Gosalyn slowly opens her eyes, unwilling to face the fact that it is morning. Monday morning to be exact, which means she needs to start getting ready for school. She slowly sits up and looks over at Abby's bed. She's not in it. Gosalyn starts to wonder if Abby even slept in her bed last night. During the summer she snuck out without telling her, and returned in the morning. Did she spend the night at Tank's? Gosalyn rubs her eyes and looks over at the clock. It is a few minutes after six, which means that Abby still has time to make it home and get ready for school.
Gosalyn pulls her knees to her chest and thinks about the events of the past week. She's been in a daze, like she has been watching these things happen to someone else, but no such luck. Skyler is no longer her boyfriend. Anytime they are in each other's presence at school it is awkward. He would stop in the halls and stare for a few seconds, then turn and walk away from her. She's been throwing herself into soccer and school, trying to improve on her grades and on her game. Coach couldn't be happier about that. She got her star player back. But Gosalyn isn't happy. It's been a while since she had a smile on her face.
Before she can get out of bed, she hears people shuffling in the hallway. She watches her door open to reveal Drake, Beth, Hayley, Abby and Jake. They all have smiles on their faces. Drake is holding a plate with a waffle and a candle while Beth is holding balloons. It is Gosalyn's birthday. She forgot that it was her birthday. They join Gosalyn on her bed and sing "Happy Birthday" to her. Gosalyn manages a fake grin, which doesn't fool her father.
"Come'on Gos, it's your birthday. Make a wish and blow out the candle" he says to her.
Gosalyn thinks about her wish for a few seconds and blows out the candle.
A few hours later Gosalyn is at school. She finishes up at her locker and slams it shut. She almost doesn't notice Honker and Nala walking toward her.
"Oh, hey Gos" Honker greets her.
"Hey Honk, Nala" Gosalyn observes the way Nala is dressed. She still cannot believe that Honker is dating this girl. She seems way out of his league.
"Honker told me it was your birthday. Happy Birthday" Nala says to Gosalyn.
Gosalyn can hear a high level of phoniness in her voice, but she decides not to bring any attention to it. "Thank you"
"So when's the party?" Nala asks her
Gosalyn hesitates for a minute. "What party?"
"Come'on, you are having a party aren't you?"
Gosalyn gives Nala a funny look. She wasn't even thinking about it. "Nnno, no party. Just a family dinner"
"Oh, bummer. Well, that's okay. You can come to my party when I have one next month. And you can bring Skyler"
"Um, Nala.." Honker interrupts her, thinking about the fact that Gosalyn and Skyler are not together anymore.
"Oh, right, sorry forgot. We should get going, we have some studying to do" Nala starts to usher Honker away.
"Bye Gos" Honker looks over his shoulder at Gosalyn before completely being pulled away.
"Can you believe her?" Abby asks Gosalyn. She caught the tail end of their conversation.
Gosalyn is still staring in the direction where Nala and Honker are walking. "Who is that girl?"
"Who is that girl?" Taylor asks Drake at the stationhouse.
"Huh, what girl?" he asks her. He is focusing on a bunch of paperwork on his desk and he's only half way paying attention to his partner.
"That girl in Captain's office, she's here to see you" she says.
"What? Me, why is she here to see me?" Drake asks as he starts to pay more attention. The Captain joins them and tells Drake to go and talk to the woman that is waiting for him in his office.
Drake walks into his boss' office and sees a familiar face. She is an old friend from grad school. Seeing her face temporarily takes him back to a time when things in his life were much simpler. He was only responsible for himself and his studies. He snaps back into the present and greets her.
"Nora…. I can't believe it, what are you doing here?"
"Hi Drake. It's been a long time"
"Yeah, like…. eight years, right? I haven't seen you around, do you live around here?" he asks her.
"No. In fact I haven't been back here since grad school" she tells him. Her tone turns more serious and Drake takes note of it.
"Is this a happy visit, or are you in some kind of trouble?"
Nora looks at Drake and feels like she's going to faint. She is able to cover and answers his question. "There's a lot…. I need to tell you"
Beth and Gwen are taking a coffee break together at the hospital.
"How's Gosalyn doing?" Gwen asks her.
"She's trying to move forward. She's spending more time studying, she's being more helpful around the house and helping with Jake, it's like she's trying to keep busy so she doesn't have to think about what happened to her."
"Is she talking about it?"
