Chapter 3.16: Tying the knot

Screenshot-650One day when I got home from a call-out I found Lychee in Salmon’s nursery. “What are you doing here?” I asked and felt both angry and sad at the same time. It was adorable watching him snuggle with Salmon but it made me sad to think he had chosen to be involved with another family. I wanted that help I saw in front of me and my kids would do good with a man in the house.

Screenshot-651“I didn’t know we had a son” Lychee replied after a while and kissed Salmon on his tiny little mouth. My heart almost stopped from the cuteness.

“I have a son” I corrected him. “You’ve chosen another family so Salmon is my son.”

Lychee slowly turned to look at me. “Soda, I still love these kids and I won’t stop coming to see them. Don’t you understand that?”

“You will once you have your other child. The love child” I pouted. Lychee promised me he wouldn’t but I knew he was lying. Why would he go through the effort of coming back to Fondant Fields when he had everything he needed in Briocheport?

Screenshot-652You never really stop working when you’re the Fire Chief and when I did such a simple thing as eat a dinner with my oldest nephew at the diner a fire broke loose at the table next to us. It was Jewel’s best friend, Deluge, who was playing with his napkin when it suddenly caught fire and when he raised the napkin in panic over his head his hair also caught fire.

Screenshot-653Everyone at the diner jumped up from their seats and started crying in panic. I felt the usual adrenaline kick that always came with a fire but I remained calm. I knew how to deal with fires by now. I took out my extinguisher and started putting the fire out. The small portable extinguisher I always brought with me was far from as effective as the ones I was used to and it seemed like the flames got higher instead of dying out even though I pushed the extinguisher to its full effect.

Someone called my co-workers and it felt like it took forever for them to get here. Drops of sweat ran down my forehead and the only two sounds I could hear was the hungry flames spreading across the young boy’s body and Jewel’s desperate cries, begging me to save his friend.

Screenshot-656I did everything I could, but the fire was too strong and soon the little boy collapsed on the ground. It wasn’t until the fire was completely put out that I realized he was already gone. It was my first, and biggest, failure as a firefighter.

Screenshot-655I had never been very affected by other bow’s misery or destinies but seeing the young boy die before me broke my heart. I was a good firefighter and the fact that a young boy with his whole life ahead of him could die at my watch was unbelievable. Jewel cried and cried and cried behind me and the sound of that just added to the feeling of failure that I felt.

What kind of woman was I? I couldn’t even take my nephew out for dinner without getting him scarred for life.

Screenshot-657I could do nothing to comfort him. I knew nothing of the pain he was going through even though my life had been so much longer and even though I had been through a few losses of my own. “He was my best friend” Jewel sniffed and buried his face in his hands. The thought of losing Plum or Canary pierced my heart like a knife. How could I put him in this situation. It was my fault. I should have done better. I should have saved his friend.

When I brought him back home, in a crying and broken mess, Blizzard promised me it wasn’t my fault. He said that I had done everything I could – but I knew he couldn’t know because he hadn’t been there. Maybe there was something I could have done?

Screenshot-658A few days later Bittersweet celebrated her birthday. I couldn’t celebrate and only cheered half-heartedly as she blew the candles of her cake. I hadn’t been able to forgive myself for letting the young boy die.

Screenshot-659Bittersweet looked a lot like Precious now that her pudgy child cheeks disappeared and her more grownup facial structure took its place. It was my coloring, but she was sure her father’s daughter. I smiled faintly. It still hurt to think I had lost him and that I had to raise our child by myself, but I realized that he was still around – in our daughter. A part of her was him and even if I never wanted a family or dreamed of children, it was rather amazing to see how genetics were passed down. She was sure a mix of the both of us, just like Coral was a true mix of myself and Lychee.

I felt a little bit of curiosity towards seeing the other two kids grow up too.

Screenshot-660And speaking of grown-up kids… It wasn’t rare that Taxus brought Hyacinth with him home from school. In fact, it was more rare that she didn’t come with him. Their eyes sparkled when they looked at each other in a way I had never felt my own eyes sparkle. They were young, but they loved each other.

“We’re getting married” Taxus announced one day and I just nodded. I wasn’t surprised.

Screenshot-661“I know we’re young” he continued and Hyacinth rolled her thumbs nervously next to him. “But we want to do it. We’re meant to be together.”

“I know” I said. It made perfect sense and was no doubt the truth.

Screenshot-664“But they’re too young” Plum said a couple of days later when we discussed the matter.

I agreed, even though I also thought it made sense to let them get married. I mean, only the two of them could know if it was really true love, right?

“Hyacinth is only fifteen! It’s too early.” Plum started walking back and forth in the room and I could tell it was upsetting her to realize that her little girl was growing up. She had no other, she couldn’t hold on to the childhood like I could because of my other kids. With Hyacinth aging, it became so clear that we were aging too. And Plum wasn’t ready.

Screenshot-665“I can’t believe she’s grown so much” Plum said and looked sad. “Felt like yesterday she came in to my life.”

“You can be glad she’s older and can take care of herself” I said just as Watermelon started crying hysterically for what seemed like no reason at all.

Screenshot-666Plum went to pick her up and played air-plane with her. She still enjoyed my kids’ young age. She still adored them. It struck me that she had become such a good mother over the years. She was like a second mother to all of my kids, and soon Taxus would technically be her son-in-law. Our families would officially be tied together. It was a pleasant thought.

Screenshot-667We agreed to help them with the marriage under the condition that they waited until they had both finished high school. Knowing how funny time was, that would pretty much be tomorrow.

Screenshot-668And once both Taxus and Hyacinth had graduated they started preparing themselves for the upcoming wedding. I was pretty much as excited as them about the whole deal and spent a lot of time helping them pick out the right cake and setup a reception area in our garden. And the time before the wedding passed very fast and when my son and his fiance took a picture the last day before becoming a true family I actually shed a tear.

It was just so sweet to see.

Screenshot-672On the day of Taxus’ wedding our closest family and friends gathered in the garden. Since it was really a bond between two families of friends, no guests had to really pick a side or anything. It was just a logical bond declared official. I was happy to see my son marry a Spring. From what I understood, our two families had always been close and a marriage was a fine next step.

Although, it did pain me to realize I had a son old enough to get married. How old did that make me?

Screenshot-671Not a single eye was dry that day. It was touching to see Taxus and Hyacinth declare their love for each other.

Screenshot-678 Screenshot-676The whole gathering swooned as the two lovebirds shared their vows and for the first time in my life, I realized that perhaps there was such a thing as love. It certainly seemed true to the two under the wedding arch. It was the only possible explanation to why their eyes sparkled like they did when they looked at each other.

Screenshot-675Taxus looked as if he couldn’t believe that it was actually happening when he slid the ring on Hyacinth’s finger. And in all honesty, I could barely believe it myself. Hyacinth was stunning, while Taxus was modest – at the best.

Screenshot-673Screenshot-674Still, Hyacinth smiled when she slid the ring on Taxus finger without even the slightest of hesitation. She was sure that he was the one.

Screenshot-677It made me happy. All my life, I had just wished for my kids to be happy. I clearly saw that Taxus was just that in Hyacinth’s arms. It made proud of myself when I understood that all those years I had done everything I needed to push Taxus towards the future where he belonged – to the girl he was meant to be with. I had been a good enough mother – even though I never knew how to.

Screenshot-679After the ceremony the two of them just stood looking lovingly in to each others’ eyes. It was as if they were trying to understand that this was the beginning, that they would always get to be together. I couldn’t believe it myself.

Screenshot-680Screenshot-681Once the sun set we moved the party inside where we could all cheer on Taxus while he cut the cake. Bittersweet seemed incredibly happy for her big brother’s sake. But then again, Bittersweet was pretty much always happy about something.

In the end of the day, Hyacinth was named Twist and Taxus had married his princess and the guests all had a good time. It had been a good day.


Okay, the writing for the wedding is kind of meh, but I just couldn’t get it right. Since it’s not really that important for the rest of the story I let it be. Taxus is now moved out of the household along with his Hyacinth. They actually moved in with uncle Loquat – which I assume has to do with StoryProgression trying to keep the Founder house in the family. In a way it makes sense because Taxus isn’t that much different from Loquat in the sense that they are both quiet but incredibly friendly men.

There will be an Heir Vote up before too long now since Coral is also getting close to become a YA. Keep your eyes open!

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.

Chapter 3.11: Birthdays

Screenshot-243The next week passed with no major events whatsoever. I worked, came home to feed and change on the kids, got to sleep and it was the same thing over again. It was like an endless loop which only occasionally would take a side turn and leave me with some time to hang out with my friends. Usually, I was too tired for that though and the times my friends or family came to visit I usually took the opportunity to get some rest while they kept the kids busy.

I was looking forward to Taxus aging up and starting school so I would have only one toddler to feed. Taxus would learn to care for himself more and more the older he got. I couldn’t wait.

When his (and his younger sister’s) birthday finally came, Loquat came over early with some dinner. I was very grateful for not having to care about that since the simple task of going in to Sweet Pastry to pick up the cakes felt rather draining. “You okay sis?” Loquat wondered as he put the food on my kitchen table. I slammed a hand across my face and moaned. It explained fairly well how tired I was.

Screenshot-242To my big surprise the next guest to arrive was Precious. I hadn’t seen him since that day at the café and I certainly hadn’t expected him to actually accept the invitation to the birthday party. And yet there he was, running through my kitchen and up to Loquat who was holding Coral in his arms.

Precious stopped right in front of my brother and just looked at Coral. “She doesn’t look like me” he said after a while and it was the first words uttered since he first came running. I was still so surprised by his presence that I couldn’t say a thing.

“She does a bit” Loquat replied and looked from Coral to Precious and back again. He had never asked who Coral’s father was, and must have assumed that it was Precious. It was because of the skin, I thought.

I didn’t say anything because I felt rather confused by Precious presence and luckily the doorbell sounded just then and I had a reason to leave the kitchen. It was so weird, the whole thing. Coral was of course not Precious’, he should have understood that. So, what was he doing here?

Screenshot-245I brought Taxus up to the cake as soon as everyone had managed to get here and helped him blow the candles. The sooner we had this over with, the better.

Screenshot-246Screenshot-247Plum and Loquat were the ones cheering most frenetic and they had even brought some party horns to make sure there was some noise. As if I didn’t get enough noise with two kids in the house.

Jaffa Dolphin, Blizzard and Spray cheered from the other end of the room with their mouths still filled with the delicious food Loquat had brought. I strongly suspected it was dad who had cooked it because I couldn’t imagine that Loquat was that skilled with cooking. Precious was holding Coral in his arms right next to Loquat and all I could think of when I put Taxus on the floor for his transition was that I needed to hold her when she was brought to the cake.

