Hello readers, this is your author typing with a quick note.
First, I’d like to say thank you for all of the support and kind comments I’ve received from you. Since many of you are authors yourself I know I don’t need to tell you how much those words are appreciated and how motivating they are, however, I’ve said it anyways. Thank you thank you thank you!
Second, this chapter will be shorter than the last five and I’d like to know how you feel that affects the story and if you prefer longer or shorter chapters… I know Lily kind of rambles on. Yes, it’s all her fault.
Third, this will be the second to last chapter of the first generation and I’m trying to decide whether to give all of you a say on who is the heiress to the legacy or if I should just choose myself… Do you WANT a say?
Finally, I can’t make any promises on when the next chapters will be out and how frequently it will be. I’m starting a new job on Monday and I’m not sure now how my scheduling will be working out in terms of travel times so that may cut into my ability to play. As I mentioned in the last chapter my computer doesn’t exactly LIKE running the Sims 3, it was built 5 years ago for World of Warcraft and is unfortunately terribly dated with a failing graphics card. In the end I play every birthday at least twice and my graphics chug and are sad which cuts into my patience… I should be getting a new computer at the end of May (happy quarter century birthday to me? eek!) so after that I hope to have much prettier pictures and game play. Also, my computer isn’t 100% mine at the moment since my boyfriend’s computer got hit with a nasty piece of malware, be careful with the sites you visit! So mostly I’m just saying my next couple of chapters may come sporadically but I’m hoping you’ll stick with me ’cause I’m excited for some of the things I have planned for coming generations and I hope you’ll like those things too.
P.S. I appreciate all feedback and that includes criticisms. I’d like to know if there’s anything you think I could do better on whether it’s the way I’m telling the story (which should change with the next generation) the pictures I take, the words I use… Anything at all!
I don’t think I’d ever seen Rose quite as constantly happy as she was while Violet was grounded. It wasn’t the fact that her sister was in trouble or sad, but rather that for the first time relations between Vi and Connor were strained and while that didn’t improve Rosie’s relationship with her dad I guess she felt like she was missing out on less or something. Instead of napping or painting or sitting at Connor’s computer she actually wanted to do things! Active things! I guess playing catch is active?
Maybe part of her joy was that Violet was paying attention to her now too. For two weeks the girls actually acted like the sisters I had thought they were going to be when Rose was still knee high. She wasn’t quite following Violet around but she would always take time to start conversations when they were in the same room and she always got engrossed in them. I was starting to wonder if maybe we should just ground Violet randomly if it was going to be so good for Rose’s development.
Maybe there was some higher power who could hear my thoughts because just as I considered all the little things I could ground a teenage girl for the sink exploded at me. All I was doing was checking to make sure that the water was turned off properly and then I ended up with a facefull of water. Note to self; ground the girls when they deserve it. As I’m sure my readers know though, it wasn’t unusual for my sink to turn into a fountain so I smashed it with a wrench until it stopped.
Even Connor was actually having conversations with Rose, I couldn’t remember ever hearing her speak so much! I was certain that if it were possible to count how many words she’d said in her whole life, in those two weeks she must have doubled them. Connor didn’t seem to know what to do when she started talking about the books he’d written, he didn’t realize that she’d read as many of them as she could understand (and that I’d let her, some of them I wouldn’t even let Violet read just yet… Innuendos all over the place!). She tried to get him to spill some of the secrets from the book he was working on (Sims to the Stars) but he refused which sent her into quite a pout.
By the time Violet’s two weeks of house arrest were up she was eager to spend some time out on the town and some of the money she’d been earning. She pooled her wages together and bought herself a guitar. From that day on I think that the instrument was with her all the time, if she wasn’t playing it you could be sure that the case was nearby, waiting for her to have a free minute to spare. Instead of coming home between school and work she’d go to the park and teach herself to play and she really was quite a natural.
Of course, we weren’t so lucky as for Rose’s good mood to stick around and soon she was back to being the quiet and hot-headed little girl I knew (and loved) except maybe even moreso? Once I’d finished helping her with her homework she would disappear to her room or to the play structure where she would just sit and well… sit until I called her inside. I wished desperately that I knew how to pull her out of her shell and that I could bring out the charming and precocious girl who we’d lived with for fourteen days.
Illy and Nancy had always told me that no two children were the same, but I didn’t know if two children could be more different! Violet was my best helper, I never had to ask her to tidy her room or help with the dishes, she’d even clean the sink if it was dirty! All we heard from her school and work was that she was a very hard worker and that’s what they would have heard from Mom and Dad too. School, work, homework, chores, music, art, she didn’t start anything without planning on putting a ton of time into it.
