Chapter 5.6: Taken

Screenshot-2249The times when I got to have Hunter at my place were rare, but when they did happen we made sure to make the best of them. He was such a precious little kid and it was amazing thinking that he was mine. I loved being his father.

Screenshot-2250He looked a lot like his mother. He had her skin and her hair. And those pink eyes must have come from her family too. She had beautiful green eyes, but there were sure pink in her family. Jacinto had pink eyes. Somehow it hurt to think that Hunter had got genes from him whereas I could not be seen in my son at all. Not that it really mattered, he was mine after all.

I had learned quickly that Hunter enjoyed “the Claw”. When I first raised my hand above his head his underlip shivered and he looked like he was going to cry, but then as soon as I started to tickle him he exploded in laughter. It was the cutest sound I had ever heard.

Screenshot-2251I couldn’t help but laugh myself. Entertaining him was so easy and I was good at it.


Meanwhile:

Screenshot-2257-1“The police have no further leads in the tragedy with the kidnapped two-year old Hunter White and the family is now begging the public for any leads.”

Screenshot-2257The TV screen switched from the usual news studio and to a clip of two devastated berries. The woman on the screen covered her face in her hands and cried hysterically. The man held his arms around her in comfort while he spoke to the screen:

“We just want our son back. Please, if you have seen anything let us or the police know.”

Screenshot-2257-1The screen switched back to the studio and the anchorman had sad eyes when he spoke about the kidnapping that had taken place two days earlier.

“Hunter Spectrum was last seen two days ago, at noon, in the park with his mother. He was wearing a green play suit by the time he went missing. The mother has reported that Hunter was taken off a spring rider when she looked away for two seconds. The police have searched for leads but haven’t found any trace of the kidnapper or the toddler. Now they all turn to the public for any leads that can help them bring Hunter back to his parents.”


Screenshot-2256I was just about to take Hunter off the spring rider when my phone rang. Hunter loved that rider so he sure didn’t complain for that little extra time of fun. I answered the phone while keeping a protecting hand on Hunter’s back.

“Is Hunter gone?” Mother spoke fast and I could tell she was worried.

Screenshot-2253“No, he’s right here” I replied, trying to sound comforting.

“But they said on the news that he was kidnapped. Aquamarine was crying and all.” Mom was still speaking fast, as if my words hadn’t managed to comfort her the slightest.

“Well, that’s silly” I said. “Hunter is right here, on the spring rider in the garden.”

I lowered the phone so that Hunter could say something. He laughed right in to the phone. When I took the phone back to my ear mom was crying. “We were so worried” she said.

“No worries. He’s here and he’s all safe.”


In Fondant Fields:

Screenshot-2311“This is Coral Twist from Fondant Fields. I’m just calling to let you know that Hunter, that child gone missing, he’s home safe with his father.”

Screenshot-2312“What? No. That’s my grandson and he is currently with his father. I just spoke to them on the phone.”

“I told you, I just spoke to them. They’re fine.”

Screenshot-2314“I have any leads? I… He’s safe, I’m telling you.”

“If I? If…”

*click*

Berrian looked at his lover who stood staring at the phone in her hand. She seemed lost for words. Instead of persuading her in to speaking, he walked up to her and gave her a hug. After all these years, he could tell when she needed a hug.

Screenshot-2316“They said Hunter is still missing. But I spoke to him. I spoke to them both. They’re fine.”

Berrian kept hugging her. Both because she needed the comfort, but also because he felt confused himself. Why would Aquamarine report Hunter missing when he was simply with Yew?

“We never met Aquamarine” Coral said after a while and pushed Berrian away. “We never met her!” She started crying when the realization hit her.

Screenshot-2307While Coral fueled a grudge against the woman who had decided to play her son in the cruelest way possible, Berrian went up to Yew’s old room to think. The walls were still covered with the pictures Yew had taken. His documentation. Berrian looked around, as if searching for some kind of help.

Minutes passed. 

Screenshot-2308And then he was struck with a thought. If it was Yew’s life that was documented on these walls, why wasn’t there a single picture of Sonic? Berrian looked through every photo album in the room. They contained pictures of everything and nothing. There were hundreds of photos, but not a single one of Sonic.