Screenshot-248While Taxus grew up in to a rather sad-looking (and not as cute as you would have expected with me as his mother) child I snatched Coral from Precious’ arms and brought her up to the other cake. He didn’t complain but watched my daughter closely the entire time. I don’t think his eyes left her for even a split of a second.

When she crawled out in the livingroom towards where Plum was sitting and eating her cake, Precious followed.

Screenshot-249He sat down next to Plum in the sofa and I think he let Coral out of sight for the first time in several minutes when he turned to Plum to speak. I couldn’t help but to eavesdrop on them.

“She’s not mine, is she?”

Plum simply ignored him and kept eating her cake. I knew I could trust her, she was my best friend after all. I never planned on getting him to ponder over whether he had a child or not but I had to admit that it made me happy to see. It was some kind of revenge, even if it wasn’t the kind I had first planned for.

Screenshot-250Precious continued, “I mean, she does look a bit like me but there’s still something about her that does not look like me at all. I mean, she has about the same skin as I do but she lacks the freckles. Everyone in my family has freckles. If that was indeed my skin, she would have freckles too.”

Screenshot-251“You know it’s her first birthday, right?” Plum said and then went back to being quiet and ignoring him. Precious was quiet for some time too, he seemed to debate with himself what it meant. Although, he soon started talking fast and incoherently again and I could see that Plum zoned out and stopped listening to him.

Screenshot-253“Coral Twist” Precious said and lifted my daughter up. I didn’t know if he had called my bluff yet but while lifting her he looked her deep in to the eyes. I walked in to the nursery where Coral would reside from now on since Taxus had got his own bedroom on the upper floor. I could still watch Precious and Coral from there, but it got harder hearing what he said.

The thing was, I was starting to feel rather sick about the whole thing. It was quite awful to see him trying to work out whether or not Coral was his daughter.

Screenshot-254People started leaving after they had eaten their cake but Precious stuck around. He just couldn’t keep his eyes off Coral and after picking her up in the first place, he didn’t seem to want to put her down again. ‘I need to tell him’ I thought.

Screenshot-255I never got the chance.

Once everyone had left he walked in to the nursery and tucked Coral down in the crib before walking over to me. He pulled me in for a passionate kiss and I realized that this was exactly why I had said that Coral was his in the first place. I wanted her to be. I wanted Taxus’ to be his too.

I wanted Precious. Not like I wanted most men, but more. I wanted to keep him. Always have him around. Never lose him.

Screenshot-256We didn’t talk much after that and he ended up staying the night. The sexual act was just as amazing as I remembered from the last time. Precious was my god.

Afterwards we laid naked together and I rested my head on his bare chest, feeling it rising and lowering with every breath he took. His heart was beating against my ear and I felt happy.

“Why did you lie?” he suddenly whispered and kissed my hair. I wondered when he had realized, if maybe he had understood it all along.

“I wanted it to be true” I replied honestly.

He didn’t say anything else in the matter and shortly afterwards we fell asleep. I was feeling happier than I had been in a very long time and I knew it was because Precious was there, in my home – in my bed.

Screenshot-257When I woke up I sleepily rolled over towards the side where Precious had been sleeping only to find that it was once again empty. He had bailed on me again. It hurt way more than anything had ever hurt before and I wanted to crawl back under the sheets and just cry.

Screenshot-258That wasn’t possible though because Coral was pretty much screaming at the top of her lungs, demanding breakfast. I sighed heavy and pulled myself up.

Screenshot-260It was hard to keep on like everything was normal, even though it kind of was. There were pictures of me and Precious on the bedroom wall, next to the pictures of me and Fandango. They were my trophies. I had started gathering them after Taxus was born because for some reason it felt good.

Trophies, proofs or prizes. It was not much different from the fishermen who hangs their biggest catches on the walls. However, at this point I actually thought of taking Precious down because he had hurt me once again. I couldn’t believe I had let myself be so exposed. I had been a fool and now I had to pay the prize.

Screenshot-261I was hurting and I was angry, not so much at Precious for bailing on me, but on myself for lowering my guard and allowing myself to get hurt. There was no such thing as love. I had known it all along and yet I had fallen for it. I had secretly been hoping for a life with Precious without even realizing it myself until I had dug my own grave and prepared a way for him to hurt me.

Trying to get rid of the hurt and the anger I did the only thing I knew I could do. I devoted myself to my work. Not only did I work harder than anyone else while we were at work, I also brought work home and kept working even when I should be resting. I had to keep myself busy. It granted me a promotion but it didn’t ease the hurricane of emotions within my body.

Screenshot-267Taxus went for his first day in school and since we lived just across the streets I could stand watching him as he sprinted towards the adventure of elementary school. I was rather proud of myself for getting through all those years. I had been decent.

I waved after him but he didn’t look back once. His eyes were glued to the doors of the school building.

Screenshot-262I don’t know if it was the realization of seeing my son grow up so quickly or if it was the fact that the house became a lot more quiet or if it was still the emotions from the whole Precious thing but once Taxus had gone through the doors and out of my sight I threw up.

I hadn’t been decent. I wasn’t decent. I was a failure.

Chapter 3.10: She is yours

Screenshot-202My house was completely silent and calm, which definitely wasn’t common. In fact, I rarely had time or peace to read the newspaper since at least one of the kids constantly demanded my attention. It was usually a constant flow of bottle feeding and diaper changes.

I had never been much for silence and calm but it felt as a rare luxury to get time for myself to do such a common thing as read the newspaper. A small note at the bottom of the fifth page caught my attention. It was really no more than a headline and three sentences, but to me it meant more than any front page news I had ever read:

Sweet Pastry expanding to Fondant Fields
The Pastry family have finally found a place to run their business 
in Fondant Fields. The old pavilion in the city's centre is 
currently being renovated to house various types of bread, croissants, 
pies and pastries. Scheduled day for opening is on saturday in two weeks.

Screenshot-201“Plum” I said and lowered the newspaper to the table. She hummed something in response without looking up from her book.

“Did you know that Sweet Pastry is opening here?”

“What?” she sighed and put her book upside down on the table. It was rare for her too to have time for reading and therefore she didn’t exactly appreciate my interruption.

“Sweet Pastry. You know, Precious family’s business.”

“Are you still dreaming of him?” she teased and I blushed. It was silly, I know. It had been years since I met him and I had given birth to two kids since then, but the fact that he had walked out on me was still hurting. I wanted an explanation or revenge or something.

Screenshot-203Both Canary and Plum found it funny to tease me about the whole Precious thing. They rarely ever shut up about it. In fact, I was starting to get a bit tired of it, but then they offered to come with me to the opening of Sweet Pastry and I understood that all their teasing was just made with love. They were my best friends.

My father came to watch the kids for me while I went to explore the town’s newest place. We headed over to the City Center in the late afternoon, not long before Sweet Pastry would close after its first day in Fondant Fields. I couldn’t imagine it had been anything but a success.

It was a good place chosen for such a business. The old pavilion hadn’t been used for anything in years and had simply been falling apart and forgotten. A few locals went there for barbecues occasionally, but that was about it. It would serve a lot better as a cafe.  The octagonal building had been kept and they had simply refreshed the painting on the walls and put up a few signs. It looked good. In one of the corners of the surrounding park stood a photo automate and it made me smile.

Screenshot-204We stepped in through the door and saw a counter filled with various sweets and pastries and in the other end of the room four small cafe tables that were inviting you to take a moment with friends you cared about. A jukebox was pumping out some old pop songs and overall it was an inviting place.

“Welcome to Sweet Pastry, what can I do for you?” The girl behind the counter smiled. She looked just like him and it didn’t take me long to figure she was a member of the Pastry family herself.

Screenshot-208“Is Precious here?” I asked and went straight to the core. I put the hand on my hip and tried to look confident even though the very thought of Precious was one of the few things that could actually make my confidence sway.

“Precious?” the girl asked and raised her eyebrows. It was clearly not something she had been expecting.

“Precious Pastry, you know him, don’t you?”

Screenshot-212“Uhm…” the girl scratched the back of her head. She was trying to dodge the question. Not wanting to just let it slip I just waited in silence until she finally spoke again, “He’s not here.”

I sighed. She was making this much harder than it needed to be.

“Look, I’m not running my brother’s errands. Do you want something to eat or not?” the girl sighed in a much less welcoming tone than she had greeted us with at first.

Screenshot-206“We’ll have cupcakes then” I said and again put the hand on my hip. Her brother, huh? At least I was getting somewhere.

Me, Plum and Canary sat down at one of the small tables and enjoyed our cupcakes. My friends were both rather quiet the whole time but I figured they just didn’t know what to talk about now that my mind was all set on finding Precious again.

The girl behind the counter started cleaning and putting the leftover sweets and pastries in the fridge and I watched her, trying to find some more resemblance between her and her brother. They did look awfully much like each other but from what I could remember they did not share body language. Precious had seemed confident and upright in the way he moved whereas this girl – his sister – seemed much more nervous to her nature.

Screenshot-222When I came back home I could barely believe my eyes. She was there, just nibbling away on a sandwich in my kitchen as if it was the most natural thing in the world to do. It stirred an inferno of feelings within me, and not the good kinds.

“Oh hi, your father needed to go somewhere so I’ve been watching the kids” she said. She didn’t even pretend like we hadn’t spoken a single word since the day I came to visit her at her old house and she told me she didn’t want anything to do with me.

I didn’t even respond to her. She wasn’t worth it. Instead I called my father and demanded to know why he hadn’t called me when he needed to leave and instead left my children in care of the woman least capable of all to care for children. “She just wants to get to know them” he said and I hung up. It was just not acceptable.

“I want you to leave” I said with a firm voice, not showing any emotions whatsoever. Oceana just kept chewing on the stupid sandwich – my sandwich – without making any movement. I started to think I would have to force her out physically.

Screenshot-221“You know, I really did it to keep you safe” she said once she had swallowed the piece of bread she had been chewing on. I felt sick where I was standing by the sink and tending to the dishes. If it was something I had learned to hate, it was her stupid lies about how she did it for us and how she wanted us to be safe. I couldn’t believe dad had just taken her back when it fit her.

“Could you leave now?” I asked again, not even bothering to turn around and look at her.

She stood up and went up next to me and placed her plate on the counter next to me. “Every day I thought about you and missed you and everyday I was hurting because I was separated from you all. If I had known it wouldn’t work I never would have put any of us through that. I’m sorry Soda Pop. I really did what I thought was right and I regret it. I regret not being there for you or your siblings. It’s something I will regret to the day I die and I hope that you can forgive me one day.”

