Gen 3 Ch 3: Time is a Wicked Master

Irene’s PoV

The day of Millie’s moving came closer than David and I expected. And I say “David and I” because, apparently, Phoenix knew already but didn’t want to tell us in order not to upset us.

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And we were upset. David was definitely not prepared to see his little girl go off on her own yet, and I, despite not being her biological mother, loved her with all my heart and already knew I’ll miss her company when she won’t be here. But that was life – children grew up and built their own families and lives.

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Besides, the house she and Quiang found was, luckily, not too far from us and we knew we’ll be visiting each other a lot.

Despite all that, we were all feeling rather sad on the day the young couple and our grandson moved out. It also didn’t help that Sherlock was going with them, since he’s been attached to Millie’s hip for as long as they’ve known each other. The house was going to be much emptier from now on.

But maybe that was for the best.

“Hey, it’s going to be ok, Irene,” David hurried to cheer me up, knowing me all too well. “Phoenix is still here for the foreseeable future and we’re going to have more time to ourselves. Besides, they’re not too far.”

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“I know, I’m just moody,” I tried to smile.

“What’s bothering you? Really?” he prodded.

“Did I ever tell you how much I appreciate having you in my life? I know I tell you I love you all the time, but this is different. I appreciate all the years we’ve spent together, David. Through the good and the bad.”

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“I feel the same way about you, darling,” he smiled. “But you’re worrying me today. Is something wrong? Something other than Millie moving out?”

I shrugged, “Nothing’s wrong. I just wanted to tell you how I feel, that’s all.”

“Okeydokey,” he smiled. “I’m always happy to hear how much you love me, Irene. Just don’t scare me like that, ok? I thought there was some serious problem.”

“The only problem is how much I still want to jump your bones, even after all these years together,” I joked.

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“That’s the opposite of a problem, I’d say,” he chuckled. “Do you have any plans for today? Phoenix is going to be at school for several more hours, so we have the whole house to ourselves.”

“That we do,” I nodded.

“Let me clean up the dishes and I’m all yours,” he winked, heading off into the kitchen.

As soon as he left the room, I breathed out a sigh of relief. I didn’t know how to bring it up, not without making everyone miserable.

The truth was I’ve been feeling sick for at least the last two months. And considering that my mother fell sick when she was younger than I was, it was obvious why I felt scared. My mother got lucky. The plant worked for her, maybe it will work for me? Or maybe I was sicker even than Mom was and I was hopeless?

I really hoped I’d have more time with my family, with David, Phoenix, and Millie, I hoped I’d see their grandkids grow up…

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A new bout of nausea rocked me so hard that I barely made it to the bathroom before emptying the contents of my stomach into the toilet.

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Yes, it was definitely good that Millie and her family won’t be around for this.

“Irene? Love, are you ok? You don’t sound like you’re feeling well,” David was already outside the door, concern clear as day in his voice.

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“David… I don’t know,” I admitted. Finally, I found the energy to come out of the bathroom. “I’ve been feeling sick for the last few months and I’m just scared.”

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“Irene… why didn’t you tell me? You know you don’t have to go through anything alone, right?” he frowned in concern.

“Yes, I just didn’t want to ruin anyone’s mood,” I admitted.

“Come here,” he pulled me into a hug. “Ok, first things first. We need to go to the doctor and figure out what is wrong with you. It’s better than going crazy with worry and letting your imagination run wild. We have plenty of time right now, are you feeling good enough for a trip to the hospital?”

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“I guess,” I nodded.

“Let’s go, then. We’ll figure out what to do next after we know the nature of the problem.”

Three hours later, we left the hospital in a daze.

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“Well… This is quite a surprise!” David managed to get out.

“How? Just how? I don’t understand…” I was even more shocked.

“Well, what I’m thinking is, perhaps, since you are older now, your immune system, which was responsible for the issue in the past, is weaker. And your reproductive system is normalized now? Have you missed your period lately?” he asked.

“Yes. I assumed it was just menopause,” I admitted, still baffled.

After all these years, after barely conceiving Phoenix after multiple failed IVF attempts, now, only a few years away from retirement, I was pregnant again. And I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. Judging by the amazement on his face, neither could David.

“Want to sit down? You look like you’re going to faint soon,” David offered, guiding me to one of the nearby benches. “So, this is going to be an adjustment for all of us.”

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“Quite a big one,” I agreed. “You know, after all these years, I kind of assumed we’ll never have any more kids.”

“I thought so too. Which isn’t to say I’m not happy about this new development,” he smiled. He quickly sobered up again. “But we do need to think through all the logistics now.”

“We do. We aren’t as young as we used to be, and I know late pregnancies can be problematic,” I sighed. “I wish Constance was still practicing.”

