"I have to get to work," he tells her.

"I'm off today, I'll stay with him."

"We need to talk," Cruz warns her.

"Later," she responds, looking at the teenager lying on the couch, asleep.

"Are you sure that the two of you will be ok?"

"I'm not going to let anything happen to him," she promises.

"Ok," he nods, and walks out the door.

Hours later, he finally wakes up. He finds her, lying on the floor, wrapped in a down comforter, between the couch, and the coffee table.

"You didn't have to stay, you know. I would have been fine on my own."

"I think that recent events prove otherwise."

"He left?"

"Yeah," she nods.

"I'm not surprised."

"Charlie, why are you so angry with your father?""He's a complete douchebag, can you blame me?"

"There is more to it, than that."

"He's never around, when I need him. Everything else is more important than I am."

"Charlie, that's not true."

"Yes, it is," he argues.

"What makes you think that?"

"He's never around."

"Charlie, he's busy."

"You know, he didn't even want a kid."

"Yet, here you are."

"Because once he agreed, there was nothing he could do, to stop it."

"Charlie, you have to learn to look past his flaws."

"I can't. He wasn't even there when I was born."

"I'm sorry."

"Hell, he wasn't even there when I was conceived."

"Of course he was. What are you talking about? He's your father. Isn't he?"

"Biologically, I guess."

"What do you mean, that he wasn't there, for your conception?"

"My mother, couldn't get pregnant. She tried, and never succeeded, which was fine by him, because he didn't really want a kid, anyway. She decided to hire a surrogate."

"A gestational carrier," Jackie corrects.

"No," he shakes his head, "A surrogate. I know the difference."

"So your mother..."

"She's not my biological mother."

"And Cruz?"

"He is my biological father, but he wasn't there when I was conceived. He wasn't there for any of the appointments. He wasn't there when I was born. He was at a conference in Denver. He didn't meet me, until I was three days old. What kind of a father, does that?"

"I don't know."

"And, to top it all off, he doesn't understand why I'm angry with him, for trying to get custody of me."

"Why didn't your mother get custody?"

"She's dead."

"I beg your pardon?"

"She's dead. He fought my grandparents for custody. I would have rather lived with them."

"You never told me that."

"Now do you see why I'm so messed up?"

"I can understand how you might be warped."

"My entire life is fucked up."

"So, have you ever tried to find out who your biological mother is?"

"Yeah, but I've never been able to find anything out about her."

"Would you want to meet her?"

He shrugs, "I don't know." Hours later Cruz returns home. Jackie leaves, and heads for home. She gets sidetracked, along the way. She finds herself sitting at a bar, ordering a drink. She looks at her watch.

She pulls her phone out of her pocket, and dials. It rings twice, before the party on the other end answers.

"It is one o'clock in the morning, this had better be good," she warns.

"I'm at a bar."

"I'm on my way. Text me the details," she answers.

"Ok," she hangs up.

Eleanor, and her car arrive fifteen minutes later. Jackie is standing outside, on the sidewalk, waiting, when she pulls up. Jackie opens the door, and climbs in. Eleanor wears pajamas. Jackie slams the door behind her.

"Would you like to tell me why you're at a bar?"

"I was being self-destructive."

"Did you drink?"


"Did you..."

"I didn't do anything. I ordered a drink, and then I called you," she answers.

"What has you so upset?"


"Charlie? What about him?"

"Charlie is the kid from rehab."

"Right, and?"

"I had to bail him out of jail."

"It was a rough day?"

"To say the least. I met his father."


"He's a total douche."

"I kind of gathered that."

"He's our boss."

"Our boss? What are you talking about, Jacks?"

"Charlie's father, is Mike Cruz."

"Oh, shit."

"And, I'm the friend from rehab."

"I can see why you might need a drink."

"There's more."

"What more could there be?"