The Wells Legacy

Without you, today's emotions would be the scurf of yesterday's ~Hipolito


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Twenty One

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“Did you buy out the grocery store?” Dani asked when I came back to the dorm. My arms were overflowing with bag of chips and candy.

When I set our goodies down on my bed, I saw that Dani had changed. She was put together and looking like her regular self. Damn. If only I could pull that off after pulling all-nighters while tending to my plants.

I shrugged and wandered over to the fridge for a beer. “I don’t mess around when it comes to snacks. You’ve known me forever. The Wells—we’re taught to go over the top.”

She laughed and reached for a pack of sour skittles. “I know, I know. Plus you know I’ll end up eating half this shit.”

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“And you won’t even gain an ounce, you jerk!” I joked, although it was true. I’ve never seen anyone eat so many sweets and not gain weight, or even break out from all the sugar! If I even breathed in the sweet aroma of bacon, I could feel myself gain weight. A joke, of course.

As we were getting closer to the boys’ arrival, I worked on getting our movie-watching area comfy. I threw down pillows and moved seats around for a prime viewing experience. But while I worked, I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Dani was pacing until she decided to sit down.

“Are you breaking in a new pair of shoes?” I asked jokingly. “Really, though, are you okay?”

Dani scratched her head and groaned. “Um, please don’t tell me you’re doing this out of pity…”

I shook my head.

“You sure you didn’t tell Sabin about what happened and you felt sorry for me?”

“Pretty sure I just want my best friend to watch some movies with me. Also, you won’t be a third wheel, or anything like that.”

That caught her interest for sure. Rather than asking me to explain, she stared at me with her hands flat in her lap.

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“Sabin’s friend, Otto, didn’t have any plans for today, so I offered to have him join us as well. Thought it would be nice to have more people. Nothing better than poking fun at ridiculous movies, right?”

“Again,” Dani started, “this isn’t because you feel bad?”

I nodded. “Exactly.”

Dani couldn’t get another word in when I heard a knock on the door. Perfect timing, so I didn’t waste any time letting the boys in. They were equipped with the movies and their smiling faces. Otto was standing behind Sabin, but since he was taller than him, he couldn’t exactly hide.

“Nice to see you again, Otto!” I grinned. “So glad you could make it.”

“Well, when Sabin mentioned you were going to watch Mars Attacks, I had to be there. Tim Burton aliens—yeah, truly a classic.”

Once the guys walked in and managed to make themselves comfortable, I motioned to Otto for him to come meet Dani. He walked right up and held out his hand for her to shake. I didn’t even have a chance to say anything before he spoke.

“I’m Otto, by the way. I might have seen you a few times, but never got a chance to say hi.”

“Danika, but you can call me Dani.”

“Nice to meet you, Dani. You ready to crash this movie night? I’ll warm all of you know that I am notorious for incorrectly narrating character lines.”

Dani snorted. “Oh god. Like those classical art memes?”

He nodded and pointed to Sabin. “He loves going to museums with me.”

Sabin rolled his eyes and gave us thumbs up. “The shit that comes out of his mouth is outstanding.”

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The energy in the room was definitely a lot more relaxed. Everyone was chatting and having a good time. I had no doubt that Dani was heartbroken, but at least she was in good company. Sometimes we all needed a distraction to help get through sad times. That didn’t change the fact that I wanted to kick Saul’s ass.

Eventually we ended up actually getting to the movies. We were all seated in front of the TV and took turns commenting on the ridiculous dialogue, or sometimes even making up some of our own narrations. They were often so good that I had a hard time enjoying our snacks.

Otto leaned forward and did his best falsetto. “Well, I do admit that the dog’s body suits her personality. Frankly, I like her more like that!”

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“My god!” I exclaimed before Sabin pat me on the back. “Ugh! Thank you. Otto, I swear I’ll choke if you don’t stop!”

He shrugged and messed with my hair. “That’s okay. Sabin is certified to save you. But if I’m really so funny, I’ll just share with Dani so Sabin doesn’t have to worry about you choking.”