Tears burned in my eyes but I wouldn’t let them escape. I wouldn’t let her get to me. “You have such beautiful children, don’t repeat my mistake on them” she said before leaving. I looked after her with a confusing mixture of feelings. I hated her and what she had done to us and I would never forgive her, even if a part of me wanted to do so. She had lied to us, taken the easy way out. That was the truth – she never wanted us.

Screenshot-219Once I had gathered myself and washed away every sign of her ever being here I walked in to Taxus nursery. He was peaking up through his toy box and the whole scene was so adorable that I couldn’t help but smile.

Screenshot-220“Mama” he said when he saw me and stood up with the help of the walls of the toy box. The top of the box rested on the top of his head and he smiled. I smiled back. He didn’t talk much, and he couldn’t walk and even standing like that, with the help of the toy box was unstable for him and before I had made my way to him he fell on his bum and dropped the horse in his hand with a thump on the floor. The toy box closed above him and from within it I could hear how he was crying.

I went towards him and picked him up to comfort him. He stopped crying once I had kissed all of his fingers.

Screenshot-205I kept going back to Sweet Pastry, hoping that one day Precious would be there and allow me to get my revenge. And every time I saw Appletini behind the counter my heart dropped a little. Not that I didn’t like her, because she was in fact really friendly and nice to talk to. But because every time she was there and Precious wasn’t I lost a little bit of the hope I was desperately holding on to.

I had given up trying to get her to talk to me about her brother because every time I tried she would just get really silent and try to avoid speaking to me at all. I started to think that she knew I was eager to speak with her brother without having to remind her ever other day.

Screenshot-210“What do you suggest I try today?” I asked her and smiled. My newest tactic was to befriend her and get her to talk that way. It seemed to work better.

“I’d say you should try the Lemon Pie” she said and smiled. “It’s delicious, I bet you’ll enjoy it.”

“Fair enough.”

Screenshot-211“Uhm, Soda Pop…” Appletini said before I had even moved away from the counter. She held her hands together in front of her, twisting them slightly and it made her look rather nervous. “Why do you need to see my brother so desperately?” she wondered.

“Because I miss him” I said, distorting the truth a bit.

Screenshot-213“Well… Don’t tell him I said so… But he’s going to be here tomorrow. I have a day off.”

“Tomorrow? I think I better celebrate that with an ice cream” I said and smiled. Finally!

Screenshot-217I never tried the lemon pie hat day, instead I had the best ice cream I had ever tasted. Not only did it have the sour taste of lemon but also that sweet taste of victory. I would finally get a chance to that revenge.

Screenshot-235Just as Appletini had promised, Precious was standing behind the counter when I came in the next day. To put some relief on the babysitter I had brought Coral with me.

“Welcome to Sweet Pastry, what can I do for you?” Precious asked and my whole body vibrated by the sound of his voice. I had no idea what caused me to feel so much just by hearing his voice and seeing his figure.

“Hey Precious” I said and I don’t think he recognized me until just then.

“Soda Pop?”

Screenshot-233“Long time no see” I said and his eyes kept going from Coral’s little body to my eyes, as if he was trying to understand how she could be.

“You have a daughter” he said after a while, stating the obvious.

I don’t know why I said what I did next and it didn’t really make any sense. Yet, this was what I said: “Her name is Coral and she is yours.”

Really Soda Pop?! That didn’t make any sense. There was no way she could be his and it was a sad attempt at making him feel something. I cursed myself silently as soon as the words had left my mouth.

Screenshot-231“She’s not” he said but for some reason his voice swayed, showing a little hint of uncertainty. His eyes kept going back to Coral in my arms, who’s skin had a suitable red shade. If it wasn’t for her lack of age, she could actually have been his. But he couldn’t actually believe such was the case, could he?

“She is” I said again and fed the lie despite my instant regret. I hated lies and yet I was making them up myself. I knew from experience that lies only hurt people but for some reason I kept on to the lie I had come up with.

Screenshot-232“But, she can’t be” he said and I noticed his shoulders slouching a bit. There was definitely doubt in his voice, but I could clearly also see that there was an itsy bitsy little part of him that believed me.

“She is your daughter, Precious” I said again.

Screenshot-228“Is she really mine?” he asked and in his eyes a faint little sparkle was seen, but it soon faded again. “No, no. She cannot be mine.”

Screenshot-239I shook my head and Precious stepped out from behind the counter and ignored me by pretending to read a book behind my back. I kept the lie alive by hugging Coral tightly and whispering to her, loud enough for Precious to hear it, “At least you have your mother here.”

Precious was clearly not knowing what he should think about it all and that made me feel rather happy with myself.

“It’s her birthday in a week. Bet she wants her father to be there” I said before we left that day and Precious just stood there looking rather confused and lost. That had almost been too easy.


I have recently decided to also join a collaborative random legacy together with afkthenad and (I think) Arrowleaf. It’s hosted on the official forums and we are still looking for two more to help us out. We will do two generations each and each generation shall be inspired by a song that fits the rolls and plot for that specific generation. If you’d be interested to participate in this please drop us a line in the forum thread.

Chapter 3.9: Then be a father

Screenshot-175It was still early when I got out of the house to be picked up by the department carpool. The babysitter practically lived at our place because I worked so much. It wasn’t something I was prepared to change either. I had come to the conclusion that my job wasn’t just a good way to charm men but also something I really enjoyed doing. Besides, I really needed the money.

Since Plum and Canary had Hyacinth they seemed to have less time for me, which meant I put even more time in to my job.

Screenshot-176There was an excitement even to the dull days at the department. You could be casually keeping the truck or the alarms in shape, or relaxing on the upper floor with your co-workers, or working out in the yard and still there was this feeling inside you. You knew that the alarm could sound any second at it kept you on your toes. It was exciting.

Besides, my closest boss was my brother Blizzard, who was not just a good fireman but also a darn good boss.

Screenshot-177The treadmill made a familiar mechanical and steady sound. I remembered how I used to frown upon that sound when we still lived at home and Blizzard had pretty much been obsessed with working out. Maybe we weren’t so different after all?

I liked the feeling when the muscles in my legs burned from being challenged but I was also careful to not overstrain them because I knew there could be a big fire and the need to carry a heavy man three stairs down just seconds later. It was a balance everyone at the department had learned to control the hard way. We had all been to at least one alarm where our forces were barely enough. I was getting quite good at it, actually.

Screenshot-178On one of my vacant days I decided to bring Taxus with me to the Spring residence. It was nice going there because of how crowded the place was. I could just put Taxus down on the floor and someone would entertain him, letting me focus on catching up with my two best friends.

Screenshot-179“He stinks, doesn’t he?” I asked Canary who met us with a displeasing look on her face. It wasn’t until I saw her face that I realized there was a rather pungent smell coming from my son and that I hadn’t changed his diaper since waking up. Truth be told, I tried to change it as rarely as I could because it was pretty disgusting.

“Give him to me” Canary said and took him from my arms before I could reply or do something. She didn’t even invite me in, but I followed her anyway and watched her descend up the stairs with my boy without another word. It was a relief to see him disappear from my sight.

Screenshot-188When they came down again Taxus was dressed in shorts and a sweater instead of the pajamas he had been wearing when we came. He frowned when he looked at me.

“You have to get a grip about this” Canary said and shook her head. I knew she looked down on me for how I handled my parenting, but I never asked for a kid and I didn’t know how to be a mother. I wasn’t cut for it like she was.

Screenshot-183“It’s easy for you to say” I said to defend myself. “You actually had a mother to teach you!”

Because really, how could I know how to be a mother when no-one had been there to show me how to? It wasn’t my fault.

Screenshot-180“Then be a father” Canary’s father – Mithos – stepped up in front of me and said, clearly agreeing with his daughter in that I needed to step up my game. “You had a great father, learn from him.”

I shook my head. Did they really think I didn’t try? “I’m supposed to be a mother, not a father” I protested.

“There’s not really a difference in those two jobs” Mithos said and glanced back at our kids who were playing at the little table. Taxus was chewing on a red block while Hyacinth talked with adorable one-word-sentences and told her friend what the names of the different shapes were. She was two years younger than Taxus and still talked a lot better than him.

“I’m giving him everything he needs” I said when the realization hit me. I was a failure as a mother.

Screenshot-182“It’s not just about toys” Mithos said and walked towards Barley who had wondered something about different political ideologies for his school work. Good for him to have an expert father in the matter.

Canary stepped closer to me and out her hand on my shoulder. It actually did feel comforting, just as I suspect she wanted it to. “You know that we will help you, right?”

I hugged her. What would I do without my friends?

“But really, you need to invest in him. Emotionally. He needs love.”

I nodded slowly, trying to understand what I was doing wrong. I spoiled him, which was a way of showing love. Wasn’t it?

Screenshot-184We stood in silence just watching the two kids play for a while. The rest of the Spring family left the room which resulted in a rather peaceful atmosphere. Taxus and Hyacinth were good friends and played nicely together. Hyacinth was a real sweetheart, just like her two mothers. After a few moments of silence Canary turned towards me, “I’m probably a bit too pushy here, but…” she blushed a bit. “Are you pregnant again?”

“What?”

“Well, you have that look in your eyes. The same as with Taxus. They get a certain glow which makes you look both happy and terrified at the same time.”

Screenshot-185“I’m not pregnant!” I protested and waved my hands in front of me. I couldn’t be, right?

“Are you sure?” Canary asked and a small smile played on her lips. “Because it’s there now. It’s kind of glassy.”

“I… I don’t know” I stammered. I mean, I hadn’t been very careful with Lychee because there hadn’t really been time for careful, but I couldn’t be pregnant again, could I?

“I knew it!” Canary exclaimed, sounding much too happy than what was fitting for this situation. I pressed my fingers against my temples, trying to push away the headache that was now creeping upon me. I had barely had time to get on my feet after having Taxus and it would be incredibly bad if I was pregnant again.

“Look at it as another chance” Canary tried and hugged me. It felt weird. Just shortly afterwards I excused myself and headed back home.

Screenshot-189“Pregnant” I muttered to myself, feeling completely bummed out by the whole thing. Canary had been right, I was pregnant. And with Lychee Button’s kid of all possible men. It didn’t even matter that he was a famous record company owner, I didn’t want to birth his kid. Besides, I hated how they had pulled me off work again and now I was stuck at home, with my son and a baby on the way.

It’s safe to say that this was not how I wanted my life to be.

