Chapter 3.14: Reunion

Screenshot-493Taxus had become a teenager already and it was the first birthday ever in this house that we didn’t host a party for. I felt a bit bad about it but he assured me it was just fine. I gave him an easel for his birthday and he was pretty much glued to it the entire night so it probably wouldn’t have made much difference if there had been a lot of people in the house anyway. He seemed happy.

I was still thinking about a way to make the kids get to know their fathers because I didn’t want them to have the same childhood as I had and when I was sitting with Taxus I brought the idea up with him.

“A gift giving party with our fathers?” he asked and didn’t sound very excited. “Don’t bother inviting my father. I don’t care anyway. But maybe the girls do, what do I know…”

I thought about it a lot but in the end I decided to invite Flamenco anyway. He didn’t show up though. Perhaps he thought the trip would be too long or he simply didn’t care enough about a teenage son he had never met.

Screenshot-498Lychee and Precious came though, along with the rest of my closest family. Which was growing quite quickly and also involved my cousin Butterfly Bush because she and Lychee were a couple. Appletini also came with her son Ferrari as a part of Precious’ closest family. And dad brought Thunderbird, they seemed to hang out more often now that mom was gone and dad was lonely while Mithos still had his big family. I certainly did not complain, Thunderbird was h-o-t.

Screenshot-499Screenshot-500Screenshot-501Screenshot-504Screenshot-503The party was alright even if the kids didn’t exactly speak too much with their fathers (and the fathers didn’t try too hard either) and even though not everyone was overly happy with their gifts. But still, it was alright and I had given my children the opportunity to get to know their fathers and that meant I had done what I could. I would probably keep trying because I didn’t want my own children to feel as abandoned as I had felt.

This is what I gave my kids: Taxus got some new paint brushes and a big sketch pad. Coral got a toy oven and a painting of a horse. Bittersweet got a toybox.

Screenshot-506And I myself got the best possible gift once the party was over. I couldn’t think of a better way to end a gift giving party than to woohoo in the igloo your kids had built in your garden.

Screenshot-495Life kept going its steady course after that. I worked a lot.

Screenshot-496Hung out with my kids.

Screenshot-494And behold! Precious.

Not that it was intentional most of the times, he simply happened to be at Appletini’s place when I came to visit and it actually seemed like my little outburst had done wonders to him because one day he suggested that he come to visit me and Bittersweet. I tried to hide the massive joy I felt and simply agreed. Maybe he would want to be by my side after all. Maybe!

However, that did not happen. He came to visit a few hours each time he was in town but he always left shortly after without so much as a hug. I realized that I dug that grave myself by lying in the first place and then repeating the lie but as the truth. At least he was around now and then and at least Bittersweet would know her father. And the few times he was actually around were the happiest moments in my life nowadays.

Screenshot-507I could stand just watching him as he played with his daughter or the times he brought Ferrari with him we would stand next to each other and just watch the two kids play. Simply being close to him sent tingles through my body, which was something I had never experienced with anyone else.

Screenshot-580Precious Pastry, he sure was unique.

Spending time with Precious was like riding a roller coaster that only went uphill. I was so happy in his company even if we weren’t romantically involved and I obviously wished for that to happen. The thing with rollercoasters, though, is that they need to go downhill at some point and when they do it may take you by surprise and leave you feeling both surprised and sick. At least that was how I felt when the Precious-coaster crashed down.

Screenshot-581“I’m seeing someone” he said one day. I had never considered such a thing to even be an option and as soon as he said it the world crashed on my shoulders and it felt like everything went black.

“But, we have a baby” I murmured while a wave of nausea rushed through my body. He couldn’t be seeing someone, we were a family for berry’s sake!

“And she’s adorable but I’m not in love with you, We have no future.”

Screenshot-586“But we have a past!” I couldn’t let him go. I couldn’t accept him being with someone else. I needed him, he should know I did.

“A past, yes. But I have a future too, and it can’t be with you. I think I’m in love with this girl Soda. I want to take the chance.” He looked down as he spoke and he looked genuinely sad.

