Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chapter 3-11: We Are Broken

                Yalena and her siblings often eat their meals alone. Not because Verne isn’t trying to make up for his past absence but because they can’t bring themselves to forgive him.

                “How was your day Zarah,” she asks, taking on the parent role. She resents having to be the adult in the house and resents her father even more for one day just waking up and deciding he was ready to shrug on the coat of responsibility once again.
                “It was good! We got to play outside for a whole hour at school because the weather was nice today. And, tomorrow, we’re taking a trip to the science station.”
                “Yeah, maybe we’ll see a ghost,” Zane pipes up.

                 It quickly becomes apparent that the damage he has done by ignoring them and wallowing in his own self-pity will not be easily reversible. He feels like a pariah in his own house. “And rightly so. I failed them all” he thinks, full of regrets. His children, at least the ones that can walk, never stay in a room with him very long and though the twins talk to him sometimes, he can tell that they’re wary that he’ll ‘disappear’ again.

                 With this knowledge, it is an easy choice to decide to throw a normal, at the house birthday party for them when they become teens. It will be hard. He still hasn’t gotten over the loss of his wife but Wren is right. He can’t blame the children for that. Abrielle was happy, to her last minute and taking care of her babies was what she would want. He quickly pulls together a party, complete with friends, cakes, and balloons.

                 As soon as Yalena had caught wind of the party, she already made plans to skip it. Fresh in her head was her sweet teen birthday party which was anything but sweet. The memory of her father getting drunk before she had barely even blown out the candles, blaming her for her mother’s death, having to find a ride home for him and the twins. The only good thing that came out of that night was Glen.

                “Glen,” she breathed a sigh to herself. She missed him terribly. She didn’t want her father to have him arrested or do something drastic like send her to boarding school but she couldn’t stay away from him. She loved him. She knew he was older but he got her. She had to see him. No more of just chatting on the phone when her dad wasn’t looking.

                “Glen, can you come over,” she begged as soon as he answered his phone.
                “To your house? Lena, I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
                “The twins’ birthday is today. We have a storage room above the attic, no one would think to look for us there.”
                She heard him sigh before finally agreeing to come over as soon as he could.

                She met him in garage and led him up the spiral stairs to the neglected store room. It was supposed to have been turned into Grandma’s apartment but they never got around to finishing it before the Grim came to take her.

                 “Lena, is everything okay,” Glen asked, holding her shoulders and looking into her eyes.
                “It is now. I had to see you. I can’t stand being apart,” she cried and threw herself into his arms.
                He held her tightly for a while and she felt that there could be no better place than this.

                 “Glen, I, I love you,” she stammered out nervously.
                “I love you too.”

                 Meanwhile, downstairs the party continued downstairs. Zarah decided to see how guilty her father really felt and asked him for a horse for her birthday. Apparently, he didn’t feel guilty enough because he prattled on about not having the room for a horse and not sure that she was ready to take on the responsibility of caring for a horse when she had school and her sports to tend to.

                 The first thing Zane did when he finally became a teen was to turn and head off away from the party. There were SO many people. How anyone could think with all of that noise and chaos was beyond him.

                 No one thought to look for Yalena. She had made it perfectly and abundantly clear what she thought of her father’s attempts to win her and the twins back. She had flounced off to the library shortly before the party started and explained that she would not be home until the last guest was gone the debris cleaned up. She wanted no reminders that her father apparently loved the twins enough to make an effort.

                “Are you sure you want to do this,” Glen struggled to restrain himself having watched Yalena shimmy out of her dress. His shirt had quickly followed but doubt had crept in and now he was starting to wonder if this was a good idea.

                 She reached between them and made it abundantly clear that she did, indeed, want to continue. Hardly able to contain himself, he picked her up, folded himself onto the floor with her in his lap.

                Yalena’s mind was racing as Glen nibbled on her neck. “I can’t believe I am doing this. Am I really ready? But we love each other. Isn’t this what you do when you love someone? Oh, it feels so good. How does he know what to do?” Her thoughts continued until they made one jumbled mess and she pushed them out of her mind.

                 He stood, lifting her with him and stood her back up. Before giving him a chance to change his mind, she unbuttoned and unzipped his pants. She knew what she wanted and there was no way anyone, not even her father, was going to get in the way of love.

                 The next morning, the twins headed off to high school with Yalena. She knew they would both do just fine. Both were incredibly smart but Yalena did worry about Zane’s ability to make friends. When they boarded the bus, he chose to sit away from his sisters and, as their classmates joined them, one by one, he stayed alone.

