Finale Part 2

It seemed as if we had walked for miles. It was probably wasn’t nearly as long as it felt, but we did walk deep into the forest sitting just over the hill from Mara’s home. It was amazing how untouched the land was around the little village. Nothing for miles and it didn’t look like that would be changing anytime soon. The grass was so incredibly green and the moment we closed in our final location, I recognized it immediately. I found it Tilly! Rocks I had seen only once before, sprinkled the ground before the open mouth of a large gate. A gate that was hidden beyond the wall that had kept me out in my dream. I stopped for a second. Now that I was there, I wasn’t sure if I was ready. Tulipes ruffled the back of my hair. “Are you scared?”

“No. Just nervous.”

“I think you will like what you see.” Mara grinned.

Framboise, grumbled to herself. “Sure I have been asking to come here for years, but nooooo two strangers pop up and it’s lets go.”

“Hush Framboise.”

Mara pulled a key from her pocket and unlocked the large gate. The door swung wide on its hinges, coming to stop as hit on the other side. She stepped out of the way and placed a frail hand in the small of my pack, pushing with her might to move me forward. “Blanc jardin.” She grinned.

I could already see a bit as the door opened wide, but it was hard to take in what I was actually seeing.

“They’re statues.”

“Oui. Go inside. Take a closer look.”

Crystal statues, lined  the perimeter in a neat circle. They were all so beautiful. The glass was so slick and clear, it looked almost like ice, it would not have surprised me to reach out only to find its icy touch reaching back.

All of the statues were in pairs.

Friends…

Lovers…

Each carved in an incredibly moving fashion…

I wasn’t sure what they meant, but it was so lovely. It didn’t really matter. I felt honored to be in it’s presences. My breath weighing heavy at the back of my throat.

“This is incredible.”

“Mara? Did you build this?” I asked looking back over my shoulder.

“Oh no. It has been here, forever. Long before my time.”

“It’s beautiful.” A joy unlike I had ever experienced filled my entire being, there was so much love infused in the picturesque statues before me.

Some had long been grown over with the trees and shrubery, but the feelings of intensity only increased as I made my way down the line. I got a little sidetracked which was pretty normal for me, about two statues from the end. I started to make my way back to the first, when a small inscription set at it’s base caught my eye.

I knelt down to study it closer, my knees gently dropping into a tuft of bright violet colored flowers. Everything was so vibrant you could see the care that was given here, just by looking at all the beautiful colors surrounding us. To my surprise the plaque was not in french, so I was able to read without issue. At first, I read it only in my head, but then Tulipes called out as she made her way to stand beside me. “What does it say?!”

I spoke a little louder so everyone could hear. “Two hearts divided, can finally be one. Always in my heart, and never forgotten.”

Framboise and the others walked across the grass, closely inspecting the other statues. I pushed myself to standing and dusted a little dirt off of my hands. “This is truly amazing, but I don’t quite understand what it all means. Or what it has to do with us.”

A small gasp escaped Tulipes’s lips as she stepped up beside me. “Tosca? Look.”

I wasn’t sure how I missed it before, but there it was now clear as day. The statue nearest the one I had knelt down to read. It took only a moment to realize what I was seeing…

“That’s you.” I choked.

“Yes.” She grinned.

“And that’s… me.”

“Oui.”

“How can that be? How could something that has been here for so long possibly have us here?”

A small hand reached out, gently brushing my palm with her fingertips.

“I don’t know…”

Mara trudged across the grass, her cane sinking deep into the earth below our feet. “Many years ago. Long before my time. Long before my mothers time. Eh, it was a long time ago.” She winked. “A strange man arrived on my great of many removals grandmothers door. Her name was Mara too. It is how I got my name. She was a gardener, a beautiful woman and believer in love. The man pleaded with her to make a garden. One that would symbolize love in it’s truest form. She was very taken with the man, but it took some convincing for her to finally agree. He regaled her a story, a story of lost love, devotion and heartache. It was very moving, because it brought her to tears. Sadly the story died when she died and was never told to another soul. I remember as a little girl, making up storied for each other couples. They were all happy by the end, except the first. There is a sadness there. Much sadness.”

“That still doesn’t explain how we are there.” I looked from statue to statue. Suddenly a few more faces looked a whole lot more familiar. “It’s my family…. every generation from the beginning, but how could he?” I scratched the back of my head. This was all very confusing to say the least.

“He never said. They worked on the design for several months, his coming and going, he sketched out the statues and she brought them to life. She was very talented.”

“So it would seem.”

I spent another hour or so just looking in awe. Studying every statue over and over again. There was my mother, my father, grandmother, grandfather. It seemed so surreal. Wait until Tilly sees this, I thought to myself. “Tilly!” I had to call Tilly, she had to see this. I recommended we go back to the house, but Mara held up a hand, giving her niece a forceful glare. With a huff, Framboise pulled a phone from her back pocket and handed it over to Tulipes. It took some doing, but we were able to track the pair down. Mara sent Framboise back to the house to wait for Tilly and Valencia to arrive. She wasn’t happy about it, but she did everything Mara asked of her. Though she made sure everyone knew how much she hated it.

Tilly’s reaction was quite reminiscent of mine. She pulled her signature sunglasses from her face, just to fully take in the awe inspiring view around her. She totally lost it when we pointed out our statue and made an off hand joke asking where she was. “Probably in another garden.” I teased.

We stuck around until the sun went down. Paying homage to the beautiful lives and loves depicted before us. We were in for a surprise as the sun headed over the horizon, a bright orange glow brought them all to life, it almost seemed if they were slowly moving in its light. “I wish mom and dad could see this.”

“They wouldn’t beleive it.”

“Or would they.”

“You had family here once. I almost showed them.” Mara walked to my Grammy and Papa’s statue. “Here. They stayed with me for several days, but I never got the chance.”

Once the sun had gone down, a cold breeze pressed through the trees. We wanted to stay forever, but that just wasn’t possible. The photos we had taken with Tilly’s camera were going to have to do the trick. We thanked our lovely hostess and bid our goodbyes, heading back to our rental car that was still sitting in a ditch a couple miles up the road. Valencia brought with him a small canister of gas, that was just enough to get us to the station outside the city. The village disappeared into the night air, along with our adventure. Tulipes was crashed out in the seat beside me, sleeping peacefully, her head gently bobbing every time we hit a small bump. Though I had found a pretty nice souvenir. The thought of leaving her crushed my soul, but that wasn’t to happen for several weeks. Instead I enjoyed every moment we had with her. Hopefully a few more kisses to be found in between.

We arrived home about the same time, both pairs making our way to our hotel room door. It was far too awkward to have both us and our “friends” stay the night, so we both said our goodbyes and promised to meet one another first thing in the morning.

Oh berry how I wanted her to stay. In just a few days time, she had found herself a niche deep inside my heart. The fact that she felt the same, to any extent at all, still had me reeling. I wanted to say it right there, confess my undying love and devotion, but decided I wanted the moment to be a little more private and special, not with my sister and her guy beside us, it definitely wasn’t right. Still I held her close, refusing to let go. I know it would only be over night, but I wanted her with me always. As cheesy as it sounded, I could no longer imagine life without her. I wasn’t sure if she felt as strongly as I did, but only time would tell.

“Goodnight sweet Tulipes.”

“Goodnight sweet Tosca.”

“Awww aren’t you guys cute.”

“Shut up Till.”

The room seemed a bit smaller after that. Even though we had not spent much time together, it felt as if our already strong bond had been added another coat of sealant. Passing along triumphant grins every time we caught each others gazes, we settled in for the night, telling each other stories of our days adventures. Hers mostly consisted of her and Valencia, kissing in every possible location in the city, but I didn’t care. I closed my eyes and listened intently, occasionally tossing in an “awwww” or “that is so sweet” now and again.

It was a job well done, but I was most excited to see Tulipes when I woke, more than anything else. Soon I was dead asleep, waiting for my dreams to come once more.

Sunlight caught me by surprise. It filled every corner of the park, I rarely saw it in the day. Not since I was a child, it was easy to forget just how beautiful it all was, but seeing it again brought all my childhood memories back to the forefront of my mind. I smiled softly at the swing sitting alone, carelessly swaying in the breeze. Wait till I tell Orange she was right. The thought brought forth a chuckle, which spilled onto the grass.