Screenshot-585Bittersweet kept playing as if everything was normal and as if the whole world wasn’t falling apart at this moment. Precious smiled when he looked at her and I kept cursing to myself over the fact that he was so good-looking and over the fact that he was like no other guy I had ever met. I cursed the fact that I had fallen head over heels for him and I cursed the fact that I could be so blue-eyed and believe that there could even be a thing such as love.

I grabbed his arms and kneeled down to be able to look him straight in the eye as I said: “If you walk away you lose us both.” I knew that I wouldn’t be able to spend time with him if my chances of having a future with him was taken away. I had lived on that hope, had imagined us like a family and he just stomped on that image as if it was worth nothing. So I had to make him choose, either he wanted his daughter (and I could tell he adored her) or he walked away from us both.

Screenshot-582He kneeled down and kissed Bittersweet on the forehead. “I have to take this chance” he whispered. Before I knew it he was gone. From the room, from my life, from our family but not from my dreams. I sunk down on the floor in Bittersweet’s nursery and cried. Never before had my life felt so hopeless.

Screenshot-515Since becoming a mother I hadn’t gone out to party or drink much. It was weird thinking about how much my life had changed even though I had been determined to not let it happen. The day after Precious revealed his plan to leave me and my kids to go chase some lovelife he had suddenly found I decided to go to the pub for the first time in many years. I called the babysitter after I finished work and asked her to stay a bit longer and then I went straight to the pub.

Not much had changed it seemed, even though The Blank Slate was one of the few places that offered anything in the kind of nightlife it was quiet. Perhaps it also helped that it was in the middle of the week and only the really lonely and poor souls would make their way to the pub at 4 ó clock.

Screenshot-510I went upstairs to drown my sorrows with juice. I felt more miserable than I had ever done in my life before and not even a day at work had managed to ease my mind. Juice was the only escape I could think of now. Until I came upstairs and saw Lychee by the bar, that is. I stopped in my track towards the bar and just looked at him. Lychee Button, also a father to one of my kids. He looked so lonely by the bar and I couldn’t help but remember the sight of him when I saw him in Briocheport. Back then he had been surrounded by snake girls and had looked happy and content and now it was the complete opposite. I decided to go up to him.

Screenshot-511He barely looked at me when I took place next to him but he waved to the bartender and ordered a drink for me. I smiled and drank it without even saying a word to him first. He finished his glass too before speaking and when he finally did I noticed that he slurred. He had probably finished quite a few drinks already. “Ish not like Brioshh-portsh eschatly” he said and ordered another drink.

“It’s not” I agreed and ordered another drink myself.

Screenshot-512“She dumped me” he slurred after another sip of the juice and I could barely believe my ears. “She dumped Lyschee Buttshon. Ha!”

Screenshot-514I tugged at his sleeve and made him come with me away from the bar as I realized the bartender’s ears had grown way too big overhearing the subject. “Why would she do that?” I wondered and my own troubles suddenly seemed much more distant, even though Lychee’s troubles were a perfect reflection of my own.

“She doeshn’t love me anymore” he sighed and fell in to my arms, sobbing. It felt weird, comforting Lychee. I had learned to see him in a whole new way after meeting him as an adult and this sobbing mess was not how I pictured him.

Screenshot-513“Then she’s an idiot” I said and was surprised to realize that I meant it. Lychee was a good guy, he was cute and he was rich and famous. Lots of girls wanted him and throwing him away was a real waste. I suddenly enjoyed comforting him and when he stumbled down the stairs I followed him.

Screenshot-516Screenshot-518I stood waiting outside the toilet stall and tried to shut out the pouring sound from within. When Lychee came back out I threw myself in his arms. I needed this comfort and he did too. That didn’t stop him from being surprised by it all, though.

Screenshot-520“Whatcha doing?” he wondered once he managed to break free.

Screenshot-521“I’m kissing you” I replied and threw myself in his arms again and this time he didn’t object but instead returned the kiss. He tasted of alcohol and as we kissed I managed to forget about Precious. It was a good distraction.

Screenshot-522 Screenshot-523When he followed me home it was only the natural step. It was something we both needed – to feel wanted and to have some company. And the next morning one of my kids could eat breakfast together with both her mother and father and that was definitely out of the ordinary.

Screenshot-524“Do you mind if I come here to see you and Coral once every now and then?” Lychee asked during the breakfast and I said that I definitely wouldn’t mind. Both he and I really needed each other’s company now.