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“Me too,” David chuckled. Our friendly doctor, after having more miracle children herself, ended up retiring and marrying our old policeman friend, Spencer Rosswell, who has moved to Hidden Springs following the whole fire ordeal. We could probably ask her what to do though…

“Can I take time off from the company for as long as needed at the moment? In case the doctors tell me to go on bed rest?” I asked.

“It can be done, yes. Do you feel up to going through another pregnancy?” he asked.

I nodded. “I’ve always wanted more children. Even if the timing isn’t great, I’m happy.”

“I know. I just wanted to make sure you are completely on board with the whole situation since most of the strain of the pregnancy will be on you,” he explained.

“I realize that. It won’t be easy. But can you really believe it? We’re having another baby!” I smiled, snuggling up to him.

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“And I can’t wait to meet the little one,” David wrapped his arms around me. “Now we’ll just have to tell the kids. Boy, are they going to be surprised!”

 

Phoenix POV

“So, like I was saying, we need to figure out a way to keep the robotics team off of my back for this,” Sergio complained. “It wasn’t my fault that someone left the thing on overnight and it overheated. I mean, I wasn’t even at school that day, so obviously I had no control over what happened, right?”

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He was currently on the robotics team of our school and there wasn’t much that escaped his attention. Unfortunately, despite finding the guts to take part in the things he loved, my friend was still very non-confrontational, and because of that, many of our classmates took advantage of him. Like this time – he was somehow getting blamed for someone else’s mistake, which was total bullshit.

“You just have to tell your mentor, man,” Trevor shook his head. He was kind of new in our group – we only started hanging out with the guy because my cousin Jeanne was dating him, but he was very chill. Which was good – he had a calm approach to things. “And you shouldn’t worry about what they’ll think of you – standing up for yourself is completely normal. If anything, blaming you for someone else’s mistake isn’t.”

Yeah, it seemed like my cousin picked well.

“I guess. So, I guess, what I’m saying is, will you guys have my back if the mentor doesn’t believe me?” Sergio asked.

“Dude, of course! That’s what friends are for!” I exclaimed. “And if anything, we can verify any information for your instructor. You were home with a fever, we all remember. I don’t know why this situation is even up.”

“And maybe we can remind your instructor to double check his information the next time something goes haywire. After all, isn’t he supposed to be responsible for equipment?” Trevor reminded us.

“Thanks, guys. I guess I’m just stressing out over this for no reason,” Sergio sighed.

“It’s ok, man. We get it,” I calmed him down. Looking behind my friend, something, or rather someone caught my sight. “Hey, who’s that?”

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My friends glanced in the direction of my sight.

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“That?!” Sergio gasped. “Don’t tell me you forgot all about Morgan. She went to our elementary school, but she was in the other class, I believe. Still, you must’ve seen her around playground.”

“Morgan? Morgan Forrester? That’s her?” I was confused. Yeah, I remembered her, vaguely. She was always the quiet unimposing kid. She definitely wasn’t someone who could catch a guy’s attention.

“Yeah, the very same,” my friend verified. “I guess she grew into her looks, or whatever you call it.”

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“I’d call it becoming a premium bitch,” Trevor snorted. Noticing our confusion, he explained, “A friend of mine went out with her for a bit, until she ditched him for the next guy. Apparently, as soon as she realized guys like her, she’s turned into a player. Seriously Phoenix, you’re lucky your girlfriend is a cool person and not like that.”

“Yeah, Rashida could’ve turned out much different,” Sergio agreed. “You’re lucky she is as chill as she is and so into you.”

“Rashi’s great,” I agreed. She actually hasn’t texted me all day, which meant that she must have been swamped with music practice. Otherwise, my phone was always ringing with texts from her, even at night, sometimes.

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“Hey, guys, are you talking about Rashida? Have you seen her today yet?” Jeanne ran over to us, excited about something.

“Not yet, why?” I turned to my cousin.

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“She was looking for you earlier,” Jeanne puffed out, out of breath. She had a habit of running in the hallways, something that got her in trouble with the teachers and hall monitors plenty of times, but habits die hard.

“What happened? Is something wrong?” my mind went into overdrive – I hoped she was alright.

“Oh, I think it’s something about her schedule and your plans,” she shrugged. “She got qualified to play with the regional aorchestra and she worried about the recital being on the same night as the Spring Fling Dance.”

“Oh! That!” I breathed a sigh of relief. “I thought someone was hurt.”

“Not physically, no. But she was really upset about not being able to go with you,” Jeanne explained.

The bell rang and the guys started shuffling off to class.

“Aren’t you coming to class, babe?” Trevor asked my cousin, before leaving.

“In a bit. I need to get something from my locker first. I’ll see you there, ok?” Jeanne waved him along, turning to me as soon as he was gone. “You totally forgot all about the dance, didn’t you, Phoenix?”

