Friday, April 20, 2012

Chapter 4-3: Not Strong Enough

                She tried to be calm but seeing both her father and the estranged father of her daughter at her front door was almost too much to bear. Without a word, she turned heel and went to the nursery to put Brielyn down so she could deal with this. “What are they doing here? What are they doing here together? What am I going to do?

                 “Yalena, honey, who are those people,” Ace asked as he found her standing by the crib.
                “It’s my  father and Glen, Brielyn’s father,” she responded heavily. If she expected comfort, she wasn’t going to get it.

                 “Yalena, I thought you said he was no longer in your lives? You lied to me,” he accused.
                “No, Ace, I’ve…”she tried to explain but he didn’t give her a chance.

                 “Look, I can’t do this right now. I don’t know what’s going on but I’m out of here.” He angrily spat at her and stormed out.

                Lyric couldn’t help but overhear the entire conversation from the living room. The nursery didn’t exactly have a door. It wasn’t his fault they were so loud.

                 He also couldn’t hide the smile that crept over his face as Ace declared his intent to leave.

                 Frustrated with the situation and barely able to believe Ace would just walk out like that, Yalena marched to the kitchen where the two men were waiting.

                “Both of you, in the hall, now,” she commanded.

                 ‘Yalena, I just want…” her father began.
                “Just. Stop. I don’t care what you want. I don’t even know what you are doing here. You certainly weren’t invited.”

                 “Yalena, listen,” Verne ordered. She finally quieted, just for a moment. He was still her father, like him or not. “I found out just a few weeks ago. I was so angry that you had lied to me and ran away. But the more I started thinking about it, the more I realized that I had to let you make your own decisions and mistakes.”
                Yalena eyed her father warily. Glen wasn’t in jail but she didn’t know where he was going with this.
                “Look, you practically grew up with your mother. Your sisters did grow up without her. Your grandfather practically had no parents. That’s no way for a child to be raised. So I found Glen and asked him to come here, with me. I don’t agree about your relationship and I don’t certainly don’t approve of it, but he is your child’s father.”
                “You’re forgetting something,” Yalena snapped. “I lost my father too, when my mother died. I need time to think about all this and I’m not ready to forgive you. Please leave.”
                Verne knew when to stay and when to go. He just hoped that this small step towards her was in the right direction and she would forgive him, one day.

                As Verne resigned himself to not being welcome and turned to leave, Glen turned back to Yalena.
                “And you,” she turned on Glen. “After what you told me two years ago, what right do you have to show up now, unannounced?”
                “I’m sorry,” he threw his hands in the air, as is proclaiming his innocence. “I never knew you were going to go through with it.”

                 “Well, you might have, had you bothered to even call. Obviously you figured it out.”
                 “Look, I’m sorry I didn’t check in with you. I was stupid and I was scared. Being arrested had never been my idea of where I wanted my life to go.”
                “And you think being a single, teen mother was my dream?” Yalena wasn’t interested in excuses.
                “No, but…”
                “But nothing. You were a coward. And you left me to take the fall on my own.”
                “Can I see her,” he asked.
                “No. Not today. This is a day to celebrate and the people who have been in her lives from the start are the ones who are welcome.”

                 “She’s my daughter too,” he protested.
                “You don’t get to decide that. She may be your biological daughter but you’ve done nothing to earn a spot in her life. We’ll talk later.” With that she headed back in the house and slammed the door behind her, locking it.

                In the end, it was just Yalena, Jeanie, and Lyric that celebrated little Brielyn’s birthday. Yalena had hoped Ace would change his mind and come back, but having Verne and Glen appear, unannounced was almost more than she had been able to handle. Asking a new boyfriend to quickly come to terms with it wasn’t fair. She hoped he would allow her to explain soon though.

                 As much as she was mad at Glen and wanted to deny his reappearance in their lives, looking at her daughter prevented her from being able to do that. Brielyn had his coloring, top to bottom.

                 Having a toddler now wasn’t any easier than an infant. Brielyn needed to be taught to walk and talk. She needed to be potty trained and socialized. She needed so many things more than she had as just a cute and cuddly baby. Yalena started with the potty training because, let’s face it, no one likes a dirty diaper! She felt even more exhausted than before and began thinking of letting Glen visit with her, just so she could get some peace and quiet. In the end though, she was still mad and not ready to forgive him.