Screenshot-561A few days later we met Thunderbird and dad at the Winter Festival. It all happened because of three reasons: 1) Dad wanted to see his grandchildren and was feeling very lonely after Oceana’s passing. 2) Both Taxus and Coral had been begging to get to see Thunderbird more. Taxus thought it was cool that he was a vampire and Coral wanted him to teach her how to skate. 3) I wanted to see his gorgeous face again.

I had never realized how much he meant for my father or how close they had been but it became rather clear now that my father was grieving. It seemed like neither his siblings or two best friends had any time for hime and as such Thunderbird stepped in like some kind of savior.

It was nice hanging out with Thunderbird not only because he was good on the eye but also because he told me things about my father I never would have guessed. Apparantly my father had been a very brave young man back in the days. It was quite hard to believe.

Screenshot-562Coral raced for the skating rink as soon as we got to the festival lot and she looked very unstable as she tried her hand at the skating. “Please help me Thunderbird” she cried and he excused himself from my side and went to skate with my daughter.

Screenshot-566Although I must say it was rather cheaty with his vampiric speed. He was usually trying to keep a low profile and not everyone knew that he was a vampire, but since it was a school day and not many people at the festival he took the opportunity to show off. Coral looked at him dreamily as if she wished to have the same skating skills. I doubt she even noticed the fact that he wasn’t even wearing skates.

Screenshot-564Dad was mostly cuddling with Bittersweet the entire time and it seemed to make him happy so we mostly let him be. When Coral was tired of skating she threw off her jacket and went up to Thunderbird. “That was so cool on the ice” she said and smiled impressed. “You’ll teach me some day, won’t you?”

Thunderbird laughed, “We’ll see.”

Screenshot-568Both Bittersweet and Coral got quite tired at the end of the day and dad offered to take them home. Taxus followed them, which meant it was only me and Thunderbird left. It didn’t take long until he approached me with a seductive smile. “You’re just as gorgeous as every Twist woman before you” he said and placed his arms around my neck.

“How old are you?” I wondered, realizing he could be several hundreds of years.

“29” he replied and grinned.

“And for how long have you been 29?”

“For approximately 250 years.”

Screenshot-567Maybe it should have made me scared and made me want to get off him. I knew nothing of vampires except the things I had read in books. Maybe they were dangerous and it seemed very possible that he would be able to tear me apart just with a snap of his finger.

But it didn’t make me scared or nervous. It made me thrilled. I saw in front of me a new adventure, a new experience and I decided to take my chances.

Screenshot-569“You are a better kisser than your aunt Sweet Corn” Thunderbird said when our lips parted.

“I guess I had more training” I replied, not even bothered by admitting my loose nature. I knew I wouldn’t be at his rate anyway. When he literally sweeped me off my feet and carried me over to the photo automate I didn’t object. I smiled in his arms and it was the best adventure and experience I had ever had so far. Experience pays off, after all.


StoryProgression pushed Precious in to a relationship and made Butterfly Bush and Lychee break up so once again I changed my plans for Soda Pop’s future story. And because Thunderbird was also a popular choice among readers (and Soda herself) he also became a potential father. Both Taxus and Coral rolled relation-building wishes concerning Thunderbird too, so I decided to go with that. I have let Soda have RiskyWoohoo with both these men and we will see who will eventually become the father of the next child. 🙂

As you can see Bittersweet has a few paintings of dogs in her nursery, they are all in fact gifts from Precious to Soda Pop through the game’s attraction system. I thought it was rather fitting to put them in the nursery of his daughter. I’ve let her develop a real love for animals overall from those pictures. ^^

With the woohoo in the igloo, Soda Pop fulfilled her LTW to romance with five different guys in five different places. She has also reached Level 9 in her Firefighter career and is finally starting to make some decent money so the house (outside the kids’ rooms) will start looking a bit more furnished from now on. 

Oh, and Taxus went to prom with Hyacinth (she asked) and during the night they decided to go steady. How sweet is that?
Screenshot-570

Chapter 3.13: Long time no see

Screenshot-444I took Bittersweet with me to Sweet Pastry just a few days after she was born. I was almost sure that if Appletini saw her niece with her own eyes she wouldn’t be able to deny the fact that Precious was the father.

