"Ma!" She squealed in delight.
Kaya rubbed her tired eyes, stifled a yawn and hauled Morgan from her crib.
"Hey baby! Are you hungry?" She asked as Morgan nodded her head furiously.
"Lets fix you some breakfast huh?" Kaya added.
Still half asleep she trotted down the stairs and secured Morgan in her high chair before preparing her favourite breakfast of mashed banana.
"Here you go sweetie." Kaya said, lovingly placing the bowl in front of Morgan and turning back to the stove to prepare waffles for her and Lexie.
Morgan proceeded to mush her hands into the bowl, scooping up the banana and throwing it unceremoniously onto the floor.
"Morgan! Use your spoon." Kaya lectured.
As she began to whip up the batter mixture Kaya heard an almighty crash from behind her turning she found....................
An irate Morgan tipping her bowl off the high chair and straight onto the floor, smashing the dish into pieces and spraying mushy banana everywhere.
"Morgan!" She sighed.
"Look at the mess you've made! I only turned my back for two minutes!" Kaya chided gently.
Picking Morgan back up she cleared the mess of the breakfast away and left her half prepared waffles mixture on the side, how did other mothers find time to eat? She wondered.
Looking outside Kaya realised it was a beautiful spring morning and her day off, perfect time to teach Morgan to walk, she figured.
"C'mon Morgan, that's right stand up!" She encouraged.
Morgan managed a wobbly stand for all of one second before plonking down onto her bottom and pouting at Kaya.
"C'mon sweetie, try again." Kaya asked.
This time Morgan managed to stand on her own two feet and filled with hope Kaya took a few steps back and beckoned her to walk.
Morgan squinted, wobbled and fell back onto the grass bursting into tears of frustration.
Kaya stood back up and sighed loudly, this parenting lark wasn't as easy as she had hoped it would be, it seemed that at every opportunity Morgan was resistant to her tutoring.
"Shh, baby don't cry. C'mon lets try again." Kaya soothed.
"No!" Morgan screamed.
"Not as easy as it looks is it?" A voice asked.
"Don't worry it gets better." Jackson added.
"Really? When?" Kaya smiled.
"Stick with it she'll pick it up." He encouraged. "It took Howie almost a week."
"Well i guess he had a good teacher in you." Kaya replied.
"I have my moments, but being a parent is tough." Jackson frowned.
"Tougher than splitting the atom, or whatever it is that you scientists do?" Kaya joked.
"Are you kidding? Nuclear fission is a breeze compared to changing a diaper." Jackson quipped.
The pair smiled at each other fondly until Kaya regained her focus. What was Jackson doing here? Did he want to rub his happy family in her face some more?
"Your little boy is the spitting image of you." Kaya said, scrambling for something to say.
"Yeah, poor kid!" Jackson laughed, "Seriously though i think he's much cuter."
He seemed so genial and at ease in her company, it was as though they had never parted company. But the memory of Jackson with his family at the park was ingrained in Kaya's memory and she was wary that falling back into their old routine would make it too hard for her to watch him leave after their friendly chat was over.
Jackson seemed to read her mind and reverted to his awkward type.
"Kaya, you ran off so fast yesterday i didn't get a chance to introduce you." He said.
"Sorry, i just had to get home." She lied, "I'd love to meet your family sometime though." She added, hoping she had bluffed her way through it.
"Maybe we could get Howie and Morgan together for a play date some time?" Jackson asked, "And maybe you and i could get together for a coffee?"
"I'm not sure that's a good idea Jackson." Kaya sighed, "I mean i wish that we could be friends but to be honest it's just too hard for me having your happy family shoved in my face." She snapped, instantly wishing she could take back her words. She hadn't meant to sound jealous but she was finding it hard to control her emotions.
"Sorry Jackson, but it's tough enough being a single mother without having to see my ex and his wife looking so perfect together." She explained.
"Oh, so that's why you rushed off yesterday." He exclaimed.
"What? No! I told you i was in a rush." She replied hurriedly, feeling her patience slip.
"Kaya, Beth isn't my wife." Jackson explained, "We met while we were working on a project together and well lets just say that Howie was the best thing to come out of our relationship."
"Oh. I just assumed, i mean you two looked pretty happy together." Kaya smiled.
"Well i guess we get on." Jackson explained, "We have a lot in common, we're both scientists and of course we have Howie."
"But you're not in a relationship?" Kaya confirmed.
"Nope, I'm free and single." He smiled. "So how about that coffee?"
"Sounds perfect." Kaya replied unable to contain her beaming smile.