Dani furrowed her brow and sat up. “You know, all this talk of choking makes me want to say something dirty, but ya know…”

I quickly threw my pillow at Dani before the color of my face caught up. “Filthy!”

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Sabin had to join in laughing. Yeah-yeah, it was funny and we basically walked right into that one. Amazing. But that what was what I really liked—I loved how freely we could laugh and enjoy the moment. I only hoped that Dani was having a great time as well. I watched her laugh and talk with Otto. They were certainly on a roll with making fun of the movies we watched. I lost track of how many times Sabin had to smack me on the back to make sure I didn’t choke on a pretzel.

Time flew by and before we knew it, it was midnight.

“Wow, we definitely got through a few movies,” Otto commented looking at the stack of DVDs on the floor.

Sabin nodded and shifted his position to look back at Dani and Otto. “You ladies want to call it a night? Get some rest before classes start back up again?”

I shrugged and glanced at Dani. “We can certainly hang out tomorrow, but sleep sure does sound nice.”

Once we agreed to finish up with our movie night, the boys helped us clean up before heading back to their apartment. Every little bit helped because once the sleepies kicked it, it was difficult to do anything!

“Alma,” Dani started while I started throwing pillows off my bed.

“What’s up?”

When she didn’t answer, I looked up to find her right beside me, ready to wrap her arms around me.

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“Thank you for tonight. Just—thank you.”

My arms wrapped tightly around her as I sighed happily. “I’m so glad you had a good time. That’s the fun you should be having, not dealing with some little shit.”

She snorted before giggling. “Oh man, you’re right about that. But in all seriousness, you’re not going to go sneak into Sabin’s bed right now? Lord, the way he looks at you even when you’re choking on snacks. It’s incredible!”

I shoved her playfully and rolled my eyes. “Oh hush!”


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Twenty

Before I knew it, my holiday break was over and it was time to get on a plane and head back to campus. As much as I loved my time spent with family, I was extremely excited to see Dani back at our dorm since she was spending the holiday break with her boyfriend, Saul, and his family. Guess things were also moving along well for her with her relationship and I couldn’t wait to hear all about it. I half-expected for her to be off with Saul at his place, but Dani was actually in our room seated on her bed with a pillow in her lap.

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“My sista!” I exclaimed and threw down my bag. “I’ve missed you! Tell me everything! You’ve been radio silent this entire time!”

Which was odd, by the way.

It wasn’t till I got closer to her that I noticed how swollen her eyes were. I immediately dropped my playful demeanor and rushed to her side. If there was anything that set me into full Mama-Bear mode it was knowing something was wrong with my friends.

Dani only looked down and mumbled incoherently. Her speech soon became riddled with her heavy sobs.

My arm quickly found its way to her back, so I could soothe her any way I could.

“Hey,” I whispered, “what’s going on? Was your trip no good?”

Dani snorted and looked up. “Alma, there was no trip.”

“Where were you then?” Heck, she could have come spend the break with my family.

“Visited family…”

“Well that’s good, but weren’t you supposed to go see—”

“Nope. Not once I found out he was fucking some freshman.”

“Woah, what. Hold on. WHAT?”

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Dani took her time explaining since she had to take breaks to sniffle and apologize (no matter how many times I told her it was necessary). She never caught him in the act. She never noticed anything pop up on his phone. Nothing. There was nothing that would be stereotypically assumed of a cheater. Saul actually approached her and said it to her face. The nerve!

She wiped her eyes and sighed. “He told me that he was seeing someone else and that he cared about her. He’d rather introduce her to his family than me. I mean,” She winced as the words were forming. “Is there something so wrong with me that he doesn’t even want to consider introducing me to his family? Why did he suggest it? Why did he invite me before?”

I placed my arm around her and pulled her in close before she started wheezing as her questions quickened. One followed the other till she was crying again. It was hard to see her like this, because Dani always carried herself in such a way that made her seem impenetrable.