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“Guilty as charged!” I admitted. “I didn’t even realize it was this month. Maybe Rashida should’ve reminded me?”

“Phoenix! She’s your girlfriend. She isn’t supposed to remind you about these things. You’re lucky I’m warning you about the situation, so that you won’t make a total idiot of yourself when she talks to you about it.”

“I know, cuz, you’re my savior today. In all fairness, things have been hectic at home with Millie moving out and all. It’s a big change – it’ll take a lot of getting used to my big sister not being there every day.”

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“I understand. Just, keep your head in the game, cool? Boys have been broken up with for less,” she laughed, before running off to class.

Before I could leave for my own class, the subject of our discussion herself rounded the corner.

“There you are!” she lit up upon seeing me. “I’ve missed you!”

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In all the two days of the weekend that we haven’t seen each other, I thought.

“Missed you too. Jeanne said you wanted to talk to me about something?” I feigned ignorance of the subject.

“Yes. It’s about the Spring Fling Dance. My recital is on the same night, so I can’t go. Sorry?” she frowned.

“It’s ok. Seriously, how many other teenagers get the chance to play with one of the best orchestras in the region? It’s seriously a better deal than being stuck in our gym all night. Besides, there will be plenty of other dances,” I hurried to reassure her.

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“Really? So, you aren’t upset?” she lit up.

“Nope. And hey, after the recital, we can hang out and stuff our faces with all the pizza!”

In all honesty, I was somewhat happy we couldn’t go to this dance. The previous year, shortly after Millie’s wedding, there was a similar event at our school. Naturally, Rashida and I went together, since we were already an item at that point. And it was crazy. First, she thought her dress wasn’t up to par, even though it looked great on her, then she got upset because she thought one of the other girls in our class was glaring at her, even though that was certainly not so, then the music played wasn’t romantic enough. It felt like, during that time, she was a completely different person, completely different from the one I knew as a child. It wasn’t something I wanted to go through again.

“Deal! And hey, you aren’t upset that I couldn’t message or call for the past few days, are you? Seriously, sometimes I feel like my extracurricular rule my life,” she complained.

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“It’s cool, Rashi. We still see each other every day,” I reassured her.

“Ok… well, I think you’re going to be late? I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Definitely. And you should run too, before you get detention for tardiness,” I was about to leave when I noticed the barely perceptible frown on her face. So, I pulled her into a kiss. “Seriously, everything’s cool.”

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“If you say so!” she lit up, before running off to class herself.

I couldn’t help but feel relieved when she was gone. Ever since we started dating, Rashida has become really affectionate with me. So affectionate, in fact, that sometimes it bordered on clinginess. And honestly, I wasn’t sure how to bring it up without upsetting her.

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The rest of the day passed without more emotional rollercoasters and I was on my way out of the school building when I heard someone having a “heated argument” with one of our notoriously dysfunctional vending machines. Making a detour to see who lost their money, I spotted familiar-looking long hair and blue dress. Morgan.

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“A little bit higher and with less force does the trick,” I advised the girl. She was neither the first not the last person to lose their money to this crazy apparatus and most of us have already figured out a way to get the candy bars to drop down when the machine failed to push them out.

After putting my advice into action, she was rewarded with not one, but two candy bars.

“Wow, thanks! Seriously, you’d think they won’t fix these things on purpose, just to steal our money!” she turned to me giving one of the bars to me. “Here, I think you deserve this for helping me get my money’s worth.”

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“Thanks, keep it, though. You’ve gone through enough trouble with that iron thief” I refused.

“Alright. Hey, you look familiar. We went to elementary school together haven’t we?” she asked.

“That’s right. Feels like it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?”

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“Sure does. Last I remembered, you weren’t the big defeater of vending machines,” she chuckled.

“What can I say? I’m quick to pick up useful skills,” I smiled.

“I’m sure. Well, we should hang out sometime,” she smiled in a way that made my insides feel tingly. I wondered if the rumors about her being a player were true. It wouldn’t surprise me, really – she was very attractive. And she certainly knew how to play up her assets; that much was clear with how she wore the colors that brought out the deep blue of her eyes.

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“Yeah, sometime, sure. Well, it’s been nice seeing you, but my ride is waiting. See you,” I hurried to take my leave.

There was no ride waiting for me, of course. I preferred to take a walk on evenings like these. And I certainly needed to clear my head tonight.

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This wasn’t right! I had Rashida, a gorgeous, amazing girl who was head over heels for me. So, why was I so flattered by Morgan’s attention? Why did I want more of it?

I knew one thing for sure – this was not a healthy way of thinking.

At home, my parents were waiting for me with an apprehensive expression on their faces.

