August 12, 2015

Haley: Week Twenty-Six, Day Five, AM

Tip # 16: Thanksgiving weekend is one of heaviest for highway travel in the United States. This year, why not reduce global warming and improve air quality by lowering your auto emissions at the same time that you lower your family’s stress level?

Early in the morning, the girls hurried to get their chores done before the Feast Day celebrations.


"Hey, little dude, watching the game?" Shaye asked, scratching his bare chest as he walked into the room. 
Rio glanced up at his mom's boyfriend. "Yeah. Leaping Llamas are winning," he told him, pointing to the screen.  "They're killing the Bulldogs!"

He was glad Shaye had come back.  Shaye had stopped coming around for a few months cause he'd met some other blond floozy at a bar.  At least that what he'd heard his mom say.  But, now Shaye was back with him Mom and pretty much living with them.

Which was cool, cause that made his mom really happy again.  She really liked Shaye.
"Score!"  Shaye plopped down next to Rio, playfully ruffling his hair before turning his attention to the game. 

Rio sure liked having him around, too.


Rachel hurried inside with her hands full of dirty chicken eggs.  "You guys! We're trying to get ready for Feast Day!" she complained with exasperation. "What are you doing?!"
"Uh, researching?" Rio suggested.
"Nice try," Rachel said glibly.  "Get on up to the attic and see if you can find the extra tables and chairs, and maybe the buffet table."

"Aw, mom. It's not even half-time yet!" Rio whined.

Shaye winked at Rachel.  "Come on, little dude.  Let's go move around furniture for the little ladies."  He flexed his muscles.  "They don't have muscles like these."

Rio giggled as Rachel rolled her eyes.


The boys headed up into the attic, which had been converted to Rio's bedroom. All of the old furniture had been shoved against the far wall, trying to give the kid as much space as they could.  "A pink butterfly rug?" Shaye asked.

Rio grimaced with embarrassment.  He hated how girly his room was.  There was too much pink because his mom re-used all the old furniture! Hadn't any boys lived here?! GEEZ!
"Look! There's the buffet table!" he said, changing the subject quickly.

"Think you can help me carry it downstairs?" Shaye asked, heading over to dig it out.

Rio puffed his chest up proudly and showed off his own fledgling muscles.  "Yeah! Look at these biceps!"

Shaye chuckled, but gamely pinched at Rio's muscles.  "Very nice, little dude! Those are some bulging biceps!"


Rachel poured a few drinks while Maritza finished setting the tables.

Maritza sighed as she fussed with the Feast Day decorations.  "I'm sorry I'm going to miss it!"

Rachel waved her hand.  "I think it's sweet that Darryl invited you to join his Feast Day with his coworkers!"

A knock on the door had all the girls glancing over.

"Come in!" Haley said, hurrying over towards the door with Jason in her arms.
"Hello!" Haley's mom, Eva, announced with a smile.  "Happy Feast Day!"
Haley watched her family walk in with a smile.  "Hi, Mom!" She hugged her, glancing past her mom towards her Dad and brother. She smiled widely when she saw Cecelie.  Finally!  It had taken long enough for Ian to realize how good Cece was for him!  "Come on in, guys!"
Shaye rested on the arm of the armchair, chatting with Haley and her family.  It was crazy how close they were! Nobody was screaming or yelling.  They were just sitting around, catching up with each other's lives.  He shook his head slightly.  Growing up, his Feast Days had been spent with his relatives fighting, cussing each other out, and drinking beer.  When he'd gotten old enough, he'd just stopped going.

This was so... so... normal...

He glanced up  when the doorbell rang.  "That's probably, Mama," Rachel said, hopping up from the chair.
Rio jumped up and ran across the room.  "Wella! You made it!" Rio sang happily.
Sonja caught her grandson in her arms.  "Aw, that's my mijo," she said, wrapping her arms around him and hugging him tight.  "You're growing too fast!"  She glanced up at Rachel, "What are you feeding him?" she joked.

Rachel laughed, "I swear he has a hollow leg! He eats, but he just gets taller, not fatter!"