Soft steps across the grass caught my attention, but it wasn’t until I heard my name, that I actually turned around. “Hello Tosca.”

I was greeted by four figures. Two I recognized, two I did not. The man at the front seemed to be the one addressing me. He looked familiar, but it took a moment or two, to throw it all together in my mind. He was the one in the picture. The one in the folder. The clues. “Hello.” I ventured, thoughtfully.

“I don’t know if you recognize us, but we know you very well, especially this little lady.” The man put his arm around the woman on his right bringing her forward a few steps. “Say hello darlin.”

Crystalline eyes of aqua glinted in the sunlight as she smiled. “Hello sweet baby.”

I paused for a second. Wait… “Grammy?”

“And you said he wouldn’t recognize you!”

I blinked a few times. “Orange?”  I asked, pleading to the one person I knew well. Other than Grammy, but Grammy didn’t look like Grammy and I was lost in a sea of thoughts. “Who are all these people?”

The man laughed. “We are all dreamwalkers, like you. The family is chalked full of them you see. Merlot, that’s me.”  He said with a wink. “Saffron, Orange, Miracle and you. Well, and your sister, but you knew that already.”

“Right.” I surveyed the grounds. Speaking of my sister…

“No she isn’t here. We came to see you.” Merlot explained.

“You sent me those clues. The fountain, the garden. It was you… but why? Why so cryptic. You could have just as easily spelled it out for me. I wanted to rip my hair out at one point.”

“I could have, but that doesn’t seem like very much fun for a boy with a heart for adventure does it?”

“Well, no.” He had a point there.

“Besides, you would have missed out on meeting a certain little lady if you had taken the easy route. We wouldn’t have wanted that. Now would we?”

The thought ripped my heart to shreds. “No. But, how? How do you know all this? How is it possible to see so many lives before they happen?”

“Ah I can’t tell you that.”

I narrowed my eyebrows. “Of course you can’t”

The quartet shot glances all around, a slyness to their behavior.

“Look kiddo there is a reason we are all gathered here today before you. There is someone who is dying to meet you.”

“Me?”

Merlot nodded. “Oh yes, it took some doing but we pulled many a string to get her here.”

“Oh, where is she?” A small tap on my shoulder, caused me to spin full circle. A woman all in white standing before me.

“Tosca may I present your great grandmother of many many many generations. Chantilly Lace Chiffon.”

“Hello Tosca dear.”

Her loving sweet energy pulled me in immediately. She was adorable, her nose was just about the cutest thing I had ever seen. “Hello.” I smiled. Allowing myself to fall into her open arms, I was enveloped in a hug, a hug like no other. It felt like a barrage of them at once. Like my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and Tulipes all wrapped in one. It was incredible. I buried my face into her shoulder, just as I had done with my grammy, since I was a child. She smelled like vanilla and sugar, like a sugar cookie come to life.

“You have come such a long way my love.” She spoke soft and low, stroking my hair. “I am so very proud of you. You are the tenth generation in a line of a beautiful family, one that I had wished for from a very young age.” I sadly never got to meet my grandchildren, but I always envisioned them to be a lot like you, full of love and adventure. Thank you Tosca. My life’s mission seems a little more complete.”

“You are welcome, but there is so much I want to know. So much to ask.” I turned back to Merlot, but he was gone. Everyone had disappeared. Only Chantilly Lace and I remained.

“Our time is running short.”

Another voice seemed to boom from the sky. “Hey sleepy head. Wake up~” The voice was sing songy, and pulled at me quickly yanking me from my peaceful sleep.

I looked to my hands, they were slowly fading away. Fading as Orange had done so many times before. “Wait!! What’s happening!? I don’t want to go yet! I want to stay with you! Please just a little while longer! Please!”

“Please don’t forget me! Don’t forget us!” She pressed, an urgency hidden beneath the surface. “I love you.”

“I love you too! I won’t forget! I promise! I couldn’t if I tried!” Those were the last words we spoke, before I was ripped fully from my sleep, back to reality.

I opened my eyes to a brilliant white light. It looked as if someone was shining the sun directly into my eyes. The voice from before still beckoning me to wake. I blinked a few times before I closed them again completely. This time squinting slowly I allowed the sun to enter my eyes from the glaring bedroom window at a much slower rate.

For a second I didn’t recognize her. I didn’t recognize anything. The room and everything inside it felt foreign. Long forgotten. Then suddenly it all sank in. “Fairy?”

“Yes. You dork. Who else would I be.”

“I don’t know.”

“I thought you were going to sleep forever.” She teased walking to the far side of the room. Still wrapped in a towel, small droplets of water still speckled her shoulders.

“What time is it?” I asked, looking to the window again.

“Almost noon.” She informed me, opening the dresser.

I rubbed my eyes and looked to the clock. 12:05… “That’s it?

That’s it? You slept half the day away! I have to leave for work now and you aren’t even out of bed yet!

A feeling of dread stabbed me deep in my stomach, the dream was fading, everything was slowly disappearing from my thoughts. I missed it already. I wanted to grasp onto every last piece, but it slipped through the cracks, just like sand through slender fingers pale fingers. I closed my eyes, maybe I could bring it back if I just closed my eyes.

“MERLOT!”

My eyes shot open again. “Yeah? I’m here.” I winced through gritted teeth.

“Yes, I know you are here, but that isn’t what I asked.”

“You asked me something?” I hadn’t heard a thing.

“Just now… Merlot, seriously. Are you even awake? Or are you sleep talking or something creepy. You are acting weird.”

I didn’t know how to answer that. I was awake, or at least I was pretty sure I was awake. I stared blankly ahead. “I had a long night. Weird dreams.”

“About what?”

About what… how in the berry was I going to answer that. I watched as she slipped her stockings over her feet, sliding them high up on her thigh, doing my best to keep all my attention on her. “A bunch of different things. It’s pretty hard to explain. It was a complicated. Most of it is gone now. You  know how it is.”

“Must have been a doozy, you have been at it for hours.”

“Right…”

“Well, it is late, I am going to be super late if I don’t get out the door, this instant.”

Fully dressed she came over by me to give a quick hug and kiss before she was out the door. I pulled her closely into my arms. It seemed like centuries since I had been there. “You sure everything is alright?” She asked, throwing me a disconcerting frown.

“I’ll be fine.”

“Now don’t you go back to bed. You have things to do today!”

“I won’t.”

She blew me a kiss from the bedroom door, before she was clipping carefully down the stairs in her work heels. I watched from the window till I saw her step onto the walk, she was headed safely to our car, so I decided to throw on some clothes. I had a little “honey do” list I was supposed to  be working on, so there was no need for a shower. I had barely slipped my pants on when I heard the doorbell ring.

“That was quick.” I chided. “I gave you two weeks at least.”

I rushed from the bedroom door tugging at my shirt as I went. The dream still continuing to fade with each heavy step I took towards the front landing. Not really paying attention, I reached for the handle and began to teasingly berate my wife through its locked but obviously transparent surface. “Lock yourself out again. How many times is this now. I think we might have to-

But the next few words froze in my throat. My mouth gaped open at the realization it wasn’t Fairy who was now standing patiently on the other side of the glass. The door was wide open now and the pale figure standing before me came into clearer focus. Bundled in her arms was a tiny baby. My hastiness to rip open the door had caught the young woman by surprise and immediately her eyes shot up and met with mine.  In that same instant my dream came flooding back, only it no longer felt like a dream. No, it was more like a distant memory. Each line of her face felt like home, but all I was able to cultivate in my state of shock was a mystified “Hello?”

“Hi there.” She smiled adjusting the tiny bundle in her arms. “I hope we aren’t intruding. I was just taking Roz here for a walk, and decided this would be a good time to meet the neighbors. Probably shouldn’t have waited this long.” She chuckled brightly. “But that is besides the point isn’t it? Hi. I’m Lacey, it’s nice to meet you.”

She grinned reaching out her delicate hand for me to take. Warily I wrapped my rather large hand, by comparison, around hers and gave it a small shake. I must have looked like a total loon, but my mind was swirling in about three hundred different directions.