"Not really" Beth answers. Gwen can hear the frustration in her voice. "She talked to Drake about it once, but other than she's been avoiding the subject. She can't hide from it, it's like this dark cloud is following her around and she's constantly sad. She can't even enjoy her birthday. We were going to have a big dinner and have you and Launchpad and some of her friends over, but she just wants a small family dinner."
"Sounds like she just needs time" Gwen tells her. "Gosalyn's a smart girl. She knows that she has you and Drake in her corner. When she wants to talk about it she will"
Beth nods and drinks her coffee. "And Skyler?"
Gwen also drinks her coffee, which is decaf. "I think he misses her. Of course he won't admit it. He won't even tell us why they broke up. He didn't even tell me about it, I heard it from you"
"I don't know either" Beth says. "Gosalyn just casually told us that they weren't together anymore and that was that"
"I miss those days when Skye was little and couldn't wait to tell me everything that happened at school. You know you're old when your kids stop talking to you about the drama in their lives" Gwen says.
Drake waits to Nora to tell him why she is in Saint Canard. He studies her for a few seconds and realizes that something is not right with her.
"Are you okay Nora? You don't look so good"
Nora takes a breath. "I'm okay. I just need to get this out" Nora looks at the floor for a few seconds and gathers her thoughts. She has gone through this over and over again in her head and it sounded okay at the time, but now that she is in the moment she is scared. She has big news to tell him and she has no idea how he is going to react. She knew him eight years ago, but she doesn't know him now. She has no idea what he's done with his life, if he's married, if he has kids, if he finished what he had set out to do.
Drake starts to get impatient. "Alright, are you in some kind of trouble? Nora, whatever it is, just tell me"
Nora looks up at Drake. "I have a daughter. We…. have a daughter"
"What?" he asks her.
"You and I have a daughter Drake. And she needs you"
Drake puts his hand over his forehead. "You and I have a child? How?"
Nora looks at Drake and opens her beak to speak, but Drake speaks first. "Well I know how. But…. why are you telling me about this now? She's gotta be what, seven?"
"She's six and a half. She hatched late" Nora says with tears in her eyes.
"And you're sure she's mine" Drake says, his tone is getting more hostile.
"There was nobody else Drake, I swear"
"No offense, but you and I weren't exactly in a committed relationship. You were free to see whoever you wanted"
"Yes I know that" she says. "But I didn't want a relationship. What you and I had worked for me. No commitment, no awkward dates, no strings attached, just sex and I was happy with that. But then…."
"You got pregnant" Drake finishes her sentence. "Oh my god" Drake turns and starts to pace.
"I didn't do it on purpose. In case you've forgotten it takes two"
Drake stops pacing and looks at Nora. "We were careful every time….. Weren't we?"
"Except one time" Nora says. "It was the day you received your acceptance letter into med school. You were just…. beyond excited. Your dreams started coming true that day. You knew what you wanted, you worked really hard for it, and Duckburg University wanted you. And we celebrated by… well you know. You remember that day don't you?"
Drake softens. "Yeah I remember. I applied to a lot of schools, but Duckburg was the best, it's the one I wanted. I knew it was a long shot but I went for it anyway. I could not believe it when I received that acceptance letter. I had to read it over and over again and convince myself it was real. And you were there, you were the first person I told"
"I strongly believe that our daughter was conceived that day. It was the only time that we weren't careful" Nora explains.
Drake looks over at Nora and starts to believe that what she is saying is true. His voice cracks a little bit. "Do….. do you have a picture?"
Nora pulls a picture out of her purse and gives it to him. Drake takes it from her and stares at it.
"Her name is Jessie" she tells him.
He slowly sits down in the Captain's chair and continues to stare at the red headed little girl in the picture. She has a big smile on her face. She is wearing a cowboy hat and her fiery red hair is in low braids. She has blue eyes like her mother. Drake starts to tear up.
"You believe me" Nora says.
Drake nods. He knows that this child is related to him. "She's my daughter. I can't believe this. How.. how is she, is she okay? Where is she? I wanna see her"
"She's in Texas. We've been living there with my friend Rachel. I didn't want to bring her here until I was sure I could find you and tell you about her" Nora explains.
Drake still has tears in his eyes, but they dry fast as he starts to get angry again. "Nora….. why are you telling me about this now? Why not eight years ago when you were pregnant?"
"I didn't want to ruin your life" she tells him.