Did I say Rose was quiet? She was quiet when she wasn’t saying anything, when she was though… She would argue with anyone about anything but mostly, she would argue with Connor. I couldn’t say honestly that I blamed her, she did bring up some good points.
“It’s not fair! You love Violet more than me! You always have and I bet you always will. I bet you wouldn’t even notice if I was gone and you wouldn’t care either. You never help me with my homework, you never say how good my paintings are you never tell me you love me! All you do is write and be nice to Violet. All I hear all day long at school is how great Violet is at this or how wonderful Violet did that. Violet, Violet, Violet! How about Rose, Rose, Rose! One of these days?!”
would your author put a link here if it wasn’t necessary? 10 seconds of your time
After those fights, which she really could have picked with any of us and not just Connor, she would storm up the stairs and slam the door to her room behind her. Usually from then on it would be silent but I remember the night that I heard her scream and another bang but she wouldn’t tell me what had happened. The next morning when I was making her bed I found out. I was FURIOUS that she’d make such a mess, she must have thrown a whole can of paint at the wall to get that much splattered everywhere. A discarded canvas had been thrown across the room as well, a new one where it had sat. I repainted the wall and vowed that I would have a chat with her about her temper.
But I had other things to worry about as well. My birthday was coming up and I was NOT looking forward to aging into an elder. I’d always been proud of my glossy black hair and smooth skin and I knew that no matter how much hair dye or face product I had I wouldn’t be able to hide the fact that I was old. What if I wasn’t attractive anymore or my back hurt to much to clean or I started losing my mind or or or… I was honestly freaking out more than a little bit.
Connor, lovely, sweet, perfect Connor was there for me, telling me how special I was to him and that no gray hairs would change that. Even nearly 20 years later I was still in awe that Connor and I were so happily together. All my persistence had paid off and I’d spent the best parts of my life safe with the most caring man in the universe. He always knew just the cure for my anxiety so if you wouldn’t mind giving us some privacy Mr. or Ms. Cameraperson?
The girls had wanted to throw me a huge party with all of my friends but I was a little self conscious so I insisted upon spending it quietly with my family. No birthday cake, no singing, no party, no nothing. All I wanted was to get the day over with because I knew that there was no way out of this getting old thing. As seems to be the trend with birthdays here, there was nothing quiet about it. Party horns appeared from nowhere, hands were clapped and everyone was screaming excitedly for me.
As the sparkle vision took over I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone was so happy except for me. I was going to start looking like a grandmother and I wasn’t one yet. The shimmies and shakes started, the squidgy feelings took over and I could do nothing but reflect on my life up until this point. I had an amazing job and I couldn’t progress any further in my career, I was at the top of Doo Peas tower – literally, that’s where my office was. I had great friends and the best family I could ask for.
My husband, who I had fought so hard for… He’d certainly played hard to get. He was satisfied with the work he was doing, his writing, every book he wrote seemed to shoot to the top of the best sellers list and he was bringing in loads of money in royalties. He was loving and attentive as ever and I knew I didn’t have to worry about his eyes wandering.
Violet – she’d grown so much so quickly. A teenager already and with her head firmly secured to the rest of her. Sure she worked too hard and flirted with everyone a little too much but she knew what she wanted and would do what she had to to get it. She’d taken me aside earlier and told me that she would be more than happy to help with extra chores, but as much as I knew her intentions were good I always had to rewash dishes and she always forgot to get in under the rim of the toilet…
Rosie, with a smile that could light up the room but disappear so quickly you’d think the electricity had died. If Violet had brought music to the house, Rose brought colour. She had a quick temper and a quicker tongue but I was pretty sure it was just compensating for the lack of attention she got from Connor. I wanted Rose to stay a child forever, I wanted to be able to protect her from everything outside our walls.
As soon as I could feel my toes again I ran to the nearest mirror. I was terrified that I wouldn’t recognize the woman staring back at me and I wasn’t wrong. I looked, well, old. My black hair had gone white and I only slightly resembled myself when I stretched my skin and pulled back the wrinkles. I knew I didn’t look bad, that I was a pretty good looking old person, but I wanted to be young again! I wanted my old body back and my old sense of energy… Holding my self up was exhausting me!
