I was home working on choreography later that week when there was a knock on the door. "Rhea, could you grab the door?" My mom called from her room. I sighed and scribbled down the last few things I'd been working on before running out to the door. I opened it, expecting to see the UPS man with a package but instead Quinn stood in front of me. "Oh."
"Nice to see you too," Quinn said. "Can I come in?"
"Yeah, I guess." I stepped aside and let her in. "You look…better."
"Less pink you mean? Your hair is still purple."
"It's lavender," I mumbled.
"I know you've been going with Puck to see Beth."
I nodded. "I've gone over a few times."
"How is she?" Quinn asked.
"She's great, she's practically perfect. Puck really loves getting to see her."
"Do you think Shelby would let me see her now?"
"I don't know. Why don't you ask her, or Puck? Why are you here exactly?"
"I know we aren't exactly friends anymore. I know I was stupid this summer…"
"You got me arrested," I said.
"Yeah but you got it cleared off your record, I mean you didn't actually do anything," she reasoned.
"Quinn, that isn't the point! You are not the kind of person that I want around Beth and I'm sure Shelby and Puck feel the same way."
"I want to see my daughter! Please, Rhea. I've changed." She looked like she was about to start crying, Quinn never cried.
"I'll see what I can do, but no promises."
The next afternoon I went over to Shelby's with Puck to babysit. "There you two are! Beth has been waiting to see you all day, haven't you honey?" Shelby cooed to Beth and Beth smiled shyly. Shelby handed Beth to Puck who kissed her forehead. "Thank you two so much for babysitting tonight. I know it was a little last minute," Shelby said.
"Oh it's no problem," I said smiling.
"I just fed her but she wasn't too hungry, her jar of baby food is still on the counter if she gets fussy later. You both have my number so that's covered. Um I don't know, if there's anything else you need just give me a call."
"Oh Shelby, can I talk to you for a second?" I nodded towards the front hall and we left Puck in the living room with Beth. "Quinn came to see me today. She's gotten rid of the hair and the nose ring; she's trying to clean her act up for Beth."
Shelby nodded, thinking. "I want to talk to her, but if she really has gotten back on track I would love for her to be a part of Beth's life too."
"Good, I'm sure she'll be glad to hear that."
"I should get going," Shelby said.
"Have fun!" I called to her as I walked back into the living room.
"What was that all about?" Puck asked.
"Quinn wants to see Beth, she's looking better."
"What did Shelby say?"
"She wants Quinn to be part of Beth's life. Beth is just going to be so spoiled between the four of us."
"She's already got us all wrapped around her little finger," Puck said smiling and Beth who was grabbing her toes and laughing.
"Kids are so funny," I said. I grabbed my phone and texted Quinn that Shelby was probably going to let her see Beth soon. I turned on the TV and let Beth watch one of her movies while I started working on some Spanish homework. "Have you noticed we've been learning how to conjugate present tense verbs for the last three months?"
"Yeah, even I don't need that much help."
"I'll talk to my dad about revising his lesson plan, there are other tenses. Like Imperfect, that's my favorite."
"Only you would have a favorite Spanish verb conjugation."
"You know you love it."
"I love you," he said kissing me. The doorbell rang then and I looked towards the front hall.
"Shelby didn't say she was expecting anyone, did she?" I asked.
"No, I don't think so."
I got up and walked over to the door and looked through the window. I pulled the door open and went outside; I closed the door behind me. "What are you doing here?" I hissed.
Quinn rolled her eyes. "I'm here to see my daughter, obviously."
"I told you Shelby wanted to talk to you first."
"Well, I don't want to talk to Shelby."
"Too bad, Quinn. You're not getting in this house."
She sighed. "I know you're still angry about what happened this summer, but it was all a misunderstanding."
"You shoplifted and then framed me. How on Earth could that possibly be a misunderstanding Quinn?"
"When you say it like that it sounds really bad, but I swear I didn't mean to."
"What you just accidentally dropped three CDs and a bracelet into my purse?"
