Monday, December 16, 2013

Chapter 6-10: Get Some

          This is nice. Having reached the top of her career, Evangeline seemed to have more free time than she worked. When all the kids were at school, she languished in the bathtub, enjoying the solitude of a quiet, empty house. It would have been nice to share the solitude with someone but, so far, she hadn’t met anyone that she’d want to share it with.

          Flynn started high school and, after his first day, he was already in love with a girl. Her name was Sarah and she was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was older but his high marks put him in the same math class she was in. 

          “We’ll be in high school together soon Flynnie!”
          “Now, look here! Don’t call me Flynnie! And even when we are in school together, you’re not to talk to me. I don’t want people thinking I’m a loser like you.”

          “You’re my family! We’re supposed to stick together.”

         “Flynn Avendale,” Hanley adopted her ‘mom’ voice. “Don’t be so mean! Mean is ugly.”
         Flynn’s comeback was a typical teenage retort. “Whatever. No one asked you.”

          “Don’t worry Gemma. When we’re in school together, we can hang out all the time and have lunch together and everything,” Hanley proclaimed with a hug.

          Flynn was studying in the library during his free period when Sarah walked in. He tried to keep his eyes on his book, only sneaking a quick peek at her every minute or so. He glanced her way for a third time and met her eyes. Busted.
          “Uh, hey, you’re Finn, right,” she asked, approaching him with a book in her hand.
          “Flynn, but yes.”
          “You’re in pre calc with me, right?” He nodded, trying to get control of his nerves. “You seem to really get this stuff. It flies right over my head. Would you mind helping me out?”

          So it began. Sarah always had a new question about work and soon he was helping her in a lot of different subjects, not just math. They met in the library after school Tuesdays and Thursdays so he could proofread her papers, check her math homework, and quiz her for upcoming tests.

          “Hey, uh, Sarah,” he started, one afternoon as he was reading over her shoulder as she typed up an English paper.
          “Oh, is that not right,” she questioned, delicate finger poised over the backspace key, ready to delete her words at his command. If only he felt confident enough outside of schoolwork.
          “Oh, um, that’s fine. I was just wondering if, um, if you would want to get together sometime, you know, outside of school.” There, he said it! 
          “Like study at my house? I’ve got a lot of siblings so it’s always noisy. Plus I don’t have a car right now. My parents took it away when I got a D on my midterm.”
          He wanted shout his true meaning at her, that no, not to study but go out on a date sometime but the inkling of courage he’d had was already fading away and he found himself mumbling an okay instead.

          “Han, what’s that?”
          “His name is Chubs. I found him outside. His momma must’ve pushed him out of the nest. I had to rescue him.” She glanced up, suddenly a little worried. “You won’t tell, right?”
          “Of course not. Here, I have a big box that we can put him in.” They dumped the contents of the box on the floor. Gemma snuck downstairs for the newspaper which they then shredded into pieces to make a nice nest. Soon, Chubs had a nice cardboard box for a home and none of the parents had to be any wiser. 

          Thinking over Sarah’s reasons for not being able to go out with him, Flynn’s mind worked over possible solutions in his head. Maybe mom could drop me off somewhere? Nah, that’s too lame. Maybe we could walk somewhere after school? Sarah doesn’t seem like the kind of girl to want to walk. If only I had my own car. Struck with the solution, Flynn worked up the nerve to talk to his mom about driving. “You want me to what?”
          “Teach me to drive. I’m a teenager now, it’s my right.”
          “Driving is a privilege, not a right. You’re smart enough to know that.”

          “Mom, please?”
          “Let’s wait and see how you do after this first semester in high school.” He sighed knowing that there was nothing he could say to change her mind. Especially if he told her he wanted to drive so he could take a girl on a date. 

          So he was restricted to only seeing Sarah at the library. She’d been having problems in a lot of her classes lately so their study sessions seemed to drag later and later. As a result, he felt his grades slipping. Not as lack of knowledge on his part, just lack of time to keep up. He decided to bring it up to her at their next meeting.
          “So, um, we’ve been studying a lot lately.”
          “I know. You’re so sweet to help me,” she smiled shyly at him.
          “Well, um, about that. I need to get straight As this semester. Like, really need to.”