Screenshot-2309When Berrian came back downstairs, Coral sat by the computer. She looked at him with red eyes once she realized he was there. “She hasn’t reported Yew as the father” she said with a voice that could barely carry its message. 

There were things Berrian and Coral didn’t know about their son. They realized that this afternoon, and it was painful. All those pictures. Yew’s fascination over everything going on in town, whether or not he had anything to do with it. The fact that they had never met Aquamarine. Or Sonic. Or even Jacinto.  It all made sense when put together.

That afternoon, they packed the family in to the car and drove all the way to Isla Caramello. They had realized that their son needed help. And they had realized that they had failed yet another son. Mistakenly, they had let their son wander to the edge and jump. They had not been there to guide him, and now, they were determined to help him get out of it. They refused to lose him.


Hours later in Isla Caramello:

Screenshot-2265I played with Hunter out in my garden the entire afternoon. It was great spending time with him at my own house. I could finally feel like a real father, instead of someone who met his girlfriend and son only out in public. And when the sun started setting and Hunter started to look tired, we went inside and I gave him his bottle. He was such a happy and content kid. Whatever you did for him, he would smile at you and make your heart melt.

Screenshot-2259“Yew…” Mother’s voice took me by surprise. I hadn’t expected them to come here, though it was a nice surprise that they did. It was nice living on my own, but I missed them a lot occasionally. I patted Hunter on the head and stood up to greet my parents properly. Mother looked at Hunter and she had the saddest look on her face. I couldn’t understand why. Hunter was here and he was safe.

Screenshot-2262“Nothing has happened” I said and smiled, trying my best to comfort her but it did little to cheer her up. She just kept looking at me with those sad eyes and it wasn’t until then I realized that perhaps something had happened to them. Perhaps they weren’t here for me or Hunter’s sake. “Or did something happen?”

“Yew, what is Hunter doing here?” she asked. It confused me, obviously.

“What do you mean? He’s where he should be.”

Screenshot-2263Tears started rolling down mom’s cheeks. “Oh, Yew” she said and shook her head.

Hunter gurgled on the floor and when I looked down on him he smiled. Then he crawled to dad and pulled at his leg and raised his arms towards him. Dad bent down and lifted him up. It was beautiful to watch them and I smiled. “Oh, Yew” mom whimpered again. Tears were rolling freely down her cheeks by now.

Screenshot-2261“Son, do you really not know what we’re saying?” dad asked. Hunter clung to him as if they were already the best of friends.

“I don’t understand” I confessed. It was all very confusing.

“You’ll get help soon” dad said and looked at me. His eyes expressed sorrow and regret.

Screenshot-2403A while later there was a knock on the door. Before I could get there to open it, it was swung open and two police officers stormed in. After them came Aquamarine and Jacinto.

Screenshot-2402Aquamarine ran straight for Hunter and snatched him from dad’s arms. And after that I don’t know what happened because Jacinto jumped me. “You monster!” he yelled as he beat me. I was too confused to do anything back and he landed one fist after the other in my face. It stung when my lip burst and I could feel the taste of blood in my mouth.

“You fudging monster!” he cried again and I felt myself being pulled off him. When I looked up my vision was clouded. Jacinto had got some well-aimed hits in and my face was hurting. At the other side of the room one of the officers held Jacinto in the same way I was being held myself. Aquamarine stood in the corner of the room, hugging Hunter close. She cried. Mom and dad looked sad too.

Screenshot-2404“You are under arrest” the officer behind my back said and started pushing me out of the room. “You have the right to remain silent. Everything you say, can, and will, be used against you.”

The last thing I saw before being forced out of the house was how father fell in to mother’s arms as they both started to cry.

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Chapter 5.5: With love

foto-14Mom and dad,

It was really great to have you all over and it’s quite empty now that you’re all gone. However, Sonic came back home after you had left and we are good friends again. All is good. We’ve got some rain here the last few weeks. I know it’s not a big thing in Fondant Fields, but here it’s really rare. Most ‘bows stay inside whenever it happens but I have been going out just to experience it. You were always so good at telling us to enjoy nature in all its shapes and I guess I’ve learned a bit of that. 

foto-15I can finally tell you some really exciting news: Aquamarine is pregnant! I’m nervous and scared but also excited. Jacinto stays with her most of the time and he takes great care of her. For some reason, I think he has trouble accepting me as her partner. Perhaps they just have a really tight bond in their family and are hesitant to let anyone else in. However, it is a bit hurting since she is now expecting my kid. Shouldn’t that earn me a natural place in their family?

