“I thought you wanted to go shopping. If you sit here daydreaming about Brandon, we won’t make it to the stores before closing.”
Faith smiled. “Shut up. We have plenty of time.”
“I don’t know. That look on your face said we might be here awhile.”
“Whatever, girl.” She eased up from the sofa and went to retrieve her purse.
As they pulled out of the parking lot, Kathi said, “While you were talking to Brandon, I took the liberty of Googling nearby malls. There’s a Westfield Mall in Culver City.” She handed Faith her phone. “It’s about five miles from here, straight down Sepulveda Boulevard.”
Faith glanced down at the screen. “It says it should take about fifteen minutes.” She needed a few shirts that buttoned down the front. She’d only brought a couple and trying to lift her arm to put on her pullover tees caused so much pain, she had been forced to sleep in the short hospital gown they had given her. She activated the turn-by-turn directions.
After a few minutes, Kathi asked, “So have you decided when you’re going to call your father?”
Faith leaned her head against the seat and sighed heavily. “No. I was all for it when I first found out, but now I think I’m getting cold feet. But reading his letters makes me angry at my mother all over again. It breaks my heart that all he had were memories of me up to my second birthday. In some of those letters, he sounded so sad.” Her emotions welled up again remembering reading one letter where he wrote about missing her so much sometimes that his heart hurt, but he wouldn’t give up hope that he’d hold her in his arms again.
“Then maybe you should just go ahead and call him. It seems like he’ll really be glad to see you.”
“Maybe. I’m just really nervous about the whole thing.”
Kathi found a parking spot in the crowded mall and cut the engine. “Do you have your father’s address?”
“Yes, why?” She had saved the directions in her phone.
“I know you’re not quite ready to meet him, but we could drive by his house after we leave just to see what kind of place he has.”
She thought for a moment. She had never made it to his house the first time and she was curious about what it would look like. “Okay.” They stopped first to check the store directory. “I don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes. I just need a few tops to get through the next few days. I should be okay by the end of the week.”
Kathi pointed. “Here’s a Target and an Old Navy. You should be able to find something in one of those places.”
Faith did find some cute tops in both stores and at great prices. Afterward, they walked over to Subway. Use of her right hand was still limited, but she could manage a sandwich and some chips. Back in the car, she pulled up her father’s address and gave Kathi directions.
Kathi groaned. “What is it with this city? It’s the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. Why is there traffic like it’s Friday at rush hour?”
She laughed. “I have no idea. I’ve been here less than a week.” It took ten minutes to go two miles and Faith considered telling Kathi to get off at the next exit and turn around so they could go back to the hotel. Finally, the traffic eased.
“This is a nice area,” Kathi said after they exited the freeway.
It turned out that her father’s house was only five minutes from the freeway and located in an established neighborhood with larger homes and manicured lawns. Faith pointed. “It’s the one on the left with the black sedan in the driveway.”
Kathi slowed to a stop and parked across the street, but left the engine running. “Nice house. Do you know if he’s married or has other kids?”
“None of his letters mentioned a wife or children, but that doesn’t mean anything.” The one-story house didn’t fit the picture of a bachelor. With the car in the driveway, she assumed he was home and silently wished he would step outside, just so she could see what he looked like. After another minute, she told Kathi, “We should probably leave so folks don’t think we’re up to something.”