“A girl?” Appletini said and smiled as soon as she was done serving her customer. I nodded as a reply.

Screenshot-445“This is Bittersweet, your niece.”

Appletini sighed and looked down, avoiding eye contact. “You have to stop that Soda. You can’t keep saying you’ve given birth to my brother’s kids every time you have a new baby.”

“But this time it’s true, I swear!” I said and stretched Bittersweet towards her. “Look, it is Precious’ daughter. You can see it, can’t you?”

Screenshot-448“She’s cute, but please, for my sake, and your own, stop saying it’s Precious’.” Her hands dropped down to her sides and as my eyes followed them I saw that her belly was looking a bit swollen. It was really subtle, but it sure did look like a baby bump. I should know one when I saw one. When she noticed that I was looking she tugged a bit at her shirt, pulling it down as if she was trying to cover up.

I wanted to ask her about it, but I figured she would probably just force me to leave if I did. Instead I said, “It is Precious daughter, I’m not lying. He came to my house and we made a baby. He could even confirm it if you asked him.”

Screenshot-447“Look, I don’t know why you’re so obsessed with my brother because really, he’s bad news. I don’t even talk to him that much. And I won’t have him either confirm or deny that baby. It’s none of my business really.” Her voice reared up at the end and once she was done talking she rubbed her lower back. It should have been an innocent gesture but I knew exactly why she did it. Because that spot she had rubbed was the exact spot where my back had been hurting during the first few weeks, and especially when I got worked up about something.

I knew for sure right then, Appletini was pregnant. Bittersweet was going to have a cousin.

Screenshot-446“Look, I really need your help” I said. “I don’t know how to get in touch with your brother and he should at least know that he has a baby, that he is a father now. It’s only fair.”

Appletini just shook her head and walked off behind the counter. I wouldn’t give up so easily though and I followed her, “Just give me his phone number, please?”

In the end she caved in and scribbled down his number on an old receipt. I hung on to it as if it was the most valuable of treasures – which in my case, it was.

Screenshot-457I never found the courage to actually call Precious that day, because really, what should I say? It was most likely the last chance I would get and I did not want to blow it. I needed him. So. bad.

The next day I started dialing his number three times but interrupted the call every time. Why was it so hard? The fourth time I actually managed to keep the phone to my ear for two signals before I hung up. I sighed and put the phone back in my pocket. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know how. I needed to see him, needed to look him in the face when I told him about Bittersweet. In fact, he probably needed to see her himself. But how on earth could I make that happen?

Screenshot-459“Just do it already” I eventually thought to myself and dialed the number for a fifth time, this time around without hanging up before his answering machine took the call. I hung up again, there was no way I would tell him the big news over the machine.

Screenshot-458Since I had finally gathered enough courage to actually do something, I decided to not let that opportunity slip and sent him a text saying I needed to talk to see him. I did not know if he would reply and in all honesty I doubted it. He was like me, he walked away once he got what he wanted. Fudge.

I waited several days and just kept looking at my phone every other minute. I imagined it vibrating when it didn’t and when it actually did I was only disappointed when it wasn’t Precious. I was going rather crazy over the whole thing.

Screenshot-454I went to see Appletini a couple of times too but it only made me hurt more to see her. She was in a lucky relationship with the father of her baby and she always looked so happy. And she looked so much like Precious too. Perhaps I tried to be her friend only to be able to get to Precious in the end. I don’t even know myself any more.

Precious Pastry. It was the only one, and the only thing, I could think of.

Screenshot-432Taxus was rarely ever at home now that he was old enough to go to school. Ever since the day I bought him his bike he was constantly exploring our town. It was nice to have him out of the house. I felt rather cramped with all these kids around. And besides my obsession with Precious felt huge too, it was as if it needed a whole room of its own. Don’t ask me how that works, but it was about how it felt.

Screenshot-416And so, before I knew it summer had passed and the leaves on the trees were turning red and yellow and then fell down from their branches. I found myself surprised by this because I hadn’t realized how much time had passed. All I had done for weeks was feed kids, work and think about Precious.

I decided to host a costume party just to get my mind on something different, if only for a night.

