Nestor happily walked in the front door to his home and dropped his keys in their key bowl. He was just about to take off his jacket when his wife crying caught his ears. He let it drop to the floor instead of hanging it up and quickly ran to her, finding Jaylyn in the kitchen. She had the back of her hand pressed into her mouth as she stirred the chicken stir fry she was preparing. He wrapped his arms around her waist “baby, whats wrong?” she gasped. She hadn’t heard him come in so being hugged from behind was startling. Realizing it was just her husband she turned in his arms and hugged him. “It’s just our little boy”
“what about him?” she started crying harder, silent aside from her sobs. She turned and removed the food from the heat before saying “we’re just so lucky” She kept trying to speak but she was crying too hard to be understood. Hey guided Jaylyn out of the kitchen and sat with her on the couch, holding his wife close for comfort. He was used to days like this. It had been the same with their first child Eldoie. The last three months were tear filled because she would get so emotional about them coming and she would gush over how good a man he was. It was nice hearing how amazing his wife thought he was but the tears were hard to take.
‘You’re just such a good dad and I bet he’s going to be just like you” He kissed her head and rubbed her exposed arm. It was summer so she was mostly wearing dresses lately. This one was black and purple with characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas covering it. His wife had an unbeatable since of style in his opinion. He held her and let her talk for awhile but soon began to wonder where their toddler was. “where is Eldoie?” Jaylyn took a few deep breaths, wiped her face then answered “your parents came over for a visit today. Eldoie got upset when they tried to leave so they asked me if she could have a sleepover with them. They are bringing her back after breakfast tomorrow”
It’s so quiet.”
“It’s strange isn’t it?” She said with a little laugh.
He smiled and kissed her. “Very strange.” He stroked his knuckles over her cheek. “But you do realize that means I get you all to myself right?”
A blush tinted her cheeks. “Nestor.”
“Do you have any idea how much I adore you? Meeting you the way I did…I’m so lucky.”
“I’m the lucky one my knight in shining armor.”
He chuckled, leaning in to kiss her again when someone knocked on the front door. He let out a loud groan. “Perfect timing.” He pressed his forehead against Jaylyn’s, sighing. The knocking continued. “Damn, it’s someone we know.” He sighed again and got up. The last person he was expecting to see when he opened the door was his mother in law. “What do you want?” He asked under his breath.
“Where’s my daughter?”
“You don’t get to demand things here, this is the Hayward household, not the Kinley household.”
“Leave before I call the police and tell them there’s a crazy woman on my front porch.”
“I need to speak to my daughter.”
“About what?” Jaylyn asked as she moved up next to her husband. Her mother looked her over, lingering on her belly for a moment before making eye contact.
“Can I come in?”
“No mom, you can’t. This house is for family only.”
“Fine. Your father is divorcing me.”
He mother swallowed. “It’s be cause of you. You being gone caused more friction than I thought, than we thought.”
“Surprised you noticed since I was more of an ornament than a person.” She started to turn away and her mother grabbed her. “Let me go.”
“Please, he won’t even talk to me. He just sits in his study and sleeps in a guest room. Talk to him for me. We can make things right.”
“That’s what happens when you make your marriage a business arrangement. Sorry, but I don’t care.” She pulled away and Nestor closed the door.
“She might come back.”
“Let her.” She sat down with a huff. “I don’t know what she was thinking coming here, like my dad would ever listen to me. How stupid.”
He sat down next to her. “Don’t let her get to you or pressure you.”
She sighed. “I won’t, but now you’ll have to work doubly hard to make me feel better.”
He chuckled and started kissing her shoulder sensually. His kisses trailed up her neck and face until he reached her ear. He whispered seductively “That’s not a problem at all my love” Goosebumps rose on her skin and he smiled triumphantly. He lifted Jaylyn and carried her into their bedroom where he got her mind off everything with mind blowing passion. Even as pregnant as she was sex was still something Nestor made amazing. Jaylyn was just about to fall asleep, finally getting the nap she had so needed when her work cellphone rang. She had two cellphones so that she’d know the difference between work and a friend or loved one calling. She started to move and Nestor said “you’re getting this nap if the world likes it or not. Let me” He answered her phone and Jaylyn smiled.