                “I’m so glad you could make it,” she hugged Lyric as he arrived at the dance club. It was Yalena’s coming of age birthday party. She would finally be an adult and graduate from school. She worried that she wouldn’t be able to find a job to make ends meet anymore. She had saved all of her allowance and Xander had given her the money her father had been sending to support her. But now, as an adult, she would truly be on her own. She needed to find a job, promptly.

                 “Where’d you get that,” Jeanie asked, noting the drink in Yalena’s hand.
                “It’s my birthday, I’m allowed now,” she smirked back.
                “Yeah, yeah, just…be careful.”
                “Oh, stop being so protective. Anyway, why hasn’t Ace shown up?” She and Ace had made up over the phone but hadn’t seen each other since Brielyn’s disastrous birthday. He had been invited to Yalena’s birthday party but had been noncommittal about whether he would actually come. Since he wasn’t here, she guessed that he wouldn’t be showing up.
                “Yalena, he said he needed time to think about things. Just be patient,” Jeanie cautioned.

                 However, as the night went on, Yalena couldn’t help thinking about the situation even more. She didn’t know why he needed time to think. It’s not like she really lied. And it wasn’t like she wanted to get back together with Glen. “Well, I don’t think I do anyway.” The more she thought about it, and the more she drank, the more angry she felt.

                Yalena grabbed another drink and headed over to Lyric. With the light shining on her like that, and with that faraway, sad look in her eyes, he could barely help not grabbing her into a big hug. He tried not to look at her, but no such luck.

                “God, why do guys have to be such jerks,” she complained.
                “Which guys are we talking about here? Surely not me,” he grinned at her, clinging to his sarcastic, cocky attitude like a life preserver.
                “All guys. Ace is such a dick. It’s my fucking birthday. How can he not be here? And you, shouldn’t you be with Katherine? Where is that redheaded demon girlfriend of yours anyway?”
                “Eh, she’s around. She had some fancy dinner party with her family tonight.”
                “She’s a dick too. Not inviting you, how rude.”
                “Like I want to play dress up for her anyway,” he smirked. Though, truth be told, he had wanted that invitation. He had been playing the dutiful boyfriend long enough that he figured it was time to be introduced to the family. But no, she wasn’t interested in bringing him home to daddy just yet. He was starting to think she was using him just as much as he was using her, though for what was the question.

                Yalena headed back to the bar for yet more drinks. Three in and she was having a fantastic time with her friends, dancing and celebrating her arrival into adulthood. Four down and now she was beginning to seethe at all the disappointments the men in her life had been. At five, she began to feel self-pity and loneliness. “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me,” she sobbed into her drink. She lurched towards the bathroom, stumbling a bit on the way.

                 She stumbled straight into Lyric, coming out of the restroom.
                “You,” she gasped.
                “You’ve always been there,” she slurred as she pressed her body against him, hand tangling in his hair. 

                 “Yalena, what are you doing,” he asked, pushing her back but not quite letting go. He could not believe this could actually be happening.
                “Shhh,” she whispered. “Can you take me home now?”

                 After a short cab ride back to the apartment, Lyric relieved the babysitter and brought Yalena inside. Her hands were all over him, kisses moist and sweet against his neck. He picked her up and set her on the kitchen table, unable to make it any farther into the house. He wanted her since he met her and now, his dream was coming true.

                She leaned in to kiss him and missed his face completely. It was then that he realized he couldn’t go through with it. Not like this. As much as he wanted her, as long as he had waited for her to finally realize that he was the guy she could depend on, he wasn’t going to have their first time be something she wouldn’t remember. He wanted her to remember how she needed him, wanted her to be completely aware of just how good he would be for her. “But she does want me. Who cares if it’s now or tomorrow?

                She retched on the floor, utterly killing any second thoughts he might have just been having. He carried her to the couch, and cleaned up the mess before joining her. He may not be willing to sleep with her tonight but he damn well was going to stay with her. She fell asleep in his lap, holding on to him. As they lay there, he even considered ending this farcical relationship with Katherine.

                 Yalena woke the next morning, surprised to find herself tangled with Lyric on the couch. She stank of booze and cigarettes from the bar and her head pounded like hammer does an anvil. She stood, probably a little too quickly which woke Lyric.
                “What the hell,” she grumbled. She braced herself against the couch, one part dizziness, one part total mortification at finding herself in this situation.