Behind her mother, Rachel's sister tossed her hair, shooting a glare towards Ian and Cece. Rachel hoped her sister behaved today.
Haley stood up.  "Well, it looks like most everyone is here.  Should we begin?" she asked, walking towards the buffet table that had been set up with loads of yummy foods.

Rachel glanced around the room.  "Where's Johnny?" she asked.

Sonja shrugged. "He said he would come," she said sadly.  His mother had passed a few months after her husband, leaving her stubborn stepson without other family on holidays.  Even though she invited him, most of the time he claimed he needed to stay up in the city.  What was that boy up to? She could tell something was troubling him.

Haley stopped with a plate in her hand. "Should we wait?"

Sonja waved her hand. "No, no. We might wind up waiting forever. Sometimes he says he's coming, but winds up staying in the city with his friends."
Soon, everyone had taken their seats around the table.  Cece shyly held her hands out towards Ian and Rachel's boyfriend.  "Shall we say Thanks?" she asked.

Haley smiled and reached for her mother's hand and then glanced at the empty spot next to her.  Johnny.  "Will you start, Cece?" she asked, watching as everyone clasped hands around the table.

Cece nodded, "I am thankful for Ian coming back into my life."  She glanced towards Ian.  "Can I tell them?" she asked.  Ian nodded with a smile on his face.  "We're engaged!" she said, momentarily pulling her hand away to show Eva and Haley her ring.  Keely scoffed at the other end of the table and Cece blushed.  Pulling her hand back, she looked towards Shaye.

Shaye cleared his throat. "Oh, um. I haven't ever done this before."

Rachel smiled.  "Just say what you're thankful for."

Shaye felt put on the spot.  "Umm... I'm thankful..."  Thoughts flew through his mind about what he could say he was thankful for. But everything sounded lame in his head.  He broke out in a sweat as everyone waiting for his reply.  "Umm... for my family!" he said quickly.

Rachel felt tears welling in her eyes.  She was pretty sure he meant her and Rio, not his folks.  He thinks of us as his family, she thought happily.

Rio piped up from between his Mom and Shaye, "I'm thankful for TURKEY!"

Everyone laughed.  Rachel glanced towards Shaye and added, "I'm thankful for my family, too," she said gazing in his eyes.

Rose rolled her eyes.  "I'm thankful for school vacation!" she said, earning a chuckle from her mama.
"I am thankful for joining our family and good friends for another year of celebration," Sonja said.

Keely, who had had retained her bored expression as everyone else spoke, suddenly sat upright and flipped her hair over her shoulder.  "I am happy to announce that I am 10 weeks pregnant!" she said, shooting a triumphant glance over towards Ian and Cece.

Ellis muttered something about being thankful Keely was his wife.

And then it was Haley's turn.  Oh, how she hated it when everyone looked towards her.  "I'm thankful for the art contract that I have.  Only 4 more paintings and I'll be done!"

Eva squeezed Nathaniel's hand.  "I am thankful to hear all the good things that have happened to our family and friends this year.  We love you all!"  Nathaniel agreed with a resounding "Ditto."

Rio glanced around the table, wondering if anyone else was going to pipe up.  "So does that mean we can eat now?" he asked impatiently.

Sonja laughed teasingly. "Yes! You may eat now!"


  1. Aw. That was sweet! Except for Shaye... harrumph. Poor Rachel, thinking he meant her. I guess Rio needs another male around, but... *sigh

    Too bad Johnny wouldn't be there.

    1. I really liked seeing all the family members from Haley & Rachel's family together for the party!

      And *maybe* Shaye meant Rachel! She tends to be a hopeless romantic, but I think he was struck by how close their families all were. Maybe... lol.

      And dangit, Johnny! Where the heck are you?! Poor Haley didn't have anyone to sit next to!

  2. I'm thankful that Ian and Cece are together! Finally! :D

    1. Yay Ian & Cece! It was interesting having Keely & Ellis at the dinner, as well. Good riddance to bad rubbish!