Could it be? The elegant figure from my dreams in the flesh? I felt my cheeks flush with excitement and shame. It was obvious she had no recollection of who I was, but even so, I found myself fighting every instinct, to throw my arms around and hold her yearningly close. So carelessly I wanted to kiss those cheeks, that adorable nose I had hopelessly fallen in love with, to greet her like the old dear friend she had been.

Oh Berry, she was beautiful. Perhaps even more so in person, than she had been in my mind.

I smiled again in my attempt to keep a safe distance, but there was no changing the inevitable. This day, this moment, it had all been done before. This was the moment my existence would forever alter countless futures if I allowed it to.

I had one hell of a decision to make, one that could change everything, for better or for worse, depending on who you were speaking to. My life had always been one of fatalistic proportions, but this…this only drove that nail in harder. Was my only reason for being, so that the cruel fates had someone to do their sinister bidding? Given the chance to learn where my decisions would lead me and others that I cherished…Would I be able to make the needed sacrifices that were now so apparent in their calling? Would I be willing to withstand the hardships I would undoubtedly endure to see them come to fruition? I looked deep into her luminous eyes, and felt myself crumble under the weight of my own breath, just the way it had before. I knew my answer, but what right really did I have to refuse? Was it fair for me to be selfish? Refuse to play my part? So many lives affected, all those amazing and inspired souls, the world would be deprived of knowing.

Would Fairy the woman I had so fiercely fought to have and keep, win out? Or would it be the woman I would unwittingly fall for in a moment of passion, one who was destined to bear my child and bring with her generations of light and love? Lacey…What of poor Lacey? I had seen her agony as well as my own. My conscience ripped at the very fibers of my heart, the thought of knowingly deceiving her, a woman one who would teach me more in our brief, yet poignant encounters, than I had learned in all my thirty one years of living. Lessons, I already knew, but if decided upon would have to learn yet again. Undoubtedly doubling all of the pain, all of the hurt, but there was something, something that trumped all the suffering I envisioned in my mind. The love that we would share, the moments I would have to hold her, as short as they were, it all seemed worth it, and after seeing the world through ten very different pairs of eyes, it was all clear to me. My life was merely a stepping stone to bigger and better things. My happiness was and always would be inconsequential. Guess that was part of my curse, but being near her, knowing what I would have the chance to experience, even if only for those few fleeting moments. I knew I would be inviting her not only into my home, but into my heart as well. There by ensuring the rest of my days would be spent, begging for her unknowing forgiveness.

“I was just about to put on some tea, would you like to come in?”

The end~

Finale Part 1

“You’re mad…” Tilly slinked through our hotel room door, setting her key-card and a bouquet of flowers on the dresser. It had been hours since she had left the room, and even longer since I had returned. I wasn’t sure where she had been, but there was an instant relief when I heard her jiggling the handle from outside. My heart rate rattled a little faster than normal, and I felt torn between, wrapping her up, thanking the great Berry above that she was alright, or giving her the hairy eyeball for scaring me half to death. I decided on the latter.

I narrowed my eyes, allowing my rather menacing eyebrows to furrow. Getting my point across that I was not pleased, I spoke in a low unapproving timbre. “You think? Where have you been? It’s been hours.”

“I know, I’m sorry. I got a little sidetracked.”

I looked to the window, it had been dark for several hours, a small tinge of worry still remained in my gut. I crossed my arms over my chest to further express my annoyance. “Sidetracked? I heard you ran off with some guy. What if something had happened to you? You don’t know this guy. He could have hurt you or worse.”

“I know, he could have, but he didn’t. He’s a good guy.” She explained a curl at the edge of her lips, masking a full blown smile, obviously induced by this Valencia character. “I think we might have something. Something special.”

I threw my hands in the air. “Well that’s great in all, but what about our reason for being here? Are you just going to throw that away for this french…”  I didn’t even know what expletive I wanted to use. “guy?”

“No. Look! We were searching today as well. Okay? We didn’t find anything, but we were looking.”

“What about you?” She asked heading towards the bathroom door. “Have you found anything for us to go on yet?”

“No, but I did find someone who has offered to help.”

“Who?”

“Her name is Tulipes. She works with your boytoy at the pub.” Now I could feel the curl at the edge of my lips.

Tilly must of sensed it too, because she stopped just short of the door and turned back to look at me. “Tosca? Did you make a lady friend?”

“A guide.” I corrected. Lady friend was too big a step for me to admit just yet. It didn’t matter the way I coated it, Tilly saw right through. “I never thought I would see the day! What does she look like? Is she pretty?”

My mouth was agape, a stupid grin plastered all over. “Very.” I blushed.

She clapped her hands together. “HAH! This is amazing. First night in France and you found a lady! Bro I am so proud of you.”

I could feel my head moving in all directions, wanting to nod, wanting to shake a way the title, it was all too much. Oh man, why was she helping me? What was she expecting? Did she like me? Did she feel sorry for me? I pulled back the plush covers on the bed, and hid underneath. “It’s been a long day. I’m going to bed.” I exclaimed from my down covered confines.

A small giggle, tucked me in before the bathroom door shut behind her. “Night lover boy.”

I heard the water as she turned it on, I even heard the shower curtain clink a bit on the metal track, after that, the sounds in the hotel began to fade into the walls. Sleep came quickly, for me that night. No time to think about it, no doubt I was snoring heavily by the time Tilly emerged, ready for bed. A brief recollection of a small clicking sound as the only lit  lamp in the room went out and I was gone to the world again.

It was a welcome sight to find my home away from home in my sleep that night. With the fact I was so far away from everyone in Twizzlerbrook. I felt a little bit closer, opening my eyes to find the beautiful moon-drenched cherry blossom trees, swaying above me. It always surprised how real the dreams felt. Very different from normal dreams. I could feel the soft breeze that ran across my bare feet, and smell the blossoms on the trees.

I took in a deep breath, drawing in with it all the amazing scents that resided there. “Ah it’s good to be home!” Looking around, the place was deserted as per usual. Wasn’t really expecting to find anyone, not right away at least. Orange always made her appearances after I arrived, so I figured she would be along any time. Taking the opprotunity while I had it, I ran to the swing and sat down. Hah! Made it before she had a chance to steal it out from under me. Digging my toes into the grass and dirt, I pushed off into a large swoop. That tickle in the bottom of my stomach was still there every time I lifted up into the air. Nothing as free as the feel on a swing.

Almost on cue a slender silhouette stepped out of the darkness. A small snort escaped her nostrils, alerting me to the fact, she was not pleased to share her swing. “Leave for months and then have the audacity to take my swing.” She spat, sticking out her tongue. “Some friend you are.”

I slammed my feet to the ground, bringing myself to an abrupt halt. I could tell for the most part she was teasing, but there was a small undertone that was undeniable. “Sorry.” I sheepishly grinned, swaying to the right and then left. “Would you like to sit?”

“No. You’re there now. You should stay.” She pouted, jutting out her hip, to its furthest possible limit.

“Suit yourself.” I picked up my feet and started to swing freely again, her face bobbing in and out of view. “So I’m in France right now.”

“I heard.”

“No clue what I’m doing here!” I yelled, swinging so high into the air, that I lifted off the seat, hitting back down with a thud.

“That makes two of us.” She mused. I could tell she was getting a little satisfaction from my ongoing confusion.

I came to stop again. “I was really hoping you weren’t going to say that. I could really use some help.”

“I think you misinterpret my reason for being here.” She explained. “I’m here more for moral support, to keep you going. Not feed you the answers. Besides that, I truly don’t have the answers. You can do this though, I mean look at what the two of you have accomplished already. You traveled quite a distance to get where you are. You just have to keep looking.”

“But I don’t even know where to begin!” I wanted to say more, but she started to dissolve into the night air, preparing to leave me alone with my thoughts again. “No! Don’t leave! Please!? We need help! Where should I look?! I’m so confused!”

“Perhaps what you came here to find, isn’t what you are searching for.”

“What?! What does that mean?! Orange!” Slowly her eyes faded, before she was no more.