          “Flynn, you’re not thinking of leaving me stranded, are you?” Her brows furrowed with concern and he saw her lower lip quiver, just a little.
          “I’ll still help but I need to get my work done too.”
          “Please Flynn. I just, well, I don’t know what I’d do without you. Besides, I really enjoy the afternoons we spend together.” She coyly reached over to him, placing her soft hand atop his own. He tried to object but how could he say no when she was obviously grateful for his help?

          Every time he brought up needing to spend more time on his studies, Sarah would persuade Flynn to continue to tutor her. Slowly, her persuasions became more physical; first a peck on the cheek, then a lingering stolen kiss at the table. Until one day, they were making out against the bookcases in the back of the library where no one was likely to find them. She didn’t protest as he brought his hand up, sloppily groping her breast like the inexperienced teenager that he was. 

          Finally, breathlessly, she pushed him away. “I’ve really got to get home. Thank you so much for editing my paper for me!” She waved over her shoulder at him as she flounced through the doors. It wasn’t until after he got home that he realized her paper was mostly just ideas jotted here and there. Remembering the way she had kissed him and the feel of her warm skin through her sweater, he smiled and wrote the paper himself, careful to misspell a word here and there like she usually did.

          “Flynn,” Hanley whined. “What are you doing in there? You’ve been in that bathroom for an hour. I’m telling! Mom, Flynn is hogging the bathroom again!”

          “You’re so na├»ve Flynn,” Danica, his best friend, scoffed as he told her and Rose about his plan to ask Sarah to the homecoming dance.
          “What do you mean?”
          “She’s a senior. You’re a freshman. There is no way she’s going to go to a dance with you.”
          “Why wouldn’t she? She really likes me.”
          “So you say. No one has ever even heard her utter your name before and you’re the only one who knows about the library.”
          “I think Dani might be right Flynn,” Rose offered apologetically. “I have gym with her and she’s always hanging out with Arthur.”
          “Because Arthur’s her boyfriend. Everyone knows that,” Danica smirked. 
          “I’m sure she just hasn’t figured out how to break up with him.”
          “We’ll see.” Danica remained unconvinced. 
          “If she won’t go with you, I will,” Rose smiled, always happy to help out a friend.

          “Hey Renata, what’re you doing here?” Emerson was surprised to see Renata at his door one morning more so when he realized that Gemma would be in school.
          “I just wanted to stop by to discuss the details for Gemma’s party.” They sat, somewhat awkwardly and went over where the party would take place and when. They’d never officially broken up but had just drifted apart, seeing less and less of each other.

          “Okay, that settles things,” she smiled, standing. “Don’t forget, okay?” He stood as well and, without thinking, leaned forward, grabbing her into a kiss.

          Surprised, she pulled back, staring at him with questioning eyes. He hadn’t kissed her like that since, well, since they had been in university. They’d gone on some dates after Gemma was born but it was always a little awkward and felt forced and they always said goodnight with a quick peck. What the hell? She pulled him back towards her, throwing all caution to the wind.

          It wasn’t long before they had worked their way back to his bedroom, shedding articles of clothing along the way, like a breadcrumb trail so they could find their way back to normal. 

          After, there was no lingering lovingly in his bed. Renata made her way down the hallway, pulling on her clothes as she came upon them on the floor. She could hear Emerson rustling behind her to do the same. 
          “That was…,” Emerson stammered as they made it to his door.
          “A one-time thing, yeah,” she finished.
          “So we’re…”
          “Good, yeah. I’ll see you, at Gemma’s party?” As he nodded she fled into the afternoon, hoping to make it back to the house before anyone could ask questions.

          With all the kids at school, it was up to Evangeline and Renata to keep the house looking nice. So one afternoon, they changed into some workout clothes and went out front to rake the leaves that had accumulated on the lawn. “So, did you talk to Emerson?”
          “Talk, yeah, we talked. That’s it, just talked,” Renata sputtered, praying that Evangeline wouldn’t notice what felt like a scarlet letter emblazoned on her chest.
          “He’s coming then?”
          Renata grinned, thinking something completely off topic. “Oh, yeah, he’ll be at the party.” She felt her cheeks flush and bent to rake the leaves faster. She wondered if Evangeline would ever forgive her if she found out about the secret she was keeping. I’m a grown woman, I can sleep with whomever I choose, she rationalized. 

