Thursday, January 17, 2013

Chapter 12 ~ Well, Hello There!

I woke up before sunrise the next day. It felt way too early.
I thought about falling back asleep, but when I noticed that Kittles wasn't in her bed, I went on a mad search for her, hoping she didn't run away in the middle of the night.

I felt very relieved when I found her scratching her scratching post downstairs.
I turned around to go back to bed when the baby monitor echoed with Jack's cries.
I headed up the stairs, faster than I had planned, knowing for sure that I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep this morning.

As the sun started to make it's appearance, I took care of Jack.
While I was changing his clothes, he pointed out the window and 'oohed' in awe at the frost building up on the window. I smiled at told him how it was just frost from the fall/winter chill outside. He wanted to look out the window, so I walked closer. His eyes widened as he saw the ground, trees, rocks, and houses covered in frost. I thought it looked beautiful, too, but we couldn't just stand there forever. I had to finish getting everyone ready.

About an hour later, I walked downstairs again to find Nicole brushing Miles and Bailey brushing Kittles.
I smiled and asked them, "Do you guys just love them, or what?"
Nicole looked up at me with a huge grin on her face and said, "Mom, they're perfect and unique! Thank you so much for letting us keep them!"
"Oh, you're welcome. I love them just as much as you kids do, you know." 
Kittles purred in contentment as Bailey finished brushing her.
Nicole was right about them being adorable, but especially about them being unique.

Suddenly, the bus horn honked out front. I looked at all of the frost again and made all of my kids put on a jacket and their choice of either a scarf, mittens, or a hat before they left.
"Ugh, do we really have to, Mom?" Paris groaned.
"Do you not see the snow building up as we speak? You're going to freeze if you don't put something on!" I said as I put her hat on for her, since she refused to. "Now, have a good day at school, girls!" I waved to them, realizing I had no boys who were in school.
Things were different now.
A lot different.

I went upstairs to take care of my only current boy in the house, Jack. I noticed something about him when I picked him up; he really needed a bath. I thought for a moment, then saw the bathing table Jay had given me.
"Time for a bath!" I sang in a cheery tone.
Jack wasn't so cheery at first. "But, Mom, I don't want to... it's scary."
"What's scary about a bath?" I started running the warm water as Jack sat on the counter space beside it. "Oh, is the drain scary?"
He nodded his head. "Yeah, it's gonna suck me up." He looked as if he was going to cry.
"No worries, as soon as the water is warm, we plug it up." I felt the water with my hands to see if it was at the right temperature or not. It felt perfect. "See? Watch." I plugged the drain and the water started to fill up around the little bath seat.
Jack looked relieved. "Okay, good."
I laughed and ruffled his hair as I placed him into the water. He insisted on keeping his shoes on, for whatever reason, and I let him. I don't know why I did, but I let him do it. That little goofball.
But, when I started to wash his body, for some reason, he still didn't like it.

I was done scrubbing him and I knew exactly what would make him happier.
"Here, you can play in the bubbles if you want, Jack." I smiled at him, drying my hands with a towel from the shelves underneath the bath area.
His face lit up with excitement as he scooped up some of the bubbles with his little hands and put them on his chin, just like any other toddler would. I laughed at him as he became more and more creative with how he placed them on his face and body.
Eventually, bath time was over, the water was drained, and Jack was all clean.

I came downstairs to a kitchen full of girls who were busily working on their homework, helping each other here and there. They all were laughing while doing their homework, which was strange to me.
"Is homework fun, or something?" I said, curiously.
They all laughed even more and Naomi finally answered my question. "It's super fun."
I was still wondering, but I decided if they were having fun while doing homework, that I should let them. "Alright then. And, uh, Naomi? Why are you sitting on the floor?"
She shrugged. "I dunno."
Alrighty then.

All of a sudden, it hit me. I wasn't pregnant.
I know it's a weird thought for someone to have, but I'm constantly pregnant, so not having that big, baby bump is weird for me. I decided to head across the street to find the next baby daddy.
"Paris, you're in charge for tonight!" I said, handing her the extra car keys, just in case they needed to go somewhere.
She smiled and jingled the keys in her hand. "Don't worry, everything will be fine."
I smiled and closed the door, hoping that she was right and everything would be fine.
As I walked over there, in the rain, I thought about something else.
Would I ever find the love of my life and get married? Would I be willing to bend the challenge rules a little bit? Would that work? Would- 
Out of nowhere, lightning struck and interrupted my thought process. I immediately dropped all thoughts I had in my head and ran as fast as I could across the street. I was relieved when I made it to the front porch without getting electrocuted.

