If the Shoe Fits (Meant To Be #1) - Julie Murphy Page 0,3

just might be the case.)

I stuff my Balenciaga slides and my favorite loafers from Target into my purse and latch the trunk. (Hey, I’m not all highbrow.)

My phone vibrates with an alert. “My Lyft is here.” Inhaling deeply, I try sucking back every brimming tear. “Okay, this is it,” I tell Sierra.

I pull her close to me in a tight hug. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” we both say over and over again.

“FaceTime every day,” she says.

“Twice a day,” I promise.

“And this isn’t a forever thing, okay?” Sierra demands desperately.

Sierra is staying here in New York. Her internship turned into a part-time gig as an assistant to the assistant of the head women’s sportswear buyer at Macy’s. When she’s not doing that she’s pulling barista shifts to make ends meet. It may not sound like much, but it’s bigger plans than I managed to piece together while I completely crashed and burned, barely making it to graduation.

I nod into her shoulder, unable to say anything without crying.

“We just gotta figure out our next steps. This nannying thing is only to get you on your feet. Temporary.”


We say one more tearful goodbye after loading my trunk, two suitcases, and carry-on into the car, and then I’m off.

“JFK?” the driver confirms as he taps the screen of his cell phone with another phone wedged into the crook of his shoulder.

I give him a thumbs-up, and we’re off. I want to beg him to slow down so I can say a proper goodbye to this city and all my places. The 1 train stop on Twenty-Eighth Street. My bodega. My bodega cat. My favorite Peruvian chicken place. The jumbo screen outside of Madison Square Garden, always flashing. My favorite Korean beauty shop with all the best face masks. But, much like the past four years, it all passes in a blur, and before I know it, I’m waiting to board my flight with thirty minutes to spare.

I run to the newsstand in front of my gate to grab a few magazines, but the only offerings are various Kardashians and Sabrina Parker, so I grab three mini snow globes for the triplets and a bottle of water. Hovering around the gate is a cluster of men in slacks and sport coats, like someone might try to steal their business-class seats if they don’t claim them first. My stepmom, Erica, sent me enough money to upgrade to first class. It was supposed to be a graduation gift, but I used the cash to ship most of my shoe collection across the country instead. Erica probably would’ve just paid for that too, but there’s no handbook on cultivating a relationship with your stepmother and asking her for money after the sudden death of your father.

After Dad died, I spent six months living with my stepmom and stepsisters. Even though we’d moved in with Erica back when she and Dad got married the summer before ninth grade, those six months after he died felt like I’d been dropped in someone else’s life. Erica and her daughters, Anna and Drew, knew how to exist without Dad. I…didn’t. After I left for college, Erica began to build a new house that she finally finished last year. The only place that feels like home anymore is the apartment I just packed up.

My phone rings, and I expect it to be Sierra already checking in on me, but it’s not. “Hey,” I say.

“Darling,” Erica croons. “Did you make it through security okay? We’ve got to get you signed up for CLEAR. TSA pre-check is almost always more crowded than the actual TSA line these days.”

“I really don’t fly that much,” I say.

“The triplets are chomping at the bit, waiting for you. Can you believe they’re turning four this summer? I’m sending my driver to fetch you.”

“I can just take a Lyft,” I say as I tiptoe through a clump of teenagers on a high school trip. “Excuse—” I teeter before losing my balance and catching myself on a random person’s armrest.

A hand braces my arm, steadying me, and when I look up, I’m practically in the lap of a guy who could double as Prince Charming. Dark hair and deep brown eyes with flecks of amber and a hint of olive in his complexion. Our gazes lock, frozen for a moment.

“A Lyft!” Erica shudders. “The new rideshare pickup at LAX is an absolute disaster. An actual regression in evolution. I insist—”

“Hey, Erica? Sorry. I gotta go.”

I push