Screenshot-199Plum still came over pretty much every day. Sometimes she brought Canary and Hyacinth with her and sometimes she came alone. She was practically in love with my son. Way more than I was. But then again, she didn’t need to keep a constant look on him like I did. She could simply enjoy the good moments with him without the need for any deeper responsibility. I wanted to have it that way too.

And Taxus seemed to love his aunt Plum. He was laughing and giggling while in her arms. He rarely ever smiled at me.

Screenshot-198“So you’re going to be a big brother are you Taxus?” Plum’s voice transformed in to a lighter, more playful one which was more suited to get Taxus’ attention. I couldn’t understand how every single berry could be so easily transformed if you just put a baby in their arms. Didn’t people care about their own identities? That was what made me different. No baby could change who I was.

Screenshot-193The full moon was shining bright over my little house. I had always been a night owl and this particular night was no exception. It had been hours since Taxus fell in to his deep slumber and as I was fiddling with the kitchen sink, trying to come up with a way to prevent it from ever breaking, I could hear the faint sounds of baby whimpers from his nursery. It wasn’t easy, but I had to admit to myself that there was something cute and love-able about that sound. He seemed pleased.

Taxus whimpering and the metallic sound of my wrench against the kitchen sink was the only thing heard through the house. It was calm and peaceful and even outside the house it seemed quiet. I wasn’t much of a loner, but this silence was rather soothing anyway.

Screenshot-192A sharp pain in the lower parts of my belly made me drop the wrench with a CLANG down in the kitchen sink. I knew this pain, I had been through it before.

I wanted to scream but I was afraid to wake Taxus up so instead I just clutched my hands against my stomach and focused on breathing. In through the nose and out through the mouth.

The baby was coming. 

Now.

Screenshot-194It was a couple of weeks early and I wasn’t prepared. There was no nursery prepared in the house because I still had time. At least, I had thought there was more time. A quick glance at the clock on my wall told me it was 3.15 am. The middle of the night. I couldn’t call anyone simply to ask for help at this hour so I did what I had done with Taxus:

I gathered some towels and then sat down on the floor in the kitchen, spread my legs apart and continued to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. The body works in mysterious ways and even though you think the pain is too much you manage to keep fighting. I pushed when my body so demanded and tried to stay away from pushing otherwise. I don’t know why, it just seemed like the right thing to do and had worked just fine with Taxus.

Screenshot-195The clock showed 4.30 when the sound of a baby’s first scream caught my eyes and I started crying by pure exhaustion. I had made it. I had a daughter now.

Her crying woke Taxus up and he too started crying. I couldn’t go to him though because the little girl in my arms needed me more.

Screenshot-196She was so beautiful. Surprisingly, I felt rather happy about her presence and when I curled her up in my arms and snuggled her close I realized exactly what it meant to feel happiness after a birth. “I’m going to call you Coral” I whispered, still keeping the tiny baby close to my chin. I was proud of myself.

And then I realized I had nowhere to put her. Instead I just walked in to Taxus room and stroke his chin with one hand while still clutching on to my little baby girl with the other. He stopped crying once he realized he wasn’t alone.

That night I slept in the rocking chair i Taxus room with Coral in my arms and it was the first time I felt any happiness about being a mother.

Screenshot-197Plum came over the very next day and forced me to go get some sleep while she looked after the two kids. I didn’t object, I was exhausted. “She’s so adorable” Plum said before I walked out of the room and to my bedroom. I couldn’t find the energy to even respond.

“Hello Coral, I’m your aunt Plum”  she whispered and took the girl in her arms. Taxus was on the floor playing with his toy blocks but he kept throwing glances towards the little baby. It had to be confusing to him.

They had to share crib until I had bought another one, which was on top of my to-do-list. After some rest.

Chapter 3.8: Briocheport

Screenshot-132Once we were settled in the apartment we had rented for the weekend we changed in to our party outfits and decided to check out the club scenes. I had read about this one fancy club that I was just dying to see.

It was located in one of the fancier districts of Briocheport and outside the place the ground was clean and potted plants followed the big alley that led us there. It was a place for celebrities and rich berries and it was therefore a place where we would most likely enjoy ourselves. It was a place where the true me belonged, the one who didn’t have a kid at home to care for. It also sounded as a place where Precious was likely to hang out. He was rich and powerful and probably quite known in this town.

Screenshot-133A big muscular black ‘bow was guarding the doorway and as we came up he took a step to the side to cover my way pass him. “I don’t know you” he snarled and I realized they wouldn’t let just anyone in.

“I’m from Fondant Fields” I said and waved my lashes while smiling towards him. Surely, he would soon see how beautiful and rich I looked and let us both in. Plum just stood silent beside me and tried to look cute.

“So?” The man tilted his head and locked his eyes with mine. “You expect to just waltz in on the celebrity scene the first thing you do in the big city? Ha, think again!”

Screenshot-134Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I hauled up a bunch of money and handed him hundred simeoloans in discretion. “Maybe I can get you to change your mind” I purred. He smiled at me and accepted the money by folding them in half and putting them in his pocket.

“I wouldn’t think so” he then said. “Now you better run off to a place where you’d fit in better.”

Screenshot-135I snapped.

I screamed and cried and begged to get in because this was a place where I actually did fit in, where I needed to fit in. It didn’t help, though, and after a while Plum pulled me out of there. We left the fancy districts and headed to a more shabby bar where we had no trouble of getting in. It was actually a bar where no-one would have trouble getting in. And therefore, a bar Precious never would bother going to.

Screenshot-159Screenshot-158Plum didn’t seem to mind too much and enjoyed herself with dancing on top of the bar counter, which made the bartender look at her with desire in his eyes.

‘If he only knew that she played for the other team’, I chuckled to myself before remembering that this was not a fun night. It had not exactly gone according to plan and I was no closer to seeing Precious again, or even finding out where I could see him again. In fact, I didn’t even know if he was in town or not.

“Come, dance with me Soda” Plum called from the top of the counter and I just shook my head. I wasn’t really in the mood.

Screenshot-160“You look like you need some of these” the bartender suddenly smiled at me and placed a plate of fried onion rings in front of me. “There’s nothing those rings can’t cure” he continued and I smiled back.

He was cute, and it was a very nice gesture. In the middle of my blues it felt nice to be seen like that.

I chatted to him while eating my onion rings and while Plum danced herself sweaty on the bar. He told me about the fancy bars and how only the snobby idiots actually went there and that the most interesting people actually went to the shabbier clubs where the music was actually danceable rather than that classic music they played at the snobby places. “There’s more in life than money” he said and with that I was only more firm to believe that I did in fact belong in those fancy place rather than here. Money was the most important thing after all. It just made things so much easier.

Screenshot-161The next day we tried the fancy bar again and once again the muscular black ‘bow in the door stopped us from entering. While I was trying to persuade him, Plum suddenly whispered in my ear, “Is that Lychee?”

I peeked over the shoulder of the bouncer and was very surprised with what I saw. It certainly did look like Lychee. I hadn’t seen him since high school and I didn’t know what had become of him, but judging by what I saw it was something.

Screenshot-162He was standing in the middle of the dance floor with girls dancing close to him, twisting like snakes who wished nothing but getting under those clothes of his.

I stopped the persuasions and instead decided to see if the bouncer was up to some gossiping. I didn’t think it would work, though. “Is that Lychee Button” I asked and nodded towards the dance floor.

The bouncer rolled his eyes, “Why do you ask?”

“We went to school with him. I dated him for a while.”

“You dated Mr. Button? But why didn’t you say so?!” He suddenly stepped aside and pulled the strings of the fence, letting us enter. I thought it looked like he was blushing, but that could have been my imagination.

Screenshot-163“Lychee?” I asked and stepped up close to the guy who had been madly in love with me throughout my entire school years. The snakes by his sides vanished when he stopped dancing and looked at me.

“Soda Pop?”

Screenshot-165“Wow, what are you doing here?” he asked and smiled. It was one of those smiles that come to you when you remember something joyful.

“Vacation with Plum” I replied and pointed at Plum who had gone straight for the bar. “And you?”

“I live here.”

He continued to tell me how he had moved from Fondant Fields after graduation and how he had climbed the career ladder here in the big city. He started out as a roadie and now he was owning his own record company and held the power to decide which artists to turn in to stars and which would be left to fade. That explained the snakes, I thought.

Screenshot-166“You’ve done good” I winked and took a seductive step closer to him. It was hard to understand. Lychee Button?! The school’s nerd and the pathetic puppy who had followed my every wink as a teenager. He was powerful and rich and… famous. That made him quite sexy.

Screenshot-167He suddenly started laughing and it took me by surprise. “I’m not him anymore” he said once he had gathered himself.

“I can see that” I winked again.

Screenshot-169In the corner of my eye I could see that Plum had jumped on top of the bar again. In a way it made me ashamed because this was clearly not a place where you were supposed to dance on the bar. However, no one seemed to really notice her and with that I turned my full attention back to Lychee. “I wondered where you took off after graduation” I lied.

He sighed. “Don’t give me that Soda Pop Twist. I know your type. You taught me after all. And you haven’t changed a bit I see. And no, you don’t get to come here and think I’m still in love with you after all these years. It doesn’t work that way. I’m sorry.”

Screenshot-168“I don’t think that” I said. “I realize that you got over me many years ago. But that doesn’t mean it’s fun to see each other again. Right?” I couldn’t believe it myself. Had I come all the way to Briocheport just to try to score Lychee Button?

Although, from what I had seen and heard this night, it was worth it. He was famous and rich and powerful and sought-after and scoring him would give me some status as well. My hunt for Precious suddenly felt really distant. I had a new quest now.

Screenshot-172“You still look good” Lychee admitted after another hour of sweet-talk and I stepped in to his arms and let myself be embraced. He was warm and soft and I remembered that I had always thought he had the cutest nose. It was the way it was bent like a hill. I softly pulled my finger along it.

“You’ve always had such a cute nose” I whispered.

Screenshot-171And then he kissed me. It was our third kiss ever and I could tell he had been practicing quite a lot since our last one. His tongue played with mine in a perfect speed, causing my body to feel as if it was lit on fire. I wanted him.

“You are still gorgeous” he whispered and interlaced his fingers with mine, pulling me off the dance floor. We didn’t make it further than to the elevator before my dress was unzipped and his hands started playing with my breasts. I would never have guessed I would come to Briocheport to sleep with Lychee, but so it happened and I had to admit it was nice and thrilling and steaming hot.

