The Bloomer Legacy: 5.27 Finally

The Newcrest park was the place to be that weekend. Not only because of the vibrant colours it took this time of the year, but because of a very special occasion.

“I always knew you were going to marry Janet,” Monty casually told his father on his wedding day. “In fact, Ty and I planned it from the start.”

2

“Is that so?” Malakai smiled. “In that case I really owe you one, buddy. Couldn’t have planned it better myself.”

“I’m just happy you’re happy dad,” Monty beamed. “Though having a pool doesn’t hurt!”

3

Yenn greeted her brother’s date, Ellie. She still chose an eccentric outfit, of course, but slightly more formal than the one she wore for last Bloomer(ish) wedding she attended. Things between Booker and Ellie were going well.

4

It was no surprise Liv brought her friend Heather. The two had been inseparable lately. True to form, Liv settled behind the bar as soon as they arrived.

“We hired bartenders, you know,” Malakai approached them. “You should just enjoy yourself.”

5

“I am enjoying myself,” Liv said brightly. “I can’t help it, I’ve just learned a cool new trick…”

“And there’s bound to be more,” Heather laughed. “Great to finally meet you, Malakai. And what an occasion, congratulations!”

6

“My pleasure! I’m glad you could both be here,” Malakai looked at Liv conspicuously.

Liv smirked: “Why don’t we focus on you, Mr Groom? Let’s get you married, Mal!”

7

And with that, everyone gathered around the wedding arch to witness the ceremony.

8

Janet was more than ready. Everything that had ever happened in her life fell into place. After all these years, she was able to forgive her cheating ex because indirectly, somehow, he brought her here. But he wasn’t the one she had on her mind today. Malakai was the man she would spend the rest of her life with. She got her happy ending. Finally.

9

***

10

“Your dad is married now,” Scarlet exclaimed. “Does it feel any different for you?”

“Not really,” Monty shrugged. “Though it’s cool to have the whole family in one place. I think I like weddings…”

11

“Oh really? Don’t tell me you’re already thinking about getting married,” Scarlet teased.

“Like I’d marry you, pfft,” Monty retorted.

“You so would…”

“Nuh-uh!”

12

Elsewhere in the park, another discussion about wedding was taking place.

“Have you thought about proposing to Ellie, Booker?” Yenn asked her brother, who had been gushing about his partner all day.

“No, actually,” he smiled softly. “My marriage with Keiko was such a disaster, I’m not too sure if I could do it all again. I think I want to do what you did, sis. Just be together, and be happy.”

Yen sighed: “Do what you both think is best. But whatever it is, make sure you have no regrets.”

She paused, turning her attention to her thoughts. Booker gently placed his hand on her arm, as if to distract her: “Look at our Livvie, Yenn.”

They both turned their heads towards Liv, who was just congratulating Malakai.

“How could I have regrets, when I have a wonderful daughter like her?” Booker said wisely.

13

***

14

The evening rolled around, and as guests started to leave, the newlyweds could finally pay more attention to one another. But the moment they had together was interrupted by a guest who, oddly, had only just arrived.

“Newton?” Malakai raised a eyebrow.

“I’ll give you two some space,” Janet made an awkward exit.

“Sorry for crashing your wedding,” Newton said. “I figured it’s only fair for me to stop by, since you attended mine…”

15

 

“Newton, I honestly am sorry for what happened that day,” Malakai said nervously. “I really meant no harm…”

“No, stop,” Newton interrupted. “I’m not here to try to ruin your wedding, if that’s what you’re thinking. I just wanted to congratulate you.”

“Oh… thank you,” Malakai stumbled over his words.

“Well, I’ll get going now,” Newton shrugged. “Wouldn’t want to make anyone uncfomfortable. But I’m glad you found happiness, man.”

And with that, he walked away.

“Hey Newton,” Malakai called after him. “I hope you find yours!”

Newton briefly turned around and nodded. And then he was on his way.

***

16

Most guests have bode their farewells, apart from the last few unconventional ones…

17

Liv and Heather were among the last few who stuck around.

“Thank you for bringing me,” Heather hugged Liv warmly. “It’s been a wonderful day.”

18

Liv had been wondering whether or not to take the plunge for ages. All the signs seemed there, but she’d been there before. She’d been scared she’d loose yet another friend, and gain nothing, once again.

But there was something about the way heather was looking at her tonight that made her forget all those things.

19

And so she went with the flow of the moment.

20

As Liv drew back after the kiss, her heart was pounding. It was all going to fall apart now, once again, wasn’t it?

Heather breathed out with relief. She only had one simple word to say: “Finally!”

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.26 You Just Need Vision

Autumn crept upon Newcrest seamlessly, but its arrival excited Janet and Malakai immensely. They couldn’t wait to go on their regular hikes in a whole new scenery.  They had one planned for Sunday, so they had a quiet evening in the house on Saturday.

Though with the boys around, things never got too quiet. Since Monty and Tylor both had fortune aspirations, the conversation topic at hand was of course money.

2

“What part-time job do you think brings most money?” Monty wondered.

Spending half of his time in Janet and Malaki’s grand home had him thinking; it wasn’t that he disliked Yenn and Liv’s small home, but he felt like his mom and aunt deserved something much bigger and better. And he was determined to build that mansion for them someday, preferably sooner rather than later.

3

 

“We could try the lottery,” Tylor suggested. “Then we could literally swim in cash, Uncle Scrooge style!”

Tylor was of course hardly strapped for cash; he already had the mansion Monty dreamed of. But he didn’t want to be the one to lose the family fortune, plus he knew you needed money sustain such a large house. But mainly, it was the whole swimming in cash thing. How cool would that be?

4

“What you should do is invest,” Janet jumped into the conversation. “That’s what I’ve been doing, and it’s worked out pretty well for me.”

“That’s easier said than done though,” Monty shrugged. “We have no money to begin with!”

“You don’t need a lot,” Janet smiled. “Money makes money.”

5

She stood up excitedly: “How about we make a bit of a project out of it? What if I gave you each 1,000 simoleons? What would you do with it?”

“I guess we’d be best off putting our money together to get even more,” Monty pondered.

“Imagine all the things we could do,” Tylor enthused. “Bu this is hypothetical, mom, isn’t it?”

“Doesn’t have to be,” Janet grinned. “You need to get started somehow. My only condition is that you use the money give you to generate more.”

6

After thanking Janet profusely, the boys retreated to Tylor’s room to brainstorm.

“We could put the money in stock,” Monty suggested. “That’s how people usually invest, right?”

“We don’t know anything about stocks though,” Tylor shrugged. “You know what I think we should do? We should open a store! The cheapest plot of commercial land we can get in Magnolia Promenade is exactly 2,000 simoleons… that’s gotta be a sign, right?”

“Yeah,” Monty agreed exuberantly. The boys cheered for a moment.

7

“Except… once we buy it we have no money left,” Tylor realised. “So what do we sell?”

“It would have to be something we make, I guess,” Monty said pensively. “Ooh, I know! I can bake… sort of! Aunt Yenn loved the birthday cake I made her!”

“Sounds like a plan,” Tylor beamed. “Let’s open a bakery! Or even a café! Just don’t make that dreadful salad you made at the library the other day…”

“Don’t worry, I’ve had practice,” Monty reassured him. Mainly in eating, rather than cooking, he thought. But you have to start somewhere.

