Episode 37 ~ The Bio Fam Part 2
Updated: Sep 6
Carrie woke up Monday morning to a knock on the door. She’d slept, crammed in with Ayla, in the full sized bed but when Ayla had left for school that morning, Carrie had fallen back to sleep and sprawled out in the middle of the bed.
“Morning, Sunshine.,” It was Sarah. No one was supposed to be home and Carrie was disoriented. Sarah brushed Carrie’s hair from her face. “Caroline,” she sang, “are you awake?”
“Mmmmm,” Carrie groaned and stretched. “Mom?” Sarah pulled back one of the curtains, letting the sunlight in. Carrie sat bolt upright in bed, now wide awake. She rarely dreamed about her mother and was pretty sure she’d forgotten the sound of her voice. Sometimes, in the space between dreaming and waking, she thought she sometimes heard her. This morning, though, it was Sarah and not a dream that had woken her. “What time is it?”
“Oh, it feels later.,” Carrie yawned and smiled at her birth mother. Carrie loved Sarah. It was strange. Catherine Davison was and always would be her mother but Sarah had now been in Carrie’s life longer than mother had been. “I think I was dreaming”
“About a boy, maybe?” Sarah asked continuing to smooth Carrie’s hair.
She’d missed so much and was grateful that Caroline had allowed them to have a relationship. It hadn’t always come naturally, at least not for Sarah. Carrie was so confident and already so grown when they had met. She had slipped right in with her siblings and handled everything with such grace. Sarah had always wanted to respect Catherine’s memory and so she’d approached Caroline very carefully in the beginning. It had been more than a decade and it seemed to everyone, that Carrie belonged there, Sarah was still careful. It was Carrie who had made the decision to call Sarah, “Mom” and it was like a choir of angels. Their relationship, though Carrie didn’t realize it, was always on her terms.
“No, not a boy.,” Carrie said with a smile, raising her eyebrows. “A man, maybe! Make me some coffee and I’ll tell you all about it!”
“Coffee’s ready. And I decided to take the morning off, in case you have time for breakfast with your mama?”
“Let’s make our coffee to go. I want to walk the beach. I do have a man on my mind. The next 11 hours are going to crawl.” She yawned again. The truth was, she was grateful to have Nathan to look forward to. Tearing herself away was always hard. But she had a few hours before she had to leave and Sarah’s company was exactly what she needed.
They strolled the beach for about 30 minutes and Carrie relayed every tiny detail about how she’d met Nathan, everything they talked about, how her feelings were already threatening to completely take her over, even her fears about taking things too fast or too slow. Sarah was the perfect hybrid between mom and big sister. Pregnant at 17, she was the poster child for waiting.
“I’m still scared,” Carrie admitted. “But, there’s something else. There’s this thought I keep having and…,” she flushed and felt her stomach flip.
“And,?” Sarah prodded.
“Okay, it’s stupid. I keep…I keep fixating on his hands. It’s like, days later, I can still feel where he held my hand and how he touched my face with the back of his knuckles.” She brushed her cheek with her own hand as she said it. Her words nearly caught in her throat and she dragged the words out. “I keep thinking… you know… fantasizing… kind of, about him, with his hands… on me.” She inhaled deeply. Saying it out loud made her feel so exposed, the idea seemed more real. “On me, in places where no one… “ she sighed. “You’re the mom here, this is the part where you tell me to cool my jets, young lady!”
Sarah shook her head and shrugged. “You’re the most sensible person I know. It’s okay to follow your heart, my darling.”
“You did and it got you knocked up at 17.,” Carrie argued.
“No, we followed our hormones and it was irresponsible and reckless and the best dumb thing I ever did.” Sarah insisted. “You’re looking for excuses and you don’t need one. Do it because it feels right or don’t because it doesn’t. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. If you think this man could be the one, “she made air quotes, “then give him the chance to show you. Your heart needs a home my Caroline. I’m not suggesting rushing into anything but if it’s just about fear, then lay it on him. If he’s the right guy, he will handle your fears with you, at the right time. Waiting longer doesn’t make you less afraid.”
Carrie considered the advice as they made their way from the sand back to her rental car.
“As a precaution, if Nathan really stirs you up like this, wear ratty underwear tonight. It’ll keep you grounded.”
“Oh my God, that’s really a thing?” Carrie laughed.
They made it back to the house with just enough time for Carrie to take a quick shower and dress for the airport. Pre 9-1-1, when you could still meet passengers on the air side, Carrie and her mom would meet her father whenever he would return from traveling. Catherine had always insisted that they dress appropriately, a habit that had stuck with Carrie. She slipped into a crisp white linen jumpsuit with spaghetti straps, layered with a burgundy leather jacket to stay warm on the plane.
She said her goodbyes and drove away from the house watching Sarah, who stood in the yard until her daughter had turned the corner, get smaller in the rear view mirror. Jacksonville was a nice town. Spread out but everything, no matter where you had to go, was 30 minutes away. The trip to the airport was easy, nothing like traveling from NYC or LAX. She’d packed everything in a carry-on, which had been a feat all in its own. Legacy had taken most of Carrie’s stuff back with her, so that when she arrived back home, she could just grab her carry-on and rush home. There was no line to return the rental and getting through TSA was just as easy. She got to her gate with an hour to spare. She’d checked in online so there was nothing to do for the next hour but wait.
As much as she had traveled over the years, she still hated flying. The flying part wasn’t so bad but take-offs and landings made her twitchy. If she could just get in the air, she’d be fine. Her flight was marked ON TIME and she was pleased when the plane arrived a few minutes earlier than expected. Then, about 20 minutes before boarding, the gate now full with awaiting passengers, the plane left and their flight was suddenly marked DELAYED. This was not good. Panicked, she called Nathan.