Screenshot-173Plum wouldn’t stop laughing about the whole thing afterwards. Lychee Button? It was ironic, I had to give her that. But he had really changed, he wasn’t pathetic any more, he was rich and famous. I felt rather satisfied with myself and the fact that I had learned nothing nw of Precious’ whereabouts didn’t matter as much. We did go to Sweet Pastry one day, but I wasn’t surprised that he wasn’t there.

We didn’t look for him more after that, instead we spent our last day by going through toy store after toy store. I wanted to bring something home for Taxus. Something nice. Plum tagged along and bought one dress after the other and more toys than her bag would be able to handle for little Hyacinth. I just wanted that one special and perfect thing for my son and so far I hadn’t found it. It was probably lucky for Plum since that meant she could fit some of Hyacinth’s dresses in my bag.

It didn’t matter to me that I didn’t know what kind of toys Taxus preferred as I was simply determined to give him something nice. Something of good quality.

Screenshot-174I didn’t find it until we were starting to run out of time before our flight would leave. On the bottom shelf in a corner of a small toy shop we had passed several times during the weekend. It was a shining red fire truck and it was perfect. A kid with a firefighter mother just couldn’t get away with not having a toy fire truck.

I felt pleased with the trip when I packed my bags. The fire truck laid at the top, its rear lights sticking up from the bag, showing that  I was a good mother who cared for my kid. It had been an expensive toy and that was just what Taxus deserved – the best toys there was.

Besides, it was a fire truck.

Screenshot-190I was feeling really proud when I walked i to Taxus room with the fire truck in my hands. I felt a smile forming on my lips, which really was rare when it came to being close to Taxus. I still hadn’t forgiven him for storming in to my life and putting it on its edge, even if he wasn’t really the one to blame. At least it felt a bit better now after the trip to Briocheport because I had realized my popularity wasn’t fading just because of him. I was still attractive.

Taxus didn’t even look at me, or the truck, as I put it down on the floor next to him. He just kept sucking on the bottle Canary gave him before catching up with Plum again. I stood and watched him for a couple of minutes, waiting eagerly for when he would notice the truck and start to play with it.

Nothing happened and once he had finished eating he simply crawled towards his toy box and brought a small green stuffed toy dragon out to play with. So much for that perfect fire truck toy, huh?


AN: The Briocheport trip happened in an alternate save where I moved Plum in with Soda Pop. In the main challenge save Plum has not been a part of the household as that would have been against the rules for the single parent roll.

Chapter 3.7: Keeping promises

Screenshot-118Just a few weeks after Taxus was born spring came to town. The snow melted in to puddles and the grass started turning green again. The sun had never felt as warm and soft as it did that spring. It was refreshing and it felt like I was given another chance.

With spring, came of course spring festival. While I felt that autumn and winter festivals were quite boring and childish, the spring festival was one I had always looked forward to throughout my whole life. This year was no exception. While I prepared to head out Loquat came over and offered to babysit Taxus. It was surprising to realize that he, out of all people, seemed to be the one to most happily look after my son.

Screenshot-100That was except for Plum and Canary, of course, but they were going with me to the festival. I met up with Plum and judging by her dripping umbrella I figured it must have rained pretty bad in her part of town. Here it was only a few tiny drops that fell on the ground. Not really the amount that forced you to have an umbrella in the first place.

“Ready?” Plum asked and smiled. And berry was I ready. This was the first party I went to since I got pregnant with Taxus. I was starting to get all shaky by the lack of dancing, laughing and kissing already.

Screenshot-103We hit the dance floor right off, where Canary was already swaying her hips. The battle for the title of Spring Festival Dancing Queen was on! We all knew one of us three would win since that had been the case ever since we were teenagers and first entered. The big question was only which of us it would be.

After the pregnancy with Taxus and the feeling of being fat, ugly and downright disgusting, I desperately needed the title this year.

Screenshot-104Plum was backing off a bit, knowing that I needed the boost at this time, needed to feel desired and pretty. But Canary just danced away, giving her very best to steal the title away from me. I don’t know if she didn’t know just how gross I had been feeling or if she simply didn’t care, but for whatever reason she clearly wouldn’t just let me win.

I needed to do my very best.

Screenshot-106Luckily for me, there was a whistle behind my back, followed by a “You go Soda!” I recognized the voice even before I turned around and saw Fandango’s pink being. He was still rather hot after all the years since high school, but he was also a bit pathetic and still thrived upon his high school popularity. He simply didn’t seem to grow up.

But as for now, I couldn’t be picky so I went up to him and started dancing closely with him. He was a good dancer, I knew that since prom.

Screenshot-108The rest of the group on the dance floor gave us space and all danced in a cramped spot in one of the corners of the dance floor. In a way, it’s silly that we could still have ‘fame’ because of our high school popularity, but that’s how things go in small towns I guess.

The realization felt good.

Screenshot-109No one would have been surprised after prom if we two had ended up as a couple (and I think that was what Fandango still hoped for) but I had other plans. Bigger plans.

It still felt good dancing to him there, having a large area of the floor and many pairs of eyes looking at us, admiring our beauty. It was exactly what I needed after the pregnancy.

Once the winners were announced, it didn’t exactly come as a big surprise that it was us.

Screenshot-112Fandango pulled me with him inside afterwards, saying we needed to go to the love tester. It struck me there and then that he was most likely in love with me. It must have been the way he looked at me, as if I was a grand prize or a fair princess. I loved it.

Screenshot-111I put my hand on the hande of the tester and Fandango looked at me, whispering “Are you ready?” before his hand enveloped mine and we both pulled the handle towards us and looked up at the meter.

Fandango’s hand was warm and a little bit sweaty. While we waited for the tester to calculate our love he kept throwing glances at me. I loved the attention and the feeling of being desired. I met his eyes at one point, wondering if maybe Taxus was his. I hoped not because with the way Fandango looked at me, he would most likely want to be a part of a family. He would want to be by my side to raise our son and I did not want to settle like that. But perhaps I could just give him Taxus and get rid of the problem, just like Plum had suggested in the first place.

Screenshot-113My thoughts were soon interrupted by the tester making a ringing sound. The heart at the top flashed in red and the meter showed that the love between me and Fandango was burning. He turned to look at me, a wide smile spread on his face. “No surprise, huh?” he whispered and gave me a peck on the cheek.

I felt myself blushing. This type of attention was exactly what I needed. The next step came natural and once we were done I realized that he wasn’t exactly a sex god like Precious, which I had of course known all along, but the simple attention and desire it gave me did a great job to pull me back on my feet.

I wasn’t just a mother. I was still Soda Pop Twist.

Screenshot-121Canary went straight home after the festival but Plum followed me home. Said she had something important to talk to me about. We waved Loquat goodbye and even before we were seated in the kitchen Plum began to speak.

“So, you know me and Canary…” she begun, her voice shaking a bit as if she was nervous. “We kind of got engaged yesterday.”

“You what?!”

Screenshot-124“Well, we’ve been in love for quite some time I think but I don’t know. It’s not an easy step to take… But anyway, ever since you got pregnant with Taxus Canary has been talking about future and marriage and kids and everything. She wants it all.”

There was a pause where I sat down. This was pretty big news. “And you want that too?”

Plum scratched the back of her head and looked down, “I think so.”

Screenshot-122“But kids..? That’s quite impossible, isn’t it?”

“Ehm” Plum cleared her throat and blurted out, “She’s kind of pregnant already.”

“She is?!”

“Ye, she’s gone through insemination. We don’t know who the donor is but he’s supposed to be purple. She wanted the kid to resemble me too… And once she knew it had been successful she proposed and I… Well, I said yes.”

The news sunk in slowly. Even if I had seen them make out at one point it was still a lot to take in. My two best friends were getting married and expected a baby. And I hadn’t known anything about it. And still, I felt happy for them. If this what what they wanted, then it was the right thing.

“I’m happy for you” I said and hugged her. “Congratulations.”

Screenshot-123 “We’re still going to Briocheport, though!” Plum promised and smiled. “We just have to wait until the baby is born.”

Screenshot-125While we waited for Plum and Canary’s baby to be born, Taxus celebrated his first birthday. It was a relief to see him grow up because the hair on his head clearly told me it wasn’t Fandango’s baby and that I didn’t need to worry about him deciding we needed to be a family. My son, clearly originated from Starburst Shores and Flamenco. It was a bit funny to think that he had been conceived in a photo automate.

Screenshot-127Plum came over every day to hang out with me and play with Taxus. I think everyone around me was more happy about that little boy than I was. He was still an obstacle in my life. Maybe that would change once Plum and Canary had their baby too. Our lives had to change by then, didn’t they?

Not that I wanted them to, or looked forward to it, of course.

Screenshot-128They had a daughter shortly after Taxus’ birthday. The donor had clearly been purple and must have had about the same skin as Plum because little Hyacinth seemed to have the exact same color as her second mother. Her eyes were a dark shade of purple and truth be told, she was quite adorable. And most of all, she brought joy to her mothers — my best friends — and for that I loved her.

Plum had moved in with the Spring family and their house was really crowded by now. They seemed to be a big and happy family though, so I guess it was all good.

Screenshot-130I was a bit worried that Plum wouldn’t wanna go to Briocheport now that she was a parent. But that was not the case. We left just a few weeks after Hyacinth’s birth and Canary stayed at my place taking care of the two children.

Screenshot-131Briocheport. The city without boundaries. The city that never sleeps. The big city.

I was extremely excited to be here and I just knew this trip would prove be the best thing in my life so far. This was probably where I belonged. I was no smalltown girl, this was my dream city.


AN: My dear friend StoryProgression pushed Plum and Canary in to a relationship while they were all teenagers and I never broke them up, thinking it would happen eventually anyway. However, it didn’t and when I installed Woohooer Canary got pregnant within a few in-game-hours. I decided to go with it. They are now also engaged, just as in the story. 

Chapter 3.6: My own responsibility

This was not how it was supposed to go. I was sitting on the cold bathroom floor, dressed in nothing but my underwear. I wasn’t crying, even though I certainly felt like it, only because I was scared Plum would hear me through the door. Not that I thought she would leave until she knew but I wouldn’t cry. I was stronger than that.

The pregnancy test laid on the floor next to me. It practically begged to be seen but I couldn’t get myself to look that way. Unless I had actually seen the blue plus I could still be free. But if I actually saw it… I couldn’t handle that.

Plum had brought the test here. I had been feeling sick and weird for more than a month and by now she was getting tired of my complaints.

Screenshot-80“So, what does it say?” Plum asked from outside the door. She was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall in a relaxed position. It was impossible to tell that her best friend’s life was about to be turned upside down.

“I haven’t looked.”

Plum sighed. It had been approximately eight minutes since I peed on the stick and she had asked me several times during the last five minutes. “Oh Plumbbob, Soda! Just look already! No matter what it shows there’s nothing you can do about it now. It won’t help not looking!”

