June 28, 2016

Haley: Week Twenty-Nine, Day Three

Haley tossed and turned through the night.  It was so hard to sleep when Johnny was gone.
Finally, tossing onto her back, she blew out an irritated sigh then threw the covers off.  She wasn't going to get any more sleep this morning.  4 am.
Feeling moody and exhausted, she grabbed her paintbrush and palette and began painting. A few hours later, she had finished her painting and still felt restless.  It was still only 7 am...

Working in her garden, she waved to the boys as they hurried off to school.  But, soon she had finished tending the garden.  It was barely 9 am. 

She checked her cell phone.  Miss you, she texted Johnny. 

A few months ago, she might've gone inside right about now to have a cup of coffee with Maritza and chat about their day.  Or she might've been in bed, snuggled against Johnny after a morning quickie. 

But now, here she was, moping like a teen girl with nothing to do and upset because she hadn't heard from her boyfriend.   She shook her head.  She was not going to be that girl.

With renewed purpose, she headed down to the community garden she'd lovingly helped create.  There was always something to do there.

Busy hands are happy hands.
Haley hummed happily as she harvested the fruit and vegetables, placing them in a basket.  After she finished tending the community garden, she could make a few deliveries. 

Jason stepped out of the gym, following behind his team-mate August Wells and Vita.  Dang, she looked hot in that uniform!  
"Come on, August, go long!" Jason called out, chucking the ball towards the running back.
"CRAP!" August cried out, cringing when the ball spiraled towards his head.  The football pelted August's shoulder and dropped harmlessly to the ground.
August grabbed up the ball and glared across the field at Jason.  "Quit throwing so hard! We're not going to win any points if I can't catch your throw!" he snapped. 
August's gaze flicked behind his teammate to Vita, his ex-girlfriend, before snapping back to Jason.  Did he even know that he'd stolen her from him?
"Sorry August!" Jason said good-naturedly with an apologetic shrug.  "My mom's boyfriend just taught me this really cool throw! Hey, I could teach you!"

August shook his head.  "Let's take a break, man," he said, jogging off to the side to talk to another teammate.
Jason turned and looked at Vita. "Did you see the spin on that throw?" he asked eagerly.  "I threw that sucker fast!" he bragged. 

"You did good, baby!" Vita cooed.  "You're sure to be the stand-out player this year!"

"Yeah? You think?!" he asked enthusiastically, pleased that Vita recognized his skill and talent.  "August was the stand-out player last year. It'd be awesome if I got it this year!"

"Baby, you're totally going to get it!" Vita said, throwing herself into his arms.

Rio was miserable.

He'd only been able to manage to see Nadine a handful of times since they were caught making love for the first time on school grounds.  The last time he'd been with her was on the Recurve Strand near her home.  They'd made love under the stars on the secluded beach.  Only 6 months until they graduated and could be together forever.

Nadine wasn't at school the next day. Or the day after.

Vita finally told him that her uncle had pulled Nadine out of school and was going to have her finish the year at Smugglesworth Prep School, far away from Rio's influence.

He stared at the screen, trying to put his feelings into words.  "Bittersweet memories of doubt and remorse..." he typed, pausing only a moment to consider the next line. "...assail me in waves of immeasurable force..." 

He hung his head, feeling a sharp pain in his chest. 

Rio jumped when he heard Tia Haley from behind him unexpectedly.  Quickly, he tabbed over and hid the poetry he'd been working on.  "Yeah?" he asked, pretending to be surfing the web.

"The party starts at 7.  Are you ready to go?" she reminded him.
Rio quickly turned off the monitor.  "Yeah, I'm ready.  Let's go."

Haley gave Rio a bright, encouraging smile.  "Everything is going to be be wonderful," she told him before turning to ring the door bell.

Rio rolled his eyes.  He didn't need Tia to give him a pep talk like he was some over-emotional kid.
The door swung open.

"Hey guys! We're glad you could make it!" Shaye said, inviting them inside. 
"Thanks for inviting us," Haley said as she stepped inside the livingroom.  She saw Rio looking around the room, appearing incredibly nervous and uncomfortable.

She opened her mouth to suggest her go find his sister, when Shaye pointed towards the stairs, telling him, "She's probably upstairs on the deck.  Why don't you go get the birthday girl and tell her the cake is ready!"

Rio gladly loped off to find Shayla.
"We're glad you could make the party and put all that unfortunate ugliness behind us!" Kelli said.  "Now that Rachel's gone, there's no reason we can't all be one big happy, family!"

"Kelli," Shaye admonished quietly. 

Kelli glanced back at her husband.  "What? I'm just clearing the air!"
Haley brushed her hair behind her ear, feeling awkward herself.  What could she even say to that?  It still killed her that she'd lost her friendship with Rachel and Shayla.  She smiled wanly.  "I'm glad we can still be a part of Shayla's life," she said quietly.

They were saved from having to make any more small talk when Shayla and Rio rushed back into the room.

"I wish for...." Shayla put her finger to her lips and considered her birthday wish.  "I wish for... a pony!" she announced happily.  She glanced over towards her dad and grinned. "I promise to feed him, and wash him and ride him every day!"

Shaye laughed.  "We'll see!" he said, attempting to placate her.  No way was she getting a pony, though!
"Yes!" Shayla cheered, blowing her candles out. 
"I'm getting a pony!"

Shaye cleared his throat. "You know you're not actually getting a pony, right?" he asked after she blew all the candles out.

"But, Dad! I blew all the candles out! My wish has to come true!" she said, opening her eyes wide and blinking innocently. 

"Shayla..." Shaye cautioned, well used to his daughter using her big, grey eyes to try to get her way.
Shayla finally cracked, laughing.  "You should've seen the look on your face!" she told him with a snort.  "Besides, I don't want a pony!"

