Tilly’s voice boomed through the living room, as she made her way to the kitchen. Slipper-ed feet swishing on carpet, all the way down the hall. It had been such a quiet morning. Pearl and Gloss were contently enjoying their breakfast, of cereal with sliced strawberries, it had been so peaceful, so quiet. Pearl was always the quiet one, you would hardly have known she was there, if hadn’t been for the little sound her shoes made while rhythmically tapping against the stool. Such a well natured child too. What I would have given to have just one like her. Not that I didn’t love my children, it’s just well, they were very different from their cousin. And it made life difficult… for us.
“MAWM he did it again!” Tilly groaned, stamping her foot in protest.
I was right in the middle of wiping down the counters, and was not ready for the same song and dance just yet, so I continued to clean up the grime. “Just a second dear. Let me finish this up first.”
Tilly folder her arms over her chest, she had no problem waiting, I obviously needed to hear what she had to say, so she was willing to stick it out for as long as it took. She watched intently her foot tapping on the floor, which I found hilarious, because her slippers made no noise, so it was just a cats head bobbing up and down on the linoleum.
Those slippers… I came to hate them with a fiery passion. Not because she wore them with everything. No that was fine, I didn’t care if she wanted to wear them to school, to the movies, to pretty much everywhere that required shoes. The problem was, since she wore them all the time, they were constantly filthy. I was tossing them in the wash at least twice a week. Who ever’s bright idea it was to buy a nine year old white slippers was a dead man. I couldn’t even recall where she got them…
Finally I couldn’t stall any longer, I spun around to find my dearest daughter, looking incredibly crestfallen. Her beautiful lavender eyes, drooping at their corners. “What did he do now?” I inquired, a bit more sympathetically this time.
“He wouldn’t give me my turn on the swing! I asked and asked and he still wouldn’t let me get on.” Tilly whined. “It’s not fair! I saw it first, and he won’t let me swing.”
“Alright, I’ll go talk to him.” I assured her, heading for his room.
“That’s not all he did.” She groaned, pulling on my sleeve.
I stopped. “Okay… what else did he do?”
Her voice was completely broken up by this point. “Well since I couldn’t get a ride on the swing, me and my friend were going to make a small little garden with some of the flowers. And he trampled them! He jumped right up and down on them! Why would he do that momma?!
“I don’t know dear. I don’t know…” I squeezed her shoulders gently, guiding her to the empty stool between Gloss and the oh so mellow Pearl. “Just take a seat. I’ll make you some breakfast. We will get to the bottom of this. Alright?”
* sniff* “Okay momma.” *sniff sniff*
This was going to take some finesse. It’s hard enough to punish a child under normal circumstances, this though, this was nothing I had signed up for. I rolled my eyes, as I headed through the front room to find Tosca.
“I think you and I need to have a talk.”
“It’s not my fault!” Funny, somehow he knew what I was wanting to talk about even though it was not his fault. My left eyelid pulsated a few times. Pulling a Tilly, I tapped my foot on the carpet. “I thought we talked about this. You have to stop going into your sisters dreams.”
“But mom I don’t go there on purpose, it just sort of happens! I can’t help it!
“Okay fine. If you are going to be there, you have to stop tormenting her. Let her ride the swing once in a while.”
“But mawwwwwm I saw it first.”
“I don’t care who saw it first, you need to share.”
“But it’s my swing! She is the one coming into my dreams anyhow!”
I pinched the bridge of my nose, taking a calming breath. “Again, it does not concern me, who is going into who’s dream, what concerns me, is your sister waking up from a nights sleep in tears, because her brother is trampling all over her flowers.” It sounded more than stupid coming out of my mouth, but a mothers gotta do what a mothers gotta do. Tosca was still flying his rocket ship all around the room, refusing to agree to any sort of dream treaty.
“Thank you. Now you’re going stay in here for the afternoon, and give me that.” I lifted the rocket out of his hands, he allowed me to take it, but he was not happy. Not happy at all.
I’ll admit when I first learned about dreamwalkers and what they could do, I was skeptical. Right, like that would be remotely possible. Gramma explained to me, that it was indeed possible and that she, herself was one. I remember the conversation quite clearly. It basically consisted of me lifting my eyebrow in disbelief to no one, since grandma wasn’t too keen on facial expressions, probably the only thing she wasn’t keen on. Alright so my kids were dream-walkers. That was weird enough, then they started jumping into the others dream and it all turned into a giant mess. How do you police somewhere you can’t even go. I asked Gramma if she could go, but she explained it just doesn’t work that way. Wonderful…
You know that old saying, don’t know what you got till it’s gone? My children are prime example of this old adage. I thought they had been a handful before. Tosca had always been the adventurer, and I was completely convinced the odds of having another just like him were slim. Not slim enough I’m afraid. It was like deja vu with Tilly. Slipping out of her bed, sneaking outside, trying to get away to the open wide world. A new set of worries, a new set of nightmares. Only this time it was worse, because she had an older partner in crime. They escapades quickly escalated as Tosca got older. The scariest was when they slipped out of the house undetected, only to be discovered in the park at the middle of town.
How they managed things so quickly I will never know. I had only gone in for a quick shower. I had no other choice, Tilly had spilled her lunch all down my front, where it quickly seeped into my clothes getting me all sticky and wet. I begged them to stay put. I put on the TV, promised I would be back, two minutes. Two minutes too long… I came back to an empty living room. I ran to the front of the house hoping to find them. Not a soul could be seen all the way down the hill. Frantic I ran back inside and called Tap at work. He came home immediately and we started our search. It was about sundown when we made our rounds. Spying the duo in the park, we charged after them. I was relieved, but that only allowed the anger to set in.
“Young man, what do you think you are doing?”
“We wanted to come play.” He explained, completely unaware of the danger he put them both in.
“You can’t just take off like that. We had no idea where you were. What if something happened to you?”
“It wasn’t that far.”
“Wasn’t that far?! Tosca you’re miles away from the house with your baby sister. Outside our yard is too far. Got it?”
“Good now march yourself over to the car. We’re going home.”
Tosca did as instructed, hopping into the car and buckling his seat belt. After I had fastened Tilly into her car seat, I slid into the passenger side, giving a nod to Tap, signalling the all clear. We pulled away from the walk and started the drive for home. “By the way.” I added. You’re grounded.”
Adventure was in their blood, that much was clear, so we had to figure out a way to keep them satisfied at home. We tried several different things, but it was my final idea that seemed to work the best. Of course this involved a lot of work on my end, but to keep them safe, and in the house, it was totally worth it.
“Good afternoon Miss. Welcome to Pearl airlines. Will you booking a flight to Shang Stir Fry or Chambury today?” Pearl greeted me, giving me a small bow.
“Hmmm I do beleive I will be visiting both, if that is possible.”
“Ah so you wish to book our package deal. Wonderful, just give me a moment to book your tickets. Alright, everything seems to be in order on this end. Let me show you to your seat.” She smiled taking hold of my hand, walking me all of two feet. “Here you are. Please take your seat, we will be leaving shortly.”
I took my seat and prepared for our long flight. I was given a strange look from across the way. “Oh right!” I quickly belted in my imaginary seat belt. Then we were finally ready for take off.
“Uuuuuuuuh this is your captain speaking. We have uuuuuuuuuuh flight time of about 7 and 1/2 hours today. Conditions are clear, we should have no trouble, so please sit back and enjoy your ride with Pearl airlines.” With that she put away her imaginary CB radio and we were off. I always got a chuckle from her dedication. It took all I had to play along and not laugh uncontrollably at the sheer adorableness of it all. Soon we were landing in Chambury, quickest flight ever. I unbuckled my belt and headed for the terminal, i.e. Tosca’s room.
“Bonjour Mademoiselle.” Tosca greeted, putting on his best french accent. It wasn’t that great, but again, the adorable made up for what it was lacking.
“Bonjour.” I smiled back.
The next twenty minutes or so, I was shown all around town. My tour guide was sure to point out all the different places of interest. He had even constructed a small Eiffel tower, out of old toilet paper rolls. It was a undoubtedly the nicest french vacation one could ask for. Before long though, I was being haled back to the plane. It was time for my connecting to flight to Shang Stir Fry. I received a pleasant send off from the locals before we were in the sky again.
“nǐ hǎo Mother.”
“nǐ hǎo Daughter.”
The transformation wasn’t quite as extensive in Tilly’s room, but she had a nice little outfit to make up for it. I was greeted warmly before we sat down to share a little tea. We discussed some of the finer things that went on in her great city, before she opened the floor for questions. I sadly had none, so she proceeded to make a few up on the spot for me. My trip was coming to a close, but when I stood to take my leave, I was pulled aside by a local. “It is tradition in my country for the mother to play dolls with her daughter.” She grinned, nodding her head.
“Well, I wouldn’t want to step all over your traditions.”
We spent the next hour or so, doing just that. She and I had played house many times, but never in Shang Stir Fry, so this was a new experience. Amazingly my little planned worked like a charm. The French/Chinese connection saw us through their childhood years. Everyone was content. and eventually they got to a point, where they invited the other over for a visit now and again.
Eventually they stopped the dream harassingt and their friendship solidified into something I never could have imagined. They were glued at the hip. Where one went the other would follow. They really were like kindred spirits, more like twins than siblings. Adventure in their sails, I had a feeling one day they would finally see that big adventure, the one they had been planning for since diapers. My little dream team, in more ways than one.
This is not the end! LOL so don’t leave hahaha We have one more adventure. So prepare yourselves for an heir vote. This is your last chance to get another guy in. So keep that in mind!
Tosca Chiffon was by far the most curious little guy I had ever met, and I had met many little guys over the years. His curiosity started out small. Examining anything he could get his hands on, figuring out how they worked and of course putting them in his mouth. Every time I turned around, I found something stashed in his cheek, or under his tongue. It was enough to make a poor mother lose her mind. The fear of him choking on something small scared me. He never seemed to swallow anything, but it didn’t take long for me to get into a habit of picking up anything small to keep it off the floor. This only worked until he started walking. Then I had a whole other set of problems to deal with.
Crawling early lead to walking early, which meant he was up and mobile before we were ready or prepared for it. But then when are you ever really prepared for a toddler? It started out cute, and we figured it was a one time thing, or perhaps it had been some mechanical error on our part. What ever it was, one afternoon we heard a strange noise coming from Tosca’s room. Tapestry and I were cuddled up on the couch together, and last we had checked, Tosca was napping. So the strange tinkling sound from his little xylophone was rather unsettling. Tapestry headed to his room, to find Tosca on the floor, happily playing away. The crib latch had been unlatched and the door was in it’s down position.
“How did you get out bud?” Tapestry asked, placing him back in his crib.
After he was convinced he was secure this time, he kissed Tosca on the forehead, and rejoined me on the couch. Plopping into the seat, he looked my direction. “Sweetheart, did you latch Tosca’s crib when you put him down for his nap?”
“I think so, why?”
“He was out on the floor. Playing with his toys.”
“I latched it this time.”
“Okay. I really thought I had. I’m sorry.”
“He’s fine. It’s alright, just gotta make sure next time.”
It didn’t take long to realize, there had been no mechanical 0r manual for that matter, failure. Tosca was undoing the latch himself. Popping the bed open and crawling out. Three time in one afternoon, I returned to the living room, to find him sitting on the carpet, watching the discovery channel. His bright eyes watching as the man on screened discussed Shang Sim La at great length, which I doubt he understood, but I could be wrong about that. Twice I put him back in his room, the third time I decided to grab what I had been working on, bring it downstairs and sit with him. It was much easier that way…
His crib was just the beginning, things only got worse as he got older and wiser. Making use of the “secure” play pin outside, we thought for sure it would be able to contain him. Again, we were wrong. He couldn’t figure out the latch ( it had a small combination number) so he figured another way out. Taking all of the toys, even his little potty, he stacked them together, until it was tall enough so he could get out. He was quick too! I had only gone in for second to grab a bottle of cereal and then I was going to come right back out. Nope, that was too much time. He was up and almost over when, I spied him through our large kitchen window.
I took off immediately, running through the kitchen, out through the dining room, almost slamming into the glass door as I made my exit. At the very last second, I ripped the door open on its tracks and bolted across the grass, screaming his name the entire time. “Tosca! Get back here! Tosca Chiffon!” I am convinced toddlers ears don’t develop fully until they are about four, because he just kept on going, not even a flinch, from the sound of my booming voice charging up behind him. Finally I caught up to him, scooped him into my arms, and proceeded to squeeze him. “You really gotta stop doing that. You are going to give me a heart attack.”