I watched the spot where she had been mindfully. Wishing and hoping she would come back. “Perhaps what I came here to find, isn’t what I’m searching for?” I scoffed. “Way to make me even more confused.” Looking to my feet, I flicked a small rock with my big toe across the grass. “What else could I be looking for then?” My shoulders slumped in surrender, before I sneered at the spot again. “You know you could have left without saying that. Because it didn’t help!! And I don’t really know who I am talking to. But you!! You!! You aren’t very helpful! I don’t need moral support!” Realizing how crazy I must have seemed, I lowered my voice a bit. “Just answers…”

The next morning I woke with a feeling of serene calm, the birds chirping outside on a clothes line, softly waking me from my dream. The moment I remembered who I was about to meet up with however, everything clicked into overdrive. I shot out of the covers and ran for the bathroom, slamming it behind me. Tilly was still wrapped up in bed, but my sudden movements, jolted her awake as well.

“Geeze.” She groaned, throwing a pillow over her head. “I don’t think the shower is going anywhere!”

I flipped on the water; had to get dressed, had to be ready, had to brush teeth well. I was in and out in a flash, and before I knew it, we were ready, rushing our way out to the elevator. We stepped in to morning air, it was a bit cool, but certainly not uncomfortable. We walked to the front of the pub to wait for Valencia and Tulipes. If you haven’t guessed by now, I was nervous.

Tulipes was the first to arrive. My heart literally stopped beating for a couple of seconds when I saw her walking across the road. Hopefully this wouldn’t be an on going problem, I thought to myself. Could be detrimental to my health if exposed to her for an extended amount of time. When Tilly realized the gorgeous figure walking towards us was indeed my friend, I heard her breath hitch in her throat. “Bro.” She whispered. “You picked a stunner.”

I couldn’t help but grin. I did didn’t I? Though in all honesty, it felt more like she picked me. I stepped forward to greet her, when Tilly pushed in front. “Bonjour!” She beamed, reaching out a hand. “I’m Tilly, Tosca’s annoying little sister.”

“Bonjour Tilly.” Came a sweet angelic voice in reply. I had to refrain from melting right there on the spot, that girl had me so deep under her spell, I could hardly think straight. I watched the two talk for a couple seconds more, before she turned her beautiful smile to greet me. “Bonjour Tosca.”

“Bonjour.” I smiled, holding up a hand giving my fingers a miniature wave.

The three of us conversed comfortably as we waited for our fourth party member to arrive. Tilly and I took turns explaining, in a bit more detail, what we might be looking for, while Tulipes did her best to take in as much of our information as she could. There was a still a bit of a language barrier, but Tulipes was sharp, she picked up on things right away. Learning more and more as we chatted. We didn’t have to wait too long before Valencia strode up beside Tilly and wrapped an arm around her waist. She let out a squeak before practically jumping up into his arms. Tulipes looked to me and gave me a wink.

“Bonour cutie!” Tilly cooed.

Sure was a lot of bonjouring going on….

After a short round of introductions, we decided to split up into teams. It would allow us to cover more ground, and since we both had guides with working cell phones, we still had a way to contact the other, just in case of an emergency or in the off chance we actually found what we were looking for. Tulipes and Valencia exchanged numbers before we were off and running.

One thing I had managed to do during my time alone in the hotel, was rent a car. I wasn’t entirely sure if Tulipes owned one, seeing that public transit was much bigger in the city, and I didn’t want to bother her even is she had, so I spent a bit of money to rent one for the week. It’s amazing what you can get done online these days. I was ready to go in a couple clicks, and the car was to be dropped off to the hotel parking lot that morning. I found myself holding my breath as I lead her around the building to find it. Must remind myself to breathe, lack of oxygen to the head, might end up getting us in a crash and then where would I be? Unaware of my underlining awkwardness, the ivory beauty floated across the gravel, to wait at the passenger door. I nervously unlocked her door first, before stepping around the car to mine. You can do this, I assured myself again. It probably looked a little off from her perspective, but she busied herself with the mirror, as I gave my little pep talk.

Mapping out a bit of a trail, we decided to split the city in half. Making sure to hit every park, garden, flower shop that we could find. It was a long shot, but it was all we had. As we headed for the top edge of town, the Eiffel tower seemed to loom ever head, it was quite an amazing structure. Not quite as impressive to her as it was to me of course.

Things got off to a slow start and nothing seemed to improve after that. There was a plethora of places to go and see, but nothing seemed to have any connection to what we were searching for. The fact we had no clue what we were looking for didn’t really help matters much. I was relying fully on gut instincts and so far nothing was waving a flag in my face. About noon, we hit a rather large park below the tower. There were fountains similar to the one at home in the small grassy areas, surrounded by flowers no less, but it wasn’t the place. Tulipes gave me a hopeful glance, and I shook my head. A half hearted smile graced her sweet face and then we continued on to our next place. Mark another off our list.

By the time we closed in on the edge of town, our situation, to me, was feeling more and more hopeless. The only good thing from the day was all the time we had spent together. Stepping up the large steps of the cathedral, we walked to it’s edge, where a delicate garden had been constructed.  It wasn’t right either and I let out a disappointed sigh. Tulipes bit her lip as she shook her head. “No?”

“No…”

This was one of our last stops. If it was in town, it was surely on the other side because we had stalked the streets, coming up with nothing. “I’m really sorry.” I groaned. “I am just wasting your time.”

“No. I’m having fun. Not a waste with you.”

She was being awfully sweet, but my spirits were so low, I didn’t even know how to respond. “Let’s just keep going, I guess.”

Nodding patiently, she headed back to the car.

We only had a few places left to check and things were not looking bright. We shuffled through a small market in the middle of the lower east square, when a woman with a cart, shoved a beautiful bouquet of flowers at Tulipes’s face as we passed. She spoke in their native tongue, but I was fairly certain it had something do with the flowers and their price.  She gave them a once over before checking with me. I shook my head, and she politely pushed the flowers away from her nose. Unfortunately the seller was not so easily swayed, and continued to try and push her wares, long after Tulipes had adamantly refused.

The two argued for several minutes, a small back and forth of wills. I felt weird just standing there, knowing I would’t be much help in a domestic discussion, so I decided to study the collection of rather eclectic sundries the woman had on display. She had a small stack of pots and pans, little glass containers with several different tops, including butterflies, hearts, leafs and neat row of potted plants. I passed by two pots before my eyes settled onto the third. A small flower was painted on it’s side and it looked an awful lot like the symbol from our clues. My mouth dropped open and I reached out for Tulipes’s shoulder. The ladies squabble subsided instantly as I jumped between them.

Completely forgetting the woman before me spoke only French I blurted out my question. “Where did you get that?!” I asked, pointing to the potted plant in question. The woman stared back at me blankly. “Oh right.” I turned to Tulipes. “Ask where she got that. Please.” Tulipes obliged and the woman nodded a couple times before answering back. Not understanding a word, I waited for Tulipes to clue me in.

“She says she buys from a shop near the front of a cathedral in Chambury. She gets a whole sale price so she buys many to sell here.”

“Chambury? Where is that?”

“It is a small village. It is a few hours time from here.”

“I think that is where we need to go.”

“Are you sure?”

“I think so yes.”

We didn’t even thank the woman, we just started running back to the car. Hurried feet crunched across the cobblestone road, till we were safely at the car once more.

I unlocked the passenger side door, before walking to my side, I was in such a rush to get on the road again, I wasn’t paying attention to the trouble, she was having getting the door open. I was in my seat when I looked up to find her pulling on the door. “It is stuck.” She grunted, pulling on the handle again. I started to get out of the car to help, but I was too late. I heard a small yelp, before she disappeared from view.

“Mon baie.”

“Are you alright!?” I rushed around the edge of the car, to find her on the ground. She wrapped her arm around my leg to help herself up, but it didn’t put her at quite the right angle and she tumbled over again  Here, let me help.” I reached out my hands for her to take. She smiled weakly before setting her hands on top of mine. Using the car for a bit of leverage I helped to bring her back to her feet. Her cheeks were red, more from embarrassment, than any sort of injury, but at first she wouldn’t look up.

Her eyes were transfixed on our hands. It seemed in all the commotion to get her upright, I had failed to remember to let go. Sweet soft hands were still safely guarded in my own, even after the realization of my error, I found myself resistant to release them. She didn’t seem to mind to much. Her eyes finally fluttered up and met with mine, that sweet face staring back at me.

“Are you alright?” I asked, giving her hands the tiniest squeeze.

“Yes, but your door does not seem to like me.”