He walked out of the room in hopes she’d still rest. He hated how tired she was. He couldn’t imagine being eight months pregnant and home with a two year old all day. He finished the call and returned to their bedroom. He was happy to find her sleeping. It was a stupid call anyway. It was wild to him the minor, silly things she’d get called about. He took her phone charger out of the room and plugged up her work phone on the nightstand since it was below fifty percent.
He checked her regular cell too and chuckled, of course that was in the ninety percent. He looked at her lock screen a few moments. It was a picture of the three of them. Their daughter had the biggest smile and Jaylyn looked gorgeous as always. He couldn’t wait to see a little boy in their pictures. He wondered if she’d want more kids now that they’d have a boy and a girl. He knew gender meant nothing to her but he still thought it might make her pleased with the number of kids they had.
Nestor was tired himself from working but he decided to dust for Jaylyn. He knew how hard it was for her so he took care of that and sweeping. He was deciding what to do next when Jaylyn woke from her nap “did you not come back to me?”
“I wanted to take care of some of the things around here that are hard for you to do”
“You didn’t have to.”
“Like I said, I wanted to. It makes me happy to help out and spoil you so just let me.” He wrapped her in a hug and pressed a kiss to her forehead. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yeah, thank you.”
“You never have to thank me baby.”
She sighed. “I can’t believe my parents are divorcing.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“It’s not like I’m all broken up, but it’s strange. I always thought they were on the same page. I didn’t think my dad even cared about me enough to start an argument.”
“Do you remember when you told your parents off in the hospital?”
“Maybe he started to realize some things after that. Maybe once you spoke up, you planted that little seed of doubt and shame.”
“still, he can’t blame that all on mom. It was VERY equally him. I tried so many times growing up and they’d always have the staff shew me away. Many times he was alone. So I’ll deck him if he’s trying to blame it all on her”
“It might not be that. Maybe he’s just struggling with his life in general. He’s old, from the looks of your parents anyway. Could you imagine at his age realizing all your choices were bad?”
“Maybe” she sighed “They don’t freaking deserve it but they are the people who gave me life….and helped start my thriving company. I guess I’ll try to smooth this for them. They may have never loved me but I think they did love eachother”
“You don’t have to.”
“I know but I’m going to be the bigger person. Two wrong don’t fix anything”
Nestor kissed her. “You really are an angel.” He stroked her cheek. “Go call your father and I’ll make you some tea. Are you hungry at all?”
“Just tea sounds good right now.”
“Alright, love you.”
“Love you too.”
She grabbed her phone and sat down on the couch, finding her dad’s number. She just stared at it for a moment. She hadn’t talked to him in so long, she wasn’t sure what to say really. She sighed and pressed the call button. “Jaylyn?” He said when he answered, the disbelief clear in his voice.
He sighed. “It is you.”
“Dad…can…do you have time to talk? I know you’re probably busy, but…”
“I have plenty of time.”
“Jaylyn, you don’t have to force yourself. You made it pretty clear how you feel.” He sounded tired.
“Dad…I…um could we see you some time this week?”
“Door is always open, come by anytime.”
“Okay, I’ll text you then when we decide to come over.”
She swallowed. “Bye dad.”
“Bye.” She hung up and let out a loud sigh. It was strange hearing no fight in him. He was usually so serious, but he had sounded almost broken.
Nestor soon brought her some tea “how did it go?”
“weird, I’m welcome to see him. Any time apparently. He doesn’t sound so cold anymore too”
“Like I said he’s old. So many people go oh fuck when they are old and want to make things right”
“when are we seeing him?”
“We didn’t set an exact time. I told him I’d call”
“Why not tomorrow. I’ll email my boss and see if I can take it. He gets his email to his phone like you do” Without a second hesitation Nestor walked to their desktop computer and sent an email. He checked it a little later, unsurprised the message was already answered. “I’m good”
“I think we should have Eldoie stay at your parents house. They made me feel horrible for so long. I wont put her through them until I’m sure they are ready to be decent people”
“Yeah, I agree”
“I guess I should call again and let him know I’m coming” He handed Jaylyn her cellphone and she called, he answered again. “we’ll come tomorrow, Nestor and I”
“good, I…I honestly am glad you’re coming. I know that’s impossible to believe but I am”
“We’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Okay.” She hung up just as Nestor was getting off the phone with his mother. Her sigh caught his attention and he sat down next to her, his arm wrapping around her shoulders.
“We’re going over tomorrow. How’s Eldoie?”
“She was having my dad read to her. My mom tried giving her the phone, but she was busy.”