                 After her first day of school, Zarah felt the need to dive back into her potion making. She really wanted to be out in the yard, throwing a ball around or jogging through the streets but if she wanted to be valedictorian, she would need to stay top of everything. Plus, although she had realized that her mother was not coming back, she did think she might be able to find some kind of death preventative or at least life lengthener.

                Zane had discovered his first dilemma. His lab partner in science class was Duane Wheloff. He had agreed to come home with Zane so they could study for a quiz the following morning. Only, Zane found himself thinking about Duane and wondering what his sign was. Wondering if he had a girlfriend. “What’s wrong with me,” he wondered.

                “Look who it is,” Xander boomed as Thea walked in the door shortly behind him.
                They gave each other big hugs, glad to be home from boarding school. They hadn’t seen each other since they left though they had kept in touch.

                 “Look at that hair! I barely recognized you,” Thea joked, tugging on his locks.
                ‘So what are your plans now that you are back?”
                “Actually, I have an interview at the business center. They have an opening a few cities over and I want it. I know I would be right for the job. You?”
                “I don’t know yet. I’ve been thinking of moving to Storybrook. There’s a lot more to do there and a lot more opportunities for music.”
                That morning, after a restless sleep spent thinking about her goals, Thea went to her interview. Most would have assumed she was heading out on a date or to a glamorous event but she had big dreams of owning her own company one day and no time was too soon to start looking the part. She had the entire package and, if this company was too fool to see it, she would head to the next.

                 She had to wait three days for human resources to make a decision. After leaving the interview, she knew that the job was hers and didn’t understand why they would make her wait. Policy she supposed. When you were at the top, you had to do things on your time to remind the little people who was boss. She made the announcement over breakfast that she would soon be leaving to move to the city.

                 Once again, the house was just the twins and triplets and, of course, Yalena.

Chapter 3.10                                                                                                                                      Chapter 3.12
Guys, Thea is so much more beautiful than I originally gave her credit for! Like seriously, gorgeous. Not in a cute or sweet way either. More like a hot, ambitious bitch. Which I LOVE. I've been considering a RL for awhile now and I did roll a first generation roll and she would fit it perfectly. So I might store her somewhere and do that. I just don't know how I am supposed to let her and her story go.

Also, I hope no one is offended by the Yalena/Glen storyline. I know he is YA and she is teen but, in my head, they're really not that far apart in age. Kind of like a 17 year old and her 20 year old boyfriend.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chapter 3-10: Howl

                Never does a moment pass that Verne does not look at the three daughters he has without thinking of his wife. Usually, the a’s, as he as taken to calling them in his head because he doesn’t care to learn enough to tell them apart, are left in their swings. He hired a babysitter to care for them during the day so he can leave the house, presumably to work. At night, they sleep and, without a baby monitor, he assumes they just sleep through the night.

                 Yalena is close to turning into a teen and, remembering all the family parties at the house, gathered in the kitchen is more than he can bear. He decides to host a party at the nearby country club, cost be damned. He musters up enough strength to blow his stupid party horn but he knows he doesn’t even look convincing. Maybe the cake and the pool would take his children’s attentions from him.

                 It is not too long before the bar inside is beckoning to Verne. He has never been a drinker but, well, no time like the present to take up a new hobby. He hears that little voice inside of him, begging him not to drown his sorrows, and to think of his children but he quickly drowns it with the overpriced, gag inducing spline reticulator he ordered. And then, just to be on the safe side, he orders another.

                 “Where do you think you’re going,” Yalena is stopped short by surly looking bartender who somehow, magically appeared in her way.
                “To get my father,” she grumbled, moving to brush past him. For such a big guy, he was quick and immediately in front of her again.
                “No can do princess. I need to see some ID,” he demanded.
                “Look, I don’t have time for your macho bullshit,” and before he could stop her again, she was past the velvet ropes and staring into the hazy eyes of Verne.
                “Dad, c’mon, time to go,” she tugged lightly on his arm, ready to take him to a cab.
                “Geroff,” he slurred, “you killed her. Leave me alone.” He stumbled away without another word, leaving Yalena speechless.

                She could feel the tears forming in her eyes but she was determined to keep them away. Crying, on her birthday, in front of countless strangers, was the last thing she needed.
                “Hey, hey, I didn’t mean it,” the surly bartender was once again blocking her way, this time preventing her from leaving.
                “You again,” she groaned. “Look, I am sorry I pushed past you. Now, if you and your ego can go back to the door, I’m just leaving.”
                “No, you look. Really, I’m sorry. Is everything okay?”

