April 4, 2016

Haley: Week Twenty-Seven, Day Seven

Living Green Tip #24 - The urge to garden in early spring is primal. The first task is removing and composting any dead annual plants that remained over winter.

Haley brought her clothes down to the washer and threw them in the machine.  Everyone had recently agreed that they would be responsible for their own laundry.  Even Rio and Jason were old enough to wash their clothes!

She frowned when it wasn't quite full.

She couldn't run a load in good conscious if it wasn't full!  
After collecting the dirty towels and rags, she hurried back outside to finish the load.

Turning, she started to head inside when she saw her winter-ravaged garden.  She sighed. She really needed to spend some time tending her garden!

"...And then the sea monster rose up out of the sea! RAWR! RAWR!" Jason said as he moved his sea monster closer to the boat full of unsuspecting sailors.
Jason glanced up.  "Rio! You're not playing!" he complained. 
Rio tossed the boat down with a sigh.  He'd agreed to play with Jason, but he'd started thinking about her... again...  "Sorry, Jas," he said, "I guess I'm just not into playing right now..."
"Hey guys!" Rachel said brightly.  "Whatcha playing?!"

Rio winced, fingering the boat.  "Nothing," he answered at the same time Jason said "Sea Monsters!"

"Oh," she said without interest, "So, Rio, I was thinking..."

Rio sighed again as he stood up.  It was never any good when Rachel started thinking...
"So, listen! I was thinking that we could go check out a movie together! I know you were wanting to watch Bigger Explosions 2!" she said excitedly.  "We'll order tons of popcorns and candy! What do you think?"
"Sorry, Mom. I told Jason I'd play with him..." Rio said quickly.  He did want to see Bigger Explosions 2, just not with his mom. 

"I wanna go!" Jason said eagerly.  He'd seen the commercials for it and it looked so cool!

Rio shot Jason a dirty look. 

Taking the hint, Jason announced, "Actually, I think it was Sharks...on Land that I wanted to see! Duh!"
"Oh, okay," Rachel said, glancing down at Jason with a sad smile. "Maybe next time. No biggie."
After Rachel left, Jason hopped up.  "Why did you tell her that you didn't want to go? You've been waiting to see that forever!"

Rio crossed his arms. "What do you care? You're too young to go anyways!"

Jason rolled his eyes at Rio.  "If my mom invited me to go see a kick ass movie, I would go!" he declared smugly.

Rio just shrugged nonchalantly.  If Jason's mom had asked him to go see a movie, he would have gone, too.  "Whatever.  Did you still want to play sea monsters?"

Jason shook his head with disgust. "No way, you weren't even playing!"

It was official - Rio hated her, she thought as she jogged down the steps.  She had royally screwed up every single relationship that meant anything to her!  Hell, Shayla would probably grow up to hate her, too!
Absently, she pulled out ingredients to bake a cake.   Baking always made her feel better...

After Rio shrugged and headed downstairs to the computer room, Jason hopped on his bed and pulled a few comic books from under his covers.  Grabbing the one he wanted to read, he kicked back his heels and opened it up.

Rio sat at the computer, his fingers hovering over the keys.  He glanced behind him to make sure Jason hadn't followed him down, then started typing a letter.  He felt like there was so much bottled up in him, he would die if he couldn't get it out...

When he finished, he quickly saved it and closed the program, releasing a heavy sigh as he flopped back in his chair.  It's not like she would ever see it...

Maritza was moping at home, kicking herself for not making any plans with Charles when her phone rang.

"...and bring Darryl," he said.

Rachel checked her watch.  It was almost time to head to work and she still hadn't heard from Shaye.  The doorbell rang and she smiled to herself.  Right on time! she thought as she hurried to the door, taking a moment to fluff her hair and pinch her cheeks before opening the door.
Her smile fell when she saw ex-boyfriend, Alan Langerak, at the door.  "What are you doing here?" she asked with a hand on her hip.

Finished with her chores, Haley wandered out back to finish her painting.  She loved this one and would definitely not be selling it! 
She was so focused on her painting that she didn't hear anyone approaching.

"Hi! Rachel said I could find you back here!" Alan called from the back steps.