However, neither me or Aquamarine are really ready to move in together yet. Honestly, I think it’s mostly her, because I’m sure I could find a way to make it work even though I work a lot. I don’t want to push her too hard, though. Especially not now that she’s expecting. We will get our future eventually anyhow.

foto-13I’ve been doing my best to prepare for what’s to come. I should know some of the tricks when it comes to babies since both Froly and Mulberry were still young when I was old enough to help out with them. Still, it’s not the same as being the real parent – is it?

The bookstore here on the island has a few books on parenting and I’ve read them all. I’m determined to do anything it takes to be prepared once the little one comes. 

foto-19Aquamarine’s belly seems to grow bigger for every day. It’s really a miracle to think that there’s a baby in there. Like, a real, though small, living being. I still have trouble believing it. And understanding it. Me, as a father. It seems surrealistic.

I try to work less so that I can be with her more, but it’s hard. And even when I do manage to get time off, she sometimes prefer to be with Jacinto. I’m not even sure she knows that it hurts. However, I don’t want it to push us apart. Especially not now that we have a baby on the way. Somehow our life will work out, even if we cannot live together. That baby will get time with both her and me and we will support each other. You two never had that problem, did you? How could you be so sure that you were right for each other? That you wanted to live together? I really do love her, I’m sure about that. Is that all that’s needed?

foto-18I’ve been thinking a lot, as you can tell. About my priorities and my life. And yet, I’m nowhere near knowing what is right and what is wrong. It’s so hard! Should one just go for it? Is that the answer?

foto-25Sometimes, it feels like my doubts and my thoughts are eating me from inside. I have been playing a lot of ranked chess games just to clear my mind. Unless I focus all my thoughts on the board in those games, I will lose. I suppose it is like meditation, in some way. It’s been working well and I’ve been winning quite a few matches.

foto-26And whenever chess wasn’t enough, there was always work to be done. Now that me and Sonic were trying to uncover the secrets behind the Alders money, there was always new leads to follow and new reconnaissances to do. We followed Basil by boat one day. It was hard, because whenever he got to open water he would be able to spot us if he only looked behind. Few boats went out on the open waters around here since boats were usually just used for recreational reasons, or as a means of transportation from one island to the next. However, Basil headed towards an island we knew nothing about. 

foto-24We had to stay a bit behind to make sure he wouldn’t notice us. Eventually, he stepped off the boat on a beach outside a cave. Before we had managed to get to the shore he had entered the cave and we had lost him. No matter how deeply we wanted to follow him in to that cave, we knew it would be stupid. Chances were that he knew that cave well, and since we knew nothing he would easily be able to lure us to go his way.

foto-27 So, instead of following him in to the cave, we stayed hidden outside of it. We spent the whole night there, but Basil never came out. In fact, no one came out from that cave during the hours we stayed on guard. In the end, we had to cave in for our hunger and leave the place. It was both mysterious and suspicious, that Basil, who was the richest man on the island, spent a night in a cave. It was definitely something we would have to investigate further. 

foto-29 But, shadowing caves was not enough. We wanted proof for our theories and we wanted it fast. Digging through others’ trash is not luxury or glamorous in any way, but it has worked before and there was nothing saying it wouldn’t work again. Everyone throws away stuff that we don’t want anyone else to find out about now and then, don’t we?

foto-30I am confident that we will succeed eventually. The Alders are going down. I found some things in their trash that would hurt their reputation if it got out. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with their connection to the Organization and therefore I have to hold on to it. But I will hurt them eventually. Oh, I will.

foto-17Aquamarine and I were out walking when she went in to labor. She just stopped dead and grabbed her belly and let out a heart-piercing cry. It embarrassed me a bit before I realized what it was all about. At that point, I rather panicked. Her being in labor meant that the baby was on its way out, and that in turn meant that I was about to become a father. I was nowhere ready. I had thought, before that point, that I were. But I had been wrong. A baby? How would I ever be able to care for a baby?

