"Rayen, the council will order it or you will have to leave the reservation and I don't think Tyler would like that very much if you left with his child, I've known since you two were small that you would end up together...our religion usually kept Tyler's thoughts at bay but with your pregnancy...I think that ship has sailed." Her father said eating some of his french fries.
Tyler shook his head, "if Rayen doesn't want to marry me yet, she doesn't have to. It will be on her terms, I'm not forcing her into anything and I will go in front of the council and say that. Grandfather was the head of that council once, they won't say no."
[b "My mother didn't say much."] she said [b "I was freaking out when I told her, the plan was that I would terminate the pregnancy, and Tyler would still be able to go away, without having to worry about myself and the baby."] she said.
She looked at Tyler, and grabbed his hand, squuezing it reasuringly. [b "I'm not sure that I want the wedding to be so soon, sir."] she said. [b "I know that we have certain ways of doing things, but I just don't know."] She glanced up, not knowing what his reaction would be.
"What did she say about the child? I know your mother and shes set in her ways Rayen, you are welcome at our house anytime. You can live there and share Tyler's room, I know you two will need some time to get on your feet alone and with graduation coming up and apparently Tyler is going to start working more, you'll be okay but you have my blessing....but the wedding will have to happen before the tribal elders get wind of the child...within the next two weeks or month. Depending on how far along you are..." His father said sighing. He had married Tyler's mother for this reason...but he truly loved her. She was just not one to stay tied down.
Rayven just nodded as she listened to him. She relaxed when she felt him kiss her cheek. He calmed her, his presence made her feel safe. Like they could tackle anything in the world.
[b "My mom already knows."] she whispered [b "About it, at least."] she said down and scooted closer to the wall, it was cold and comforting. She ordered and soon the food was out. She quickly bit into her burger, containing a moan back. She blushed and looked at Tyler.
She listened to his father and just sighed. [b "My mothers knows about the baby.. I haven't been able to tell her about the engagment."]
"its my dad Rayen its okay.." He muttered kissing her cheek reassuringly. He wasn't one for public displays of affection but if it relaxed her then it was worth it. She was right, he did hate the lumber yard but they had a baby coming and he was doing the right thing. He had to do what he could. Babies were expensive but there was nothing he wanted more than to protect Rayen and their child.
"Its your mom I'm worried about talking to." He said sitting down. His father sat down across the booth from them. They quickly ordered and Tyler made sure Rayen ordered her favorite. They had been coming here since they were 11 years old and getting milkshakes and burgers.
His father took a sip of his coke and asked, "So what did you find this morning son? Something has changed you, you've always hated the lumber yard as Rayen pointed out and now you want to work there?"
Tyler took a deep breath...."I asked Rayen to marry me...we're having a baby." His father almost spit out his drink. The tribe would look down on them if they had a child unwed and they all knew that. His father turned to Rayen, "Does your mother know about this?"
Rayven looked at Tyler as she listened to him ask about the job. [b "Tyler.."] she said [b "You hate the lumber yard."] She just shook her head, she was going to look into getting a job as well. Though, she wouldn't be able to handle a lot of physical labor. Even though it was against the reservation's way, she would maybe think about babysitting or something.
Soon enough they were all the local finer and she was very thankful, her stomach was growling at this point. [b "Tyler.."] she whispered. She was quite nervous, and that wasn't something that usually happened to the girl.
The whole reservation was buzzing about their relationship, it was the biggest thing to happen in awhile. They piled into Tyler's father's truck, the old rickety truck barely ran anymore...Tyler was going to get a second job...maybe a third. All he did now was deliver newspapers but he couldn't support a child on that...he was 17 he didn't know how to support a child...."Uh dad...can I come to work with you at the Lumber Yard?" He muttered.
His father was shocked, "I can talk to Mr. Landry, hes always needing the help and your young and can move the palettes." Tyler nodded, "Thanks dad." Tyler had always looked down on the lumber yard and hardware store where his dad worked because he barely made enough for them to stay afloat but now he had a child coming to worry about and he didn't want Rayen working. On the reservation if a woman was with child, they weren't supposed to work. The spirits wouldn't bless the pregnancy if they did. Tyler had never believed in the spirits before today...they led him to Rayen..