"Ruin my life?" Drake raises his voice and stands up. "Ruin my life by telling me that I was going to be a father? How is that ruining my life?"
"We had just finished grad school. We parted ways and you moved on. You were going to med school. You wanted that for so long and you worked so hard for it. And you got into the school you wanted. I couldn't take that away from you. I knew that if I had told you about the pregnancy you would have given up your dream. And you probably would have resented us for it later"
"You didn't even give me a choice. You made the choice for me and you kept our child from me. What am I supposed to do with that?" Drake asks.
"I don't know….. get mad, throw things, do whatever you need to do now because once I bring her here, she can't be around any of that"
"I would never take this out on her" Drake says angrily. "She doesn't even know me. I'm a complete stranger to her. Are you even planning on telling her that I'm her father?"
"Yes, she will know that you're her father. And she will know that I'm the reason that you weren't in her life until now" Nora says.
Drake shakes his head. "No, Nora, you're the only person that she trusts, you can't make yourself the bad guy here"
"She's going to have to learn to trust you, because she won't have me in her life much longer"
"What do you mean?" Drake asks. "What, are you leaving?"
"Yeah, something like that" Nora says as she breaks eye contact with him.
"Nora, are you planning on leaving her with me?"
"I have to" Nora says. She looks up at Drake again and finally admits why she is in Saint Canard. "I'm dying Drake. I have a brain tumor and it's inoperable. So….. I'm not going to be here to take care of her anymore"
Drake looks back at Nora with shock. Tears start dripping down her face. He's not really sure what to say to her. He never loved her, but they do have a past and he just learned that they share a child. He slowly walks over to her and takes her in his arms. He allows her to cry on his shoulder for a few minutes. He feels for her, and his child that he hasn't met yet. He's not sure how he's going to handle this.
At the Mallard house, Drake is sitting on his couch staring at the picture of Jessie. He had made plans to meet with Nora and Jessie in the park tomorrow after Jessie arrives in Saint Canard. He thinks about his wife, and his children. He's going to have to tell them that he has another child out there, and that she will be joining their family as soon as tomorrow. He's mostly worried about Gosalyn and how she will react. Drake and Gosalyn have a very close bond, and now she's going to have to watch Drake bond with another daughter. He is so distracted by this conflict that he doesn't even hear Gosalyn come through the door and into the family room.
"Who's that?" she asks.
Drake is startled by Gosalyn's question and it causes him to drop the picture on the floor.
"Gos, how many times have I told you not to sneak up on me like that?"
"I didn't sneak up on you. Didn't you hear me come in? I said hi" Gosalyn says in her defense.
Drake rubs the back of his head and looks around for the picture he dropped. "No, sorry Hon, I didn't hear you. How… how was your day? Are… are you having a nice birthday?"
Gosalyn finds the picture first and picks it up. She looks at it before Drake snatches it away from her. "So who's the girl?"
"Duh, the girl in the photo. Is she missing?" Gosalyn asks.
"What? No, no she's not missing"
"Then why do you have a picture of her?"
Drake looks down at Gosalyn. He was hoping to talk to Beth about this before anyone else, but she is still at work. He knows that Gosalyn knows him too well and he won't be able to get her to drop this without an explanation. "Honey sit down, I need to tell you something"
Gosalyn and Drake both sit on the couch.
"What is it Dad?"
"I received some pretty big news today and I'm still trying to process it. And it affects you too" he says to her.
"Does it have anything to do with the girl in the photo?"
Drake gives her the picture and she looks at it. "It has everything to do with her. Her name is Jessie. I was friends with her mother in college. We had a thing once, and then we parted ways after grad school. She came to see me today, gave me this photo and told me that she's my daughter"
"And… you just took her word for it?" Gosalyn asks him.
"I didn't believe it at first. But then I saw this picture, and… well she kinda looks like you did at that age"
"What? No way, she doesn't look anything like me" Gosalyn gets defensive, which is the reaction that Drake had expected from her.
"Gos, look at her face. Now, I know her eyes are blue, but she resembles you and your Aunt Hayley…."
"Why is she wearing a cowboy hat?" Gosalyn interrupts.
"She lives in Texas. That's where her mother raised her"
Gosalyn continues to stare at the photo. "Why did she keep her a secret from you?"
