A/N: So, I finally recovered the lost files! This means that I recovered four more chapters of this story and I feel like I owe it to the few people that used to read and enjoy this to at least upload this and hopefully reading the reviews will inspire me to continue to write!
Thank you for the reviews on the previous chapter. It was very much appreciated!
Now, on with the story!
Also, reviews are love!
A month later
Just a scene during lunch break
Nikki and Michael sat opposite one another at one of the outside tables at Mayfield High. Every now and then Nikki would come over during her lunch break and have lunch with Michael. It was a nice way to spend some more time together and Michael would always bring lunch from the cafetaria in school, which was cheaper than having to buy it at work. So it was a win-win situation really.
"Good news." Nikki said.
"There's a school inYoungtown for people like me. It starts in a few months and I only have to go there two nights a week and I should get my diploma in only a few months. We should be able to work that out, right? With your work and school and the baby?"
"Probably." Michael agreed. "But it's expensive, isn't it?"
"So?" Nikki shrugged. "We'll just save some money."
"We can't save any more money than we already are."
"We'll figure it out."
They decided to leave it at that, since bickering about money was the last thing they wanted to do. They had been bickering more than enough lately. About money, the baby, things for the baby, living together, getting married and of course Rich. They bickered about anything, really. They didn't even need a reason. However, for the past two days things had been going well between them. No fights whatsoever. Of course they avoided the topics that caused the bickering as much as possible, but still. It was an accomplishment.
Nikki looked up to see a girl standing right next to her. She remembered her. It was Faye. An adorable redhead who hadn't exactly been in Nikki's group of friends, but Nikki had always liked her.
"Hey Faye." Nikki said, surprised.
"I just wanted to congratulate you on the baby. You look great. Really, you're glowing. And I just wanna wish you all the best. You too, Michael."
"Thank you." Nikki said, a little stunned.
"And if there's anything I can do to help out, just let me know, okay? I know we've never really been friends, but I know that things must be hard for you two right now, so..."
"Thanks. We really appreciate that."
"You're welcome. I'll see you around."
And with that, Faye turned around and walked into the direction of her usual lunch table. The table with the other semi-popular girls. Nikki watched her, then she turned back to Michael.
"Is it just me or did that actually seem..."
"Sincere." Michael finished her sentence.
"It did, didn't it? I've always thought she was nice, but..."
"Who is she again?"
Nikki looked up and hit him on the arm.
"What? I recognize her, but I just don't know her name."
"Faye." Nikki said.
"...I don't know...But she's sweet."
"She is." Michael agreed.
"I mean, I've never really been all that nice to her. We talked sometimes, but..."
"She wasn't popular enough."
"You make it sound so shallow. I wasn't like that, was I? I mean, I know I was part of that whole popular crowd and all that, just like you fyi, but I wasn't like the others, right? I was nicer. Less shallow."
"Whatever you say, honey." Michael said.
Nikki stuck out her tongue, but decided it wasn't worth discussing any longer. After all, it was her past and if she'd ever been that kind of person, then she sure as hell wasn't anymore.
"Oh." Nikki suddenly said, reaching into her bag. "Look what my boss got me."
She got out a book and handed it to Michael. It was a book with names. Baby names.
"Why would your boss give you that?"
"I don't know. I think he likes me. More than he would ever admit. I think I'm his favorite. I mean, he's only got three waitresses and one of them is old and evil, but still...He used this book when his wife was pregnant with his sons."
"Hm. We should take a look at it some time."
"No need." Nikki said, taking the book back from Michael and taking out a little piece of paper and handing it to Michael. "I already picked out my favorites during coffee break this morning."
Michael shook his head in disbelief, but smiled nonetheless as he took the piece of paper from Nikki and carefully read the names she wrote on it.
"If it's a girl." He said out loud. "Peyton, Sophia, Haley, Sage...Scarlett..."
"What do you think?"