We were only human.

For a while I didn’t say anything. I just hugged her and listened because I could tell she needed to talk. Sometimes it was incoherent, but it was her expression and I was going to be there for as long as she wanted me to be there. After a while she stopped sniffling and sighed slowly.

“Do you think there’s something wrong with me?” She asked quietly.

“Absolutely not,” I replied. “You’re a kind and courageous woman. You rock colored hair like it’s nobodies business and you’re someone your siblings look up to. You’re amazing. Things didn’t work out with Saul because—” I paused. “His head is so far up his ass he can’t see what a mistake he made. That only means that he’s not the guy for you, and that’s okay, because that means you’re going through the duds till you find that right person who treats you the way you deserve to be treated.”

She did her best to smile. “You mean like a ‘Sabin’?”

I shrugged. “Could be like a Sabin. You know, speaking of which, we were going to have a movie night. I figured you’d be out tonight, but why don’t you join us?”

Dani’s eyebrows raised. “Um, you sure? Aren’t you two going to get all naughty and stuff?”

I fought the blush and shook my head. Sabin and I hadn’t actually been quite that physical yet, but I wasn’t going to get into that.

“No,” I smirked. “Just movies and junk food. I have a lot of comedies lined up and B-Horror movies…”

“Mmm, I guess I don’t see why not,” Dani smiled. “Thanks, Alma.”

“What are sisters for?” I grinned.

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As much as I wanted to be by her side every second that day, I knew she needed her space as well. I used that time to catch up with what was going on around campus. The snow was light this year, so the ultimate Frisbee team was still going at it when they weren’t trying to have “epic” snowball fights. In the quad, there were always activists handing out flyers about the next events they were going to host. They were passionate and very free-spirited. It was awesome to see them participating in important events and speaking about circumstances that would affect many people.

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While I walked around campus, I took in all the sights of everyone returning to their routines, so naturally, I returned to mine. Like an instinct, I walked down the winding paths to my safe haven, the best place to get a damn good cup of coffee.

“Didn’t take you too long to stop by,” the barista laughed once I approached the counter. “Same thing?”

I nodded. “You can’t go wrong with the usual.”

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The conversations I had with the barista were always excellent. I never left without having a good laugh with them, even more so on that day when I was startled at the feel of a hand on my shoulder. Luckily I didn’t have a drink in my hand, otherwise it would have gone flying.

“Boo?” Sabin cackled. “Oh, you’re very jumpy before you have your coffee.”

“I thought you’d know that by now,” I smirked before reaching on the tips of my toes to give him a quick peck on the cheek. “When did you get in?”

“Late last night,” he replied. “Still on or movie night? I picked up the movies.”

Since I spent the majority of the morning with Dani, I failed to let Sabin know what happened, so once I got my drink, we moved to sit at a table. After I explained the situation, I watched Sabin’s expression soften. I didn’t know why I expected him to not be on board with the idea of having Dani with us. It was Sabin after all. The moment I introduced him to my friends, he was extremely friendly. He was a great person all around and it didn’t matter if he knew the person for years or if it was someone who he had just met. He treated everyone with equal respect. For a moment we sat in silence until I had a light bulb moment.

“What’s up?”

“Why don’t you invite Otto to join us?”

Sabin smirked and nodded. “Sure. I don’t think he has any plans tonight, so I’ll ask him.”

Now, I wasn’t trying to set anything up. I simply wanted good company for a movie night, but I guess I would be a liar if I said I wasn’t hoping for some sort of spark. Otto was one of the nicest people I had ever met. He was with Sabin for a long time. They had gone through a lot together, so it certainly said something special about him. I loved Dani like a sister, so I only wanted her to be happy. At least if Otto was there for our movie night, it wouldn’t seem so much like her being a third wheel.

Who knew, maybe the move night would prove to be the right distraction for Dani. If she ended up having a great time and making a new friend in the process, then how could any of that go wrong?

All I ever wanted was to know my friends were happy and if there was anything that I could do, then well…

I would do it.