Screenshot-78I simply peaked at it, but there was no denying what was there. It was a blue plus alright. The simple sight of it made me puke, again.

“So it’s positive?” Plum asked once I was done throwing up.

“Fudge no. This is very negative!”

Screenshot-79“The test?”

I puked again. Couldn’t she just stop reminding me?! Afterwards I picked the test up and threw it in the garbage can before washing my face off and going out to Plum. I felt as exposed as I looked in my underwear. Was this how it felt to feel weak?

“Might want to put some clothes on…” Plum suggested and I did as I was told before sitting down with Plum in my livingroom.

Screenshot-82The first thing that came out of my mind was the only thing I could think about: “I don’t want a baby!”

“I know” Plum nodded. I knew that she understood and I thought I could sense a small scent of relief in her eyes. She was just lucky it wasn’t her. Figures.

“So what do I do?”

“You could always, you know… Get rid of it. Unless you actually do want it?”

Get rid of it. It sounded so easy when she said it. Get rid of it. I didn’t want a child. I couldn’t be a mother. But despite that, there was something that made the idea of getting rid of it disgusting. I said nothing.

Screenshot-83I don’t know if Plum understood the ambivalent thoughts I was now having but the next thing that came out of her mouth took another turn. “Who’s the father?”

“How could I know?! Could be anyones. Precious, Flamenco? Fudge, could even be Fandango’s.”

“Fandango? That baby would have been born years ago had it been Fandango. It only takes nine months, you know.”

I buried my face in my hands. Plum wasn’t the only one keeping secrets about her love life. Fandango had been my to-go-to-guy for years. Actually, it would make sense if it was his, the odds said so.

Screenshot-81I stood up and started walking from one side of the room to the other. Thinking. “You’re not the only one keeping secrets” I finally said and regretted it instantly.

“What?” Plum looked scared, and surprised.

“I saw you and Canary in Starburst. What, are you guys a couple?! Are you gay and haven’t told me?! I’m your best friend Plum. Best friends doesn’t keep secrets!” I don’t know why I said it. I can only blame the fudging blue plus for keeping me from thinking straight.

Screenshot-85Plum never had the chance to reply because my doorbell interrupted us, creating an awkward silence between us. I was surprised to see my father by the door but welcomed him in.

How long had it been since I last saw him? Surely his hair hadn’t faded then, and surely that cane was new. Was he really that old?

“I’ve missed you” he said, his voice crackling just like old people’s voices always do. He was getting weak. It didn’t affect me as much as it ought to have. I suppose I had enough surprises for a day already.

Screenshot-86“You look old” I said. Blunt and straight-forward but true.

Dad swung his cane around in his hand and smiled, “This old stick?! Nah, I just think it’s cool to play with.”

I couldn’t laugh. It wasn’t fun. Not today.

“But well, the hair. I suppose I’m not that young anymore. Anyway, how are you? And hey Plum, long time no see!” Dad waved towards my friend who was now standing up. She raised her hand to a greeting but said nothing.

Screenshot-87I looked back and forth between Plum and my father before realizing I had to explain what was going on. This certainly turned in to a weird day.

I didn’t know how strong my father was, or his heart, but I kept the blunt and straight-forward way of talking and just announced that I was pregnant. He looked surprised at first but it soon settled and his eyes glanced down at my stomach which was already feeling huge and disgusting.

Screenshot-88“That’s great” he said and gave me a thumbs up. “I didn’t think you were the type to settle down. Who is he?”

I scratched my head. Telling your father you don’t know who the father of your own unborn child is, that’s weird. It didn’t exactly make him think more of me, or make him proud of me. He just looked confused to be fair. And I knew that he, at that moment, was glad I was no longer living at home. I was my own responsibility.

Screenshot-92I told them all I didn’t care who the father was. That it wouldn’t change a thing. But I knew deep down inside that it wasn’t true. I think it was the reason to why I kept the baby too: I wanted it to be Precious’.

I hadn’t thought much about him leaving me after he had gotten what he came for, but in a way it hurt. If this was his baby, I would get some revenge. I could hunt him and make him pay for just leaving me. He would have to take care of his baby, right? He would come back and I would get the chance to hurt him, to be the one in charge. As it should be.

Screenshot-91I was by no means a rich woman. In fact, after spending all my money on the kitchen in the first place and then the trip to Starburst Shores, my funds were starting to peter out. Before the pregnancy, I hadn’t thought much about it because I got a steady salary from the fire department, but when they found out I was pregnant I was no longer allowed to come in to work. It was ridiculous, I could still do a decent job just keeping the trucks and alarms in shape but still they forbid me.

I refused to let my career stagnate because of a silly baby so I kept working at home to improve the skills I knew I needed in my career. I upgraded all of my appliances to be self-cleaning, which wouldn’t just let me improve at work but also give me more time to do other things than cleaning. I couldn’t exactly have a filthy home if I expected to score men here. And I was determined to not leave that part behind even if I did have a kid.

Screenshot-84“How about Briocheport?” Plum asked one day. We had been planning a trip there ever since we got home from Starburst Shores.

“It’s still on” I promised, which made Plum look down at my swollen stomach and crinkle her eyebrows. “It is!” I said again.

“You can’t go party with a baby.”

“Good thing there are babysitters then” I said, determined to not let an unwanted child change my way of living. Besides, Briocheport was where Precious was from and if I wanted to meet him again, that would be my best bet. A chance I couldn’t just let slip.

Screenshot-93I was not prepared to the pains that came with having a kid. It was inberry. How were we even supposed to pull through such a thing?

I had neglected parental courses and tips as best as I could because I hadn’t accepted myself as a mother yet. And therefore I didn’t know how to handle the pain and I had trouble breathing. It was as if all my efforts were put in to dealing with the mere pain, so there wasn’t even enough left for breathing. I huffed and puffed and it flimmered before my eyes because my body experienced a lack of oxygen. I knew anoxia well from my job which also meant I knew I would pass out unless I managed to pull through. I suspected that wouldn’t be good for me while in labour.

I don’t know what I did or how I did it but somehow I managed to stay awake. I even managed to lie down on the cold bathroom floor and have the baby on my own. As I saw it, this was how it had been done in ancient times and therefore I would be able to make it too. I was much stronger than women had been in ancient times with my physical shape and my regular healthy meals.

It was a boy.

Screenshot-94I never felt the initial happiness my friends had promised would be there when I first laid my eyes on him. All I could feel was reality smashing me in the face. I was a mother now. A mother. The one thing I had learnt to hate. I didn’t want to be a mother. I wanted to be free.

Besides, looking at the boy in my arms I realized it wasn’t Precious’. The skin of my son was far more pale than the lovely red shade Precious’ skin was. It was lightly red, but that only meant it was either Fandango’s or Flamenco’s. Not Precious’.

The small flicker of hope I had felt towards feeling anything happy about this baby faded with that realization. He became what he had really been the entire time, an obstacle for my own life and happiness.

Screenshot-115“What are you going to name him?” Canary wondered and tickled the baby in the cradle of the room I had prepared. It was as far from my own bedroom as possible because after just a few days I realized that thing had a nasty habit of waking up screaming like crazy in the middle of the nights. I couldn’t stand being woken up like that. It was better now.

“The baby” I said. I didn’t care if it had a name. It was nothing but an obstacle, an obstacle that I knew I needed to care for. And I did. He had the best nursery I could afford (it looked a lot better than my own bedroom!) and as many toys as he could possibly want.

“You have to give him a name!” Canary turned to me and looked furious. She had been upset with me ever since that baby was born. Accused me for being a selfish brainless bimbo and stuff. I don’t know. Maybe I was selfish. But I wasn’t brainless and I was no bimbo. I knew very well that this baby meant trouble. That it meant I would have to change my lifestyle. And that was exactly what I wasn’t ready to do.

“You name it then. I don’t know.”

Screenshot-116She picked the boy up and held him close. It struck me that she would probably do a much better job at me being its mother. “I’ve always thought you look like a Taxus” she said in a soft, loving voice and put her index finger lightly on his nose which made him giggle.

And that was that. My son was named Taxus.


AN: Soda Pop rolled Luxury as he Misc. Fun and I plan to accomplish that goal by building very nice rooms for all of her children as well as (of course) furnish the rest of her rooms. I also hope to expand the exterior of the house to a luxury retreat but for now money really are tight and she can barely afford to pay her own bills. It’ll be hard as a single mother of five, but hopefully it’ll be doable. 🙂

Chapter 3.5: Starburst Shores

Screenshot-24The fact that Precious had bailed on me hurt, but I didn’t dwell it too much. I was used to people bailing on me. It was how my life had been from the very start, after all. Besides, I had a trip to plan and that was way more important than the fact a guy had left me with no sign of goodbye.

Canary celebrated her birthday just shortly after and we took off for Starburst Shores. It was sunny and warm when we arrived. The cold winter home in Fondant Fields seemed distant. It had been a good choice coming here. The sun was a welcome change from the cloudy winter sky at home. The ocean laid blue by our feet and the sun caressed our bleak winter bodies. It was almost completely windless, only a soft breeze chilled our faces now and then. It was great.

Screenshot-25We spent our days at the beach, working on acquiring a good-looking tan before it was time to go back home to the winter. The three sun lounges had been ours ever since we first got here. I suppose that was one advantage in coming here during the middle of the week, the townsfolk were busy working, leaving the beach in our hands.

It was also a disadvantage since it meant there were no sexy men to look at.

Screenshot-27“Wanna go swim?” Canary asked and smiled. She was a bit restless and didn’t exactly lay still for very long. I didn’t mind as the sun was quite warm and I got sweaty quite fast if I just laid there. Besides, I had heard that you get a tan faster if you have a layer of salt water on your body.

“Right” I said and stood up.

Screenshot-26“Naha, I’ll stay here.” Plum had only been swimming very little during our stay so it didn’t surprise me that she passed. She was certainly not getting restless in her sun lounge. Or perhaps her hangover was just worse than ours and she preferred to not move too much.

Screenshot-28“Last one in is a jelly rat!” I cried and started running towards the water. I loved the feeling of sand between my toes when my feet dug themselves down in to the ground as I ran.

Canary followed me, laughing loud. She wouldn’t manage to pass me, though.

Screenshot-30“Wah, it’s cold!” she exclaimed once her feet got to the water. It was. Not because it was particularly cold in the water itself, but because the difference from the warm and sunny air was huge.

“Just get in” I said and slowly walked further out. I wanted the surface to be above my belly button before I laid down to swim.