"It's a long story. We can talk about it later. Right now we are going to focus on you, and your birthday" Drake leans toward Gosalyn and rubs her shoulders. "I'm cooking a great dinner that we'll have when Beth gets home, and then we're going to have cake and presents. And then I was thinking we can play some family games, whaddya say?"
"Okay" Gosalyn says, but she's not very enthusiastic about it.
"Is there anything else you'd like to do?" he asks her.
"How 'bout you to tell me more about this girl?"
"I will, I just need you to let me tell Beth about this first. And then I'll tell you anything you want to know"
Drake hears the timer in the kitchen. He kisses Gosalyn on the head, takes the photo from her and leaves the room to work on her birthday dinner.
It is quiet at the dinner table. Drake has made one of Gosalyn's favorites, Spaghetti Primavera. Gosalyn has a lot on her mind, and learning that Drake has a daughter out there has only added to her stress. Drake is also thinking about Jessie, and how she is going to react to meeting him. Abby has felt on edge around the family ever since the moment she admitted to being sexually active. Although she's talked to Beth about it, she still feels weird that they know about it. Hayley is helping MacKena eat her dinner since she has trouble eating spaghetti. Beth is also trying to help Jake. Hayley attempts to break the silence.
"So Gosalyn, how was your day today?"
"It was okay" Gosalyn says with a small amount of food in her mouth. Drake gives her a look but decides not to say anything. He's been trying to get her to stop talking with food in her mouth, a habit she's had since before he met her.
"This is really good honey" Beth says to Drake.
"Thank you Dear"
"I agree, this is amazing. With you, it was always grilled cheese and BLTs. When did you learn to cook like this?" Hayley asks him
"Beth and I like to experiment. Once in a while we'll go online and look for new recipes" he says.
"Momma, I'm full" Jake says.
The adults allow the kids to watch TV in the family room while they clean up. Hayley takes this opportunity to find out why the atmosphere at the dinner table seemed so cold.
"Okay little brother, I know I'm not around much but I know a chilly dinner when I see one" she says to him.
"I don't know what you're talking about" he says has he starts to wash dishes.
"Oh, give me a break. Your kids are usually fighting for the spot light at the dinner table, but tonight they didn't say more than two words"
Drake doesn't say anything. Hayley looks over at Beth. "Beth?"
"They're teenagers. They're just going through some stuff right now and we're trying to respect their privacy" she says as she hands more dishes to Drake.
Drake decides that now is probably the best time to tell them about Jessie. He knows he needs to say something soon or he will explode. "Listen, there's something I need to tell you both"
Beth and Hayley both look over at Drake. Drake's tone causes concern for both of them. He turns to look at them. He can see the concern in their faces. Before he speaks he walks over to the door to make sure the kids are watching television and not eavesdropping. When he is satisfied, he walks back into the kitchen and joins them.
"Honey what is it?" Beth asks him.
"I had a visit today from someone I went to school with" Drake pauses to think about how he is going to explain this. "We had a fling, and today she told me that we conceived a child"
Beth and Hayley are shocked. The look on Drake's face tells them that this is no joke.
"Honey, are you sure?" Beth asks him. Drake gives them the picture and they both look at it.
"Oh my God" Beth says as she puts her hand on her chest. "She looks like Gosalyn"
"As soon as I saw that picture I knew it was true" Drake says. "I mean, she and Gosalyn are cousins so of course they would look alike"
"Drake, who is this woman and why did she keep this a secret from you?" Hayley asks.
"Her name is Nora, she…. she and I went to grad school together"
"I don't think you ever mentioned her. Was she your girlfriend?" Beth asks him.
Drake starts to feel nervous and ashamed. He didn't tell Beth about Nora since he never considered her his girlfriend. "No, she wasn't my girlfriend. What we had…. it wasn't romantic, it was just…. convenient"
"So you had sex with someone that wasn't your girlfriend" Beth says. Her tone turns confrontational, which makes Hayley uncomfortable.
"You know what, I should check on the kids" Hayley says as she excuses herself.
"I can't believe this" Beth says as she breaks eye contact with her husband.
"Bethy, listen to me….." Drake tries to explain himself, but Beth interrupts him.
"What were you….. friends with benefits? You had sex with someone you didn't even have feelings for?"
"Yes" Drake answers.
"How could you do that?"
"I'm not proud of it, believe me, it's not something I look back on and consider a highlight in my life. I…. I'm ashamed of it" Drake tries to explain.
