Daria sat at her desk wading through the pile of work. There was so much to do that at first she was annoyed when the phone rang but, when she heard her sister’s voice on the other end, she was soon grateful for the interruption.

“Hi Quinn.”

“So what’s up?”

“You want me to meet you and Neil at Mom and Dad’s house this weekend? Why?”

“A secret huh?”

“I guess I can make it there. It will be Saturday before I can make it though.”

“I have a date.”

“Yes. A date.”

“It’s our first.”

“Last week.”

“At the newsstand.”

“He seems nice enough.”

“Probably just dinner.”

“Fine. Look I need to go. I’ll see you Saturday okay?”

“I can’t say for sure. But it will be before noon.”


As Daria hung up the phone, she wondered what this was about. Several possibilities went through her mind but only a few seemed to make sense. She figured there was no point wasting her time speculating. There was nothing she could do but wait three more days until she could get back to Lawndale. To try to put the call out of her mind, she returned to her work.

Saturday morning, Daria pulled up in front of her parent’s house. As she opened the front door, Quinn greeted her. "Hi Daria."

“Hi Quinn.”

“C’mon on in.”

As they went into the living room, Daria saw Helen sitting on the couch.

“Hi Mom.”

Helen stood up and hugged Daria.

“Hi Sweetie.”

The three sat down and looked at each other. Daria spoke up. “So what’s the news?”

“She won’t tell us until we’re all together.” Helen said.

“So where are they?”

Quinn looked at Daria.

“We didn’t expect you so early so they went to the hardware store. They should be back pretty soon.”

To pass the time the trio discussed the recent events of their lives. Eventually Jake and Neil came in through the kitchen. Jake was the first to see Daria.

“Hi Kiddo.”

“Hey Dad. Hi Neil.”

Neil smiled.

“Hi Daria.”

They were all together so Daria figured there was no point in waiting any longer.

“So what’s the big news?”

Quinn got up and walked over to Neil. As they stood together Quinn smiled.

“I’m pregnant.” Quinn said.

Helen didn't say anything. She just stood up and hugged the pair. Jake was so thrilled all he could do was say, rather loudly, “That’s Great!” Daria just sat there.

After a few seconds everyone calmed down and the questions started.

“So when are you due?” Helen asked.

“About eight months.” Quinn replied.

Jake's question was a little different. “So what is it? A boy or a girl?”

Quinn rolled her eyes.

“It’s a little to soon to tell Dad.”

“Oh right. Sorry.”

Finally, Quinn realized Daria hadn't moved.

“Daria? Are you okay?”

Daria snapped out for her fog.

“Oh. Sorry. Congratulations.”

The rest of the afternoon was spent in celebration. As the day wore on, Daria spent most of the time by herself. Wanting some time alone to think, she decided to return to the refuge of her youth.

Going upstairs, she walked down the hall and opened the door. As she went inside she looked around. Each time she came in here she was amazed at what she saw. She had moved out almost six years earlier and Mom and Dad hadn't changed a thing. Everything was just where she had left it all those years ago. Sitting on her bed she put her head in her hands and began some serious self-pity.

Quinn was going to have a baby. She knew it would happen eventually but she didn’t figure she would take it this way. She was as close to Jane as she was to Quinn but she didn't take it anywhere near this hard when Jane told Daria she was expecting her first child last year. She figured it was because Quinn was her sister.

Growing up she never figured she wanted a family of her own but when she learned it wasn’t possible for her to have children that started to change. Saying you didn't want something when you could change your mind was one thing but knowing it would definitely never happen made it a different matter. She thought she had grown enough to accept it. Now it seemed she still had some issues to work through. Sitting there in thought, she never heard Quinn enter the room.


“Huh? Oh hi Quinn.”

“Mind if I turn on the light?”

“Go ahead.”

She flipped the switch on and went to sit by Daria.

“Are you okay?”

Daria looked at Quinn.

“I guess so.”

“I hope this hasn’t upset you too much.”

“No. I can deal with it.”

“I was afraid you would be hurt when you found out.”

“It hurts but it has nothing to do with you.”


“Yes, really. I knew someday you would get pregnant. It just makes me think about what I can’t have.”

Quinn looked at her sister with a sad expression.

“Oh. Well perhaps someday you will have a family. You can always adopt.”

Daria gave Quinn a quick smile. She was doing her best to cheer her up and it was working a little.

“Thanks Quinn. I know. Who knows what will happen someday.”

“Then you’re feeling better?”

“Yes. I guess I forgot to say how happy I am for you.” Daria leaned over and hugged Quinn. “Congratulations.”


As they separated Quinn spoke up.

“Mom and Dad want to take us out to dinner to celebrate. Can you stay over tonight? We really want you to be with us.”

Daria gave her sister a brief smile.

“Sure. I don't have any plans at home.”


Quinn got up and left Daria in her room. As she walked out the door she turned to look at her sister.

“Mom and Dad are going to want to know where you are. What should I say?”

“Tell them I’ll be down in a minute.”