          Gemma’s party did not get off to a good start. Pauline, Miles’s girlfriend appeared unannounced and uninvited.

          “Paula, what are you doing here?” Evangeline purposely messed up her name in an attempt to make the girl (that’s all she could think of her as, a girl) feel unimportant. Pauline pretended not to notice.
          “Miles got an invitation. He’s out of town. He left it on the counter and I figured that someone from the family should show up.”
          “You’re. Not. Family.”
          “Not yet but there’s no need to pretend it’s not inevitable,” Pauline pursed her lips in a triumphant half smile.
          “Well, not yet is certainly good enough for me. How about you head on home now? You can tell Miles you came without having to bother with actual niceties.”
          “Ugh, you’re impossible.” She did, however, decide that a child’s birthday party was the last place she wanted to spend the evening without a friend and left quickly.

          I just want one friend. Just one person my age, that’s not family, to be friends with. Gemma made her wish simple and hoped that wishing realistically would make it more likely to come true.

          As she blew out her candles and was cheered on by all the people around her, she clapped, knowing that being a teen would be different. Right?

          “I told you so,” Danica shook her head as she watched Sarah and Arthur walk hand in hand down the hallway. Flynn turned, seeing them, and balled his fists up, unable to contain his disappointment and anger.
          “Just let it go man. She’s not worth it.”

           For once though, Flynn’s anger gave him enough confidence to step forward and confront her.               “Sarah, I thought you and me, I mean that we were a thing?”
          “You what?” Her face was a mask of shock and amusement.
          “You know, all those afternoons in the library? We kissed. A lot.”
          “Oh Flynn.” Her voice was mocking, with a slight pitiful tone that more than conveyed how pathetic she found him. “I’m a senior. Seniors don’t date freshman.”
          “But, those kisses?”
          “A sloppy kiss is certainly worth an A. And thanks to you, I have a lot of A’s. I barely had to do any work at all.”
          Arthur meanwhile was busy cracking up next to her. “Avendale, you really thought she’d leave an older jock like me for a nerd like you? Oh Watcher, you’re hilarious.” 

Chapter 6.9                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.11

This chapter was painful to get out. My game has been acting really strange lately. Or, more specifically, this save. Half the time the game would get stuck saving, then it was lag city, then my sims WOULD not change outfits. Finally it started behaving again and I worked up the next chapter. Thankfully I've decided that my sims are moving next generation, no matter what.

Flynn is a teen and now Gemma is as well. Which means that with the twins likely aging up next chapter (depending on what ends up in the chapter) we should have an heir vote with Chapter 6-11. Yay! If you've stuck with me this long, thank you for your endless patience. You guys are awesome. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chapter 6-9: ThisKidsNotAlright

It wasn’t long before Evangeline would find out how hectic a house would be with four school-age children. With the nice weather, she decided to have the twins’ birthday down at the beach.

“Do you like the water,” Evangeline cooed to her only daughter, taking joy out of the last few moments she’d be tiny. Hanley just giggled and begged for more.

When the time came to blow out the cake, everyone gathered around. Miles put his arm around a beautiful, statuesque blonde as he watched his daughter attempt to blow out her candle.

“Did you see her?”
“The woman Miles brought. She looks like a model!”
“Evangeline, you guys broke up. You don’t expect him to just pine over you for 50 years, do you?”
“No. But it’s his kids’ birthday; a family event. She’s not family. He could have at least let me know he was bringing someone.”
“Ah, I get it.”
“There’s nothing to get. I just wish he had the decency to be courteous about it.”
“No, you’re pissed because he didn’t tell you and give you enough time to find a date of your own. It’s not a game Evangeline. No one wins the breakup by moving on first.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Evangeline’s denial was marked by her sudden interest in her cake, staring down at it and avoiding any further eye contact with her friend.

