“Um…sure,” she said, her head bouncing up and down like a bobble-head doll.
“No…you’re not. Here,” he said, grabbing her shoulders to lead her to a bench.”Just…sit.”
He pushed her gently down onto the bench,then sat beside her,pulling in their luggage so as not to crowd the already too narrow sidewalk. “So…where’s this aunt of yours?She’s supposed to be here to pick you up, right?”
“Yeah,” she replied,thinking as quickly as she could.”She’ll probably be here soon. Just…my cousins sometimes are stubborn about going anywhere, so she probably had trouble getting them ready or getting them in the taxi or the subway, or whatever. But I’m sure she’ll be here soon.”
“Well, I’ll wait with you then,”he said, settling in.”I don’t have anywhere to be…and well, honestly,you don’t know enough about New York to be sitting here alone.Who knows what would happen if you were stuck here for a while?”He winced, obviously picturing something bad.
And for the first time since Michael, she felt safe.