Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chapter 6-7: Unreachable

                Exhausted, Evangeline left the hospital carrying a basket, like her children were a picnic lunch. She had no choice though as she hadn't prepared for the eventuality of twins. She figured that she shouldn't be that surprised. After all, she was a twin herself and her mom had mentioned distant family, many of who were twins as well. It seemed that twins, especially fraternal brother/sister twins were an Avendale tradition.

                With both Donovan and Camille gone now and two new babies in the house, Evangeline and Renata had had no choice but to move into the master bedroom. It wasn't exactly the most ideal of set-ups but, other than converting the downstairs study into a bedroom, they would have to make due with the room they had. Eventually, Flynn would share a room with his little brother and Gemma would share a room with her cousin but, while they were still infants, Hanley and Halden shared a room.

                Life settled into an exhausting routine. Feed the babies, change the babies and snuggle with each of them a bit before getting Flynn up and ready for the day. She’d spend time with him playing and reading before she had to get ready for work and then Renata would take over for the afternoon. When Evangeline got home from work, she’d check on the twins and make sure they were happy and snuggled before she trudged off to fall into a heavy, dreamless sleep.

                Miles stopped by first thing after he got back from the latest set of away games. She stopped him in the hall so she could warn him before he went up to the nursery.

                “I know we wanted to have more kids.”
                “Evey, is everything okay? You said your labor went fine.”
                “Oh…yeah! It’s not bad. Just…we have twins.”
                “Twins! That’s fantastic!” He hadn't been upset when she’d found out she was pregnant with Flynn. He took the news of the twins with excitement and happiness. Evangeline couldn't describe how lucky she was to have him.

                With three children now, the small foldaway crib Miles had for overnight visits in his apartment just couldn’t cut it anymore so usually he came to visit them. She felt awkward asking him to stay the night though because there was no space for privacy, especially with Renata in the bunk above. The nights they spent together became more and more infrequent. And that was when he was even in town. It seemed that the team was traveling more often though Evangeline thought maybe it just seemed that way since she was so busy with the kids.

                Before she even realized it, her birthday was right around the corner. Renata had been all for skipping a celebration entirely but Evangeline had overruled her.
                “We’re full-fledged, mature adults now! We need to celebrate surviving this long!”

                They decided to throw a party downtown and get out of the house for one night. Though it had been her idea, Evangeline was still a little uneasy leaving the kids in the care of a stranger. Usually at least one of the family was home with the kids all the time.

                “This is fun, right?” Ashley, one of Evangeline’s coworkers, shouted over the music to make herself heard.
                “Yeah.” Evangeline grimaced into her cocktail. Going out and partying with infants at home was stressful!

                If only Evangeline had been able to see what was going on in the house, she might have decided to head home then. The babysitter, who had assured them in her interview that she loved kids and was thinking of becoming a teacher, was yelling at the babies and covering her ears, hating the screeching coming from the poop monsters.

                The bartender pulled the cake from behind the counter while Renata and Evangeline scooted in close, friends crowded around behind them, to blow out their candles.

                Unbeknownst to them, the babysitter had decided she had had enough and ran, screaming from the house. She left the doors unlocked, the lights on, and the kids were all just left where they had been sitting. No diapers had been changed; none of the children had been fed. It was only by sheer chance that the neighbors didn't notice the babysitter leaving and call social services. When Renata and Evangeline came home, they swore they wouldn't be hiring babysitters ever again.

                Evangeline didn't like working out any more than she had as a child. Jogging was different. Jogging cleared her head and released all the stress she’d build up. With the snow at least ankle deep and the temperatures below freezing though, jogging wasn't the best option for staying in shape and she didn’t want her body to appear as though she’d had kids.

                “My little boy, going to be all grown up soon!” She couldn't believe it was Flynn’s birthday and that he would soon be starting school.

                “Cake!” She laughed and carried him over to the cake. Emerson ran in, just in time to join in the cheering. Miles had been able to make this party and would only be in town for a few more days before leaving, once again, for another trip. While she had been being honest when she’d told him that this arrangement worked, it was tiring trying to make sure to see him when he was in town, video chat with him when he was away, and make sure the kids got to know their daddy from so far away.

                This is my party! Why is Uncle Em dancing on the counters? It’s supposed to be about me!

                Miles and Evey had a special night planned for his last night in town. Renata had agreed to stay home to take care of all the kids while Evangeline spent the night with Miles. She was going to meet him at his place and then they’d head out for dinner and maybe dancing or a movie before coming back to his apartment. When she arrived, she noticed that his car wasn’t in his designated spot. She pulled out her phone and checked her text messages.