I dressed myself and Coral up as bunnies and Taxus decided he wanted to be an alien. I was nowhere near as excited as I used to be for a party.

Screenshot-423Canary, Plum and Hyacinth arrived first. I can’t even try to describe how much I love that family. Seriously, if it weren’t for them I would never survive my own days. Both Plum and Canary was there for me whenever I needed it and they had helped me with my kids so much that I owed them my life.

Screenshot-429While Canary cuddled with Bittersweet I got a phone call from my cousin Butterfly Bush who wondered if she could bring her new boyfriend who was just visiting from Briocheport. I said honestly that I would love it if she did.

Screenshot-420She came as a zebra, or something. I don’t even know. She looked quite silly, however and she even managed to scare Coral just by stepping in to the nursery.

She was smiling and you realized just by looking at her that she was very much in love, and that she was happy.

Screenshot-417I had not expected her to introduce Lychee as her boyfriend, though, and I was startled to say the least. And he just smiled when he said hi, as if it was the most normal thing in the world that he was at my costume party.

I cringed, this would be quite the party once he realized he had a daughter in this house – with the cousin of his new girlfriend. “Hey Lychee” I said and managed a smile.

“Long time no see” he said with confidence. “I hope you had a good time in Briocheport.”

Screenshot-418I glanced over at Coral who was now sitting happily on the floor. She giggled a little and pounded her toy rabbit to the floor. Lychee looked over at her too and it wasn’t until then I realized that the room was empty, except for myself, Lychee and our daughter.

Screenshot-419“I didn’t know you had kids” he said without letting his eyes leave Coral.

“Uhm, ye.. Three actually” I said and nodded, desperately trying to come up with a way to get him to look at me and not at the wall behind Coral. I had begun hanging the trophies from the father’s in their respective room and right now it seemed like an incredibly stupid idea. If Lychee saw himself on the wall above the changing table he would do the maths and realize Coral was his daughter. I didn’t want that to happen. That would risk the relationship between him and my cousin and she seemed so happy.

Screenshot-427As on delivery Mustard and Canary came in to the room at that very moment and with that the awkwardness was gone. I couldn’t stop worry that Lychee would ask about the photos though and as soon as I got a moment I took them down and placed them upside down on the changing table.

The party was a success despite the awkward knowledge of my cousin dating the father of one of my children. Neither Plum or Canary (who were the only ones who knew for sure) said anything. Did I mention that I love them?

Screenshot-438Screenshot-439After the costume party I went back to thinking about Precious and how I could get him to come see me. Very few things could distract my thoughts, but one of them was work, I loved the excitement of the station and the probability of a sudden alarm. While I was there I could forget the fact that Precious really didn’t seem to want to meet me since he never replied to the text or answered the few times I dared to call.

Several months passed without me hearing from him and it was soon time for yet another batch of birthdays, Coral’s and Bittersweet’s to be precise:

Screenshot-461Dad came but he cried the entire night because mom passed away a few weeks earlier. It didn’t affect me except for the fact that it was sad to see my father so upset.

Screenshot-464Before I brought Coral to the cake I stood with her in front of the pictures of me and Lychee and I told her that he was her father. She gurgled something in response, but like Taxus she never learned how to actually speak.

Screenshot-465Lychee came in while we stood in front of the pictures and when he saw them he smiled. “Hah, you kept them!”

I felt my cheeks turned red and I didn’t dare to turn around and look at him as I replied, “Yea, I did.”

He didn’t say anything more in the matter even though I’m fairly sure he understood. Her age was just right and she had his skin and his facial structure and his adorable downhill-nose. Not that I would enlighten him of the matter, of course.

Screenshot-467 Screenshot-468I helped Coral blow the candles while our friends and family cheered in the back.

Screenshot-469Dad’s old friend Thunderbird had even come to celebrate the birthdays. He looked incredibly young to be my father’s friend – but I guess that’s just how it is with vampires. I hadn’t met him much and I think he tagged along just because dad was hurting and needed support and I certainly approved because he was really nice to look at, handsome as he was.

Screenshot-470Coral grew up to be a very cute little girl and yet again I found myself astonished with how adorable that downhill-nose was. Lychee had good genes, that was one thing that I could be happy about.