Rayven just laughed as she felt him pull her closer. [b "Since when are you someone that shows Public Displays of Affection? What happened to we have it keep it quiet?"] she asked, placing her hand on his cheek, she return the kiss. [b "I love you."] she said.
She looked up as she heard Mr. Cloud yell for Tyler. [b "Oh noo."] she whispered. She looked at Tyler and then back to his Father. [b "It's all my fault... I'm sorry Mr. Cloud."] she said.
She listened to Tyler and couldnt help but grin. [b "I'm starving.."]
Tyler pulled her closer to him, holding her waist and kissed her, for the first time in public...for the first time in front of anyone else...and it felt right. Everyone around them clapped and his cheeks turned a rosy shade but he laughed and smiled at her...then he saw his father at the corner of the track..his dad never came to watch him run. Did he know?
The look on his father's face registered that he had no idea that Tyler hadn't ran or that Rayen was pregnant..."Tyler!" His dad yelled and jogged toward him, the older man had bad knees so jogging for him was a chore. "I came to see you run..."
Sighing Tyler looked at his dad and said, "I didn't run today...I had something more important to find." His dad raised an eyebrow and noticed him holding Rayen's hand.. "Lets go get some lunch and you can tell me about what you found." Tyler nodded and said, "Come on babe."
Rayven just listened to him, tears still running down her face. [b "Tyler.."] she whispered. Her entire world froze when she heard what he had just said. It finally registered. [b "You don't mean that. I don't want to hold you back from your dreams. You'll resent me and baby if I say yes.."]
She stared at him for a few moments, and finally nodded. [b "Yes."] she sobbed. [b "I'll marry you."] She wrapped her arms around his neck and just stood there. [b "I love you."] she whispered into his ear. [b "I always have."]
"Rayen...if I wanted to be a runner...I would have been here at 8 am to run....where was I? Looking for you...your more important to me than just running fast...besides...maybe our kid will inheirit that from me, I mean they used to call my grandfather running deer, he passed that name down to me before he died." He said and looked to her stomach and asked, "will you marry me? I mean I don't have a ring and I don't have money to buy one right now but you'll get a ring...one of the best that you'll love but Rayen...I've loved you our whole lives...we played together in the bathtub as babies for God's sake, when my mom left when I was 7...where did I run? Your house because I felt safe there. When your dad died my dad helped out your mom and still does because we've always considered you family and how long has my dad been saying we will get married? Rayen I love you, marry me, please?"
By now all of their peers and his track team were watching them. Tyler didn't care, it was obvious that he was in love with Rayen and most of the school knew they had an unofficial thing..there were no secrets on a reservation.
Rayven just nodded as she looked at him. She felt tears trickle down her face. [b "I was going to."] she mumbled [b "I had every intition in the world to terminate my pregnancy, but then when I got on the table, I kept having these flashes of what my life would be like."] she said. [b "What our life would be like.."]
She looked down at the ground. [b "I didn't terminate."] she said softly [b "I'm going to be a mother.."] She looked up at him, crying. [b "Tyler. I don't want to stand in the way of your dreams."]
"I looked everywhere for you, I was so worried, scared you were going to...you know....." Tyler said pulling her into a tight hug. He didn't care about track and field or scholarships anymore...maybe this town wasn't so bad after all. He had fought his father his entire life to leave this place and now that Rayen was pregnant...with his child....he didn't want to leave her. Funny how certain things change your perspective.
"Rayen, I love you." Tyler muttered for the first time in his life. They had been best friends forever but this was the first time his true feelings came out.
Ray gen went to the clinic, but she couldn't do what she went there to do. She bawled the entire time, and finally she found enough strength to get to the track. She wanted to see Tyler run, she had to see him one more time before he left.
She was very confused when she realized that he wasn't at the track field. [b "Where are you?"] she whispered to herself. Soon enough the track meet was over, she still couldn't find Tyler. She smiled slightly when she heard him say her name. She turned to face him.
Tyler ran as fast as his legs would take him and got to the clinic and looked at the sign in sheet. She wasn't here. If she wasn't here where was she? Then he thought about it, his meet. He ran to the track field and spotted her.
He was out of breath. He stopped behind her, "Rayen." He had missed his track meet, his chance at college scholarships, the scouts were there and he would have gotten every offer but Rayen meant more to him than college and she knew that or at least he hoped she did.
Tyler looked into her eyes, "Rayen?"
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