“Let me see if I can fix it.” I finally released her hands, and jiggled the handle a few times before, it finally decided to give and pop open. “I’ll help you next time.” I said, opening the door a bit wider.

“Thank you.” Not waiting for me to get out of the way, our bodies connected for brief moment as she slid past me and into the seat. I gripped the door frame above her head and thankfully out of view, oh sweet berry what was she doing to me?

The drive to Chambury was short. Too short in my honest opinion. Not nearly enough time to study the beautiful woman in my peripheral, before it started to get dark. The sun was just heading over the hill as we pulled into the small village of Chambury. It didn’t take us long to find the cathedral or the woman in question. If we would have arrived any later though, we might have just missed her all together. She was in the middle of packing her things as we came up the steps. I tapped her gently on the shoulder, and she turned to greet us. Tulipes inquired if she had gotten the flowers from a florist or if she grew them herself. The woman explained that she did buy them from a local florist, but she was not at liberty to disclose the woman or her location. Tulipes’s expression dropped. “She says she will not tell us.”

“What? Why not?!”

“She says it is not a buisness, it is a family friend. She says it is not our buisness to know where she lives.”

“But…”

“I’m sorree Tosca. She refuses.”

It was a disheartening walk back to the car. How could we be so close, only to be thwarted by an address… My footsteps were heavy and deliberate and I felt more like a petulant child than a grown man. I didn’t care, I was crestfallen, this was the end of our road. There was no possible way to find where the flowers came from now. Not unless we wanted to knock on every door in the village till we found it, that is if they even lived in the village. I walked to the passenger side first, unlocking the door and then using my new technique to open it. Tulipes just watched as I silently moved to my side of the car. I was in the middle of unlocking my door, when a gentle touch graced my back and arm.

“I am so sorree Tosca.”

“It’s fine.”

“We tried.”

“We did.”

The moon seemed to race into the sky after that. I pulled out to the street and we headed back for the city. We were barely out of the village before the car started to rattle. The engine heaving each time I tried to apply the gas. I frantically studied all the guages before me. Everything seemed fine. The tempurtaure guage was good. No check engine light. The gas was still half full. Come to think of it, the guage had been half full for a while now… oh berry, no. We were out of gas. The car slowly rolled to a stop and I smacked the steering wheel.

“Mon baie.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but it must have been something good, because she used it every time there was trouble.

I unbuckled my seat belt.. “We better call my sister.”

Tulipes nodded in a agreement before reaching into her pocket for her phone. It was hard to see in the dark, but even still, her eyes opened wider than I had ever seen. Her arms frantically patted her front pockets, before she pushed her feet into the floor of the car to lift herself up so she could pat her back pockets. “Pas!”

“What?” I asked, flipping the overhead light on.

“My phone. It is gone.”

“What?!”

Tulipes was already opening the car door to get a better look at the floorboards and the dark corners underneath her seat. ” I had it.” She whined. “It was here.”

“You don’t have your phone?!”

“I did!! But it is not here.” She thought for a moment and then gasped. “Mon baie, it must have fallen when I fallen.”

As my sister would say, oh sweet lavenous days. This was not good. “What do we do now?”

“I don’t know. Find help.”

I looked across the empty field, there were trees, grass and sky. No houses, no cars and no phones. “I guess we walk then.”

“I am so sorree Tosca.”

“It’s alright. We will be fine, we just need to get walking.”

Even a small distance can seem like a lot when you have to walk it. We had passed only one house for a good couple of miles, but I was able to navigate us back to it with little to no trouble. The lights on the porch were burning brightly and breathed a sigh of relief as came up over the hill. Just a few short minutes and we could get things back on track again.

Wrong again.

“Bonjour. We need to use a phone. Our car ran out of gas, and we need to call someone to come pick us up.”

The woman shook her head solemnly. “Pas.  Il n’y a pas de téléphone ici.”

“Oh right. You don’t understand me…” I looked to Tulipes who was preparing to translate when….

“No, I understand you. There is no phone here. You need to go.”

“But… no phone? You have no phone? Please you must.”

“It is late, and you should not be here.”

I was more than willing to continue our absurd argument, but a small shaky voice cut right through. “Framboise, where are your manners? Let them in.”

All three of us turned to the direction of the voice. A tiny woman was heading up the walk, her expression not very impressed with Framboise’s behavior. “I am very sorree, please come in. We will be happy to get you a phone.”

The woman on the porch glared at us both before opening the door allowing everyone outside entry. “We really appreciate it. Thank you.” Doing my best to express our true appreciation seemed to fall on deaf ears, well one set of them anyways.

We were guided through to large living room. There was a small fire burning in the fireplace and its golden light seemed to bounce off of the furniture, setting a slightly rustic homey feel to the place. Framboise shoved a phone into Tuilpes’s chest before stalking back to the kitchen. She immediately started to dial, when it dawned on her that she had no idea how to get a hold of them. She had entered the number into her phone, so she had no reason to memorize it. She patted the phone to her chest before turning to face me. “I don’t know the number.”

“Right….” Made sense. Why didn’t I think of that.

“I will call my mom!” She exclaimed as she dialed a number furiously fast. There was no immediate answer but she refused to get off the line.

“Car trouble?” Asked the woman sitting just across from me.

“Ran out of gas.” I explained.

“Fate is funny no?”

“Hilarious.”

“You are looking for something. Something you can’t seem to find.”

Suddenly the woman had my full attention and I waved at Tulipes to hang up the phone. It took her second to catch my frantic arm gestures with her back turned, but finally she caught on.

“How did you know that?”

“I think I have what you are looking for?”

The phone in Tulipes’s grasp dropped to the floor with a thunk.

“You do? Where?! Where is it?”

“It is hidden, safe. Locked away from the world. I can show you, but not tonight. I can take you in the morning. It is too dark now. Can you stay?”

“Auntie!” A voice piped up from the other room, but she ignored it.  “You will have to excuse my great niece, she is a bit overprotective. Please, call me Mara.”

“Tosca and this is Tulipes.”

“It is an honor I assure you.”

I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I gave a small smile in gratitude anyhow.

“It is late. Let me show you to your rooms.”

“Thank you.”

We followed the Mara down a dimly lit hallway, where we stopped before one of its closed doors. Her wooden canes rhythmically clunking coming to a halt. “Shall I make up two rooms, or would you care to share?”

“I started to say two, but Tulipes beat me to the punch. “One… please.”

I shot her a sideward glance, and my jaw dropped to the floor. Did she just say one?

“Very well. You can take this one then. I must apologize the walls are in desperate need to repair, but I burden with dear niece with so much already.”

“It’s fine.” My heart was racing in my eardrums, probably wouldn’t be able to see the walls let alone appraise their condition. “Thank you.”

After bidding our gracious host goodnight, we retired into the bedroom. I was pretty sure there would only be one bed, but some how it didn’t quite sink in till I saw it sitting there. What did all this mean? We were sharing the bed? She wanted to share? With me? She didn’t seem to have the same reservations as I did, so she walked across the room and settled onto the increasingly more inviting mattress. I however couldn’t move from the door. A playful grin beckoned me to move closer, along with a small wave of her hand in a come hither motion. “I will not bite.” She teased.

I laughed nervously. “I know. I just thought, well.. are you sure about this?”

“If you are uncomfortable. I can sleep on top.”

“I’m sorry what.” I almost fell against the door behind me.

“I can sleep on top of the covers. You can sleep under.”

“Oh. Right. Of course. No. I will be fine. You can have the covers.”

“It it warm. Let’s just sleep. Hmm?”

“Sure…”

I cautiously moved across the room and lowered myself onto the other side. The mattress dipped at my weight, letting out a loud creak. “Heh.”

Turning our back towards one another, we attempted to sleep. I say attempted, because my heart was still beating so hard, I could barely breathe, let alone sleep. She seemed to slip right off, and I could feel my internal temperature start to cool. Listening intently to the soft lull of her breathing, before my eyes drifted shut and I too was out.

Some time during the night we both slipped under the covers. Not knowing exactly how it happened, it came as quite a shock, when I woke to find my arms clinging tightly to her middle. My eyes shot open, but I didn’t move. If I moved she would wake up, but if I didn’t move she would wake up too. Mon baie, I was in a pickle. She let out a soft moan and my eyes rolled to the back of my head. Oh sweet berry babies, I needed to move before it was too late. I decided to try and seperate us slowly. “Tosca?” Not slowly enough.