"So ashamed that you couldn't even tell me. I am your wife Drake" Beth raises her voice and grows more upset.
Drake tries a softer approach with his wife. "That's not who I am anymore. If I was, you wouldn't have married me. Beth?"
Drake tries to hold her hand but she pulls it away from him.
"I think it's time to give Gosalyn her presents" she says before walking away from him.
The family is eating cake and watching Gosalyn open presents in the kitchen. Honker has also joined them. He hasn't missed her birthday since the day she started living next door to him. Some of her gifts in include clothes and makeup. The family watches as she opens her last present, which is from Drake and Beth. Drake and Beth are not standing next to each other. They are doing their best to put on happy faces for Gosalyn's birthday.
"Wow, you got me a laptop?" Gosalyn asks excitedly.
"Now you can stops using mine" Drake says.
Gosalyn gives each of them a hug and thanks them for her present.
"Honker's already downloaded a bunch of software and anti-virus programs for you" Drake explains.
"Thanks Honk" Gosalyn says. This is the first Gosalyn has smiled in a while without having to fake it. This slightly lifts Drake's spirits. He looks over at Beth and she looks back at him. Gosalyn notices their exchange and has a feeling that Drake has told Beth about Jessie.
Drake joins Gosalyn in her room and tucks her in while Abby is in the bathroom brushing her teeth.
"Favorite color" he says to her while adjusting her covers.
"Green. Favorite TV show"
"Where The Crime Is. Favorite hockey player"
"Marco Mason. Favorite hobby"
"My kids" Drake looks at her lovingly.
Gosalyn returns the smile "You're such a sap"
Drake chuckles. "It's nice to see you smile again" he tells her. "Could it have anything to do with the laptop you got for your birthday?"
"You didn't have to get me a laptop. I know they're expensive"
"We put a lot of thought into it, and we decided that it was time that you had your own computer. That way you can use it for school work and you and Abby won't be using mine all the time to talk to your Quackbook friends" Drake explains.
Gosalyn changes the subject. "Beth was acting weird. Did you tell her about Jessie?"
"Yeah, I did. She just needs some time to process this. Heck, I'm still trying to process this"
"Did you two have a fight?" she asks him.
Drake is reluctant to answer, which gives Gosalyn her answer.
"Beth and I are going to be fine" he tells her. "I don't want you to worry okay?"
"What are you going to do about Jessie? I mean, she lives in Texas" Gosalyn asks.
Drake looks down and adjusts Gosalyn's covers some more. "Nothing has been decided yet. I get to meet her tomorrow, and then her Mom and I will talk about what happens next. If she does come to live here, are you going to be okay with that?"
Gosalyn shrugs her shoulders "I guess"
Gosalyn shrugs her shoulders again. "I don't know. It's weird. You have a child out there that you didn't know about. We don't know anything about her"
"No we don't" Drake agrees. "But we'll get to know her, and she'll get to know us. And hopefully she'll accept us as her family"
"Are you scared?" Gosalyn asks
"Honestly, I'm terrified. She's not a little baby, she's six. Telling her that I'm her father is not going to instantly make her trust me"
"I was seven, and I trusted you"
Drake gives her a look "Not right away. You thought I was one of the bad guys, remember?"
"What did you expect? You wore a mask" Gosalyn chuckles. This causes Drake to laugh too. "Don't worry, I don't think she'll punch you in the gut"
"No, I think once she sees how you are with me and Jake, she'll want that too"
"Thanks, I hope so. Good night Sweetheart" Drake kisses her on her forehead and brushes her hair away from her face. She smiles back at him and closes her eyes.
Drake joins Beth in their bedroom. She is already in bed and under the covers, but she is not asleep. Drake sits on her side of the bed to talk to her.
"I was thinking about this rule we made the first day we moved in together" Drake starts.
"Never go to bed angry" she says.
"Yeah, that's the one"
Beth slowly sits up to talk to him. "I'm not angry Drake. I'm upset. And I'm not sure what I'm more upset about, the fact that you had meaningless sex with someone or that you chose to keep that from me"
Drake sighs. "I'm sorry that I didn't tell you about Nora. I'm not proud of what we did, and to be honest I haven't even thought about it in a really long time"
Beth pauses to consider what Drake just said. "Were there other girls?"
"No. In fact…. Nora was my first. And then Morgana… and then you"
Beth pauses again and breaks eye contact. "How did it start?"
"You don't want to hear that" Drake says.