                “Morning sunshine,” he grinned at her, leaning in to kiss her.
                ‘What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
                ‘You don’t remember last night? Any of it?”
                “I don’t remember inviting you to come over and stay the night? What the hell Lyric?”
                “You certainly did invite me over.”
                “And you thought to take advantage of the situation?”
                “You practically begged me to rip off your clothes in the cab.” He was pissed now. She pleads with him and stares at him with those big, green eyes, wanting him and he restrains himself and now he’s the bad guy? “If anyone took advantage it was you knowing how I feel about you. Your pretty boy doesn’t want you anymore and you think to make yourself feel better, or him jealous by fucking me. Too bad I’m not that kind of guy.”
                “You’re a total prick. Get the fuck out. Now.”

                 “With pleasure. Good luck finding another revenge fuck,” he said, slamming the door behind him.

Chapter 4.2                                                                                                                                              Chapter 4.4

Monday, April 16, 2012

Chapter 4-2: Lover to Lover

                Yalena need not have worried. She and baby Brielyn were released from the hospital the following day. Both mother and baby were healthy and ready to resume normal life.

                 It did not take Yalena long to discover just why Xander had wanted her to find her own place. The apartment had been cozy, in her eyes, before Brielyn arrived. Now it was cramped and not a one of the residents could get a moment of privacy or peace. Yalena began searching for an affordable apartment near the school.

                Though it didn’t take Yalena long to acknowledge the merits of moving out, it took even less time for Xander to take back his terms. He fell in love with Brielyn the moment that she had been brought home and could always be found snuggling her or taking care of her needs. Yalena needed not for a babysitter when she was in school.

                 “Yalena, really, I don’t mind if the two of you stay,” he offered one day.
                “Xan, you were right. This apartment is too small for the three of us,” she admitted.
                Xander would be sad to see them go but the apartment they were moving to was just up the road so, hopefully he would have time to visit often.

                Yalena finally arrived at her new home, ready to begin her life as an adult. Her birthday may be a few years off yet but she knew that it was time to grow up and live on her own. She hadn’t had time to do a walkthrough of the premises between school and Brielyn and homework and everything else she needed to do but the real estate agent had assured her it was a good find.

                 It was a townhouse style home that had been converted into apartments. The apartment itself was small enough to be affordable but large enough for her and her daughter. Best of all, it was right next to the school so she would be close by. When her boxes of belongings, all three of them, had been moved in, Yalena stood and surveyed her new home. “It will do for now,” she thought to herself, pleased with her choice.

                 Lyric was the first to stop by and congratulate her on the house her very first night there. She made dinner for them and they sat in the middle of the living room, catching up.

                 “Can I meet her,” he finally asked.
                He hadn’t come to visit her in the hospital, though Yalena suspected that Jeanie had something to do with that. Everything had been so emotional and overwhelming that guests had really been the last thing she needed.

                “How did you decide on the name,” he asked, gazing down at the infant.
                “Well, you know about my mom. So that is where the Brie comes from. And, even though he’s not in our lives anymore, I wanted something for Glen, so that’s the lyn part. Brielyn. It sounded pretty enough.”
                “She’s beautiful.”

                 Yalena put her daughter back to bed. She was surprised and slightly worried about how much her baby slept but she had been assured that it was normal for babies to sleep as much as Brielyn did. Never though did she sleep through the night or let Yalena get a full night’s rest, resulting in exhaustion pretty much 24/7.

                 “Um, Lyric, can I ask you a favor,” Yalena mumbled.
                “Anything,” he responded. Though he hadn’t brought it up to her, he was fully aware that she had distanced herself from him the last few weeks and, not having her around as much, had made him want her even more. He would have done practically anything to get back in her good graces. Anything but dump Katherine, that is. He still needed her connections.

                “I’ve never spent the night by myself before. Can you, will you, spend the night? I’m kind of scared to be alone,” she confessed. “I only have sleeping bags though.”
                “It’ll be like camping. Without the bugs and dirt and lack of bathroom,” he joked.
                They changed into their pajamas and settled down to sleep. Moving and Brielyn had tuckered Yalena out and she was asleep in minutes. Lyric however got less sleep that night than he had in awhile, laying there beside her, so close but so far away.

