June 14, 2016

Haley: Week Twenty-Nine, Day One

 "What were you thinking?" Haley asked.  Her stomach had dropped when the police officer rapped on her front door.  A multitude of horrifying images had passed before her eyes in rapid succession.  She could only stare mutely at the door, too scared to take a step towards it.  Thankfully, Johnny had hopped up and taken charge of the situation.

She'd hugged Rio fiercely as Johnny quietly spoke to the officer.

Before he left, Shaye had rested his hand on Rio's shoulder.  "The next time you want to run away, run upstairs to the attic," he told the teen sternly.
Rio rested his face in his hand, too embarrassed to look at Tia Haley or Tio Johnny.  He'd been so embarrassed when the police officer had shone the flashlight on him while he'd been in the middle of... ugh...

Just the thought of it made his stomach churn.

Of course, the first time he went all the way, something like that would happen.  Nadine was never going to talk to him again.  If her dad even let her talk to him.

His life was over.
 "Rio, I know you've been dealt a rough hand, but you can't deal with things by running away," Johnny told him sternly.  He'd seen far too many kids that had gotten messed up with bad people after running away.  It chilled him to his very core.  "You've got a lot of people here that love you," he continued.  "You know that, right?"

He paused, waiting for Rio to acknowledge him.  "Right?" he pressed.
Rio looked up at his uncle. "I know," he said quietly.  "I wasn't thinking."
Haley sniffed, reaching up to wipe the tear from her eye.  Her voice was shaky when she told Rio that she thought she'd lost him.  "Don't ever do that to me again," she told him.  
Rio reached over and put his hand on Haley's.  "I won't. I'm sorry."

Haley squeezed his hand, feeling more tears pressing.  "Thank you."
Haley stood up and pulled Rio into her arms.  "You know you're grounded, right?" she asked him as she squeezed him against her.

"Yeah, I figured," he mumbled.  And you know what, he didn't even care.

After  Rio lumbered up the stairs to head to bed, Johnny reached up and pulled Haley into his lap.  "See, that wasn't that bad?" he joked.

Haley gave a sputtered laugh.  "It was awful!" she told him, smacking his chest.

Johnny reached up and stroked her cheek.  "I know," he admitted.  "It was a shitty, shitty day.  But, Rio's a good kid. He's going to be okay."

Haley rested her cheek against Johnny's shoulder.  "I hope so," she said quietly.  She nuzzled his chest, snuggling closer. It was all too easy to get used to Johnny being around.  What would she do without him?

"Hey, Jason," I was thinking we might toss the football around," Johnny said, making an overture to get to know Haley's son better.
Jason scowled.  It was on the tip of his tongue to tell Johnny that he wasn't interested when he saw his mom's face.  She looked so hopeful.
 "Alright," he said grudgingly.   But I'm not going to have fun, he told himself.
 "Have fun!" Haley called out as the men in her life headed outside to play.  It warmed her heart to see Johnny and Jason making an effort to become friends.  It gave her hope for their future...

Maritza peeked her head out her bedroom door and saw Haley by herself.  There had been so much drama lately, she'd been trying to give Haley space to work it out.

It was strange how much things had changed since Johnny came back.  Haley used to come to her to decide how to handle the boys, but now she'd begun relying on Johnny.  She supposed it was good now that she would be moving out...
She sat down next to Haley and took a deep breath.  "So, I have some good news," she said without preamble.

Haley turned to her friend with surprise.  "What?!" she asked eagerly.  She could use some good news! 
"I'm getting married!" she said, holding out her hand to show off the engagement ring Charles had given her.

Haley gasped. "Oh my plumbbob! Maritza! How did I not notice this?!" she asked, reaching for Maritza's hand to look at the ring.  "Oh, it's beautiful!" she gushed. "Congratulations!"

Martiza smiled, so proud.  "We've had a lot happening. I wanted to wait until things had calmed down before saying anything."

"Oh, you should have told me right away!" Haley said.  "So?! Have you talked with Charles about any details?" she asked, already imaging the type of wedding Maritza might like.  Darryl would make such a handsome ring-bearer!
Maritza shifted in her seat.  "That's the thing," she admitted slowly.  "We're going to just do a small civil ceremony."

Haley was surprised.  "Is there a reason for a quick marriage?" she asked, wondering if maybe they would have another baby in the house.  Where in the world would we put another crib?!

"Yes," Maritza swallowed, obviously emotion.

Haley's eyes lit up. "Congratulations!" she told her friend. "When are you due?!"

Maritza shook her head. "No, I'm not pregnant," she said.  "Charles was accepted into the Doctors Across Borders program.  Darryl and I are going to be leaving with him..."
Haley's heart sank.  She was happy for her friend, but she would miss her so much.  "I don't know what I'm going to do without you!" she said, giving Maritza a watery hug.

"Don't worry.  Everyone misses," Johnny called out when Jason flubbed the pass and dropped the ball.  "Throw it on back!"
 Jason lifted the football up and pulled back to throw it towards Johnny. 