8

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Malakai said to Janet the following morning as he was cooking breakfast. “Apparently the boys are planning on opening a bakery.”

“It’s going to be a good learning experience for them, if nothing else,” Janet smiled knowingly. “And did you see how excited they were?”

“You’re right, as always,” Malakai replied. “Though I doubt they’re as excited as I am for our trip today!”

9

They rushed out as soon as they finished breakfast; through the back gate and into the open fields surrounding Newcrest. They went hiking almost every weekend, but this particular hike was going to be special. And not just because of the autumn leaves.

10

Malakai adored spending time with Janet. The way she lit up when she was in nature, her excitement over new projects at work… he even found her occasional jealous streaks endearing. He knew one thing for sure; he had no intention of letting her go.

11

And so, once he found a particularly picturesque spot, he asked her to spend the rest of her life with him. And she agreed.

12

All that was left was planning the wedding. Naturally, it would have to be an outdoorsy one.

***

13

“Soo… is this your shop?” Scarlet said, uncertain.

“You just need vision,” Monty enthused.

14

And Monty had vision. He and Tylor “borrowed” an old camping table to place the treats he baked on, and they even managed to find a till in the attic of Lollipop Lair. As far as Monty was concerned, this was the perfect setup. The rest would come in time.

15

“Our new venture!” Monty exclaimed.

“It’s totally happening,” Tylor shrieked. The two of them hugged briefly.

Scarlet just shook her head.

16

“You know, Monty, you might have better luck with your venture if you don’t eat all the merchandise,” she pointed out.

“Just testing the quality of the product,” Monty said with his mouth full. “But I think we’re ready to open!”

17

The first customer to arrive was a little boy. Promising start – kids love sweets, don’t they?

18

Monty: “Please buy a cookie, I swear they’re delicious!”

19

The woman wasn’t having it: “These things? They’re sickeningly sweet just to look at! You call this a bakery…”

Scarlet stepped in quickly: “Could I interest you in our savoury range?”

20

Kid: “Can I get a brownie, puh-lease?”

Tylor: “Doesn’t work like that, kid!”

(Plum those puppy eyes!)

21

At the end of the day, both the miserable woman and the kid ended up purchasing… so it was all worth it, right?

The trio sat down for a small snack, exhausted.

22

“Running a business is tough,” Tylor pouted.

“That woman was just horrible! And our best customer’s only income is pocket money,” Scarlet muttered. “This is going to be such an epic fail…”

23

Monty ignored his friends’ concerns, happily munching on his brownie: “What are you talking about, guys? We made 11 simoleons!”

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.25 Cheers!

Liv didn’t regret taking up Heather on her offer. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d laughed so hard! Heather was full of fun stories, both her own and those she’d read. She made her feel light, and carefree; something she didn’t even realise she’d desperately craved.

She didn’t know if things were necessarily ever going to progress beyond friendship, but she didn’t particularly care. Just spending time with Heather lifted her spirits enough.

2

“…and he’s probably looking for his plumbob to this day,” Heather concluded.

“Gosh Heather, how do you find these people,” Liv chuckled.

“It’s a gift. People seem to enjoy telling me stories, as you might know yourself,” Heather winked.

“Don’t worry, I haven’t shared your particular story with anyone,” she added before Liv could ask. “There’s only a point in sharing stories of people hurting if the person that’s hurting is the one that’s telling it.”

Liv smiled gratefully: “I bet you must know thousands of secrets!”

“Maybe one or two,” Heather shrugged.

“I have to head to work,” Liv sighed, checking the time. “Let’s do this again soon!”

“I’d love to,” Heather grinned broadly.

3

As the women headed towards the exit, they ran into no other but Liv’s cousin.

“Hey Newton, fancy seeing you here in Newcrest,” Liv said awkwardly. She felt bad for the way she acted last time they met.

“Hi Liv,” he replied weakly. His face was an array of emotions, but he didn’t add anything.

Heather broke the silence: “So you’re the famous Newton!”

Newton froze. He could imagine what Liv may have told her… and it wasn’t pretty. “Famous?”

“Well, your songs are on the radio all the time, aren’t they?” Heather grinned innocently.

“Oh… right,” Newton breathed out with relief. “Liv… could we maybe talk for a moment?”

Liv’s eyes widened. She could be late for work for once…

4

“Soo… what do you want to talk about?” Liv asked unnecessarily.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Newton grumbled helplessly.

They both briefly thought of a happier time, when they were both teenagers, and all they ever seemed to do is talk. It felt a lifetime ago.

“Ok, I’ll start,” Liv took a deep breath. “I shouldn’t have yelled at you in the gym the other day. I was angry at someone else, really. I’m sorry I took it out on you.”

“I think I know the feeling,” Newton muttered. “I’m sorry too.”

5

“Plummit Newton, Liam’s wife though,” Liv stopped herself. “Sorry, again. Two sides of the story. Tell me yours.”

“I met Krista at one of my concerts. We hit it off, she was cute and she seemed to like me, me, not just my music,” Newton shook his head. “I had no idea she was Liam’s wife.”

“How did you find out?”

“When we were on a date and out of nowhere, Liam turned up and slapped me…”

Liv couldn’t help but chuckle: “Liam? He’d never hurt a fly!”

“He’s surprisingly strong when he’s angry,” Newton laughed.

“So, what now? With you, Krista and Liam, I mean,” Liv composed herself again.

“There is no me and Krista anymore,” Newton said simply. “And probably no me and Liam for a long time either. As for their marriage, it’s up to them to work out, I guess. We don’t see what goes on behind closed doors.”

They sat in silence for a moment.

6

“Diane was my first love,” Liv blurted out before she could stop herself. “I couldn’t help it. But I swear Newton, I never did anything about it while you were with her.”

“She was my first love too,” Newton said.

“I know, and I’m so-“

“No, I don’t blame you. What I meant to say is I’ve been there. She was the first person I had feelings for… except that, she wasn’t that person at all. Story of my life,” he laughed.

“Sounds familiar…”

“Well, I did see you with a girl earlier,” Newton grinned.

“She’s just a friend,” Liv stopped him. “I don’t even know if she… anyway, you’re a big rockstar now! Congratulations!”

7

“Nothing’s really changed. I’ve gotten myself a spooky old mansion in Willow Creek. But other than that… still the same plum luck,” Newton said.

“101 Ways of Betrayal,” Liv said stiffly.

“Liv, the album… it’s not just about the times I’ve been betrayed. It’s about when I betrayed other people too. People like you.”

Liv looked up, smiling. It was just a start, but perhaps she might get her old friend back.

***

8

Another day, another song. Yenn just finished the Sixam Sonata. She was pleased with the way the song turned out. And apparently, it made her a piper.

Another day, another aspiration. Fourth one under her belt and counting, seventh if you add childhood aspirations. Yenn had achieved a lot. But she’d been around long enough to know happiness wasn’t about the number of completed aspirations.

9

It was in the small moments, like the smile on Monty’s face when he mixed the dough for her birthday cake. Or the proud look he had when he presented the hamburger cake to her.

