“So you must be Alina’s son. Zack was it?” I asked the young man who had approached me while I was outside getting the mail.
“Yes, ma’am. My name is Zack Taylor. My mother told me that you might be looking for someone to participate in your challenge.” he responded politely.
“So tell me Zack. Why exactly do you want to participate in my challenge?”
“My mother has always loved children, but she doesn’t have a whole lot of grandchildren to spoil. I would like to give her a couple.”
“That’s a wonderful reason, Zack.” We spoke for another brief minute before I invited him inside.
As we made our way inside, Zack made a suggestion as to where we should conceive Baby #70. Intrigued by the idea, I agreed.
Zack seemed very impressed with himself afterwards.
After escorting Zack out of the house, I made my way back upstairs and into the nursery to check on Jade. She wasn’t feeling very well so I spent the rest of the morning rocking her and singing lullabies to her.
There she is. You can do this. Just talk to her. Say hello. Say anything. Come on already.
I had been planted in this spot for the past five minutes trying to convince my mouth to work. Standing in front of me completely unaware of my existence was the most beautiful girl in the entire high school. You can probably guess why my mouth is refusing to process what my brain has been telling it to do. I know I probably looked like a complete idiot, but I refuse to leave without speaking to her.
Who is she? Her name is Hadley Moon. We have gone to school together since we were kids, and I think I’ve been in love with her equally as long. The problem is, she doesn’t know I am alive. Not that I blame her. I’m not exactly the most social guy in the world.
I try to mentally psych myself up once again, and this time, words actually come out. The wrong words.
“Beautiful.” is the word that escapes my lips.
“Isn’t she though?” Hadley speaks as she turns around.
Oh thank goodness, she thought I was talking about the horse.
Introductions were made. As I predicted, she didn’t remember me. She even introduced me to the horse she had been brushing whose name was Clover. She really was a beautiful horse and very gentle. As she continued to talk about Clover, my mind drifted to wedding bells.
“So Logan, what are you doing here on such a beautiful day?” Hadley asked.
Stalking you probably wouldn’t be the most charming answer to give to this question. I had thought about this question though when I first became so dead set on talking to this girl.
“I have always wanted to take riding lessons, but I couldn’t ask my mom to pay for it. I wanted to know if there was a way I could work off the riding lessons by volunteering or something?”
Hadley agreed to teach me how to ride. We met everyday after school for months. I didn’t tell her that all the things she taught me those first few days I already knew and had learned from the books my mom had picked up for me. I just wanted to spend more time with her regardless if I already knew what she was talking about.
After the first few weeks, however, she started to teach me the more advanced stuff. Like racing and jumping. It took years to become an accomplished rider, but with Hadley’s help, I was doing things that I never thought I’d be able to do so soon. If I did something wrong or if there was a way I could improve, Hadley was there to give me pointers.
But we were nothing more than friends. A rider and his teacher. I wanted so desperately to be more with this fantastic girl who I had so much in common with. But I’ve never been that type of guy. I don’t know how to flirt. I’m good with the environment, not words.
Three months had passed before I finally gained enough courage to ask Hadley out, but even then my invitation didn’t come out right.
“My family is going to be attending the festival this weekend. Would you like to come hang out with us?”
“Sure.” Hadley said with a smile. Such a beautiful smile.
I knew I was in trouble the moment that I arrived at the festival. My family never intended on attending the festival. They all had their own things going on – even Lindsay was busy with something after school that day. I had known they would be able to attend, and now I could only hope that maybe Hadley had forgotten about this being a group outing.
She didn’t though.
“Hey! Where is everyone? I’m really excited to meet your family.” Hadley said as she approached me.
“They, um, couldn’t make it.” My voice trailed off as I tried to think of an explanation as to why they couldn’t be here. Maybe I should just tell her the truth. No that wouldn’t go over well.
“I’m sure we can still have a good time. I can meet your family some other time.” Hadley responded. The fact that my family couldn’t attend never seemed to faze her.