Jaylyn smiled. “I’m glad she’s having a good time.” She sighed. “I hope my dad’s being genuine.”
“We’ll see and if not then we’ll just leave.”
“I do still love them Nestor, I just don’t know what to think or do.” She rubbed her belly. “I’m trying not to be stressed.”
“well don’t, it is what it is. You’ve never worried about them before, don’t start now”
“yeah, I know, this just stirs up so much emotion. Being pregnant isn’t helping”
“Why don’t we play a video game together? That’s relaxing”
“Tales of Symphonia?”
“sure” He got up and put the GameCube game in, switched the television to the proper channel and handed his wife the first player remote. Only fighting was really two player so he wanted her to be first so she could play constantly. They played until they both could go to sleep for the night. They weren’t sure precisely when they would go see her father. She didn’t think she could stand waiting long after breakfast and Nestor wanted to go whenever she was ready so it looked like they’d be eating and heading over as soon as they woke the next day.
Jaylyn was so impatient they picked up breakfast on the way and ate it in the car. When they arrived she now worried they were way too early but they were already there and she wasn’t turning around now. Jaylyn knocked, happy to see a familiar servant. They hugged “Look how beautiful you are. We’ve missed you so much”
“I’ve missed you too.” It was the truth. The staff felt much more like family than her parents and it had tugged at her heart not to live with them any longer.
They were shown into the living room and Nestor looked around as Jaylyn sat on the couch. He examined the pictures on the mantle, of a young Jaylyn and her parents. “You were cute.” He said as he picked one up. “You’re missing one of your front teeth here. I thought your family strove for perfection, you think they would have tossed it out.”
“My dad actually took that one.”
“With my phone.” Hector said from the doorway, startling them both. “We usually had someone take pictures for us, but I forgot to hire them that day so I used my cell.” He walked over to the mantle and took the picture from Nestor. “She had lost her tooth the day before.”
“Dad, we need to talk.”
Hector sighed and took a seat in the chair on the other side of the coffee table. “I’m guessing your mother spoke to you?”
“Yes and she said…”
“We’re getting a divorce Jaylyn, I’ve made up my mind.”
“I love your mother, but this is a long time coming.” He sighed and sat back. “We’re both idiots you know.”
“What do you mean?”
“We weren’t always rich you know, we had to work for it, but somewhere along the way, we lost who we were. Let me show you something.” He got up, heading over to the bookshelf and pulling down a photo album from the top. It was dusty and one Jaylyn had never seen before. He handed it to her. “That was who we were before all this, before it was just business and convenient, before we lost our passion.”
It was wild seeing her parents actually having fun together. She couldn’t remember them smiling except for the forced ones like the one on the mantel they took to show friends. She deeply wished these people had raised her, that she could have been more than just a thing on the checklist for them. The staff had raised her well and happily if you didn’t count her deep want for her parents to ever spend time with her that wasn’t posing for a quick picture. Even now being in this house a flood of attempts to be with either of them filled her mind. Sneaking into her dads office only to be yelled at and carried out by a maid, all the times she begged to go to more than just social events with them. It was painful being here and seeing the people that could have raised her in these photographs.
It was painful seeing one picture up with her in it since previously their house had been void of any family pictures on the walls. “I don’t really understand dad” She finally said “money ruined your mother and I. It turned us into shitty people. I can’t stand myself for how we raised you or didn’t raise you. We couldn’t even come visit you in the hospital. We couldn’t even take one day out of our lives to visit and when we’d get a call to sign something” he choked up “I hate myself for feeling like it was a burden to have to go to the hospital for even that short amount of time for you. All you ever begged for was our time and all we ever gave you is standing beside you for pictures now and then and even that was just for show. We did love you deep down, you’re our daughter but we were too greedy and selfish to care for you as we should have. I’m proud of the woman our staff raised you to become because I know I can’t even begin to try and say we had anything to do with who you are besides helping you get your business started.”
He sighed “Well being a loan office for you since even then we forced you to pay every dime back….I know we were shit but I refuse to be like that any more. I am slowly getting the old me back no matter how painful it gets. The closer I get to my old self the more I loathe who I let myself become, for robbing myself of your entire childhood by sending you to boarding schools and doubling staff on your vacations to make sure we didn’t have to so much as look at you. I’m sorry Jaylyn, I’m so sorry and I want to get to know you now. I want to get to know the amazing woman my staff tells me about. They’ve filled me in on your entire childhood but I want to hear about things from you and if I ever earn it I want to meet my gradnkids and be for them what I wasn’t willing to be for you growing up”
Jaylyn wiped at the tears sliding down her cheeks and Nestor pressed a kiss to her temple. “What do you want Jaylyn?” He asked softly.