"I need to know"
Drake can hear the pain and sadness in Beth's voice. He decides that he needs to tell her. "I met her at a party. She was working on her thesis and she was there to observe how men behave around intoxicated women. When she didn't get anywhere with that she decided to get intoxicated to see if men would hit on her"
"Did you hit on her?"
"No, of course not. I didn't have that kind of confidence back then. But I kept an eye on her. She was really wasted and people were laughing at her and guys were grabbing at her. I made sure she got home and I slept on her couch"
"Then what?" Beth asks
"Then we talked, and she changed the topic for her thesis. She wanted to delve into the world of sex with no strings attached. We knew that a lot of people were doing it but we didn't know much about it" Drake explains.
"So you thought you would help her with this little experiment, a girl you met at a party" Beth confirms.
"I was curious about it, hell I was curious about sex period. I didn't have a girlfriend in high school or college. When Nora suggested that we…. do it, and see what all the hype was about, I didn't see a problem with it"
Beth is struggling with this and shakes her head. "You didn't feel like you were selling yourself short?"
"No I didn't. I didn't have a male role model growing up. Hayley dated once in a while, but there wasn't anyone constant in my life that could help me when it came to relationships with girls. Hayley was the best, but she avoided the subject. She taught me to respect women in general… I don't know, I guess she thought I would figure it out on my own. Nobody taught me that sex was supposed to mean something. I didn't learn that until I was actually in love"
Drake takes her hand. She allows him to, and she looks down at their hands.
"I love you Beth, I am in love with you. I don't like what I did, but now that I know that a child was conceived, I'm not really sure how to feel about it" Drake explains. "Listen, she's going to be at the park tomorrow. I get to go there and meet her. I'd really like it if you could come too"
Beth looks up at Drake for a few seconds. "I'll have to think about it"
Drake continues to hold her hand and sighs.
It is the next day, and Drake is sitting at his desk at the stationhouse. He is holding the picture of Jessie and recalling bits and pieces of the conversations he had with Nora and Beth. He is also thinking about the conversation he had with Gosalyn. She seems to be the only one that makes him feel okay about this. He feels encouraged by her support, and he's going to need that when he goes to the park to meet his daughter for the first time. At this time, he is not sure if Beth is going to meet them there or not. His thoughts are interrupted by Taylor.
"Good Morning Detective, bad night?" she asks him
"Yeah, something like that" Drake says as he continues to stare at the picture.
"Does it have anything to do with that girl that was in Captain's office yesterday?"
Drake looks up at his partner of nine months. In the time that they've worked together they have shared some information about their personal lives, despite the fact that they are still on a formal name basis. She does not call him Drake, and he does not call her Taylor. It is simply always "Detective".
Drake decides to tell his partner about the new addition to his family. "That woman that was in Captain's office was a friend of mine from college. She came here to tell me that we conceived a child together." Drake's voice is very monotone. Taylor looks at him wide eyed.
"You have another child?"
Drake's mood lightens at the thought of having another child. He leans back in his chair. "Yeah, and I get to meet her today"
"Wow, that's huge? How… how is Beth taking this?" she asks
"Not well" He says. "I mean who wants to hear about their spouse's past sex life?"
"Not only that, I mean for the past, what, four years? She thought she gave you your first and only child. That's gotta burn to find out that that's not true"
Drake looks at his partner and thinks about this for a few seconds. "You know, I haven't even thought of that"
"Of course not, you're a guy" Taylor jokes. She takes a bite of her breakfast sandwich.
Drake glares at her. His cell phone rings and he sees that it is Beth. He stands up and takes a few steps away from his desk to talk to her. "Hey Honey, everything okay?"
"Yeah, everything's fine" she says. "Listen, do you think you can meet me at the park early today? I think we should talk"
Drake is silent for a few seconds. He's not sure if this will be a good talk or another painful exchange.
"Drake" she says over the phone.
"Yeah, sure Honey. I'll see you soon" Drake ends the call on his phone and stares ahead.
Drake meets Beth at the park. He sees her sitting on a bench watching children play at the playground. He walks over to her and she stands up to greet him.
"I'm glad you're here, I really need to talk to you" she says.
Drake takes her hand and holds it lovingly. "Sure Honey, what is it?"