                 “Damn it, my teacher wants to hold me after class to discuss my almost failing grade,” Yalena complained to Jeanie that day at lunch. “Doesn’t he know I just had a baby?”
                “Just go. Maybe he can help you get back on track. You do want to graduate on time, right?”
                “Yeah but Xander has band practice. He can’t watch Brielyn after three.”
                “I’ll do it,” Jeanie offered.
                “Yeah, and I’ll assist. Don’t want to leave Jeanie alone with her,” Lyric piped in as he joined them at the table. Jeanie glowered from across the table but said nothing.

                While Yalena met with her  teacher, Lyric and Jeanie came to an uneasy truce so they could work on something for Yalena. She was always the glue that held their little group together and, without her there, it was more difficult to play nice. Jeanie still disapproved of his relationship with Katherine and he still held her very nature against her. They worked silently, side by side, with little Brielyn’s crib rolled out to the hall so she was far enough from the fumes but close enough to keep an eye on.

                When Yalena arrived home, they had finished the nursery. They had managed to paint and decorate in the entire afternoon. She didn’t know how they had managed but it was beautiful and she was beyond grateful. They had even bought a mobile and a rocking chair for the room. ”I have the best friends,” she thought, failing at holding back her tears of happiness.

                She and Jeanie made plans for Friday night. It had been a long time since they had been to the arcade, or so it seemed. Ever since Brielyn had been born, the amount of time Yalena had to do the things she wanted to do had greatly decreased.

                “Hey Yalena, something came up and I can’t make it,” Jeanie called, canceling as Yalena already sat waiting.
                “Alright, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow,” she sighed.
                “Canceled date,” an attractive man asked from the other end of the bar.
                “I guess you could call it that. My best friend,” Yalena explained.

                “Hi, I’m Ace,” he stood and introduced himself.
                “Ace? For real,” she raised an eyebrow.
                He laughed. “Yes, Ace. My parents have high expectations for me.”

                She ended up staying at the arcade and chatting with Ace for the duration of the time that she had the babysitter. They exchanged numbers and continued to conversation throughout the next couple of weeks. Yalena learned that he was the oldest child, had a younger sister, and had high profile parents. That was the extent of information he gave her about his family though. They talked mostly about their dreams and lives on their own. She was upfront about Brielyn as well. They quickly became friends but the subtle flirting hinted at something more.

                “Oh my Watcher, it’s him,” Yalena exclaimed  to Jeanie and Lyric one afternoon when her phone rang as they stood around in the courtyard.
                “Uh huh…uh huh….sure, that sounds great. I’ll meet you at seven,” she was smiling as she hung up the phone. “That was him. He asked me out on a date! I have to hurry home and get ready. And persuade the sitter to stay longer.”

                So engrossed in this little victory, she failed to notice Lyric’s look of dismay.

                Yalena and Ace met at a nearby lounge for drinks and dancing. He knew she was underage but he had a connection at the bar and they allowed her in. She stuck to virgin drinks but they had a fantastic time.

                “Why is that woman staring? Do you know her,” she asked Ace as they danced in the middle of the room.
                “She’s staring at you. She’s jealous because you’re the most beautiful woman in here.”

                Finally, the night began to wind down, for Yalena at least. She had to get home to relieve her babysitter and, as much as she liked Ace, she loved her daughter more. She liked to snuggle her at night, even after she had gone to sleep.

                “Alright, I think I should head home.”
                “Can I walk you home,” Ace asked with a twinkle in his eye.
                “You may, but you’ll stay at the door,” Yalena answered laughing, but completely serious. She wasn’t ready to introduce him to Brielyn yet. She wasn’t sure where the relationship was going and she wanted to be more sure of that first.
                “That works for me.”

                So walk her home he did. They stood at the door, saying goodbye and, eventually, he leaned in for a goodnight kiss. It was short and sweet, rather shy even, but it was very nice. Yalena hadn’t kissed a guy since Glen. Thinking back, she hadn’t kissed him since their secret rendezvous that resulted in Brielyn.

                Ace and Yalena continued dating. They spent a lot of time out together but neither was quite ready to take the next step. She hadn’t introduced him to Brielyn and he hadn’t introduced her to his family either. It wasn’t until Brielyn’s birthday that Yalena finally decided it was time to push their relationship to the next level. She decided to throw a small party with her brother and best friends and invited Ace along.

                Ace, having finally been accepted in fully, rarely left Yalena’s side. He was there to help her set up, he helped her with Brielyn when necessary, and just enjoyed being around her. Lyric was unhappy with the situation. He didn’t like Ace but he didn’t know why. It might have something to do with his relationship with Yalena but there was something else too, something he couldn’t quite put his finger on. “I’ll have to keep an eye on him,” he declared, at least to himself.