“Hehehehehe.” He gurgled back. Boy did I have my hands full.
What can you really do with an adventurous child? You can’t scold him for his nature, but at the same time, you want to keep him safe. It’s a difficult balance. Every thing we did with that boy, whether it was playing, reading, singing, only made him more intrigued. He wanted to learn more about, what was making the music, what happened next. When dad started the flying airplane, I figured this would be a good way for him to get a little height, little fun, and whole lot safer than other things he could be doing. Yeah, I was wrong again.
Soon flying airplane wasn’t high enough. He wanted more. After getting a grasp on what a trampoline was all about, he figured a way up onto it. Dad found him bouncing away one afternoon. Dad’s eyes must have been as big as saucers, though I can’t really tell you for sure. It took years for him to ever admit it had happened.
We finally had to resort to dropping a chair at his front door, with at least one person keeping watch. His room had no open-able windows, so there was only one way for escape. This helped, but it was sure tiring for everyone else in the house. Grandpa didn’t seem to mind much though. After he had retired, he spent most of his free time reading anyhow. So he quickly became our resident security guard.
Even though he was a handful or two handfuls, he was just the sweetest little boy, with a giant heart. The entire house loved him to bits and there were many times when we had to schedule time, just so we all got a chance to play with him. Lesson number one when playing though: Don’t take your eyes off of him, not even for a second!
When he got a little older, his interest turned to books. Not to say that his curiosity was in any way lessened though, no it may have just made things more trying. Now he had more ideas, things he would see, he wanted to try. Berry help us if you’re really up there.
Affair and Gloss had not yet taken that last step towards marriage, but I had a feeling a baby would be coming long before. They both couldn’t get enough of Tosca and to my surprise, Affair really shined as an uncle. It kind of surprised me, in a good way. They spent a lot of time together, spending it watching me as I practiced. I had definitely gotten better since I started, but with those two it didn’t really matter. I could have been sitting there just mashing all the keys and they would have eaten it up. Love my boys.
“Mommy I play.” Tosca smiled, reaching out for my shoulder.
“Not yet sweetie, maybe when you- urghhhhh.” Older didn’t even make it out of my mouth, but my lunch almost did. I pushed away from the piano and started down the hall, two steps and I almost hurled all over the carpet. Affair had been staring off out the window, and hadn’t even realized I had moved. When he swung around to find me, I was just slamming the door of the bathroom. “Come on little dude, let’s go downstairs for a bit.”
“She’ll be alright.”
Affair was right, nothing was wrong with me. Only that I was now harboring Chiffon number two. I was even more excited this time around, than the first, but the second I considered two babies as adventurous as Tosca, my tummy did a swan dive into my feet. What were the odds though, right?
When we told Tosca the good news, his eyes lit up. He was definitely excited about being a big brother, which was a big load off my mind. Squabbling siblings are no fun. My parents always boasted how well the three of us always got along. So I hoped it would be the same. Who knew once they finally arrived though. All bets are off sometimes, once that happens.
“Look I’m calling to tell you and no I am not even asking this time. We are having a baby shower.”
“But I don’t want one.”
“Nope. Not optional this time Missy. I let it slide the first time, but you are not going to get away with the second.”
“Only if you promise, no gifts. We still have everything we need, there is way more stuff I can scrounge up from the basement.”
“I must go now. See you sooooooon~ Love you!”
“Bye bye love you too!”
I agreed to a shower, but I did make her promise to keep it small. I didn’t want a lot of people around, it was something weird about my pregnancies, I always felt like was on edge when there was a crowd. So in total, counting me there were four. Taffy, or course, Gloss, since she was also expecting a little Chiffon and Cerise. It was just the right size to keep me chilled and content. Grandma and Grandpa took Tosca for the afternoon, which left me free to just relax and enjoy my intimate party.
But oh the deception, this party had been planned, not only by Cerise. No my mother and father were in on it too. It seemed my decision to use antique furniture was not to anyone’s liking but my own. I vaguely remember my mom trying to talk me out of it, but I didn’t see the big deal. Every thing was in working order, nothing was dangerous. Sure it was all color coded peach and orange, it was my great great aunt Oranges after all, but I liked it. It gave the room character. I guess that just wasn’t going to fly this time around. Mom and Dad were up to something, something just out of my view.
I’m not even sure how he had managed to get it all in the front door with out me noticing. Or assembling, where had they organized all the stuff?! It would seem my grandmother suggested the martial arts training room, since she was the only one who ever went in there. So it worked perfectly, I was none the wiser. Later I found out everyone in the house was in on it, but me. How rude!
My annoyance quickly faded though, when my eyes caught a glimpse of all the beautiful furniture. It was heavenly, adorable, modern and just perfect for out little Ferra Tilly. Yes, we were having a little girl!
“Mom! Dad! What did you do!?”
“Well, we figured we could surprise you with a little gift. We wan’t our granddaughter to sleep in style. Hope you won’t hate us forever.” Daddy grinned.
I just laughed. “Hate you. This stuff is amazing, but you must have spent so much!”
“You would be surprised!” Mom nodded, winking to my dad. “Besides she is worth all the world in gold, this was nothing.”
I could feel myself getting choked up over it all. Stupid hormones! “Mom, Dad this is amazing. Thank you. Thank you so much.”
“We love you angel.”
That did it. The tears started to stream. “I LOVE YOU TOO!! Buuuuuuuh!”
Labor the second time was not any easier. Not that I thought it would be, but I did figure on Tapestry being able to handle himself a little better. I think I should just stop assuming, because I am always wrong. Well, I can safely announce that we welcomed our second child Ferra Tilly into the world. The sweet little angel I had been waiting for.
And your bonus shot! Little Ferra Tilly being uber adorable!
It was probably day three of my nightly ritual, that finally tipped us off to what had happened. We weren’t really trying, but at the same time, it wouldn’t have been that big of an upset if it were to happen. So when I jumped off my bed, for the third time that week, and ran to the nearest bathroom, I kinda had a good inkling to what we were in for. I guess Tapestry did too, because he ran down the hall and stopped short of the bathroom door, to watch me drop all of stomach contents into the bowl.
“Lace?” He whispered, tapping lightly on the open frame.
I was in far too big of a hurry to shut the door behind me, so it was sitting wide open on it’s hinges, giving him a front and center view to the show. I didn’t answer his question. I just dove my face into the bowl again, with another agonizing heave, my stomach ensuring that every last ounce had been expelled. Finally the endless wave of nausea gave me a bit of reprieve and I found myself hugging the bowl. “Urghhhh.” I gurgled, trying to steady myself back to my feet.
“Lace love?” Again Tapesty’s voice tried to step in and offer some sort of comfort, this time I was able to formulate a small reply back. I’m alright, but I think we better make an appointment with the doctor first thing in the morning.”
Well, low and behold, that the doctor would come back to our room, grinning brightly as she congratulated us both on our new found parenthood. I was so excited! Being a mother was definitely something I had dreamed of since I was a young girl. I was an excellent mother to all my dolls as well as my friends. I was finally going to get to test my skills out on the real thing! My child, our child, I couldn’t wait to get home and deliver (hah see what I did?!) the good news to everyone!
Everyone had similar reactions. There were smiles and squeals and congratulations all around. Grandma was so excited she could barely contain it, while grandpas smile looked as if it were going to split his face. The boys were looking forward to being an uncle and Dad was just as happy as the rest. There was only one person left to talk to and I couldn’t wait! I just knew she would be stoked.
So I may have over estimated just a little bit. I had looked all over the house, and finally located her in the upstairs hallway. After all the excited reactions I had already recieved, I was expecting the same as I hopped in front of her, face beaming. “Hey mom guess what?” I grinned.
“Tap and I…. are going to have baby!!!” I started bouncing up and down, waiting for a huge smile to spread across her face, once the words finally sunk in. It never did. Instead fear danced behind her eyes, clear as day. “Oh love.” She stammered. “That is wonderful. Congratulations.”
My bouncing stopped immediately, I read her face, trying to figure out why she would react the way she had, but it was much like a puzzle. It was like she wanted to be excited, but something was holding her back. “You’re not happy.” I stated flatly, pointing out the obvious.
Suddenly her whole mood changed. “No no.” She squeaked. “I’m happy. I’m just… scared.”
Scared wasn’t a strong enough word to really describe what was happening in my mothers head. Terrified or frightened to death would have been much more accurate. I knew a little about the trouble she had, when delivering me and my brother, but I had no clue how deeply it was seeded in her subconscious. The painful memories, her near brush with death, it was too much for her to take, and the thought of the same thing happening to me, had her in a constant state of nervousness. Just watching her was making me anxious. No one seemed have the answer either. We all tried different approaches to help her settle down, but nothing worked. I got to a point where I had to avoid her, just to keep myself from turning into a nervous wreck right along with her. Things only got worse, when my doctor put me on bed rest. It wasn’t anything too serious, but after reading some vitals during a checkup, he wanted me to take it easy. Poor mom totally lost it.
It finally got to a point where I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I was coming downstairs for a snack, when I found her mindlessly muddling in the kitchen. I stepped into the doorway and marched right up to her. “Mom.” I commanded, taking hold of her shoulders, giving them a gentle squeeze. “Mom, you gotta stop this.”
She looked into my eyes, I could see exhaustion in every fine line on her face.
“Nothing is going to happen. Every pregnancy is different, and just because you had complications, doesn’t mean I will. We just have to keep positive energy out there. I am going to be fine, the baby is going to be fine, but seeing you so worked up has me incredibly tense. So please for yours and my sake, try to relax. I’m not going anywhere. Please? For me?”
I watched her face intently, hoping some where along the line, she would lighten a bit. I think the words were doing there best to sink in, but it was’t going to be something she could just switch off, so I was willing to take what ever I could get. “You’re right love. Even the doctors said what happened to me, was incredibly rare.”
“See. Just focus on the positive, you are going to have a grandchild soon! Isn’t that great?!”
Finally, the faintest smile started to grow across her lips, something I had been waiting months to see. “It’s the greatest.”
After that I was able to return to my bed rest with a little bit more ease, but with all the drivel that was on during the afternoon hours of the day, I soon found myself incredibly bored. Flicking through the channels, I had the choice of some judge show, Judge Jujubee, or some talk show, where they were trying to discover which berry was the father. I flipped between the two for a good hour, before I just switched it off completely. Resting my head against the small mound of pillows I had built, I allowed myself to sink deeper into the covers, my gaze focused intently up at the ceiling. “Well, I’m bored.” I grumbled out loud to myself. I started to reach for my book on the bedside table when I heard a lovely melody carrying itself down the hall towards my room. It was grandma on her piano, and her music seemed much more inviting than sitting my bum being bored for hours on end.
It took me only a few brief seconds to decide things would be a lot more fun where she was, then where I was, so I pushed myself from the bed and waddled down the hall to meet her. I was incredibly pregnant by that point, and even though, I didn’t look that much different, I already had a little bit of a belly, I felt like a beached wail, sailing the open seas, only less gracefully. I was surprise how much energy it took to walk the tiny distance between, but I was in need a little bit of a movement for the day, so I continued my slow trek till I made it to the music/art room.
The song was lovely, slow and fluid, her fingers moved across the keys with such grace, it was hard to believe she did it all from touch memory. It was like watching a live piece of art. Definitely more interesting than finding out if he “was not the father”. I watched her silently for several minutes before she addressed me, never wavering from her melodious performance. “Hello dear. Come to watch an old lady tickle the ivory?”
I chuckled. “I would hardly call you an old lady, but yes I was coming to watch to play.”
“Well come in and take a seat. Aren’t you supposed to be resting?”
I started to look for an open chair, when she scooted over and patted the space beside her, the music abruptly halting. “Well this is the best seat in the house.”
I wasn’t too sure if we would both fit, but grandma seemed pretty confident we would, so I settled in on the bench and her music resumed. “Now where was I? Oh yes.” Fingers flying across the keys as the music came to its crescendo. I had heard her play many times over the years, but never really took the time to observe and appreciate how magical and joyous is was to watch her. “That’s incredible. You’re incredible. How long have you played the piano gramma?”
“From the moment I was able to sit upright on this bench dear.”