10

“That’s, err, really special Monty,” Yenn said encouragingly.

“I know right,” Monty beamed. “I mean, I love burgers, and I love cake… so I figured what could be better than mashing them into one?”

11

“Are you ready to become an elder, aunt Yenn?” Monty turned his attention to the birthday girl, uh, lady.

“Oh believe me, I’ve never been more ready,” Yenn replied firmly.

12

And so she blew the candles out and greeted elderhood with open arms. Gray hair, wrinkles, back pain… she was so happy she could cry.

13

She almost thought this day would never come! She looked towards the sky; I will be joining you some day after all, my dears.

14

“Happy birthday, aunt Yenn,” Liv grinned at her favourite aunt. “So, you’ve been busy all these years! Renaissance sim, bodybuilder, nerd brain, musical genius… What’s next?”

15

“I think I’d like to write,” Yenn said. “I’ve seen a fair share of things, some of which might be worth writing down… not to mention, it’s about time someone updated the Bloomer Chronicles!”

16

“Sounds like a great plan,” Liv nodded approvingly. “Let’s toast to that! And more importantly, to you! To aunt Yenn!”

“Cheers!”

***

Author’s note: Just as a point of interest, by her elder birthday, Yenn had maxed out 10 skills, and had also accumulated a fair share of traits… I don’t think any of my sims have deserved the Most Interesting Sim in the World Achievement more!

18

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.24 Live, Liv!

Monty loved food. He couldn’t get enough of it. So when his mom’s birthday came around, he decided to make her a cake all on his own.

Turns out, baking is a lot harder than eating. Luckily, Yenn was able to step in, so Liv didn’t end up cakeless.

2

“Don’t worry Monty, I appreciate the sentiment,” Liv hugged her son.

“I’m gonna get really good at baking mom, I promise,” Monty said seriously. “And I’ll make you a whole cake selection at some point in the future!”

3

In a bit of a sentimental move, Liv decided to celebrate her birthday by having dinner with the Agustins. All three of them had gotten married and started families, and Liv hadn’t seen any of them in ages, so it was high time to catch up.

“This is so lovely guys,” Liv beamed. “It’s just like the good old days!”

“Speaking of good old days, where is Mal?” Alice asked.

“It’s his birthday too,” Liv smiled. “So Janet planned a couples’ getaway just for the two of them. It would be nice if we could all be here, of course. You know, Mal, and Newton.”

Liv sighed. She and Newton were still not on speaking terms. She’d heard a song of his on the radio the other day, and she couldn’t even congratulate him. But he probably wouldn’t care for her congratulations; his single was called 101 Ways of Betrayal.

4

“Don’t you bring up Newton,” Liam flipped.

“Liam, calm down,” Josephine shot him a look. “It’s Liv’s birthday…”

“I don’t get it,” Liv said curiously. “Something happen between you and Newton, Liam?”

“More like between Newton and Liam’s wife,” Josephine explained.

5

Liv dropped her fork: “No! Newton wouldn’t… especially… all things considered… It can’t be true!”

(Author’s note: I had nothing to do with this. The affair is purely courtesy of EA story progression. Way to go, Newton! [sarcasm])

6

“Well clearly it is true,” Liam growled. “I saw Krista and him with my own eyes!”

“I’m so sorry, Liam,” Liv didn’t know where to look.

She knew that much like her, Newton hadn’t really been in touch with the Agustins, but still… She couldn’t believe Newton of all people would do this to his one-time friend.

7

“What are you going to do?” Liv asked.

“Well, Krista promised she’d break things off with him, so I’m trying to give her another chance,” Liam shrugged. “You know, for the little one.”

“If there’s anything I can do to help…”

“Don’t be silly Liv,” Liam said. “I didn’t even mean to bring it up. Let’s not focus on me, It’s your birthday, after all!”

8

So Liv blew out the candles, and celebrated becoming an adult in a rather demure manner. A lot of her life had been pretty demure lately.

She thought about her recent chat with Malakai. Live, Liv, she told herself.

9

Elsewhere, Monty was having his own troubles with moving forward. Him and Scarlet have been spending a lot of time together, getting to know each other, chatting and connecting… but Monty was struggling to move any further with her.

10

It wasn’t that Scarlet hadn’t show any interest in him, but neither of them seemed to muster up the courage to take the first move.

And so, at the end of the night, the duo said goodbye with a big old hug, as usual.

“I’ve had a really great time,” Monty enthused.

“Me too,” Scarlet agreed.

They lingered in the hug. This is getting way too long, Monty thought, she’s going to think I’m creepy. He slowly drew away.

Except…

11

As he pulled away, she held on to his hands. For a moment, they just looked at each other. She let his hands go.

“I… I thought you were going to kiss me,” Scarlet mumbled.

“Oh.”

For a moment, Monty froze. But then he pictured Tylor’s voice in his head: ‘Just do it, bro! Do you wanna be friendzoned forever?’

And so he went for it.

12

And she didn’t push him away. In fact, she kissed him back.

“You should have done this a long time ago,” Scarlet scolded him.

“I didn’t know if you liked me!”

“I didn’t know if you liked me,” she retorted. “And of course I liked you! You’re so cute, and funny, and…” She stopped herself and blushed.

13

Monty felt on top of the world: “Oh yeah, you couldn’t resist this!”

“Don’t make me regret this,” Scarlet laughed.

(Yep, Monty is definitely Malakai’s son!)

14

In a romantic attempt of her own, Liv invited doctor Francesca over. Malakai was right, she needed to give it a chance. If you never try, then you never know… And so, Liv revealed her feelings…

15

…and got shot down. Turns out, Francesca did not reciprocate, in spite of the signs. The two parted awkwardly, promising each other to stay friends, although neither of them had any real intentions of getting in touch with the other. It just seemed too embarrassing.

16

For the very first time in her life, Liv actually felt the need to exercise. Maybe if she ran for long enough, her anger would go away.

Live, Liv… pfft! Clearly that was a horrible idea. She should have never questioned her decisions. Some people, like her and Newton, were just not meant to have happy relationships, Liv felt.

17

Speak of the devil… Liv saw her cousin at the corner of her eye, apparently working on his own rage.

What an excellent opportunity to go over there and tell him what she thought of him, she figured.

18

“I cannot believe your plum,” she started yelling at him. “You call me a hypocrite?! And then you go have an affair with a married woman? Liam’s wife, no less?!  101 Ways of Betrayal for sure!”

After a brief shock, Newton collected himself.

19

“I don’t see how this is any of your business,” Newton shrugged. “But if it was, you yourself had once said there are two sides to every story. But whatever…”

He walked away, leaving Liv dumbfounded. Her friend…

She needed to get it together. Perhaps the sauna would help…

20

Liv sat in the sauna stiffly. Be relaxed, plummit! Her life was such a joke…

“Wow, you really look like you need to let off some steam… literally!”

Liv looked up at the brunette who was smiling at her.

21

“Oh, you don’t wanna know,” Liv shook her head.

“Try me,” the woman said encouragingly. “I’ve been told I’m a good listener.”

22

And so Liv started talking… and talking… soon enough, she’d told the woman everything. About her accidental pregnancy, about her broken friendship with Newton, about the women that rejected her, about Malakai’s girlfriend hating her.