                 She looked into his eyes and, for the first time, saw a serious but sympathetic twinkle in them.
                “Yeah, well, no. I miss my mom and my dad seems to be blaming me,” and before she could finish, her tears burst forth.
                The bartender quickly steered her outside and got her some Kleenex. After getting her face semi-presentable, he got a cab to take her home.
                “I’m Glen, call me if you ever need to talk. You look like you could use a friend,” he handed her a business card as he closed the cab door behind her.

                Verne’s lack of attention does not escape the notice of the younger children either. Zane is more and more quiet every day, trying to stay invisible in his room or playing chess with Zarah. When she has free time, Zarah is constantly attempting to concoct a potion that will bring her mother back to life. She just wants things to go back to how they should be and doesn’t understand that some things can never be the same again.

                 In no time at all, the triplets are finally toddlers. Their birthdays do not fail to escape Verne’s attention but rather than celebrating the start of their life, he mourns the loss of Abrielle’s, nursing his wounds in liquor and washing them down with self-pity. He almost fails to realize that he too has grown older. Only when he looks in the mirror and realizes that he now has wrinkles and gray hair does he realize how much time has truly passed.

                “Damn it,” he slams his fist on the counter. She should be here with me, celebrating my gray hair, teasing me before she gets hers. I should be relishing the fact that her turn would be just around the corner. Tonight, the tears do not lull him to sleep but the effects of the alcohol finally push him into a haze that’s not quite sleeping but, when you’re not interested in continuing on, who cares what the stillness really is?

                 The triplets usually get left alone throughout the day. Luckily there are three of them so they never have want for a playmate. Already, as toddlers, they are all good friends. Yalena had taken it upon herself to check the girls and make sure that they were changed and fed as needed.

                 “Ugh, you guys stink,” she muttered as she entered the nursery one morning.
                Verne had ignored them all night again, letting them sit and finally soil their diapers. After changing and feeding all three girls, Yalena barely made it to school on time. How can he expect me to take care of his kids” she complained to herself. It’s not fair!

                Yalena and Glen had been spending quite a bit of time talking on the phone since they had first met. She had been in need of just someone to vent to one night and, blindly, she had fished his card out of her desk drawer and dialed before she knew what she was doing. After school, she decided to head over to the country club to visit him.

                “I’m sorry you’re having a rough day,” he said, holding her hands.
                “It’s okay. I’m here now,” she smiled up at Glen.
                “That smile lights up my whole day,” he whispered into her hair as she snuggled against him.

                 From the bar room, Nolan watched with trepidation. It was obvious to him that the girl was underage and he knew that this would likely not end well for anyone involved.

                 Wren graduated from boarding school and inally headed home, ready to make her mark on the world as a famous photographer. It was obvious she had an eye for lighting and technique and, along with those, her connections at school had basically guaranteed her a spot among the prestigious art connoisseurs. She already had a job lined up to take marketing pictures for a new hotel opening in Egypt.

                 Verne found Wren looking at the triplets the next morning. He looked away since, as always, looking at them made his heart hurt.

                 “Daddy, you can’t ignore them forever,” Wren chided softly.
                “I’ll be dead soon enough anyway,” he scoffed.
                “No, they need you. Mom always loved kids and always wanted more. I remember how happy she was when she found out she was pregnant again. How do you think she would react knowing you are ignoring them? And they already lost their mother; isn’t it too much to ask that they lose their father as well, especially when you are standing right here?”
                “I know you’re right. It’s just so hard.”

                 Verne listened to his oldest daughter’s advice and wondered where she had learned such wisdom. No matter, it was time to start making an effort with his children. Not just with the triplets but he had been neglected his other children as well. It wasn’t long before he heard word of Yalena’s young love.

                “What are you thinking,” he scolded her as she came in the door.
                “Uh huh, sure dad,” she muttered as she attempted to go past him as usual.
                “No, no more of this. I forbid you to see that man again.”
                “Who do you think you are? You can’t just be an absentee father for over a year and then, one day decide you need to ground me. 

                 “I’m serious Yalena. If you see him again, I am pressing charges and having him thrown in jail. There are plenty of witnesses to testify that he has been cavorting with a minor,” he threatened.
                “Fine, I won’t see him again. But the day I turn 18, I am out of here. And just know this, I hate you,” she screamed as she ran up the stairs to her room, sobbing.