“It looks hard. How ever did you learn without being able to see the keys?”
“Lot’s of practice. It wasn’t easy, but when you find something in life that you love, you will conquer all obstacles to be together.” That last little part, she said with a wink and somehow I had a feeling it had a double meaning, but not completely understanding her reference, I just smiled and said. “Ah I see.”
Again the music stopped. “Did you want to try?”
“Oh I don’t know. I have never touched an instrument in my life.”
“Well you are sitting next to second best music teacher there is, why not give it a shot.”
One afternoon together, transformed into a new obsession for me. Playing the piano was fun!! I wasn’t very good at it just yet, but that wasn’t preventing me from practicing every chance I got! There was something relaxing about expressing yourself through those keys, it was very therapeutic and I could tell I wasn’t the only one in the house to pour her heart out to the ivory eared listener. I just felt sorry for everyone else in the house who had to listen to my earlier sessions. I was pretty bad, and that was being kind.
By the time my due date neared, things around the house finally started to smooth themselves into a normal rhythm. Mom and I could be in the same room, without her spazzing and I was enjoying an endless supply of food, that I was allowed and recommended to eat. Even with my weight being on the higher end, the doctor expressed this wasn’t a good time to lose weight, so he wanted me to eat. If I was hungry, I was to eat, and if I had a craving he wanted me to satisfy it. Oddly enough, baby Chiffon liked pancakes, all kinds. I varied it up, but I swear for the last three months, I ate pancakes twice a day some times. Oh man were they good.
Would you believe me if I told you my water broke in my bathroom? I know right! How more perfect can you get! It started as a low roar, but in an instant I knew I was in labor and holy berry did it hurt! I let out a low groan and tried to grab the door handle. Another contraction hit and I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. “Babe!” I yelped, clutching on for dear life. “Babe! The baby is coming! Ahhhhh!”
I knew he was going to freak, but it worse than I had pictured. His frantic failing was almost too comical to take. I wanted to laugh, but the impeding contractions, was causing my sides to hitch. In between breaths, I did my best to calm him, so he could help me to the car. “Hospital now. Everything is fine, but we gotta move!”
“Okay! Okay! I’m Okay!”
It seemed all my tireless work had faded by the time we reached the hospital. I was pretty sure they were going to need two wheelchairs, one for me, and one for my hyperventilating husband. I wanted to stick around to help him, but I had much more pressing matters to deal with. He finally made it to the room, so I assumed someone helped him to the elevator and he finally settled out enough to take it from there.
To my mothers great relief, everything went smoothly. We delivered a healthy baby boy and everyone survived the ordeal, even poor Tap. Tosca Chiffon was born in the early afternoon and the second we heard his little cry, we knew our life was going to filled with much joy and adventure. Our first deposit to the Chiffon bank had been successful. Welcome to the family little one!
The next chapter will be here in just a couple of days. I first thought I wanted to write them together, but have decided to split them up. So hope you liked it. Baby chapters are always the hardest for me!!
We had sent her upstairs an hour before hand. Probably shouldn’t have waited as long as we did to go and check on her, but everyone was busy. All corners of the house were buzzing with excitement, and it sadly took a lot longer than it probably should have to realize, that Taffy was still not back. I walked through the living room to find uncle Chessie at the bottom of the stairs. After checking his watch for the third time since I had entered the room, I decided I better ask what had him so worried.
“Everything good Uncle Chessie?”
“Fine dear, but could you go check on Taffy? She went to try on her dress and hasn’t come back yet.”
I looked at the clock on the wall. I still had a little time. “Sure.”
“Thank you dear.”
Climbing the stairs quietly, so just in case something was really wrong I would be able to hear it, I headed for my grandmothers bedroom. The door was closed, not a sound could be heard on the other side. Tentatively I knocked. “Taffy? Are you in there?”
A low reply came almost immediately. “I’m here.”
“Is everything alright?”
“Can I come in?”
I nodded to myself apparently, since no one else could see me, and then opened the door slowly. The room was bright, brighter than usual. It was an overly sunny day for Twizzlerbrook and I almost didn’t see her tiny frame at first, due to the light glaring through the large window. A slight movement, just about the time my eyes were adjusting, lead me to find her on the far side of the bed. Fully dressed, face cupped in her hands, she stood very still. “Taffy?” I questioned, stepping in a little further into the room.
“I look stupid.” She moaned. “I look stupid and I feel stupid. I’m too skinny for this dress. My legs look like miniature chicken wings and everyone is going to laugh at me.”
A small tinge of annoyance colored my expression, but thankfully she still had her back to me and did not see it. I was baffled, how could such an adorable little person, be so hard on her self. Being too thin had never crossed my mind as a bad thing, but here she was, and it definitely bothered her. “Your legs don’t look like that and no one would ever see them that way.”
“Easy for you to say, you have nice legs, not tooth picks.”
Now I was really thrown off. She thought my legs were nice and hers were not. Insecurities really do come in all shapes and sizes.
I could see, that my original plan of attack would be of no use, so I decided to try another angle. I sunk down so could I get below her gaze and would be able to see her sweet eyes. “Sweetheart, you don’t have to do this, if you don’t want to. No one is going to force you to wear that dress. If you want to grab your jeans and walk down the aisle, I have no problem with that.”
Taffy sniffed loudly. “No. I will wear it. I’m just nervous.”
“That’s okay.” I smiled. “I’m nervous too. I-”
Just then the door swung open and a frantic Cerise and Sandy busted in like fireman late for a fire.
“OMB!!” Sandy squeaked. “You’re not dressed!? Where is your dress? Wisty what are you doing?!”
I searched the room for a clock and my eyes settled on the electric one sitting on the bedside table. 3:20 was staring back at me. Ten minutes. I only had ten minutes!! “Oh my!” Now it was my turn to squeak. The girls startled to scramble around the room like a couple of wild turkeys, screeching and squawking as they tried to push me out the door. “Where’s your dress?!” Sandy asked again.
“It’s in the bathroom. The bathroom!”
“Well then! Go go go!! Bathroom away!”
I tried to make sure Taffy was alright before I left, but there was no time, Sandy was literally pushing me through the open door and into the hallway.
“Go! Go! There is no time for this. She will be fine.” Sandy looked back over her shoulder. “Cerise you are on bridesmaid duty!!”
“I’m on it!”
“See, everything is fine. Now get in there!” All in the same second, Sandy had pushed me into the bathroom and shut the door behind me. *slam* “Now get that dress on missy!”
The garment bag hung on the back of the door, swinging gently from the extra force of the door being shut so abruptly. I walked over to it and started to unzip the extra long zipper. A voice shot from the other side of the door again. “Come on Wist! This is your big day. Now move it!”
“Alright! I’m going!”
Her voice was muted, but I could hear her continue to prattle on as I slipped into my gown. Rustling noises of the tafetta fabric, must have alerted her that I was working to get it on, because she started to let up, just a little bit.
“Do you need help? Can you zip it?”
I had just zipped myself up to the top as she asked. “Nope. I’m good!” I called back.
“You know this would be a lot easier in the bedroom. We could help you!”
“I got it! I promise.”
“The floor better not be wet. If you get the dress wet, I will be forced to come in there after you.”
I stepped back bumping into the door, to get a better look. “Dry as a bone.”
“Okay, well hurry up!”
“Just a second! Go find my dad please.”
“Alright. I’ll be right back.”
I hadn’t told any body about my reasoning for wanting to be in the bathroom. It sounded kind of silly saying it out loud, but my bathroom and I had been through a lot together. It only seemed fitting that I would be in there to prepare myself for such a big day. I waited till I was sure she had gone, before turning my attention to the mirror. My first real look at me in my dress. Well, other than in the dress shop, but that doesn’t count. This was real. This was the moment. I was actually shocked at who was looking back at me. I looked beautiful, and I could see it and feel it. My mouth finally cooperated and started to close from its slack-jawed position, and a smile started to spread across my lips “Hello beautiful.” I grinned to reflection. Something I had been forcing myself to do for close to year now, but for the first time, it didn’t feel silly. I was pretty sure it was starting to work. I could definitely tell, I was treating myself better because of it. I gave my reflection a final nod before opening the door.
Click me!! OMB Berry’s first montage!! Play me!
Seriously in a flash, it seemed like all was said and done. Tapestry and I were now husband and wife and I couldn’t have been happier. He promised to wait and he did just that. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been on him. It must seem like a wiz bang flash type of deal to you, I’m sure, but it was pretty much anything but. It was a long arduous road on my journey of self discovery, and truthfully I am still traveling down that path, but I finally got to a point where I was ready to carry on with someone by my side. Some one sweet, understanding and who would do anything to make me happy. I find it funny that we kind of got off on the wrong foot to start. I honestly had no clue that he saw me as anything but a buddy who would occasionally give him friendly advice, but even during my time away, we remained friends, our friendship grew more and more all the time. He was regularly checking up on me, to see how I was progressing, not in a way, that was like “hurry up already!!”, m0re like genuine interest on how things were going. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more. In fact it was his suggestion to start greeting myself in the mirror every day. I’m not sure if he came up with it on his own, or if he might have researched it, but I was so impressed, I could have cared less either way. He was that missing piece, always there to support me, pressing me to go further, it wasn’t long before I knew I was in love. Not that valentines day card and chocolate kind of love, but the real thing. A friendship set on fire. I couldn’t imagine life with anyone else.
As funny as this sounds, I was the first Chiffon from our household to go on an actual honeymoon. Circumstances in prior instances had always kept my ancestors from going out into the great unknown. Whether it was jobs or families issues, everyone from the time our family was established, had spent their wedding night at the house. I decided it was time for a change, but it was actually my uncle Prelude, who had booked us two first class tickets for a weekend in Starburst Shores! So in turn my mom and dad rented us a seaside summer home for the duration of our trip. Well it wasn’t completely seaside, but the beach was just over the road and definitely close enough! Besides I wasn’t sure how much of the beach we would actually be seeing. Hurr hurr.
It was already dark by the time our plane touched down at the Starburst Airport, a bright moon almost completely full, sat over head in the unnaturally clear sky, following us in our cab as we traveled to the opposite side of town. The night sea air was much warmer than it should have been, but that is coming from a Twizzlerite, our nights were always cold.
Tapestry paid the cabby and then helped get all of our luggage from the car. I tried to pick up one of the suit cases, but the moment I picked up the handle Tap had swooped in and snatched it away. “I got this. You just stay right here for a minute. Don’t move!”
I laughed. “Okay. I can’t go in?”
“Not yet. I will be right back.”
“Alright. I will be right here.”
Up the stairs he went, two different trips to get all the luggage and then back he came . “Alright.” He grinned. “We can go in now.”
“Alright.” We headed up the steps, but Tap stopped short after unlocking and opening the door. He turned his attention back to me and gave me a look over. Somehow I knew exactly what he was thinking. “Oh no no no. There is no way Tapestry Chiffon.” I yelped, but it was too late. He was already scooping me into his arms. “There is no way you can carry me! You crazy man!” My yelped turned into a laughing cry as I was, more effortlessly than I had envisioned, carried over the threshold. Once we were safely inside, he set me down. I still claim it was an act of berry voodoo, but the look of satisfaction on his face, warmed my heart, just the same.
We decided on one of the upstairs bedrooms and then moved our luggage in. I took my case to the bathroom, so I could slip out of dress, and into something a bit more comfortable. I was incredibly nervous. We had decided that waiting for our wedding night was something we both could manage. I probably wouldn’t have minded, but he insisted. It was more proof, that he was interested in more than just that part of our relationship. Again far too romantic to deny. So this was to be our first night. I pulled my nighty from the suitcase and slipped it on over my head. I could feel my heart racing. Was I nervous? Or excited? It was hard to tell. I swallowed hard and opened the door. Tapestry was already making himself comfortable on the bed, when I emerged. A laugh escaped his lips as I stepped into the room. “What on sweet earth are you wearing?”
“My night gown?”
“I was expecting something a little more… I don’t know. Wedding night-ish.”
I looked down at my ridiculous frock. Even with all my new found confidence, I knew there were certain things I was still not suited for and a tiny nighty was definitely one of them. “This can be sexy.” I assured him. “See.” I tried to pop a hip, but under all the fabric, the sexy motion definitely fell flat.
Tapestry just smiled and pushed himself up from the bed. “It’s alright, but I think I know something that would make it better.”
“Oh ya? What is that?” I asked inquisitively.