“Alright guys, get together so I can take a picture of all of you with your dad.” They crowded up around Miles and, after some jostling and possibly pinching (Evangeline couldn’t tell with the shrieking if someone was really hurt or just being loud) the kids finally posed for her camera. “Great! I’ll get copies made for all of you and we can put them in your rooms.”

“Mommy, come be in the picture with us!” Hanley beckoned her mother forward.
“Honey, I’m taking the picture.”
“Aunt Ren can take it, can’t you,” she said turning to her aunt. Renata, looking at Evangeline, shrugged her shoulders and came forward to take the photographer’s place.
“Renata,” Evangeline hissed at her friend, smile plastered over her face to hide her discomfort.
“What was I supposed to do, tell her my hand’s broken?”

Evangeline made her way over to the group and slide in next to Miles. They stood together, keeping as much space between them as possible and tried to avoid touching.
“Mommy, you’re doing it wrong! Here, let me show you!” Hanley thrust her arms out behind her brothers and held them each while striking a pose. “Now you do it!”
Evangeline sighed but Miles put his arm around her and pulled her closer, all pretending to be a big, happy family. The camera still caught the tension on their faces despite their attempt to pretend otherwise.

“Gemma, wake up! It’s time for school!” Hanley was excited for her first day. Gemma, having been there before and being somewhat of a loser couldn’t care less and stayed snuggled in her bed until the last possible minute.

In the other room, both the boys were awake and commemorating Halden’s first day with a good old fashioned pillow fight.

“Can I do my homework in here with you?”
“Gemma, this is the boy room. You have your own desk.”
“But you’re really smart and can help me. I want to get on the honor roll like you.” Flynn sighed and went back to his own homework. Maybe if he ignored her, she’d go away. Instead, she plopped on the floor of his room and began going over her math problems.

“Eight times one is eight. Eight times two is sixteen. Eight times three is…is…twenty six. Wait, no.” Sounds of vigorous erasing permeated the room.
“Gemma! I’m trying to concentrate!”
“I’m being quiet!”
“No, you’re not. You’re doing your tables out loud!”
“Oh, I am? Sorry.” She didn’t realize that she was muttering the problems. Saying it out loud just seemed to help her remember. “Eight times four is thirty four. Ugh! I’m never going to get this.” Flynn got up and stomped out of his own bedroom, slamming the door behind him.

Leisure day arrived and with it, Miles’ turn to have the children for a holiday. They had the day off of school and his team didn’t have a game so it made perfect sense for Evangeline to take them into the city.
“Okay kids, be good for your dad okay? He’ll bring you home this afternoon before dinner.”

“Wow, look at you! You’re getting so big.” Miles hugged all of his children and they sat on the porch stoop, trying to decide how to spend the day.

“Let’s go to the zoo,” Hanley shouted.
“Honey, the zoo is in Bridgeport. We wouldn’t make it home in time.”
“I’m hungry, can we get lunch?”
“Flynn, we just had breakfast!” Halden corrected his brother. “Can we go to the park?”
“That sounds perfect. Let’s go to the park and then we can go get lunch. Sound good?”

The day was beautiful with light, fluffy clouds in the sky and just enough of a breeze that no one got too hot. Halden, interested in sports like his dad, worked on his throwing arm while Flynn and Hanley ran around the playground.
“You’re getting much better already,” Miles praised his son. He was proud that, even though he didn’t get to spend much time with them, his children looked up to him.

Checking his watch, he realized that they needed to start the drive back towards the suburbs if they wanted to get lunch and be back to Evangeline’s on time. They piled into his car and started the drive back towards their mother’s home, stopping at a local diner for lunch.

“Alright everyone, let’s get you guys home. Hanley, c’mon.”
“Wait daddy, I see something.”
“Hanley, stuff in alleys aren’t for little girls, let’s go!”

“Oh, you’re so cute. C’mere little kitty. Hi.”