foto-20I had no car and it was hard catching a taxi. Because of that, it took hours until we were at the hospital. Luckily, Aquamarine’s pains came in sequences and we both figured we had time. Deliveries took time, we knew that much, even if it was our first time.

foto-21When we got to the hospital, my nervousness had rubbed off on Aquamarine. She was pretty much freaking out and I had to push my own feelings aside and try to be strong for her. After all, having babies were not that hard. Many, many had done it before us and if they could, then why shouldn’t we be able. It would be alright.

foto-22After lots of pain and lots of doubt and lots of supporting, Hunter was born. It was surreal. He was a baby. My baby. I was a father.

I couldn’t grasp it. It seemed easier to Aquamarine. She just snuggled the baby close and instantly looked like a mother. I, on the other hand, didn’t even dare to hold him. I was too afraid that I would do something wrong and somehow harm him. 

foto-23But we got to take him home. Or rather, Aquamarine got to take him home. It was painful dropping them off at her place and later leaving them. My family. My son. I wondered if life would ever go back to normal. Would I ever feel like I was the rightful father of that kid. 

How was it for you when you took to Lava? Did it come natural? Will I ever be as good as a parent as you have always been? I’m not sure. I hope so. You have always been the best. I wish you were here to teach me. I love you so much.

Much love/
your Yew


Yea, another letter. The baby was born and it’s a boy named Hunter. He is adorable, let me tell you!

I got alerted that Yew’s generation so far reminds a lot about Sundance’s. It really do. I realize that. They were both investigators, trying to prove that a rich and powerful family were bad guys. And they both had the ‘Fighter’ roll. However, Yew’s generation will be a lot different. I will reveal some of it in the next chapter. It might surprise you. Although some of you may already suspect what’s up. I’m not sure. However, this generation will be very different from Sundance’s. Yew will get his own story, I promise!

Until then, much love!

Chapter 5.4: Something big

Screenshot-1835I read an article about chess competitions one day and it caught my interest straight off. There was nothing special about it, but chess had always been something I enjoyed and I couldn’t get enough of free time activities. Hanging out at the beach wasn’t all that fun anymore, at least not every day.

Besides, we got rain some days even in Isla Caramello and I had noticed that the society kind of stood still when it happened. No one went out when it rained. The ‘bows on this island sure preferred their water to be on the ground.

However, I jumped on that chess bandwagon and invited the guy who was ranked lowest for a game at my place. It wasn’t exciting and it wasn’t action filled, but it was a lifesaver for rainy days. And I was good at chess. I beat him easily.

Screenshot-1872Sonic was a good journalist. He had always been a good writer and he managed fine on his freelance career. He hired me to take photos for him sometimes and I liked working with him. In fact, I liked working with him so much that I got him a job at my office. It was easy because Sonic had something big coming up and our paper wanted to be the first to publish it.

Screenshot-1871The Alder family was one of the richest on the island and there was a wide-spread rumour about their money being filthy. It had always been treated as just a rumour. One of the kind that always surround rich families. However, Sonic had recently discovered that this particular rumour may actually be true. The Alder’s owned not just only their own huge mansion, but also several of the islands resorts. Their name is recognizable for every inhabitant of the island. However, as far as rumur goes, there is no background to the money. No one seems to know where they derive from and some even say that the name Alder is made up, simply to be recognized with the Alder’s in Sugarvalley.

What Sonic discovered was huge. He dug for months to come up with what he did and even when I went to my editor the information needed to be proved. Despite that, it was too good for the paper to pass on, so they hired Sonic on the spot – with me as his partner and photographer.

Screenshot-1874Now we worked day and night with trying to prove the loose ends Sonic had found. If he was right, we would be capable of bringing the family down and dealing massive damage to their reputation in the process. What we had found was transactions between what we believed was the Organization, and an account, set in a bank in France, which Sonic had proved belonged to the Alders.

Screenshot-1870The man behind the resort empire and the head of the family was Basil and he was not that much older than me and Sonic. Without having any well-known (proven!) relatives, a fortune like his was hard to come by. If he was in fact tied to the Organization, Isla Caramello would soon see a change. No government wanted to be associated with the Organization and therefore not either anyone tied to them.