I wasn’t sure what he was planning, so it came as surprise, when he leaned down, grabbed the him of my nighty and slipped over my head. Dropping it off to the side on the floor, he gave me a sly smile. “That’s much better.” I could feel my mouth slightly gaping, and my cheeks had flushed a bright red. It was nothing new for us to be together, we kissed and all that other stuff, but it was the first time we had seen each other with our clothes fully off. The last time someone had seen me that way, was Matrix and well, that definitely wasn’t something I wanted to think about that moment.
Something flipped on my head as I was standing there, in all my glory, my confidence kicked into full gear. My voice had dropped to a low and sultry tone, and my movements, felt so fluid and sexy. I had no idea what had come over me, but I liked it. I bit my bottom lip and slid my hands over Taps shoulders, pulling him in closer and bringing his lips to mine. Our kiss was long and sweet, but the moment we came up for air, I leaned over and whispered in his ear. “You are looking pretty great yourself.” I cooed.
That must have been the magic phrase, because the next thing I knew, I was being lead to the bed, planting kisses on my neck as he went. He truly loved me, every part of me, and I could feel it all the way down into my toes. Our first night was NOTHING like what I had experienced before. It wasn’t a race. It was just a special time for us both, to share and explore more about each other. That was the night I finally let it all go. I had accepted me and so did he. Things had finally fallen into place. We spent the entire night in each others arms, talking and laughing till the sun came up. I had gone through a lot of hardships in my life, but looking up to find his sweet face staring back down at me, there was no doubt in my mind, that everything had been worth it.
There is only so many times you can look down at a scale before it rips your heart in two. I hit that breaking point about four months into my new regimen. I had cut my food intake by almost half, I was working out everyday, cardio as well a bit of strength training, but every time I hopped on the scale, I weighed the same. Not even a pound, to give or lose. It was like my scale was magically stuck and even if I had starved myself completely, it wasn’t going to change. I probably don’t really have to explain this, but it hurt, a lot. It all felt so hopeless. So many times I would drag myself to the bathroom and then leave in tears. Was it really so much to ask?!
Every night. Every night I took a good hour and a half out of my evening, to stand in front of the TV until I literally had sweat dripping from all possible areas… perhaps even areas that I wasn’t aware were possible. It got to a point where almost every thing I did had me at the verge of tears. I would get home from school, do my homework, have a small dinner and then it was off for my nightly meeting with Soup and Salad, the fitness gurus not the meal… They weren’t mean, they had nice soft voices, but the work out was pretty intense and being chronically exhausted, it was all pretty traumatizing. I don’t really know how to explain it, it just was. I started to lose my motivation quickly.
Then there was my meal of choice. Salad. Salad for lunch, salad for dinner, I had considered a salad for breakfast, but mom and grandma insisted I eat something with a bit more substance for at least one meal a day. I was convinced this was the exact reason why I wasn’t losing the weight, but they were adamant that I eat more than just lettuce. So every morning for breakfast, I had a bowl of low sugar, high fiber cereal with one strawberry sliced on top. Honestly it was the tastiest thing I was eating. Better than that berry awful salad. Just looking at it or even thinking about it, had the power to turn my stomach sour. Yeah, I was having loads of fun.
Day after day I found I had less and less energy. I wanted to quit, but I couldn’t. I had invested so much effort by that point and what if I was just a few days away from finally blasting over that plateau? No I was determined to keep going. Even walking to the car was a chore. I may sound like a whiny baby, but I am hoping a few of my you may understand just how frustrating it all was. Most days the boys would be already waiting at the car, fighting over the keys and who would be in the front seat before I even got out the door. It happened to be one of those days when I had probably the worst day ever. Definition of worst day ever: If it can go wrong. It will. And not only that, it will be really ugly along the way. Possibly dragging you through the mud, and then maybe step on your head, or something else horrible.
I had managed to get myself in the shower, eat my cereal and head to the car. It was a good day… to start off. Reserving as much energy as possible for after school and that evil class called PE. I drug myself out of the house, the boy chattering incesantly in front of me.
“Shotgun!” Affair screached.
“Noooo! You had it yesterday! It’s my turn!”
“I called it! There is no turn. It’s first come first serve and I said… SHOTGUN!”
Sometimes I wished I wasn’t the only one with my licence.
I probably should have seen it coming, but to due to the fact, that my brothers had switched gears and were now arguing over which crappy CD of theirs would be played on our joyous drive to school, I didn’t. I managed to get the key in the ignition after two failed attempts as I let out a giant yawn, turned the little dial thingy to the right and quess what? It wouldn’t start. It tried valiantly, the engine would roll over and whur whur whur, but in the end the old girl just couldn’t do it. Fantastic. I wanted to slam my face int0 the steering wheel, get some well needed rest.
“What happened?” Seance inquired.
“We are walking, so get your stuff.”
“What?!” Affair whined from the back seat.
“The car won’t start. We use to walk all the time. It won’t be that bad.”
“Fine.” Fine… I wanted to take his word fine and shove it down his throat. Ughhh I was so awful and I hated it. Even it was only in my head.
I stepped out of the car and grabbed my phone. Dialing Cerese’s number, I told the boys to go on with out me. When I looked up they were already halfway down the road. Thanks guys, I can see who is really appreciated here. My phone started to ring and the sound of Cerese on the other end of the line was like music to my ears. “Wist! Hey!”
“Hi hi. Look Cerese, the car died this morning. I won’t be able to come by and pick you up. Is there anyway your mom can drop you off? I am probably going to be a little late.”
“Oh, well I should have called you last night, but I totally forgot. I stepped on a giant piece of glass and my foot is all bandaged up. They put me on these crazy painkillers. I won’t be at school today.”
“What?! Are you alright? How did you do that?!”
“Ah you know me.”
I did. She was the most accident prone person, in Twizzlerbrook. It was amazing she was still alive.”
The news was disheartening to say the least, but there was nothing to be done, so I sent her some well wishes before hanging up. My day was just about to get longer. Hooray…
School itself wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Of course I was still knackered and felt my eyelids drooping more and more with each class. Our PE teacher was out sick, so at least I didn’t have that torture to deal with, and the rest of the day passed by at a fairly normal rate. I had expected everything to drag but for once it didn’t. School was out and I was ready to go home, but Affair wanted me to meet his little girlfriend and begged for me to go with them to the buzz. It was my turn to use the word fine. I followed both my brothers to our hangout and we were greeted immediately by a thin, sweet looking girl, which I assumed had to be Gloss. The moment she arrived Affair forgot all about me and Seance. He was too busy chatting and my brother does not chat under normal circumstances.
I was a little sensitive already, so when the nasty casheir behind the counter came at me with his snippiest zinger, it cut me right to the bone. I just stared at the register. “You know. This is not my day.” I mumbled. “I think I will pass on my tea.”
It was a familiar voice, and knew right away it was Tap, but the only thing to cross my mind was… great, now I have to tell Tap we have to walk because my car died. The voice in the back of my head was begging. Can we go home now.
“Hey! How are you?”
“I’m… I have been better.”
“Oh no. Is everything alright?”
“Tired. Just really tired. Car died and I’m tired. Think I am gonna walk home now.”
“Oh okay, well let me grab my stuff.”
“K.” Not even an Okay. Just K. I was so pathetic.
I didn’t say a word the whole time we were walking. Something else to make me feel worse, which was pretty much anthing that day. Someone could have told me I looked pretty and I would have found a way to twist it around and make it awful. Poor Tap, I wanted to talk but I just couldn’t. I actually was afraid the moment I started to open my mouth, about what was happening I would collapse on the floor in a flood of tears, which was something I preferred to do in the quietness of my bedroom, not on some poor unsuspecting boys shoulder. I did that once, I wasn’t about to do it again.
“Would you like to come in for a little while? I could throw on a kettle of some of my calming tea. It might help.” Tapestry offered as we made our way up to his mailbox. I was in such a foul mood though, I knew not even the tempting offering of tea was going to be able to shake me from it.
“No. I think I better just home. I need to rest up a bit before I try and torture myself with another workout in-.” I paused briefly biting my lower lip. Why the heck did I just say that? “See!” I laughed “Now I’m just rambling. That’s how tired I am. I’ll see you tomorrow at school.”
“Oh alright then. Bye Lace.”
“Bye Tap.” Still zoned, from lack of food, lack of sleep, and my exhausting regimen, I started to trudge away from Tapestry’s house to head towards home, but I wasn’t even one step onto the sidewalk when I heard a voice ring out from behind me. “I think you’re beautiful!”
My legs froze. The words hit my entire body like an electrical shock. Swallowing deeply I turned back around to face him. His eyes were as wide as saucers, almost as if he was fearful, as if he thought I was about to run over and bite his head off for being so forthcoming. I took a couple steps back towards his house. “You do?”
“I do.” He said again, this time with a little more confidence behind it. “You are beautiful. I only wish you could see it.”
I stood there in awe. Now I was speechless for totally different reasons.
“When you enter a room and every one turns to look at you, you think it’s something bad, but it’s not. They are waiting for you to smile. You light up the room every time you walk in it. Oh man that is so cheesy…” Tapestry covered his hand with his mouth, the slightest bit of pink slightly visible on either side of his fingers.
I was the proverbial deer in the headlights. I tried a couple times to say what was on my mind, but that was the problem right there. My mind was completely obliterated. Like being knocked in the funny bone, feeling so many things at once, but not knowing where to turn to or how to make it stop, so instead you just wait. “I never knew.”
“Why. Didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I… Well…” He let out a deep sigh. “You are not the only one who feels apprehensions sometimes. Do you even realize how amazing you are? Why on earth would you be interested in someone like me.”
“Now you’ re not even making sense. Someone like you. What is wrong with you?”
“Nothing I guess. It’s just you, you’re like perfect. You have the kindest heart of anyone I know, and I have seen people take advantage of that, over and over again and it kills me. I just never said anything because I didn’t know how to. And after Matrix… I was so angry, but I was afraid. Afraid if I got too involved, you might think I was trying to pull the same thing.”
“I never would have thought that. Ever.”
Tapestry threw his hands to his face. Letting out a loud groan. “I’m sorry. I never should have said anything. You were tired, wanting to rest, and now I have you here all wound up.”
“I’m not so tired anymore.” I walked closer and carefully brought his hands down from his face. “Please don’t be embarrassed. It’s probably one of the most beautiful and genuine things anyone has ever said to me.” A comfortable smile started to spread across my lips, which in turn caused his anxiousness to wane.
“You know, maybe a cup of tea would be just the thing right now.”
“Sure! Come on in and I will throw on some water.” Opening the door, he ushered me inside, leading me to the couch, before heading straight into the kitchen. Cupboards could be heard opening and closing, before what sounded like a box of tea hit the ground, followed by a “Oh Sugar.”
I leaned over the couch. “You alright in there?!”
“Yup! Water is heating up.” He assured me, re-entering the living room. Taking a seat next to me, I scooted a bit, so I could face him a little easier. “Thank you.”
“For the tea? No problem at all”
“No. I mean for all the nice things you said.”
“Oh… of course.”
“So… how long have you… you know. Felt this way about me?”
“Since our first day of school I guess.”
“Were you ever going to tell me?”
“Well I wanted to, but something always seemed to happen. I was going to tell you one time, but then you started dating that one guy. Then, I was going to tell you again, when you started dating that Bubble kid, but then you guys split and you were so heartbroken, it just didn’t seem right. It wasn’t right.”
I started to reply, but a sharp whistle coming from inside the kitchen interrupted me mid thought.
“I better get that.” With that he was up again, and I slouched back in my seat. My mind was a whirlwind of questions. There was a stirring deep in my belly, unlike anything I had ever felt. I could hear his words over and over again in my mind.
“Here we are.” Handing my cup, Tapestry took his seat next to me again. Tapping the side of the mug with his fingers, it was obvious this situation had him incredibly nervous. Not knowing what else to do, I took a sip from my cup and set it on the table. For the first time in months, my mind flashed back to those nights with Matrix. Causing me to feel more ashamed than I ever had.
“Whats wrong.” Tapestry asked, concern taking the place of all the nervousness from just a few moments before. I stared down at my mug, the steam still gently wafting from its top. “You don’t think less of me because of what happened? With Matrix?” I didn’t have to courage to flesh it all out, but I was pretty sure he got what I meant.