“Wanna sniff me?” The tiny kitten that had been hiding beside the ice bin timidly stepped forward hunkered down waiting to see what the 2 legged thing would do. It smelled nice and moved slowly. Maybe it wouldn’t try to kick him. And then, before he could scuttle away, the big thing picked him up. Oh, it’s actually being gentle. And then he felt a warm hand running soothingly along his back and all thoughts of squirming and escaping melted away.

“Hanley, what is that?”
“It’s a kitten daddy.”
“I can see it’s a kitten. Why are you bringing it in the car? It could be sick.”
“It’s lonely. It needs a home.”
“Your mother is going to kill me.”

“No Hanley! We don’t need a cat. We have four little kids living in this house to make enough of a mess.”
“But mommy. He was cold.”
“It’s summer, he was not cold.”
“But he would be, when it’s not summer anymore. Please, he needs a family. Everybody needs a family. Can’t we be his?” Evangeline sighed and acquiesced. She knew she would regret it later.

“Did you know that Hanley can’t read?” Miles stood with Evangeline in the front yard, sharing any information that she needed to know.
“Are you questioning my parenting Miles? Of course she can read! She reads all the time.”
“No Evangeline. I’m just concerned. We were driving home and she misread a billboard we drove past.”
“Oh.” She winced, realizing that she was once again, making assumptions and getting defensive without a need to. “I’m sorry. I’ll make her an appointment with the doctor and let you know how it goes, okay? Thank you.”

She spent the remainder of the afternoon playing Frisbee with Halden in the front.

Meanwhile, Hanley was introducing the newest member of the family to the house and giving him the grand tour. She pulled him close and planted a kiss on his ear. “Don’t worry, you’re safe now JuJu. We’ll take care of you and make sure you’re always warm and have food. And when you get old enough, you can sleep in bed with me.”

We have a cat now. A stinky cat that will shred our furniture and attack our feet. Needless to say, Renata was not happy about JuJu’s adoption. After a few weeks though, it became clear that, even though he was a stray, JuJu was well behaved. He hadn’t clawed anything to destruction and had acclimated to the litter box without issue.

“Can you believe I’m going to be a mother to a teenager in just a few days?” The two friends sat on the porch, enjoying their dinner and watching the sun set over the hills of St. Claire.
“Me too. Gemma won’t be far behind. I certainly don’t feel old enough for it. Pretty soon they’ll be dating and we’ll just be the batty old ladies that live together.”

“You and Emerson haven’t worked things out?”
“We see each other here and there. We spend time together with Gemma but, I don’t know. The few times we went on actual dates it just felt…awkward. He’s almost the father of a teenager but he’s still out partying at night, in the club while I sit home clipping coupons and doing laundry.”
“That doesn’t mean you can’t work things out. Opposites attract and all.”
“I want someone to share life with, not struggle to have something to even talk about. Aside from our daughter, we don’t share anything. Moving on, what about you? Any dates lately?”
“Here and there. I think I’m just happier alone.”
“I think you sti…”
“No, conversation over. Let’s clean up and get the kids to bed.”

Hanley’s doctor’s appointment revealed that she was near-sighted and needed glasses for seeing things far away. It was why she had misread a billboard but had no problem reading books she was holding.
“I look stupid.” Her lower lip quivered and Evangeline could see she was trying not to cry.
“You’re beautiful.”
“All the kids will make fun of me and call me four-eyes.”
“Don’t you ever let anyone else make you feel less than because you’re different. You’re special and perfect just the way you are.”

“Wow, Evey, you look beautiful.”
“Um, thanks Miles. Where’s Pauline?”
“She uh, she couldn’t make it. She had a work thing.”
“Oh, that’s too bad, maybe next time. You were right about Han. Thank you for telling me or who knows how long the poor girl wouldn’t have been able to see right.”

“Why can’t we be friends,” Gemma was confused as Rose Malone turned down her offer to play.
“Because she’s my friend,” Flynn explained. “Get your own.”

Rose and a few other of his schoolmates would be aging up with him and starting high school soon. He’d have just a little bit of time to enjoy school without his annoying cousin following him everywhere. Maybe when she became a teenager, she’d be less obnoxious? Yeah, that’s what I’ll wish for.

Chapter 6.8                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.10

Hey look! Another chapter and it's not even time skipped.