                Just as she taking Brielyn over to her cake, her doorbell rang. She answered, and gasped.

                “Dad, what are you doing here,” she exclaimed.

                 “I…,” he started but, before he could finish, another person appeared over his shoulder in the doorway.


Chapter 4.1                                                                                                                                              Chapter 4.3

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Chaper 4-1: Somewhere Trouble Don't Go

                She arrived in the city tired, exhausted, and felt gritty from riding buses and in cabs to get to her brother’s apartment. After her last meeting with Glen, she had known he was right. There was no way her father would let her and Glen be together. It didn’t matter that they really did love each other, all her father could see was age. She couldn’t let him find out about the baby. At the same time, she couldn’t just get rid of it. She had felt it kick already and had formed an attachment. As na├»ve as she had been about her happily ever after, this baby was still created out of love and she was going to keep it. So to Xander she went.

                She rang the doorbell apprehensively. She wasn’t sure what to expect and, though she had sworn Wren to secrecy, she wasn’t sure if her sister had kept her end of the bargain.
                “Hi, Xan,” she greeted him warmly, waiting for his reaction.
                “Hey lil’ sis. What are you doin’ here,” he grinned back at her. Then he noticed the suitcases by her feet. “Were you planning on staying awhile?”
                “Well, um, I kind of need a place to stay. I was offered a, er, an exchange program here in the city for my music talents,” she lied, uneasily. Xander caught on immediately.
                “You never have been good at lying. What’s really going on?”

                 “Okay, fine. But if you tell dad, I swear I’ll disappear from all of you.” Xander rolled his eyes at her dramatics but stayed silent to listen.
                “I’m’ pregnant.” His eyes flew to her stomach. “Dad doesn’t know and I don’t want him to know. He blames me for mom’s death, told me so himself, and we’ve barely talked since I became a teenager. It’s none of his business.”
                Feeling as though he has no choice in the matter, Xander invites her inside.

                 Their lives don’t adjust easily to one another. Xander had escaped Twinbrook to make a life of his own and now his little sister is crashing with him and about to have a baby. He has a one bedroom apartment, without even an actual door to the bedroom. It was comfy for him. For the two of them, it feels a little cramped. Yalena finds waking up in a strange bed, in a strange town disconcerting but at the same time, surprisingly freeing.

                 Until one morning when Xander sits down with her to breakfast to discuss their agreement.
                “Look, I promised not to tell dad you were pregnant. And I haven’t. But he knows you’re here. Obviously he’s not as observant at home as he is at work because he believed that crap about an exchange program and has no idea that you, well, that you’re in this predicament.”
                “I told you as much,” she retorted.
                “Look, I don’t care if you are pregnant, you’re going to school. You’re not just going to sit around the house and mope and eat and mooch of me. You’ll go to school and you’ll get a job. Dad is sending me money to help pay for your ‘expenses’ and when you have your baby, you’ll need to get your own place. You put yourself in an adult situation, you can have all the responsibilities of one too.”

                 She couldn’t believe her brother would be so mean to her. “What does he know about responsibility? He goes out and does what he wants and doesn’t have to answer to anyone”. She didn’t want him ratting her out to her father though so she finally got enrolled in the school down the street.

                Yalena had never been to a new school before. She had been going to the same school with the same group of kids since she was first in grade school. Making friends did not come easy to her and her situation made her more shy than normal. She steered clear of the kids and, most of the time, they steered clear of her as well.

                “Oh, God, Lyric, have you ever seen such a cow,” a pretty redhead laughed into the ear of her equally attractive boyfriend while her 2 friends whispered to each other. Katherine Therrien was one of the most popular girls in school and, of course, was a mean snob. Yalena decided to ignore the snark and just continue on home. No such luck was to be had that day.

                 “You’re from Twinbrook right,” she sneered as she walked up to Yalena, stopping her from making it down the sidewalk.
                “Um, yes,” Yalena answered, seeing no other option.
                “Ha, I thought so. And I remember now, you’re not fat, you’re pregnant. Which means that’s probably your brother’s baby or something. They’re all inbred down there in the swamp, didn’t you know,” Katherine giggled over her shoulder to her friends. Lyric at least had the decency to act a little embarrassed by his girlfriend’s behavior.

