The news shocked Andy to say in the least. Life always had it in for her it seemed. Twenty-five years old, and both of her parents just died in a car crash. Horrific, the police said. They also said they were very sorry, and they sent their condolences.
Like they actually cared. They probably see similar car crashes every other hour.
“You okay there, Sachs?” Greg, her editor, asked. He put down his coffee cup on her desk and fiddled with some of the random things scattered about it. Not a single care about personal space it seemed.
“My parents just died. In a car crash.” She said slowly, her voice oddly monotone. She looked down at her fingers and started to pick at her nails. A nervous habit she broke a couple of years ago, but every now and then she freaked out enough to start back up.
Her boss didn't know how to respond. He rubbed the back of his head.
“Uh, Head home. Take as much time as you need, okay?” Which actually meant, go home, you aren't doing anything right now and come back tomorrow.
She slowly made her way back to her apartment, almost like a zombie. Not really thinking about what just happened. As she fiddled with her keys, her hands were shaking. Eventually, she opened the door and then did she finally break down. Her back hit the apartment door, and she started to sob uncontrollably. Sliding down to sit on the floor, Andy wrapped her arms around her knees.
Her relationship with her parents has been strained recently, and it seemed like every time they spoke it was another argument. The fights were originally about her tenure at Runway, but the complaints morphed into her breaking up with Nate and living in New York. They criticized her choice in becoming a journalist, and not going to Harvard Law.
Too late to become a Lawyer now, she guessed. A small dry chuckle slipped out. Self-depricating humor looked good right now.
She felt sick. The last conversation with her mother didn’t end well, and now she will never get to say sorry. God. Life always just loved to screw with you. Andy felt her heart squeeze. Her little sister, Morgan, lived in Ohio. They never really had the true sibling experience, with Andy being about ten years older than her, but she loved her to death.
“She’s practically still a baby, oh my god.” Fifteen and alone, in the middle of Ohio. Andy felt a headache forming, already threatening to become a migraine.
Her phone started to ring again, and the shrill sound made her wince. Yep, she is totally getting a migraine. The vibrating made the phone move in circles on the hardwood floor. With shaking hands, she picked it up.
“Is this Andrea Sachs? I am-was, your parent's lawyer. When do you think you will be coming to Ohio? We have things to discuss.”
Andy took a deep breath.
“Yeah, I’m Andrea. I am trying to get off from work, and fly out as soon as possible.”
The wheels of her suitcase rattled across the bumpy sidewalk. She forgot how uneven the sidewalk was in her neighborhood growing up. She almost tripped, which brought Andy back to younger years when she would run and fall because of the messed up concrete.
She’s back in Ohio, planning her parents funeral, and getting custody of her little sister. Life seemed to be moving faster than she could ever handle it. One moment she was living her best life, with her new job and a stronger friendship with Lily and Doug, and the next it seemed like it all went to shit.
Her childhood home stood in front of her, and even though it was bright and sunny out, the house had an air of dreariness to it. There weren’t any lights on, and the normally present windchimes were gone. Andy noticed that the bench that used to be on the porch was missing as well. The thing was, Andy didn't know if it was because of her parent's death, or her parents took that stuff down when she wasn’t home. Her parent’s friend, aka their lawyer and fellow colleague, has been watching the house (and her sister) waiting for Andy to come home. She wondered what he has done so far. She was halfway up the now empty driveway when her sister came running out. She didn't have bangs anymore, and her hair wasn’t in her signature plats anymore.
Has she really been gone for this long?
Andy felt a small, but strong thudd against her chest as her sister rammed into her. Morgan wrapped her arms tight around Andy, and she rested her chin on her sister’s head.
“Hey, kid,” Andy said quietly. “Let’s go inside, okay?”
Morgan let go and quickly wiped tears away from her face. Andy hauled up her luggage, and they headed inside.
“Andy?” Her sister asked in a small voice. “What is gonna happen to our house, or our stuff or-”
“Kid, let's figure that out later okay? How are you feeling?” Andy asked, hoping that she didn't have to get into the heavy stuff right away.
“Stop treating me like I'm five. Am I going into the foster system or not?” Morgan asked her voice obviously upset.
“No! Oh my God, no. I would never let that happen. Who made you think that?”
Her sister was crying again and started to hiccup
“Some bitch from school. Andy, how are you going to be able to live with me, in New York? Like isn’t it super expensive?”
Andy tousled her sister's hair, and lightly smacked her shoulder.
“I lived with Nate in New York. We’ll be fine.”
Andy could tell Morgan wasn’t so convinced but she didn’t know what else to say.
“Well, kid, we are going to start packing up this stuff. We can put some of it in storage, and sell the other stuff okay?”
Her sister nodded, and they got to work.
Everything seemed to pass in a blur after that. The funeral, the selling of the house, having her sister in her custody, it all seemed to happen just like that. And soon, they were boarding the plane, saying goodbye to Ohio.