"I wanna apologize. You dropped this big bombshell on me yesterday and I didn't even stop to think about how this is affecting you. I mean you have another child out there. You have a right to be happy about that, and all I did was make you relive something from your past that you'd rather forget about"
Drake takes Beth's other hand and tries to get her to calm down. "Beth, it's okay"
"No, it's not" she interrupts him. "I am your wife, and I'm supposed to support you, not make you feel bad about this. We can't change the past. We've all made mistakes and the past is what makes us who we are today. And I love who you are, I would never do anything to change that"
Drake smiles at her. "I love you too"
"I wanna be here when you meet her" she says.
"You mean it?"
Beth nods and kisses her husband.
At school, Gosalyn and Abby are eating lunch in the cafeteria.
"Can we do five minutes on this girl Nala?" Gosalyn asks
"Yeah, what is Honker doing with her? She's not his type at all. She's always smiling which is totally fake, her wardrobe is trashy and she's always hanging all over him"
"How did they even meet?" Gosalyn takes a few bites of her sandwich.
"She signed up for tutoring, and Honk was all too willing to take her on as a student. Do you think she's up to something?" Abby asks
"I don't know" Gosalyn says. "But we should keep an eye on her, make sure Honker doesn't get hurt"
Abby changes the subject. "What was up with your parents last night?"
"Oh, Dad got a girl pregnant in college" Gosalyn says casually
Abby nearly chokes on her sandwich. "What? Are you serious?"
"Yeah, he just found out yesterday. She got pregnant and never told Dad"
"He must've been pissed" Abby says
"I'm sure he wasn't too happy about it. But now that he gets to meet her he's probably a nervous wreck"
"Do you think Beth is having a problem with this? They seemed so distant last night"
Gosalyn shrugs her shoulders. "Dad said they're going to be fine. I guess we'll wait and see"
Drake and Beth are sitting on a bench at the park waiting for Nora and Jessie. Drake has his arm around his wife and they are both smiling.
"I'm glad you're here" he tells her
"You're about to meet your child for the first time. There's nowhere else I'd rather be"
"Good, because there she is" Drake points her out
Beth and Drake watch as Nora, Jessie and Rachel walk toward them. Jessie is noticeably small for her age. She is wearing her cowboy hat and boots, a long sleeved white and blue dress with cow print trim and blue leggings. She doesn't know that she is about to meet her father. Nora decided not to tell her yet since she thought it would be too much for her to handle. They join the ducks and introduce themselves.
"Hi Drake" Nora says
Drake and Beth stand and shake hands with Nora's friend Rachel.
Nora looks down at her daughter. "Do you want to tell them your name?"
Jessie looks up at the adults and says her name with her sweet soft voice "Jessie Joy Conrad"
Drake's heart melts. He squats to be at her level. "Hi Jessie. I'm Drake" He shakes hands with her. She looks into his eyes but she doesn't smile. She doesn't say anything. Drake smiles at her and leaves go of her hand. "Say, why don't we go give those swings a try?"
Jessie looks up at her mother. "Mommy come too?"
"Of course" Nora says. "Come on Sweetie"
Drake, Nora and Jessie walk over to the swings, leaving Beth and Rachel to get to know each other. They sit on the bench and watch as Drake and Nora take turns pushing Jessie on the swing.
"This must be really weird for you" Rachel says to her.
"Yeah, it is a little weird. Yesterday Drake had two children, and now he has three. We also have two foster kids"
"Five kids. That's a lot to handle"
Beth shrugs her shoulders. "I'm not worried. Drake is an amazing father. I just hope that Jessie sees that"
They continue to watch Nora and Drake play with Jessie on the playground.
"Jessie loves horses" Rachel says. "She grew up on our farm, so she's the happiest when she's riding horses and feeding the farm animals"
There is a long pause as they continue to watch Jessie enjoy herself on the playground. "Does Jessie know that her mother is dying?" Beth asks
Rachel starts to feel emotional but does her best to hide it. "She knows that her mother is going to heaven soon. We've been doing our best to assure her that she's always going to be taken care of. That's why Nora wanted to find Drake. She thought that Jessie deserved to know that she had a father and a family out there. She wants her to get to know Drake, and then she will let her know that he's her father"
Beth and Rachel watch as Drake and Nora chase Jessie around the playground. She is laughing as she avoids being caught by one of the adults. Beth watches as Drake catches up to Jessie, picks her up and swings her around. They both have big smiles on their faces. Beth smiles warmly and enjoys watching her husband enjoy himself.