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A New Life in New York

Once Upon a Time in New York City (Huey Lewis & The News) - Part One

Hello, world!
This is a BRAND NEW one-shot/drabble series featuring Harry Styles as the main male character. I love writing and have had so much fun writing London Calling and In the Heat of Los Angeles over the last several years. But I needed a new challenge. Something new and different in the world of writing for me. And something that while being a challenge also frees me up from the worlds that I’ve been writing in for so long.
So I’ve come up with a HUGE challenge. I’m writing something that isn’t a chaptered fanfic, this will have no set timeline. Each individual story will have its time period specified. It will jump around in time and in the timeline of the relationships of the characters. I’ve also picked a totally new location, New York! Beyond those challenges, I also am writing characters that don’t have really any connection to who I am as a person. You’ll see what that is very early on in the series.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
The first piece is being published in three parts. This is part one. I hope to post part two tomorrow and I’m most of the way through part three so that won’t be far behind.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.
xx AM
January 6, 2020

“Harper Rose! Sit still so I can put your boots on,” I called after my two year old who had decided to start running laps around the kitchen.

“I don’t wanna, Daddy.”

“Daddy doesn’t care. We have to get your boots and coat on so we can take you to the doctor.” You would think with as sick as she was that she would have no energy. Nope. She looked ready to compete in the New York Marathon. I finally caught her as her socks started to slip on the wood floor. “I’ve got you now, little girl.”

“Daddy, I don’t wanna go.” She started to cough again.

“I know, sweetheart. I know. But we need to get you better.” I finally wrangled her boots on her along with a coat and stocking cap. “When we get back I’ll make you some lunch and you can snuggle up with Nana and watch a movie. Okay?”

“Okay,” she replied, her burst of energy having stopped. As we stepped into the elevator to go down to the street level she reached her arms up for me to carry her and snuggled in close. It was under 10 minutes to walk there and while it was a pretty cold day out I thought the fresh air might benefit my poor little girl right now. She’d spent the entire weekend coughing, sneezing and had thrown up a few times.

Once we got to the building the doctor was in I balanced her a little better on my hip to grab the door and head to the elevator. The doctor was on the third floor. This was a trip I’d become all too familiar with over the last two years, partially out of paranoia from being a single father. For a while if she sneezed I hurried down to the doctor. The elevator opened and I went a short distance down the hallway until I made it to the doctor’s office.

I opened the door and stepped in finding a packed waiting room. Cold and flu season appears to have hit the children of Tribeca hard. I went to the front desk and smiled through the plexiglass window at the young lady who worked the front desk.

“Hey Harry,” she said.

“Hi, Natalie. How are you?”

“I’m fine. How is Harper?”

“Not well. I’ve got an appointment at 10:45.”

“I’ll get you checked in and let the Dr. Vicki know you’ve arrived.”

“Thanks,” I replied before turning back to the room. There were barely any seats left. A few next to a woman who wasn’t paying attention to her son who was throwing toys around. I saw an open seat on the other side of the room. I made a beeline for it hoping the woman and twins who just walked in didn’t steal it first. “Harp, do you want to play for a bit?”

“No. Snuggle Daddy,” she responded quietly.

“Okay, sweetheart.” She snuggled into me as I pulled her hat off of her head and shoved it into my pocket, in the process accidentally elbowing the woman next to me. “Sorry.”

“You’re fine,” she responded. “I know the feeling.” She nodded to her other side where there was a small boy, maybe around four or five, snuggled into her. His head rested on her chest. “Maneuvering sick kids around isn’t always easy.”

“Is it ever easy?” I asked, laughing a bit.

“My experience tells me no.” She glanced at Harper. “Hi, what's your name?”

“Harper,” she replied taking her thumb out of her mouth. I hated that she still sucked her thumb, I’d been trying hard to get her to stop but it wasn’t worth trying while she was sick. I just wanted her to feel better.

“That’s a pretty name. A pretty name for a pretty girl.”

“Thank you,” Harper replied before sticking her thumb back in her mouth.

“Snuggly sick kids are my favorite. I feel like the worst person ever for saying that,” she said.