Screenshot-1867I was still living with Sonic and me and Aquamarine had not discussed what future we saw with each other. She still lived with Jacinto and sometimes it felt like he had a bigger part in her life than I did. I know she valued family and that she wasn’t sure how involved we really were. It all got a bit complicated when she got pregnant.

I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a father, but Aquamarine was overjoyed. Her future plans had always involved family. I, on the other hand, hadn’t even thought about future yet. I was still very focused on the present and was very busy with squeezing enjoyment and happiness from all my days. That is not to say that I wasn’t excited about the pregnancy, because even if I hadn’t planned for parenthood or was ready to be a father, I was prepared to take my responsibility and do what I could for that child.

Screenshot-1868Jacinto had no worries about the future of the baby though. He caressed Aquamarine’s belly and talked to the baby on a daily basis. Something I was even unable to do, since I did neither live with my girlfriend nor see her every day. Even though we expected a child, I still think she valued Jacinto and her old family higher than me.

I felt ambiguous about seeing Jacinto fuss over the pregnancy. I loved how much he cared but I also felt pushed to the side. It felt more like their baby than mine. And I feared that Jacinto would have a bigger part in its life than me, once it was born. At least, Aquamarine had no plans of moving in with me and I wasn’t ready to leave Sonic behind either. He was my family too. It was certainly a complicated situation.

Screenshot-1878“I’m not sure what I should do” I complained to Sonic after  having spent a day in the park with Aquamarine and Jacinto. On the table before us laid pictures of the progress of Aquamarine’s pregnancy belly.

“It’s your baby though, isn’t it?” Sonic replied, as if that was even questionable. Of course it was my baby. Aquamarine was my girlfriend and we were exkcusive.

“She hasn’t been with anyone else.”

Screenshot-1877“That wasn’t what I meant. What I’m sayin’ is that you have the right to raise that kid if you want to. No matter if you live together or not. But she could move in here. There’s room.”

“We’d keep her awake when we work. We work a lot now, don’t we?” I don’t know what I meant by that. I’m not even sure if I wanted Aquamarine to live with us. And even if I did, I doubt she would be ready to move from her family.

Screenshot-1876“We do” Sonic said and turned his attention towards the TV, thereby ending the conversation. I was torn in what I wanted here, I knew that. Sonic tried his best to come up with suggestions and solutions but I shot them all down, possibly because I didn’t know myself what I valued the most. Aquamarine and a future family or Sonic and work. And even if I did make up my mind, I wasn’t sure it mattered because I wasn’t the one calling the shots. I couldn’t just force her to move in here anyway.

The constant going back and forth in thoughts was enough to drive me crazy, that’s for sure.

Screenshot-1899To get some of the worry of my chest, I dove in to work. Literally. We needed hands-on proof for the things we suspected of the Alders and sometimes the only thing to get something you really want is to get your hands dirty. And in this case, smelly. Perhaps it was a long shot, but I hoped that Basil would get sloppy one day and leave some proof in his bin. When he did, I would find it and we would get our story published and his dirty money would get back in its right hands.

Screenshot-1900Not only was it a dirty job looking through the family’s trash. It was also scary. One could get paranoid for less and every little sound that echoed in that metal bin sent my heart jumping up my throat. I was dressed too nicely to pass for a beggar or as being homeless so I would have to come up with something better. If needed.

Screenshot-1908And it turned out that I would have needed that explanation sooner rather than later, because Basil caught me in the middle of my investigation one night and he was not happy. “Uhm” was the only explanation I could think of, and naturally it did not please him.

Screenshot-1909“GET OFF MY PROPERTY!” he yelled before throwing his entire body over me, sending me back first down the ground. Before I had that fight with Sonic about a week ago, I had never been in a fight. Now I was experiencing my second one already and I could tell I would never come to like it. It hurt too much. Neither did I enjoy sending my own fists towards Basil’s face, but it was a much needed thing to do in the situation I was.

Screenshot-1910But I was no fighter. I doubt Basil was either, but at least he was stronger or more determined because he soon took me by the hems of the shirt and tossed me off his property and out in the street. Luckily there was no car driving past at that moment or I wouldn’t live anymore. That would possibly have been one way of dragging him down, though. Not that it was a way that I would prefer, of course.