“No, I don’t. I think a jerk misused a trusting and caring heart. ”
One tear drop began to roll down my cheek.
“Please don’t cry. He’s not worth it.”
“He’s not.” I laughed, taking in a sniffle. Things started to get quiet again, so I took another sip of my tea. There was a pregnant pause. I wasn’t sure what to say next.
“I really hope you don’t mind that I call you that.”
“Okay. Lace? Would you like to go on a date with me?”
I set down my mug and turned in my seat. With a huge smile on my face, I said. “No.”
Tapestry’s face fell instantly. I could feel my heart crumble.
“No. Okay. I understand.”
“I don’t think you do. It’s not that I don’t want to go out with you. I’m just not ready. Not yet. I need some time to get things sorted out. For myself. I say no, but it’s not forever. I just need some time. I’m sorry Tap. This isn’t meant to hurt you, but can you wait? Just for a little while?”
He took hold of my arm and gave my hand a gentle squeeze. “I would probably, just about, wait forever.”
My whole face lit up again. “You are amazing.” I grinned.
“So are you.”
I didn’t stay much longer after that. I needed to get home, start organizing some things. Probably start off with a nap, I thought to myself. A welcoming thought if I did say so. I gave him a small hug and a kiss on the cheek. “Well.” I grinned. “Hopefully I will be back soon.”
“Take care Lace.”
“Gonna try!” I teased. I was definitely feeling a little better, the thought of going home and not having to torture myself was incredibly uplifting.
It all started on my walk home. This was the time, I needed to make a change.
Love had given me an awfully strange hand to play. No, it wasn’t really ever that bad, but it certainly had not been the best either. Most would say, I really had little to no insight on the matter. Sure I had a boyfriend and a… well what ever he was, but you were definitely not looking at an expert. I had said before, I held no illusions, that a knight in his pristine armor would come riding through the mist and rescue me. But then… why not? Why couldn’t I have my fairy tale ending? Was it really impossible? If I was able to love unconditionally, was it really so much of stretch, that I should want that in return? I was finally starting to see, the answer to my question was no. Maybe the problem was not so much the illusion, as it was my part to play. Maybe it was up to me to make sure my ending happened. Every boy on the planet could tell me I was beautiful but what good was it, if I couldn’t tell myself. Maybe it was up to me to be my own shining knight. Perhaps it’s not the love of another that I needed, but a deeper love and understanding of myself… Then maybe, just maybe I would be ready to share that love with another. I had another long road a head, but this one seemed a bit more obtainable. Like struggling in the darkness before you find the that light. I was on a path to find a better Wisty and hopefully lead her to a new place in my heart.
Have you ever had one those dreams? The kind that jolt you from a dead sleep, but you have no idea why? Peacefully dreaming when a noise unknown to you, trespasses in on your inner most sanctum, causing you to fly off your pillow searching the room for answers? That was the kind of dream I was having that night. The dream itself was nice enough, there was no immediate danger, or even any sort of loud noises, but for some odd reason, my eyes shot open and I sat upright. Searching the dark corners of my room, for the location of the sound, but there was nothing. Every thing was still, completely silent and calm.
There! I heard it again. The noise was so muffled, it was hard to believe that it could wake me from such a sound sleep.
I slipped my legs over the side of the bed and let my feet make contact with wooden floor below, it was cold, but not so much that I felt the need to grab my slippers.
What on earth was happening out there? Every few seconds and *smack* over and over again. I was fairly certain it wasn’t a burglar or some sort of home invader, but to be completely sure, I discretely peaked out the door that led to my balcony. The window pane wasn’t very wide and all I could see was a little movement out in front of the Shiloh house.
This is silly, I thought to myself. Just go out the door and get a better look. Finally I did just that. Unlocking the door, I stepped out into the night air, which to my surprise, was much warmer than I had expected. It made me wonder why the floor had been so cold, perhaps the air conditioning? I paused. I was getting off track. I had a tendancy to do that. Bringing my attention back to the moment at hand, I looked from my widows walk to find a boy chucking eggs at my neighbors house. He had like two dozen or so and looked as if he was only through half of the first carton.
I’m not sure what it was that caused me to even think it would be a good idea to intervene, but for some reason, I quickly went back into my room, snagged my robe from it’s hook and threw it over me as I made my way down the stairs. Stupid boy. Didn’t he know who lived there? Surely he wouldn’t have tried if he had. I had better just go out and warn him before it was too late. Yes it all seemed logical in my head, so I continued on, out my front door, and down the steps. I hadn’t been to my fathers house is almost four years and it seemed I had forgotten a step or two, and almost fell flat on my face,three forgotten steps before the ground. Oof. Fourteen steps Gloss, not eleven.
He didn’t appear to be dangerous, just incredibly stupid. *smack*
“Ummm, what are you doing?” I sounded more like an interrogator than I had intended. The boy paused, but never took his eyes from his work. He slammed another egg against the side of Mayor Shiloh’s house. *smack*
“You do realize who lives here right?” Me, of all people asking this question, it amused me. He had to live in town, or maybe not. There was no way to know. *smack*
“Dude. I’m standing right here. You can pretend all you want, but I can see you, I could reach out right now and slap you on the back of the head. Wanna see?” I shot back angrily. One thing I hated was being ignored.
Finally he turned around, a smug grin plastered on his face, but still he never spoke.
“Hello? Are you deaf or something?” I genuinely wanted know.
“Yeah, I can hear just fine.”
“Okay. So, what are you doing here? Do you always find it a good idea to egg the mayors house?”
“You don’t say much do you?”
“Look, I am a little busy here, so if you wouldn’t mind leaving us alone that would be awesome.”
I looked beside him as well as in front and behind. There was no “us” other than me, and I was pretty sure he was not including me in his statement, so where was this other person? A few times I blinked, a blank expression revealing my confusion, but he was way to into what he was doing to notice or care. “I’m sorry I swore you said us.”
“I did. We are busy, so you should just go away. And leave us alone.”
Oh wow this guy was totally nuts. I should have ran back to the house, it would have been smarter than sticking around to find out what whacko would churn out next, but I stayed, blame it on my curious nature. “So there is somone else here, besides you and I?”
“Jeez she doesn’t give up does she?”
“Who are you talking to?”
“Is your friend real?”
“Uh huh. Alright. Well I would suggest you and your friend go home before you get in trouble. If you get caught here, it could be really bad for you… er both.”
“You don’t ge it. Uhhh what’s your name?”
“Gloss, this is something I have to take care of. This guy, that lives here is the biggest jerk and he broke my sisters heart. So Tryst suggested we egg his house.”
“Tryst? Is this your friend?”
There was no time for him to answer. A short siren beep later and I knew we were busted. The red flashing light glared from across the road, and I felt my knees turn to jelly. Oh no, I knew it was going to happen, I just forgot to consider the fact, what if I was still there when it did. The boy dropped the eggs but stood his ground. Not that he would have probably gotten very far if he had tried to make a run for it with his… partner in crime.
I squealed. “This is exactly what i was talking about! You can’t just egg the mayors house, no matter how much of a jerk her son is!” I had no idea if what he was saying was even true, not knowing my neighbors personally just yet, it was hard to tell, but he seemed awfully angry for it to be a lie.
A sturdy police officer exited his vehicle, and walked across the sidewalk, right up to the … three of us? His voice was stern as he began his lecture. This was just berry fudgin lovely, now I was in on this, and as much as I tried to explain that I had nothing to do with it, he wasn’t going for it.
“Officer, I was just trying to get him to stop.”
“That seems a bit farfetched little lady.”
“Why do you think I am in my bathrobe! I live right over there!” I pointed in the direction of my house, but he still gave me that glare, as if to say, “I’m sorry little girl, I don’t believe a word you are saying”. Wonderful, the thanks I get for trying to be a good samaritan, I grumbled to myself. The cop then turned his attention to the boy, trying to get what ever information he could. The boy did not make it easy, I just knew I was going to get hauled off the to jail by the end of all of it.
“What is your name boy?”
“Uhhh, I don’t have a last name.”
“No last name? Son, you better not lie to me. I am not a man you want to mess with.” Unable to get the answers he needed, he brought his attention back to me, my stomach completely flipped leaving me slightly woozy. “Do you know this boy?” He pressed.
“So you do not know his name?”
“His first name is Affair, but I just learned that when you did.”
“I see, and your name little girl?”
“Gloss. Gloss Dreamcatcher.”
The police officer pulled a note pad from his back pocket and jotted my name down along with Affair’s first name. I just prayed to the great berry above Affair omitted the fact that Tryst was there also. I’d be off to jail and he’d be off to the loony bin.
Once he had gotten our names written in his book, which I knew was going to tarnish my perfectly clean record, he instructed us both to sit while he ran our names through the system. By this point I was terrified. My father was going to kill me. The interrogation sadly, did not end there. “So, Gloss, Affair… what are you two doing here?” He reached down and picked up the full carton of eggs and opened the lid. “Ohhh my eggs. I haven’t seen one of these in years. Going old school I see.”
Affair quickly dove into his explanation, doing his best to keep me out of it. “Sir this is my fault. We were already out here, when-”
“We?” The police officer, caught on, and inquired immediately.
Oh sweet Berry, this was it. I could hear the little white padded van rolling down the road to take him away. Stupidly I interjected. “By we, he means him and me. He was trying to keep me out of trouble, but I just can’t let him take the full rap. It was both of us. We. Yup.” Affair shot me a look of surprise, and my eyes dropped into my lap. Dead. Dead. Dead.
Once the policeman had taken our statements, he left us both to sit and stew while he went back to his car to run some names and numbers. He had managed to get a last name from Affair, and I almost fell over backwards when he said Chiffon. That name was almost as influential around these parts as the mayor.
“You’re a Chiffon?”
“Wow, this could be bad.”
“It was worth it.”
“So what happened.”
“Jerk dated my sister, and lied about his girlfriend.”
“It was bad. She was crying all the time and I hated that there was nothing I could do.”
“So you guys, thought this was a good way to deal with her issue?”
“Seemed like the only thing we could do.”
“Does your sister know you’re here?”
“No. I don’t think she noticed. She was busy working out. Something she started after it happened.”
“Gosh it sounds like he hurt her pretty bad.”
“There’re more to the story, but let’s just leave it at that. Okay.”
“Sure. I understand. It’s personal.”
“Look I’m really sorry, we dragged you into this. Tryst feels really bad too.”
“Aww, thanks. I… I will be fine. It’s a first, I’m sure my parents won’t grill me too badly.”
“Still, I’d like to make it up to you. Maybe I could, I don’t know, take you to coffee or something?”
I looked up to find a pair of sweet blue eyes staring right into me. Were my cheeks flushing? Was I actually getting anxious over this silly boy. I laughed nervously folding some extra hair behind my ear. “You mean like a date?”
“Well, only if you want to. It could be just coffee if that is what you want.”
I thought about it for a few moments, my smile was hard to contain, but the darkness of the night helped to conceal it a bit. “Well you do sort of owe me big time for this. Sure. Why not. Coffee sounds nice.”
“Okay! Great! Can I get your number? You know what? You live right there, how about I just meet you here, Saturday? Noon sound alright?”
Once the officer had returned, he pretty much let us go. I guess since it had been a first offense for both of us, he chose to let us off with a warning. He did escort Affair home, but did not take him all the way to the door, he merely dropped him off and instructed, that in the future that he was to keep his nose clean. I slipped up the steps and back to my room. It was hard to believe so many little things could happen in such a small amount of time, but something about Affair was exciting, intriguing, all together fascinating to me, and I could hardly wait for Saturday. I snuggled into bed, and switched off the light. Strangest night ever, and it was only day four of my new life. Twizzlerbrook was sure different from Sugar Valley and in my opinion, it was so, in a very good way. My silly grin stuck with me, even after I had fallen back to sleep.
Well… I hope that I will be able to get the second part up for you guys tomorrow, but if I can’t… hope you enjoyed part 1, Part 2 will be along shortly.
It had to be a dream, it couldn’t possibly be real. I gripped the phone in my hand, refusing to let it go. For a long moment, I just stared at the screen, unsure of what I should do next. My heart was pounding in my temples and could feel the tears sliding down my chin. What was I supposed to do now? I couldn’t call him, it was far too late for that, and even if I did, what was I going to say? Oh Matrix are you still with your girl, because I swore you came to my house one night to tell me you had broken up? The thought of all the deceit, set off an angry hatred, burning deep within me. I threw the phone on the bed, where it landed neatly into one of the folds away from my sight. Good, I thought to myself, I didn’t want to look at it anymore.