“I don’t know how this happened.” I explained. It sounded stupid, but it was the truth. I slipped my arm from underneath her and stood from the bed. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean. I really don’t know….”

“It is fine. It felt nice.”

“I just… I wouldn’t invade your privacy like that. Not on purpose.”

I thought she was going to reach out and slap me, but a pair of sweet lips parted the air between us, landing directly on mine. It was only a peck, but it sent a shiver so far down my spine, it went through the floorboards.

“You worry much.” She giggled. A giggle I recognized immediately. Suddenly one of the things on my agenda was crystal clear. I think I had just found one of the things I was looking for.

After a delicious breakfast, Mara in the lead, guided us out of the house to her back yard. “It is here.” She pointed up the hill. “I am so glad you made it, I don’t think I will make another trip. It is hard walk.” Tulipes and I nodded. Following closely to keep an eye on our frail guide, she lead our way, we were finally going to see the fruits of our labor. Tulipes slid her arm through mine as we continued up over the hill.

Hello my name is Berry and I am Lacelot Obsessed~

If you identify with any of the above statement then you may want to listen up. LOL if not ignore this and carry on. 😄

You may be aware that I am not only writing Splash, but little side stories as well, and quite a few of these stories have involved Lace and Lo. Some are fact and some are fiction, but I can honestly say that they inspire me like no other. That being said I have quite a few ideas still left in the Berry vault regarding these two… again some fact and some fiction. So I decided to make them their own place. A little blog dedicated to my favorite pairing of all time.

—> Click me! <—-

Ah but once you look it over, you will see I am not the only one who is contributing. There is always room if you have some thing to share. I can’t wait till all is said and done and you all know the true meaning of their love. <33333

Much love and appreciation for you all!! ❤ and as always thanks for your continued support!

~Berry

400k Party~

So I was not actually planning on having a party for this, but I started taking photos last night and they just happened to coincide with it, sooooo here you go!! Thank you all!! Wow it seems like we were just doing the 300k Post party!!!






















Again thank you all! None of this would be possible without you!!! <333

 

Gen 1- Lacey: Chapter 11

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“Please mom? It would be so fun!”

Famous last words right? Well that was the argument I heard when Cherry Blossom returned home from school with a pamphlet on the exchange student program. She ran through the front door and headed straight for the art room, where I had been working on a very important painting. According to Cherry Blossom, they would even receive a large extra credit bonus. To make a long story short, I talked it over with Bubbie and we decided it might be fun!

So Cherry Blossom and I got online and looked at all of applying students profiles until we found the perfect one.

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The following week,which just happened to be Bubbie’s birthday, Mango Eclair arrived from her native land of Chambéry France. She was an odd looking thing, but sweet as honey and thankfully for us her English was quite good. She was a little shy at first, I introduced myself, but before I even had a chance to call Cherry Blossom over, she was half way out the door to meet our new housemate.

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In her usual Cherry Blossom style, she greeted her with a giant hug. I was relieved to see that Mango was OK with this. We didn’t want her feeling uncomfortable before she even had a chance to unpack her things. Cherry Blossom took Mango by the hand and gave her a tour of the house. It was quite amusing to see her getting such a kick out of this.

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It did not take us very long to realize that we had indeed picked right girl. She was goofy and down to earth and she immediately fit into our little family. She was a pure delight to have around. Not even a couple hours had passed when she and Carmine were already making silly faces and acting completely off the wall.

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Bubbie and Tea Rose were just a little too involved in their recent projects to even notice that Mango had arrived. I assured her that she would get to meet everyone at the party.

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Later that night that after all the guests had arrived. We all gathered in the kitchen for Bubbies big night. He looked so handsome and I couldn’t help but stand there looking at him and thanking my lucky stars for everything he had done for me and our family. I really was a truly blessed woman.

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Sure he was getting a little older, but to me that same charm that I had fallen in love with, that first time we met was still emanating all through out his being. I sincerely loved that man with all my heart.

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After the party was over Roz walked out side with Nikisha. They walked to the far side of the house and that is where Roz swallowed his pride and threw everything on the line.

“Nikisha?”

“Yes,Roz?”

“Ever since we were kids I have loved you. With all my heart, and I know the timing just wasn’t right.”

“Oh Roz.”

“There is no one in this world I love spending my time with more than you. Will you make me the happiest man alive and be me girlfriend? ”

He waited on pin and needles for her reply.

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It was then that they finally shared their first kiss, that first kiss they had both been longing for, much longer than either of them would ever care admit.

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After everyone had gone home, little miss cleaning crew went straight to work. It was certainly a load off my mind, but I worried she was going to over do it. You see there is clean… and then there is Misty Rose Clean… and just thinking about her methods exhausts me.

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The next morning I found Roz in the kitchen getting some advice from Misty Rose about Nikisha. It sounded to me like it would not be too long he would be proposing. He had recently gotten a sizable payout from his latest book, and he had planned to use the money to buy Nikisha an engagement ring. The whole house was a buzz from the excitement of the impending proposal.

We sat Tea Rose down and told her not to say anything. That poor girl could not keep a secret if her life depended on it.

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Mango and Cherry Blossom had become fast friends and the two girl spent a lot of time together. Mango was quite educated in the mathematics department, which was great for Cherry Blossom, because she hated math with a passion. After only a few study sessions together, things started to fall into place for her, and to her and my delight, Cherry Blossoms grades began to improve dramatically.

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Now that Bubbie was retired, he had gotten back to his first love. Cooking. He bought about 15 different recipe books and every night we got to sample something new. My favorite had to be the Goopy Carbonara.

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Misty Rose had this obsession with the toilet in the main the bathroom. Since it was the most used toilet it needed extra attention, according to her anyways. I don’t think it ever really had a chance to get dirty, but even so she checked on it at least twice a day and refused to use the dang thing if it wasn’t to her standards.

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After Bubbie retired, our relationship got even closer. We were practically glued at the hip. The boys thought it was gross and girls thought it was adorable.

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Carmine had gotten himself into an online game, which was causing a major problem for Roz, because he was using Roz’s computer 12 hours a day sometimes! I still have no clue what a person could possibly do on a game that would take 12 hours ,but some how he found a way. It finally got to a point where we had to ban him from the computer completely.

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When Carmine and Cherry Blossom’s birthdays neared, I struck a deal with the two of them. If we threw the party on the same night, I could rent out the Peppermint pier and have their party there. They both seemed to be cool with the idea, so I called the owner and put a deposit down, that gave us access for the whole night.

Carmine was first…

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No surprise to me, he was just as handsome as I had imagined he would be.

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Cherry Blossom was up next…

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She looked so much like her Daddy it was amazing. I swore the only thing she inherited from me was my complexion.

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Mango made sure to congratulate Carmine after everyone had eaten their cake. I had never seen a girl so smitten before. She had this girlish smile plastered on her face and spent the rest of the evening hanging out with her hunky crush. Unfortunately for her, Carmine was completely oblivious to what was going on.
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That didn’t stop her from trying though. Every chance she got, she found some way to be close to him. She even got him to help her out with her homework, which I knew for a fact she did not need. I told you she was smart!
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Captain oblivious was too busy training for his new job to notice anything. He had been carb loading and working on his physique. He was working out almost as much as I painted and that was a lot. I know a certain someone who didn’t mind and could often be found on the couch getting a front row seat.

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I will leave you with this shot of Cherry Blossom, our newly chosen heir to our little sweet rainbowcy.

Stay Tuned!!

Gen 1- Lacey: Chapter 10

The Birthdays Chapter

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Since things had gotten back to normal, we had been floating through life with out a care in the world. That was until Bubbie pulled me aside one day.  I was just heading out to get the mail when he said he needed to talk to me urgently.

“Babe, I think we have a problem.”
I couldn’t help but cringe. Every mothers hates to hear the words we have a problem.”

“Oh? Whats wrong?” I inquired, trying my best to keep cool.

“Its Cherry Blossom. She has been locked in the girls bedroom all day.”

“Oh dear.”

“Ya apparently the twins were teasing her and she got really upset and locked herself in there.”