"I thought I paid for them, you told me you'd hold some of my stuff when I went to the restroom. They weren't even expensive, I'm not poor. I just missed them in my pile of things I set on the counter."
"I don't even know how you convinced the police of that, because it's not fooling me. Friends don't frame friends for crimes!"
"I don't know how many times I can tell you I'm sorry. I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, I really am. I want you to be Beth's godmother."
"What?" I asked. "I don't think you can make godmothers, Shelby is her mom now."
"I want her back."
"Quinn, it doesn't work that way. You can't just say oh never mind I want my kid back. There are no take backs in adoption."
"There is if I prove she's an unfit parent," Quinn said.
"Shelby is an amazing mother; she would never do anything to hurt Beth."
"That's why I need to get into that house to put this stuff in her cabinets. I'll call child protective services and they'll find all of this and then I'll get Beth back."
"You're crazy." I shook my head. "I'm not helping you frame another person. Do you know how devastated Shelby would be if you took her daughter away from her?"
"She's not Shelby's daughter, she's mine!"
"Quinn, listen to yourself. You don't want to do this. What would you even do if you had to raise Beth? You need to focus on school, on getting into college. Not a child."
Quinn slumped and suddenly she was in tears. I hugged her though I wasn't sure if she was faking it or not. "I don't want to mess up Beth's life."
"You love her; you just don't know how to be a mother right now. That's ok; you're 18 you shouldn't have to know."
"You're always an amazing friend even when you hate me," Quinn said trying to wipe up some of her tears.
"I don't hate you Quinn; we've been best friends since we were little. I can't hate you. I'm just not sure if I can trust you yet."
"Can I at least see her?"
"No, I don't think that's a good idea. You need to talk to Shelby first, do this right."
Quinn nodded. "I'll try." She walked off the porch steps and I slumped against the door. I took a breath before going back inside.
"Rhea, are you ok?" Puck asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'll be fine."
"Dad, can we talk about your class?" I asked the next afternoon. I was going to over to his and Emma's apartment for dinner.
"What about it?" He asked.
"We've been doing the same thing for months; everyone in class is ready to move on. Is there a reason you haven't taught anything new?"
He looked embarrassed. "You know I wanted to be a history teacher?"
"Yeah I don't even know Spanish."
"I can tell. I bet we could sign you up for some night classes, and I could tutor you too."
"I've reached a new low, getting tutored by my teenage daughter who is in the class I'm teaching."
"Hey, it's cool. We can start now. Let's start with the past tense…no, the imperfect tense. There are less irregular verbs in the imperfect."
"What does that do?"
"It talks about things in the past but things that continue. Like you weren't 20 once you were 20 for a while. So it would be Tú tenías viente años. The –ar verb endings are –aba, -abas, -aba, -ábamos, and –aban. Like me gustaba bailar."
"Maybe you should wait till I'm somewhere with a pen and paper. How do you even know all of that?"
"I was in honors Spanish at LaGuardia," I said shrugging. "But seriously if you need any help, ask me. I could help you with lessons and everything. I'm not totally fluent but we'd be able to move on from present tense."
"Maybe I'll sign up for some of those night classes."
"Good idea," I said laughing.
"I had something to talk to you about too," Will said.
"I'm going to propose to Emma soon-"
"Oh my god!" I squealed.
"I was hoping you would be the maid of honor in the wedding."
"Will Emma mind?"
"She's already picked out some dresses for you. So will you?"
"Of course I will!" I said.
"I wish you could be there for the proposal but I know you're going on vacation with your mom for a few weeks so you'll probably be out of town."
"I'm still sorry about that, I had no idea mom would schedule our vacation the week of sectionals. Though I could tell Rachel wasn't upset in the slightest."
"You and Rachel really should work out your issues. You're a lot alike."
I snorted. "You're joking right? I'm nothing like Rachel."
"You're both determined to succeed and you're passionate about what you love. She may be a little over the top but you also know how to get what you want; you just use more subtle tactics."
That weekend was Tanssia's performance. Brittany had finally come up with Love You Like a Love Song for her last piece and each of hers, all danced by a small fleet of Cheerios, were fun, upbeat and made you want to get on your feet and dance. Mike had used popular songs and set smooth hip hop routines to them. My songs were indie and slower and showcased modern dance.