“Gosh, I got a bit carried away,” Liv blurted out. “I’m so sorry! I’ve told you my entire life story, and I don’t even know your name!”

23

“That’s quite alright,” the woman said. “I’m afraid I have to go now, but it’s been really nice to meet you. I know things will start going your way soon enough. You’re a good person.”

She grinned conspicuously as she walked to the door: “Oh, and my name is Heather. Call me if you need a friend.”

Liv stared at the door as it closed behind her. She could use a new friend, she smiled.

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.23 Lollipop Lair Revisited

“Holy cow plant, I can’t believe I’m actually going to set foot inside Lollipop Lair,” Liv squealed. “All the stories I’ve heard… Not that it looks anything like it used to, mind! You guys have done a terrific job with it!”

“You wouldn’t believe this stuff we found in the basement,” Malakai added for effect. “I thought the police would have confiscated most of it, but wow… needless to say, we got rid of it all, of course!”

2

Malakai and his girlfriend Janet had recently moved in together. However, Janet felt that it could be uncomfortable for Malakai to move into her own mansion, so they decided to buy a whole new place as a first step towards their new life together.

Being that the abandoned Lollipop Lair was the fanciest house in Newcrest, the couple opted for doing the place up to their liking.

3

First Floor – kitchen, dining and living area

4

Second Floor – clockwise: bathrooms, Tylor’s bedroom, Monty’s bedroom, Janet’s office, master bedroom

5

The newly reduced basement

6

“This is so grand Mal,” Liv looked around, impressed. “I love what you’ve done with the place!”

“It’s more Janet’s taste then mine, but I like it,” Malakai smiled happily.

Liv turned to her friend: “What’s Janet like, Mal? I mean, I know I’ve met her, but I don’t think she’s quite… herself around me.”

7

“No, she hates you,” Malakai laughed. “She thinks that you secretly want to woohoo with me again.”

“That’s ridiculous!”

“What can I say, she knows what an amazing lover I am so she can’t understand why someone wouldn’t want more of me,” Malakai winked.

Liv burst out laughing: “Seriously, Mal… Leave it to you to answer a serious question!”

8

“Ok fine, fine… Janet is a sweetheart, once you get to know her. She was born rich, but she’s really humble. She works really hard, because she doesn’t think she’s just entitled to her fortune, she wants to deserve it.

And to be honest, she doesn’t really care about material possessions. At weekends, she mostly wants to spend time in the garden, or going on hiking trips. We’re planning to go camp in Oasis Springs next weekend, actually.”

9

“Take some pictures for me,” Liv smiled. As the Newcrest heir, she still hadn’t seen the desert. “I’m glad you’re happy Mal. A part of me was thinking that maybe you guys moved in together a bit too soon, but Janet does sound lovely, from what you’ve said.”

“Liv, you overthink things too much,” Malakai shrugged.

“I know,” she admitted. “But look at what’s happened to my parents, and to Newton, with all of his relationships… What if I start seeing someone, Monty gets all excited, and then it all goes wrong?”

“Slow down,” Malakai nudged her. “Yeah, it could all go wrong. But it could also all go right. But if you don’t do anything and stay in the same place the way you have been, it won’t go anywhere at all.”

“Don’t worry about Monty,” he continued. “He’s a big boy now. He can handle more than you think. Think of yourself for once, ask that cute doctor lady out, or go out and meet someone else. You’ve got to live… Liv!”

They laughed.

10

Janet entered the room: “What’s so funny?”

“Hi Janet,” Liv waved at her. “Mal is just laughing at my love life, or the lack theoreof. It’s so sad it’s funny, I guess.”

11

“Uh-huh,” Janet sat down next to Liv and measured her up. “Malakai tells me you like women. How come you’ve never had a girlfriend, then?”

“You know what it’s like, being a single mom,” Liv replied. “I’ve focused most of my time on Monty, and when it’s not Monty, I try to get somewhere in my career… I don’t really have time to meet anyone.”

“Yes, it must be terribly hard to meet people as a bartender,” Janet said sarcastically.

12

“Stop grilling Liv, honey,” Malakai steered his girlfriend away gently. “She’ll find someone when she does. And for the record, she’s not just a bartender, she’s a juice boss. Most of her time goes into picking the juices and figuring out how they go together, not chatting up the bar patrons. Isn’t that right Liv?”

Liv nodded awkwardly. If every visit at her best friend’s house was going to turn out like this, things were going to get rather cringy.

13

The younger generation was enjoying the garden.

“Finally living together as brothers,” the boys high-fived.

“Well, two days a week,” Monty added.

“Brothers two days a week, oh yeah,” Tylor high-fived him again.

Scarlet just shook her head. Boys…

14

“What do you think of our new pad Scarlet?” Monty turned to her.

“It is pretty sweet,” she admitted. “I mean, you have a pool and everything.”

“Oh, you wanna have a go?” Monty asked overly enthusiastically. He’d love to see Scarlet in a bikini…

“Maybe some other time,” she shrugged. “I’ve gotta go now. Bye guys!”

“Smooth, bro,” Tylor commented.

Meanwhile, in the house…

15

“Oh, you’re still here,” Janet glared at Liv.

“Janet, sit down with me for a moment,” Liv invited her.

Janet hesitantly settled at the table. She didn’t say a word. Gosh, I swear her eye’s going to start twitching any minute, Liv thought.

16

“Look Janet, I have no romantic interest in Malakai whatsoever,” Liv said directly. “He’s a great guy, I completely understand what you see in him, but I just don’t like men that way.”

“That’s what he keeps saying,” Janet interrupted. “But then, why would you have woohooed with him in the first place?”

“We were young, neither of us really knew what we were doing,” Liv shrugged off the awkward memory. “Honestly, don’t you think that if I wanted to get together with Mal, I would have done something about it by now?”

Before Janet could answer anything, Malakai entered the room.

“My two favourite girls bonding,” he smirked as he grabbed himself a plate of food. He wasted no time devouring it.

17

“Seriously Janet, look at him,” Liv pointed towards Malakai pigging out on the cake. “Why would I possibly want to get with him?”

Janet smiled. Good point, she thought. Malakai ate like a pig. But he was her pig.

18

The boys were lounging by the pool.

“Life’s pretty good, isn’t it?” Monty beamed.

“It could always be better, you know,” Tylor mused. “We should have a pool party!”

19

“Good idea,” Monty agreed. “We can invite Scarlet…”

“Dude, you’ve got to chill,” Tylor stopped him. “Scarlet is not the only girl in the world!”

“Maybe not… but she’s the prettiest,” Monty sighed.

“I know why you’re so hung up on her. It’s the lack of comparison! We’ve got to go out and meet some people!”

20

The boys headed to the games room at the Captain Duckhorse Library, since it was the closest venue Newcrest had to a teen hangout. But it still was a library, so their evening turned out to be a dud.

Nobody was really around. Tylor ended up playing blickblock on the motion rig on his own, and Monty spent most of the evening texting Scarlet.

21

There was nobody at the café either, so when the boys got hungry, Monty had to step in and prepare a salad for them on his own. He quite enjoyed it, actually. Maybe he should get a part-time job at the library café – judging by the lack of employees, they must have vacancies!

