Chapter 1: Rosalyn
Ashley rubbed her forehead as she walked to her locker. She bit her lip as she listened to the people whispering about her as she opened up her locker door. "Morning sunshine," a voice greeted. Ashley looked over to see Cassie there.
"Hey, Cass," she answered.
"You okay?" Cassie asked.
Ashley shrugged. "I feel a little funny this morning," she replied. Cassie gave her a quizzical look and then the bell went off.
"Well, biology awaits," Cassie commented.
"Please don't remind me," Ashley muttered.
She placed a hand on her stomach and she let out a sigh. She felt a kick against her hand and she smiled slightly.
As she walked in the classroom, not even her yellow baggy sweater could hide her swollen stomach and she knew that everyone was staring at her again. She sat down at her desk and she opened her notes. "Looks like someone wasn't paying too close attention to this class," a kid whispered.
"Poor thing, she had such a bright future," another kid whispered.
Ashley tried to block out their words. She was enduring this kind of torture during the past nine months. She felt the baby kick her and she swallowed the lump that was in her throat. The teacher came in and class started.
About twenty minutes into class, Ashley felt the baby do like a total turn and she suddenly felt really sick. "Ms. Engstrom, may I use the bathroom?" She asked. Ms. Engstrom nodded and Ashley left the classroom.
Ashley had her usual morning sickness but when she came out of the bathroom she suddenly felt her body go from hot to cold to comfortable really fast and then she let out a gasp. "Oh God..." she murmured.
"Miss Chan, could you go find Miss Hammond?" Ms. Engstrom asked. Cassie looked up from her work and she nodded her head slowly as she got up and left the room.
She went down the hall and went into the girls' bathroom. "Ashley?" She called. She looked around and she heard a small groan coming from beside the other side of the sinks. She walked over and she let out a gasp. "Ashley!" She gasped. Cassie kneeled on the tiled floor and saw the tears falling down Ashley's face.
"Cassie, I'm scared, I'm so scared," Ashley told her.
"What happened?" Cassie asked.
"I was in here and when I was about to leave my water broke...Cassie I'm scared. I never had a baby before and I'm scared."
Cassie held her friend's hand. "I-I can't..." Ashley trailed off and pain rushed through her.
"I'll get some help," she murmured.
"Don't make it a big fuss, Cassie, please..."
"I won't don't worry, I won't."
After about ten minutes, one of the teachers came in. "She needs to get to a hospital," she informed.
"I'll call an ambulance," another teacher answered.
"NO!" Ashley shouted.
"You can't have the baby here."
"I'm not going to have everyone watch as I'm carried out here on a gurney!"
"What do we do?"
They looked at each other not sure what to do. "I'll take her," a voice put stated. Cassie stood there with TJ. "I'll take her there. It won't look as bad if it was just to the two of us that left," TJ commented.
"Okay, TJ, you take her right there," Mr. Caplan instructed.
"I thought I'd make a pit stop," TJ muttered sarcastically.
Mr. Caplan glanced at the young man before looking at Ashley. TJ bypassed the teachers. "Come on, Ash," he told her. Ashley wrapped her arms around TJ's neck and he carried her out.
(Angel Grove Memorial Hospital)
TJ came in to find Ashley staring at the far wall on her side. "Hey," he called. She looked up at him and she sat up.
"Any word from..." she trailed off.
TJ shook his head slowly. "No," he answered. She let out a sigh and leaned back against her pillow. TJ placed a hand over hers. "Hey, Cassie, Justin, and me are here for you, Ash," he assured her. She bit her lip and nodded her head slowly.
"I mean I know he doesn't care...but it's his," she commented.
Ashley shook her head slightly. "Hey, his loss. He just cares about himself and just saving the world. I mean the saving the world bit is important, but this should be important too," he pointed out.
"I know...but he never cared then...why should he care now?" She asked.
She looked at the ceiling and let out a sigh.
(Three Hours Later)
Ashley was resting a bit with TJ still there when he heard the door open. He looked up expecting it to be the doctor coming in to check on Ashley. Instead he saw Carlos. "You have a lot of nerve to show up here," TJ commented.
"Yeah well, I didn't exactly come by choice," Carlos answered.
TJ glanced at Ashley and back at Carlos. "Doctor says she's fine. Should be anytime now," he informed. Carlos just gave a slight nod. TJ glared at Carlos. "You better take this seriously, Carlos," he added. He glanced at Ashley one last time before he left.
Ashley woke up after awhile and saw Carlos there. "Carlos...you came!" She gasped. Her spirits were lifted a bit to see him there.
"Don't get excited, your dad and my dad came to school and forced me to come here," he told her.
Ashley frowned and she placed a hand on her stomach. She shook her head slightly. "Then I don't want you here," she told him. She turned on her side with her back turned towards him.
"I can't leave," he answered.
"And I don't want you here. You don't care about me and you don't care about this baby so just get out!"
Ashley buried her head into her pillow and let out a sob while ignoring the contractions that were hitting her. Not even that pain could replace the pain she was feeling at that very moment. Carlos however, refused to leave because he knew their fathers were sitting outside that door, keeping him in there with Ashley.
(Four Hours Later)
"Okay now one big push, Ashley," the doctor instructed. Ashley closed her eyes tight and she pushed as hard as she could. Carlos just held her hand and watched as the doctor worked with his ex-girlfriend. "Good, good, good. I can see it, I can see the top of it's head. You're so close Ashley," the doctor told her. Ashley gasped for air and wanted to collapse. "Ready? Just one more," she informed. Ashley took a deep breath and she gave one final push. Ashley let out a sigh of relief and she fell back gasping. "It's a little girl," the doctor announced. Ashley felt tears pressing against her eyes.
"I want to see her," she insisted.
"They're cleaning her up, sweetie," Ashley's mother assured her.
Carlos watched as the baby was placed into Ashley's arms and he left. Ashley smiled and she stroked her daughter's face. "Hey sweetheart," she whispered. Tears fell down her face. "You're so beautiful..." she murmured. Diane sat next to her daughter and she looked at the baby.
"She needs a name," a nurse commented.
Ashley looked up at the nurse for a second before looking back at her daughter and held her tiny hand. "Rosalyn...Rosalyn Loraine Hammond," she murmured.