                It was only then that Verne realized just how horribly he had messed up. He could only hope that the Grim would allow him to live long enough to fix his mistakes.              

Chapter 3.9                                                                                                                                         Chapter 3.11
Okay, so the heir vote is up as well. Go there to vote for your favorite of the 6 younger kids! I look forward to seeing how everyone votes. The vote will end on Sunday so you should have some time to make a decision.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Chapter 3-9: Low is a Height

                Early the next morning, Verne had a stakeout at the local beach. He watched from behind his bushes as two sims whispered and exchanged money. “Honestly, do they really not see me,” he thought to himself. It was no wonder that crime in Twinbrook was on a low scale. The so called criminals were idiots!

                 “So Yalena, what are your plans this weekend,” Carrie asked her granddaughter that morning as she fed her cake for breakfast. One of the perks of being a grandparent was being able to do whatever you wanted with your grandkids. Cake for breakfast; no problem!

                 “Um, nothing,” Yalena hid her face in her cake.
                Carrie decided not to push it and just let Yalena keep her secrets for now. Another thing you learned as a grandparent was that when the kids were ready, they would always come to you. Pushing them before that always made them rebel.

                 Xanthe and Wren decided to head over to the local arcade to shoot some pool and play some games with their free time. When they arrived, what did they find but their baby sister singing karaoke to her heart’s content. They giggled to each other and rushed upstairs, before she saw them and got nervous.

                 At work, Carrie had just finished a make-over and was about to start another when the strangest feeling came over her. Before she could realize what was happening, the Grim Reaper was standing before her, calling her to afterlife.

                That was when she realized that she wasn’t ready to go. Shane had told her that her family needed her and she realized that it was true. With 6 children and full time jobs, who would take care of the toddlers?

                ‘Please, it’s not my time,” she pleaded, on her hands and knees.
                “Only I say when your time is and the clock has stopped ticking for you Carrie Avendale. You must come with me,” he replied.
                “No, please, what will they do without me,” she begged in front of the entire salon, aware that Vesper was there watching.

                 “Your family has known grief before. They will know grief again. You are just one of many in the circle of life,” and before she could protest further, she was whisked away to nothingness.

                With death, new life always comes again. Abrielle was discovering this as she threw up the contents of her breakfast a few weeks after Carrie’s funeral. “I thought Zane and Zarah would be the last,” she lamented, realizing that, as she grew older and her retirement age came nearer, she was ready to be away from diapers and bottles and excited for first dates, and proms, and teaching her children to drive. By the time this baby graduated high school, Abrielle would be old and gray and her older children probably having children of their own.

                 Zane and Zarah’s birthdays arrived faster than she anticipated. For the first time since adopting Wren, there were would be no babies or toddlers in the house. No screaming or crying, no soiled diapers and midnight feedings. And then, as she held her baby girl before her birthday cake, she realized that no babies meant no sweet baby smells, no cute giggles, and accidental raspberries and excitement for this new baby flooded her with joy.

                 Zarah grew into an almost exact replica of her mother. She insisted that she be allowed to wear pink and, when her parents protested telling her that redheads can’t wear pink, she replied as honestly and innocently as a child can.

                 “Who says that,” she countered.
                Verne and Abrielle looked at each other, wondering exactly who had decided that red hair and pink clothes simply didn’t go together and, it was decided that Zarah could wear what Zarah wanted to wear.

                Zane was another spitting image of his father and quiet like him as well. He was content just to play chess or study on his own, always doodling schematics in the corners of notebooks.

                “What are you reading,” Xander asked his sister as she sat across from him, engrossed in her book.
                “A book about expecting the best results. I am determined to be valedictorian,” she responded without looking up.

                 “Funny thing, valedictorian,” Xander answered. “There can only be one.”
                “Yes, that is the idea.”
                “Yeah, and that’s going to be me,” he said, frowning at his homework.

                 “Care to put a wager on that,” she challenged and so they bet money on each making the one, and only valedictorian spot.

                The next morning, Verne noticed that Thea looked rather glum at breakfast.
                “What’s wrong,” he asked her, fearing the worst.
                “Nothing. Well, nothing, really. Xander and I are each trying to win the spot of valedictorian and it sucks competing against family trying to make you guys proud.”
                “Thea, your mother and I are already proud of you. Anything beyond trying your best is just a bonus.” 

                 “He’s right Thea. We love you just the way you are,” Abrielle replied as she flipped the pancakes.

                After the kids left for school, Verne and Abrielle decided to take an afternoon ‘nap’. With all of the children in school and Verne having open work hours while she was on maternity leave meant that they could finally spend time alone together again.

