“Hailey, come on,” I say trying to feed her her lunch but she kept laughing and giggling.
“Hailey,” I say laughing at the funny faces she was making but she eventually opened her mouth and I fed her some of her rice and vegetables I made for her lunch. It had been about a month since I got my Hailey back to me just a few weeks before Amanda gave birth to a healthy baby girl called Violet Grey. Hailey was now just Hailey Rex and I was her mother legally.
Someone rang the doorbell and since I was feeding I couldn’t leave so I asked the person to come in. I see Sophia coming in with bags in her hand and she drops it down to come and hug me tight.
“Soph,” I say as I hug her and she hugs me back.
“Hailey, this is Aunt Sophia and Soph this is Hailey,” I say and Sophia looked at Hailey with love and kissed her forehead.
“She looks beautiful,” Sophia says and someone else enters my apartment. I turn around and find my parents standing at the door. I look at Sophia.
“Sophia, what are they doing here?” I ask and they walk in.
“Raven, we are so sorry for whatever we did to you. We are sorry for not listening to you and for not believing you,” mom says and I just look at her.
“We are so sorry darling,” dad says and I sigh. This was all I wanted all my life, for the past 3 years of my life.
“Meet Hailey, my daughter,” I say and they come in and see Hailey running around and playing with Sophia in the living room.
“Hailey,” I say and she looks up at me.
“Yes mommy,” she says running up to me and I pick her up in my arms.
“Hailey, this is grandma and grandpa,” I say and she waves at them. They wave back and touch her head lovingly.
“So, how did you get her back?” Sophia asks sitting on the couch with us and I continue to feed Hailey her lunch.
“The Grey’s wanted me to take her back because she was crying all the time asking for mommy and when Amanda used to go up to her, she used to cry even more. When I went up to her, she never wanted me to leave, so they decided to send her back to me and I am her mother, legally now,” I say and Sophia smiles.
“Hailey looks just like you when you were about her age Raven,” mom says and I look up at her.
“You looked just like her growing up. With you dark hair, big blue-green eyes, chubby rosy cheeks. Everyone fell in love with you,” she says and I smile. We talk about Hailey as she plays in the living room.
Since I had only one room in my apartment, I had built her a cradle with Chris’s help. We shared a room and I had to work to pay for her food, make some compromises and do online college as well. Sometimes she stayed with Mrs. Smith or the Grey’s while I had to go to college but otherwise, she never let me go.
“So would you like something to drink?” I ask and since they nod, I walk up to my refrigerator and find only three cans of soda. Even though I wanted one for myself, I gave one for each of them and drink cold water myself.
“How far along is your case?” dad asks.
“They have started recording statements from witnesses and people who know about it and I have to appear in court next week,” I say and he nods.
“So you said Jared is the father right?” Sophia asks and I nod.
“Is he helping you with taking care of Hailey? Are you still together?” she asks and I shake my head.
“I am still not comfortable with being around or with men, other than Chris and Jared as friends so I am a single mother and Jared, he sends me money to take care of her and it gets me through but I have to work as well,” I say and mom gasps.
“You have to work while taking care of Hailey and going to college?” she asks and I look at her funnily.
“Of course. How do you think I can pay for college, my apartment, food, for Hailey’s food, her things and for living? I work two jobs, still,” I say in an obvious tone and she was shocked.
“Raven, we weren’t good parents to you. Can you please give us another chance to become better parents for you and to become good grandparents for little Hailey?” mom asks and I look at Hailey.
Maybe I went through hard times but Hailey deserves to have the best time in her life. She deserves to have a good family, someone who loves her and maybe I need someone I can trust too.
“Sure,” I say and the look on my family’s face was priceless. They were so happy to hear my reply.
“We just moved here to California, just close by about a week ago to stay close to you. We want you to move back with us,” dad says and I was shocked.
“I don’t know,” I say and Sophia held my hand.
“I have moved her too and I have a house. You can move in with me. I work from home and I can take care of Hailey and mom and dad can visit us whenever they want,” Sophia offers and I nod. Staying with my sister sounded better than staying with my parents.
“Are you sure about that Soph?” I ask and Sophia nods.
“Of course Ray,” she says and mom looks at me.
“We will take care of Hailey when you go to college. You do not have to go to work anymore and you can live your life,” mom says and Hailey also seems to be happy to be living in a big house so I agree.
“Cool, we can start moving things right now,” dad says and they start moving my things to their new house and I just follow them to my new house.
The house was huge, bigger than the one I lived in back home with them. My room was upstairs on the first floor, just next to Hailey’s nursery which was all painted and kept neatly. My room had things from back home and I liked it.
The room was bigger than any other room in the house with my own bathroom. It was huge and everything was in place.
“Do you want to add anything else? You can do it if you want,” Sophia says and I turn to look at her.
“No it’s perfect,” I say and she nods.