[Author’s Note: To my readers in the good ‘ol USA: Happy Independence Day 🙂 ]


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Nineteen

Life is created as well as extinguished in a blink of an eye. That’s something I knew to never take for granted. In my young life, I’ve seen many lives form and grow, but unfortunately, I’ve seen and felt the pain of loss. I think that’s what really struck me when Sabin finally met my family.

I could see in the scene before me that I couldn’t see myself with anyone but him. He fit in perfectly within the craziness of the Wells. By no means were any of us perfect, especially me. We had our flaws, but we still came together.

The moment Sabin entered my family’s home , he was welcomed in with open arms. I barely had a moment with him! My family was excited and loud, like always. There was no discomfort, not even from my Dad. Mom was already doing her best to fatten him up with appetizers that she made. I wouldn’t fight back either because her cooking was out of this world!

But the best part had to be watching Sabin interact with my younger siblings. There was something so special about watching them, because it helped me see just how well we all fit together.

“Are you going to join us, or just watch us?” Oren laughed while Sabin was already spinning Jax around.

I had to join in, of course, because how could I pass up on all the fun that they were having.

Meeting my parents was just as smooth as meeting the rest of the family. Unbelievable, because I had this huge elaborate speech planned to explain to them why I loved him so much.

My parents were so kind, although I honestly wasn’t too surprised at that.

My dad even asked if Sabin wanted a drink, and that was from his special stash. Man, even I wasn’t offered that whiskey. Dad said it would be saved for a special occasion, like my wedding, or something like that.

So, it was a good sign for Sabin.

While Sabin was being socialized, I walked around the house to greet family as they arrived. Christmas was a little light this year at the Wells house since Grandma and Grandpa bought a house in France. Guess their hearts would always bring them back there. But Aunt Arecia and Shuyin were there, which was really nice.

Speaking of which—

“You did not mention what a looker he is!” Aunt Arecia giggled, yanking me to the side. “So you think it’s serious?”

My face was undeniably hot. Like, eight shades darker than my natural skin tone hot. Yikes.

“I mean, we’ve been dating for a while now. I wouldn’t call it just a fling, if that answers your question.” I hoped that would satisfy her inquiry because I couldn’t handle any more seriousness until I actually talked to Sabin about everything.

The day was full of the usual festivities: playing, drinking, and of course eating a sinful amount of food. When Mom cooked, it was to be expected that we would have leftovers for a good week, if not longer. As usual, everyone was basically in a food coma after eating a holiday meal at our house. That’s usually when everyone went his or her separate ways before doing anything else. Sabin ended up joining me in my room. It was actually the first time he ever saw my room.

“So this is where hung out before college, huh?” He chuckled, wrapping his arm around my shoulder, lazily.

I shrugged, leaning into him. “I supposed you could say that. This was my escape when I wasn’t at Dani’s house, or her parents’ restaurant. When my siblings got older, it was pretty tough to hide in my room. Oren and Jax would hide in my room trying to avoid whatever they were supposed to do.”

Sabin laughed and wandered over to the center of my room. “Sounds like brothers.”

“You have only sisters, right?”

He nodded. “I was the big bad wolf when they started dating.”

“You? A big bad wolf?” I couldn’t help but laugh. I followed him and circled around to face him. “No way.”

He rolled his eyes and stepped closer to me, so our height difference cast a shadow on my face. “Oh, you have no idea.”

I knew he was trying to be somewhat serious, but I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. When he joined in it was that much more difficult to stop laughing, especially when his manly cackle faded into a few light “he-he’s”. I loved that about him. I loved how he made me laugh and I love how he would let loose with me.

“I,” I laughed freely,” I love you!”

It wasn’t until I was gasping for air that I had realized what I said.

Sabin cleared his throat and quickly straightened out. “What was that?

Well, I wasn’t going to take it back. Not then and honestly, not ever.

“I love you,” I repeated. “I fucking love you, Sabin.”