I was panting from running for my life when this man greeted me at the door.
His eyes a bright blue and his hair a dark brown, he was very handsome. I was sure that his child would be as cute as ever, that is, if he accepted my offer to be in my challenge.
After he opened the door, he noticed that I was out of breath and he quickly invited me inside. He didn't say anything, all he did was stare at me.

"Hi, I'm Payton Bear." I said, trying to get some conversation going. "And you are?"
He shook his head as if he was trying to literally shake thoughts out of his head. "Hey." He sighed. "I'm sorry, you're just so beautiful, I couldn't find the right words to say. My name is Jared White." He shakily smiled, obviously nervous.
I felt a little flutter in my heart. I was in shock. No one had ever said that to me, besides my dad. That was years ago when I was last called beautiful. "Why, thank you." I blushed. Now I was the one who didn't know what to say. Out of habit, I just explained my challenge and asked if he wanted to participate, all while hoping on the inside he would agree.
"Wow, that's cool. 100 kids? You sure, girl?" He laughed.
Gosh, his laugh was contagious.
Giggling, I managed to reply, "Yes, I'm totally sure."

"Well, Payton," He smiled again, "I'd love to help you."
I was relieved, "Great!"
"Yes?" I raised an eyebrow.
He seemed even more nervous now than he was before. "Are you sure I can't stay around for the baby, to you know, help out and watch him or her grow up?"
I was shocked. No other challenge dad had ever asked before hand about that. They always just seemed to want to have another baby with me, which is against the challenge rules. "Um, sure! If you really want to, I guess that's fine." I smiled slightly at him.
His face lit up in relief. "Okay, great! I love little kids, and if it means spending more time with you, then I'm all in."

He tilted his head to the side and kissed me. Wow. Something lit up inside me as our lips met. I never felt this way with any other challenge dad before.
It was like we were meant to be.
I shook the thought out of my head as we ended our kiss and headed to the bedroom.
But... was it really true? Were we meant to be together? Would he be the one that I would end up marrying?
With all of the thoughts in my head, it was hard to focus on what my heart was telling me.

After I was sure I was pregnant with his child, I fell asleep at his house. Paris was in charge at home anyways, and I had faith in her.
As Jared turned out the lights and crawled back into bed, he put his arm around me.
"I love you, Payton."
I didn't know what to say, but I tried to say what my heart was telling me.
"I love you, too."


The sound of the rain hitting the windows woke me up. I found myself with my head on Jared's chest when I woke up.
I rubbed my eyes and stretched as Jared, already awake, said, "Good morning, Payton." 
I smiled and said "Good morning, Jared."
He laughed a little bit after looking at me for a few moments.
"What?" I laughed.
He smiled and said, "You know, you sleep talk a lot."
Memories of my dad flooded my head. My dad used to always sleep talk. He told me I did, too, as a little girl, but I thought I grew out of it.
I sat up and criss-crossed my legs on the bed as he told me all about what I was saying last night. He went on and on and on. "First, you were talking about how you were worried that Paris had burned the house down by accident, then you mumbled on about how the pet food dishes needed to be filled."
I laughed, remembering the dreams I had last night that all were along those lines.
Then, he suddenly looked sad. "But then... you started crying in your sleep, talking about your dad. I got worried, but I didn't want to wake you up, so I just rubbed your back until you stopped sleep talking."
I sighed. "Yeah, I remember that dream, too." I started playing with my fingernails. "You probably don't want to hear my sob-story, so I'll just go." I started to get up and leave when Jared reached out to touch my arm.
"No, Payton. It's fine. If you want to talk about it, I'm here for you." He said, sympathetically.
I took a deep breath. "Okay, here goes nothing. So, um, my dad was a soldier in the military. He had been in the military for 5 years when my mom had me. He decided to stay home with my mom and I while I grew up. Right after my 3rd birthday, he decided to go back into the military. Little did I know, that goodbye was the last. He died in war, trying to save his partner from an incoming bullet. He dove in front of him, blocking it from harming his friend. His friend survived, but he didn't." Tears filled up in my eyes. "I still remember what he last said to me.
'Pay Pay, you never stop anyone from being the beautiful girl you are. Love you, bunches!'
Jared saw the tears in my eyes as I finished my story.
"Wow, Payton... I'm sorry that you had to go through that." He couldn't find the right words to say, but when he wiped the tears from my cheeks and kissed me, I felt like he was all the comforting that I ever needed.
After a little more chatting, I got up to leave.
"Wait, Payton, you forgot one thing." Jared said, getting up.
"I did?" I looked around, searching for my clothes, make-up, or umbrella to see if I was forgetting it. I had everything, though.
Jared kissed me for the longest time, yet I didn't want to let go. I really felt a spark between us. Maybe we were meant to be husband and wife, or maybe best friends. I wasn't sure, but I knew one thing I was sure of.
He loved me without a doubt, but I was questioning if I loved him or not.