“I can forgive you daddy.” She said then sniffled. “I really can.” She rubbed her belly.
“Really?” He gave her a relieved smile. “I know it’ll be hard work, but I’ll do everything in my power, I swear.”
“Just please don’t divorce mom.”
“No, just listen please. This isn’t about staying together for my sake, we’re way past that, but it’s about these people.” She tapped the photo album. “I want to see these people, I want to see mom laugh and smile, I want to see you teasing her and making her crazy, I want my children to have these people as grandparents. This is who you are.”
He let out a small laugh. “You get that stubbornness from your mother.”
“Will you try?”
“I will, for you I will.”
“good, you couldn’t have been together as long as you have if you weren’t meant for eachother. You both made choices and it’s not fair to try and divorce her because you felt guilty” He nodded and they talked, mostly now about his granddaughter. He eventually asked “can I meet her this coming weekend?”
“sure, what would you like to do with her?”
“What do you do with toddlers?”
“I’ll bring some of her toys and you could read to her aswell.”
“Okay, I want you two there to help me. I don’t really know much about children.”
“You’ll be fine dad, I’m inviting mom to play with her too. Get along”
“Okay, after you guys leave I guess I’ll use that time to talk to her and apologize for throwing her out over my guilt.”
“Thank you, not many people would give their parents a chance when they grew up like you did. I know I’m even more of a stranger to you than you are to me. I have the staff that raised you to fill me in, there was nobody to tell you about who we were and are.”
“It is what it is and we cant change it. We’ll make up for the time”
They chatted a bit more, Jaylyn getting to know a bit about her father. It was most just him answering little every day questions like what his favorite color was and what his hobbies had been. It was nice and when they finally said goodbye, she felt a little better about him. It was still hard believing he actually wanted her back in his life, that she had meant something. “Your dad really loves you.” Nestor said as he drove them home.
“Yeah, I guess he does.”
“I really wanted to clock him that day in the hospital.”
“I’m glad you didn’t, it could have ended in disaster.”
He took her hand. “Yeah I know. Now we just need your mom to come around.”
“I hope once dad talks to her, she will. It was such a shock seeing those pictures, seeing her looking happy, seeing them enjoying life together.”
“well you deserve parents. I’m glad At least one is stepping up and admitting he was wrong.” When the weekend came Jaylyn had to admit to herself she was nervous about introducing Eldoie. She didn’t want her to know the pain of their rejection if her dad changed his mind or her mom wasn’t nice to her. If she was any older than two Jaylyn didn’t know if she’d be ready so soon but if somthing did go wrong Eldoie wasn’t old enough to remember. She’d be sad at first but in a week it would be long gone. Nestor put a bunch of their daughters toys in a bag and the new ones they had bought so Eldoie would be particularly excited around them. They wouldn’t be opening them until they arrived.
“Relax Jaylyn, we can take our daughter home in an instant.”
“I know” she rubbed her belly “sorry for stressing Zaire” she said softly to her baby. They arrived and went inside. They knew before they got to the door her mother was there. She was parked in front of them. They could feel the tension between the two at first but both perked up when they saw Eldoie. “do you want to hold her or do you want me to set her down?” Jaylyn asked, not talking to a particular parent “sit her down at first..” her father said and Jaylyn did, taking a seat on the floor by her toddler even though it would be hard for her to get back up.
“Hi, Eldoie.” Hector said and the little girl looked back at him. “I’m your grandpa.” Jaylyn could see how awkward it was for him, but he was trying. “This is grandma.” He said gently as he patted Becky’s knee. “I don’t think she likes me.”
“She did just meet us.” Becky said.
“Is she shy?” Hector asked.
“Not really, I think she’s just trying to figure you out.” Nestor replied.
“Hold your hands out.” Jaylyn said.
“Okay.” He held his hands out to her and Eldoie pushed herself onto her feet. “Come on.” She walked over to him and he swallowed down the lump in his throat when she let him lift her onto his lap. “Look at her Becky, she looks just like Jaylyn.”
“She’s so beautiful.” Becky agreed.
“I just want to spoil her. I can do that right?”