Screenshot-1905Having lost that one opportunity to find proof in his garbage, we needed to come up with something new. I had no ideas and Sonic kept on searching through police records and news archives. In loss of other ideas, I started asking people around town. It was nearly as scary as going through Basil’s garbage because I couldn’t know which ‘bows were associated with him and which might be against him. I had to be careful. However, we woudld find a way to get to him eventually. The story we had found was too good to not get out eventually. Hard work had a habit of paying off, I knew that.

Chapter 5.3: Family visit

Screenshot-1816I had been going to the thrift shop on a daily basis the last week because I had found a new love at that place. Even though the girl behind the counter was cute, she was not the center of my attention. It was a Gladiator QX40. At their normal price such an investment would be worth about five of my monthly salaries as a paperboy, and thus beyond my reach. But there, at the thrift shop, it was a bargain. Still too expensive for what I had saved, but within reach before too long. Unless someone else grabbed it before me, of course.

It was a nervous venture going there before I could make sure the Gladiator was still there. Rose, who worked there, smiled at me whenever I got there and by now I didn’t even need to ask. She knew why I came. “Still here,” she said and nodded towards the shelf behind her head. It was a mighty camera and right now I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than that.

Screenshot-1817I took extra hours at work just to be able to save up money quicker. Obviously, calling mom and dad asking for help would have been easier but also less independent. I wanted to earn it myself. Handing out newspapers was neither fancy nor fun. It didn’t even pay me well but I worked hard. 

I even worked hard enough to earn a promotion, which got me off the streets and in to the actual office. The promotion itself wasn’t what made me the most happy, though. It was the bonus that followed. A bonus that got me enough to actually get the camera. I felt proud and excited when I entered the thrift shop that day and Rose must have seen it. “Today is the big day, isn’t it?” She smiled and I returned the gesture. It was indeed a big day.

Just a couple of minutes later I held the treasure in my hands. My own Gladiator.

Screenshot-1820That night, me and Sonic went to the pub to celebrate. He bought me fancy cocktails at the bar and we sipped them like kings. It was only a camera, but to me it felt like a huge victory.

Screenshot-1826When Aquamarine joined us after work we had already downed quite a few drinks and I was already feeling it. Sonic beamed when Aqua entered the pub and run to greet her in a big hug. I expected him to come back to me afterwards, or at least let me greet her, but he stayed with her. I was stranded behind them and Aquamarine didn’t even seem to notice that I was there.

A few seconds passed and I watched them interact with each other. Aquamarine laughed as Sonic kissed her on the cheek. Sonic kept his hand on her shoulder. He leaned in and whispered something in her ear. They took each others hands. Sonic took a step closer to her and I heard them both giggle. It made me sick.

He was supposed to be my best friend and yet he had the guts to flirt with her right before my eyes.

Screenshot-1829I went up to them and shoved Aquamarine to the side with my left arm. Sonic took a step back and opened his mouth to speak, but before he said anything I shoved him backwards. “That’s my girl” I hissed.

Screenshot-1830“Anyone said something else?” Sonic replied and shoved me back. His eyes were black and I could tell he wouldn’t back off. Neither would I. I wouldn’t just stand to the side while my best friend seduced my girl friend. No, that would not happen.

Screenshot-1831Screenshot-1833I had never been in a fight before and I would never have guessed my first one would be with Sonic. Yet, that was exactly what happened. We rolled around on the pub floor, kicking and punching whatever body parts we could reach. Both of us trying to prove that we had been right. She was my girl and he should have known.

Once someone pulled us apart Aquamarine had left the pub. I looked for her outside but couldn’t find her. I called her, but she didn’t answer.

Screenshot-1819My celebration night obviously didn’t end up like I had wanted. The camera was luckily unharmed after the fight, but both Sonic and Aquamarine had fled the scene. I could only hope they hadn’t done so together.

foto-12A few days later mom and dad came to visit and they ended up being the first ‘bows I took a picture of with my new Gladiator. It kind of shocked me to see how old they had become in just the short time since I last saw them. Mom’s previously fragrant blue hair had faded and now was now more grey than blue. Besides, both mom and dad were wrinkly and looked tired. Aging was inevitable, I knew that, but it was still weird to see my own parents look that old. However, they didn’t seem to mind too much themselves and I envied the love and bond between them. There hadn’t been a single time during my lifetime that I had seen them disagree or fight. They were truly meant for each other and having them as my parents was a blessing.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I was meant to be with Aquamarine in that same way. I certainly hoped so.

