4:24 Lean On Me

03-29-19_3-13-33 PM

Andy had gone to tell his dad about his decision to quit school and about Cara being pregnant again.

“You can’t quit. Not when you are so close to being finished.”

Andy looked at Kyle. “I don’t have a choice. We’ve barely been making ends meet as it is. Many nights, Cara and I have skipped dinner so Shelby could eat. Every time we manage to save some money towards a new place, something happens and we are back at nothing.”

“Why didn’t you come to us? You know we would have helped.”

He did know, but it wasn’t what they wanted. “We want to do things on our own.”

Owen shook his head. “I don’t know where you get your damn stubbornness from.”

03-29-19_3-18-40 PM

“He gets it from his grandmother.” Raelynn hugged her grandson then sat beside him.

“When is the baby due?”

Andy tried to remember what Cara had told him. “Sometime in the fall.”

“That is still months away. You graduate in two months. That college degree holds a lot more power with employers than getting to the end and quitting. It shows them that you can stick it out even things are tough.”

“Your grandmother is right. Finish school. Let us help you.”

Andy didn’t say anything for several seconds. “I will think about it. I need to talk to Cara before I make any decisions.”


4:23 All “Improvviso Amore

03-27-19_8-05-33 AM

Cara sat down beside Andy. “We need to talk.”

Andy put the book down and looked at her. “What’s up?”

She knew the easiest way to do this was to just tell him. “I’m pregnant.”

He didn’t know what to say about the news. “You are sure?”

“I saw the doctor this morning.”

Andy sighed and shook his head. “This timing is really bad.”

“I know. It happened though. We are having another baby.”

03-27-19_8-06-20 AM

So many things were running through his head. The apartment was barely large enough for the three of them. Another baby would take up space they didn’t have. Let’s not even mention the hit to the bank account.

“We can’t have another baby. We have no room and no money.”

“We will have to find a way, Andy. There is another baby coming and you are going to have to face it.”

He ran his hand through his hair. “We will have to find a larger place. That is going to mean a higher rent plus moving costs. The only way we can manage it is if I find a second job. I guess I can quit school and pick up more hours.”

He didn’t want to quit school with only a couple months left, but he didn’t see any other option. His family needed him to provide for them. He would talk to his boss to see if he could pick up more hours.


4:22 Generation Love


03-26-19_6-36-04 AM

Andy had one of those rare days where he hall of his school work finished and he had the day off work. Nothing in the apartment was broken, so he would be able to spend the day with his girlfriend and daughter.

When he made plans to take the family out to do something fun, he didn’t know that Cara had made plans to go with her mother to pick her dad up from the airport. The plan had been to take Shelby along, but the poor toddler wasn’t feeling well.

Cara kissed Andy then kissed Shelby’s cheek. “You take good care of your daddy while Mommy is gone.”

“We will be fine. We are going to hang out and watch Disney movies.”

03-26-19_6-39-30 AM

Once it was just the two of them, he put her on the sofa and turned on The Little Mermaid for her to watch. He had just sat down with her when someone knocked on the door. 

He was surprised to see his dad and step father.

“We stopped to take the three of you to lunch.”

Shelby heard her grandfather and ran over to hug him. She was thrilled when he picked her up.

Owen looked at his son frowning. “She feels warm. Has she seen a doctor?”

Andy nodded his head. “Cara took her yesterday. She has a stomach virus. That is why she is hanging out with me and watching The Little Mermaid today instead of going to the airport with her mother.”

At the mention of her favorite movie, Shelby squirmed until Owen put her down. She ran back to the sofa to watch the movie. When Kyle sat down with her, she started telling him about the movie.

03-26-19_6-41-12 AM

Owen sat down in the kitchen with Andy. “How are you guys doing? Do you need anything?”

“We are doing pretty good right now. We have our arguments like all couples do, but it has been pretty good.”

“School ends soon, right?”

Andy nodded. “Just a couple more months.”

“Do you know what you are going to do after graduation?”

“I am going to start my own business.”


4:21 2 In The Morning

03-17-19_12-27-08 PM

It was the same story yet again. Things were broken and the bank account was empty.

“We have to do something, Andy.”

“If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.”

That was part of the problem. She didn’t have any ideas.

03-17-19_12-53-12 PM

“Maybe I could get a job.”

They had talked about that before and agreed they couldn’t afford the child care. That hadn’t changed.

“We have talked about this already.”

“Maybe I can find a job I can do from home. Then I can stay home with Shelby.”

He didn’t understand why she hadn’t made that decision three years earlier when they first moved into the dump. It could have made their life a lot easier.

“If that is what you want to do, then do it.”

03-17-19_12-53-05 PM

Cara could tell that he was angry about something. “Why are you so made? Do you not want me to get a job?”

“Why am I mad? Do you really need me to explain it to you?”

“Yes, I do. I have not said or done anything that should have upset you”

He could not believe she was that unaware of the problem.

“For three years I have listened to you bitch about this apartment and the lack of money. For three years I have given up time with my family to put money in the bank so we would have a place to live. I missed my daughter’s first words and first steps. I have missed things I should have been here for.” He put his hand up when she started to say something.

“For three years I was the only person bringing money into the house. Three years, Cara. And you just not decide you should find a work from home job to help out.”

“You didn’t come up with the idea either.”

He took a deep breath to calm down before he said something he would regret later.

 


4:20 Young Love

03-13-19_2-28-23 PM

Andy looked at the toilet which he just finished fixing yet again. He looked at the leaking sink then started to work on that.