I arrived home to a sleeping toddler, quiet house, broken sink, giant puddles, and a plumber.
"Hi, Ma'm, I'm sorry about anything my kids did... I was out for the night and left my oldest teenager in charge." I apologized to the repair technician.
She looked up from her work. "Oh, no, it's fine. I got a call from a girl named Paris saying that the sink starting flooding while they were upstairs and needed someone to come fix it."
I smiled. "Oh, great! Thank you for fixing it, then!"
The plumber started to put her tools away. "It's all done! Good as new."
"Thank you very much!" I handed her $50 for the repair work and she was on her way out.

Of course, this left me alone to mop up the puddles from the sink breaking earlier.
As I mopped I thought about what had happened at Jared's house. Millions of thoughts bounced around in my head, making me a little dizzy.
Do I love him? Is he my soul mate? Are you sure, Payton? Is this the right thing to do? Should I listen to my heart or my brain? Is this what you want to do? Really? Why are you doubting yourself? What is happening?
There was so much stress going on for me right then and there. I had to stop mopping the puddles for a few minutes to sit down, just to be able to stay conscious. I almost passed out, feeling so light-headed from the confusion.
I really felt lost. I had no idea what to do or where to go.
I'm just going to have to take it one step at a time.

I really decided that I needed some fresh air.
"C'mon Miles, Kittles! Wanna go outside?" I said, playfully, making Miles' ears perk up. As I opened the door, Miles was skidding on the wood floor to get outside, while on the other hand, Kittles slowly rose out of her bed to follow me out the door. Boy, were they different.
I sat on the front porch for a little bit, watching Miles run around and jump into the leaves and poke his head out. He eventually got tired and lied down in his warm dog house. I realized how big the house really was when he actually got in it. I could have saved money on a smaller one, but this one was so darn cute I just had to keep it.

On the other side of the yard, Kittles was running through her Kitty Palace, playing with a stuffed mouse on each level. She was adorable as she crawled through the tunnels, peeked her head out through the little windows, and pounced on her cute, mouse toy. She wasn't as active as Miles was, but I think all cats are like that. I loved having a cat and a dog.

I finally got up and off of the porch to rake some leaves. I really needed to relax outside with fresh air to fill my lungs. But, I just really needed to loosen up. It didn't matter where. I was just so stressed with all of those thoughts, feelings, and questions bouncing around inside of me, so unwinding made me calm and feel better.
I was done raking up a big pile, so I burned it to get rid of it.
Boy was that a mistake, though.
I lit the match and lit the pile of leaves, and little did I know, the breeze had caused the fire to catch the bushes and the grass on fire along with the leaves, too. I cursed under my breath as the fire became bigger and bigger, and getting hotter and hotter by the second. I ran inside as fast as I could to grab the fire extinguisher that hung up on the wall near the door. I freaked the pets out with how quickly I was moving and how scared I seemed. I just didn't want it to move the the house.
I pulled out the little bit of braveness that I had to try and extinguish the bright and burning flames in the front yard. A huge cloud of smoke started to build up above the house as I struggled with getting it to calm down.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a familiar looking man running towards me with another fire extinguisher. I looked closer and found out that it was Jared.
I was instantly relieved. Hopefully he was braver than I was. I knew for a fact he was stronger than me. "Jared! Please help!"
He was shocked. "Payton, you live here?"
I didn't really have time for questions in that moment. "Obviously. Can you please help me?" I sounded sarcastic and mean by the way the tone in my voice sounded when I said it.
He instantly starting aiming at the blazing fire with his fire extinguisher. He was able to do the trick. The fire had finally stopped burning, leaving only a burnt patch of grass behind.