Bubbie had found this information out from the informant Tea Rose. Even when she was involved she could not keep her mouth shut for long.

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Bubbie and I headed to girls bedroom and I knocked on the door. “Sweetie?”

I barely heard her very quiet muffled reply “What?”

“Honey, can we come in please?” I heard footsteps walk towards the door, followed by a small *click*.

Bubbie and I both entered the room and joined Cherry Blossom on the floor just next to her bed.

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“Sweetie I heard that the girls were teasing you, you shouldn’t let them get to you. They don’t mean it.”

“They said I was a weirdo and I don’t belong, because I have purple hair. They said I must be an alien.”

“Oh honey. You’re not alien.”

“Well then where does my Purple hair come from. You and Daddy don’t have purple hair?”

Bubbie cleared his throat. I knew this day would come, I just had wished it wasn’t so soon.

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“Well… thats because you have another Daddy.”

The look on her face turned into a huge puzzled frown. “Huh?” She looked at Bubbie. “You’re not my Daddy?”

Suddenly I had lost all words I had planned out for this occasion, and my mind was a complete blank. Luckily Bubbie was a little more prepared.

“Yes and No, sweetheart. Technically I am not your Daddy, but that doesn’t change how I feel about you. You are still my little baby girl and nothing will ever change that. OK?”

“Ok….Can…can I meet him?”

“uhhh… sure sweetie.” I said as I stood up from the carpet. “I will have to call him and see when he can come out. He moved away just after you were born.”

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Later that afternoon I made a phone call to Merlot. I was so nervous, I had not really spoken with him since that awful day. The phone rang almost 10 times before he picked up, I was about the hang up when I finally heard.

“Hello?”

“H-hey you.”

“Oh hey Lacey. How are you dear?”

“I’m fine. Listen…I was calling to see if you would be able to come out and see Cherry Blossom. She wants to meet you.”

Part of me hoped he would decline, but he did not.

“Of course! I can leave first thing tomorrow.”

“Ok. See you then.”

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So the next day Merlot arrived and Cherry Blossom bolted out the door to greet him. I had told her she did not have to feel obligated to hug him, but I think her naturally friendly nature took over and she warmly greeted him. They went to the park for a day of fun and even though I knew she would be fine, I still worried the whole time she was gone.
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Apparently the twosome really hit it off. They spent the whole afternoon playing and laughing. I was so relieved to hear how much fun they had. She even got him to play tag, which I found quite humorous. He was not as athletic as he used to be.

She also caught herself a beautiful purple butterfly and named it Lala. She said it was a sign. A sign of what, to this day I am still not exactly sure.

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Yes it was quite an eventful day for her, she even made a new friend, Shelton Drop`-Grayson.

Now normally she could have stayed out a little longer, but it was my Birthday party that day also. So I asked him to have her home by 5 and he did. I invited him to stay for the party, but he said it was probably best if started back towards home.

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This party was going to be a huge bash! I had invited everyone, and everyone showed up! It was awesome!
I took a deep breath and blew out those candles.

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I felt a little bit older and a little bit wiser. Yup I had lived a pretty fulfilling life so far.

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As the sun receded on my amazing party, I could not help but take in the beautiful setting around me. Good food and good friends, I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect day.

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I was so excited to see Shortbread was expecting her first child! It really made me think back, when she was just a girl listening to my belly. The realization was quite overwhelming.

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After my birthday, it seemed like a birthday avalanche that followed. Next up was Roz. I told the kids they needed to finish their homework, before the guests arrived or there would be no cake. I don’t think I had ever seen them move so quick!

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Tea Rose had gotten a little jealous, because we had been celebrating all these birthdays and none of the presents were for her. I told her day was coming soon enough.

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Roz thought long and hard on his wish before he blew out the candles. I had my suspicions on what that wish may have been, but I kept that to myself.

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He was so handsome.. I started to get a little choked up at the thought, that first born was now a young man. I kept a happy face though, I didn’t want to cry on his big day.

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Nikisha had also looked incredibly sad that day, and I was not the only one who noticed. Roz pulled her aside to find out what was the matter.

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Apparently her boyfriend Leslie had recently broken up with her and she was still taking it pretty hard. They spent the rest of the evening talking and he did all he could to cheer up his very best friend up.

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The next morning Roz started work on his first book. He had found an article in the newspaper about aspiring authors and how the local paper was giving an opportunity for new writers to get their names out there. He still loved painting, but he said he had an amazing idea for a novel and knew it would be a big hit! We even bought him a laptop for his endeavors.

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The twins birthdays were up next. They wanted a swimming party, so we invited everyone to the Cotton Candy community pull for another big bash!

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I was blown away by how beautiful she was. My goodness she looked a lot like Bubbie.

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Misty Rose followed suit.

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And she was just as stunning.

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After the festivities had started to quiet down, Nikisha pulled Roz aside and thanked him for all the support he had given her.

“I’m so sorry Roz.”

“For what?”

“Everything…”

Then I saw them hug and neither of them let go.

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Misty Rose found herself a seat close to Emmit. I was pretty sure, she may have had a small crush on him. She sat there not saying a word, but her cheeks were as pink as rose petals. I couldn’t help but smile.

Gen 1- Lacey: Chapter 9

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After weeks of only sideward glances and good mornings in passing. Bubbie finally came to me to talk. I was incredibly nervous. I just knew he had decided to leave. I stood motionless in the bedroom as he started to speak.

“Lacey I am not exactly sure what in the world was going through your head, but I am incredibly hurt. I thought you loved me and only me. I have a mind to pack my stuff and leave this very moment.”

“And you would every right to do that.”
I replied.

“Please let me continue. Even so, whether you love me, I love you and I love our family.”

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I wanted so badly to break down crying and beg for forgiveness, but he was not finished.

“And I should be furious with you, but I’m not.  Even though Cherry Blossom is not technically mine, I love her and I am so thankful that you brought her into this world. His voice began to crack and I could feel the tears beginning to fall.

I stepped forward and reached my hand out to touch his shoulder.

“Baby I am so sorry. I made a stupid mistake. I am so truly and deeply sorry. Sorry is not even the right word to express how horrible I feel. Please don’t leave.” By this point I was bawling.

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He grabbed me and pulled me into a hug. I was so glad the children had just left for school and little Cherry Blossom was sleeping. I cried on his shoulder and he held me until I stopped shaking. This just made me feel worse. Here he is being so supportive and loving after I was so disrespectful. I felt so low. After I finally calmed down, we sat down on the edge of the bed and started to discuss ways we could begin work things out.

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Since that day of the birthday, I had pretty much lost myself in a deep depression. For weeks I did not paint and the poor girls again didn’t get a birthday party, but after the talk with Bubbie things began to improve. I was starting to feel like my old self again.

 

Tea Rose’s hair was finally starting to grow. When she was a baby, it barely grew at all. I was concerned the poor baby was going to be bald. We took her to get a haircut, just to style it up a bit. She felt so special.

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Misty Rose was the total opposite, she had already had about 4 hair cuts since she was a toddler and she was a little haircut pro.

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Since the girls and boys were starting to grow, and we had a little extra money put away, we decided to make a bedroom for the boys, so they did not have to live in the living room anymore. They were so excited to have their own space. It was only fair, we had already built a room for the girls when the twins were born.

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Since we finally had an open living room, we bought a couch. Everyone except Tea Rose were ecstatic about the new additions to the living room. She could have cared less. She especially hated the TV. She would sit in the living room just to be with the rest of the family, but you can bet her nose was buried deep in a book.

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Misty Rose was still mommies little helper. She was very good about helping with the chores I had assigned to her. How did I get so lucky to have such amazing children. Even Roz was starting to normalize, probably because he was only days away from graduation. I could hardly believe it.

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Little Cherry Blossom was growing so fast. She was such a beautiful girl and unlike poor Tea, her hair grew even faster than the twins put together, and whether we wanted to admit it or not, it was such a gorgeous shade of purple.

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Carmine was starting to look incredibly tired. His homework load was weighing on him. I don’t think  he was getting much sleep. I wished I could have helped more, but math was never my strong suit. So I was almost more lost than he was.
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Even with his hectic schedule, Carmine always found a little time to play with Cherry Blossom. Something about that little darlin had captured all of our hearts.