The adults sighed a breath of relief.

"I want to learn to ride a horse!" she announced, grabbing a slice of cake.

"The cake was great. Did you make it yourself?" Haley asked, standing up to gather some of the dirty plates.

Kelli waved her hand dismissively.  "Oh gosh no! I don't have time to bake! I just grabbed it from the grocery store!"  A soft crying sound came from down the hall.  "Oh! Shayla, can you go check on Emily for me? I'm almost done!"
Shaye followed Haley into the kitchen.  "Sorry about earlier," he said in a low tone.  "Sometimes Kelli can be..." he trailed off, at a loss for words. 
Haley nodded. "Thanks for inviting us. I know it's been difficult.  But, this means the world to Rio. And to me," she added. 

Shaye rubbed the back of his neck nervously. "It was never about you," he told her, attempting to explain.

Haley rested her hand on his arm and squeezed. "I know," she told him.  "It was a bad situation all around."

"Yeah, well, for what it's worth, I'm real sorry."

Haley nodded, blinking quickly when the tears threatened to fall.  "Thanks," she said.

Shaye leaned back against the counter. "So have you heard from her at all?" he asked.

Rio headed into the nursery with Shayla.   He hung out by the door as Shayla fussed with the baby.  "She looks like Kelli," he told her quietly, noting the full head of blonde hair the baby had.

Shayla turned around and smiled.  "Yeah, Mom is really excited about the blonde hair!"  Rio blinked with surprise that Shayla called her stepmom 'Mom'.  She was lucky she got a mom and a dad that actually fought for her.  All he'd gotten was a screwed up mom. 
Shaking his head, he reached into his pocket and pulled out the small gift he'd clumsily wrapped himself. "Here. For you," he told her.

"Rio! You shouldn't have!" she told him, eagerly grabbing the present and ripping into it.  "Aw, it's beautiful!" she said as she held up the small horse statue.  "I love it!"

Rio shrugged. "It's nothing," he said, feeling uncomfortable with the praise.  "It's just some toy horse I thought you'd like."
Shayla slugged his arm. "It's not dumb!" she told him, throwing her arms around him.  "You're the best brother ever!!"


  1. *is an ass for being so inconsistent with commenting on your legacy*

    It makes me happy that Rio's still in contact with his little sister, but it must be bitter sweet to see that she has basically the perfect family life, whereas Rio doesn't have his mum or his dad around :c

    I don't trust this Vita. I think she's bad news. I think she's going to break Jason's heart.

    It's good to see that Haley is keeping herself busy despite being a bit lonely.

    1. But the important thing is - *you came*! Lol. I'm a sporadic commenter, too.

      Rio's happy his sister has a happy family life, but I can only imagine how hard it is on him!

      Vita was raised by Joan. *boo* *hiss* No way she can be good news! Hopefully Jason will realize it before it's too late!

      Hehehe.. I loved sending Haley to the community garden. I love that place! Hopefully Johnny gets back soon, though!

  2. So the hands were busy painting and gardening. I thought it meant that Johnny came home ;) But why isn't she hearing from him?

    So Jason stole Vita, then humiliates August in front of her. And doesn't even have a clue, and it doesn't have any consequenses for him. That is so impressive. It's a shame Nadine got sent away though. You're really giving Rio a hard time.

    Shayla is cute and it was nice that her and Rio got so well along. Especially since they haven't seen eachother for a while. Are they going to keep having a relationship?

    1. Lol! Having Johnny back would definitely make for happy & busy hands, huh? Lol. Johnny's not back yet, but he should be back soon!

      Jason is utterly oblivious. I'm sure he thinks everything is hunky-dory right now!

      I know. Poor Rio. :( But, there is a reason to my madness... or meanness, as the case may be!

      I love Shayla! She's so pretty! We'll see her around more as Rio and Jason grow up!

  3. Wow. Shayla looks so much like her mom...

    Oh, the parallels. Haley and Johnny & Rio and Nadine. At least Rio is trying his hand at something... lol @ his poetry. Not near the distraction Haley managed to find for herself is it?

    It's really sweet that Rio remembered to get his little sister something for her birthday too. I guess that means little Darryl will soon be a teen also, huh?

    So is Vita the 'great season' catalyst? Like Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham? j/k but it does seem like a bit of a coincidence. Or was Jason always on track to have this magnificent season?

    1. She does look so much like her mom... especially when Rachel was a teenager!

      Lol - Rio is such an angsty teen. I'm surprised he didn't learn his lesson leaving his poetry anywhere Jason could find it on the computer!

      Shayla rolled equestrian when she aged up. And Johnny just so happened to have a toy horse on his person when he gave out gifts. I'd say that is absolutely perfect!

      I can't wait to visit Maritza and Darryl soon!

      I've never heard of Bull Durham before, which surprises me because I love Kevin Costner & Susan Sarandon. A quick visit to IMDB reveals that OMG - just like Jason & Vita. Lol. Actually, Jason was always slated to be spectacular at football. He's going to grow up to be a star athlete, after all. :)

  4. Hmm, I still don't trust Vita, but not every relationship lasts forever. She seems to be a good part of Jason's life for now. And wow at Jason's teammate. You can't "steal" a girl; she's a thinking being herself. But, he's young.

    I'm glad Shaye and Kelli are trying to involve Rio in their lives. He needs to have a relationship with his sister, especially with Rachel gone. Hopefully when Nadine comes back she'll be just as in love as ever.

    1. Jason is enjoying his relationship with Vita. He's head over heels for her!

      It is nice to see Shaye and Kelli reaching out and letting Rio and Haley be a part of Shayla's life!