "Um. This may sound odd but- I-" I can't believe it. For once in my life I'm speechless, nervous. I feel like I've wasted my time as it looks like he's about to slam the door shut. I put my foot in the doorway to stop him. "My name is Melody Davis. I believe you knew my parents."
His eyes widen, his mouth slightly open. A brief moment of silence occurs before he scoffs. "Is this a joke? Look I don't have any heat, electricity. Let alone money so if you're looking for someone to give you free stuff then you're asking the wrong person." He tries to force the door shut but I barge in this time. "I'm not trying to trick you. You knew my parents. Roger and Mimi?" He shuts the door behind him and turns to walk to the couch. "That's impossible- that baby died. I'd like you to leave."
I scramble through my jacket pocket and pull out a guitar pick and a photograph and hand them to the man. "You're Mark Cohen. My dads best friend. You'll recognise this" I hand him the guitar pick and a nostalgic smile is formed on his face. "How are you here? The last time I saw Mimi was a few weeks after you were born- she. We thought you had-" "HIV? It wouldn't have been a surprise. I wasn't born with it. Doctors always said I was a miracle. And I'm not dead. At least I don't think I am... I'm sorry for showing up out of the blue like this but I needed to be close with my parents."
Mark, who's face I had seen in so many pictures hugged me, although it was an awkward hug. "What happened to you?" he asked.
I spent the past hour telling him how I was put into foster care, passed on from house to house and brought up feeling like an outcast. I told him how I left my current foster home in New Jersey and came straight here. He told me about my mom, my dad. Their past. The good, the bad and the heartbreak.
"I never knew what happened to them. Growing up I was told that they were recovering addicts. That's how they got the.. disease." I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. I know their dead. I know what killed them. I just don't like to talk about it. "When your parents met, your dad had been clean for over a year. Your mom? She struggled. In fact she almost died ten months before you were born. But they supported each other through their struggles. They had you which we all thought would be impossible. And then they died, each within twenty four hours of each other. It was like their souls were connected. They were soulmates."
Mark dabbed his eyes with the bottom of his sleeves. It was obvious that the past still left a scar on him that was refusing to heal. In an attempt to change the subject I coughed "and you still live here? Don't you work in a big production place?" He chuckled "I am a filmmaker. And no, I don't live here, not anymore. This is my studio. I keep this place going to keep the people who once walked these rooms alive. Roger. Mimi. Angel." He gestures to my photo and points to a man in drag wearing a Mrs Clause costume. "If only these walls could talk." I whispered. Still in disbelief that I was at the place in which my parents met.
"Are you a father, Mark?" He nodded before stuttering "I am. Well sort of. I'm a sperm donor to my ex girlfriend turned best friends Maureen and my other best friend Joanne. I have a son. He's the same age as you actually. He's a good kid."
"Can I meet them. Someday?"
"I'm sure Maureen and Joanne would welcome you with open arms and-"
"Mark this is Collins. I know I shouldn't be calling your office but we're all waiting for you so get down to Joanne's. And bring booze. Lots of it.!"
"Shit" muttered Mark. "I'm sorry I forgot I had this Christmas thing at Maureen and Joanne's-" he stops just as he gets his scarf and jacket on. "Why don't you come with me?
Chapter 2 coming soon.