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“There you are! Can you sit down, Phoenix? Your father and I need to tell you something,” Mom announced as soon as she saw me.

“Umm, sure? Did I do something wrong?” I couldn’t understand their expressions.

“No! Not at all. We just have an announcement to make,” Dad explained, sitting down next to us. “So, your Mom has had a health scare earlier today and we went to the hospital to make sure everything was alright with her wellbeing.”

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“Mom? You aren’t sick are you?” I turned to her.

“No, Phoenix. I’m healthy. However you are going to be a big brother very soon,” she announced. “The doctor told me I am at the start of second trimester and the pregnancy is going well. Which is why I’ve been feeling sick lately.”

“Pregnant! But how? Aren’t you a little too old to be expecting?” I exclaimed.

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“Yes, Phoenix,” Mom frowned. “This is why your father and I were very surprised but happy to hear this news.”

“This is insane, you know that, right?” I couldn’t help it. My mother was almost 50, an age where women usually already had grandbabies. Hell, she already had a grandchild from Millie. The new baby’s nephew was going to be older than them!

“Phoenix, we know our situation is not conventional, alright?” Dad looked at me sternly. “But we were hoping you’d feel happy for us.”

“I’m not saying I’m unhappy. I just worry for you guys, ok? Late pregnancies can be very problematic.” Besides, as the owners of a huge local company, my parents were definitely at the center of attention in town. Mom’s late pregnancy would be the talk of the town. And not in a good way. Not that it mattered to me that much, but the whole situation was making me feel weird.

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“Yes, Phoenix, we are aware of all the problems that can arise from this. I am well aware that I will likely be on bed rest for the majority of second and third trimester and that it will put a big strain on me. But I am willing to go through it, still. And as there are several more months left until the baby is due, you have enough time to get used to the idea of a new child in the house,” Mom shot off, making it clear that she already made her decision on the topic.

“Alright, then. Best of luck to you two,” I sighed, heading upstairs to my room. Today was weird enough and I just wanted to sleep it all off.

Might as well enjoy the peace and quiet in the house until my little sibling arrived.

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Gen 3 Ch 2: Holy Matrimony!

So, school could’ve been better. Sometimes it seemed like homework was going to be the bane of my existence as it always kept coming and coming.

But on the bright side, school meant friends and the need to do homework meant that we could all get together to study. And being with other people was great!

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Since Hidden Springs was pretty safe, our folks didn’t mind us hanging out in the park by ourselves, even when it got darker. So, we could all still chill together after schoolwork was out of the way. Like we did today.

“So, what’s the deal with Mr. Barnes’s new car? He’s been so excited about it all day. I mean, it’s nice but it’s still just a car,” Jeanine asked. She was already done with her assignment and stretching after sitting down for too long.

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“It’s his favorite model,” explained my younger cousin Jeanne, as she continued writing her assignment. “Wouldn’t you be super excited if you could get a state of the art weight machine like you’ve been talking about?”

“Yeah, I guess,” Jeanine admitted. The Jeannies were best buds since birth. With their families extremely close, everyone joked that when Aunt Kate and Aunt Tia got pregnant around the same time, they planned for the kids to be friends. Whether they wanted their names to be similar is still up for question.

“Cars are ok,” Sergio Preston, Aunt Lana’s son, admitted. “But robots are way cooler.”

“Of course you think so! Do you still want to be a robot maker when you’re old enough?” I asked. My friend was into computers and technologies for as long as I knew him. Now that we were nearing the end of grade school, I thought he should really look into his options for that area of expertise.

“I don’t know, Phoenix. That kind of thing requires a lot of work… and college… I’m not sure I can do all that,” he made excuses.

“Why? It’s worth it if you want it. Besides, I know your folks would want you to go for it,” I was curious about Sergio’s reasons, but I already suspected what the deal was.

“He’s just scared,” Jeanine shrugged. “I don’t know why, though. Seriously, Sergio, go for the things you want. Otherwise you’ll regret it later on. At least that’s what my Dad says.”

“Going for the things you want is reasonable, provided you aren’t taking them from someone else,” Jeanne chimed in. “Like you did with that book you liked at the library, right Jeanine?”

“Oh, come on! It’s a library book. I’ll give it back,” my friend shrugged.

“Like you gave back that pencil to the kid from Bio?” Sergio chuckled.

“Ok, I have some… memory problems where it comes to giving stuff back,” Jeanine admitted. “At least, I’m not scared of everything.”

“Come on, folks, we all have our faults,” I tried to reason with my friends. Looking around the park, I noticed my older cousin Tiffani talking to a girl I’ve seen around but didn’t really know. “Hey, who is Tiff talking to?”

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“Oh, that’s Rashida Sheppard,” explained Sergio.