 "Nice throw!" Johnny called out, lifting his arms up and catching the ball effortlessly.
Johnny threw the ball back harder than he expected, cringing when he saw Jason throw his hands up to block his face.   "Crap, sorry, Jas!" he said, jogging over to his side. "You okay?"

Jason glanced up with a grin on his face. "Holy crap, that was crazy! Teach me to throw like that!"

Rio was spending a lot of time in his room.  That's kind of what happened when you were grounded.  He wondered if Nadine would get the love letter that he'd mailed her.

He couldn't wait to see her at school on Monday.
He heard heavy steps coming up the stairs.  Not Jason, must be Tio Johnny.

Johnny swung around the newel post and grinned at his nephew.  "I'm posting bail and we're blowing this joint!" he said.  "Come on!"

Haley found herself completely alone that afternoon tending her garden.  Johnny had taken all the boys out to see a game and Maritza had taken advantage of the opportunity to go see Charles.

It was still strange getting used to all the changes!

Darryl glanced around uncomfortably.  He'd never been to a game before.  What if he didn't have fun?  He didn't know anything about games at all!
"Come on guys, let's go grab our seats!" Johnny said, leading the boys towards the door.  Jason stood, gawking at the stadium in amazement.
He didn't even notice that he'd been left behind.  "Hey! Wait up!" he called out, racing to catch up with everyone else.
 "So? What'd you think?" Johnny asked Jason as they left the stadium.

Jason glanced at Johnny with a genuine smile. "That was awesome! Did you see that pass the quarterback tossed? It's like the one you were teaching me today!"

Johnny elbowed him playfully. "Yeah, you've got quite an arm on you! I bet you could play professionally when you grow up!"

Jason's eyes lit up. "Really? You think so?"

"Sure!" Johnny told him.  "Come on, let's grab some treats!" he said, leading the kids over to the vendors.

"So? Did you enjoy yourself?" Johnny asked Darryl as they sat waiting for the teens to finish their snacks.
"It was a lot more fun than I thought it would be," Darryl admitted.  It had been a little difficult to follow who had the ball and what they were doing, but it had been interesting watching how excited Johnny, Jason & Rio had gotten when their team had done well. 
 "Come on guys, let's go get some pictures taken!" Johnny announced when the kids were finished.

Haley glanced up with a smile when she saw the boys come back in.  "How was the game?" she asked them.
"It was great, Mom! You should've been there!" Jason enthused.

"I'm glad you had fun!" she smiled.  "Now, it's a school night.  Did both of you get all your homework done?"

"Yes!" Darryl answered quickly while Jason and Rio groaned.
Haley sat down to eat her fresh salad while the teens worked on their homework at the table. 
 Her gaze strayed to the picture Johnny had hung on the wall, commemorating their night.
 Her boys.  Plumbbob, how she loved them all!


  1. Ahaha, Rio and Nadine got caught by the police. Are they still a couple now, or did it get to embarassing? Or does her dad step in and keep them apart? Now you got me all worried.

    It was nice with a happy chapter. Well, despite the fact that Maritza's leaving. I hoped she was pregnant though.

    Is Jason warming up to Johnny, or was he just so exited that he forgot he was supposed to dislike him?

    1. Rio didn't really get to talk to Nadine. They were separated pretty quickly & her dad swooped in and picked her up.

      Yay for happy chapters! I'm hoping we have more now that Rachel Rachel's drama is gone! So sad that Maritza is leaving, but I think she's going to be happy with Darryl & Charles! Maybe she'll begin finding minor wildlife in the foreign country they move to!

      Hehe.. Jason might be warming up. I think he just finds it hard to hold a grudge. :)

  2. Ouch, poor Rio. Does he not have Nadine's phone number or email?

    Aw, Darryl Jr. is so cute! It's nice to see everyone moving on from all the drama, although I do feel bad for Rachel. No one deserves abuse.

    1. I imagine Nadine is just as grounded as Rio! No phone, no cell phone, no nothing.

      I love Darryl Jr! He's such a cute kid!

      Yes! No more drama! At least no more Rachel-drama! Although, I have a feeling she's not going to stand for that situation for very long! She's too used to being pampered and spoiled, right?!

  3. *sigh. At least the officer didn't seem to tell the adults what Rio and Nadine had been up to. He might really have died of embarrassment then. Haley handled it wonderfully though. She really is more his mother than Rachel is or ever has been.

    Aw! Yay! Maritza finally gets to share her news! It's sad that they'll be leaving, but she deserves happiness.

    Another Yay that Jason has finally warmed up to Johnny. That ought to be enough happy to make Haley float in the clouds for a while. <3

    1. Oh, Haley and Johnny got the complete run-down on what Jason was up to with Nadine. I didn't show the safe sex conversation they had. ;) Perhaps she let Johnny take that one. I can't see Haley addressing it with him.

      Haley's over the moon! It was so nice for her to see Johnny doing something with all the boys. I loved that he even took Darryl Jr!