At first, it was a difficult adjustment to live in the suburbs. The house was old and drafty, with few of the modern upgrades the family had grown accustomed to in their city penthouse. However, it was spacious and comfortable, and over the next few months, Ari and Marisol poured a great deal of time and money into making it feel more like home. The reason for their move to the suburbs, of course, was to provide a home for John Tyler’s girlfriend, Wendy, and the new baby, who was due to arrive any day now. Although Wendy had the freedom to join the family in the larger house, she chose to confine herself to the tiny apartment above the garage. She refused to allow in visitors – not her parents, nor Ari and Marisol, nor even John Tyler, though he often parked himself beside her door, holding one-sided conversations, hoping that she would change her mind and let him in. But she never did. Eventually, John Tyler began to visit less and less frequently.
And then, one afternoon, John Tyler knocked on Wendy’s door. To his surprise, the door swung wide open, and Wendy was not there. Where had she gone? Could she be at the hospital, having his baby right now? His parents were still at work, so John Tyler took a bus and a subway train all the way to Gold Valley General Hospital. When he arrived, however, the nurses informed him that Wendy had had the baby the day before, and that she had just checked out.
“Was it a boy or a girl?” John Tyler asked the nurse.
“It was a girl,” said the nurse. A girl! John Tyler rushed out of the hospital. He was a dad! He had a daughter! But where could Wendy have taken her?
He headed back to the subway station, and suddenly, he spotted Wendy near the entrance. “Wendy!” he cried, and hurried toward her and their baby girl, who was lying on the cold ground in a bundle of blankets. John Tyler couldn’t believe it. “What’s wrong with you!” he yelled at Wendy. Without hesitating, he scooped up the sleeping baby and held her close. “What, were you planning to hop on a train and leave her lying there?” His face was flushed with anger.
Wendy shrugged. Her eyes looked heavy and dull, and smudged with black eyeliner. “I’m going back to my dads’ house,” she said. “I didn’t ask for this. I don’t want to be a mom!”
John Tyler tried to keep his voice down, so as not to wake the baby. “Well, I didn’t ask for it either,” he reminded her. “But I’m still her dad. And you’re still her mom, whether you like it or not.”
Wendy shook her head and backed away, her eyes flickering from John Tyler to the baby like they were strange creatures from some other world. Then she turned and fled, leaving John Tyler alone, holding his daughter.