“She went to that artsy school before, but her parents wanted her to focus on academics more, so they transferred her here,” Jeanne explained.

“But she hasn’t had time to make many friends here yet. She’s nice though, I’ve talked to her,” Jeanine informed us. The Jeannies were the people to go to for information it seemed, as even I couldn’t compete with their knowledge of the rumor mill.

“Her dad is a rocker, I hear,” Sergio chimed in. “Micah or something?”

“Oh!” the light bulb came on. “I think my Mom dated him! Before she met Dad! Obviously, things didn’t work out for them, which is probably for the best, since I wouldn’t have even been born if they stayed together. I wonder what Rashida is like.”

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“Why not talk to her?” Jeanne looked up from her homework.

“I don’t know, man. Talking to girls is scary,” Sergio complained.

“You talk to us though,” Jeanine frowned.

“Yeah, but I’ve known you since we were that little! That’s different,” Sergio reasoned.

“Meh, I’ll just talk to her,” I announced and left my friends.

My cousin was discussing something about the sports tryouts at the local high school with the dark haired girl when I approached them.

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“Hi, girls. How are you doing?” I never had any problems talking to new people.

“Hey, Phoenix. What’s up?” Tiff turned to me.

“Not much. Just wanted to introduce myself to someone I don’t know yet. You know me, I’m always looking to meet new people! I’m Phoenix, what’s your name?”

“Hi, I’m Rashida. I’m always happy to meet new people too. Hey, wait aren’t you Phoenix Collier? I think our parents used to date, didn’t they?” she smiled.

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“Yeah, although officially, I’m not supposed to know about that. I just overheard my Mom talking about it to her friends one day,” I chuckled.

“Me too! I heard it by accident!” she laughed. “Parents are weird that way, aren’t they? But hey, we still love them.”

“Totally. So, you’ve just transferred to our school? How do you like it here?”

“Well, I’d like it more if the teachers weren’t trying to murder us with all the homework, but hey, I shouldn’t complain. At least, the people are nice,” she laughed.

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“What were the people like at your old school?” I ventured.

“Eh. They were very artistic. But you guys are friendlier, so I like it here more,” she admitted.

“I’m sorry about your old school,” I frowned. “I hope they weren’t mean to you. You’re too nice.”

“Thanks, you’re cool too. And no worries, my old classmates were ok. So, what do you do for fun?”

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“Video games, mostly. And watching reruns of old cartoons. Especially the funny ones,” I admitted.

“Like Tom and Jerry and the Looney Tunes? I love those! They knew how to make good comedy back then,” Rashida agreed.

“Yeah, those are some of my favorites actually,” I admitted. It seemed like she and I had a lot in common. “We should hang out together more!”

“Agreed. Although, we should probably not ignore the others, next time. I think Tiffani left ages ago,” she frowned.

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“Yeah, Serge and Jean must have gone home some time ago too,” I noticed how she and I were the last ones at the park.

“We should head home, I think. See you in school?” she asked.

“See you!”

Back at home, I ran into Dad in the kitchen, out for a snack.

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“Hello, Phoenix. How was your day?”

“It was good. There is a new girl at our school and we’re friends now,” I announced.

“That’s great,” he smiled. “You know, it always makes your Mom and I happy to hear you’re so outgoing. We were worried you’d take after us and be a total loner.”

“Were you scared to talk to people?” I was curious.

“Not scared. More like, not very good at it,” Dad explained.

“Why do you think someone might be scared of socializing with others, though?

“Well, I’m not sure. I think it mostly has to do with different personalities. Some people find the company of strangers intimidating and are afraid they’ll say the wrong thing,” he ventured. “Why? Is someone you know scared to talk to others?”

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“Yeah, Sergio. But then, he’s afraid of many other things too,” I shrugged. “He sells himself short, really. He needs more confidence.”

“That he does. I remember Lana saying she worried about him sometimes. I think, in the long run, each person needs to build themselves up in order to have the kind of life they want. He’ll get there, eventually,” Dad smiled. “I’m glad you care, sonny. Now, you should get some sleep. School starts early tomorrow.”


Years passed. People got older. My sister Millie was about to be a legal adult. She has finally graduated from school and her grades were impressive – she was the school Valedictorian! And all that with a small kid, no less. My sister was a bad-ass, that much was for sure.

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For a few months now, her boyfriend Quiang has been living with us too. Ever since he graduated a year ago, he has gone into the local police force. His parents wanted him to follow in their scientific footsteps, but he was adamant about wanting to make sure the town was a safe place to live, now that he was a father. If you were to ask me, though, he was too much of thrill-chaser to last in a lab. Not like my sister, who immediately after graduation got hired by the local research lab. So, in a way, the Wens were getting a child in the sciences after all!