22

“Dude, this salad is disgusting!” Tylor was not impressed.

23

“Nom nom nom… What did you say?”

24

Janet and Malaki were enjoying their evening on their own.

“Someone was giving Liv a wee bit of a hard time today, huh?” Malakai teased his girlfriend.

“I’m sorry Mal… I’ll try to be a bit better around her,” Janet said weakly. “It’s just…”

“I know,” he interrupted her. “But I’m not your ex. You can trust me.”

“I trust you,” she replied. “It’s her I don’t trust.”

Malakai sighed: “Honey, how many times do I need to repeat it to you? Liv is gay.”

“I’ll believe it when I see it!”

25

Malakai decided to take another angle: “Well, since you seem to be a fan of the whole seeing is believing approach, how about I show you that you’re the only woman for me…”

26

Tylor made the mistake of looking out of the window:

“Aah, my eyes! Cannot unsee!”

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.22 It’s Not What You Think

Breaking the news of their sister’s death to Booker was every bit as difficult as Yenn had imagined. Booker went through the motions of the first stage of grief, denial, within a matter of seconds; and then he settled into anger.

2

“And why are YOU still here? You’re only a few days younger than her,” he snarled at Yenn.

“Booker, you don’t mean what you’re saying,” Yenn said calmly. What would Chell do, she thought to herself.

“You should definitely at least have grey hair by now,” he ignored her. “Or a wrinkle… Anything! Anything to prove you’re human!”

Yenn burst into tears. “How can you say that Booker? You’ve known me for your whole life!”

Booker hid his face in his hands: “I’m sorry Yenn… I just… I don’t want to die yet. I’m so scared.”

Yenn held her brother’s hand: “I’m scared too, Booker.” I’m scared of still living, when you’re all gone, she added silently, in her head.

3

In the following days, Booker felt the increasing heavy weight on his shoulders. Of course, a part of it was dealing with his sister’s death, but there was more to it than that. His life was a mess.

4

He stared at the old shrivelled man in the mirror in disbelief. Who was this? Who had he become?

He’d always assumed that he’d have it all figured out once he’d get older. Being young, playing games with Keiko, not thinking about the future… and now it was the future. Except that nothing had changed.

5

Booker knew it was high time to take matters in his hands. Fix his mistakes. Fix his life. Before it was too late.

6

First of all, he finally retired. Whoever had heard of an elderly bodybuilder anyway? He must have looked pathetic in competitions, refusing to acknowledge his age.

7

He then proceeded to walk to the house next door. For years, both of the houses’ inhabitants had pretended their neighbour wasn’t there. Not anymore.

8

Keiko opened the door, visibly confused: “Booker? What are you doing here?”

She was dressed very casually, with minimal makeup and her hair tied back. Booker couldn’t help but notice that she still had an amazing figure, even after all these years. It was strange seeing her not being all dolled up. He couldn’t remember a time ever seeing her like that, even when they had been married.

“We better sit down for this,” Booker gestured towards the dining table.

9

“I came here to tell you that I forgive you,” Booker cleared his throat. “For all these years of pain you’ve put me through, for not being there for me when my parents died, for being selfish and distant when our child was growing up.”

Keiko’s eyes narrowed: “So you decided to actively seek me out just to insult me. Plum Booker, I thought we’d finally turned a new page…”

“Wait,” Booker interrupted her. “I also came to tell you that I understand. I don’t blame you for doing those things, I was far from being the perfect husband.”

10

He took a deep breath and continued: “And most importantly, I came here to apologise. When we met, I was young, stupid and woohoo-obsessed. I should have taken the time to get to know you, not just your body. I should have made you want to be there for me… I should have been there for you.”

“That’s a very sweet thought, Booker,” Keiko said calmly. “But I don’t think that’s quite where we went wrong. It’s the consequence, not the cause.”

“I see I’m not the only one who’s been doing some thinking,” Booker said in disbelief. This wasn’t the Keiko he knew. But he liked her. Much unlike the one he knew, actually.

“Well, what else is there to do when I’m on my own here, in this silly golden cage,” she shrugged. “I thought this was the life I wanted. Turns out, it’s pretty boring, actually.” She let out a laugh.

“I wish we had done things differently,” Booker nodded.

11

“I wish we hadn’t done things at all,” Keiko shook her head. “I know you never loved me, Booker.”

“You’re right, I didn’t,” he couldn’t quite look her in the eye when he said it. “I asked you to marry me for all the wrong reasons. But maybe I could have loved you… If I… If we… I don’t know.”

“I don’t blame you. I didn’t give you much of a chance to love me,” Keiko smiled sadly. “I married you for your money, Booker. But for what it’s worth, there was a time when I really loved you.”

They sat in silence for a while, the what-ifs flying about the room.

“Then again, if it never happened, we would never have Monty,” Keiko said encouragingly.

“That’s true,” Booker nodded. “That boy will go far.”

They both thought of Liv for a moment, but neither of them brought the subject up out loud. There were too many shoulda, coulda, wouldas related to that subject matter. And they were trying to make peace.

12

And for the most part, they did. Booker was leaving Keiko’s house feeling much calmer.

13

As for Keiko, the conversation left her unusually pensive. She’d not done a lot of reflecting in her younger days, and now it seemed to be what she did with most of her time.

In any case, she admired Booker for taking the first step towards making amends. Being around Monty with him would become so much easier now.

***

14

Booker approached the tiny trailer. The flamingo, the eccentric gnomes… Yep, this was definitely the right house. He climbed the steps before he could change his mind.

15

He stopped for a moment before knocking, gritting his teeth. He almost turned around and left… but he already had enough what ifs in his past. Time to do what’s right, instead of what’s comfortable, for once. He knocked on the door.

“Who is it?” the familiar voice called out.

“It’s me, Booker,” he called back nervously.

There was a pause which seemed to last an eternity.

“It’s open,” the voice responded at last.

16

“Hi Ellie,” Booker greeted his ex-girlfriend.

It was hard to read her; she had her sun glasses on and wasn’t looking his way at all.

“I was hoping we could talk,” he started awkwardly.

“Ok. Talk.”

17

“I know I was horrible to you,” he said. “I was baffled. You were not like anyone I’d ever known. And when I was with you, I was not the man I knew myself to be either. But, for the first time, I was someone I could like. What I’m trying to say is that I’m sorry.”

18

“I thought you’d never say that,” Ellie beamed. “So, how have you been?”

19

They caught up with the recent events in each other’s lives. Booker watched Ellie as she rambled on adorably. He’d only now realised just how much he missed her.

20

“Ellie… is there a chance you could forgive me?” He looked at her hopefully.

She just smiled; “I already have.”

21

It was then when Booker knew that everything would be alright after all.

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.21 Adventure Awaits

Yenn spent most of her days since Ethan’s passing drowning herself in her music. She composed various songs inspired by her family members, and of course, numerous songs inspired by her love.

It worked well enough; she didn’t mind the solitude, and of course she had Monty and Liv around, but she struggled to feel passion for anything. All of the songs seemed hollow, just like everything around her.

2

And then one day, things changed when she managed to master the rocket science skill. She was able to upgrade her ship and install a wormhole generator to it, which opened new possibilities.

