December 21, 2015

Haley: Week Twenty-Seven, Day Three

Living Green Tip #20:  Looking for a romantic way to spend an evening that’s also eco-friendly? Don’t worry, we’re not prescribing a date at a recycling facility to sort bottles and newspapers (although that’s a fantastic idea for many!).  But, meeting at a park makes a timeless date!

Rachel yawned as she clicked on the incoming message.

Ready to meet today? Let's get together.

She nibbled her lip as she considered meeting him in person.  He'd sent his picture, but what if he wasn't anything like that.  What if he smelled? What if he tried to kill her?

But, they'd really hit it off online.  Maybe he was the one...

Quickly, she replied, Call me...

Haley raised her eyebrows with surprise when she came downstairs and found Rachel already awake.  "It's 8 in the morning!" she said, reaching in the fridge and cleaning it out, "What are you doing up?"
Rachel shrugged, cracking eggs and tossing them in the blender.  "I couldn't sleep. Shaye's got Shayla this weekend." She haphazardly threw another egg white in the bowl.  "I worry constantly when she's not home with me!"

"Aw, Rach... I'm sorry. I know it's hard," Haley said reassuringly.  "But he's been a great Dad!"
Rachel scoffed.  "Yeah, too good."
"What do you mean?" Haley asked, grabbing a plate of pancakes.

Rachel sighed.  "I just really pictured us being a family.  But now, he only talks to me if it has to do with Shayla.  It's like we're not even friends!"
Maritza bit her tongue, as she so often did when it came to Rachel and her love life.

"Have you ever apologized to him?" Haley asked, scooting in to the table.
"Apologize for what?" Rachel asked angrily.  "Giving him a daughter that he loves? He should be thanking me!"
Haley sighed and shook her head.  "I know it's hard. You'll just have to figure out how to be civil with him and co-parent responsibility."
Rachel made a face. "It's not fair.  You never had to co-parent," she spit out the word like it was a curse-word.  "Gabe didn't want anything to do with Jason."

Maritza gasped.  "Rachel!"

Rachel held her hands up. "What?! It's a good thing!"  She leaned forward, "You know, he has a profile on the dating website!"

"No," Haley shook head head.  It had been years since she'd thought about Gabe.  He'd been transferred shortly after Johnny had gone to have a talk with him all those years ago.  Could he be back?  "How do you know?"

Rachel shrugged.  "I browse through the profiles."  She shrugged.  "In fact," she added. "You'll never believe who I met! He's this really great guy! He funny, likes the outdoors and doesn't mind that I have kids!"

Haley and Maritza shared a glance.

"What? Why are you guys looking at each other like that?!" Rachel demanded angrily.  "I'm just meeting him! It's not like I'm getting married!"

Maritza choked on her bite.  "Plumbbob, I hope not!"

Rachel huffed angrily.  "He's taking me to the Winter Festival."

Haley sighed, asking, "The same festival Rio's been begging you to go to with him?"

Rachel pushed back from the table.  "I'll take Rio later! Like I said I would! I am not a bad Mom!"  she nearly growled before turning on her heel and stomping up the stairs in an indignant huff.                                                                                  
Haley & Maritza shared another speaking glance.  "Do you think she'll ever change?" Maritza asked.

Haley shrugged, shaking her head sadly, "I don't know..."

Maritza headed into her room and lifted Darryl, Jr. from his crib.  Sometimes watching Rachel run head-long into another relationship reminded her why she was unlikely to ever date again!  There was too much unknown and risky inherent in dating.  She rested her cheek against her son's.  Besides, Darryl, Jr. was all she needed right now. 

Rachel tapped her booted foot and glanced around the Winter Festival.  What if he didn't recognize her? she worried.  What if he didn't look like his pictureWhat if...
"Rachel?" Clifton asked as he cautiously approached her.

Rachel turned towards him and felt a huge relief that he looked exactly like he had in his picture.  "Yeah! Hi!"
"Are you ready to have some fun?" he asked.

Rachel nodded, "Let's do it!"

She shrieked with laughed as another snow ball whizzed by her.  "You missed!" she laughed.

Clifton took steady aim and threw another snow ball.  Even though Rachel twisted to miss it, she wasn't fast enough.  It left a spot of powdery snow on her jacket.

"I GOT YOU!" Clifton roared with triumph.  "YES!"
Rachel giggled.  "About time. It only took you 10 minutes!"

Clifton jogged over to her side. "I'll show you 10 minutes," he said, playfully reaching out to tickle her.

Rachel swatted his hands, "I'm hungry. Wanna grab something to eat?"