"They're interesting." Michael admitted. "If it's a boy: Daniel, Noah, Nathan, Lucas, Benjamin, Austin, Finnley, Brice..."
"You like them? There are some more on the back, but these were my favorites. I've even thought of some middle names too."
"And all of that during your coffee break?"
"No, silly." She told Michael, smiling. "I'm a girl. I've been picking out baby names since I was eleven."
"You like them?"
"You're not gonna make me pick two names right here on the spot, are you?"
Nikki got up from her seat and walked up to Michael. She sat down on his lap and wrapped her arms around his neck.
"You can think about it." She assured him. "Just don't take too long. I don't wanna be one of those couples that still have to come up with a name once the baby is born. I want to call the baby something other than 'baby growing inside of me' when I'm talking to my belly."
"I'll think about it and get back to you."
"You do that." She told him, smiling as she leaned in and softly kissed him.
He put his hands on her back and carefully deepened the kiss. Then the schoolbell rang, ruining their picture perfect moment. She broke the kiss and got up from his lap.
"Time to get back to the real world." She said.
"Give me the list." Michael said. "With names. I wanna know what I'm working with."
She smiled as she handed over the list. He kissed her one last time, before turning around. He was about to walk back up to the stairs that would lead him into the school building when he saw Rich standing in front of the school, his eyes on Nikki. Michael knew Nikki had noticed it too.
"Bastard." Michael murmured.
"Don't pay attention to it, Michael." Nikki said. "Just leave him alone."
"Easier said than done."
"It'll only make things worse. We're just going to ignore him."
"You sure you haven't talked to him since...you know..."
"I told you, no. He called me on my cell phone a few times, but I never returned the calls. I think he gets the hint by now."
"The look in his eyes tells me something else."
"Just ignore it. Please."
Michael nodded slowly. He kissed Nikki on the cheek and walked up to the school building. Nikki carefully watched Michael, fearing the moment where he would have to walk pass Rich. Luckily, nothing happened. Nothing except that the two of them would've killed each other if looks had that kind of power. She let a sigh of relief. She got her things together and started to walk back into the direction of the diner. She heard the footsteps behind her and closed her eyes for only a second.
She turned around and wasn't surprised when she saw Rich standing there. She took a deep breath before starting.
"I really don't want to talk to you right now. I thought that I made it clear to you before that I only wanted to be your friend and that you couldn't ask me for anything more. Yet, what you did, almost ruined things between me and Michael. So I don't want to see you anymore. Ever again. I'm done with it. You've been really nice to me and I really appreciate that, because I needed that, but this is where it ends. So don't call me anymore, don't come into the diner when you know I'm working, definitely do not come by my house and just leave me alone. Please."
She didn't even give him the chance to respond to anything she'd just said. She just turned around and walked away, hoping that Rich would know better than to follow her and try to change things. It was over. She was done with Rich Keller. It hurt, but only a little. She knew it was for the best.
Nikki was laying on the bed, reading, when she heard the frontdoor. Michael was home from school. She had just gotten home herself. Her boss had let her go home a little earlier than usual, because her feet had been killing her. Not that she actually told her boss that, but apparently he noticed and since it hadn't been busy in the diner anyway, he had sent her home.
"Honey, I'm home!" Michael called out.
"I'm in the bedroom!"
Not much later the door of the bedroom opened and Michael appeared in the doorway. He walked up to her and gave her a loving kiss. Then he handed her a note.
"My list. I like them all, so you pick."
She read the note and smiled. They were names.
"When did you do this?"
"And you're really gonna let me pick?"
"Give me a pen."
He reached into his pocket and got out a pen that he handed to her. Nikki carefully studied the list once more before circling two names and handing both the list and the pen back to Michael.
"Here you go."
Michael shook his head and she smiled. He looked down at the list. She waited for his reaction. He looked up at Nikki again.
"Okay." He said, smiling. "Hayley Anne or Noah Kristopher it is."