After Quinn left Daria sat there a little while longer. She really was happy for Quinn and wanted her to know that. Her own feelings would have to be put aside for a while. After a few minutes she figured she should get back downstairs before Mom sent Dad up to find her. Leaving the room, she turned out the light.

Dinner was nice. They talked about all the things that had happened over the years and their hopes for the next generation. When they returned home it was pretty late so they all just went to bed. Neil didn’t like the idea of sleeping in Quinn’s old canopy bed so he and Quinn took the guest room. Daria stayed in her old room. As she lay there her mind went back to the events from earlier in the day and her condition. The strain finally caught up with her and in the privacy of her childhood sanctuary she cried herself to sleep.

The next morning Daria came downstairs to see everyone was already up. Jake greeted her.

“Morning Kiddo. Sit down. Mom made plenty of breakfast.”

As Daria went to the table, she thought. “Leave it to Mom. We move out, THEN she turns into Martha Stewart.”

As Daria started serving her plate Helen looked over at her. “So did you sleep well last night?”

“Yes. Why?”

“It’s just that I heard noises coming from your room last night and I’ve never known you to sleep in very often.”

“You know how it is when you’re in a strange bed.”

“But that's your room how can it be strange?”

“It hasn't been my room for some time.”

Helen had never thought about that.


Daria spoke up.

“Mom, Dad I want to ask you a question.”

Everyone looked at her.

“What is it Kiddo?” Jake asked.

“Why haven't you ever changed our rooms?”

Helen looked confused.

“What do you mean?”

“Both Quinn and I have been gone for a while. When we do come back for a visit we use the guest room. Wouldn't it make sense to turn them into something more useful?”

Jake spoke first.

“But we miss you two and those rooms hold memories for us.”

“Plus we haven't had any need for additional space so we decided to leave them alone.” Helen added.

Daria paused for a second. This was going to be a big comment she needed to be careful how she said it to prevent hurting her parent’s feelings.

“But there’s a new generation coming soon. Perhaps it’s time to think about letting the past go and focusing on the future instead.”

Both Jake and Helen looked at Quinn.

“Daria’s got a point. When we visit we’ll need more space now.”

Jake and Helen looked at each other. The girls made sense. The big question was what to do next.

“We’ll think about it.” Helen said.

Daria left shortly after breakfast. All the way home she thought about the events from the day before. When she got back she had to call Jane. If anyone could help her understand what was happening, even a little, it would be Jane. As soon as she got home she dialed her number. When Jane picked up they didn’t disconnect for almost two hours.

The next few months were busy for Daria. Almost every weekend she was visiting Quinn. It turned out to be great therapy for her as she got to witness her sister’s happiness. Sometimes it was tough to take but the experience was really bringing them even closer together.

Eventually Jake and Helen took Daria’s advice and decided to redo the old bedrooms. The only request they had was since she suggested it she needed to help. She agreed to lend a hand. When it came to her parents the years had softened her a good bit in that area.

When Daria learned what they had in mind she was pleased. Jake and Helen had decided to turn her old room into another guest room and Quinn's room would be a combination nursery and playroom.

The renovations didn't take too long. Daria’s room was the biggest job. The toughest part was removing the metal bars from the windows. If a child slept there those definitely had to go. Of course her beloved padded walls came down as well. After all the holes had been patched Daria got the honor of selecting the color. Since she still wanted there to be some piece of her presence there she chose a gray that, when dry, looked pretty nice. After all the time it took to do her room Quinn's old room was a snap. Before too much time had passed everything was finished.

After the events of the previous weeks Daria really didn't want to see a paint roller again for a long time but when Quinn asked her to help paint the nursery she said yes. She wanted to show her support and it wouldn't take too long with three people there. When she showed up that Saturday Neil answered the door.

“Hey Daria.”


“So are you ready to paint?”

“Not really, but I guess it’s too late to back out now.”

Neil chuckled.

“Well, come on up.”

As they went upstairs, Daria thought about how much Neil had become part of the family. Quinn had met him while a freshman in college. She was having trouble and he offered to tutor her. She didn’t seem too interested in him at the time but accepted his offer. As time passed, they quickly moved though all the stages of a relationship until by the end of the first year they were a real couple. Jake and Helen really liked him. He was helping their daughter through a tough time in her life and was a gentleman. Before too long he was a part of the family. Soon after he and Quinn graduated they got married. Now, a year later, they were starting a family.

As they got to the nursery Daria looked around. “So where's Quinn?”

“She didn’t like the color we chose for the trim so she went to the paint store to look at other choices.”

“How long has she been gone?”

“About an hour.” Neil said.

“So we’re pretty much on our own for the rest of the day then.”

They both laughed. One thing Neil hadn’t been able to change about Quinn was her ability to waste time in a store. Once she got started shopping any concept of time vanished.

Neil looked at Daria. “So are you ready to start?”


“Great. Grab a roller and start on that wall. I’ll finish this one.”

Even though the room wasn’t that big the project took most of the day. Eventually they decided to take a break. As they sat there they heard Quinn pull up. A minute later they heard her voice.