Those plump lips of his parted to show me the smile I never got tired of seeing. The wider it grew, the more I wanted to say it.

I love you.

I love you.

I’m ridiculously in love with you.

“You’re a spontaneous woman, aren’t you?” He laughed before grabbing hold of my wrist. His grip was firm, but his skin was on fire. While I cooled down, I felt him pull me in closer to him till our faces were only centimeters apart. I was never that close to him without kissing him. Even when I tried, he gently pulled me back, but kept me close.

“I love you too, sunshine. You’ve brought back a feeling I didn’t think could return.”

While my heart pounded against my chest, I launched myself forward to finally kiss him. How could I not love him and do everything I could to make his day brighter? He was honestly my light, my partner in crime, and everything I could have hoped for in a partner. He was my special someone—that someone that we hope to meet when we’re younger.

By the time we were finished telling each other how much we loved each other it was time for presents. It was always fun watching my siblings open up their gifts to see their faces light up at the sight of something they had asked for. They were genuinely thankful and very excited to play. But while gifts were fun, I couldn’t help but hold onto Sabin’s hand. That holiday was something more precious to me than any gift. Cheesy as it sounded, having Sabin with us that year was the best present I could have asked for.

Knowing my family liked Sabin was all I could ask for.

Telling Sabin I loved him and hearing it in return…there was no greater joy.

“Next year,” Sabin whispered against my neck when he leaned in, “I’d like for you to come to my family’s holiday dinner.”

Next year? My heart would never stop fluttering with them.

He saw more years with me!

“I couldn’t ask for a better holiday,” I smirked in response.

[Author Note: I was hoping to have pictures this time, but Sims 3 knows how to break all the time, haha. I’m working on a fix every now and then…when I find some time. But at least this chapter is done. I’ve reworked Alma’s story a little bit, so hopefully this will move forward with little delay. Thank you, again, for staying with me. Please bear with me while I try to figure out this weird issue with my game 😀 I hope you enjoyed this short chapter! Can’t wait to post again! ❤ ]

 

 


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Sixteen

Sabin’s Point of View

I forced my way back home, treading through grass and along sidewalks where I planned on continuing the date. Guilt ate at me like heartburn that I couldn’t settle. Alma was left to return to her dorm without the date even coming to a proper end. There were plans to get ice cream from the Irish parlor they had only ten minutes away, but the incessant ringing in my pant pocket reminded me that I wasn’t yet allowed that flexibility.

“How was it, man?” Otto asked. His body turned in the couch and his head rested on the cushion.

All I could do then was whip my phone out of my pocket and sigh.

He knew what I was doing.

My room was a mess. Clothes were sprawled all over a bed that hadn’t been made in weeks. On the bright side of things not going too, too well on my date: I wouldn’t have brought Alma over to see the pig sty. As the alarm on my phone sounded again, I grabbed my laptop and brought it to my desk.

After logging in, the calendar application didn’t waste time in reminding me that I missed a call from NCRodriguez151. Quickly before the pop-up came up again to tell me it had been ten minutes, I clicked on the username and waited for the dial tone to connect me.

An image of a woman in a blazer showed up on my screen. Mine was a small box in the corner, but to her it was blown up. She could probably read my disappointment in every crease on my face.

“I was starting to get worried, Sabin,” she began. I saw her flip to a new page in her notepad. The notepad that she had marked “Sabin McKenna”.

“Sorry.”

“Well, as long as you’re here. I was just curious since you’ve never been late—not even by a minute—to our appointments.”

She was right. Then again, I couldn’t remember the last time I went on a date. Better yet: the last time I actually felt something for someone.

“How’s your medication, Sabin?” She asked, quickly scribbling down notes. The scratching of her pencil on the notepad startled me.

I glanced at the orange bottles on my nightstand. The sight of them made my stomach turn. Those tiny pills were aids that left him feeling dependent. Some days when the nightmares were too much, I took them. When the nightmares stopped, I looked the other way.