Since Mom told me I could invite some people over, I invited my friends, but only two of them could make it to Millie’s birthday: Sergio and Rashida. This was going to be interesting: Mom didn’t know one of my best friends was her ex’s kid and I was kind of curious as to how she would react… I mean, she couldn’t possibly tell me not to be friends with Rashida, could she? It wouldn’t matter anyways – judging someone by their parents was completely unreasonable.

“Hey, Mom, my friends will be here soon! You’ll finally meet Rashida, like you wanted to,” I announced.

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“That’s great! I’m always happy to see your friends, you know,” she smiled.

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She certainly knew my friend’s parentage when she saw Rashida! I guess, my friend looked a lot like her mother, whose appearance my Mom knew very well… But no one could resist Rashi’s charms, not even Mom!

“Hello, Mrs. Collier, thank you for having me here,” my friend introduced herself with an open smile.

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“Oh, you are very welcome, dear,” Mom quickly found her composure. “I hope you like cake, because we are having lots of it today!”

The rest of the birthday went off without a hitch. Everyone got along. Mom had no problem with me being friends with her former beau’s kid. Sergio didn’t complain  The only trouble was, Dad and I had to try hard to keep watch on what we were saying: a few days ago, Quiang asked Dad for official permission to marry Millie and Dad happily gave it to him. Now we just had to try hard not to ruin the surprise!

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Thankfully, we only had to wait until the day of my birthday, when the whole family went to the local pizza place for lunch. Throughout the meal, Quiang was shooting glances at Millie and the rest of us knew today was the day. I think, even Millie guessed at some point that something was up.

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Afterwards, Mom and Dad took me and Terrence home, while Quiang and Millie went to the old lodge in the mountains.

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As she later told me, once they were at the destination, he dropped down on one knee and pulled out a ring, telling her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her and asking her to marry him. She knew he was hiding something, but she didn’t even know he went ring-shopping already. If anything, she thought he’ll want to wait until they were more ahead in their careers to tie the knot, but in all fairness, they did already want to be married.

I was happy for my sister. Like I knew since I was a kid, she and that guy were pretty much meant to be and it would’ve been weird if they ended up with anyone else.

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So, a lot of happy tears were shed on the day of their wedding. Mostly by Mom and Dad, I’ll admit – they still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that little Millie was all grown up and getting married, even though she already had a kid of her own. I think, they were secretly happy that the new couple was still going to live with us for a bit longer, because they weren’t ready to see her go just yet. So, I wasn’t going to spoil their day by telling them that Millie and Quiang were already looking at houses.

Next to me, Rashida was also having trouble holding back tears at the matrimonial ceremony. “It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Weddings always inspire me. Two people officially united together as a family. That’s really something to aspire to.”

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Behind her, Aunt Kate nodded and agreed, “So true. I still fondly remember the day of our wedding. We actually got married here too. Gerald was being fussy about the cake spoiling, but everything went great, remember, Ger?”

My uncle smiled fondly behind her, agreeing “One of the best days of my life. Just wait till it’s yours, kids.”

At this, Rashida smiled and looked at me, which made me feel really strange.

 

A few days ago, Rashi and I were hanging out at the local coffee shop and all our friends have already gone home, leaving the two of us alone. This was a good time to figure out things between us – for a while now, I’ve noticed that she’s been acting funny around me and I couldn’t explain what was up. When I asked the Jeannies, they looked at me like I’ve sprouted a second head.

“Wow, you’re a dork,” Jeanne laughed.

“Why?” I couldn’t understand.

“Because she likes you, you doofus!” Jeanine explained in exasperation. “How can you be so dense about it? She has a crush on you!”

“She’s had it since we were kids,” my cousin informed me. “We were starting to wonder if you’ll ever notice.”

So, after I recovered from the initial surprise of finding out one of my closest friends had a crush on me, I realized I was pretty happy about it. I mean, Rashida was gorgeous and we got along great – if she were to ask me out, I’d say yes in a heartbeat!

And that day, at the coffee shop, it was obvious that something was up between us. She kept shooting me furtive glances all morning, and I understood that my cousin and her friend were right.

She was about to leave, when I caught up with her outside the shop.

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“Rashi, wait!”

“Yes, Phoenix?” she turned around.

“Look, can I ask you something?” I wasn’t sure how to say this.

“What is it?”

“Do you like me? As in “like me” like me?” I blurted out.

“Uhh,” she sounded startled, blushing furiously. Yeah, she did.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked.

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“Because I didn’t think you felt the same way,” she admitted quietly.

“I’m sorry. I’m such an idiot. I should’ve realized this ages ago,” I admitted ruefully.

“So, what now?” she ventured carefully. “I really hope things don’t get weird between us.”