                -babe running late. U know where the key is. Be there asap-

                She let herself into the apartment and sat on the couch. A sneaky smile came over her face as she decided that reordering the night wouldn't make it any less special. She went upstairs to make herself at home in his bed and surprise him when he got there.

                As she reached the top of the stairs, she noticed the bed unmade and a small slip of clothing up by the pillows. Stepping closer, she realized the navy blue sliver of cloth was a pair of underwear. And it certainly wasn't her underwear.

                She angrily brushed the tears from her face. She should have known. Karma is a bitch and she knew that she probably deserved this after the way she had treated Neal so many years before. But why now? She didn't understand why karma had taken so long to exact its revenge. She rushed from the house, hoping she’d make it out before having to face Miles. She sent a text as she drove home.

                -Sorry not feeling well. Really contagious. Don’t stop by, don’t want you sick.-

                When her phone rang 20 minutes later, she let it go to voicemail. When it rang again, she’d made it home and forced Renata to pick up the phone, repeating the lie. Renata looked at her curiously but didn't ask.

                For the next few weeks, she made sure to be busy whenever Miles called. Usually she let Flynn pick up the phone and talk to his dad before rushing Miles off the phone with some kind of baby emergency or another. Why am I being such a coward? She didn't know why she couldn't confront him but she couldn't bring it up. Every time she got the courage and had the words rehearsed in her head, she’d hear the phone ring and the indignant speech would float away, like smoke on a windy day.

                She knew she couldn't avoid Miles forever. In fact, he was due to come back to town the day before Snowflake Day. Evangeline still didn't want to face him and had no idea what to say to him so she scheduled the holiday party for before he could get back to town. The twins were going to be toddlers as well she she made it a joint holiday/birthday party. She knew it was underhanded yet she didn't want the tension to ruin the party.

                Imagine her surprise when she heard the front door open after all the guests had been seated and were taking turns digging out their presents. She glanced down the hallway and, as she saw his arrival, her stomach dropped.

                Evangeline felt a light tap on her shoulder and she stood, peeling herself away from the festivities.
                “Why didn't you wait until I got back?”
                “Well, um,” she faltered. “It just worked better for everyone else this way,” she offered weakly.
                “You've barely talked to me since last time I way home. What’s going on?”
                She cracked. “You know what’s going on. I don’t know why you’re acting ignorant about it.”
                “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

                “Fine, keep playing dumb,” she hissed. “I can’t deal with this now.” She knew that every eye in the room was awkwardly avoiding looking at her and Miles. She fought to put a smile on her face for the guests and stalked away, picking up Halden and carrying him to his cake. Renata followed suit and scooped Hanley up, bringing her to her cake. They blew out the candles together. When Evangeline looked up, Miles had left, apparently not wanting to cause any more of a scene.

                Halden and Hanley were practically identical, from the color of their hair and eyes, to the shape of their noses.  Evangeline hoped that they’d grow up to be friends like she and Emerson had.

                 Gemma wasn't so sure about having to share all the toys with the babies now. Before she could toddle off to find and claim her rabby, Renata scooped her up and carried her upstairs for her night time bath.

                “You’re getting so big! Your birthday is right around the corner and then you can go to school with Flynn.” At the word school, Gemma frowned at her mother. She didn't want to go to school. She didn't want to leave the house and her toys and her cousins to go to some big building by herself. Even if Flynn would be there, he was older so she’d be all alone.

                “Flynn, go on and get upstairs and ready for bed,” he heard his mother call as she cleaned up the kitchen from the party. He gave his brother and sister each a hug before running up the stairs to brush his teeth. He wanted to be the best big brother ever.

                With the kitchen finally clean and the leftovers put away, Evangeline finally was able to get the twins bathed and ready for bed. She stared into Hal’s eyes, eyes that looked so much like his father’s, and knew that she would have to talk to Miles eventually to at least work out a custody arrangement. She sighed and kissed her baby boy on the head, tousled Flynn’s hair, and slunk off to her own bed.

Chapter 6.6                                                                                                                                                   Chapter 6.8

Yet another filler chapter for the most part. Pretty much the only thing happening in game right now are birthdays. All the drama in the early chapters and now it's just mundane, ho-hum nothings. I've already picked a favorite and am ready to move on with that story, even though that story hasn't even been chosen by an heir vote yet.

I had planned on having Evangeline go kick that babysitter's ass but she seems to be completely missing from the game. I know she interacted with Flynn, if just to pick him up and plop him in the playpen but she doesn't appear in any of the relationship panels anywhere. It's like she never existed. I've pretty much failed the Fighter goal anyway. I realized (was informed) that Fighter should be actual physical altercations, not just arguing/fighting which was how I had been playing it all along.

Hopefully next chapter I'll have a little more juicy bits of the story. Maybe it will even be plot driven!