After Jackson left Kaya decided to heed his advice and persevered with teaching Morgan to walk.
Picking her up she stood her firmly on her feet and stepped back.
"Come on Morgan, come to Mommy." She called.
Morgan teetered unsteadily then slowly took one step forward.
"Yes! That's it, keep going!" Kaya called.
Morgan grinned at the encouragement and continued forward until she reached Kaya's out stretched arms.
Kaya scooped Morgan up and swung her high in the air.
"You did it!"
After the initial confusion was cleared up Kaya wasted no time at all in taking up Jackson's offer of coffee.
She played it slowly at first, a couple of coffee dates here and there were soon followed by daily phone calls.
Which lead to dinner dates and evenings spent reminiscing over a bottle of wine (or two!)
Before long the two were spending all of their spare time together.
They had both agreed not to introduce the other to their respective children just yet, Kaya hated nothing more than the thought of Morgan becoming attached to a man who may or may not be around forever.
It was one thing if her heart got broken and entirely another if Morgan's did.
They found themselves partaking in all sorts of incredibly intellectual things like visiting the art gallery.
Of course the intellect soon evaporated when Kaya remarked that the sculpture looked "kinda like a deformed twiglet!"
Jackson's face said it all and the pair of them dissolved into fits of laughter.
That night Jackson insisted they take a stroll down by the old harbour together and they sat at the waters edge gazing out at the expanse of stars, jewelling the inky night with their sparkly brilliance.
Kaya could feel Jackson's eyes on her as she looked into the night, "You're supposed to look up!" She chided lightly.
"Oh is that how this star gazing thing works?" he chuckled, before sneaking his hand to rest against hers lightly.
Kaya returned his smile and leaned against his shoulder to signal that his touch was more than welcome.
"Look!" She cried, pointing upwards, "A shooting star, you have to make a wish."
Jackson smiled at the corner of his mouth as though her idea was babyish.
"Come on don't you know if you wish on shooting star you get your wish granted." She said nudging him in his side.
"Oh i know." He told her, straightening his glasses, "Don't YOU know that if you tell someone else what you wished for that it won't come true?"
She chuckled and stood up, brushing the dust from the path off her dress.
"Why did you bring us out here anyway?" Kaya asked.
"Don't you remember? This is where we were the night you first noticed me." He replied.
"What are you talking about we went to school together our whole lives." She pointed out.
"Yes but you were too busy being popular to notice me, but that night something got you upset and i caught the flack for it."
"I guess i was kinda a bitch!" She smiled, taking his face in her hands and gazing into his bespectacled eyes.
"Not to me." He shook his head, "To me you were this fearless creature who said exactly what she thought and i fell in love with you. I never stopped." Jackson replied.
"You're my wish Kaya." He told her, stroking her soft cheek tenderly, "I know i said it out loud so now you'll probably run a mile but i figured I'd take a leaf out of your book and say what i think."
"I never believed in that star wishing thingy anyway." She smiled before kissing him.
It wasn't too much longer after that night that things became much more serious between Kaya and Jackson and she knew that the time was right for him to meet Morgan and for her to meet Howie so they could start the foundations of a family together.
"Hey! How come I'm in my underwear and you're fully clothed?" She demanded.
"Erm, i guess i didn't realise tonight was a sleepover." Jackson laughed awkwardly.
"Well guess again mister!" Kaya raised her eyebrows suggestively.
She stalked over to the bed and reclined seductively in front of him.
"Well when you put it like that!" He laughed, before removing his clothes.
Kaya took in the site of semi naked Jackson, standing in front of her in all his glory with his fishy themed boxers displayed proudly.
"Come on then let it all out now before i come over there." He beckoned her to speak her mind.
"I don't know what you're referring to." She told him, tongue firmly in cheek.
"So you don't have any comment to make about my boxer shorts?" He confirmed.
"Would you quit stalling and get over here!" Kaya demanded, and Jackson obeyed.
"I gotta say I'm surprised you didn't demand i go home and change." He laughed, "Or at least threaten me with a make over."
"Honestly Jackson, I've missed you." Kaya told him, "I missed your dry sense of humour, i missed your milk bottle glasses and i sure did miss your crazy dress sense."
"So let me get this straight are you saying you don't want to change me?" He asked.
"Not a single bit of you." She smiled, biting her lip.
"Where is Kaya Traytor and what have you done with her?" Jackson laughed grabbing her by her waist and flipping her onto her back.
"Shut up and kiss me already." She smiled, and he obliged.