Just like an overwhelming wave of nausea, I felt my stomach turnover with guilt and disgust. I was horrified. What in the world had possessed me to do what I did?! I had slept with Matrix and I did it for all the wrong reasons. I allowed someone else’s smugness to overpower my good judgement, and I hopped right into bed with him, and now, it looked as if I had nothing to show for it. Suddenly my silent tears shifted into sorrowful sobs. How could he do this to me!? How could I do this to myself!? My mind was in a mini game of ping pong. Just about the time I started to feel sorry for myself, a little voice would chime in with a small glimmer of hope that Tulip was lying. It wouldn’t really be above her to start drama, but would she really go out of her way to call me in the middle of the night, for absolutely no reason? That seemed a bit much even for her.
I cleaned up my nose a bit, basically just rubbed the back of my hand across my face, and then took a seat at my desk. I needed to talk to someone, I only hoped that someone, anyone, would be online. It was a stretch seeing it was close 3:3o in the morning, but there was no possible way I was going to sleep now, so it was worth an honest shot. I opened my laptop and pressed the power key. The few seconds it took for my system to boot up felt like an eternity. My heart was still pounding, only a little less violently, now that the shaking had subsided, and that was good thing. Logging into my messenger program, I waited for my friend list to pop up. There she was, or at least it said she was still on. The one person I really wanted to talk to, Cerese.
I sent out a message and then waited as patiently as I could for her to reply. It took less than two seconds. Of course the first thing she wanted to know, was why in the world I was still up. If I had been in better spirits, I probably would have asked her the same thing. Instead, I started to cry again, tears dripping as I typed out a small summary of what had happened. After it was finally ready to send, I held my hand over the enter key for several seconds. I hated having to admit to what I had done, especially to her. She was such a good wholesome girl and I was pretty sure after I sent the message, her whole perception of me was about to change, but my options were kind of on the slim side, so I finally pressed my finger against the offending key. There was a long pause, followed by some amazingly colorful words directed at Matrix. I couldn’t believe it. She was angry all right, but none of it was directed at me, like I had imagined it would. There were many things I did not consider in my haste to get in contact with anyone who would listen. One of those being, Cerese was extremely good friends with Matrix’s girlfriends cousin. Who also went to our school. Well to make a long story short, within 10 minutes there was a four way conversation going between, Cerese, Frost, Cherry and myself. Thankfully to keep my humiliation to a dull roar, the only person I had to communicate with was Cerese. We played relay for about a half an hour, and by the end, it was clear that A: yes Matrix was still with Cherry and B: Cherry was one irate little berry. The shaking started in again. I told Cerese I needed to see her, badly. She invited me come over, so I closed my computer and headed downstairs. I knew couldn’t just take the car, I would have to ask mom and dad first. I went down stairs and headed to the back of the property to Mom and Dad’s private little house.
Carefully opening my parents door, I stepped inside. Every light in the room was out and the darkness was only making it harder to do, what I had come to do. Attempting to do everything in my power to keep my labored breathing from giving away just how horribly upset I was, I inhaled a full deep breath, in hopes it would steady my voice.
“Mom?” It didn’t work. My voice wavered like laundry on the clothesline in the twizzlerbrook wind.
Mom started to stir, the lights were still off as she called out to me from the safe confines of her covers. “Baby? What’s wrong?”
I shut my eyes and squeezed them tight. Another deep breath and… “Mom I want to go to Cereses.”
“Why love? It’s 4 in the morning.”
“I know.” My voice faltered again. It seemed like, the harder I tried to stay in control, the faster I was spinning out of it.
Mom pushed herself upright. “Baby? Why are you crying?”
I had no idea what I was going to say. Why was I crying? It was more like, why wasn’t I crying? I had messed up on so many levels. I was ashamed and the last thing I wanted to do was talk about what I had done. I placed my hand to the side of my head, wishing I could hide behind it. “I just really need to see her right now.” I explained, my voice still an utter mess.
“Can’t you go in the morning?”
“No. I need her now.”
“Sweetheart you are way too upset to be driving. What’s the matter?”
My lip started tremble and yet again I was sobbing, I apologetically brought my eyes up to meet her gaze. I had never been so embarrassed in my entire life. Before I had a chance to answer there was another voice coming from the other side of the bed.
“Whats wrong?” My father asked.
“I don’t know, she is having a hard time telling me.”
This was just getting worse, now dad was getting out of bed as well. Finally I came out with it. “Mom, Tulip just called me and… and Matrix is still with his girlfriend!!” I wailed.
“Okay… and you are this upset just because he still has a girlfriend? Are you sure there something else?” She inquired, prying deeper.
I hung my head, I didn’t even have to speak the words. She already knew.
I threw my arms around her and sobbed violently into her shoulder. “I’m sorry!” I cried. “I shouldn’t have done it!”
“It’s okay love. It’s okay.” She replied back, her voice, soft and low as she stroked my hair.
Both of my parents held onto me that early morning, both set of arms, holding onto what was left of their daughter. I had never felt like such a let down in my life. Of course at the time, all I could imagine was their disappointment, it was hard to feel anything else. In reality the only thing they were actually upset about, was the fact that I was hurting so deeply. But you try explaining that to a teenage girl, who just had her heart ripped out of her chest by someone she thought she loved.
I fell asleep between them that night, something I had not done since I was a small girl. It was just what I needed, it was safe and warm and just enough to allow me to finally drift off into a dreamless rest. Once I had finally succumb to sleep , most of the pain dissipated, at least for a temporary moment in time. There was no doubt it would be back when I woke, but a few hours I was able to rest without hurt.
The early afternoon sun, drifted through the shades, blanketing my eyelids with its warmth. I blinked a few times trying to let the light in slowly and then looked around the room. For a brief unconscious millisecond, I’d forgotten where I had fallen asleep, as well had forgotten the previous night and all of it’s transgressions. Then it all crashed down again, like a clap of thunder across my mind. The hurt, the betrayal, it was back with a vengeance.
For the third time in a very short span, I found myself crying. My bruised heart ached with disappointment. It felt as if my insides were trying to escape through my chest, it hurt almost as bad as it had on the front steps of great ancestors home… almost. That had been far worse, but at least with that, I had been fairly sure it would all subside, this felt like it would last forever. My heart had been broken and it was now up to me sit it out and hopefully gather up what remained. I sat on the edge of the bed, staring down at the carpet, letting each tear drip off the tip of my nose. It had been my own fault, I knew that, but that didn’t make it anymore merciful . It actually made it harder, and knowing I could have avoided it all, if I had only listened to my heart and not let my childish pride step in the way, made me want to hide under my parents covers, never to be seen again.
It was almost 2:30 in the afternoon, before I was able to push myself off my parents bed. Hunger was finally getting the better of me, so I sheepishly emerged from the guest house with an invisible weight bearing down on both my shoulders. I had zero energy to spare and each step was more of a drag shuffle across the lawn. It took everything I had to make it through the back yard and up to the sliding glass door. Grabbing hold of the long slider handle and set my forehead against the cool glass. After a moment of trying to gather up another reserve of energy, I slid the glass open and went inside to the kitchen.
I was not expecting what I found there. The entire family minus my mother and father were standing in the kitchen talking in quiet, hushed yet surprisingly heated tones. I stepped right up to the door jam where I froze. Everyone stopped what they were doing to turn in my direction, all four faces drawn in different forms of malcontent. I knew immediately that they all knew. Everyone held their silence as I entered the kitchen and made my way to the refrigerator. I lifted a box of cereal from above the fridge and then grabbed my bowl from the sink. I could feel all the eyes on me, while pulling an opened bottle of milk from the fridge. I had hoped they would go away, but no one budged, not even after I had poured the milk and placed the bottle back on the shelf.
In fact there was no movement, not even a sound, until I set my bowl down at the table for my oddly late breakfast. Before I could even swallow my first spoonful, everyone had crowded around my chair. Now all they could do was speak. Unfortunately it was all at the same time, making in incredibly hard to decipher.
“Oh Sweetheart. Are you alright.”
“That jerk! Just wait until I see him at school…”
“I have a better idea, and I’m not even waiting for school.”
“Boys, just relax. This is Wisteria’s problem, she will deal with it in her own time. Love if you need to talk, I’m here.”
I wanted to drown in my bowl. Somehow things were only getting more and more embarrassing as the time tracked on, as unbelievable as it sounds, I know. I shifted in my seat, hoping that a different position would make what was happening a bit more comfortable. Obviously that wasn’t going to work and I had all but lost my appetite. I pushed the bowl across the table a few inches before standing from my chair. “I think I’m done here.” I muttered to myself, before exiting the room.
Praying that no one would follow, I headed through the front hall towards the stairs. If I could just make it to my room, I would be safe. Thankfully I was alone as I headed to the second floor. I only had the small stretch through the upstairs hall and I was home free. I made it without indecent and shut myself inside.
I gripped the handle and slowly closed the door. Great, now everyone in the house knew I was a hussy. Now everyone can be equally as disappointed. Hooray! Dreamer walked over by my feet and rubbed up against my leg to greet me. “Hey cutie.” I smiled, picking him up and hugging him close. He purred deeply into my ear as I stroked his bristly fur. “You still love me right buddy?”
He let out a small meow and I took it as an immediate, you bet Wisty! At least someone was still on my side, withholding judgement and ridicule. I could only imagine what would happen when school started back again. I shuddered to think, or at least I thought I was shuddering, but it wasn’t me at all, it was my phone. I retrieved it from my pocket to find a text message had come in.
I had to check twice after my eyes adjusted to the name. It was Matrix. What could he possibly want. “I know what you”re… was call I could read. I was going to have to open it fully to get the rest. Against my better judgement, I hit the see more button.
“I know what you’re doing, but it didn’t work. Cherry and I are still together. I told her everything and she forgave me. The truth will set you free. -M”
I glared at the screen. Why that little… no word seemed appropriate, or nasty enough to describe him. I wanted chuck my phone right at his head, but settled for slamming it down hard on my desk.
How could anyone possibly be that awful! I could feel all the hurt that had been resting in heart, slowly trickle away as the anger flowed in. I was no longer sad about losing him, all I wanted to do was scream in his face and tell him what a big jerk he was. How could I be so stupid! To think anything that he had said had been meaningful. It was all lies and I ate it up like it had been the most heartfelt confession since Romeo to Juliet. Idiot! If I never saw him again, it would be far too soon. Unfortunately when you go to school together, it’s kind of impossible, but I was determined to see him as less as I possibly could.
I couldn’t tell you, if he decided not to show his face around, or if someone actually asked him not to come back, but either way Matrix no longer frequented our hangout spot and no one seemed to miss him. It was the closest thing we had to a normal semblance and even that didn’t last very long. The dynamic, even with only one missing member, had shifted everything. There was a new seat order, and even a couple new faces.
Of course, some things stay the same, but only after they’ve shifted into a new form. Sandy was no longer locking lips with Requiem all the time. Now she had my brother, in fact my brothers presence eventually lost us another member of group. Requiem couldn’t hang, and even though they were polite enough to keep the mushiness at bay while he was around, he too soon disappeared, only to pop up once in a while when he needed something from his sister. It seemed my little slip up had 0n going effects, or maybe times were just changing. Nothing stays the same forever afterall.
At least I still had my BFF. I never would have survived without her.
And we still had our own little group with Tapestry, Cerese and I. Only difference now was most of the time we had a car to walk to, instead of down the road. There were still days when I couldn’t get the car, and after poor Cerese’s car had caught fire, we often found ourselves walking the same old beaten path, only now the conversation was a bit more balanced now that Tapestry and I were actually a friendship type basis. Slowly life started to get back to normal, but there was a part of me, a part that couldn’t get past it all.
It wasn’t Matrix, I wanted nothing to do with that lying, cheating, berryhole. This was more of an internal problem. The realization that maybe I wasn’t good enough for girlfriend material. I was the fat friend, and who would want that? I had pushed it off for years, I had even gotten to a point where I thought I had pushed all my weight insecurities to the back of my mind for good. Unfortunately a soul crushing betrayal can be just enough to open an old wound. I found myself obsessed with my scale, as well as my mirror. I had decided if I ‘d hoped for any chance to be happy, I was going to have to finally get serious about losing my extra weight.