                 All of a sudden there was a flash of yellow and then there was a girl between her and Katherine. Yalena didn’t even see where she had come from.
                “Jeanie, I, I didn’t see you,” Katherine jumped when the girl appeared.

                 “Leave her alone Katherine,” Jeanie growled.
                “Fine,” Katherine regained her composure and gave them both the evil eye before flipping her hair and traipsing back off to her gaggle of followers.

                “Thanks for rescuing me back there.”
                “Yeah, no problem,” Jeanie muttered. “So, where did you come from.”
                “I really came from Twinbrook. But I’m not inbred,” Yalena asserted defiantly.
                “Yeah, I didn’t think so. Wanna talk about it?”
                “Not really.” So they sat and twirled on the sings for a while.

                 After that day, Yalena and Jeanie became fast friends. It was obvious in school that Jeanie wasn’t liked any better than Yalena. Jeanie never brought up her background or family but Yalena wasn’t one to pry. She finally opened up herself and told her story and figured that, when she was ready, Jeanie would as well.

                “Hey there new girl,” Lyric sauntered up to her in the public library one afternoon.
                “Um, hi,” she responded, not really knowing what he could possibly want.

                 “Sorry about Katherine. She likes to assert her dominance. If she could get away with peeing on things to mark her territory, I’m pretty sure she would.”
                Yalena couldn’t help but laugh with him. They stood talking for a few minutes. Lyric suddenly leaned in and tried to kiss her.
                “What are you doing,” she asked curiously, pulling back.
                “Kissing you.”

                 “I’m pregnant,” she looked down at her ever expanding belly pointedly.
                “Yeah, perfect for me. Don’t have to worry about that,” he laughed, but she was unable to tell if he was joking. “What, no kiss? Don’t you know who I am?”
                She looked at him blanky.
                “Lyric Sabo. As in, Briar Sabo and Cashmere Sabo’s only son. I’m quite the catch.”

                 “Seems like you’re already wriggling on someone else’s hook,” she replied, still not knowing who the Sabos were or why she should care.
                He pulled back and, to her surprise, laughed. “I like you, you’ve got spunk.”

                 Later that week, Yalena met Jeanie at the J&J Arcade to hang out and unwind after the school week.
                “So, Lyric and I hung out at the library the other day,” Yalena confessed to her friend as they played a game of pool.
                “You did what? Yalena, he’s bad news. Just stay away from him.”
                Yalena hung her head, knowing that Jeanie probably knew what she was talking about and dropped the conversation. She couldn’t stop thinking about it though. She wondered what Lyric had ever done, besides be Katherine’s boy toy.

                 “Jeanie, I can’t help it, I think I really like him,” she approached the subject once again upstairs in the arcade room. “And, I already feel kind of guilty about it because of Glen. I haven’t talked to him since he told me that the baby was a mistake. He doesn’t even know I am having it but I still feel like just hanging out with Lyric is being unfaithful to him.”
                “You know, I don’t know that he’s a bad guy, per se. But Katherine, Katherine is a world class bitch who will do anything to get her way, no matter who she hurts in the process. If you take her boyfriend, she will retaliate and there is no telling what she might do. She’s got the money and the connections to be a big pain in the ass.”
                “Yeah, I guess. I don’t know that I want him as a boyfriend though. Maybe just a friend. I don’t know.”
                “Look, Lena, it seems to me you’re estranged from your family and your boyfriend and pregnant to boot. Do you really want Katherine Therrien on your ass too?”

                 “No, I guess you’re right.”
                “I’ll try to be friends with him so we can all hang out together. And then Katherine can’t get too pissed if she finds out, okay?”
                “Okay,” Yalena grinned, markedly cheered up by the thought.

                Thus the pair becomes a trio. Never in school, mind you. Lyric and Jeanie both are well aware of Katherine’s temper and neither feel that their friendship is worth the risk. Jeanie isn’t too sure that the secret friendship is worth it either but she sees how having people in her life that care about her makes a difference to Yalena. It can’t be easy, being in her shoes. So Jeanie does her best to behave and include Lyric when possible.          

                Lyric sends them both a text that day in school, inviting them over for a slumber party. His parents are rarely home, usually off traveling for work or traveling just because. His older sisters have all but disappeared from the face of the planet and his other sisters are either home schooled or in private schools around the country. Lyric often has a free run of their lavish penthouse in the city and Katherine is supposed to be off on a family retreat for the weekend so it will be the perfect time for the secret group to hang out.