“Why? Why not give dating a try?” I asked.

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“Are you serious?” she was dumbstruck.

“Of course! We’re already great friends, you like me, I like you… It can’t go wrong, can it?” I explained it.

“Phoenix… I should’ve told you before, I guess. But yeah, I really do like you,” she looked at me softly.

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“So, will you be my girlfriend,” I pulled her close. She smelled like peppermint and cloves, and her skin was always so soft. I found myself lost in her eyes. She really was something. How did I not realize this before?

“I’d love to,” she whispered before our lips met in a kiss.

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Yes. We definitely had that chemistry.

 

So today, at Millie’s wedding, Rashida was here in the status of my girlfriend. Which was why I felt really strange at her excitement about weddings. I liked her a lot, but we were a bit too young to think about that. Sure, Millie and Quiang were getting married before they were even twenty two, but they already had a kid together, so their situation was different.

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Over cake, the matrimonial discussion continued. At some point, Quiang joined Rashida, Sergio, and I at our table.

“So, how are you enjoying the wedding, kids?” he winked.

“You aren’t that much older than us,” I chuckled. “Why are you calling us kids?”

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“True. Just wait until it’s your wedding, then you’ll be talking down to the small fish, bro,” he laughed.

“That’s still far in the future,” I laughed.

Rashida smiled over her cake. I almost chocked on mine.

The truth was, I didn’t really understand the whole obsession with getting married. I mean, sure it was probably nice if you were with the love of your life, but the idea of being officially married to someone seemed overrated. After all, our families were lucky to not have been touched by the staggering divorce rates that plagued most of the world. So, what was even the point of saying “I do” at the altar?

Besides, people who loved one another could be perfectly happy together without getting married, right?

Right?

Liebster Award

liebsterawards

So, in the past week I’ve been nominated for this by several lovely people: Rosemary Marie who writes Noble Doubt, Raymondsanti of Set Apart, Kate from The Loewe Legacy, and Fluffymao of The Mayfields.

The Rules:

–Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the award.
– Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you.
– Nominate people (comment on their blog to let them know).
– Ask the people you have nominated 11 questions

Rosemary Marie’s questions:

  1. If you had to be named after a city, state, country, etc., which one would you want it to be?
    Not sure if it counts, but Athena after Athens, which is already named after the goddess of wisdom.
  2. Do you have anyone you go to for advice? Online or in person?
    Not really.
  3. What is your perfect pizza?
    I actually like the pineapple and ham pizza! Although, the all-veggie one would be nice too.
  4. What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?
    “More freaking scam callers! Argh!!!” No, but really, those jerks have been calling me non-stop for weeks now, and every time, from a different number. I really don’t know how they even got my number in the first place.
  5. What is the last movie you saw and what did you think of it?
    In theaters, La La Land and it was really good. On TV, I watched Blazing Saddles and Mel Brooks never disappoints.
  6. If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
    A lot. I’d be more social, I’d do my best to try harder in school, take advantage of more opportunities. All that stuff.
  7. What was your favorite toy as a kid?
    A stuffed cat!
  8. What is the last thing you bought?
    An iced coffee drink at the nearby coffee shop.
  9. Have you ever heard of Euchre, Dutch Blitz or Farkle and do you know how to play?
    I know they’re card games, but I don’t think I’ve ever played them.
  10. How old were you when you last went trick or treating?
    Literally never. I’ve never really lived in neighborhoods where a lot of trick or treating went on and there weren’t many kids in our buildings.
  11. If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or to the future and why?
    Depends. Is the future better or worse than the past? But really, provided I could come back to my real time, I’d like to see what the future is like.

Questions from Raymondsanti:

  1. What is your favorite season?
    Winter or early spring. I prefer colder weather.
  2. Do you have a favorite childhood memory? What is it?
    Watching the fireworks on City Day. Everyone would get so excited!
  3. Do you prefer to write by hand or on a computer?
    I’m ok with either, but it’s easier to just type things up from the start, mostly because my handwriting is awful.
  4. How prepared are you for the zombie apocalypse?
    Not prepared at all. And I’m in the highly populated California, so I’m screwed if it ever happens.
  5. Which character was the hardest for you to kill off?
    I haven’t really been in that spot yet. Although, originally, Celeste was supposed to die pretty early on in the legacy, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
  6. What is something you hope to achieve?
    Writing something good that makes me famous? Hopefully.
  7. Paperback or hardback?
    Paperback. I prefer to be able to carry my reads around without my bag feeling like a brick. And the paperbacks are cheaper.
  8. What is something you really want to learn?
    Driving? I still need to get my license. I know, I’m way behind on this.
  9. If you could change one thing about yourself right now, what would it be?
    I wish I were more driven.
  10. Will you post a picture of your favorite animal here?
    I really need to get me one of these.
    Image result for cat