“You should be running out in the next few days. I’m going to write you a new prescription, okay? You can pick it up at the university pharmacy. I know they have Zoloft on them. Have the nightmares been okay? Easing up a bit with the new dosage?”

I sometimes wanted to break down and tell her like I did the first time we met. There were many dreams that tormented me, but it was always the face of Captain Williams that never let me be. He told us to watch each other’s back when crossing the field. The chances of mines being in the field just—

“I sense you want to change the topic.”

“Sorry I was late,” I finally said. I figured it would be appropriate.

“As long as you’re okay,” she smiled. “I get the feeling this appointment pulled you away from something?”

Now I couldn’t hold back a small smile. I remembered her smile and the way that her hair brushed against an exposed shoulder. It was Carmen all over again only this time I didn’t feel like I was only seen as a military brat. This time a woman appeared to feel something for me without knowing what happened. This time, she didn’t know what I did. My weird quirks were somehow forgiven, but I didn’t know how long I could keep it up.

“That girl,” I started, “that I meet at the café after some of our appointments.”

“Alma, am I right?” She asked.

I nodded after shifting my laptops position. “I took her out tonight.”

I caught Dr. Rodriguez scribbling away on her notepad. Knowing her for years, I established this as her thinking it was an important move in my treatment. My stability with Carmen, the last woman to be intimate with me, was questionable. Things weren’t left off right, because when I hoped for a future with her, her dreams were somewhere else. Somewhere that didn’t include me in the picture.

The thought irked me, so I leaned back in my chair and ran my hands along my short hair. There wasn’t much that I could do once I’d be forced to tell Alma everything. I never liked secrets, and if this somehow ended up developing into something more, then how could I keep her in the dark? I’d scare her. I should have done this a long time ago. Honestly, telling her was one of my “healing” assignments, but when I saw her face each night, I couldn’t tear her away from talking about her day to telling her that I watched my squad captain get blown up by a landmine.

I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Dr. Rodriguez looked at the screen and her lips parted in a small smile. “And you’ve told her about your PTSD, correct? It takes a lot to bring something like that up, and even more to be strong and supportive of someone going through what you’re going through.”

Through clenched teeth, I nodded. “Had to.”

Unfortunately, I had a hard time following these assignments when my mind was more mesmerized by Alma’s smile than the twisted mess inside my head.

But I knew I would have to.

Someday. Somehow.

I’d tell Alma everything there was to know about Sabin McKenna.

~*~

Author’s Note: Thank you for reading ❤ 🙂 That’s one. Also, thank you for sticking by this story even though I haven’t been able to update it frequently! I intend on finishing this legacy, however at this point it may be without pictures.
I’m graduating this semester. Woohoo! Finally getting my degree in English!  I’m pretty excited, but also experiencing a very hectic life.
I also actually took on my first freelance project that involved me writing web content for a new company website, so that’s been pretty exciting. Now that’s coming to an end and I have another project that will require me to write the backstory and dialogue for a video game that a Video Game Design class is working on at school. I’m extremely thrilled about that, because I applied for the writer’s position and got the spot. I’m honestly so excited to be working on this type of stuff! Ahhh! Well that’s just a little update from me.
Thanks for sticking with me! ❤
-Olga


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Fifteen

When plans are made, the days in between seem to drag. It’s actually quite annoying how that happens. Classes seem much longer, sleep doesn’t seem to end soon enough, and texts don’t arrive fast enough. I didn’t see much of Sabin since that night, but instead of him dropping off the face of the earth, like last time, he promised to keep in touch via text.

Done with class?

            Seen at 6:50 PM

 

I waited for a response patiently when the day finally came. No plans were discussed just yet about our date. Part of me figured he’d have it figured out, but maybe it also meant that he was going to cancel plans last minute. I mean, 7 was already getting pretty late to do stuff aside from just going to the café and sitting there till the sun would come up. It was a Friday night, so if I spent the next day in bed, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Sure, Dani would give me some crap about it, but that wouldn’t be the worst.