“Is she mine?” Lychee whispered while we were watching her taking her first steps as a child and I blushed again. “I just need to know” he whispered again, so low that it was impossible for anyone but me to hear.

I nodded slightly, “Yes. But you have to be with Bush” I whispered back.

Lychee nodded, “I know. I’m no father.”

“I know” I whispered back and then went to grab a piece of cake before anyone would start wondering what we were doing.

Screenshot-475Bittersweet looked a lot like me when she grew up but she did have Precious’ pointy ears, which I was happy about because it would make it easier to convince him that she was indeed his daughter – once I got the opportunity.

Screenshot-471 Screenshot-472 Screenshot-473Coral didn’t even eat any cake before heading back in to her room. She climbed on top of her rocking horse and seemed to pretend that she was a cowboy. She looked funny. And cute.

I realized again that I actually did like her.

Screenshot-478I kept waiting for a reply from Precious but nothing ever came. I had almost given it up all together when Appletini called to tell me she had her baby, a little boy who she and Blackeye named Ferrari. As soon as I heard the news I rushed over to her house to meet the little one. Appletini herself was at work so Blackeye just showed me in to where Ferrari was lying content and happy in his crib.

I picked him up and looked at him. He had that freckly red skin that both Appletini and Precious had and I thought it was rather unfair that Bittersweet hadn’t inherited it too. It was just way too adorable.

Screenshot-476I had brought Bittersweet with me but she did not approve of being left alone in the kitchen while I inspected the newborn baby and after just a short moment I had to rush out to get her.

Screenshot-484Appletini came home while I was still there and at the sight of me she looked rather nervous. Or in fact, that nervous look was pretty much her natural look. “Oh, Soda Pop… Hi” she stammered when she saw me.

“Hey, congratulations on your baby” I said and smiled.

Screenshot-485“Uhm… Thanks. But really Soda… I must ask you to leave, you can’t just come here whenever you want. You have to call first.”

Screenshot-486“Wowow, look Apple, I just came to see him and congratulate you. This has nothing to do with your brother!” It was true but the words had barely left my lips until the front door was opened and Precious stood in the doorway. My heart skipped a beat at the sight of him and I felt my cheeks turn red. He looked at me startled and then at his sister in a questioning way. She just shrugged.

The next moment he had scooped Bittersweet up in his arms and tickled her before turning to me, “Another baby, huh?”

Screenshot-481I blushed. This was it.

“Uhm, yes…” I stammered. It was incredibly hard to utter the fateful words. “And… this time… she really is yours.”

Precious took a long look at Bittersweet and it was almost possible to see his brain working to process the news. “Why should I believe you this time?” he finally asked.

Screenshot-483“I can prove it!” I said.

“And how is that?”

“We take a DNA-test. You will see. She really is yours.”

Screenshot-479“And why would I agree to that?”

My heart sank. He had a point, why should he?

“Because she is your daughter Precious. She really is.”

Screenshot-482He suddenly looked incredibly sad and Bittersweet decided to rest her little head against his shoulder as if she was trying to comfort her father. “I knew you lied with Coral. She couldn’t have been my daughter. But this one here, she actually can. And no, I wouldn’t want to give you the pleasure. You ruined that by lying in the first place.” He paused and handed me my daughter. “She is yours. The only thing I want to do here in Fondant Fields now is to be a good uncle to Ferrari. I won’t stay. And you can’t force me to take any test. That’s final.”

My whole world crashed at that moment.

Screenshot-487“You will” I snarled. “You will take responsibility and you will come visit her because she is your daughter and she deserves to know you. You don’t know what it’s like to grow up with only one parent, do you? Well, I have news for you, I DO! And I am not letting Bittersweet go through that. You will come and visit, DNA-test or not. And that, Precious Pastry, is final!”

I had never thought about it that way before, but now that I said it to Precious, I realized it was true. My kids deserved to get to know their fathers and I would do whatever I could to make that happen from now on.


Once again StoryProgression decided to lead the way in this story. I wasn’t entirely sure whether to let Precious or Lychee be the guy wanting to know their kid (and as such be around for more baby making 😉 ) but then SP knocked Appletini up at the same time as it paired Lychee and Butterfly Bush (Soda Pop’s cousin) up and as such the “decision” was made. Lychee will definitely be around for as long and he and Butterfly Bush are together and Precious will also come to visit now and then. And since I have rolled 5 kids, only time will tell who the next father(s) will be.

