August 19, 2015

Haley: Week Twenty-Six, Day Seven

Tip #19: Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away.


 2 am in the morning and Rachel couldn't sleep and her stomach was unsettled.

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!
Stupid, stupid, stupid! she thought as she rolled out of bed.  She wasn't getting any sleep anyways. 

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. 
Okay, first she needed to create a her own ad. She could do that.  She was flirty, kind, had a good sense of humor, was a great kisser, and a natural cook.  She loved cheese tofu steak, hip hop & hot pink. What guy wouldn't want her?!

"Looking for someone to love..." she put in as her headline. 
Satisfied her profile, she started scrolling around the available guys.  "Ha! Dwayne is on here!" she laughed, sending him a teasing message.  She remembered when they dated back in high school.

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. 
She barely glanced at the traits he listed.  It's not like she was going to marry him, just get to know him!   She immediately hit the Send Message! button and wrote out a quick greeting.
As she walked away from the computer, she wondered whether it would bother him that she was a mom with soon to be 2 kids...

 ***
 
The pounding at the front door finally broke through Haley's sleep.  Groggily she sat up in bed.  Her heart started racing and she checked the bedside clock.   4 am.  Nothing good could come from someone pounding on the door at 4 am.
She ran from her room, only slightly disoriented, bumping into the stair railing before stumbling down the stairs.

"I'm coming!" she called out with a shaky voice. 
She opened the door, surprised to see Maritza there.  With her luggage
"I... I just didn't know where else to go..." Maritza said sadly.  Her eyes were glassy and unfocused.
"What is it? What's wrong?" Haley asked, trying to meet Maritza's eyes.  "Mari, talk to me!"

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!
Maritza groaned, dissolving into tears again.  "He's gone," she cried.  "Car accident... his parents came... cleaned out the apartment..."  she managed to choke out between sobs.
 "What am I going to do?" she wailed, launching herself into Haley's arms.

***

With Rachel heavily pregnant and Maritza grieving, the bulk of the chores fell to Haley again.  But, it was hard to mind when faced with her friends' difficulties. 
 In fact, in some ways, she relished being busy.  When she was busy, she didn't worry about Johnny.

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...
Her poor garden was also woefully ignored, with weeds poking out of the mulch.  She was just watering the plants when Rio came out.  "Tia Haley, can you make us breakfast?" he asked.  "Jason and I are hungry!"

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."
Rio hurried in and joined Jason at the activity table.  "Your mom said she'd make us breakfast," he told him.  "And when your Mom promises something, she means it!"
Sure enough, minutes later, Haley walked in, and hurried into the kitchen to wash her hands and then mixing up the pancake mix.  With a grin, she flipped the pancakes and smiled at the ooh's and aah's from the kids. 
"Smells good," Rachel said, coming down the stairs, actually dressed for the day.   She grabbed a plate and sat down next to Rio.
 But only minutes later, she popped right back up again, clutching her stomach.  "I knew they were contractions!" she swore. 

"Rachel! How long have you been having contractions?!" Haley demanded, jumping up.

"Probably since 2 am this morning," Rachel said grumpily.
"Rio, watch Jason for me. I'm going to go with your Mom to the hospital.  Call me if you need anything, okay?" Haley said, grabbing for her purse and keys.  "Come on, Rach. Let's get you to the hospital."

 ***

Shaye jogged up the hospital plaza, spotting Rachel and Haley.  In her arms, Rachel held a baby.  His baby.  He stopped mid-step.  Oh God, he didn't think he was ready for this... 
 "I'll leave you guys to talk," Haley said as Shaye approached.  "I'll see you back at the house."

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.

 ***

Rio stroked Mittens fur, holding on to him tight so that he couldn't escape.  It made him feel calmer.

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. 
"Is my Mom okay?" he asked when he saw his mom and the baby weren't with Tia Haley.  
Haley hurried to his side. "Of course!" she assured him.  "You have a beautiful little sister! All ten toes and fingers!" she teased.  "They should be home soon."

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...
Haley absently ruffled his hair and then headed to check on Maritza. "Mari," she called softly, opening the door.  "Can I come in?"