In the other room Violet had already pulled out her cellphone to call her friend. Blair Hatch had been her best friend since her first day of school and they worked together at the bookstore as well. They were both so similar and I had always held out some hope that the two of them would end up together but when I’d asked her if she felt ‘that way’ about him she’d laughed so hard she nearly cried. “Mom! He’s like, I dunno, my brother or something! I see him all the time. I could never… No!!”
With everyone having run off to do their own things I headed to the bed room to sit and think. As always, having the cool air rushing into my room from above and an uninterrupted view of the ocean I started calming down and talking myself into accepting my age. Sure I creaked when I walked and I had a hunch. Maybe my eyesight wasn’t quite as good and I got tired faster but I was still Lily Clarke! Power Broke, Wife, Mother and Friend! I’d be just fine… For a little bit.
And so, life carried on. My new body and I were starting to get along in that it did what I told it to 90% of the time and I hadn’t broken my hip just yet and I was doing fine otherwise, it was Connor who was getting a little nervous. He was younger than me, but not by much. The problem was that he couldn’t remember just how much younger than me he was and he was constantly trying to calculate how long it was going to be until he looked as old as I did. I don’t think he was worrying the way I had but he was worrying regardless. I was worrying too… About just how much more he’d forget once he’d gotten older.
Holy author’s notes, since when I do I talk this much? Both Connor and Lily seem to have forgotten that they live together (even with him young) since they keep rolling the “move in with ____” wish. Anyone know how I fix this without kicking one of them out?
Just because I hadn’t wanted a party didn’t mean I wasn’t going to throw one for Rose either. Also, she didn’t give me much of a choice. She demanded that all her school friends be there when she aged into a teenager so we had a barbecue and invited all the children over. I sat back and watched as they ran around the yard with the first aid kit at the ready but the only person who skinned a knee was Violet and she was just walking across the yard. Before we knew it, it was yell our faces off for the birthday girl time.
I watched with tears in my eyes as my little girl gave into the sparkle vision and she twirled and twisted her way toward becoming a teenager. I still didn’t want my baby to age up, I wanted to know that she was going to be so innocent forever but as I’d recently learned I couldn’t get what I wanted when it came to the aging up process (although Nick was talking about Ambrosia as if it were the cure for everything) and it was time to let my Rosie go.
We’d taken down the wall between the nursery (my heart broke) and the rest of the house and turned it into a living room. Ever since she could talk Rose had been begging for a television so we figured that this was as good a time as any, however, it may have been a mistake. I could no longer coerce her into a game of catch or tag, if she wasn’t painting or napping or doing homework she was glued to the screen, absolutely riveted by whatever happened to be on. I had to admit though, she’d grown up gorgeous!
Now that both the girls were old enough I decided that it was time to tell them about the family Legacy.
“Girls, now that you’re old enough I think it’s time I tell you about the family legacy. You’ve both heard of legacies, right? With a founder and a big lot and not a whole lot of money? Well, long ago, that was me and soon it’ll be one of you. You’ll hear a camera following you and your family around until you pass off the legacy to one of your children.”
I waited to see if they’d say anything but while Violet tried not to choke Rose buried herself in her cake and they pointedly refused to look at me. I guess it was a discussion for another time.
With the girl’s both in high school it meant they both had the same homework. It made no sense to me since Vi had been there for a couple of years already, but I’d never been to school at all, so what did I know? It was really nice for Connor and I to be able to spend time together while the girls helped one another with homework. I used the term helped loosely since mostly they seemed to sit at the kitchen table with their work in front of them staring dumbfounded and befuddled at the paged in front of them.
It also meant that they had a similar circle of friends and they were often over at our house, ‘chillaxing’ around the firepit. I quickly lost track of the names and faces that came in and out of the house on weekends, but the girls enjoyed having so many friends and they were becoming closer with one another as well. I particularly enjoyed that they spent most of their time outside which kept them from tracking dirt onto my carpets and left Connor the quiet he wanted to write in. Weekends were the perfect time to get my house spotless.
They’d put a radio out side so that they could dance and I was pleased to see at least one of my girls paying attention to Blair in ‘that way.’ He still looked like he was head-over-heels in love with Violet but he was always polite to Rosie and I think she was starting to grow on him. They would dance and chat away the hours quite merrily… He really was such a good boy. I asked Rose the same question I’d asked her sister those years ago but she just shrugged her shoulders and said “Dunno mom, he’s nice I guess.” and wouldn’t say anything more on the subject.
Dinner time was always a loud place to be. Now that Rose was speaking more often to everyone everyone ended up trying to speak over one another until it was a mash up of creativity. I was starting to feel left out when Connor spoke of his latest book and Rose went on about the best type of canvas to use with what paints. Violet was working hard at the bookstore and picking up new sheet music at every chance she got and I was sitting there wondering where all the talent came from since it certainly wasn’t mine.