I’m sure you’ve all figured by now, but Soda Pop’s generation will be longer that the previous ones. I would guess we end up at around 20 chapters or so.

Generation Finale: A role model

Screenshot-991The kids had been asking a lot of questions about both their mother and my mother. I suspect the lack of an actual mother in their lives was what caused the series of questions I found myself answering.

It was hard because of two reasons: 1) I wanted them to have a mother in their life. 2) I missed both the mothers in question like crazy.

I couldn’t tell them no even though my own heart ached of loss for the two women and even though it hurt to let the answers force me to re-live some of the most precious memories I had of them both I did my best to verbally paint a describing image of them. But how do you create a person through simple words, how would it ever be possible to share with my kids just how perfect those two women were?

Surprisingly, it seemed that the curiosity over who their grandmother, my mother, had been was bigger than the curiosity over their own mother. Perhaps it was because they had accepted the fact that their own mother had left them to provide us safety and that they didn’t need to know much more than that, perhaps it was something completely different. Whatever reason, er were now on our way for an excursion to the cemetery, simply to visit my parents.

Screenshot-993I myself had never considered the graveyard or the graves as holders of answers and stories, but after a field trip to the mausoleum with school, Soda Pop had pretty much demanded for me to take them there, because “The tales the dead holds are far superior and more exciting than anything we will ever read in a book”. I don’t know, in my opinion books could be quite suspenseful, while old rocks with engravings mostly told stories about people who have lived and died. Nothing in between.

“Marshmallow Puff Twist” Loquat read out loud and traced his finger among the engravings on the grave stone. The simple sound of my mother’s name made my throat dry, I missed her so much. “A hero and a mother” Loquat finished and looked back at me. I nodded, letting him know that it was the right grave, that we had found my mother.

Soda Pop and Blizzard had both picked wild flowers on the way here and now kneeled down to place one vase on my mother’s grave and one on my father’s, which were located right next to mom’s. I was grateful to see that they realized this wasn’t a place for fun and games and that they respected my own struggles by joining me in a moment of silence.

Screenshot-995Loquat was the first to break it, “Was she a hero, dad?”

Screenshot-996“The best hero” I said and nodded. “She was a firefighter, just like her father had been many years ago. No one knows how many fires she put out while she was working, but it was many. And she saved lives, too. She saved your grandfather’s life, actually. When the other firemen thought it was already too late she went in to the flaming house just to find him and she managed to get him out. She did this at the risk of her own life. Fires are dangerous things, and inhaling too much smoke can easily kill you. But it didn’t kill her, she just ended up unconscious for a couple of weeks. When she woke up your grandfather was by her side, thankful for what she had risked for him. They fell in love and for many years they lived happily in our house. During this time the hate for colorless berries shot through the roof and while your grandmother worked along with Flax to change things, they were eventually forced to move in to a ghetto. I lived most of my life there. But your grandmother never stopped fighting. More and more berries joined the cause and after many years Sweet Corn, Quince, Mithos and Cinnamon managed to tear the walls down. But, all this wouldn’t have been possible unless your grandmother had started those fights many years ago. In a way, she saved lives both as a firefighter and as a protester.”

Screenshot-994“And mommy saved our lives by leaving us, right?” Blizzard asked and when I nodded in response he started jumping up and down, clapping his hands in excitement. “So she was a hero too! Both mommy and grandma are heroes!”

Screenshot-999Later that day, when we were back home, Soda Pop sat down next to me in the sofa with a big sigh. It was obvious that something was bothering her. “What’s the matter sweetie?” I asked and ruffled her fringe.

“Love, there’s no such thing, right?”

“What?” Out of all questions and out of all days to ask such a thing, she chose this very day? Hadn’t we spent the day talking about how much I loved those two women?

“I don’t mean like you love me or Blizzard or Loquat. I mean love like in the fairy tales.”

“Yes it does. Your mother and I loved each other. Your grandparents loved each other.”