I reached into a bag I had brought with me and pulled out a small white box with red ribbon. “I got you something. It’s nothing special, just something I wanted you to have.”
She opened the small gift and pulled out a picture frame. Inside was a picture I had taken during those first few weeks of our riding lessons. The picture was of her with her arms around Clover’s neck.
“It’s beautiful Logan. Thank you”
We spent the next several minutes playing games and watching a pie eating contest. I even somehow managed to invite her to skate with me. If I could have imagined the perfect date, this would have been it – even if Hadley didn’t feel the same.
But I could have sworn as we continued skating that she did feel the same way. We skated closer, even holding hands. We stared at each other, although we never made eye contact. Each taking turns looking at the other. I was happier than I had been in a very long time.
That’s when our moment was broken. It all happened so fast. One minute I was smiling at her and the next, my feet were coming out from under me. My sudden loss of balance ended up causing her to lose her balance as well. We both fell to the hard floor.
I looked up in horror. I was so afraid that I had hurt her. That my clumsiness had caused her to get seriously hurt. As Hadley’s eyes met mine, however, she burst out laughing. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t stop the laughter that came out of my own mouth. We just lay there in the center of the skating ring, laughing uncontrollably.
Before leaving the festival, Hadley and I got our picture taken. We both wanted to remember this fun day, and I wanted to have a picture of her so I could still smile on the days I didn’t get to see her.
Things were changing between us, but I wasn’t sure how much things would change. Would Hadley be my girlfriend? Did she even want to be my girlfriend? Would she get mad if I kissed her?
My pregnancy has been progressing slowly over the past few months. I have been going a bit stir crazy waiting for this little one to arrive. It has been such a long time since I’ve had a single toddler running around that I always seem to forget how much extra time I have when there is only one to care for. I’ve been going so crazy at home during the day that I have added a few new plants to the garden.
Well maybe more than just a few.
Logan has been acting differently since he started to hang out with a girl from his school. Don’t get me wrong, he has always been a good boy. Good grades, concerned with helping the environment, and always the first to offer to help me with anything involving the outdoors, but lately he’s somehow being more helpful and thoughtful.
Logan even made the suggestion that we add a beekeeping box so that we can harvest the fresh honey and beeswax instead of having to purchase it from the store. I thought it was an excellent idea, but worried about being around the bees while pregnant. Logan promised he would care for the bees while he was living at home.
On top of everything he seems to do around the house, he also spend an hour after school at the local stable volunteering and helping take care of the horses. The stable manager agreed to give him free riding lessons in return, but it’s still such a huge responsibility. I have a feeling it is all the influence of this new girl in his life that is making him even more of a wonderful young man.
When Logan came home after volunteering one afternoon telling me that his favorite horse was going to be shipped to a neighboring town because the stable owner no longer had room for her, my heart broke for him.
That’s how Clover became a part of the family.
Before long it was time for birthdays.
This new baby is in absolutely no rush to get here. With Jade attending school now, I have even more time on my hands during the day. So much so that I was tempted to go out and get a job one day. I quickly decided against it because of what happened the last time I went of the house this heavily pregnant. I had no interest in being seen in the papers again.
I guess painting will have to keep me busy.
I got so bored at home that I invited Alina over to the house. She showed up and I learned that she was only about a month behind me in her own pregnancy. She also introduced me to her sister, Christine.
All three of us heavily pregnant with only a few weeks difference between us.
We all got along really well. We laughed and joked about how our children would probably be the best of friends since they were so close in age.
The following morning while I was tending my garden, I felt the familiar pains of labor.
Welcome Baby #70, Adam…
I would like to thank Alina Taylor/Valcool for the use of both of her former challenge moms (Alina and her sister Christine) as well as Alina’s son, Zack. When I originally played this update out, she was still doing her challenges, but unfortunately she lost her challenges because of a computer glitch.
I would like to also thank Cassidy for suggesting the name Adam.
I hope you enjoyed this two part post. Please comment with your thoughts. The next part (although very long) will be done in one post and I hope to work on that sometime this weekend.