“Neil? Daria?”

Neil shouted back.

“We’re in the nursery.”

“I’ll be right up.” Quinn said.

When she went into the room she saw them sitting there and looked at what they had done.

“Looks nice.” She said.

Neil looked up.

“So where were you all day?” He asked.

“Sorry about that. I stopped by Toddlerville. They had a class on vaccinations and other health  issues for babies. I stayed to hear the instructor.”

“Okay.” Neil said. “So where’s the new paint?”

Quinn slapped her forehead.

“Rats. I knew I forgot something.”

Neil and Daria could only look at each other and shake their heads.

Over the next month, things finally began to calm some. Neil and Quinn had their nursery complete and the due date was still a few weeks off. Daria began having more time to herself again. She still visited Quinn but as the date approached her visits would have to stop for a little while. As Daria packed she was on the phone talking to her sister.

“Yes. I know.”

“I don’t want to go but they sprung it on me at the last minute.”

“It’s not my choice. It’s my job.”

“Two weeks.”

“I know the due date is approaching but I should be back well before then.”

“Look I hate to cut this off but the flight is in two hours and I have a pile of stuff to finish up.”

“I’ll call you later okay?”

“Okay Bye.”

Daria hung up the phone and sat on her bed. Quinn had always been high maintenance but these past few weeks had been extraordinary. She got at least four calls a day from her. All Daria could do was wonder how Neil was handling things. It couldn’t be easy. She looked at the clock. She had less than ninety minutes. The call had really slowed her down. Quickly she rushed over, grabbed her case, and ran out the door.

Daria hated business travel. She wasn’t much of a traveler to begin with but work trips were the worst. Almost all your time was spent in a windowless meeting room in some hotel basement and any time not spent in meetings was wasted in the room going over work. This time she had already wasted a week in this activity and dreaded the next seven days. Unfortunately there was nothing else to do so she sat on her bed and started reviewing what would likely be covered the next day. After a few hours of this she was grateful to hear the phone ring and break the monotony of her task.




“That’s ten days early!”

“Is she okay?”

“How about the baby?”

“What is it?”

“Have they named her?”

“Quinn. I should have known.”

“I can’t.”

“I’m leading the next few meetings. If I can I’ll try to get back a little earlier but I can’t promise anything. You know how these things go.”

“Okay. Thanks for telling me. Bye.”

Daria sat on the bed. It wasn’t unusual to deliver early. As a matter of fact she should have anticipated it. Both she had Quinn arrived several days before the due date. It was in the genes. At least they were both healthy. All she could do now was spend another miserable week here hoping things would be fine.

She went over to the window and looked out. She had wanted to be there when Quinn delivered.

When the trip was finally over Daria went straight from the airport to Quinn’s. Everything else would have to wait. She wanted to see her sister and niece as quickly as possible. When she got to their house Neil answered the door.

“Hi Daria.”

“Hi.” Reaching out, she hugged him. “Congratulations.”


“So where is she?”

“Which one?”

“Both.” Daria said.

“They’re upstairs.” Neil said. “Can’t you hear them?”

It was then that Daria heard the crying.

“She’s got a strong set of lungs doesn’t she?”

Neil laughed.

“Too true.”

“How’s Quinn?” Daria asked.

“Tired.” Neil said. “We both are. Ever since we got back we’ve been so busy we haven’t had time to get much done. I was just cleaning up when you got here. Sometime today I need to get to the grocery store. There’s barely anything in the house.”

Daria looked at Neil.

“You make out a list of what you need. I’ll go to the store later. You stay here with the Quinns.”

“That would be great. Thanks.”

“No problem.”

“So how would you like to meet your niece?”

“That’s why I’m here. Should I go on up?”

“No. Things are a little messy right now. I’ll go upstairs and get them. Quinn will bring her down here.”


Daria sat down and waited. A few seconds later, Quinn came down the stairs carrying a small but very loud bundle.

“Hi Quinn.”

“Hi Daria.”

Quinn walked over to her.

“Daria. Meet your niece.”

As Quinn started to hand her over, Daria pulled back. Quinn looked at her. “Is something wrong?”

“No. No. It’s just she seems upset and I don’t want to make things worse.”

Quinn smiled. “Don’t worry about that. The only time she doesn’t cry is when I'm nursing her or she’s asleep. Go ahead it’s fine.”

“Well if you say so.”

Carefully she took her niece into her arms. Suddenly the crying stopped. Neil and Quinn were shocked. Quinn looked at Daria.

“What did you do?”


“What did you do?”

“What do you mean?”

“How’d you make her stop crying?”

“I didn't do anything. I just took her.”

“Well you must have something special because this is the first time she’s been quiet for this long.”


Carefully, Daria changed the position of her right hand so she could move the blanket away from Quinn’s face. As she did Quinn reached out and grabbed her index finger. Daria couldn’t help smiling.

Looking down at her niece, she said. “Hello Quinn. I’m your Aunt Daria but you can call me A.D.”

The End 

As usual, Daria is owned by MTV. This was written for my amusement only.