Screenshot-1840My siblings all came with mom and dad as well. It was great seeing them, but my little house sure got crowded with them all here at the same time. Luckily, they were not to stay at my place but rather at one of the resorts in town. I’m not sure we would have made it through the week if they had all stayed here the entire time. I had got used to living on my own quite quick, it seemed. Truth be told, I didn’t see that much of my siblings during the week at all. They were all too busy exploring the island on their own. Not too strange considering exploration had always been encouraged by our parents.

Screenshot-1879 Screenshot-1880Mom and dad, on the other hand,  decided to stay at my place. They said they had not come here to explore, but to let me show the surroundings. I didn’t mind too much, although I’ll confess that it was strange stepping through my door in the morning to see them both make out in their underwear. They had never been much for hiding their affections.

Screenshot-1858We got through one whole day before my parents asked about Aquamarine. “When are you introducing us?” mom asked. She had been admiring the pictures in my home during the afternoon and it wasn’t the least strange that she wanted to meet my girlfriend as well. Unfortunately, it was impossible to arrange this week.

Screenshot-1859“I’m afraid she’s away with her family this week” I said truthfully. Aquamarine’s family had bonds that my family had never had. They did all kinds of things together and this specific week, they were out sailing. “I’m sorry. I wish you could meet her.”

“Oh, no worries” dad said and smiled. “You’ll introduce us eventually, right? It’s no rush.”

“And you’re sure Sonic won’t mind having us two old folks staying here?” mom asked after having swallowed the fact she wouldn’t get to meet Aquamarine this time around.

“Oh.” I had to swallow to get rid of the lump in my throat. Sonic had not been home since we had that fight at the pub a few days ago and it was starting to worry me. I knew mom and dad would notice my worry so I decided to just be honest about it and tell them what had happened.

Screenshot-1837

The next day I took mom and dad to the Rocky Reefs for some snorkeling. Having my parents around was a relief now that Sonic was missing and Aquamarine was spending time with her family. Had my own family not been here I would have become even more worried about my and Sonic’s friendship and I would just have been sitting around missing Aquamarine.

The water around the reefs were crystal clear and you could see all the way to the seabed. It wasn’t unusual to see all kinds of fish and anemones just through snorkeling. Actually, diving was only necessary if you wanted to explore the underwater caves, and that was probably not the first thing you showed your old parents.

Screenshot-1838They were both excited about the snorkeling, though. Despite all their travels it was something they had never tried before. Dad got the hang of it rather quickly but mom had some trouble with sticking her snorkel below the water at first. I almost thought she would give up before she suddenly managed to do it right.

We stayed out all day. Even though it was almost fall the water was still warm. It wasn’t until it became too dark to see below the surface that we called it a day and headed back home.

Screenshot-1755Back home Lavender was sitting reading and humming to herself in my livingroom. It was weird seeing anyone else but Sonic in my house when I wasn’t there. But I guess Lavender was welcome. When she saw us coming she put the book down and went to greet us.

“I love this place” she beamed. Her happiness could not be mistaken. “I met this really cute boy today, down in the park. I’ve never met someone as polite as him ever before.”

Lavender had always been open with her relations and always ready to jump head first towards whatever boy had just caught her interest. I wasn’t surprised that she had already met someone here on the island, and neither was mom and dad.

Screenshot-1851The next day I took mom and dad scuba-diving. We decided to go back to the Rocky Reefs to also get to explore the place from under the water. I wasn’t a very skilled diver but after living on the island I knew a thing or two that mom and dad could impossibly know. It was weird being the more experienced one but I enjoyed it. I told them what history I knew about the reefs and I pointed out fishes we encountered.

All in all, it was a great experience and after that first day, mom and dad were ready to continue exploring the island’s underwater on their own. I was more than happy to be on my own since it meant I could take my Gladiator for a tour around the island.