3

For the first time since Ethan’s death, she felt excited, and even hopeful, about the future. Adventure awaits, she whispered her sister’s favourite motto to herself as she boarded the rocket.

4

Sixam. The faraway land distant enough to let her forget about her life’s troubles for a while. Or at least get some perspective.

5

Her first instinct was to see as much of it as possible. It made her think of her mother, Lilah, and her passion for exploration. She would have loved this, Yenn smiled to herself.

And of course, running around whilst exploring reminded her of her brother’s fitness obsession. She wondered if Booker would see the beauty of the place, or if he’d just see it as an unobstructed workout opportunity.

6

Once she calmed down, she tried to get more analytical and take a more scientific approach, the way her father, Peter would. She entertained the warm memory of Captain Duckhorse in space, and remembered how she and Chell would eat all of their father’s books up.

Chell, of course, was the one that would love this the most. While Yenn’s sister did have some experience with space travel, she’d never been to Sixam. It was for her that Yenn was collecting all of the plant and rock samples.

7

Finally, once she’d paid her dues to all of her family members, dead or alive, Yenn got to what seemed most natural to her; she turned inward amidst all the beauty.

8

It was then, when inspiration struck her. She composed a song that was the very opposite of hollow, and poured all of her love into it; her love for Ethan, her love for her family, her love for life and discovery of all things new, and her love for this newfound planet.

It took a while till she realised she’d been interrupted by a clap.

9

“That was beautiful,” a green alien woman that seemed to have appeared out of thin air complimented her. “Welcome to Sixam, earthling, and thank you for the gift of music you bear. My name is Heavap*”

(*Author’s note: I absolutely loathe that the game gives aliens completely ordinary names like Fred, so I’m using this alien name generator.)

10

“Thank you, Heavap,” Yenn beamed. “It’s the beauty of you planet that inspired my music, I should be the grateful one. Even though the song is mainly about the sims I have left at home.”

“Funny how sometimes, the places that are the furthest bring us the closest to home,” Heavap mused knowingly.

11

Once Heavap broke the awkwardness, more aliens arrived, thanking Yenn and welcoming her. They were all incredibly kind and supportive; all but one of them.

12

“Oh, don’t you think you’re so brilliant, admired by everyone wherever you step foot,” a purple alien attacked her.

“I didn’t mean any disrespect,” Yenn said truthfully. “In fact, I wouldn’t have even played had I known I wasn’t alone here.”

“Don’t lie to me earthling,” the alien growled. “I see into your soul.”

13

“Give it a rest, Queegan,” another alien tried to calm him down.

“I will not as long as she is on this planet,” Queegan said sharply.

14

“You must leave here immediately, and never come back,” Queegan yelled at her.

“Of course,” Yenn nodded quickly. “I apologise if I caused any offence. Thank you for letting me visit for as long as I did.”

15

Queegan snarled at her, so she wasted no time and ran to the wormhole generator to travel back home.

16

I can’t wait to tell Chell all about this, she thought as she stepped into the mist.

17

Once she got home, she planted all of the plants she brought from Sixam and put the rock and crystal samples away quickly. She then dashed over to her sister’s house.

Chell will be so excited to hear all about her trip…

18

But no one seemed to be home. Yen waited patiently. Chell was retired, she should come home any minute. She’d probably just nipped across to one of the community lots.

She called Chell, but there was no answer, so she sent her a quick text telling her to come home as soon as she could.

19

A few minutes had passed, soon turning into an hour. Yenn grew annoyed. Come on, Chell, she thought, you wouldn’t keep me waiting if you knew what news I had!

She tried calling her phone again, and again, and again.

And then it hit her. No, that couldn’t be.

20

Several hours later, Yenn had to admit the truth to herself. Her sister was gone, along with Ethan, Knox, and her parents. She’d never be able to share her trip to Sixam with Chell, not as long as she lived.

Author’s Note: Before she passed away, Chell attended Vanity High’s Murder Mystery Dinner Party, a Cluedo-style roleplaying evening; right up her alley. She had a blast there, so I hope you check it out!

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.20 All About Monty

Monty’s birthday rolled around shortly after the camping trip, so Liv organised a little party for him. The man of the hour was looking rather dapper, and felt pretty pleased with himself; aside from topping the rambunctious scamp aspiration, he was also the first Bloomer child to complete the social butterfly one.

“Don’t we rock grandpa?” Monty beamed.

“We sure do,” Booker replied, a little short of breath. “Though grandpa might need a bit of a break.”

2

“But grandpa…”

“I’m no longer quite as rambunctious as you are, I’m afraid,” Booker sighed.

“Let your grandpa rest for a bit, Monty, and he’ll be ready to dance with you again in no time,” Keiko told her grandson.

“Thanks Keiko,” Booker said, surprised.

“Ah please, I can relate,” Keiko laughed. “These high-heeled shoes are killing me, why do you think I’m sitting? We’re not what we used to be, are we?”

“No, we aren’t. But maybe that’s a good thing,” Booker smiled.

Maybe it’s the old age catching up with them, but by the looks of it Booker and Keiko have finally found a way to be civil together.

3

More guests arrived; Chell gave her brother a big hug as soon as she walked through the door, followed by an unexpectedly colour-coordinated couple, Janet and Malakai.

“Hi birthday boy, what an awesome party you’ve got going,” Malakai greeted his son.

“Mommy organised it all,” Monty shrugged.

“That’s true, but people showed up for you, Monty” Liv told him. “Hi Mal!”

“Liv! You’ve got new hair again,” Malakai laughed.

“Technically, it’s my old hair; I went back to my natural colour,” Liv noticed the woman in green that was eyeing her up. “And you must be Janet! Let me get you guys something to drink!”

4

“It’s so great to finally meet you Janet, I’ve heard so much about you,” Liv enthused as she effortlessly shuffled the bottles.

“Uh-huh,” Janet muttered stiffly.

“Let me make you guys Liv’s Surprise, it’s a new cocktail I came up with,” Liv didn’t give up. “So, how was the camping trip? Monty won’t stop talking about it!”

“It was pretty sweet,” Malakai reminisced. “Those nights in Granite Falls are just magical! Though of course, you’d know that,” he winked at Liv.

“Very funny,” Liv smirked. “So, did you have a good time in Granite Falls, Janet?”

“Sure,” Janet said. She then proceeded to get up and walk to the other side of the room.

“Give her time,” Malakai nodded to Liv apologetically as he went after his girlfriend.

5

Janet spent the majority of the party glued to Malakai’s side, making sure to display her affection for him any time Liv walked past. Not that Liv particularly cared. There was a particular guest she was waiting for…

Yenn approached her sister awkwardly. She hadn’t really spoken to Chell much ever since their encounter at the graveyard.

“Hi sis,” Yenn ventured. “I’ve been meaning to apologise. When we last talked, those things I said…”

“You were hurting,” Chell stopped her gently. “It’s ok Yenn. We’re ok. Best friends forever, remember?”

6

“Best friends forever,” Yenn hugged her sister tightly.

She noticed Chell’s body seemed frailer than it used to be… but she pushed those thoughts aside. For now, she was there, with her sister, her best friend, her kindred spirit, her confidante. And that was enough.