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Since I was starting to feel better and I felt a need to make up for lack of birthdays parties, I took all three girls for a whole day at the park. Sunrise to sunset, that was a deal. We packed a lunch and goodies for Cherry Blossom and off we went.

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Well the girls ended up tiring before I did, I was feeling surprisingly recharged. As we walked up the step, I happened to notice that the old house to our left finally had someone moving in. Excited to see who are new neighbors were, I put Cherry Blossom to bed and headed over.

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I was greeted by Creamy Honey and she told me that her and a group of her college friends had thrown their money together and rented the old place. She welcomed me inside to meet the rest of the gang.

“Some of us have not made it into to town just yet, but you are welcome to meet everyone who is.”

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I headed towards the front door, it was slightly open, so I pressed it open. The door squeaked,  or at least I thought it was the door, and a very bubbly girl came bouncing into the hallway.

“HI!”

“Hello.” I smiled.

“I’m Tessa. Nice to meet ya.”

After the very friendly introduction, Tessa layed the house gossip on me.

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She lead me through the house until we stopped in front of a bathroom door.

“You could meet Serenity, but she has not been out of the bathroom now for about 2 hours. I am starting to worry she fell in.”

My eyes were wide. “Oh my.”

“Nah! I’m just kiddin!” Shes just a little whoo hoo… she said as she made few circles around her ear with her finger. I chuckled.

We then headed to the kitchen. There was a guy preparing something that smelled amazing.

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“This is Xigua he is our resident chef.” She leans in closer and whispers in my ear. “If it wasn’t for him we would all starve.”

Tessa and I spent several hours just talking, and then I finally started to come off of my park excursion high. I also had someones birthday to prepare for. I wished everyone a good night, and I promised to come back to meet the rest of the crew.

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I was bound and determined to throw Cherry Blossom a party and anyone else who would be having a Birthday in the future. No more mopey Lacey. We kept it to just the family, but we bought a cake and prepared for Cherry Blossom big moment!

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We blew out the candles and with that my little Cherry Blossom was no longer a baby.

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Gen 1- Lacey: Chapter 8

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The next few hours were incredibly ugly at my house. Bubbie’s eyes glazed over for what could have not been more than a millisecond,  before he balled up his fists in absolute anger and disgust and went straight for Merlot. I(and all of our party guests) stood there in shock as Bubbie read Merlot the riot act, before kicking him out the front door. “I want you out of our house, and I never want to see your face again!”   *Slam*

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All of the commotion upset little Tea Rose and she began to cry. Bubbie stormed back through the kitchen and quickly scooped her up. He took her into the girls bedroom and did his best calm her down. I wasn’t exactly sure if I should try to talk to him or not. I stood in the kitchen not saying a word. Suddenly a very stern voice coming from the direction of their room broke the silence. “Lacey come here please.” Just his tone made my stomach turn. I sheepishly walked to the bedroom.

“What in the world were you thinking, and why would you do this to me…no not to me. To us!” Tea Rose squirmed in his arms. He placed her into her crib and turned back to face me. I was just about to open my mouth with some sort of reason, which even I was not sure I had, when he interrupted me. “Save it. I need some time to think about this.” and with that he walked out. What had I done?

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The shock began to wear off and the hard truth started to set in. My stupid decision to give in to a moment of passion was now so painfully poignant. It felt like a knife was stabbed into my heart. I could only imagine what Bubbie was going through if I was hurting this much. Emmit and Blushberry entered the room to see if I was ok. Emmit tried his best to cheer me up. It didn’t work, but the kind gesture did make me smile. What a sweet boy.

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Poor little Carmines birthday fell just days after the whole Cherry Blossom party fiasco and no body including myself were in the mood for any sort of party. It was very somber mood that exuded from every corner of the house. That is except for Roz, he seemed to be enjoying everyone’s depressed states. Not exactly sure why.

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Even the girls were aware of all the tension. Cherry Blossom was affected the most. Her sleep schedule had drastically changed and when she would wake up, instead of just her normal whining, she was practically screaming.

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The first night it happened it scared me so bad. I thought someone was hurting the poor girl. I jumped out of that bed and ran full speed to her crib. I was incredibly relieved to see she was ok, but also slightly irked by the inappropriate behavior. I never said a word though. I felt completely responsible.

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Due to my unshakable guilt, I spent every free moment I had with the girls. We read about 20 books and played over 100 rounds of patty cake. I was desperately trying to keep my mind occupied from the horrible mistake I had made. It worked to a point, but the pain was still there.

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Life for the boys seemed to normalize much faster than the rest of us. Roz was smitten with his childhood friend Nikisha. She was even more beautiful now that she was a young lady. I am not sure if she felt the same way as Roz did, but for his sake, I wholeheartedly hoped that she did.

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Speaking of Nikisha. She had her own crush, sadly for Roz it happened to be on Tea Rose. She would drop by almost everyday after to school to see Roz of course, but also to spend a little time with her favorite little gal. I found the whole situation so adorable. Tea Rose our little charmer.

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Now that Carmine was a teenager, his interest in the arts began to surface. Just like the rest of us Chiffon’s he definitely knew his way around a paint brush.

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Misty Rose had a passion of her own. She started spending time with her favorite electronic the TV. She even had a favorite show. A soap opera! I came in the room and saw the TV on The Plumbobs of our lives, and I thought I would be nice and change it to the Social Bunny Hour, as soon as I flipped the channel she started to cry. I quickly changed it back and she immediately stopped. I don’t think she really even understood what was happening, but hey, if it made her happy, why not?
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Things were not going well for Roz in the love department. He had been doing his darnedest to woo (not to be mistaken with woo hoo) Nikisha, but it did not go well. I later found out that she had gotten herself a boyfriend and wanted to keep things friendly and nothing more between her and Roz. He agreed, but I could tell he was disappointed.

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After that night Nikisha turned him down, Roz’s personality began to change. He started tormenting the poor girls. So many times I would find him stealing candy or just teasing little Misty Rose, he seemed to pick on her the most. I don’t know exactly what had happened, I just prayed it was just teen angst and hopefully it would pass.

Gen 1 – Lacey: Chapter 7

Chapter 7

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Now that both boys were both in school I had decided it might be a good idea to delegate some of the house hold chores. They were not very keen to the idea, but with 2 babies and another on the way, I was going to get help whether they wanted to or not.
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It wasn’t very long before little Roz was not my little Roz anymore. He had grown into a handsome young man. I had a hard time with the adjustment. I would cry and cry, but I just blamed it on my pregnancy hormones.

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The girls were growing up fast too! Seemed like they just got here and we were already celebrating their birthday, and welcoming our final bundle of joy into this world.

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Cherry Blossom

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Misty Rose had my lovely white hair (the first and only child!) and her daddies beautiful skin. Misty was my little angel. The girls picked favorites very early on and Misty Rose chose me.

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Tea Rose was with her Daddy every free moment he had. She was a carbon copy. Hair , skin, but she definitely had my eyes.

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Of course the girls loved us both, but you definitely saw a trend. I had taken on the task of teaching Misty to talk and Bubbie, Tea Rose. My goodness those girls were smart! They picked up that talking thing incredibly fast.

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Someone in our family, namely Roz, fell hook line and sinker for Cherry Blossom. He helped out with changing her and I found him carrying her around all the time. I teased him he was going to make a great daddy someday.

“Whatever, Mom.”

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Bubbie and I were trying to re-spark our marriage. Things had gotten a little flat when his job changed to that horrendous schedule. No. We were much more careful this time. No more babies!

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Carmine has been spending time with Tea Rose too. He read almost every single book on their shelf to her. Her favorite by far was Coloring Out Side the Lines.

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Tea Rose was also learning to use the potty! It was just amazing how fast she was learning. I knew this one was going to be my little genius

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I think it had to do with us being busy, spending almost every moment of the day with the twins, but Cherry Blossom’s birthday was already upon us. Seeing I had completely spaced on throwing the twins their party. I vowed to not miss Cherry’s, so I called up the crew and invited everyone over for cake and ice cream!

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We blew out the candles and waited in anticipation to see who out little Blossom was gonna take after!

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Purple…

Suddenly a moment of weakness, on a night I dared not speak of, was sitting on my kitchen floor.

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OH, SWEET BERRY, NO!