“Do you think I’ll like New York?” Her sister asked. Andy shrugged in return.
“We’ll see,” Andy said while buckling up her seatbelt
The flight was not fun at all. Her sister never flew before, and she freaked out the moment they got off the ground. Luckily the flight was super short, and they were soon back in the city.
Andy definitely saw herself in her sister as she took in the city for the first time. Andy knew she had the same reaction when she came to New York with Nate. Her eyes shone, and Andy knew they would soon go out the moment she sees her first subway rat carrying a piece of pizza across the floor.
“God, you’re apartment is tiny,” Morgan said as they entered her place.
“Well, I do live in New York. Whaddya expect?” Andy said as she kicked off her shoes. Morgan went off and found the small place she would be sleeping.
She turned on the television and started to watch.
Andy pulled out her laptop and started to write. She had assignments sent to her, and she finished them and sent them back. With her finally back in New York, and thankfully, still, with her job, Andy was ready to actually get stuff done. Andy never realized how hard she hit her laptop’s keys until someone was around her, and only her. Morgan didn’t seem to really care, but she did turn the volume up on the television.
The daylight turned to dusk, and Andy checked the time. Ten O’ Clock.
Morgan was flipping through the channels, and Andy could tell she is bored.
“What's on your mind?” Andy asked.
“I still want to do my things. My after-school activities. Like my piano lessons and ballet, and all my sports-maybe even-”
“Woah, Woah. I ain’t overflowing with money right here kid.” Andy joked. Their parents always liked them to be “well-rounded”, whatever the hell that meant.
“Come on!” Her sister whined. “What about the money from Mom and Dad’s will? Like, I-”
Andy rubbed her face. “Pick like two things? And you are getting a job at sixteen.”
Morgan nodded happily. She tiptoed over to Andy and pulled up a couple of websites.
“Jesus! Why the hell are the lessons so expensive?” Andy thought that this music teacher’s name sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint it.
“Let me use the-” Morgan started to ask, but Andy cut her off.
“No, that’s for your college. You can do this, only if the other thing is cheaper, okay?”
Morgan nodded happily.
“Okay, wanna go for a walk?” Andy asked. She needed to stretch, and a good walk can do it. Her ass really hurt from the crappy chair she was sitting in. Morgan shrugged.
Together they walked around the city. Andy showed her sister some of her favorite parts, while Morgan got her first taste of ‘this isn’t that good of a city’. It wasn’t until they came across the Elias-Clarke building did Andy realize that Miranda was walking out its door.
Why would she be there so late? Eh, Miranda is always unpredictable. She didn’t expect her ex-boss to even notice her. Since the last time she did, Miranda stared at her and then got right into the car. Miranda didn’t do that this time, she stared at Andy for a really long time. Morgan tugged at her arm, and Andy finally broke away from staring at her ex. Ex-boss, she meant.
“What the hell is wrong with you, Andy?” Her sister asked. She waved a hand in front of her face, which Andy swatted away.
“Just saw a familiar face, that's all. Don’t worry about it.” Andy commented.
Morgan looked at her weirdly but continued walking on. Andy took one final glance back at the car, and Miranda was no longer there.
“Come on! We are getting bored.” Lily yelled, dragging out the last word. Doug and Lily thought it was a good idea to go out drinking, for some reason. Andy scowled, as she shimmied into an old dress. Doug was a little tipsy, while Lily was full-out already drunk. Someday she will have to convince them that she is done with going clubbing. (She never even liked it that much anyway.)
“You are basically acting like a boring adult now! Let’s live a little.” Lily said when she proposed the idea. Andy reluctantly agreed, even though she didn’t really want to leave her sister home alone.
Turns out in reality, Doug and Lily were trying to set her up with some random man they found. He seemed nice enough if a little boring and pretentious. He was a ‘trying’ to be a filmmaker which was already a huge red flag. Mark, that was his name, went on a thirty-minute spiel about his film that he was making. Something about being a true artist, and showing integrity. Whatever the hell that meant.
Andy stopped paying attention halfway through, and slowly her mind drifted to her old boss. It still confused Andy why Miranda kept staring at her. That was the second time it happened. Did Andy leave that much of an impression on her ex-boss? That couldn’t be... Andy didn’t even know why she, herself, cared so much!
Her supposed ‘date’ touched her arm, which made her jump in surprise. Jesus Christ, can a girl get some personal space?
“Wanna go to my place?” He asked, and she guessed he was trying to make a seductive face. It just made him look constipated.
“I’m good, thanks.” She swiftly left the little dump they called a bar. Her thoughts seemed to be everywhere right now. Andy leaned back against the brick wall. Looking down at her watch, she sighed.
“I’m getting a shrink.” She paused and rubbed her head. She really needed to focus more on her own life, and not some fashion mogul who probably hated her guts.