In the last chapter, Cindy aged up into an elder, Gerald met April at the park, and Tykayla and Aden’s date ended with them going into labor.
Aden freaks out at the hospital.
This is our first time having a baby at the hospital. He panics. What if something goes wrong?
Tykayla is on her way in to find her room number.
Come on, Aden. This isn’t our first rodeo.
Aden makes the decision to follow her…
until he wanted to play computer games to ease his mind.
Whoa. They have free access to computers here? Maybe hospitals aren’t all bad.
As Aden distracts his self, Tykayla finds her room.
“So I just sit and lay in this?” She asks the nurse as she gathers her courage.
Now I’m getting nervous. She thinks. Aden, where are you?
Aden sprints down the hall.
Dang nabbit. I lost her. Did she go this way? or maybe this way.
After going through 3 corridors and 5 different rooms. He finally found her…
from the next room over.
“Hey sweetie!” He calls out through the glass. “I can see everything from over here”
Aden, why aren’t you over here? She thinks, but too weak to say aloud.
She gives one last push and her baby girl is born.
That could have went worse. She thinks as she gathers her composure.
She welcomes their baby girl into her arms.
“Hello, my Andrea.”
The following week… Tykayla and Aden enjoy parenthood.
Erin admires an old painting of hers.
Giles does his homework while his cousin, Tyler, keeps him company.
Gerald plays for tips again but this time at another venue, Park Oasis Springs.
To his surprise, his first audience member, was April from his last tip gig.
It wasn’t but until after his performance and their eyes met, that he noticed her bulging stomach.
“How far along are you?” He asks with uncertainty.
“I’m in my second trimester, now.” She answers. “Well you know..”
“You were pregnant the last time we saw each other, huh?” He asks.
“Yes..” She says. “I wasn’t showing then.”
They fall quiet, letting the awkward silence simmer.
“I didn’t expect to see you here.” She tries to break the ice. “You are much better then you were last time.”
“I suppose.” Gerald says in short trying to hide his emotions. “Thank you.”
“Well, I must be going.” She claims. “I think my fiance is waiting for me.”
This sends a pang through Gerald’s heart.
“Good luck on your pregnancy… and marriage.” He says with a faint smile.
She leaves him with his first heartache. I was actually starting to like her.
He pulls out his violin once again. I’ll pour it out into a song.
Tiana prepares the sides for her family dinner.
Everyone’s going to love tonight’s dish.
I can’t wait.
As everyone waits for dinner.
Cornell practices his mixologist skills.
Anastasia hangs out with Cindy.
“How does it feel to be older now, Cindy?” She asks her.
“Oh, honey. I still feel young.” Cindy answers. “I just want to travel and explore again like me and Pocahontas did that time.”
“I think that’s what I’ll do next week.” Cindy confirms. “But what about you? Are you ready to become a young adult. Your birthday is coming up soon.”
“Yes.” Anastasia excites. “I have already determined what I want to do, and in high school I can’t achieve that.”
“What is it that you’d like to achieve?” Cindy asks.
“An outreach to many people.” Anastasia answers. “In high school, there are too many like minded people because we are in the same age bracket, living in the same area. Going beyond school will give me access to many people of different backgrounds and ages. Also, who wants to listen to a teenager.”
“That’s a good analysis.” Cindy assures. “You’ll do great.”
Anastasia then calls George to come over for dinner.
“She’s finishing up cooking right now.” Anastasia tells him. “Dinner will be done soon.”
“Alright. See you then.” Anastasia hangs up with Cindy looking with curiousity.
“So who was that?” Cindy asks. “Someone special?”
“Aunty, let me tell you.” Anastasia starts explaining. “It’s not for me.”
Pocahontas takes out some time to practice gardening.
This is really soothing. I see why Cindy does it all the time.
Soon Tiana was calling the family into the dining room for a meal.
They all engage in the dinner.
“How did you like your meal?” Tiana asks George with his clean plate.
“It was delicious.” He assures. “Do you guys eat together like this a lot?”
“At least once every three weeks or so.” Tiana answers. “This is actually our second dinner together. I started the first one a month ago.
“I attempted once a week, but as things got difficult and everyone’s schedule didn’t line up, it became troublesome getting most of the family together. So I thought, we can just do it, whenever we can, as long as we do it, yeah know?”
George looks back in awe. “So this was all your idea? That’s pretty incredible.”
Tiana smiles real big. “Thank you. I just thought after the passing of my Aunt, that there has to be a way for the family to get to know each other better. It’s also a great way to get feedback on my cooking.”
She starts to look around the room. “Just look at their faces.
“I know, when I see them, without words, that my cooking is good.” Tiana explains.
“And that’s why I cook.” She finishes. “Sorry if it was a long explanation.”
“Don’t be.” He assures. “I can feel your passion, it’s beautiful.”
Tiana can feel her cheeks redden again.
“Can I help you clean up? There’s something I’d like to ask you.” George asks.
“Yes, thank you.” She answers.
After dinner and cleaning up, Tiana walks George out.
“So, for what I had to say to you.” He looks up at her. “I’d like you to go out on a date with me.
“I know, since we met as children, and are just starting to get to know each other, that this is coming off quite sudden, but Tiana, I think you are incredibly beautiful and so down to earth. Will you please go on a date with me?”
Tiana’s heart starts racing as her stomach eats butterflies. She didn’t anticipate this, as her only goal is the one she set for her restaurant. A significant other didn’t fit in that.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do that right now.” She answers. “I don’t have time to go out on dates or go out in general. I need to keep up with my work, skills, school, and my family. I don’t have time for anything or anyone else.”
Tiana feared his reaction but to her surprise, George seemed to understand this.
“Fair enough.” He replies. “Can I at least attend the next family dinner of yours. I know I may not be family, but I would enjoy continuing to eat your cooking. I can be your personal food critic, from an unbiased stand point.”
Tiana rolls her eyes, as she can see through his scheme. She masked the bit of happiness she felt.
“Yes. You can come.” She agrees. “And they better be honest critiques.”
“You got it!” He says as he walks away. “Have a good night, Tiana.”
The way he ended with her name, sent her heart in a flutter.
I only have one goal. She thinks. And he doesn’t line up with that.