I sighed as the fear of the raging fire was done and over with. I tossed the almost empty fire extinguisher on the grass by a tree and looked up at Jared. He seemed upset.
I took a deep breath again and apologized. "I'm sorry... I didn't intend to sound mean, I was just panicking. Yes, I do live here, just right across the street from you."
He smiled at me. "You know I'd never be mad at you, right? I just saw a huge cloud of smoke and came to help as soon as possible. I didn't know you lived here. That's awesome, though."
I smiled and gave him a hug as he accepted it and hugged me back even tighter.
"I'm just glad you're alright." Jared said, releasing our hug, but still holding his hands around my waist.
I left my hands around his neck and said, "As long as I'm here with you, I'm perfect."
For some reason I felt as if I should've never said that. It was like I mentally slapped myself. I have no idea why, but I had a strange feeling it was all wrong.
Just go with your heart.
I kissed him as he kissed me back, and we stood there for what seemed like forever, the leaves falling and the pets playing together.
The school bus horn honked very loudly, interrupting our little moment we had.
I let go of him and he let go of me. "You should stick around for a while, maybe we can go see a movie or something later."
He smiled and headed with me to the door. "Sounds like a plan."
My kids all looked at me curiously, but I just gave them that 'Not-Right-Now-I'll-Explain-Later' look and they instantly understood.

Jared stayed downstairs in the kitchen to get something to eat as I went upstairs to check on Jack. When I walked in, Nicole was playing with him already.
"Momma!" Jacks face lit up.
I smiled at him and said, "Hey there, sleepy boy! You've been sleeping all day!" I ruffled his messy hair as he laughed.
Nicole put Jack down on the floor to play with some toys and told me she had questions for me.
"That guy was a challenge dad, huh?" She asked.
"Yes, why?" I raised an eyebrow at her.
"He seemed like much more than that to you. The way you looked at and held each other... I could just tell there was something more than just the challenge between you two." Nicole explained. "Are you dating?"
I thought about it for a moment. "I honestly don't know." I finally said, "I feel that way, too... almost like we were meant to be. But, how would we stay together? I'm still doing my challenge no matter what, you know."
"Well," she started, "As long as he's alright with it, you two could date, he could live here or what ever, and you could still call/meet other guys, just for the challenge."
"Hm." I thought about what she had said for a minute. "You know, that actually could work."
I then explained to her how we were planning on going to the movies or something later and how she could now be in charge.
"Now. Don't let the other girls do what they aren't supposed to or get into trouble while I'm gone. You can explain everything to them about me and Jared if you'd like to." I handed her the extra set of house keys and the keys to the extra car. "I'm trusting you."
"Trust me. Everything will be fine! Now, go have fun with Jared!" She jingled the keys in her hand, then continued to take care of Jack.

I walked down the stairs to see Jared talking to all of the girls who were sitting at the dining table, being distracted from homework by listening to him. They all started busting up in laughter suddenly. I didn't know why, but it was probably because I didn't hear what Jared had said.
I started to slow down on the stairs, re-thinking what Nicole had said about dating Jared. It was a possibility, but I didn't know if right now was a good time.
Jared looked at me and I gave him that 'Let's-Talk-Somewhere-Else' look. He understood and walked towards the kitchen sink.
“So, are we leaving soon?” He asked, checking the time on his watch.
“I know where we are going, but I’m driving because it will be a surprise to you! We are going…” I checked the wall clock to see what time it was. “Right now!” I grabbed his hand and pulled him out the door with me. The door slammed when I realized something.
“Whoops, forgot one thing.” I poked my head back inside. “Paris, you’re fired. Nicole is in charge.”
The door closed for good this time and I walked down the porch steps, still holding Jared’s hand, and left to the voice of Paris whining and the other twins laughing. 

I hopped into the car and sat down in the front seat. “C’mon Jared! I’m excited!” I smiled. He was taking his time to get there. “I’m coming, I’m coming!” He reassured me, laughing. I started the car and drove out of the driveway, excited to get there.

I parked the car and stepped outside, breathing in the fresh, autumn night air. Suddenly, my stomach churned and I quickly said, “Be right back, Jared.” before rushing to the bathroom.
I then threw up everything I had eaten that day. Well, at least I knew I was pregnant. I ate a mint and walked back to the car.
“Sorry, Jared, it’s just the sickness from pregnancy.” I said, rubbing my stomach.
He looked down at me and frowned. “It’s all my fault, huh?” He asked.
I smiled at him and said, “No, it’s not your fault. This is the way it always goes. Besides, I’m as happy as I could ever be, carrying our child inside of me.” He smiled and kissed me again.
Why do I keep saying things like that? Do you really mean it, Payton? Really?
I was getting really good at pushing my brain’s thoughts out of my mind and listening to my heart’s wants.
For the rest of the night, I’m going to listen to my heart and my heart only.