He shook his head.  "Nah, why don't you grab something. I'm going to go try out the snowboarding half-pipe.  Meet me over there, okay?"

Rachel tucked her hair behind her ear. "Sure. Meet you there."

"One gingerbread cookie coming up," the foodie told her, reaching to put the hot cookie in a little bag.  He glanced up at her again and checked her out.  "You know, you're too pretty to be out here by yourself! I get off in 30 minutes..."

Rachel preened.  "I'm actually with someone," she told him.  "But, you're sweet!"  She fluttered her lashes.

"Damn, all the good ones are taken!" he joked as he handed her the cookie.  "On the house," he added with a wink.
Rachel headed over towards the half-pipe and ate her cookie, watching and waving at Clifton as he passed.

"HEY! LOOK AT ME!" he called out again, making the shaka bra hand-sign.
After numerous passes, Clifton padded over, stoking the fire and warming his hands.  "Man. That was intense! You should try it!"

Rachel popped the gingerbread man's head in her mouth.  "Nuh uh. I like my feet firmly on the ground!" she told him.

"Hello?" Maritza answered the phone quietly, having just gotten Darryl Jr. to sleep. "This is Maritza."

"Maritza, this is Dr. Wyman.  This might be a little awkward," he cleared his throat and paused, "I was hoping we might grab a coffee sometime and talk..."

Martiza's mouth dropped open in surprise.

"Are you still there?" he asked, uncomfortable with the hanging silence.  "I'm sorry," he finally started to apologize.  "I shouldn't have presumed..."

"No!" Martiza heard herself saying.  "I would love to..."

"This has been incredible," Rachel told Clifton.  "But, I need to get ready for work."

Clifton reached out and clasped her hands. "You don't have to go yet, do you?" he asked.

"I have work in an hour," she explained.

"Can't you be a little late?" he asked. "I'm just having such an amazing time with you.  I'm not ready for the night to end..."

Rachel fawned.  "Me neither," she agreed.  "I guess I can go in a little late," she said with a small smile.

Finished, Haley thought with immense satisfaction.
She'd finally finished the 10th painting that the business center had commissioned for their new Local Lifestyles decor. 
She carefully loaded the paintings onto her bike and headed over.

Clifton had talked Rachel into ice skating.  She'd been a little shaky at first, bending over and holding her arms out to the side to avoid falling on her ass in front of him.  Truthfully, she wasn't sure which would be worse.

But, now, they were twirling around in a circle, holding hands, gazing deep into each other's eyes.
"I'm so glad we met," Clifton said softly.  "I... I really started falling for you before we even met.  But, now that I see you in person... I'm half in love with you," he confessed smoothly.

Rachel felt her heart beating erratically.  He loved her!  "Me too! I knew the minute I saw your profile that there was something between us!"

"I did too!" Clifton said excitedly, stopping mid-circle and gazing deep into her eyes.
Rachel impulsively leaned forward and kissed Clifton on his lips.

Clifton jerked in surprise.  "Oh crap!" he called out just before he swept her feet out from under her.
Clifton scuttled over next to her side, rubbing his side.  "Sorry. Are you okay?" he asked, reaching for her hand. 
Rachel peeked her eyes open, groaning.  "I think so..."

"Come on, Rio, I'll race you upstairs!" Jason said after they got in from school.

Rio shook his head.  "Nah, you go on. I have some homework to do."

Jason made a face, "Aw come on, you can do your homework later! It doesn't take that long to do!"

"Look, Jason. Once you're 5th grade, you'll see how much homework you get!" Rio grumbled.

"Yeah, well, I'm gonna go play!"  Jason raced up the stairs.

"It's not fair," Rio grumbled, wishing he could go play, too. 
Instead, he sat down at the kitchen table and pulled out his books. 
Being older sucked sometimes, Rio thought, he was pretty sure Jason was upstairs having fun while he was down here doing his stupid homework.

"Who could that be?" Haley wondered out loud, getting up from the table where she'd been helping Rio with his homework.  What did she remember about algebra, for goodness sake?!  "Keep trying, I'll be right back," she promised Rio.
"Like I'm going to get anywhere alone," Rio grumbled.  Why did there have to be x's and y's in math anyways? This was so dumb!
Haley swung the door open and found Shaye and Shayla on the doorstep.  "Shayla! We missed you!" she said, reaching for Rachel's daughter. Shayla happily went into Haley's arms.  "How was your weekend?" Haley asked Shaye politely.
"We had a great time, didn't we, Shayla?" Shaye said.  "We went out to the Winter Festival this morning and took some pictures, had our faces painted, played in the snow.  We had a great time, didn't we Shay-Shay?"
Haley turned to Shayla, "That sounds like you had so much fun with Daddy!" she said brightly.  "Is this snow jumper new?" she asked Shaye.