Questions from Kate:

  1.  What was your most memorable dream or nightmare?
    Something dark grabbing me in my own home when I was a kid. I was terrified for months if not years afterwards.
  2.  When you were a kid what silly thing were you deathly afraid of?
    So many things… Horses, moths, ghosts…
  3.  What is your biggest fear now?
    Spiders and bad things happening in the world.
  4.  If you could instantly know how to speak another language, what language would you choose to know?
    Armenian. It should’ve been my native language, but I only know a few words and it’s pretty difficult to learn.
  5.  When does time pass the fastest for you and when does it pass the slowest?
    Fastest, when I do something I love, like reading, gaming. Slowest, when I’m at work.
  6.  What was the strangest gift you’ve ever received?
    A manicure kit when I was 13, but it was pretty useful and I literally used the nail buffer that came with it till I was 22.
  7.  What weird smell do you really enjoy?
    Candles.
  8.  If you could talk to animals, which animal would you talk to and what would you ask?
    Birds probably. They fly around and see a lot, I’d ask them what cool things they’ve seen lately.
  9.  Would you rather live in the wilderness far from civilization or live on the streets of a city as a homeless person?
    I’d rather not be homeless! But in the city, it’d probably be easier to find shelter.
  10.  If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?
    That’s a tough one. What happens after we die? Probably that.
  11.  Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
    Hopefully, employed with a good steady job and hopefully in a relationship with someone I’m compatible with. Maybe, I’ll have a kid by then? Who knows?

Questions from Fluffymao:

  1. What’s your favorite beverage?
    Tea in all forms.
  2. Do you write characters that share your viewpoints or clash?  In-between?
    Both. Although, it is often difficult to get into the minds of those who differ a lot from me.
  3. One word: ALIENS!  What do you think?
    Most likely real. Too many weird sightings to explain them all away as something from Earth. That’s cool though. It would be sad if we were the only ones in the universe.
  4. To you, what is the best sounding word?  What about the worst?
    “Serenity” is a beautiful word. And the meaning is nice too. As for words I don’t like, it’s a pet peeve for me when people use “smol” or “tol” for “small” and “tall” I mean, that does not sound cute. It sounds like they can’t spell at kindergarten level.
  5. Put your rebel cap on.  What’s the worst thing you’ve done that you’ve gotten a thrill out of?
    I’m boring. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever done something “bad” or “illegal” for a thrill. But then again, I’m the person who used to read during recess. Well, except reading on the third floor of the school when students weren’t supposed to be there?
  6. You’ve had your fun, but now the psychic police are coming!  What do you do?!
    That did happen actually – we had one asshole teacher who would give me grief about reading on the third floor. I mean, how awful, someone is reading! Call the police! Seriously, he had a stick up his ass. I guess, usually I’d just move to a different part of the building.
  7. Do you know your personality type?  If so, care to share?
    Nope. I don’t know it and I’ve never bothered taking the test. I know my answers would change on a daily basis, so what’s the point?
  8. Blue. Red. Green.  What’s the first thing you think of?
    Probably some kids toy. Many of those are in those colors.
  9. What was/is your most hated school subject?  Why?
    Math. Especially trigonometry and everything related to it. I could not understand it properly.
  10. You’ve got to leave to someplace faraway for some reason or another.  You’ve got 10 minutes to pack one bag.  What do you take?
    My documents, some clothes that I can carry with me, and as much money as possible!
  11. You’re about to die and need to pass on some grain of knowledge for future generations.  What do you say?
    Treat all the people you meet with respect, regardless of where they come from in life. Also, don’t let hatred dictate how you see the world and how you treat others.

My nominees are:

Matthews Random Legacy by Futurexcarrie

A Graying World by Legendofsim

Twinsimskeletons

The Danevbie Legacy by sErindeppitty

Simmreaper’s Blog

Bring Me Back to Life by Dandylion240

The Fey of Life by RipuAncestor

The Kingston Legacy by Lila Remonn

The Rose Legacy by Photosimthesis

Future of the Fae by Ryan795

Different Winters by Lilyshadowriter

My Questions for You! But if you’ve already done a Liebster post, feel free to ignore them!

  1. What’s the last song you’ve listened to?
  2. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
  3. Name three of your favorite books?
  4. How old were you when you had your first crush?
  5. Every single person you’ve ever had a crush on shows up at your place one day. What do you do?
  6. Craziest situation that ever happened to you?
  7. If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?
  8. What is your favorite thing to do after a stressful day?
  9. What is your favorite saying?
  10. What was the best meal you’ve ever had?
  11. You’ve won an all-expenses-paid trip for a week for any place in the world. Where would you go?