                The penthouse is one of the most gorgeous homes Yalena has ever seen. Though not a huge sprawling place, it has a commanding view of the city and hills around it. She can’t imagine waking up to such pretty scenery.
                “Careful Lena, Jeanie there looks like she wants to eat your baby,” Lyric jokes as Jeanie talks to her belly.

                 “Hush it Sabo or I’ll hush it for you,” Jeanie growls. Yalena isn’t sure why this would be offensive but she doesn’t have time to ask before the doorbell rings.

                “Shit, it’s Katherine. I should have known she would want to say goodbye. Quick, hide. I’ll keep her at the door.”
                The girls rush to the other side of the wall, close to the edges so Katherine won’t be able to see them from the foyer.

                “Hi baby, I thought we were going to meet up so you could see me off,” Katherine pouts.
                “I’m sorry, I’ve got a big test on Monday so I wanted to get started early. I completely forgot,” Lyric lied smoothly.
                “You know, if I didn’t know any better, I’d think you didn’t love me anymore.”
                ‘What? No baby, I love you, promise! Now quick, give me a kiss or you’re going to miss your plane.”

                 As the exchange had been going on, Jeanie noticed Yalena stiffen and then turn her head, trying to avoid the conversation. They were too close to the door to risk moving and being heard so they had to stay and listen. As soon as the door closed behind them though, Yalena, as quickly as her pregnant waddle would allow for, made her way up the stairs to one of the Sabo sister’s rooms where they had placed their bags.

                “Watcher, Sabo, you’re such a dick,” Jeanie practically attacked him.
                “What are you talking about”.
                “You’re so blind. Can’t you see Yalena is starting to have feelings for you? And then you sit there and profess your love for Katherine right in front of her,” she seethes. “Why do you even stay with her anyway.”
                “Her father is one of the biggest producers this side of the capital. Sure, I could get my family to sign me with a label but I want to do it myself. If playing nice with Katherine will help get my foot in the door, I will do it. Who are you to be so righteous,” he argues though he can’t help hoping that he hasn’t blown his chance with Yalena.

                 Upstairs, Jeanie finds Yalena quietly staring into the pillows. She changes into her nightgown and flops down next to her.
                “Wanna talk about it,” Jeanie quietly prods her friend back to the present.

                 “I dunno. I mean, I like Lyric. He’s funny and we both love music and, and, I dunno. But I still think about Glen every day. But hearing Lyric tell Katherine he loves her, it just makes me think that nobody really means it when they say it. I don’t know if Glen even really loved me anymore. He hasn’t tried to contact me once, all this time I’ve been gone.” With that, Yalena burst into tears and spent the rest of the night sobbing on her friend’s shoulder.

                After the disastrous weekend, Yalena begins to withdraw from Lyric. They still hang out occasionally, always with Jeanie in tow, but it’s clear to Yalena that guys are not to be trusted. They will say or do whatever they need to so they can get what they want. Most of her time is spent with Jeanie at the park or the arcade or wherever she can go and pretend to just be a carefree teenager for a little longer.

                It’s one night, when they are at Xander’s apartment, working on homework, when Yalena’s water breaks. Jeanie is shocked and not sure what to do but quickly snaps to it and calls a cab as she gets Yalena safely to the elevator.

                 As she walks into the hospital and waits by the receptionist’s desk to be checked in, Yalena tries to not think about how scared she is. She never imagined that this would be her life. And, when she did find out she was pregnant, she never thought she would be going through it alone. She couldn’t help but think of her mother’s last visit to the hospital and how she had never come home.

                 The nurse quickly got her a wheelchair and started the trek down the long hall to the maternity ward. “I wonder if Xander will take care of my baby if anything happens to me,” she thinks as another contraction washes over her.

Chapter 3.12                                                                                                                                           Chapter 4.2
Generation 4 has officially started! Not much to say about this chapter though I will admit that a lot of the pictures were taken in alternate saves. Damn this 3 day pregnancy nonsense. Also, yes, I said "fuck you" to the rules. Twinbrook was so small and crowded and was missing so many of the newer lots from EPs. I ran out of space trying to fit them.

Lyric Sabo and Jeanie Fierce are both from Cece's legacies: Lyric from the Sabos, naturally, and Jeanie is from her new, Sari Random Legacy. I am most appreciative for her use of them! Also, the new town is Storybrook County by My Sims Realty though I have added some lots and made some changes.