Not going to answer? I looked down at my phone and tried to summon what mystical powers I wanted to make the message pop up on the screen. Oooh, come on! Come on! Don’t make a girl wait like this!

 

I can meet you by your dorm if you’re ready. Hopped in the shower first—sorry 4 wait

 

***

It only took me 15 minutes to finish getting ready once I knew Sabin was on his way. The added pressure really got me moving. If only Dani could see me rushing to pull up my tights and boots without even toppling over onto the floor. Ah, she’d never believe me. When I was ready I grabbed my keys and walked out of the room. Knowing us, there was a chance we’d stay out late, so I didn’t want to wake up Dani with my knocking.

“Hey,” I said, walking downstairs where Sabin was leaning against the wall. “Sorry it took me a little while. Dani borrowed this shirt before and well, ya know…”

“That’s fine,” he shrugged and motioned for me to follow him out the door. “Luckily where we’re going, time isn’t really important.”

“It’s the café, isn’t it?” I laughed as I followed. I stayed close, but I wasn’t sure what it was I wanted to do. Do I linger close, or do I keep my distance. Do I brush up against him or go straight for his hand?

Sabin turned around so he could face me. Ah, walking backwards? That’s a no for the hand.

“You think I’m that predictable?” He asked, his hand reaching out for mine. Bingo.

I took his hand without thinking twice. “Well, I wouldn’t say predictable, but I mean, what else did we ever do together?”

“Exactly,” he sighed, “I thought it would be nice for us to do something different. As much as I enjoy our talks at the café, I wanted to actually take you out.”

 

Neither of us said anything about it, but even without speaking I felt fine. It was good to be walking with him. To say I had feelings for Sabin was well, the least of it. I never really felt close to any of the men I met at school. Not in college. Not in high school. Sabin was my best friend. We talked and actually had meaningful conversations. None of it felt repetitive or just mindless. With Sabin, I wanted to listen to him talk, and I actually wanted to hear things about him. I wanted to learn about what made him who he was. It was the first time I wanted to know more. Before I really knew it we were away from campus and on our way to a camp ground that I only really heard about. It overlooked our campus. Dani told me about it; Saul took her there once.

“Did I take you by surprise?” He asked. “The date, that is…”

“I don’t see you for days, don’t hear from you for days,” I exhaled and leaned back on my palms, feeling the thin blades of grass between my fingers. “And then you just come back and ask me out?”

“You got me,” he groaned, lying down on the hill. “Asking was the easy part. I-I didn’t really plan on it happening that day, but I had to redeem myself somehow after being gone so long…”

We sat in silence for a while. The clouds were keeping out of the way for now, which was quite the rare occurrence. The sky was lit up by the stars. It was one those sights that really just left one speechless. I looked over at Sabin from time to time who looked more than content. I remembered the first time I really talked to him at the café. He approached me, telling me he’d seen me all over campus and finally worked up the courage to talk to me. Two months later we started spending time together outside of the café. We still drank coffee, we still talked, but it was all strictly as friends though it would have been foolish to ignore the electricity I felt between us.

“Why was that the easy part?” I finally asked.

“Hmm?”

“Why was asking me out on a date the easy part?”

“It was the domino effect, Alma,” he said. “I pushed myself to do it because then I would have no choice but to tell you what I thought of when I saw you each night.”

“And what would that be?” I fished for more.

“How great I think you are, and how alive I feel again. Even in silence, I feel so…”

“I understand it.” I slid down the hill and stopped when I was next to him. That entire night, and every night before when I first felt that electric buzz in the pit of my stomach, I wondered what his lips tasted like. Experience? He was eleven years older than I was after all. Did they taste like what that night felt like? I always blushed when I thought like that. I never thought of anyone that way, with such intimacy. Everything with Sabin felt new. To Dani it was completely normal, but this was intense. I trembled thinking about him, but steadied myself when I felt my hand brush against his firm shoulder.
I smiled the entire time. “Thanks for asking, Sabin.”