And over on the other side of the room, another happy reunion was happening…

7

“Doctor Krautzinger, you came,” Liv welcomed her favourite doctor.

“Please Olivia, call me Francesca,” the woman told her. “I’ll feel like I’m on call if you keep calling me doctor Krautzinger.”

8

“Well, Francesca, I’m glad you could make it,” Liv corrected herself. “Welcome to the madness that is my family.”

Both of the women seemed a bit lost for words, but they continued to look at each other and smile.

“Mommy, are you and the lady playing a staring game?” Monty asked.

Liv blushed: “Do you remember doctor Kre-, err, Francesca, Monty? We met her at the park the other day, and she was the one who helped me bring you to the world.”

“Yeah, I remember,” Monty shrugged. “She was the one who said I can’t have a pirate ship. But that’s ok, I guess. I don’t need it now, since I’ll be all grown up.”

“Monty?” a high pitch-voice squealed.

9

“Scarlet!” Monty rushed to greet the friend he made in Granite Falls.

“Guess what, it’s my birthday too,” Scarlet informed him.

“Happy birthday!”

“Happy birthday!”

10

“So, do you think cooties disappear once you grow up?” Scarlet wondered. “Because I want to give you a birthday hug!”

“Yeah, I think they do,” Monty nodded.

He felt ready to become a teen now.

11

Off to the cake, and explode!

12

Hello Malakai number 2!

Apart from Malakai’s looks, Monty also inherited his father’s glutton trait. He also rolled the mansion baron aspiration (I highly doubt that will happen this generation!), which will be replaced by the successful lineage aspiration on his YA birthday.

Speaking of which, I intend to tweak the generational task for Monty a little, since I already have enough “middle class” houses as it is. I have a whole other thing in store for him… But more on that later.

13

Monty’s best friend and Janet’s son Tylor also aged up, shortly followed by their red-haired acquaintance Scarlet. She aged up rather pretty, gaining her attention from both of the boys (no more love triangles, please guys!).

14

As the teens partied it up, the grownups opted for casual chatter. Malakai couldn’t help but notice how much attention Liv seemed to be paying to doctor Francesca, and it made him smile. He hoped his best friend would soon find the same happiness that Janet brought him.

15

“Thanks for the amazing birthday party, mom,” Monty said warmly, hugging his mother. “You’re the coolest!”

Oh thank plumbob, he still thinks I’m cool, Liv sighed with relief. Her worst fear had been averted, Monty would continue to be a momma’s boy for a little while longer.

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.19 Just Friends

With the Bloomer household distraught by the loss of Ethan, Malakai and Liv agreed it would be the best for Monty to get away from it all. So Malakai took Monty on the long-planned camping trip with Janet and her son Tylor.

2

As everyone waited for Malakai to get supplies, a little girl approached them.

“It’s soo different here in the winter, you wouldn’t believe Ty,” Monty explained.

The little girl looked at him with interest: “You’ve been here before?”

3

“Yeah! I’m a seasoned explorer,” Monty boasted.

“Cool,” the girl seemed impressed.

“I’m Monty,” Monty introduced himself, “and this is Tylor, my sidekick!”

“Hey! I’m totally not just his sidekick,” Tylor reassured the girl.

“I’m Scarlet,” the girl smiled at both of them.

“Like your hair,” Monty said happily.

4

“I guess,” she pondered. “Though my hair is more ginger than scarlet. Please don’t call me ginger though!”

Tylor smirked: “My mommy says you should never reveal your weakness. If you didn’t want to be called ginger you shouldn’t have said that…”

“We won’t call you ginger,” Monty interrupted. “Don’t worry about him, he’s just the sidekick.”

Scarlet laughed.

“I’m going to have to go find my mommy and daddy, we’re leaving today,” she told them.

“Aww,” Monty pouted.

“Bummer,” Tylor shrugged. “Where do you live?”

“Newcrest,” she called over her shoulder as she ran off.

Tylor grinned at his friend and poked him: “Newcrest. Less of a bummer, I guess.”

5

“Look at them,” Janet beamed happily. “I just love Granite Falls. It’s good for the mind.”

“Have you been here before?” Malakai asked.

“I’ve taken Tylor here countless times,” she nodded. “After the breakup with my ex. It was good for clearing my head… anyway, I guess we should set camp.”

6

“So when my daddy and your mommy get married, where are we going to live?” Monty pondered.

“Oh, you should come live in our house, it’s huge,” Tylor enthused. “And we have a pool!”

“Neat! Though I’m still going to be at my mommy’s most of the time anyway. She’d be too sad if I wasn’t,” Monty said.

Tylor was intrigued: “Is your mommy like my mommy?”

“Not at all,” Monty laughed. “But that’s good, isn’t it? I mean, they’re two people. What would be the point of there being two people if they were the same?”

7

“Selfie time,” Malakai pulled Janet towards him. “I need proof that I’ve managed to set it all up – with your invaluable help, naturally – or Liv’s not gonna believe me!”

Janet prickled her nose: “Liv? Who’s Liv?”

“Oh, she’s my best friend,” Malakai waved it off. “She’s Monty’s mom.”

Janet opened her mouth to say something, but she changed her mind.

***

9

In spite of all of her trips to Granite Falls, Janet never understood the purpose of the constant presence of people in bear costumes. She chewed her meal awkwardly as one of them tried to make small talk with her. Monty came along with his dinner plate.

“If you want help with the bear, I can protect you, Janet,” Monty offered. “I saved my mommy from one of them the last time we were here!”

“I sense I’m not welcome,” the bear grunted and left them on their own.

10

“Thanks Monty,” Janet smiled at the boy. “You’re very brave. Your mommy is lucky to have you.”

“She says that too,” Monty agreed happily.

“So, tell me about your mommy. What is she like?”

“Well,” Monty paused thoughtfully, “she’s really cool. She is really pretty, and smart, and funny. She can juggle bottles. And she has colourful hair!”

10

They spent the evening around the fire pit, with Malakai attempting to tell scary stories with varying degrees of success. Eventually, it was time for the boys to go to sleep.

“I’m really excited that we’re sleeping in tents,” Monty said blissfully. “Did you know my great-great-great-grandpa lived in a tent? Aunt Yenn told me!”

Janet arched an eyebrow: “Aunt Yenn?”

“She’s Liv’s aunt,” Malakai explained.

“Yeah,” Monty nodded. “She knows lots of stories about our family. Though she’s not been talking much lately. She just cries, because she misses uncle Ethan.”

“Oh,” Janet felt a sudden urge to dig herself into the ground. “I’m sorry.”

“Me too,” Monty replied. “I wish everyone could live forever.”

“We all do, buddy,” Malakai hugged his son. “How about we try to find your aunt Yenn a nice souvenir tomorrow to cheer her up, huh?”

“Ok!” Monty beamed.

11

Janet and Malakai went quiet after the boys had gone to bed. Malakai kept poking at the fire.

“I’m sorry I was being nosy,” Janet uttered. “It was insensitive of me.”

“It’s ok, I’m sure Monty takes no offence,” Malakai shrugged. “He’s a trooper…woah!”

Malakai’s stick suddenly burst into flames.

“And here I thought it was the boys I had to worry about,” Janet laughed. “Come here, sit with me… before you burn the camp down.”