Tina had designed the costumes and she was going crazy over every little detail. "Rhea!" She shouted as I tried to apply my wing eyeliner, my hand shook messing up the line again.
"Sorry, but you really need to help me. Brittany is pitching a fit over the outfits in Whole Lotta Love because they aren't sparkly enough."
"If they get anymore sparkles the dancers will look like walking disco balls. They look fine as they are."
"Jason, one of Mike's dancers is complaining that he doesn't like having to wear a leather jacket in Fine By Me," she said checking her list.
"That jacket is a prop he uses at least four times in that piece; he has to wear the jacket. Anything else?"
"The girl Mike was using in You Belong with Me got in a fight with one of Brittany's girls from Stay the Night, she quit."
"She quit!" I squealed. Tina nodded.
"Mike wants to know if you know the choreography well enough to do that piece with him."
"Why can't Brittany do it?" I asked trying to put my liner on again.
"She'll be trying to change for Whole Lotta Love," she said, biting her eraser as she checked the set list.
"Ugh ok, well I know the dance. I can do it. I don't know if I'll fit in that outfit though."
"I have an extra pair of pants that you can borrow that look almost identical."
"Ok, well I guess all problems are fixed. Can I go back to doing my liner now?" I asked. Tina nodded and turned around to go bug someone else or yell at some dancers. That girl was just meant to be a stage manager.
"Hey," Puck said sitting next to me.
"Hey," I said smiling. I leaned over and kissed him.
"How you feeling?"
"Excited and nervous. Mostly excited."
"You're going to do great; everything is going to be perfect."
"I hope so." He gave me a hug and kissed my forehead.
"You might want to fix that eyeliner though."
I glanced in the mirror to see that the wing had smudged halfway down my cheek. "Seriously, I give up."
Puck laughed. "I'll see you after the show."
I cleaned up my eyeliner and then got into my costume for the first dance. I was wearing a light pink mid length dress for I'll Be, which I'd decided would be a solo. It was the opener which was good because everyone else was still rushing around trying to get ready and curtain was in five minutes. I got into place and waited until I heard Tina on stage giving the curtain speech. Then the music faded in, the curtain was pulled back and the lights came up and the show began.
After I'll Be came Stay the Night staring the Cheerios and a few of the guys. I had planned on standing in the wings and watching this one but I had to change costumes for You Belong with Me which was up next. "Want to run through the steps?" Mike asked.
"Yeah, I might need a refresher. Have I mentioned I really hate people? Cause I do." We did a speed through and then got ready to go on stage. I tried to focus on the steps and was super glad this was like lyrical hip hop and not crunking or something. I was not built to stomp and lock, I was about lines and gracefulness. By the time I knew it the piece was over and thankfully I hadn't actually died.
Brittany's Whole Lotta Love was up next and then my Kids in Love piece. Followed by the Heartbeat Slowing Down dance I'd premiered at the sing off. Mike and Brittany's last two dances, Fine by Me and Love You Like A Love Song wrapped up our individual choreographed pieces.
The last dance was a mashup of Love the Way You Lie, Dynamite, and Teenage Dream. We had debated for several days over how to represent our glee club in this performance before actually starting to choreograph it. We ended up coming up with the best memories of each couple, and major fights. Somehow we'd managed to convert those bits into a comprehensive story of us. I doubted anyone would understand the dance but our club but it looked pretty.
After the show Puck came backstage and brought me flowers. "Thanks," I said kissing him again.
"You looked great, I didn't know you were doing hip hop now."
"I didn't know I was either," I said. I filled him in on all the backstage drama and he laughed.
"Sounds like you dancer types are just a problematic as us glee types."
"I guess we are. I wish I wasn't going to have to miss the musical next week. I want to see you."
"My mom said she'll tape it for you," Puck said. "She'll probably want to watch it with you ten times."
"I love your mother," I said smiling.
"Good cause she's pretty attached to me keeping you around."