Cara was working on fixing the kitchen sink. In the past few days, they had repaired almost everything in the apartment.

They had been saving to move to a better apartment, but all the repairs had drained their savings.

03-13-19_2-35-34 PM

Cara looked at Andy when he came out of the bathroom. “We can’t keep fixing everything. It all needs to be replaced.”

“I know, Cara. I already talked to the landlord and she refuses to replace these things.”

“This isn’t a healthy environment for Shelby.”

Andy looked at her. He was frustrated with this conversation. It seemed to take place weekly lately.

“What do you expect me to do, Cara? I am already working as many hours as I can just to pay the bills and put food on the table.”

03-13-19_2-39-23 PM

She could see that he was getting upset. She sat down beside him and kissed his cheek. “I’m sorry. I know you are doing what you can.”

“Which isn’t good enough.” He moved away from her.

“I never said that. You are almost finished with school. Then we can get out of this place.”

“And go where? We don’t have the money to go anywhere else. We barely have the money to stay here.”

03-13-19_2-41-27 PM

Cara leaned against him. “We will figure it out. We always do.”

He nodded even though he didn’t feel very confident about it.

 


4:17 Slow Hands

03-09-19_4-44-18 PM

Andy and Cara moved into the apartment they had found near campus. It was pretty run down and sparsely finished, but it was in their budget…barely.

The two of them wanted to do this on their own with no help from their parents. Andy had found a part time job working in the mail room of a local company. It didn’t pay much, but it covered the rent, diapers for Shelby, and their other bills.

The downside was that what little time was spent not at work or school was spent studying. That was putting most of the child care on Cara’s shoulders. He hated that, but for now it was necessary. He had time to spend with his daughter on the weekends so Cara could rest.

03-09-19_4-53-16 PM

“Can you please change her? I am in the bathroom.”

Andy hit the save button on his work and went to check on the baby. He changed her then cuddled her against his chest.

03-09-19_5-36-01 PM

“I”m sorry I don’t get to spend as much time with you as your mommy does. Daddy is trying to make sure you have everything you need to grow up to be the perfect little angel that I already know you are.”

Cara stood by the door watching them. “The toilet is broke again.”

He looked up at her and nodded. “I will fix it.”

He kissed Shelby’e head then tucked her back into her bassinet. He followed Cara out of the nursery.

03-09-19_6-22-48 PM

“Maybe you should call someone to fix the toilet this time.”

“We can’t afford to pay a plumber. There’s just enough money in the bank to buy Shelby’s diapers tomorrow.”

Cara signed and headed for the kitchen. “I will pack you a lunch from tonight’s leftovers.”

Andy kissed her cheek. He looked at his homework sitting on the table. He had so much work to do before he went to bed that night, but first he had a toilet to fix.

 


4:16 Red Solo Cup

03-07-19_2-39-49 AM

It was finally graduation day. Thankfully Shelby had been born right before finals. The school let Cara take her finals online since she was still on leave after having a baby. She was attending graduation however. She had worked hard to get to that day. Shelby was going to stay with Andy’s Aunt Grace during the ceremony.

Andy had found out earlier that day that he had earned an academic scholarship. Even better than that, he was graduating top of his class. His scholarship was going to pay for his full tuition. All he would have to pay for was housing and meals.

His housing would have been paid for if he had decided to stay in the student dorms. Instead he was staying in an apartment near campus that him and Cara had found. They would be moving in the following week.

03-07-19_2-42-02 AM

Andy saw his mother standing off to the side. He walked over to her but kept a distance. If you want to see Shelby, it will have to be this week. We are leaving Brindleton Bay next week.”

Dakota was surprised and sad to hear that. “I will miss you.”

Andy shook his head. “You can’t miss something that you wish you never had.”

03-07-19_2-42-28 AM

“That’s not…” She shook a deep breath and started over. “Will you please come by the house before you leave? We really need to talk. Rylie misses her big brother.”

He missed his little sister also, but he just couldn’t go back to the house. “Call Dad.” The two of you can work out something so you can see Shelby before we leave.”

Dakota could see that he was still upset with her. “No matter what you think of me right now, I do love you, Andy.”

“You have a funny way of saying it.” Without another word, he turned and walked back to his friends.

 


4:15 Little Bitty Pretty One

03-06-19_10-37-27 AM

Andy was sitting in class taking notes when his sister came into the room with a note for the teacher.

“Andrew, gather your things and go to the office.”

He looked at Tayler confused. He got his books and followed her out of the room.

“Cara is in labor. She is waiting for you in the office.”

03-06-19_10-45-23 AM

Andy ran down the hall tot he office. He saw Cara sitting outside the door waiting. This was the place where she had told him that she was pregnant. It was only fitting that this was the place they last see each other before becoming parents.

He quickly signed out then helped her to his car. Her hospital bag had been in the car for a few weeks now, so they were able to go straight to the hospital.

Their parents were already there waiting. Even his mother was there despite the fact that Andy hadn’t talked to her since that day he walked out of her house.

03-06-19_12-12-47 PM

They got Cara signed in and settled into a room. Andy sat beside the bed trying to support her.

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03-06-19_12-18-19 PM

It was several hours later when Andy walked out to the waiting room.

“They are both doing great.”

He sat down beside his papa. “Shelby came out screaming. That girl has some great lungs.”

Owen looked at his son and smiled. “I have a granddaughter?”

Andy looked at his dad and nodded. “You do. You have a granddaughter.”