Screenshot-32It was cool, almost cold, to lay down to swim. Still nice, of course. I liked summer, much better than winter. Warmth, no need for big chunky clothes and the general happiness that sun seemed to bring.

Screenshot-36Suddenly the back of my head was splashed and it made me furious. I turned around and saw Canary right behind me. She knew I didn’t want to wet my hair!

“What the fudge, my hair!” I yelled.

“Sorry, sorry, I didn’t mean to!”

Screenshot-33I splashed her back using the back of my hand. It was satisfying to see a big wave of water splashing against her face. It made her mascara smudge.

“For berry’s sake Soda! I said I didn’t mean to” she turned around and swum towards land again, clearly upset.

Screenshot-34“Oh right… Sorry” I mumbled, realizing I had overreacted. “Sorry Canary!” I yelled after her, making sure she heard my apology. There was no reaction.

Just a little while later we decided to head back to our rented vacation home. Canary was still upset that I had splashed her and smudged her mascara out. Plum was upset that we had to leave the beach so early, losing precious sun hours. I wasn’t upset. I just felt bad about it all. She probably hadn’t meant to splash me. And my hair wasn’t even very wet anymore, it still looked good.

Screenshot-38Later that day we decided to hit one of the clubs, although it seemed depressingly empty when we arrived. There wasn’t even a line to get in, which we had kind of hoped for. But then again, this wasn’t Briocheport. After paying a small entrance fee we stepped through the doors and in to a huge room. There was a big bar which a few berries were seated at and then there was a huge dance floor, a small scene and a couple of tables and chairs. And this was just the first floor!

Screenshot-39“It’s so big!” Plum was pretty much mesmerized and just stood still looking around her with huge eyes. She was right, the place was huge compared to what we were used to in Fondant Fields. The only downside was that it was pretty dead. Maybe the townsfolk of Starburst Shores didn’t go out to party in the middle of the week?

“Wanna go upstairs” I asked. Canary nodded but Plum didn’t snap out of the trance she was in. I had to snap my fingers in front of her to make her follow us.

Screenshot-41The upstairs were big too and Plum was frozen at the spot and looked around impressed. Canary ran straight to the Electro DanceSphere and started spinning around. I got dizzy simply by watching her and went to get a drink instead. Plum soon followed me.

Screenshot-45In the end, we decided to go to another club. One of the guests told us there was usually more action at that other place because of the karaoke machine and the regulars that came there to sing. And they were right, there was even a line to get to sing. When we arrived to guys were singing some cheesy love song while goofing around with each other. We decided to watch them. They were probably the cutest guys we had seen during our trip so far.

Screenshot-46Since the rest of the guests at the place seemed to cheer loudly and sing along to the catchy tunes, I did the same. I have a decent singing voice, I have to admit and when I started singing one of the guys turned to look at me. He was, wasn’t he? Looking straight at me while singing?

Screenshot-47After the song I went to introduce myself. “Quite nice singing. I’m Soda Pop.”

“I have to say the same” he said smiling and shook my hand. It was a nice smile and his handshake was warm and firm. “I’m Flamenco.”

“Nice to meet you.” I smiled one of my seductive smiles. I was going to score this guy tonight. I was.

“You’re not from here, are you?”

Screenshot-51“Nah, from Fondant Fields. Me and my friends are here on vacation for a few days. Sunbathing and partying” I replied and pointed towards Plum and Canary who were busy playing pool.

“Should have chosen Briocheport for the partying” he smiled. “Places close quite early here.”

“Well, maybe you could take me some place nice afterwards?” I suggested and winked.

“Let’s do the best of this first” Flamenco answered and took my hand and swirled me around in a pirouette.

Screenshot-50He was a good dancer and to me it was a lot more fun dancing than playing pool. Plum and Canary must have thought the same thing because they left the place just shortly afterwards, leaving me alone with Flamenco.

We danced the entire evening, just taking small breaks to fill up with some drinks. He was quite the gentleman and introduced me to everyone he knew at the club.

Screenshot-49When the bartender called “Last round” Flamenco leaned in to whisper something in my ear. I just knew he would suggest going someplace else to continue our party.

“So, I was thinking I could take you out tomorrow. There’s a nice place down the road but they’re only open during daytime.”

That was it. My disappointment was huge, but I agreed thinking I would at least get another chance. I still hadn’t played the firefighter card either.

I was sneaking when I got back to our rented house because I was sure Plum and Canary would be well asleep by now. It had been hours since they left. As I passed through the window to their shared bedroom I glanced in. I don’t know why I did it, I always had a difficult time keeping my eyes off a window while passing.

Screenshot-72I did not expect to see what I did. My two best friends were practically on second base. I was lucky that their clothes were still on or I’d be scarred for life.

I never said anything about it. What difference would it make? Except making both them and I feel uncomfortable with the whole situation and since they didn’t mention anything of it either, it was better to just let it be. Although I have to admit it did hurt me a bit to realize they were actually keeping such a secret from me.

Screenshot-60Any hurt I was feeling washed off until it was time to meet Flamenco again, though. He took me to some kind of cowboy themed place. There were even hay bales outside. Not really my kind of place, but if it got the job done I wouldn’t be the one to complain.

“Howdy Soda” Flamenco said and smiled before offering me his arm, escorting me through the doors.

Screenshot-55At first he lured me up on a mechanical bull. I suspect he wanted to see me tip over but with the physical shape I was in (yet another thing to thank the firefighter career for) I managed just fine. I even rode without holding my hands for some time, just clutching to the bull with the muscles of my thighs.

I think he was a bit disappointed when the bull stopped and I was still on it.

Screenshot-62Next we went upstairs to a foosball table. Unfortunately for Flamenco, my cousins had a table just like this at home, so I was quite skilled at that too. I pretended to play bad though, as I suspected it would better my chances at scoring what I really wanted to score. I just wouldn’t walk away from this date without it.

Screenshot-63“Hey, look at this! Want to take some pictures? It’ll be a nice memory to bring home” I said and tried to sound innocent. Truth was that I knew how narrow those photo booths were and being more than one in there could easily get quite intimate.

Flamenco bought it straight off.

I “accidentally” put my hand on his thigh once we were in there and then I “accidentally” bumped my breasts against his arms. And then my skirt “accidentally” lifted while his hands were close. And well, one thing led to the other. Just as according to plan.

Screenshot-64Screenshot-65Screenshot-66“Oops, I think we need to take another one” I said and tore the evidence of what had just happened in tiny pieces.

“Again?” Flamenco grinned.

Screenshot-67And yes, we went in again. But this time we behaved. Well, kind of because when the pictures came out not a single one was looking normal. We were both making silly faces on each and every one of them. That’s a side-effect of being satisfied, I suppose.

After that date, I didn’t see more of Flamenco. And I didn’t want to.

Screenshot-74We had only one day left on our vacation, and that would be spent in the best possible way – with my friends at the beach. We stood by the shoreline watching the sun set and the only thing I could think of was that this had been an amazing trip. None of us said anything, but I doubt I was the only one to hope there would be several more trips like this one. Perhaps Briocheport next.

Chapter 3.4: Business and Pleasure

So, this chapter is a bit longer than usual because I realized I’ll need a lot of chapters for Soda Pop’s generation otherwise. And, I’ve played ahead two more chapters so… Also, there is a little NSFW in this chapter. Little being the main word. 😉


Screenshot-1201“Oceana?”

I stiffened by the sound of my father’s voice. There had just been a knock on the door and shortly after dad’s surprised voice formed the name of my mother. The betrayer. The liar. “Did he say…?” I wondered out loud.

It was actually aiming the question more to myself than to Plum who was sitting in the beanbag underneath my bed. However, she must have heard it too because she mumbled a barely audible “I think so” as a response.

Screenshot-1202It went completely silent in my room for a short moment (which was definitely not something common when I was with Plum) but we didn’t hear anything else from the livingroom. Either dad was now whispering or he had gone silent. Maybe his surprised outburst of mom’s name had been nothing but an illusion?

“You want me to go check?” The beanbag rustled beneath Plum as she stood up. I didn’t even need to answer, she knew me well enough to know that I did indeed want her to check.

Screenshot-1204She opened the door and peaked out. “There’s a woman” she said and turned her head against me quickly before looking out again. With a careful and serious voice she continued, “I’m quite sure that’s your mother out there.”

Screenshot-1206“Did you meet Tiber the other day?” Oceana asked and I could just imagine my father’s surprised look when she did. He had no idea that I had been at her house and told her. I hadn’t exactly planned for this to happen.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. Both me and Plum kept completely silent, not wanting to miss a word of their conversation. If our lives were usually free of action, this was the complete opposite. It scared me a bit.

Screenshot-1208“Did you get in to a fight with Tiber or not?” Oceana asked again. There was never an answer from my father but since Oceana cursed her brother and the failed sacrifice she had made, I suspect my father had nodded in silence.

“They should keep away from you. That was the plan. If I left you and pretended to not care they wouldn’t care to hurt you either!” Oceana was crying and I suddenly felt bad for eavesdropping. This was a private conversation they were having. Although, since I was involved, I kept listening.

“He’s a berryhole and you did the right thing” dad said. He probably tried to convince himself too. I kind of looked up to my father. He had been strong to raise us all by himself while his heart was shattered. He must have missed her so much.

Screenshot-1207“I never stopped loving you” Oceana said after a while.

Plum made a vomiting noise and slammed the door shut. I wondered if dad and Oceana had realized it was open before that. They probably didn’t know we had heard. “Disgusting!” Plum said and looked at me. I nodded in agreement. There was something gross about grownups showing affections.

Screenshot-1221Winter soon came to Fondant Fields, which meant a few days off school because of heavy snow. None of us really minded and we stayed at home in the garden making snow angels and having snowball fights instead of studying. Dad didn’t get time off work because of the snow though, and he kept patrolling the streets with proud steps.

I knew both he, his siblings and his parents had worked hard to get to the point where colorless berries could even walk the streets in safety, let alone in a police uniform. I was proud of them, but it was hard to imagine the situation had ever been as bad as dad told us. Not that I didn’t believe him, it just sounded quite surreal.

Screenshot-1209What was also surreal was to have my mother around the house. After making sure her sacrifice no longer worked it seemed it was no longer worth staying away from us. Or, from dad, at least.

I still didn’t trust her. And I didn’t like her. Nor did I need her in my life.

Screenshot-1212Blizzard kept out of the way by running mile after mile on grandma’s old treadmill. Like me, his biggest role-model and hero wasn’t Oceana, but the grandmother we had never met. It was quite amazing thinking we had a bit of hero running through our veins. Blizzard was determined, even more than me, to also become a respected berry with the surname Twist. He would make a good firefighter one day, I was sure.