It was going to be a long road ahead.
Perhaps it should have been my first clue, that things were not as perfect as first perceived, when Matrix, quickly got up, got dressed, and headed downstairs to watch TV after we had finished. I was a little bit surprised, but since I was definitely no expert when it came to this sort of thing and only had movies and books to go on. How did I know what was supposed to happen next? I didn’t, so I threw on my clothes and met him downstairs.
I had already let anger cloud my judgment, what would it hurt to add a little pride and shame to the mix. I had a horrible feeling deep in the pit of my stomach. This was all wrong. I just made a huge mistake. The moment the thoughts floated through my mind, I pushed them away. No I was not about to admit that I just messed up. Instead I tried a different tactic. Maybe if I brought it up, we could talk about it. That much I did know about relationships, or at least real relationships? Ughhh the feeling was back again. I stood near the couch, trying to decide the best way to proceed.
“Oh hey cutie.”
“What are you doing all the way down here?”
“Oh, my show was about to start. Couldn’t miss it. What’s the matter?”
“Nothing… I just thought, you know, we would cuddle for a bit.”
“Ya, I don’t like that.”
Matrix realizing that he may have to do a bit of damage control, slid the remote off the couch and motioned for me sit. “We can cuddle here. Come sit with me.” I foolishly obliged. Something had seriously shorted in my brain or something, because I was eating everything he fed me, and only this tiny little part, probably my last surviving voice of reason, was able to knock any sense into me. Sadly the voice was far to small to hear at the point. I settled myself in close to him. His arm slid around me, and my voice of reason completely vanished. See this wasn’t so bad.
He even flipped the TV off for a bit so we could talk. I felt my nerves start to settle. See it was all just a misunderstanding. Everything was fine. It was nice to feel loved and appreciated, and it had been a long time since I had felt either without the worry of other things. Most important of those, was my weight, he told me I was beautiful and for once I actually believed it. We stayed together on the couch for about an hour, until I looked at the clock and saw I had 7 minutes to get my butt back home.
We said our goodbyes on the porch. My sense of dread had washed away completely. It felt amazing in his arms, I felt like I had won a prize! One of the most popular guys in school and he wanted me. Hah! it felt pretty amazing. If only Tulip knew about this little gem of information.
I was humming all the way home, tapping the steering wheel. I guess I was so engrossed in what I was doing, I hadn’t even noticed who was walking up the road as I drove past. I pulled into the drive, but my favorite song was only half finished, so sat in the car listening until it was over. Interestingly enough this was just enough time for Tapestry to appear over the hill. I closed the car door, and looked up to see him waving as he came up the sidewalk.
“Hi!” I waved back with a smile.
“Tap! What a surprise. What are you doing here?”
“Hey Wisteria! I just came by to see you.”
“Oh, well perfect timing. I just got home.”
“Ya, I saw you drive by. Listen I brought some stuff for you. Some things you might be interested in.” He stated patting a notebook he held at his hip.
I turned my head to the side to try and read the cover, but it was just an ordinary note pad. “What is it?”
“Well…” Tap was getting nervous now. “I know we decided to go a different direction with our report, but I sort of did a lot of interesting research on the side, and I found some things you might be interested in.”
“Oh…” I jingled my keys. “Come on in.”
We went inside and took a seat on the couch. After getting settled, I switched on the lamp and he handed the note pad over.
“I hope you can read it. My handwriting is a bit sloppy.”
I flipped through a couple pages. “No this is fine.”
“Good. First though, before you start reading…” I closed the book. “Yes?”
“How much do you know… about your ancestors?”
“Well.” I rested the book in my lap. “I know that my great grandfather, was in love with my great grandmother, and they were both married to other people.”
“Did you know, that she had four other children?”
“Yes.” I pointed to the painting directly above my head. “She kinda stuck out like a sore thumb.”
“Ever wonder why she was chosen to be heir. I mean, she was the illegitimate child. Kind of strange it would be her wouldn’t it?”
“I guess so.”
Tapestry nodded and patted the book. “Okay, open it.”
I started to read. There was all kinds of information, though most of it was all over the place, it was pretty easy to get the main idea. Life for my grandmother was nothing but easy after the birth of her love child. She had the community to deal with, she had her husband to deal with, not the mention the feelings she still shared for the man, who helped to cause all the trouble. There was even a couple of printouts of photos. One in particular caught my eye. A large brown house with a man and woman standing outside. The man was dressed all in purple and the woman was a beautiful creature, with a stunning pink main of hair. Her eyes were so crystal clear they seemed to jump right off of the paper.
“This was him.” I stated, pointing at the page. That was when my eyes focused in on their surroundings. “That house. That was their house?”
“Yes they lived right next door to your family.”
I almost dropped the book on the floor. “That’s the house!”
“I was at that house. I knew, I knew it! We have to go back.”
I started to plan. “You busy tomorrow?”
“Well tell your mom we are going out.”
I probably could have gone alone, but adventures are far more fun when you have a partner in crime right? Not only that, he had a lot of information sitting up there in his head, it might just come in handy. Also I had come to really enjoy us hanging out, he was a good friend, honest and true, it would have seemed wrong not to bring him along. Besides, from the previous times we had hung out, it was obvious that he didn’t get out much…
We drove out to Sugar Valley, and my decision to bring Tap along paid off almost the second we drove into town. I started to pull into the heart of the city when I realized I was lost. I knew it was up a hill, but there were more hills than I remembered. With his help though we found our way to the large brown house. Stepping out of the car, I looked to the left. The information said our old house was there, but the only thing was an empty lot. Guess it had been torn down years ago. We walked up the steps and the same feelings as before, started to wash over me. I rang the doorbell, but there was no answer.
“Maybe, no one is home.”
I looked in the window, there was furniture, so someone did actually live there. “I think you’re right.”
“I just want to have a look around.”
“Okay. Just be careful.”
“I’ll be fine.”
Again I started right for the fountain that sat in the garden. Something about it had me drawn to it, like a moth to light. I stepped closer and just like the last time, I could feel the pain, a heavy feeling in my heart. “Something happened here. I just know it.” I reached out to touch the warm marble. You would think I would have learned my lesson from the last time, but if my latest actions were any indication, I wasn’t always the most logical being. The moment I touched the surface of the fountain, voices started ring out all around me.
The voices! They bombarded my head. Sobbing, screaming, begging, oh the pain! It hurt, and significantly more than the last time. I tried to scream but there was nothing. My voice no longer sounded like my own. I was crying, I could feel the tears, but there was far too much in my head to to keep any of it straight. A distant voice tried to cut through. “Lace? Are you alright?” I tried to reply. Still nothing. The voices crashed down upon me again.
“Please, let’s just run away together!”
“Lace. I’m so sorry. Please will you ever forgive me.”
“I love you!”
Finally my voice was able to pierce the chatter. I clutched the sides of my head as I let out a blood curdling scream. “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Lace! Omb! Lace! What is wrong. Lace. Talk to me!!!! We need help! Help!! Someone! Help us!”
It was all too much. Everything around me started to spin out of control. I tried to steady myself, but before I had a chance everything went black. I’m pretty sure Tap tried to catch me, but I was a bit too much for him to support and I hit the ground with a thud.
The next thing I remember is Tap trying to wake me up. His voice was riddled with panic, I could feel him patting my cheek “Lace! Wisteria? Wake up. Please. Wake up.”
My eyes blinked a few times, and the blinding sun bore deep into my retinas. “Ughhhh” Was always I was able to manage. “What happened?” I asked as Tapestry helped to my feet. “You passed out. Are you alright?”
I had no idea if I was alright, I wasn’t even sure what happening now that I was awake again. The voices were still echoing quietly in my head, and all I seemed to be able do was stare blankly at Tapestry’s sweater lapel. That’s when the sadness hit, it felt like I had been dumped, gone home found my cat had been hit by a car, and my parents had gotten a divorce. Needless to say it was a heart-wrenching feeling. Tap touched my shoulder again. “Lace are you alright? You look as if you are about-”
I looked up to gaze into his eyes. The tears were perched at the corner of my lids. My lip began to tremble and threw myself into his arms.
I didn’t know what to say. I just cried. Cried and cried.
“I want to go home now.”
I didn’t say anything the whole drive home. I was still in pain. Unlike the last time, it didn’t go away. I could still feel it, burning a hole in my chest. I looked over to the passenger seat a few times to find Tapestry staring back at me. The look of concern on his face, made it even harder to hide the horrible feelings I was now harboring. I started in the direction of his home and he touched my arm. “No. Just go home. I’ll walk.”
A puzzled look nestled into my brow. “I can drive you home. I’m fine.”
“No you are not and I want to make sure you get home safely. Please. I’ll walk home.”
“Alright.” I was in no mood to argue, so I turned the car at the next street and drove us both back to my house. When we got to the house, Tapestry helped me up to my room. “This really isn’t necessary. I will be fine.”
“You do realize you passed out back there?”
“Okay… just get some rest. You need it.”
“Yes. Dad.” I teased. It was a playful tease though. It was in actuality an incredibly sweet gesture.
“If you need anything. You can call me. Okay?”
My head hit the pillow and I was pulled into a deep sleep. I never even heard him leave. It was a nice sleep, apparently a really nice sleep, because at some point I got up and put on pajamas even though I don’t ever remember doing it.
It wasn’t until 3 am when my phone rang, that I even realized I was back at home. I had missed dinner, and for some strange reason no one had come to get me for it. Maybe they had, I sure didn’t remember it though. I picked up my phone and tried to read who it was coming in. It was a number I didn’t recognize, but for some odd reason I picked it up anyways.
“Tulip? What? Why are you calling me? It’s like 3 am.”
“I know! I’m sorry. It’s just… well I just now got home from the fair, and I saw. Wisteria I saw Matrix and his girlfriend, and they are definitely not broken up.”
Berry note: Yes, I am fully aware her clothes and hair change… >_< I had a couple technical difficulties and that was one of the results of it all. So my apologies. Let’s just pretend it is all the same lol… thanks! ♥
Our first date was rather intimate. Matrix had invited me over for a movie date, but when I got there, I was greeted by a pair of strong arms, that immediately wrapped themselves around me. I was a bit shocked to say the least, but soon melted into his embrace. It was a passionate infusion that I could feel from the tip top of my head all the way down to my toes. I didn’t ask questions, I didn’t even hesitate. I had been secretly hoping something would happen, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect it so suddenly. A few brief moments and I was hooked.
Our second date was similar, only this time we went out to a movie. After leaving the theater, instead of going straight home, we headed out to the edge of town, parked his jeep for a little alone time. I had a hard time staying in control around him, it was a crazy desire unlike anything I had ever felt before. There was touching and and holding and kissing, and I was loving every second of it. A voice in the back of my head, kept trying to tell me it was all too fast, but for some reason I didn’t care in slightest. Everything outside those windows, were of no consequence to me.
It was something I had been deprived of feeling for far too long. The feelings of love, acceptance and longing. Someone wanted me and the best part, I wanted them in return. There was no fighting with parents over who was right or who was wrong. There was no fighting at all. Only kisses and cuddles and lots of them. Since I had gotten my drivers licence I had a little bit more freedom. I was able to visit anyone that I wanted as long as I let my parents knew where I was going. Though I may have left out a small tiny detail that Matrix’s mother worked the graveyard shift, which left us to our own devices until my curfew at 10pm.
I wasn’t always the driver, I just somehow had a bit more freedom, not a lot, but it felt like a whole lot more with the extracurricular activities we were getting into. After our movie date, Matrix dropped me off at the house, walked me to the door and kissed me goodnight. I couldn’t help but feel that things were finally going my way.
Everything I did just seemed more awesome. Even brushing my teeth, I had a little happy rhythm that I brushed to. Getting those teeth clean never felt so good. I started to wonder, was this what it felt like? Was I falling in love?
Before I had a chance to think about it further, my phone started its recently familiar alert. My heart began to pound, and I started to grin. A grin that grew when I saw Matrix’s name pop up on the screen.
“Had a great time tonight. Hope we can chat in the am. Love ya~ M.”
I quickly started to reply back. My fingers flying across the buttons.
