The train that took him to her building left 15 minutes after the hour, every hour, from 5 a.m to midnight, three stops, 22 minutes. It would pass 5 dimly lit tunnel access doors, bad poetry, the occasional rats running on the pipes that continued on to another part of the city. He’d make his way up the stairs, against the wind sucking into the tunnel, and onto the street, four blocks up, past the Armenian chicken joint and the Starbucks where he used to work. The scent of sycamore trees and magnolias was always stronger as he approach the front steps. Her windows were on the second floor, third and fourth from the right.
He thought about it, going over there tonight. This time he’d knock on her door and tell her everything. Would she invite him in? It was getting late and he had to work tomorrow. It’s not a good thing that he knew where she lived. She should’ve never contacted him. All these years later, she never told him about her. This grown woman was his daughter. What confusion and shame, everyday a wave of both, and some guilt to go along. Then, looking out his studio window every few moments to see if she’d be braver of the two. Her birthday was last week, the date engraved in his memory from their first meeting , now 3 months ago. He’ll just mail it tomorrow, but that’s chicken shit, he can just deliver it himself, he thought. Tomorrow, he’ll see her then.