He nodded. "Yeah, Rachel forgot to pack any warm clothes, so we went shopping. I wasn't sure if you guys had any.  You know how fast kids grow!"
"I'm sure she just forgot to pull them out," Haley said.  "You know Rachel..." she finished lamely.

Shaye shrugged, "Yeah, well, tell Rachel I'd like to talk to her soon."  He turned his attention to Shayla, giving her playful kisses goodbye. "Daddy'll see you soon, Shay-Shay! Love you!"
"I'll tell Rachel! She'll be disappointed she missed you!" Haley called after him.

Rachel headed inside, slightly limping from her ice-skating fall.  She was surprised to see Rio still up, brushing the cat.
She plopped down on the couch in front of him.  "Hey Rio, how was your day?" she asked.

Rio shrugged, concentrating on the task in front of him.

She sighed, leaning back her head. "Well, Mommy had a wonderful date with a very nice man today!"
Rio dropped the brush and shot up. "Mom!" he protested.  "You promised!"

Rachel waved her hand.  "I know! I know!  I promised to quit jumping into relationships.  But, Clifton and I have been friends since before Shayla was born.  We're not really jumping into anything.  We've been taking our time!"

"But, Mom..." Rio started to argue.
Rachel interrupted him.  "Rio! Be happy for me! This one's a keeper! I've invited him over for dinner tomorrow! I know you're going to love him!  Trust me!"

"What's wrong?" Jason asked as they got ready for bed.

Rio shook his head, turning away from his little brother.  "Nothing," he said in a clipped tone. "You wouldn't understand!"

Jason chucked his shirt on the floor. "I'm not so little! I understand a lot!" Jason protested.

Rio set his jaw stubbornly.  "I don't want to talk about it."  He wondered how long this new relationship would last.  Well, he wasn't going to act like he liked the stupid guy, no matter how much his Mom wanted him to.
He tossed his clothes down in a pile next to Jason's and clambered up onto the top bunk.  "Night, Jason," he said softly. 

"Night," Jason mumbled softly, already close to sleep.

Rio glanced down at Mittens as he curled up on his dirty clothes.  "Night, Mittens."
Mittens meowed contentedly and stretched out on the clothes, making himself comfortable before curling up and going to sleep.


  1. Why Rachel? By all mean enjoy you're life, but why does Rio have to meet every man you date? And that comment to Haley about co- parenting, just blech. Probably didn't mean it in a mean way though.
    Now why's dr Wyman calling Maritza? He needs help with research or is it something else?
    All this going on an still no fun for Haley? Not that she doesn't make pretty paintings though.

    1. Rachel - But it's serious *this* time! Her LTW is to be a Heartbreaker (have 10 ex's) & I am having so much fun fulfilling it! Lol. Sorry Rio!
      Maritza - Ooo... why *would* Dr. Wyman be calling?
      Haley - No. No fun for Haley yet. She must be patient. :)

  2. It's too bad Rachel screwed things up with Shaye; he really is a great father. And she still won't admit that stopping taking her pills without discussing it with Shaye was wrong.

    So Gabe might be in town again? Haley should get a restraining order, if she didn't already.

    I don't like Clifton because he insisted that Rachel stay with him and didn't care that she'd be late for work. And already saying that he might love her? I think that's just talk coming from his other head.

    1. Shaye turned out a lot more mature than we first assumed. :) He's nurturing.

      Gabe is back in town & Rachel spotted him on the dating network. We'll see if anything comes of it! Hopefully he just leaves them alone!

      Yeah, Clifton. *shakes head* He's a hopeless romantic, too. I guess we'll find out what happens when two hopeless romantics date. :)

  3. *broken record incoming* Oh, Rachel. Again? lol. She has so much fun falling in love, doesn't she? ;) Hopefully her work won't suffer just because she pushed it aside to be with her newest boytoy.

    Aw, Rio. He's really the one to take the fall for all his mom's goings on. At least he has Jason to play with, when there's no homework!

    oooOOOooo! Maritza's got a boy on the line! =D When will Haley get one?

    1. Oops... she did it again! She has so much fun & I'm feeling a little bit sadistic because I'm enjoying it, too.

      Rio would be a mess without Haley. She's his rock.

      Martiza's got a boy! We'll see if she's ready to move on from Darryl's memory, though.

      Haley HAS a boy on the line. He's just MIA right now & undercover. :) Lol.