“Thank you,” I say and Sophia gives me a big hug.
“Thank you for moving in with me Ray,” she says and I smile. It took the whole day to move my things from my apartment to my room. My furniture and everything was sold and I quit my job as a waitress.
I called Mrs. Smith and told her everything before I called the Grey’s and Chris. They all were happy for me and they said that they were proud of me for forgiving them.
“Let’s check out the yard,” Sophia says so we all go out with Hailey in my arms. It was so big, there was a pool in it and Hailey wanted to go in there.
“Hailey, you want to go in the water?” I ask and she nods.
“Mommy, please,” she says and I smile as I change her into her swimwear and take her into the water with me. She enjoyed swimming in her floatie and she was laughing the whole time. I liked seeing my daughter happy.
“Hey, hi,” Chris says as he calls me and I smile as I pick it up.
“Hello,” I say as I get out of the pool and let Sophia play with Hailey.
“How are you settling in?” he asks and I wrap a towel around me.
“I am doing pretty well actually. I moved into my Sophia’s house she purchased here in California. I have my own room and Hailey has her own nursery. It’s so good to see her happy,” I say and I could hear him smile.
“What about you Raven? Are you happy?” he asks and I think about it. Am I happy?
“I don’t know if I am happy Chris. I am happy for others but for myself, I don’t know,” I say admitting my feelings.
“So, can I take you out for dinner and find out if you are happy or not?” he asks and I laugh.
“You’re sneaky aren’t you?” I say and he laughs too.
“I prefer being called smooth,” he says laughing too.
“Cool, I’ll pick you up in 30 minutes,” he says ending the call and I go up to my room to get changed. I wore my usual clothes, my jeans and a baggy shirt with my boots. I left my hair the way it was and put on some chapstick and I came downstairs.
“I am going out for dinner with Chris, my friend,” I say looking at my mom and dad.
“So can you please watch Hailey for me?” I ask again and Sophia smiles.
“Of course sis. Go enjoy your night. Say bye to mommy Hailey,” she says and Hailey waves as I walk out the door.
“I’m glad she’s going out. Its good seeing her happy,” I heard mom say as I wait for Chris to show up.
“Yes and this lad Chris, he sounds like a nice guy. I hope he treats Raven right,” dad says and I smile.
“I know he will treat her right. I have met him before and he doesn’t seem like the rest of the men I have met. He is nice, respectful and actually cares about Raven. He’s the perfect guy for Raven,” Sophia says and I walk up to Chris’s car.
“You look beautiful,” he says as I get in and I laugh.
“I look like I do every day,” I say as we drive and he nods.
“And you look beautiful every day,” he says and I smile and turn around as I blush. He truly was special. He wasn’t like the men I have met in my life. He is a true gentleman and I can see that he cares about me.
We have our dinner at a diner we both like and he drops me off at home. I enjoyed spending my time with him.
“Thank you Chris. You made me happy,” I say leaning into his window and he smiles.
“I am glad I made you happy then,” he says and I smile as he pushes my hair behind my ear and I look at him.
“Raven, you are not like the girls I have met. You are different and you have got me attracted to you,” he says looking into my eyes truly meaning it and I smile. I wanted to kiss him but I couldn’t. It brought back memories for me.
“Thank you Chris. Good night,” I say giving him a hug and walk away. I wait till he drives away and I break down sitting on my porch because I wanted to kiss Chris but I couldn’t. The two years of my life just flashed through my eyes.
I don’t think I can ever move on from my trauma. I don’t think I can ever let a man touch me, even just my arm without it bringing back the worst time of my life. I don’t think I can ever be normal again. I don’t think I can ever find my Hailey a dad like she deserves.
I spend about half an hour just crying on the porch before walking in and finding Sophia sitting on the couch alone, watching television.
“How was your date?” she asks and I smile.
“It went good. Is Hailey asleep?” I ask and she nods.
“Yes. Mom and dad went home about an hour ago,” she says and I nod.
“Did she eat her dinner?” I ask and she nods.
“Yes Raven. She ate her dinner and slept like an angle. She did ask for you once though but I told her that you were with Chris and she seemed happy with it and went back to sleep,” she says and I smile.
It was like as if even Hailey knew what was happening in my life. Sometimes I felt like she knew who was good to me and who wasn’t. I haven’t seen her as happy and calm as she is with Chris with anyone else, not even her father, Jared. She likes Chris over Jared.
“Thank you Soph,” I say and she puts her arm around my shoulder as we turn off the lights and walk up the stairs.
“Good night Ray,” she says giving me a kiss as she goes to her room. Before I get into mine, I peek in and see Hailey fast asleep and I smile as I go back into my room and get changed for the night.
All of this change in my life happened in a day. It was hard to take in but I was used to sudden and huge changes over night so I was kind of familiar with it and knew how to deal with it. I took my pills and I went to bed in my new bed, in my new room, in my new house, in a better life.