Last month during lunch in the cafeteria, Rashid Cunningham had slipped Erline Valdes a small note asking her to call him. She never did.
He was too, when he never heard from her. It was her moment to find out where he stood with her. And Rashid was ready to put his heart and his future on the line to step up and be a man...in his way; on his own terms. He would've told her that he was ready to step up. But, by the time Erline got home, exhausted from her first full day back in school...the fantasy had died and reality had set in. What if? She asked herself. What if he's not the father? Why mess with his head? She'd done enough of that already.
She spent the last several months fantasizing back and forth about Rashid and Ray, bouncing from one to the other with dreams of being a family. She swallowed back the feelings of hurt and shame when she thought about Ray, her 1st love, and how he had used her and walked out on her in that motel, last summer; never to hear from him again.
Erline felt she needed to concentrate on herself, her baby, and her own goals, now. She realised that nobody but her family would be there for her. Shopping trips for only the basic necessities were the priority the last few weeks. Erline insisted on buying everything herself, but that was wishful thinking...she couldn't afford to do that. Her parents helped her buy a crib and changing table. She bought diapers, clothes, and formula.
The time seemed to go by so fast...when she felt the first pangs of labor hit her, she felt like she still wasn't prepared.
"Ok, now you're going to breathe through it, Erline...I need you to breathe through your nose and out your mouth...come on...." Dr. Trinity Dalton coached.
"It HURRRTS!!" Erline screamed, as her Mom, Emerita, prayed that her daughter and the baby get through this okay.
After hours of labor and pushing, the healthy 8 lbs/ 4 oz. baby finally arrived!
Dr. Dalton left to allow Erline her rest, it had been a long labor. The family needed to rally together and be there for Erline and her baby.
Tomorrow was going to be the end of a long and arduous wait.
The next day, Dr. Dalton arrived to check in on Erline and the baby. She admired Erline for her courage and for taking great care of herself during her pregnancy. Trinity noticed the beautiful baby being held by the new 'Uncle' Elmer; the pride on his face spoke volumes about this family.
"Are you ready to get this over with?" Dr. Dalton asked her.
"Oh yeah....I've been ready." Erline said with a nervous smile.
The Cunninghams were the first to arrive, followed shortly by the Wilsonoffs...everyone took their seats in the livingroom, trying to make small talk. But, what do you talk about at this kind of thing? How do you not notice the giant elephant in the room?
Mayor Cunningham decided to talk about Emerita's award-winning chili, asking if she'd made some. Evidently, her chili that day at the Expo was his favorite; he's raved about it for years now. (No offense, Tomika.) There were a few nervous chuckles out of the crowd, but no one was in the mood to eat.
Everyone was hoping to see the baby. Instead, they saw Dr. Trinity Dalton emerge from a back room and immediately...the air in the room thickened.
She stood in the middle of the livingroom and acknowledged everyone; thanked everyone for coming. After 2 seconds of silence, another door opened somewhere in the back...Erline emerged from the hallway with the new baby in tow.
The Cunninghams stood up and gathered around her. Tomika smiled at Erline with fresh tears forming in her eyes. "Oooh, my goodness!" She exclaimed with a small hint of glee in her voice.
Anyone could clearly see what the Cunninghams were thinking. It was written all over their faces...the baby noticeably favors Sabien, Sr. and Marchon.
"I told you it was going to be ok." Ray muttered in a low voice to his pregnant wife, Lydia.
The new grandmother, Emerita, took the baby to the back as Dr. Trinity Dalton prepared to give the results of the DNA.
"This morning, I talked with the Lab Technician at the SimCity DNA Testing Facility and he told me that the results did in fact come back with a valid reading. That just means, that the results were conclusive...we have a match."
Ray stood frozen, no matter what he'd just said to Lydia, he felt as if he couldn't move his arms or legs; not knowing what to do or how to act in the moment.
Rashid, on the otherhand, had fallen in love with the baby the instant he saw it. The instant he saw his mother's face light up; he knew he could do this...he was a little nervous, but he was ready. He rocked side to side on his feet, cradling himself with his folded arms.
Even Elmer felt the strains of finally knowing the truth. He felt sick to his stomach; queasy with nervousness, as he sat grounded to the dining table chair. As Erline's twin, he was feeling more anxious than she was showing it.
"Well...I'll just read what the letter says...." Trinity reached into her pocket and pulled out a small envelope. She seemed to move in slow motion as the letter was unfolded to reveal it's contents. You could've heard a pin drop on carpet...and that's impossible!
Here...you can open it up for yourselves. :P
Who guessed right?
*Gasps of surprise* Filled the air.
The small crowd dispersed. Some hugged...Erline and her father, Edward. Some collapsed in a sigh of relief, namely Tomika...Rashid sat down; knees shaking. Sabien, Sr. was ready to leave. This emotional scene was all too much for him. Some looked at me with the most anger and fury in their eyes (!), and some cried...
I didn't do this - YOU did. I shouted at Ray, into the computer monitor.
I pulled the camera back just to make sure I was really seeing this right...he was looking directly at ME as if he knew! As if I had messed up his life!
He turned towards Lydia to comfort her. "Everything is going to be fine, Lydia, just like I said...I know I've said and done a lot of things, but I mean it. We're going to pull through this. I'm going to be there for you..for our family together..." He gave up. Lydia was inconsolable. All she could think of right now was that her baby is not her husband's first child.
"Get away from me, Ray. Go away and just let me get myself together." Lydia demanded.
He walked into the kitchen as Emerita and Erline were talking. Emerita is relieved to finally know, as is Erline, but Erline is not feeling as happy as she thought she would. Finding out that the love of her life is the father of her child, should've made her feel ecstatic, but this guy is not the guy she fell in love with years ago; plus, he's married to someone else now.
"Would you mind if we went into another room? I'd really like to hold my baby and talk to Erline privately." Ray asked.
Emerita led the way into Erline's room/nursery. She laid the baby down in the crib and stepped aside.
Dr. Dalton asks Lydia if she's ok. Once again, she lets her know if she needs to talk she can always call, or come by her office at the hospital.
At this point, Lydia has no idea what she's going to do. She's mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Ray held his first child with tears brimming in his eyes. Emerita smiled with joy as she watched the love and awareness of his baby wash over him.
As a mother, it was Emerita's prayer to see this happen with the new father, whoever it turned out to be...she knows that Ray will be there now, some kind of way, for Erline and her baby. She finally left the room, after seeing what she needed to see.
"It's like love at first sight." He said to Erline; tears falling down his cheek.
"Like I had with you." Erline sighed as she wiped his tears away with the back of her hand.
"Look, I know things didn't end right between us. I should've made more of an effort to be honest with you. I'm sorry you had to find out about my marriage like you did. And, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me....but, I'm gonna be here now. I'm not planning on leaving my wife...unless she leaves me. And if that happens, I don't know what I'm going to do. But all I'm saying is that I'll be here for you and the baby financially, as best I can. I don't have a lot, but I'll make it work. Okay? And, I'd also like to visit every once in awhile." Ray smiled.
Erline was happy with that and agreed.
Oops! Did I not tell you the sex of the baby?! Did I not give you a name?!
Did I do that on purpose?
Why...yes, I did. LOL! Just oooone more tiny little cliffhanger...my bad, I couldn't help myself. I didn't want to give it away before the full story was told; because I made something special and I wanted it to be significant. Now you can see below just who the latest resident of Simmington Hills is....just hit the 'Play' button. (there's no music this time.)
|So what should happen next? Should Lydia leave Ray? What do you guys think?|