I pulled my tears back inside my tear ducks and headed up to Hailey's room to fetch her clothes, make-up bag, hair dryer and the essential flat iron. I gathered together three changes of clothes and put them in her weekend bag she usually used to visit her father. I looked around Hailey's room and wondered if she really would be back in three days when she ran out of clothes.
I dropped the bag in my car and walked down the street to get Macy. I thanked Janie and asked her if it would be okay for Macy to come over again tomorrow after school. She assured me it would be fine but I felt awful having to ask, especially as we had not know each other very long. If Hailey did not come home this weekend, I would have to make other arrangements for Macy for after school.
As we left the Smith home, Macy reached up and took my hand. "Mom, where's Hailey?" She was curious but not concerned. Good. She did not need to worry about this too.
"She's at Dad's house."
Why indeed. "I don't know dear. I think she just needed to be with Dad. Sometimes you need your Dad and that's okay but it helps if Mom knows where you are, right?" I sighed.
Macy nodded her head. "I'll probably need Dad too but I'll let you know before I go to his house Mom."
"Thanks dear. I will appreciate that." We had made it back to our house. "Now we have to take Hailey's stuff over to her. She's going to stay there for a few days." It hit me that Macy might want to go too. "Do you want to go too, Macy?"
"Nope, but I have homework to do tonight. It takes too long to get to Dad's. I won't have time to do it all." She looked very worried.
"You can do it in the car. I'll help you as best I can while we drive." How much homework could there be, it was the second day of school. Macy's homework was an All About Me sheet. Mostly she needed help with spelling the words she wanted to use. We got the homework done a few minutes before we arrived at Tim's so I decided to stop at Wendy's and get us dinner. It was Macy's favorite restaurant because of the Frosty. I did make her eat her hamburger and fries before she could eat her Frosty.
When we arrived at Tim's, I grabbed Hailey's bag and Macy and I headed into the house. It was not the house we had shared as a couple. I was grateful for that. We had sold that house and split the proceeds to each buy our own house. Macy rang the doorbell and the Bimbo answered the door. She welcomed us in and Tim came around the corner into the hallway. Macy gave him a big hug and ran into the kitchen to finish her Frosty and watch TV. It was just us grown-ups and a lot of silence.
Pam, the Bimbo, stepped into the void, "Why don't you two go in the living room and talk. I'll get us some drinks and join you in a minute." She watched Tim and I walk into the living room and sit on opposite sides of the room. "Amy, what would you like to drink? We have water, milk and some diet soda."
"I'll take water, thanks," I replied and she was off to the kitchen.
"Thanks for bringing Hailey's stuff to the house," said Tim.
Hailey came in the room then. "Thanks for my stuff Mom," she said as she grabbed the bag next to me and backed away.
"Hi Hailey!" I said brightly as if this entire incident was a pleasant one instead of the back stabbing incident it felt like. "I brought three days worth of stuff for you. It's enough to get you through tomorrow at school and the weekend."
"That's not going to be enough Mom. I'm planning on staying indefinitely. Dad said I could go to my old school," she said triumphantly.
I glared at Tim. He could not make those kinds of decisions, those kinds of promises on his own. I was going to have to be the bad guy. "Hailey, honey, your Dad and I need to discuss this option before any decisions can be made. It's not as easy as it may seem to just go back to your old school. We have to look into whether or not you can attend that school since neither your father or I live in the school district anymore. We have to figure out transportation and daycare for Macy plus there are court matters that will have to be attended to if you decide to stay with your father most of the time instead of with me."
"MOM!" Hailey wailed and whined my name at the same time before she stomped out of the room. There was no reasoning with her at the moment. Right now I had to talk with Tim, then Hailey.
I kept all my anger, frustration, hurt and disappointment bottled as Tim and I talked. Tim apologized for not calling me first thing when Hailey showed up at his house. We talked about all the ways this could have ended badly, mostly with my embarrassment at a police station, and Tim promised to call me if either of the girls ever showed up on his doorstep again. Tim and I hashed out the details of how it might be possible for Hailey to attend her old high school. Pam dropped off some drinks but then beat a hasty retreat back to the kitchen. Tim agreed to talk to the school district to see if she could transfer back and if so, how long would it take. He also agreed that he needed to be responsible for transporting her to and from that school and recognized that I would not sign onto this scheme until that had been figured out to my satisfaction. I did not want Hailey hanging out at the high school every day until her father could come and pick her up. I agreed to figure out after school care for Macy and we agreed to split the cost. If everything worked out, we would go back to the courts and get the paperwork changed so Hailey could stay with Tim during the week and with me on the weekends.
We agreed that in the meantime, Hailey had to attend the high school she was currently enrolled at. It would be better not to accrue the absences, plus if her old high school saw she was not attending the high school she was currently enrolled in they may not let her come to their school. She would be allowed to stay at Tim's house and he would make sure he got her to school on time each day, even though it meant they would have to leave the house at 6:45. After school, she would take the bus home to my house and be there to take care of Macy since Tim could not pick her up until after work. This way Hailey could leave the bulk of her stuff where it was and pick up what she needed daily until we got everything figured out.
Things went a whole lot smoother with Tim, who was more reasonable than I had anticipated, and things went about as one might expect with Hailey when we told her the plan. She yelled, screamed, cried and pouted but we kept a united front. Once she heard out our reasoning, she begrudgingly said she would attend her current high school but only until she got into her old one.
It gave us time to figure things out.
Check back tomorrow to see how things start to figure themselves out!