“You’re okay, I would have to agree with you. When Harper isn’t feeling well she is the best little snuggle buddy in the world. When she’s fine she wants nothing to do with cuddling on the sofa watching cartoons.”

“The fickle behavior of tiny humans.” I laughed a bit at her comment. “This waiting room is a madhouse. I’ve been in here 25 minutes. Natalie over at the front desk said that the doctor was running behind. Of course that happens on the one day I’ve got my shit together and got here on time.” She whispered when she said shit so as not to say it loud enough for either of the tiny humans to hear.

“It appears like a plague has reached Tribeca.”

“Yup. So do you want to play the game I’ve been playing since I got here?” she asked.

“Sure,” I replied.

“It’s called Mommy or Nanny. Go around the room and guess whether the women in the room are the Mommy or the Nanny.”

“Who do we start with?” I asked.

“Her over there. I’ll let your first try be easy,” she replied nodding at the woman with the child throwing toys. She was dressed in a suit and constantly staring at the smart phone in her hand.

“Mummy,” I answered.

“That was my guess too. That kid literally dumped the entire magazine rack about 10 minutes before you walked in. Mom didn’t flinch while poor Natalie had to come out and clean it up. I also think he’s maybe puked in the garage can.”

“Okay what about the woman next to her on the other side of the open seat. I guess Mummy.” She was in a pair of tight black pants and furry boots with a red peacoat.

“Oh that’s a nanny if I’ve ever seen one.”

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

“The purse isn’t designer and has snacks coming out of it. The little boy’s clothes probably cost more than the Nanny’s purse does. That’s a Nanny.” I glance over at her and saw that there appeared to be snacks in her bag but it was also Burberry.

I wasn’t sure how to read that. I knew that nannies in New York could make a lot of money and the young woman next to me didn’t appear to be dressed like the women in the room who you could tell were the career mums going in late to work so they could take their kid to the pediatrician. She had on a pair of gray Ugg boots, black skinny jeans, and a slightly oversized gray sweatshirt. A longer, black down jacket was draped over the small boy who was still laying on her. Her hair was up in a messy bun and a pair of tortoise shell glasses were masking the bit of makeup she had on, which judging by the smudged look may have been from yesterday. If I tried to place her under Mummy or Nanny in her game I wasn’t sure where I’d put her.

“So the sign is the designer bag?” I asked. I gestured over to a woman who looked about 20 with twin boys who looked to be three. “She’s carrying a Gucci bag. Does that make her Mummy?”

“Not at all. She is a nanny. It’s sometimes shocking to see how much families pay for nannies.”

“Oh I know. I’ve hired a nanny before and it’s insane. I was pretty sure she made more money than I did for a while.” The young woman laughed beside me. Her laugh was beautiful, you could tell she found me funny and wasn’t just pretending. It had been a while since I’d heard a genuine laugh. Most of the women who laughed at my jokes were trying to get a second date or an invite back to my flat.

“I did have one that made more than me at one point.” And there it is, the answer to the mummy or nanny question. “I was lucky his Dad made enough money to pay her.” I watched as she reached to her son and ran her fingers through his dark brown hair. There was no wedding ring on her left hand but their appeared to be a faint tan line from one lingering around from last summer. So either she forgot to put it on this morning or something has changed for her recently.

“So how did you become so good at this game?” I asked.

“I’m a writer. I have spent years observing people, you become good at the guessing game. My favorite version of this game was one I played when I was younger. My friends and I used to play Democrat or Republican, that one is much harder than this version.” I laughed a bit.

“That does seem more complex.”

“It is for sure.” The door opened and a nurse stepped out. “Please be us. Please be us.”

“Maximillian and Janet.” The woman who hadn’t been paying attention stood up and glanced down at the boy as he threw his toy one final time nearly missing a little girl who was sitting at the feet of her mother.

“It’s about time,” Janet said as she walked up to the nurse. The nurse rolled her eyes in our direction after Janet had taken off down the hall.

“You’re gonna be fine,” the woman next to me whispered to the nurse.

“You’re next on my list,” the nurse replied pointing at her and the boy.

“Thank god!”

“Lucky,” I said.