“That’s what grandparents do.” Nestor said.
Jaylyn looked over at her mom as Hector talked to Eldoie. She almost looked embarrassed. “mom?” She couldn’t look at Jaylyn but she said “I’m sorry too. I…um….even in that album your father showed you I’ve never been much good at expressing myself but I’ve begun to feel the same as he explained to you…I’m sorry and ashamed of myself” It wasn’t the long, sweet speech her father had given but from what she knew of her mom, how prideful she was, what she had just done was her REALLY trying. “I forgive you too mom. We’ll work on things. I do want my kids to have their grandparents”
“What are you pregnant with?”
“a boy, we’re naming him Zaire”
“very unique names you went with. That’s cool, they wont have the struggle of everyone else having their name.”
“when is he due?” Hector asked and Jaylyn said next month”
“dad I’m huge” He chuckled, it was a bit nervous but joyful. “Would we be welcome at the hospital to see him?”
“Of course, I’ll make sure you’re one of the people Nestor calls.”
“who will keep Eldoie?”
“My parents, they will meet Zaire when we get home from the hospital.” Nestor interjected. “do they keep her often?”
“I wouldnt say often but they do enjoy having time with just her. They think we dont know they gorge her with too much sweets when we aren’t looking”
Eldoie opened up more to them and both Hector and Becky had fun playing with her. Jaylyn felt teary as she watched them and Nestor sat down behind her, pulling her between his legs. Hector wanted to keep her all weekend, but he knew that might be pushing it right now and at the end of the day, when Eldoie had fallen asleep in his lap, he reluctantly gave her to Nestor. “We’ll be back dad.” Jaylyn said.
“I know, it’s just getting to actually see her, it’s been amazing.”
Becky patted her husband’s back. “We’ll keep working on things and we really want you all to come back.”
“Be sure to call us if you need us for anything.” Hector rubbed the back of his neck. “Can she maybe stay over some time in the future?”
“I think she’d like that.”
Both her parents smiled. “We’ll set her up a room then if that’s okay. We can get her books and toys and clothes for here. You’ll have to make us a list of her favorite movies and we’ll get them so she can watch them here too.”
Jaylyn left emotional. It was just so weird and overwhelming to see them like this, to want to be around a child. To act loving when nobody outside their family was looking. She was so happy her children were going to have good grandparents on both sides now. They wouldn’t be just an item to show they did somthing, they would be loved by Hector and Becky. She would finally be loved by them, well shown love. Next month her son was born a couple days early and all were excited. Jaylyn called who she could as Nestor drove her to the hospital and Nestor took over calls when the nurses had his wife.
Nestors parents were quick to come to the hospital and take Eldoie so she could go back to sleep at their house. Zaire had decided he was coming at three am. Hours later their boy was born healthy and screaming. Nestor got to hold him first since Jaylyn was now fighting sleep after finally getting him out. Nestor admired Zaire a few moments before helping his wife hold him ‘he’s so beautiful Nestor” she whispered and he kissed her head “thank you for giving me another baby Jaylyn” He helped her for awhile then let his wife sleep.
It was about ten am when Jaylyns parents came “Hey, we thought we should wait a little bit given the time” Hector said and Nestor smiled “thanks, she was pretty tired. Want to see Zaire?”
“Please” he walked them over to him and both actually looked in awe. Nestor was glad. He would be majorly pissed at them if they screwed this up. Jaylyns hopes were up so high and he wouldn’t be able to watch them hurt her again. Nestor told them they could hold the baby but they both were too scared. When they were finally discharged they were headed to Nestors house. Nestor had asked and his parents okayed Jaylyns being there too when Eldoie met her new sibling.
Hector and Becky were amazed by how gentle Eldoie was with her brother. She was curious about him and smiled when she saw his little face. “This is Zaire, he’s your brother.”
Eldoie gently patted her brother’s head and Nestor let out a little laugh. “Be gentle.”
“He’s so beautiful.” Becky said.
“And strong.” Hector added. “He’s going to be so spoiled with two sets of grandparents.”
“Remember he can’t have any sweets until he’s a year, it could make him sick.” Jaylyn said.
“We understand, we’ll be careful.”
As they all hungout Jaylyn really felt like this was going to work out. Her parents had made up and were happy and they were still being amazing people to her and her children. Everything was so perfect and neither she not Nestor could be happier than they were sitting there with their newborn baby daughter and family.
~ The End