We stood in the moonlight for what seemed like forever, with my hands on his neck and his around my waist. Suddenly, music started to get louder and louder, breaking us from our trance. I looked around and took in a deep breath of the fresh air.
“Well, we are at the Fall Festival, after all, so let’s have some fun!” I said, grabbing one of Jared’s hands and pulling him along with me towards all of the activities.
We both laughed as he tried to keep up with me, losing his balance here and there.
My heart was fluttering the whole night. Every time I looked at him, he smiled, or he laughed, I felt like my world had slowed down and my heart was just happy.
I was at the fall festival with Jared, my kids were safe at home, and I was pregnant with Jared and I’s child.
Everything was perfect.

As soon as Jared saw the pie-eating contest table, he took control of where we were going, sending me flying this time.
“Are you sure, Jared?” I said, not really wanting to participate in the competition.
“Oh, c’mon Payton, it’ll be loads of fun!” He smiled at me.
I took his word for it and headed closer towards the table. We decided that it would be best to go on opposite ends, so that we would have no idea who was winning. We all lined up with boysenberry pies in front of us.
Two small bell rings sounded and one long and loud horn sounded, signaling the beginning of the contest! All of us smashed our faces into the pies, eating as fast as we could.
I was down to just the pie crust left when the festival worker announced that Jared and I were both tied, and that it would be a photo finish. I was determined to beat him. I swallowed the last bit of the pie and raised my hands in victory, only to hear another cheering voice at the same time I shouted. Jared and I had tied. We looked at each other and laughed. I guess we were both really good at this sort of thing.
The festival worker then shouted, “Award goes to this young man in the red!”, and handed Jared an award, plus a bunch of pies. I cheered and clapped for Jared, along with everyone else, when suddenly, Jared then looked at me and said, “I think Payton deserves it way more than I do. Congratulations to the most beautiful girl in the world, Payton Bear!” Jared handed me the award and all of the pies.
“Awe, thanks, babe.” I said, kissing him.
Jared then stopped for a moment. “I don’t really like the nickname ‘babe’. We should come up with really cute nicknames for each other! Want to?” He raised an eyebrow at me.
With a smile on my face, I said, “Sure.” “Okay, I’ll go first. You’ll be Pay for short and Little Red for a nickname!” He said, confidently.
I smiled, looking at my hair color. I thought it was adorable. “I love it! You’ll be Jer for short and Jear-Bear as your nickname!” I said, proudly.
“It’s perfect. Just like you.” He kissed me in the middle of the festival.
The moon was shining bright, the music was playing, the orange leaves were falling, and fireworks were going off in celebration.
That moment was perfect.
I felt perfect, Jared was perfect, and the night was perfect.
No, it was better than perfect.
It was outstanding, amazing, fantastic, awesome, and absolutely stunning.


I got home to a house full of sleeping kids and sleeping pets.
Everything was unusually quiet. It was strangely relaxing, though.
It gave me time to think about everything that had happened this day.
Meeting Jared, to me, was I think the best thing I have ever done. I feel so complete when I’m with him. But, what to do, oh, what to do?
I went into the bathroom and turned the shower water on the ‘hot’ setting. I really needed to just take a nice, relaxing, warm shower to loosen up and think about everything.
I scrubbed my face with face wash, trying to get the face paint from the festival off.
As the steam started to fog up the bathroom mirrors, I thought everything over, never taking my mind off of the situation.
I decided that I just needed a full night’s sleep, and then I’ll feel better in the morning.

I pulled the covers over me and I turned out the bedroom light.
You just need to sleep, Payton. Then, everything will be better.
My thoughts were right. I just needed sleep.
After about 30 minutes, I finally fell asleep as I was lost in a world of thoughts, confusion, pregnancy, and love.



  1. Loved it! Love your challenge too! :D <3

    1. Thank you so much! ^_^

      ~Heather/Payton Bear <3

  2. Your house is amazing!

  3. Why, thank you! Of course, I didn't build it, but thanks! :D

    ~Heather/Payton Bear