                “I know I was resistant to having another baby awhile ago, but you truly are beautiful pregnant,” Verne admitted, admiring his wife, pregnant with another child.

                 All of the children were excited to welcome a new baby to the family. 

                  All except Wren it seemed but she refused to talk about what was bothering her. Every time Verne or Abrielle tried to talk to her, she excused herself from the table or went upstairs to do homework or complained of being tired and headed to bed.

                Then, finally early one morning, Abrielle clutched her stomach and groaned.
                “Oh, honey, me too. I’m starving,” Verne mimicked her.

                 “God, you’re an idiot,” Abrielle laughed. “You would think after three other pregnancies, you would be able to tell what labor pains are by now.”

                As had become routine, Verne took his wife to the hospital and went with her to the delivery room. Only, this time, things were not routine. Almost immediately after hooking her to the vital machine, the doctor noted some concerning patterns. And then, without warning, his beautiful wife went into cardiac arrest. He was rushed from the room so the doctor and his team could perform the necessary medical procedures without interference.

                Finally, the doctor came back out. Verne barely comprehended what the doctor was saying. All he knew was that his wife was gone. Something about heart problems and failure to resuscitate. He flopped into a chair, picturing Abrielle’s face in his mind as she laughed at him that morning. “Was it really just this morning that she was there, holding my hand?”

                 “Mr. Avendale?”
                “Huh, what,” Verne snapped back to reality.
                “I was just saying that your girls are ready to go home whenever you are. We have a grief counselor on staff if you need to speak with someone and if you need in-home help, we can work with you to arrange that.”

                His girls. He couldn’t decide whether to be dismayed or delighted. He knew how much she had wanted more babies and the idea that she had gotten them made him smile. But then, realizing that they were the reason she was gone, tore him up inside and he didn’t even want to look at them.

                Meet Ava, Aerilyn, and Ansley Avendale, the newest additions to the family. They were all girls but, upon arriving home, Verne realized that he could care less to reupholster the boy baby seat. That had been Abrielle’s area of expertise and really, who cared if a little girl had a blue swing? He sure as hell didn’t.

                 Shortly after coming home, Verne realized that caring for nine children was just beyond his realm of capability. It was hard enough looking at the triplets but trying to make sure the younger children had their homework done and the older ones acted their ages was just too much to even consider. He hadn’t been to work since the funeral and still barely managed to make it out of bed. He sat the older kids down and had an honest discussion with them.

                Boarding school seemed like the best option to ensure that they got a proper education and made the most of the rest of their teenage years. He quietly handed them brochures and treated them all like adults, giving them options. They all decided on LeFromage Art School and he silently nodded, showing his approval and went to enroll them.

                 Thea approached him quietly in the bedroom.
                “Daddy, I know we said LeFromage but, well, I really think I want to go to SmuggWorth. It’s more expensive so if we can’t afford it,” she stammered.
                “Honey, if that’s what you think is best, that’s where you’ll go,” he answered, realizing that he was letting his teenage daughter decide what was best as he sat idly by.

                “How could you do that,” Wren yelled at Thea.
                “Do what?”
                “Change your mind! We’re all supposed to be together,” Wren screamed, hurt that she would lose yet another family member.
                “Wren, mom would have wanted me to pick what’s best for me. I don’t care about art. I don’t want to go there. It would be a waste.”
                “Yeah, well she was my mom too,” Wren burst into tears and ran to her room.

                 The morning to leave for boarding school had finally arrived. In the weeks following his decision to send his oldest children away, Verne had wrestled with everything each night. Though he rarely left their bedroom, he barely slept, instead going back and forth about all the decisions that had deposited him in this nightmare of a scenario. He knew if Abrielle were here that she could somehow manage to care for all nine kids but he knew that he wasn’t her. Regardless of whether she would have chosen it, she wasn’t here and he had to do his best.

                 “Don’t forget, I love all of you. I’ll see you for holidays and special occasions. And we’ll talk every night.” And with those final words, he kissed Wren, Xander, and Thea goodbye as they climbed in the taxi that would take them to the next part of their journeys.

Chapter 3.8                                                                                                                                         Chapter 3.10
Triplets...my God, she had triplets. I have never, ever had triplets in game and have no idea what I am doing. Not to mention that there are 6 other children that I need to develop and shit. I quit. Also, I think I have decided that the heir vote will be cut down to the 6 youngest and the three teens are out of the running. But...triplets. 

heaven facepalms.