He was so excited!
He was about to knock when he heard raised voices. "You did this on purpose to force my hand!" That was Shaye. He sounded really angry with his Mom.
He knocked tentatively, hoping they would stop fighting this time. "Mom?" he called out softly. "It's my first day!" he reminded her.
"Rio's going to have to hear sometime!" Shaye snapped back at her.
"SH!" she demanded with a glare. Turning her head, she called out, "Rio, give me a minute! I'll be right down."
Haley nodded. "You should be! I'm so happy for you!" She was so glad that her dear friend had found such a great, upstanding guy. For awhile it had seemed that they had been destined for broken relationships! Well, at least Maritza had found someone who loved her. Her mind slipped back to Johnny and their heated kiss...
"Good morning, sweetie!" Haley said with a bright smile on her face.
"Ah, good morning, Auntie Haley... Auntie Ritza"
"Uh, yeah," he replied.
Upstairs, he heard his Mom and Shaye continuing to yell at each other.
"Why can't your fireman just move in here?" Rio asked plaintively. "Why do you gotta go so far away?"
Pulling back to wipe her eyes, Maritza gave him a watery smile. "I'm finding it hard to go, too. But, he's going to be working in Appaloosa Plains. I promise to come visit a lot, though!" she told him.
Haley nodded, ready to give her friend a piece of her mind.
Rachel sniffled, then rolled over on her back. "Fine. Then I'm a bad mother!" she wailed. "A bad girlfriend and a bad mother!"
Haley rolled her eyes. "He heard you arguing, you know. The back and forth with Shaye is really hurting him."
Rachel flung her hand over her forehead. "It doesn't matter. Shaye never wants to see me again anyways!" she cried.
"You always say that," Haley admonished her, pointing out, "But then you guys always make up."
Haley cocked her head to the side. "But he's great with Rio! Why would he say that?"
"Oh Rachel," Haley said softly. "It's going to be okay." She rubbed her hand up and down Rachel's arm, attempting to comfort her. "If he doesn't want to be involved, it's his loss. It'll be just like before. You're our family!"
Maritza was outraged on her friend's behalf. "He knew just as well as she did that a baby could result from their hanky panky!"
Haley grimaced. "Apparently she wasn't taking her birth control pills like they'd agreed."
"Oh no." Maritza deflated. "Oh Rachel!"
"Are you sure?" Maritza hemmed. "I don't want to leave her if she needs me."
Maritza squeezed her eyes shut and sniffled, trying to keep the tears at bay. "I'm going to miss you guys, too!"