After the morning she'd told him she was pregnant, she'd begged him to come back so that they could be a family. He'd tried for awhile, but it hadn't worked out.
She hadn't meant to trick him. She'd just thought about having a sweet baby in her arms and had kinda sorta stopped taking birth control pills. So, really it was just an accident!
Shaye had constantly asked hard questions, like where they were going to live? How they were going to afford the bills on his salary and hers? Whether or not she'd thought about how Rio would feel.
She'd just cried and told him that she thought everything could just stay the same...
Apparently she'd been wrong.
He'd scoffed and accused her of being childish!
Padding to the computer, she plopped down and browsed the web for a little bit. She'd just finished creating a baby-shower wish list (There were SO many cute baby things now! She hoped she had a little girl!) when she saw an advertisement for the personals.
Nibbling her lip, she let the mouse hover over the site and then clicked on the link.
"Looking for someone to love..." she put in as her headline.
Her eye caught on Gage, Jason's father, and she scowled. Of course that piece of crap would be in the personals even when he was married. Her finger hovered over the button, wondering whether or not she should give him a piece of her mind. Instead, she just clicked print on his profile.
Sighing, she was about to give up when she noticed a good-looking guy that she'd overlooked. "Ooo... hello Clinton," she said out loud, clicking on his profile.
"I'm coming!" she called out with a shaky voice.
Rachel came up behind them, pushing her hair from her face. "What's wrong?" she asked.
Haley shook her head, worried because Maritza just stood there. "Is it Daryl?" she guessed, well-used to the emotional scenes played out when Rachel's heart was broken. But this was Maritza! She was never over-emotional!
No eggs today, she thought with a frown. They hadn't done a good job of collecting eggs and all the little chicks had hatched! It was a good thing they had such an abundance already in the refrigerator.. Although.. she mentally counted back how long it had been since they were collected. Some of them might not be good anymore...
Haley glanced over her shoulder. "Is your mom up yet?"
Rio shook his head. "I knocked on her door and she said that she wanted to sleep in and if I bothered her again, she'd ground me."
Haley rolled her eyes. That sounded like Rachel. "Alright, sweetie. Let me finish this and I'll be right in."
"Rachel! How long have you been having contractions?!" Haley demanded, jumping up.
"Probably since 2 am this morning," Rachel said grumpily.
Rachel looked at the father of her child, the love of her life, and the man who probably hated her more than anyone in the world. "Hi," she said uncharacteristically shy. She held up their daughter. "I hope you don't mind. I named her Shayla..."
Shaye almost felt overwhelmed gazing into those perfect blue eyes. He reached out and touched his daughter, then met Rachel's eyes.
"Can we talk?" she asked.
Jason laughed at something on the TV. "That was funny, Rio. Did ya see it?"
Rio shook his head. "No, I missed it."
"Watch! Watch this!" Jason laughed, pointing at the screen.
Suddenly, the front door opened. Rio jumped up, Mittens still clutched in his arms.
She glanced towards Maritza's room. "Has Tia Ritza come out at all?"
Rio shook his head. "Nuh uh. And I heard her crying again earlier." He felt bad when he found out that Tia Ritza's boyfriend died. Especially since he'd wished she could come back to live with him. Maybe it was his fault...
At first, Haley didn't think Maritza was going to respond, but then she finally answered in quiet voice, ravaged by tears, "Yes."
Shaye whistled. "Whoa... what got into him?"
Rachel frowned, handing him Shayla. "Let me go talk to him."
"Nothing," Rio snapped, turning his head from her.
Rio just twirled around and gave her his back.
Rio considered not saying a word, but all the resentments were bubbling under the surface and he let them all go. Rachel went from surprised to concerned to sad. But in the end, she'd promised to try to change.
Maybe this time she really would change, Rio told himself as his mom kissed his head and headed from his room.
"How's Rio?" Shaye asked absently, stroking his finger over Shayla's little hand and grinning when she gripped it tight.
Rachel shrugged, "He'll be fine. I think he was just surprised to see you..."
"Pissed off, is more like it." Rio laughed softly. "I used to hate my mom's boyfriends. I made their lives living hell!"
"He doesn't hate you!" Rachel argued. "There's just been a lot of changes... you know?"
Shaye nodded, gazing at his daughter with tender eyes, then turned towards her. He looked at her with such longing... such desire...
Shaye rubbed his hand over his neck, feeling awkward now. "Maybe I should go," he said, thrusting his hands in his pockets and striding from the room.
Martiza's eyes flew to hers as she gasped, "You didn't! WHEN?!"
Haley smiled. It was the first signs of life Maritza had shown since coming home. "On Feast Day. We were outside and... it just kind of happened!"
"Does Rachel know?" Martiza asked, enthralled by the idea of Johnny and Haley together. "What did he say? Have you seen him again?"
Haley shook her head sadly. "No, Rachel doesn't know. It was kind of a one-time thing," she confessed. "He's hung up on some girl from the city."
Maritza's smile fell. "His loss," she said defensively.
Maritza told Haley about Daryl's accident and what followed. "I keep thinking it's just a horrible, horrible nightmare. That when I wake up, I'll be back in Appaloosa Plains with Daryl," she began. "I spoke with his parents, they're going to settle with the landlord and pay the reletting fee. It's as though we were never there now."
"I'm so sorry, Mari," Haley said, wishing she could take all of her friend's pain away. It hurt to see her so sad!
"The hardest part of it all is..." Maritza paused, wiping at her eyes and trying to stop from bursting into tears. "...I'm pregnant!"