Vi was still going to the park between school and work and she confided in me one day that she knew what she wanted to do with her life.
“Mama,” she started, beaming from ear to ear “I wanna be a rock star. I wanna be on stage with the lights and the crowd and I wanna play my music for everyone. Like for more than just the people at the park, I wanna play at the theatre and the arena. Sold out shows!”
I couldn’t say I was surprised, since before she could talk she was making up songs but I’d been hoping she’d want to do something more than learn four chords… I’d been hoping for concert pianist or maybe even movie composer but I was thrilled that she finally knew what she wanted to be when she grew up.
I was starting to worry about literally everything again, but I hadn’t realized that it was obvious until Connor pulled me aside one day.
“You look upset Lils, and you’re wandering around the house checking all the sinks and the light fixtures and the stove over and over. The place is clean as it’s ever been and we have two happy and healthy girls. What’s up?”
I couldn’t say anything because I didn’t know the answer. I was becoming overwhelmed by my fears and my concerns and I didn’t even know where they came from!
Connor gently took me by the hand and led me to the bedroom. He lay me down and told me to just let it out, to tell him everything that was bothering me and that we’d work it out. Back in a familiar, comfortable position, talking on the bed like we were young adults again, everything came pouring out. My concerns that the house would fall apart, that I wasn’t working hard enough, that Violet was working too hard, that Rose was growing more and more distant, that he never spoke to Rose, that I couldn’t reach a spot in the girl’s bathroom, that the house wasn’t perfect, that neither girl wanted to be the heiress or even talk about our legacy… I went on for hours with him just sitting there nodding and listening.
For all the counting Connor had done after my birthday, his still snuck up on him and he was shocked when Violet, Rose and I cornered him in front of the television and began to sing happy birthday. Perhaps I’ve misrepresented that, Vi and I sang, we cheered, we clapped, we magically had party horns, Rose stood off to the side with a scowl and refused to say a thing. I was so excited for Connor, but mostly for me. I’d begun to feel a bit cougary when we’d gone out together.
Once the sparkle vision died down, there was my man looking older and wiser and more like he belonged with me. All those hours of squinting at his computer screen had left him needing glasses and Violet decided that the only name he needed now was professor. I hoped it didn’t stick, I still loved hearing the girls yell for Mom and Dad… Hearing “Hey Prof! It’s dinner time!” somehow didn’t feel like home. Luckily it didn’t last all that long.
Connor had completed his wish of becoming a Professional Author years ago, but he was still writing and still doing great. He’d finally written Sims in Space and it had been a wonderful tale full of colourful, sweet characters, love and intrigue. And as he’d promised, the main character was loosely based on me. He rarely left the house now though, he’d gotten older and turned even more reclusive only speaking to the household, his brother and his agent… I’d come home from work and he’d still be in his pyjamas!
They say that people never change, and I was wondering if that was the case the day I ran into Chris Steele (now happily married to a woman I’d never met and can’t remember the name of) out front the theatre. I’d been waiting for Violet to finish work but I couldn’t resist walking over and saying hello in the mean-time. He didn’t remember me, but there was truth to that old saying.
“I’m headed to China tomorrow to go dragon hunting. They exist y’know, all over the place. They hide in mountains and are super strong and I’m gonna catch one and make it my pet! Then me and Oliver, that’s his name right? We’re gonna go to-“
I couldn’t help but cut him off “Scotland? I bet once you get a dragon you need a Nessie, yeah?” You should’ve seen the look on his face readers, he was just as crazy as ever!
When night time rolled around and I’d done all my cleaning for the day I was the happiest woman that ever did breathe to cuddle up in my bed next to the love of my life. I’d so quickly nearly fallen for Chris all those years ago and I couldn’t imagine being so happy with anyone other than Connor. I wouldn’t have my two beautiful girls, I wouldn’t have this house or this life… Everything was coming up lilies! Just then I heard the ever familiar sound of the girl’s shower breaking… So much for a relaxing evening with my husband.
When will Chellekaz finally take a good picture of Rose?
What exactly was Rose’s teenage trait?
Will either girl be interested in taking over the legacy?
Isn’t it sad that this is the last young Lily final picture?
Does Blair Hatch have a future with either of the Clarke sisters?
I don’t know the answer to most of these questions but I’ll try get them into Chapter 7 – The First Last