“Can’t wait! Lol ♥”
Circumstances out of my control caused my chat with Matrix to happen a lot later in the the day. The sun had almost completely settled beyond the horizon before I ever had a chance to sit down. I gave frantic looks to the clock all day, but there are just some things you can’t get out of and they almost always involved my mother. She needed my help and since the boys weren’t interested in the finer things, like redecorating, it was up to the only other girl, with a care for interior design to help out. Grandma liked to help as well, but due to her lack of vision, it was more funny than helpful. “Oh my yes, that looks amazing! Perfection. Nope. It doesn’t need another thing.”
Finally, I was done. I raced to my room, after grabbing a snack. An apple… and the plopped down at my computer. Thankfully he was still there.
L@ce0fW1st:Oh wow! So sorry that took so long.
InTehMatrix: It’s alright cutie. Just got her not too long ago. Missed you.
L@ce0fW1st: Missed you too! Ughh my mom was being a beast today.
InTehMatrix: They do that. Hey so I have been thinking…
InTehMatrix: About us.
My heart started to race again. Everything little thing we did together, had that effect on me.
InTehMatrix: I think you and I really have something. Something special.
L@ce0fW1st: I think that too
InTehMatrix: Well I was thinking, maybe you and I could take our relationship further.
I looked around the room like I had to hide my screen from invisible eyes. Even though there was absolutely no one around. My cheeks were hot and pink. I stared at the blinking line on my screen. Did he mean what I think he meant. My fingers grazed the keys, but I pulled them back abruptly.
InTehMatrix: Are you still there?
L@ceofW1st: I’m here.
InTehMatrix: So what do you think?
L@ceofW1st: I’m not sure.
InTehMatrix: I want to be with you, and I think it would bring us closer together. I love being with you. You are amazing. I want to show you just how much.
Oh sweet berry. I wasn’t even religious I found myself saying those words. I was two seconds away from fanning myself. Whoa this was so hot, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for that. He and I had been together and it was amazing, but that… That was a huge step.
InTehMatrix: Just think about it beautiful. No rush. If you’re not ready, we don’t have to, I just know it will be amazing.
That made me smile. He was just so sweet and understanding. All the time we spent together was out of this world. A part of me wanted to say yes right there, but then there was that part of me, the part that had been ingrained into me from a very young age. Wait till marriage. That was the proper thing to do. But if you loved somebody, was it so wrong to give yourself fully to them?
I didn’t know. Maybe it was a good enough reason, but maybe it wasn’t. Something was holding me back, so there had to be more to it. The thought plagued me for days, and the worst thing about it, there was absolutely no one to talk to about my dilema. I knew I couldn’t bring it up to Cerese, she would say no immediately. And there was no one else I felt close enough to. Well there was my brother of course, but no way was I about to bring up my love life with him. Instead I wandered the house aimlessly, weighing my options. It was hard to concentrate on anything else. The mixture of excitement and nerves, had me on the edge of my proverbial seat, but I needed some insight. With no idea how to get it, I decided to hang around with my closest companions and hopefully absorb what I needed through osmosis. Sound stupid? I was 17! It sounded brilliant to me.
Considering we live right across the hall from one another, it would have been silly to start with anyone else but my brother. When I got to his room though, he was no where to be found. The next sound I heard was down in the kitchen, and somehow I knew it was him, and not Affair. A twin can sense those sort of things. I ran down the stairs and slowed my pace to a walk as I made it to the kitchen doorway. I didn’t want to look too desperate. Seance had just poured a bowl of cereal and was taking a seat at the bar. I swiftly slipped into the seat next to him.
“Hey bro! What’s up.”
Seance never looked up from his bowl. “Breakfast. You?”
“Nothing really. Just… wanted to hang out for a while.”
“… good cereal?”
“Ya. It’s the same cereal we always have. Are you alright? You seem…weird?”
“No. Just great here. Hey! How is Sandy? It’s been a while since we have seen her.”
“Oh she’s fine. Her and her Parents went on a three week vacation, so she is, you know, out. You sure there is nothing wrong?”
“I think I am gonna go now. You’re being weird. It’s kind of freakin me out.”
With that he picked up his bowl and took it to the sink. I hopped of the stool and went back to my room. “Alright! See you later.”
He just shook his head. “Alright. Maybe later you will tell me what’s the matter.”
Ughhh he knows me too well. Bad idea to start with him.
Cerese was next, of course. She had been pulling double duty with the fam so I had barely seen her over the summer break at all. I made sure however to get a call in at least once a week, so we had a chance to catch up. It was easy for her to get swamped in other things, so it was up to me to send out a little reminder that she was loved and also enforce how amazing she really was. It was definitely a number I knew by heart.
“Hi is Cerese. There?”
“No sorry she had to go pick up a few things. You can call her on mom’s cell phone though.”
“Oh okay. Thanks.”
Another number I knew by heart.
“Wisteria! My love!”
“Hehehe what are you doing?”
“Ughh it’s been the day from… well it’s been rough. I wish I could talk but I have like 100 more things to do before our paper route.”
“Oh, well no problem. I will call you later then.”
“I can’t wait! I miss you.”
“Miss you too.”
Man, my options were growing thin. Sandy was out of town, so that really left only two people. I thought about calling Viola, but she and I never really hung out together with out the group, so that only left Harmony.
“Hellooooooo this be the Harmony~!”
“Hey Harmony! It’s Wisteria.”
“OH!! Wist! Hey girl! How are you?”
“I’m good!” A white lie. “Hey I was wondering if you were up for some company for a little while?”
“OMB! Of course! Come on over!”
“Really? Great. I will be over in a few.”
“Sweet! We’’ll see you then!”
After getting the keys from mom, I had most of the afternoon to visit with Harmony. No one in town lived very far away, so getting to her house took all of 10 minutes. When she answered the door, she was still in her pajamas, slippers and all.
“Wisty!!! Come in! Come in! Tulip and I were about to watch a movie.”
I stopped right at the door jam. “Tulip Mint? Mindaro?”
“What’s she doing here?”
“Oh well you know, after we had that evil research project she and I have been hanging out a lot.”
Tulip Mint Mindaro was one of the most popular girls in school. She was known for causing unneeded drama where ever she went and this was someone I didn’t really want to get involved with, but by this point, turning around and saying,”no I have to go”, would have been way too obvious. She was known as new money. She hit her popularity when we made the switch to high school, it was like a total transformation from Jr. High. She was a nobody just like the rest of us back then. After opting out of choir and getting herself on the track team, her cool factor started to rise exponentially. Only to gain more in stature when she ditched the frames and braces, and started to tap into mommy and daddy’s funds to get her the most adorable clothes ever. Yup new money. Old money was that rare breed who had been popular for day one. Tulip definitely did not fall under this category, and from they looks of it, Harmony was now heading down the same path. Great…
Harmony took the far seat, which only left me with the middle. I flashed a smile to Tulip and took a seat.
“Oh hey Wisteria! How are you?”
I adjusted a bit on the cushion. “I’m fine. Yourself.”
“I’m good. We were just about to watch Sugar-less.”
“Oh.” I smiled. “I love that movie.”
“Right! Ah it’s soooo cute!”
Tulip picked up the remote and flipped on the movie. I thought it would be a chance to sit in awkward silence, but apparently that was not the way this movie was going to work. The moment it started to play, they started chattering even more than before.
What made it worse was I was in the middle, so they were both looking over me to talk. Every once in a while one would reach across to slap the others arm, while adding a “Shut up!“
Oh ya this was fun… I made it about half and I decided to take a little break. I stood from the couch and headed out of the living room. “Gonna grab some water. I will… be right back.”
“There are bottles in the fridge!” Harmony called after me.
I nodded and kept on walking.
My eyes scanned the shelves for the water bottles. Another high pitched laugh rang out, coming from the vicinity of the living and I seriously considered grabbing the already opened bottle of nectar on the third shelf. I knew better though, so when I finally caught sight of the six bottles of water on the bottom shelf, I nabbed one and closed the door. I almost jumped out of my skin when I came face to face with Requiem.
“Wah! Requiem! I didn’t see you there.”
“Sorry. Hey Wisteria can I ask you something.”
“It’s about Sandy.”
“I started twist the top of my water bottle but stopped at the sound of her name. “Oh no no. I’m not getting in the middle of this again.”
“No no! It’s not that, I just wanted to ask how she is doing. I haven’t seen her since we got out of school. I just wanted to make sure she was okay.”
My mind drifted off to the countless time she had been at my house, laughing and flirting with my brother. She was more than fine, she was probably better than she had been in a long time, but I could tell from the look on his face, that was definitely not what he was wanting to hear.
“You know she and her parents are on that vacation, so I haven’t seen her much. She seemed to be doing alright the last time I talked to her though.”
Requiem let out a deep sigh of relief. “Oh good, I have been worried she was still broken up after we split.”
It took everything I had to stifle the huge laugh sitting at the bottom of my belly. “No, I think she is managing. She is a strong girl.”
A voice rang out from the living room again. This time it was Harmony. “Wisty! We are going to my room! Meet you up there! Requiem! Stop harassing my friends! No she will not go out with you!”
Requiem’s eyes widened. “Dude! Sis! Just shut your hole please!”
I giggled. “I better go.”
“Alright! Tell Sandy I said hi!”
When I got up to Harmony’s room, Tulip had already made herself at home on the bottom bunk, Harmony was perched on the edge of the bed, and they were both still deep in what ever discussion they had started downstairs. Something about one of the girls at school and how ridiculous she looked in her knock off designer jeans. I wanted to raise my hand and asked to be excused to Requiems room. Even our awkward conversation over his ex was more interesting than this garbage. The chance to act on my part came too late, because the next topic of conversation was directed right at me.
“So Wisty. Do you have a boyfriend?”
I had no where to sit, so I just stood next to the bed. I looked at her for a moment. No she was actually talking to me. “I do.”
“Oh! Who is it?! Anyone I know?”
Harmony chimed in. “Ya. Who is this mystery boy?”
“I could feel a smile starting to spread across my face. “Matrix.”
“Harmony bounced on her bed. “Shut up! When did this happen!
“A few weeks ago.”
Tulip cocked her head to the side. “I thought he had a girlfriend.”
“They broke up,” I replied flatly.
“Oh that’s so weird. I never would have ever pictured you two together.”
“What that’s supposed to mean?”
“Oh well you know, he is like super popular and you, well you’re just Wisteria.”
I started to grind my teeth.
“I didn’t think you would be his type…”
I glared down at her. If only she knew, not only was I his type. He and I were this close to taking our relationship to a higher level. I couldn’t help but scowl, I knew if I didn’t get out of there quick I was about to do something I would regret. “I should probably get going.”
Harmony, unlike Tulip picked up on my abrupt departure. “Oh okay Wisty. Drive safe.”
“Ya.” I slammed the door behind me.
I started driving for home. How rude! Ughhh! Who did she think she was, and why wouldn’t I be his type? Was she referring to my weight? Was I not cool enough? What the berry did she mean! I was angry, and it was probably for all the wrong reasons, but I turned the car around anyways and drove out to Matrix’s house. I’’ll show them.
I practically jumped him at the door. A little too over enthusiastic but he definitely wasn’t complaining. “Hey baby. What are you doing here?”
“Came to see you.” I smiled kissing him again.
“Well come in.”
I grabbed his hand. “Matrix?”
“I have been thinking about our talk. And… I’m ready.”
A small smile grew across his lips, as he took my hands and led me inside.
His room was dark, full of an ambient sense of mystery. It seemed much different than the other times I had been there. I stood near the door and watched, as Matrix moved a few things in the room and cleared off his bed. I was nervous. I shifted my weight from one foot to the other. Oh man this was really about to go down. Matrix looked to me as he settled down onto the bed, and then patted the comforter beside him. “It’s alright. I’m here to take care of you.”
His voice had taken on a smooth inviting tone. It really was helping to settled my nerves. I walked across his room and settled in beside him. He scooted closer, and took my hands in his. I looked down at our hands that were now resting comfortably in my lap. “I’ve never done this before.” I admitted, my voice coming out much softer than I anticipated.
“I know. You don’t have to worry. I’m here. It’s just you and me right now.”
I smiled and took in a deep breath. “Right. Just us.”
“You know I love you right?”
“Good. That’s all you need to know.”
“Now… come here.”
We left the world outside his door that sleepy afternoon. Wrapped in each others arms he taught me what it felt like to be loved, deeper than I had ever been loved before. Our passion caused my entire body to shutter under it’s pure weight. It may have not been the right choice, but it was mine, and I gave myself to him, in all of my entirety.
“I love you Matrix.”