“Hey I’ve been here for nearly an hour. I’m ready to get out of this petrie dish and back home.”

“I hope that I don’t have to wait an hour. Harper will be pretty hungry by then.” She reached into her bag and handed me some goldfish crackers and fruit snacks.

“You’ve got backup now in case you do have to wait for a while.”

“Thank you,” I replied. “So what’s your little guy’s name?”

“Finnigan.” He lifted his head up off her lap. “Oh you’re fine, Finn. This nice man just wanted to know your name.”

“I’m Finnigan James Murphy.”

“That’s a very Irish name.”

“Oh I know. I was hesitant to do it but it’s what stuck. I was just glad he wasn’t born with red hair.” She started to laugh as she played with his hair again. “Finnigan is my name, Murphy his father’s. So when you’ve got two Irish names to pick from you’ve got a kid who sounds like he needs to carry a pot of gold around with him.”

She was witty and quick. I liked that. It was another rare thing for me to be around a woman who was so at ease in conversation so quickly and not just trying to impress me. I needed to remind myself though that she wasn’t a woman I met on a date who thought they needed to impress me. She was a woman who I met in the waiting room of a doctor’s office while we both took care of our sick kids. This wasn’t a time to impress the other person but care for our children. I glanced down at Harper, she looked so tired. She’d been up most of the night coughing. I’d brought her into my room to try and take care of her, she’d finally fallen asleep with her head buried into my chest at about 12:15.

“I like the name Finn, it’s a good name.”

“Thanks, I’m partial to it too. Finn, do you need some water?”

“I’m okay, Mom.”

“Alright. Nurse Patty said you’re next, okay buddy.”


“What’s he got?” I asked.

“Same thing every other kid in here probably has. Fever, cough, he’s coughed so hard he’s thrown up a couple times. I can barely get him to eat. He’s a tough kid and kept telling me he was okay but I clearly wasn’t going to wait this out. He’s been sick since Friday.”

“That’s what Harper has too.”

“Poor thing. I hate seeing kids sick. It breaks my heart. They don’t know how to really explain what doesn’t feel well.”

“Yeah, it is pretty tough. I’m Harry, by the way.” The door opened again and Nurse Patty stuck her head out the door.

“Alright, Jane you and Finn can come back now.” She took the coat off of Finn and grabbed her bag off the floor before standing up. She then turned to me.

“It was nice to meet you Harry, I’m Janie.” She stuck her hand out to shake mine.

“Nice to meet you too, Jane.”


Part one! I hope you enjoyed it. And I seriously can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And NOW you’ve figured out the BIGGEST challenge. I’m writing not only Harry as a single Dad but also Janie, the main female character, is a single Mom (you’ll learn more about that in parts two and three). Two single parents navigating the world. While I am not a parent (single or otherwise) I was raised by a single mom and my best friend is a single dad. I get to see what their lives are like balancing parenthood and being true to themselves. I was inspired by both of them to challenge my writing more. Plus what is more adorable than the idea of Harry Styles and a tiny human in beanies walking down the streets of New York? Not much, right?

I was very deliberate in how I chose to build each of the characters of this piece. I intend on the early writings being during the first few months of Harry and Janie getting to know each other. Not just this chance encounter in the pediatrician’s office but how their lives start to connect over time. I want to build their relationship and have us all grow to understand how they work before I start jumping forward and backward in time. Once the story is set a little bit better I may open up requests of things we’d like to see be it Harper’s first birthday party or a first day of school for Finn. That is something I will have to wait and see on right now, but it is really likely that I’ll let you guys help guide me through this process.

Now I need to get back to work on part three. Part two should be coming along tomorrow!

xx AM.


I am really glad you're enjoying it. These characters are fun for me to write and such a departure from what I've written in London Calling and In the Heat of Los Angeles. Writing Harry as a Dad basically makes me melt.

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That's probably why I love it so much... because Harry with kids makes me so happy.

xXFluffy_GruXx xXFluffy_GruXx

YAY! I'm glad you like it. It's SUPER fun to write. I also really love the challenge it gives me. Plus really, Harry with kids. I'm pretty much dead.

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:) I am so in love with this.

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