Screenshot-1211Loquat, on the other hand, tried to get to know Oceana. It seemed stupid to me. We had been fine without a mother all of our lives and if she thought she could simply storm in to our lives now that it suited her, she was a fool. It wasn’t that easy. Dad and Loquat could buy it if they wanted to, but I wasn’t so easily fooled.

Screenshot-1228Unfortunately for me, dad did buy it. With his full heart, it seemed. I suppose I should have been happy for him, but I just couldn’t be. All these years, mom had abandoned us, betrayed us. It wasn’t something you could just forgive in a couple of weeks passing.

Not months either.

Or a year.

Screenshot-1213When my time in high school was coming to an end, I finally decided to ask Fandango to take me to prom. It was really a wonder no one else had done it yet, but I suspect everyone knew I would do it and therefore couldn’t be bothered. It would hurt them when he came back and turned them down.

He looked quite handsome i the pink suit and the fact that he had chosen to wear a tie about my hair color made me happy.

Screenshot-1214He treated dad with respect too when he came to pick me up, and promised to return me in one piece before the dark. He even kissed mom’s hand (which I found incredibly annoying since she didn’t really deserve such respect).

“And don’t you dare do anything inappropriate for your age” was dad’s last words before we took off. Fandango promised but I knew we would break that promise. High school prom was the perfect time to do that ultimate inappropriate thing for the first time. A cliché, but still perfect.

Fandango was nervous when we sneaked out in the bushes and he fumbled with both his and my pants before managing to get them off. It wasn’t particularly good, but at least it got done. I would have hated to enter adulthood with my virginity left.

Screenshot-1229A couple of weeks before our big birthday dad asked Oceana to marry him. She said yes and jumped at the spot. I heard her shrill voice through the door and it made me cringe. A couple of days later she moved in.

It had been a childhood dream living with both my mom and dad, but now that it was a reality I couldn’t wait to get out.

Screenshot-1225Graduation came as a relief. No more school. No more obligations. No more need to stay at home. I was voted “Most Popular” which wasn’t really a surprise but still welcomed.

Screenshot-1223Blizzard started his firefighter career practically as soon as we had come out through the school doors. That was no surprise either since he had talked about that ever since childhood. I was happy for him.

Screenshot-1232I myself bought a house of my own in the other end of town. As far away from my so-called mother as I possibly could. It hurt dad a bit I think, but in a way he had made that choice on his own and it made me feel a bit abandoned again. I loved him, but I just couldn’t be close to the mother who had once left us all. Besides, I wanted a much, much bigger house than the one I had been raised in and the one I bought had enough land to grow on. It was also a house more suited for my personality.

It felt as a home right as I stepped through the front doors. Sure, it would need some improvements here and where but all in all it was perfect. With some upgrades to the interior and the garden it would be my very own mini mansion. Exactly what I deserved.

I was proud of my home. It didn’t matter to me that the livingroom area and my bedroom were both very sparsely decorated. I had run out of money once I was done with the kitchen but I knew money would come eventually and then I would add more furniture to my home.

I had not known that kitchen appliances and furniture were so expensive and looking back I probably shouldn’t have gone for the luxury I did, but at least I had a good-looking kitchen, right?

Screenshot-11“It’s nice… But don’t you think you should have had more than two sofas in this room?” Blizzard teased. I stuck my tongue out.

“Do you even know how expensive furniture are, Mr. Live at home?”

He shrugged. “Sorry, it’s a nice home. But it would be nicer with some stuff in it. I mean, you have, what, three empty rooms?”

Screenshot-13“Unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees” I sighed. I was happy with my home, I really was. But I wanted more, I wanted my home to blow my guests’ minds. Eventually, I told myself.

“Besides, I won’t be living at home much longer. I bought a house too” Blizzard smiled, showing up his perfectly aligned white teeth. It struck me that it was a wonder he had been single for so long. He was really handsome, I guess we had that in common.

“You did?”

Screenshot-14“Ya, it’s not as big as this… But it’s my own. Well, and Spray’s of course.”

Spray was apparently Blizz’s girlfriend, I didn’t know how I could have missed him finding the girl he believed was the one. She had been a regular guest at our house when we were teenagers but I had never known they looked at each other in that way. She wasn’t exactly the prettiest girl in town and my brother probably could have done a lot better. Oh well, his loss.

Blizz told me he hadn’t done very well either with the reignited love between dad and Oceana. He did take it better than me, but still had a hard time getting used to having her around. We had all been so spoiled with being on our own that even though we thought we missed her and wanted her there, we never really did. Loquat probably didn’t notice the change very much since he was still constantly obsessing over the chess table.

Screenshot-1242It was Blizzard who convinced me to enter the firefighter career. He had tried both the excitement arguments and the hero arguments but it wasn’t until he told me about the romantic benefits of the career that I was sold. Apparently (and why I hadn’t thought of it myself is a mystery!) it was sexy with firefighters and if you wanted to get something, all you had to do was play the card.

Screenshot-1243And I have to say it suited me quite well. Maybe it was true that there was actually a hero gene running in our family. Even dad had chosen a “hero path” by joining the police force. I actually enjoyed it and decided to be as good as I simply could at it.

Screenshot-1245Every fire I went to was as scary as my first one. The flames always looked so hungry and just the thought of how much they could destroy was overwhelming. I knew every job could possibly kill me and truth be told, that was one of the exciting things about this job.

I respected the flames. I was always careful. Seeing them fade because of my extinguisher was an amazing feeling. It was such a victory to see them turn in to ashes. I truly felt like a hero.

Screenshot-1235Screenshot-1236Plum and Canary came to visit me quite frequently. They were both still in school and I couldn’t wait until their birthdays. Neither could they. Plum would be aging up before Canary, who was still a year younger than us but we all promised such a little age difference wouldn’t end our friendship. We would always be best friends.

Plum and Canary longed for moving out of their parents’ houses too and usually envied the privacy I had in my home. I couldn’t disagree since moving out had been one of the best things in my life so far. Except getting to know them, of course.

Screenshot-1237“Why don’t we go for a party trip once you’ve both aged up?” I suggested one day and both Plum and Canary nodded eagerly. The truth was that for a party girl like me, Fondant Fields didn’t have much to offer. There was The Flyin’ Burrito and The Blank Slate and that was pretty much it. No real clubs and no place closing later than 1.

“Briocheport?” Canary suggested with a happy and excited smile on her face.

“I was actually thinking Starburst Shores. Sun and cocktails? Bikini’s while it’s still winter here?”

“Like sugar for my ears” Plum said dreamily and by that it was decided. We would be going to Starburst Shores once my friends had celebrated their birthdays.

Screenshot-1247Plum aged up before Canary and while we waited for her we hung out at The Blank Slate. It was usually really quiet there and the stories dad had told us about how bustling this place used to be seemed really far off. It seemed like the supporter pub had served its cause.

I couldn’t wait until we would go to Starburst Shores.

Screenshot-1250We had fun, it wasn’t that. It was just that I wanted to expand my sights. Broaden the choice of boys. See new things, kiss new boys. Dance on new dance floors.

Fondant Fields was getting small on me. Boring, even.

Screenshot-1227Until one day, when a new guy was at the bar. Usually it was uncle Quince or Mithos who manned the bar, but I had never seen the red man behind the counter before. It got me interested, and I just had to know who he was.

He looked rather good, too. And just above his right eyebrow he had a barely visible scar or birth mark, or something. I don’t know what it was, but that little detail made me even more curious to who he was.

Screenshot-1226“I haven’t seen you here before” I said as I sat down on the bar stool and leaned forward, towards him.

“New in town” he said with an adorable city accent while nodding my way. “Can I get you anything?”

“You could follow me outside” I suggested seductively which made him smile but he didn’t reply and kept looking at me as if he was waiting for my order. It had been a joke, but I wouldn’t have turned him down if he had agreed, I thought to myself. “Just make me something good” I said.

His name was Precious and I kept flirting with him the entire night even though he seemed only vaguely impressed. In the end, I decided to play the firefighter card which Blizzard had promised would work like a charm in every situation.

Screenshot-2Surprisingly, it did and Precious followed me home.

“You have a quite nice home” he said as we stepped through the front door and a proud smile grew on my face. This guy. Who was he? And why was I feeling so completely intoxicated about his mere presence?

“Thanks. And you, where do you live?” I wondered, taking one step at a time. I was going to get to know him from the inside and out before I was done with him. But for now, I would take it slow.

“Actually, in Briocheport” he said and shrugged. That would explain the city accent. “I’m here to check. My family might come here to expand business. If I decide it’s worth trying.”

Screenshot-7“And do you?” I took a small step forward and crinkled my eyebrows. I had practiced the seductive look I gave him several times, both in front of the mirror and on some of the guys in town. It always worked.

“Perhaps” he said and also took a small step forward. I could feel the warmth of hid breath in my face. I wanted him. Needed him.

Screenshot-4“I think I’ll wait a while to make up my mind” he said with a wink.

“Wait for what, Mr…. What’s your name anyway?”

“Pastry, Mr. Pastry.”

Pastry?! I knew very well who the Pastry’s were. They had built their name and fortune on such a simple thing as a bakery. A bakery! It was brilliant, really. A bakery in a berry sweet world. It was bound to be a success before it was even opened. If they moved here, if they opened a bakery in Fondant Fields they would probably knock the Sourz family off the throne as the richest family in town. That would be quite awesome.

Screenshot-5Not that I spent much time thinking about that now because Precious put his arms around my neck and kissed me.

I had kissed many guys, but I had never been so intoxicated. I couldn’t get enough. I wanted more. When his lips tried to part from mine I pulled him closer and closed the gap again.

“I was just going to suggest we take this to the shower” he whispered once he managed to break free. I was happy to agree.

Screenshot-9I watched Precious undress before me and when he pulled off his shirt he exposed one tattoo on the arm and a big one covering his back. He was nothing like the guys in Fondant Fields. My body vibrated with lust as more of his bare skin was uncovered.

When he stepped in to the shower and started to fiddle with the warmth of the water I practically tore my own clothes off and joined him. Oh the passion. He was a god.

Screenshot-16When I woke up the next morning I slowly turned around. “Another shower Mr. Pastry?” I whispered before opening my eyes. Only to see that there was no Mr. Pastry to be found. His side of the bed was perfectly made and there was no sign of him ever being here. That was not how it was supposed to be. It was a situation I was not used to. I was supposed to be him. He was supposed to be me. It made me feel incredibly dull.

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