Screenshot-1000“But the prince never leaves the princess in the tales. They live happily ever after. But there’s no such thing. Happily ever after.” It wasn’t a question anymore, it was a statement. A summary of what she had learned in her years on earth. Happily ever after was a myth only present in fairy tales.

In my case, it was true. But there were exceptions to her theory. “Mithos and Cherry are happily in love and so is Quince and Bluebell” I said to prove her wrong. She couldn’t stop believing in love already. It was too early. She should be dreaming of prince charming, unicorns and bubbles. She was still young!

She mumbled something inaudible in response and left me sitting alone brooding in the sofa. Out of the grownups in the kids’ lives, the majority served as examples of broken love. Sweets was incapable of finding anyone, Oceana had left me, Cinnamon was pregnant but there was no boyfriend in her life. And as far as they knew, dad had always lived without mom and I wasn’t sure if stories could explain how true their love had really been. Maybe love was such a thing you could only believe if you’ve experienced it yourself?

Screenshot-997Cinnamon called a late evening a couple of weeks later, letting me know she was panicking because it was time. At first I didn’t know what she expected me to do, but in the end she managed to actually say it and I was over at her place as fast as I could. Since the father of her child weren’t exactly a part of her life, she needed me to bring her to the hospital. As the true friend I am, I obeyed.

Screenshot-998She said she wanted me to come with her in to laboring as well, but I couldn’t do that. I had barely been around when my own babies were born and I didn’t feel like seeing my friend in such a private and exposed situation. I remained in the visitor’s area instead, waiting for the good news to reach my ears. It took a couple of hours and I had fallen asleep when a  nurse woke me up by shaking me gently. Cinnamon had given birth to a daughter.

Screenshot-1022She named her Jaffa Dolphin.

Screenshot-1006Quince and Bluebell welcomed their baby girl, Butterfly Bush, to the world at around the same time as Jaffa Dolphin was born. It was a bit unfair that they would have kids the same age, whereas mine were somewhere in the middle of everything. Just a tiny bit, though, as I was quite happy to be through the toddler years by now.

It was certainly enough to ride the waves of my friends newlyborns and there wasn’t the slightest part of me who wished for more kids of my own. Well, I already had more than my friends anyway. But it’s true, babies smell adorable and they make cute little gurgling noises and sometimes you imagine yourself taking a small sample of them because you’re so certain it would taste sweet and delicious. Butterfly Bush was no exception.

Babies, babies, babies. They were everywhere. Mithos and Cherry awaited a new one and Quince got Bluebell knocked up almost immediately after Butterfly’s appearance. They were like rabbits, my friends.

Screenshot-1010While in my life, the chanting went more like: Teenagers, teenagers, teenagers. The triplets elementary school years felt like they passed before they were even here and I was as unprepared for this birthday as I had been to their last. Luckily, that didn’t stop them from aging up beautifully. I found myself looking forward to their real lives to begin. To follow them on their respective journeys, experience their friendships, their first loves and their graduation.

Looking at them now, I realized I had been a decent father after all. I had managed, despite the lack of mother by my side. We had survived.

Screenshot-1008Soda Pop had stuck to the idea that such a thing as true love didn’t exist. That, however, didn’t mean that she didn’t search for it. Oh berry, she did! She was constantly on that computer, busy chatting away with different boys. I was a bit worried, those guys could be anyone. They could be dangerous. But as long as she followed the time limits and promised to never meet them in real life, I let her be at it. After all, it seemed to provide her joy, and I desperately wanted my kids to be happy.

Screenshot-1007Blizzard was also stuck in a thought that had first come to his mind at a young age. Even though he never knew his grandma in person, he knew that she was remembered a hero. A firefighter hero. And he was desperately working towards following her path. At one point, he had even lectured me for not going that path career-wise, as it according to him, where in our blood. Both my mother and her father had been firefighters and therefore it was a shame that neither me or my siblings has chosen that path. Blizzard was sure he would correct that mistake.

Screenshot-1009And last there was Loquat. He looked like me, and he seemed to take after me social-wise too. When his brother and sister hung out with friends he locked himself in Soda’s bedroom and practiced on his Domino skills. He was as obsessed! And impossible to beat, may I add.

They were all beautiful and perfect, and I certainly looked forward to following their paths in life. Wherever it would take them.

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