Haley's paintbrush slipped on the canvas as she jerked in surprise.  She whirled around to find Jason cringing. 
"Sorry," he said, coming over to look at the canvas.  "I shouldn't have startled you."

"No! It's okay!" Haley reassured him. "Nothing I can't fix!"

"It looks really good!" he told her, frowning when he saw the yellow squiggly line.  "I can't believe I messed it up!" he said ruefully.
"Really, I promise, it's fine!" Haley laughed.  She couldn't believe that Alan had actually dropped by!  Shyly, she offered, "Would you like to come in?"

"Look at this place!" Maritza said with amazement.  It was her first time going inside Charles' house.  She'd tried to keep their dates more... un-date-like.  She certainly had never brought Junior with her!  She spied the lab station and squealed.  "You have your own lab here?!"

Charles laughed lightly as she explored his family room.  All he needed was the family to go with it...

"Oh! Look! I bought a new logic toy for Junior to play with while we talk!" he said, pointing to the block set by the couch.  
Maritza's heart melted a little bit.  "That was so thoughtful, Charles! I didn't even think about bringing something for him!"  She set Junior down by the toy and then slid onto the couch next to Charles.
"Are you glad you came?" Charles asked hesitantly.

Maritza smiled and slid her arm around him.  "I am! I'm sorry I've been such a pain! I just... I'm scared of losing you."  She thought of Darryl and was surprised when she didn't feel the sharp jolt of pain that she normally felt when she thought of him.  She frowned.
"I'm not Darryl," Charles said, unerringly echoing her own thoughts.  "And I'm not employed in a high-risk occupation," he added.  "I can't promise I'll be around forever, but..."
Maritza stopped him with a kiss. 

Haley laughed when Alan cracked another joke.  There was so much she didn't know about him, despite having been in the same social circles for years.
"You didn't!" Haley laughed when he'd finished telling a story about adding soap to the Central Park Fountain on Founders' Day.  "I'm sure your parents were so mad!"

Alan laughed.  "Nah, Dad said that he'd done the same thing when he was my age.  Mom just smacked his shoulder and told him to quit encouraging me!"

Haley laughed again.  "It sounds like your parents were a lot like mine!"

Alan grinned. He loved making Haley laugh."You know, you have a real pretty laugh," he told her with a wicked smile.

"Moooooom, I'm hungry!" Jason complained as he rushed into the room, stopping short when he saw his mom talking to a stranger.  Jason frowned and looked at him suspiciously.
Haley stood to make introductions, but Alan beat her to it. 

"Hey! I'm Alan, your mom's friend!" he told Jason.  "How old are you? 15? 20?"

Jason snickered.  "No! I'm only 10!"

Alan smiled.  "Ah. I've got a son about your age!" he told him.  "Now, what's this about you being hungry?" he asked.
Haley didn't hear the rest.  Her mind was buzzing.  He had a son about Jason's age? She took a quick breath.  Just because he had a son didn't mean that he was married. It just underscored how little she actually knew about him.
"So Mom, can we?" Jason was asking her, tugging on her apron. 

Haley snapped out of it and turned towards her son. "What?"

Jason shot her a look of annoyance.  "Mr. Alan was offering to take us out to the diner! Can we go?"
Haley turned to Alan.  It was on the tip of her tongue to tell him no.  But, he was looking at her so expectantly, almost mirroring Jason's puppy dog expression.  She caved.  "Oh, alright! Let me go get ready."

"Yes!" Jason said, giving a fist pump.
Haley walked up the front walk towards the diner with Jason in between them. As she turned and met Alan's devilish grin, she blushed.  It still felt an awful lot like a date...

"Will you stay the night?" Charles asked as he pulled back from their kiss.

Maritza hesitated a moment, but nodded.

He let out a shuddery breath. "You know what this means, right?"

"What?" she asked, feeling unsure and sensitive.
He cupped her face in his hands.  "If we do this, then there's no more talk about us not seeing each other anymore."  He gazed in her eyes, looking for confirmation.

She swallowed heavily, scared to make the commitment.  But, she nodded again.

"Are you sure you don't want a ride home?" Alan asked.