“Alrighty,” Malakai stood up. “I’m guessing you have more questions to ask me?”

12

“I guess I’m having a hard time understanding how come you and Monty’s mom are such good friends,” Janet ventured.

“Well, we’ve always been friends, ever since we were little kids,” Malakai smiled. “I won’t bore you with the details of how we met…”

“Please do!”

Malakai sighed: “I peed myself, and she defended me against a bully. She was my knight in shining armour, I guess…”

He looked at Janet’s peeved face and stopped himself.

13

“Look, Janet, Liv and I were never a couple,” he told her. “It was just a one night thing, an experiment to see if we could be together; but it turns out we couldn’t. We’re too good of friends. Oh, and also, Liv’s gay.”

“Oh,” Janet breathed out and laughed. “I’m sorry… AGAIN. I know I’m being silly. I have some trust issues…”

It was Malakai’s turn to ask questions: “Would your ex have something to do with that?”

“He cheated on me,” Janet sighed. “Not just once… it was constant, ever since we got together.”

“You see, I come from a rich family – that’s why I’m an investor in the company – and my ex hoped to get his hands on some of the money. He figured being with me was the easiest way, but he didn’t want to give up his original girlfriend… so he didn’t. He kept seeing her on the side for the whole time,” she shook her head.

“What a plumbag,” Malakai cursed. “Clearly he didn’t see a good thing when he had it…”

14

Malakai figured he should brighten the mood: “Well, there’s no need for you to be jealous of Liv… in fact, why would you even go there to begin with? Didn’t you say we’re just friends?”

He nudged Janet playfully. A grin started to spread across her face.

“I guess a sexy man like yourself could never escape my attention,” she winked.

“Hey, that’s my line!”

15

“I told you you didn’t need any lines,” Janet drew closer to Malakai.

***

16

“Guess what, guess what, guess what?” Taylor greeted Monty the following morning. “Your daddy and my mommy kissed last night! I heard it!”

“I know, I heard it too,” Monty giggled. “When do you think they’ll get married?”

“Hopefully soon,” Tylor replied. “I want to show you our pool!”

17

The rest of the holiday continued in a pleasant and sunny manner. They all went on long hikes together, caught bugs and collected herbs, played games and shared many more camp fire stories.

18

By the end of their stay, Tylor and Monty became best friends… forever, of course.

19

As for their parents, it wasn’t quite the proposal the boys would have hoped for, but they did agree to become boyfriend and girlfriend.

20

And celebrated their new relationship on their last night in Granite Falls.

***

21

Malakai: “Nom nom nom”

Tylor: “Eww, Monty, your dad’s spit on me!”

Janet: “Does your daddy always eat like this, Monty?”

 

The Bloomer Legacy: 5.18 The Last Kiss (Part 2)

Day and night Yenn was on Ethan’s side. Time stopped existing. She wasn’t sure how long she’d  been at the cemetery for, but she wasn’t going anywhere. Not until…

“Yenn?” A voice called to her.

2

It was her sister.

“Yenn, come home. I know you’re hurting, but you need to eat, and you look…” Chell paused and looked away. “What are you wearing anyway?”

“It’s Ruby Perrin’s wedding dress,” Yenn explained.

Chell’s face was blank: “You mean, our grandmother?”

“Yes!” Yenn perked up slightly. “This is the dress she got married in, at this very spot. Her and our grandfather’s love was so strong he brought her back from the dead, remember? She was a ghost for years, and then…”

“Oh Yenn…”

3

Chell stroked her sister’s arm gently: “Yenn, he’s not coming back… Let me help you.”

“You don’t understand,” Yenn interrupted her.

Chell looked at her, the pain apparent in her face: “I’ve lost my husband recently too, don’t you remember? Out of all people, I think I should understand.”

4

“No, you don’t,” Yenn shook her head. “You and Knox, you had everything. You made him so happy. I’ve let Ethan down.”

“Yenn…”

“I should have said yes.”

Eventually, Chell realised it was no use and left her sister alone.

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“Oh, I know who you are! You’re the guy from the Agustin speed date that is looking for a soulmate and all that nonsense!”

5

Yenn meditated, to save energy. He’d turn up. He would.

“Hi Yenn,” a man’s voice greeted her.

6

It was Booker: “Chell told me you were chasing ghosts here.”

“Booker, I know you’re trying to help, but please let me be,” Yenn said.

“No, you’ve got to listen to me,” Booker demanded. “I’ve been letting the ghosts of my past get to me all of my adult years, and it’s no use. You have to move on. Come on Yenn, you know this! You’re the smart one!”

“Go away Booker!”

They didn’t understand. Ghosts were real. Yenn knew it.

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“Ethan… let’s do this! Let’s give us a try. No labels. No boyfriend and girlfriend, no talk of marriage and kids and the future. Just you and I. Together. What do you say?”

7

Another day, another sunset. They meant so little without him.

Yenn pulled out her violin and started composing a song. At least grief was inspiring.

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I love you Yenn, but the violin might be one of the skills you haven’t quite mastered yet.”

8

“I admit you’ve gotten a bit better, but there’s still a lot of room for improvement,” the ghost smiled.

9

“Ethan,” she dropped the violin and fell into his arms. Well, as much as she could, in his current state. “I knew you’d come!”

“What can I say, that noise would wake the dead,” he chuckled.

“I missed you,” she said simply.

His face turned serious.

10

And then he kissed her. It was as if time had truly stopped, and they were not separated by life and death. If only it could last forever.

11

“You look beautiful,” he smiled and picked up a rose for her.

“I… I wanted to give you something too,” Yenn took a deep breath as she dropped to her knee.

12

“Ethan, I was wrong. I should have never said no to you. I thought… I thought it didn’t matter anymore, but I’ll always be yours, no matter if you’re dead or alive. I want to be your bride, your wife, forever.”

13

“Yenn, I was the one who was wrong,” the ghost shook his head. “I was being stupid trying to claim you as I was already on my way from this world. It wasn’t fair of me to ask you, and you were right to reject me, like I have to reject you now.”

“But Ethan, what about all those things you wanted in life? All those things I refused to give you,” Yenn hung her head down.

14

“You’ve given me all I ever wanted, and more,” Ethan helped her back up. “I couldn’t have dreamed of a better life. But it’s time for me to move on, and you still have so much living to do. You need to let me go, Yenn. Release my spirit.”

15

“No, I can’t,” she held on to him. “I… I don’t want to.”

“Don’t you think I deserve more than being a ghost endlessly roaming this graveyard?”

Yenn sighed. He was right.

16

“Don’t worry, Yenny,” he kissed her cheek. “Life’s only temporary. I’ll be waiting when you’re ready to join me. But now you have to move on. We both do.”

And with that, he disappeared back into his grave.

17

She released his spirit, like he asked. It’s only temporary, she repeated to herself.

18

She knew she’d miss him every day, and that she would never love another man the way she loved him. But she needed to find a way to go on living, without him.

Author’s note: Special thanks to iheartdinosx3 for creating Ethan for the Agustin speed date. I hope you don’t mind that he didn’t get picked; turns out he had a whole other life waiting for him in my game. A life I think he enjoyed. He’ll be missed!