At first, Haley didn't think Maritza was going to respond, but then she finally answered in quiet voice, ravaged by tears, "Yes."

 ***

"Rio, come greet your little sister!" Rachel said when she walked in and saw him.  She held the baby down a little closer for him to see.
Rio felt his blood boil when Shaye walked in behind his mom.  "Her name is Shayla," he added, sharing a smile with Rachel. 
 "I hate you! And I hate her!" Rio cried, running upstairs.  He was too old to cry, he thought as he swiped at a stupid tear in his eye.  He was just so mad!

Shaye whistled. "Whoa... what got into him?"

Rachel frowned, handing him Shayla.  "Let me go talk to him."

***

Rachel found him in his room, pouting on the top bunk.  "What the heck was that?" she asked him.

"Nothing," Rio snapped, turning his head from her.
Heaving a sigh, she started climbing the ladder. "Oh Lord, I'm getting too old to be climbing into this bed!" she said, ducking her head so she didn't bang it on the ceiling.

Rio just twirled around and gave her his back. 
Rachel didn't let it deter her. She just crawled forward and wrapped him in her arms.  "You'll have to do better than that!" she told him, pressing a kiss to his cheek.
Then, flopping down on his pillow, she looked at him and asked, "Do you want to talk about it?"

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.

 ***

Rachel found Shaye in her room by the crib.  "She's beautiful, isn't she?" she asked, leaning over his shoulder, lightly touching his arm.

"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...
"Stay with me tonight," she told him impulsively, yearning for everything to be magically fixed between them.  "You can't deny how good we are together!"
The spell was broken. Shaye pulled back, shaking his head.  "I can't, Rach. I... I want to be a part of Shayla's life, but just as her father."
Rachel's face fell.  She'd let herself hope that maybe once Shaye held their baby in their arms that he might soften towards her.  "I... I see..." she said, heart-broken. 

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.
Rachel glanced down at Shayla.  "Now what are we going to do?" she asked aloud.

 ***

Haley had settled next to her friend on the bed, completely unsure of how to comfort her.  "I kissed Johnny,"she told her.

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. 
Haley shrugged, pausing a moment before asking, "Do you want to talk about it?"

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!"

6 comments:

  1. It made me soooo sad to have Daryl die in an accident. I wiffled and waffled and finally decided to go ahead and do it. Maritza needed to stay in the house because she's the only person who would want to collect minor wildlife, AND I didn't think it was in Daryl's personality to leave Maritza or be a part-time Dad. I hope it doesn't upset any too terribly much, but I'm going to miss him like crazy, too!!

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  2. *sigh. All the boys runnin' away this chapter. Except for Daryl.

    Rachel, honey. Get.It.Together. For your kids sake, if nothing else. Then again, I really doubt she'd truly be able to this late in the game.

    And yet again, Haley is the one left picking up the pieces when she's hurting as well. Though I can see Maritza's loss is far greater at this point. *sigh.

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    1. Darn single roll. *pouts*

      I'm not sure Rachel is ever going to change her spots. One step forward, two steps back. It's a good thing Rio has his aunties!

      My poor Maritza! It's a good thing Haley's there for her, and even Rachel to a smaller degree. Despite all their ups & downs, they're always there for each other!

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  3. Maritza! She needs all the hugs right now. :(

    Rio, too. I understand why he would be frustrated. Everything around him is happening and he doesn't have any control over it.

    I almost wish Shaye and Rachel had gotten back together, but it's easy to understand why Shaye is still reluctant. Rachel still needs to slow down and take better control over herself.

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    1. Agh! Poor Rio! He's had it rough! Too bad Rachel treats him more like a friend than her child!

      I kinda wanted Rachel & Shaye to get back together too! But, I'm playing her as the heartbreaker she is. (I think the only heart she's really hurting is her own, though!!) Maybe time will lead her back to Shaye. :) Or... maybe she'll find someone even better!

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  4. Noooo, poor Maritza! That's just horrible ;_;
    And wow, two more kids then? I thought you lucked out and rolled only two XD

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