Chapter   Five

Three days later....

"So what's the surprise?" Lynn asked AJ.

"If I told you, then it wouldn't be a surprise," he answered.

"Not even a little hint?"


AJ had just picked up Lynn and her newborn son, Tyler Dwaine Ortiz, from the hospital. How Tyler got his name was interesting. After exhausting all the other names Lynn had picked out and not finding a good combination, she just opened the baby name book and pointed. Her finger landed on Tyler. She tried to do the same thing with his middle name, but nothing seemed to fit. Then when Kevin, Nick, Brian, Emily, and Howie came to visit Lynn, they also brought some cupcakes to celebrate Howie's 27th birthday. Emily had a flash of genius and told Lynn Tyler's middle name should be 'Dwaine', after Howie. It really did make sense because Tyler was born on Howie's birthday.

It took a while to convince Lynn of that though. AJ was a little skeptical about it as well. Emily talked to Lynn in private and understood why she would have some doubts about that name. Lynn told Emily that she didn't want Tyler's father, Dwayne, to think she named Tyler after him as a reminder. Emily explained to Lynn that it didn't have to be that way, that Howie spelled it a totally different way and it looked really cool. Finally, Lynn decided 'Dwaine' would be Tyler's middle name and had it put on the birth certificate. AJ was still a little skeptical about it, but he knew it wasn't his choice to make, so he didn't argue.

Finally, AJ pulled the car up the driveway of Lynn's house. He got out, opened the door for Lynn, ran to the other side, and got the car seat which held a sleeping Tyler. Lynn grabbed her bag from the trunk and followed AJ inside her house. When they walked in, a medium-sized crowd yelled, "SURPRISE!!" Tyler woke up, but he didn't cry. He just looked around him. Lynn dropped her bag in shock.

"Oh my gosh!" she said, her eyes wide open. "When did you all get here?"

Lynn's mother walked over and threw her arms around her daughter. "Emily called us up and told us about the delivery. I called your brothers, Alisha, Crystal, Lori, Jon, Ryan, Ericson, Geri, Serena, Uncle Freddy, Uncle Dan, Aunt Cindy, just everybody and told them the news."

"Wow. It's great to have all of you here," Lynn said, as she went around hugging all her relatives and friends. "AJ, could you bring Tyler over here so everyone can see him?"

"You got it, mom," AJ smiled. He took Tyler out of his car seat and took him to Lynn and placed the baby in her arms. Everyone gathered around to look at him. They 'oohed' and 'ahhhed' over him for a few minutes.

"Lynn, could I talk to you for a second?" Charles asked.

Lynn looked at him. "Sure. Here, mom, take him."

Lynn's mother looked at her son and daughter as they walked out the sliding door. She hoped the two would finally work out their troubles.

"What did you want to talk to me about?" Lynn asked.

Charles looked at her for a minute. "I wanted to say I'm sorry for all the things I said to you when I found out about the baby."

"Do you really mean it or did mom make you come here?"

"I came here because I wanted to apologize to you and I wanted to see my nephew. I don't know why I took it so hard. I mean, you're my little sister. I never thought this would happen to you."

"Oh, so this only happens to girls that sleep around or are whores, right? Is that why you called me one?"

"I didn't mean to say that. I was just angry. Lynn, you're not even nineteen yet and you have a son."

"I'm a human being, Charles, not a saint. I'm allowed to make mistakes. But you know what? I think Tyler is a blessing. Sure, it's going to be hard raising him by myself, but I'm going to try my best. It really hurt me when you called me all those names. I knew you'd get mad 'cause you didn't want me involved with Dwayne in the first place. Ericson didn't either, but he didn't do what you did. And I'm sorry if I didn't live up to your expectations, but I didn't expect them to be so damn high."

"You shouldn't have to live up to anyone's expectations but yours. And I'm sorry if I made you feel like I didn't care about you 'cause I do. It was wrong of me to do that. You needed my support and instead I treated you like dirt. I'm sorry and I'll be sorry for the rest of my life. But I want you to know that you have my support and I love you, little sister."

"I love you, too, big brother," Lynn said with tears in her eyes. "Thank you."

Lynn and Charles hugged each other tightly. Finally, everything was resolved. Well, almost everything. AJ came out onto the porch just as Charles and Lynn were letting go.

"Um, sorry to interrupt, but everyone's waiting for Lynn to open the presents," he said.

"Okay," Lynn said, wiping the tears from her eyes. "I'll be right there."

AJ nodded and went back inside.

"That's a pretty cool boyfriend you got there," Charles commented.

"He's not my boyfriend. AJ and I are just friends."

"Could've fooled me."

"What do you mean?"

"He's in love with you. It's plain for everyone to see."

"I don't know, Charles. AJ's a great guy and he's been there for me through my last two weeks. He's was the one who held my hand when I gave birth to Tyler, but I don't want to weigh him down. He's twenty-two and he has a busy career...."

"Why? What does he do?" Charles asked.

"He's in a music group," Lynn answered.

"Which one?"

"Backstreet Boys."

"That group you used to like a couple years ago?"

"I still like them. They're good. But I don't know if he knows that I know who he is. I figure if he wants to tell me, he will."

"Who knows?"

Lynn and Charles laughed. They looked through the glass door and saw their mother signaling for them to come inside. The two shared a brief hug before going back and joining the party.

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