Haley shook her head.  "No, Jason likes the arcade games here. We'll walk home when he's done.  It's not far."

With the reminder that their little chaperone was busy playing video games, Alan took a step closer.  "I had a really nice time," he said huskily.

Haley smiled.  "I did, too.  Thanks for inviting us."  He might not make her heart race like Johnny did, but she was certainly interested.  He'd told her over dinner that he'd had an amicable divorce and that they were trying to keep things cordial for his son, Dante.

"Sure, no problem. Maybe time next we can do something alone," he said hopefully.  "I'd love to take you out on a date, if you're interested..." he trailed off, waiting for her response.

Haley took a deep breath.  Here goes nothing...  "I think I'd like that," she told him with a shy smile.

Jason ran out of the diner.  "Bye Mr. Alan!" he called out loudly, waving as Alan walked to his car.  "Mom, can I have another quarter? I almost won the level this time!"  Haley sighed and fished out another quarter from her pocket.  "Last round, Jason!"


  1. Did Maritza change her hair? When was this? I can't remember xD

    It's kinda sad that Rio doesn't like Rachel, but it's not too shocking. She's often focused on her own things.

    Ooh, Haley's got a new guy, hmm? Can't wait to see how this all plays out

    1. No, I think this is the same hair! She does get a little bit of a change up in the next episode. :)

      Yeah, Rio doesn't trust his mom very much right now. She hasn't actually given him much follow-through. But, she's trying, right?

      Haley's got a new man... ooooh la LA! :)

  2. Rio and Rachel; ouch. Not a big surprise, but maybe things will get better eventually. She's trying now, but for how long?

    Wow, Charles has his own lab. You know, when you invite over a lovely lady like Maritza, and the lab doesn't make her think you're a complete geek; it's a match made to be. Now, let's hope he doesn't blow himself up.

    Haley is so cute, and out of her comfort zone on a date. Is she interested in him since she wanted to say no? Or was that just of old habit?

    1. Very ouch! Rio & Rachel have a rocky relationship. He got Brooding trait, so I'm having fun playing around with that!

      Hehe.. seriously... Maritza and Charles are meant to be!

      Haley was uncomfortable stepping out of her comfort zone! But, she thinks Alan is pretty interesting and wants to get to know him a little better.

  3. Aw... That's really sad that Rio is making a conscious effort to think of her as Rachel rather than mom. Hopefully he can let some of that anger go sooner rather than later. :( And thinking about *her* huh? ;)

    *sigh. Yay for Maritza! That's a big step, but I'm so glad the hurt is getting less and less.

    Go Haley! Maybe it's not Johnny, but at least it's not Armando either. It doesn't hurt to have fun. Still, c'mon Johnny! Get outta there and go get Haley!

    1. All of Rio's troubles are now compounded by the fact that he's a moody teenager! He's pretty sullen now! He kind of reminds me of Johnny when he was a teen...

      He's definitely been thinking about *her* But who is *her*?! Hopefully someone doesn't snoop on the computer!

      Maritza and Charles sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

      Haley's taking a few baby steps of her own, too! And to think, she never would've run into Alan again if her brother hadn't invited her over for a dinner party in-game. Looks like Johnny has some stiff competition!

  4. Well, I can't really say I feel sorry for Rachel. It's sad that Rio would rather spend time with Haley than with his own mom, but she kinda brought it on herself...

    I'm glad Maritza is finally starting to move on a bit. She and Charles...yeah, I think they'll be a match made in heaven. And no high-risk occupation either!

    I'm still kinda rooting for Johnny, but I suppose Haley can't sit around waiting forever. Alan seems nice enough to her though. :)

    1. Rachel really messed up with Rio & I think she's starting to see that. Hopefully she can work through it and fix their relationship! It'll be pretty hard to get through to a broody teenager, though!

      I'm so stoked about Maritza and Charles!

      I'm still team-Johnny, too! But, fate was too kind to throw Haley a potential love-interest!

  5. I feel the same way as Haley about laundry. If it's not full, throw more in.

    Rio is keeping a lot to himself. I wonder if someone will find his letter on the computer.

    Maritza and Charles are getting along well, he even thinks of Junior!

    I hope Alan is a good match for Haley.