Screenshot-1860Having my siblings coming and going to the house as they pleased was not only enjoyable. Especially not when Froly got some time on his own. I had never really got to know him when we were younger but I’m quite sure he was a spawn of the devil himself.

Screenshot-1861 Screenshot-1862It was either that or that he was simply a horrible person. I couldn’t see any other reason for him to mess with my bathroom sink so it would explode over the next person trying to use it. I kind of regretted my hospitality…

Screenshot-1866Mulberry, on the other hand, kept mostly to himself. He had always been an outcast in the family. Literally, of course, but also because of his personality. It was as if he didn’t really want to fit in or socialize with us. I actually think he was missing something. Perhaps he felt rootless? At least, he was constantly looking for clues about his background. The search history on my computer led to all kinds of strange supernatural forums. I knew of course that supernatural things were most real – my own family was a living proof of that, but some of the things that those forums suggested was a joke. In a way I understood that it must hurt Mulberry to see how others laugh at the idea of his existence and others trying to prove it through badly processed photos or other silly things. I wondered if perhaps Mulberry wanted to back to wherever he originated from. I kind of thought so.

Screenshot-1857Before my family went back to Fondant Fields we celebrated Rhubarb’s birthday. Like Mulberry, Rhubarb stuck mostly to himself and preferred to stay out of the spotlight. I could already see him moving to a house on his own with a bunch of rescued stray animals, which was the plan he had of life. Mom said he made her proud because he reminded her of Bittersweet. It was true, they were equally smitten by animals and equally concerned about others’ wellbeing. I liked to think that me and Rhubarb could have made good friends but the truth is that I was probably way too shallow for him. He was a lot more thoughtful than myself.

Screenshot-1846Lavender went on a date with Durian on the night before going back home. He took her to one of the more romantic ponds on the island and I had to refrain from telling mom and dad that several teenagers had lost their virginity up there. Not that I think mom and dad would have mind since they wanted us to experience life at its fullest. They were more likely to encourage it and I think that was an even stronger reason not to tell them.

Screenshot-1842They had a nice evening up there and Lavender fell in love with the boy by her side. In her opinion he was caring and polite and most loveable. That was of course not the truth, which she also learned as the night progressed. But at first, she fell in love with him.

Screenshot-1841“This place is beautiful” she said and smiled brightly.

“I know” Durian replied and looked down at his hands. He had brought her here for the same reason any boy brought a girl up there but now it didn’t feel right. Lavender would go back to Fondant Fields the next day and Lily wouldn’t have to know. Lavender was gorgeous and also most willing, he knew that much. He would be stupid to back off now. He had imagined and pushed for sex for so long but Lily just never gave in. So why did he hesitate now that he had the chance?

Screenshot-1843Lavender kept talking about how beautiful and romantic the place was and Durian listened while debating with himself of what he wanted of this night. Perhaps he and Lily wasn’t meant to be? And if they were, he could still do it with Lavender without anyone ever knowing. It was a too good opportunity to pass out on, wasn’t it?

Lavender soon stood up and took Durian’s hands. She knew of course why she had been taken to this place. There could only be one reason for a boy, or girl, to bring anyone up here. Especially when they were just two. She felt excited about it. She wanted this.

Screenshot-1846But when she leaned in to kiss Durin he pulled away. Perhaps he was stupid not to take the opportunity before him, but then be it. Lily trusted him and even if he wasn’t completely in love with her, he wasn’t going to hurt her like this. He had to do it the right way.

Screenshot-1845“I’m sorry” he said and took a step back. “I can’t do this. I… I have a girlfriend.”

Screenshot-1847Lavender was hurt. She hadn’t expected to be turned down. “Then why the fudge did you bring me up here for?”

Durian couldn’t give her any good answer. He mumbled something about ‘doing it right’ and ‘another time’ before he turned around and walked away.

Screenshot-1848Lavender felt beaten. She rarely got these opportunities and she had been looking forward to finally trying sex. It seemed she would have to wait even longer. And Durian could rest assure that there would be no next time. She was not about to wait for him or come back for him. She could get someone else.

Screenshot-1722My family left the next day and just a few hours later Sonic came back home. It was a sweet reunion and we both apologized to each other.

It was great having him back. Isla Caramello just wasn’t the same without him by my side.

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