“Yeah, well, you’ve given this old man a reason to stay up late,” he chuckled and reached to drape his arm around my shoulder.

In my head I felt the end of our date coming to an end and I had to picture what would happen. Would he walk me back to my place and just stand there awkwardly? Would we finally lock lips? Ugh the possibilities were there, but all we were missing was the moment. I couldn’t wait.

I had to wait.

I bowed my head and glanced at him.

At first he reached over and cupped my chin in his hand like a child sheltering an injured bird. It wasn’t enough. He shifted his weight around so he could free his hand, planting the newly freed hand on the other side of my face. In all that time he never said a word. There was nothing between us that lingered as coherent words. Our staggered breaths were the only present noise before Sabin kissed me. Sabin’s pained sigh was the other sound he made when I kissed him back.

I would’ve kept going if it hadn’t been for his phone ringing from the inside of his pant pocket.

“Shiiit,” he sighed and rubbed his thumb down the side of my face. “I was just beginning to really enjoy the silence.”

“Do you have to go?” I asked, hoping he’d forget about whatever he had to do just so he’d kiss me again and just pour fuel onto the fire brewing inside me. Wow…

His look mirrored my own disappointment. I could see it as he fiddled around with his phone. Any other person who would tell me they had to go wouldn’t have hesitated so much. Sabin looked at me while clutching his phone. “I wish I didn’t, but I have an–” he stopped himself to reach behind his head to rub his neck.

Even if we couldn’t continue our evening or even have it end with him walking me back to the door where he’d look me in the eyes, I felt that he didn’t mean to cut our evening so short. After all, he took me all the way off campus. Disappointment flared again.

“Skype appointment,” he smiled halfheartedly. His hand slowly reached to touch mine. “I’d skip it, but I honestly shouldn’t miss it.”

I looked up away from his phone and glance at him. “What?”

“And I’m hoping we can reschedule this,” he cleared his throat,”this date.”

I wanted to agree, but I knew I’d just be going along with whatever he said. I wasn’t that type of person, right? Trying to come together with some witty comeback that still left me feeling not quite as defeated as that stupid phone call made me feel, I shifted my weight before getting up from the grass. As I offered my hand, to help him up, I shrugged.

“What do you say to that?” Sabin asked.

“Well, I’ll say yes as long as next time you tell me more about yourself and not get snatched away by Skype appointments, eh? What about next time you fill me in rather than build up your mysterious facade,” I said with a smirk.

He rubbed his arm and chuckled. “You have a deal.”


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Fourteen

 

By my third year of college, I knew one section of the campus like the back of my hand. When I was running on twenty minutes of sleep, or seven hours, I could maneuver myself round the campus to my classes. Life evolved for me. I made new friends. I learned life lessons that I hoped to pass on one day. And I even experienced some of the things my mother did when she was in school:

Ramen noodle shortages;

a lack of quarters for laundry;

and the amazing feeling of coming back home for weekend, just to snuggle up in my bed.

I found myself embracing many new things, like staying up ridiculously late just to talk to someone. Even Dani was surprised despite this habit formed almost two years ago.

“You’re going out again?” Dani asked, brushing her long, and now green, hair. “Does that mean I can have Saul over without you moaning and groaning?”

“You do whatever you want, my friend,” I smirked, scooping my bag up off the floor and slinking it over my shoulder.

“Is it Sabin?” Dani asked before I made it out of our dorm.

My smile was all that was needed.

Yes, it was indeed Sabin. It was funny how it happened, really. We met the first week of school when I was a freshman. I didn’t realize it until we actually started talking much later. He had to point it out to me that he was the one who handed me a bottle of water to drink when I got a bit too tipsy at my first college party. After that moment, we had made our nightly coffee sessions a tradition. Sometimes he wasn’t there, but sometimes he was. I tried to focus on those days more than those where he wasn’t there.

When I got to the cafe, I quickly ordered my drink and made my way to what I deemed as “my table”. It was only because I sat there every night.

“9 o’clock on the dot,” the man behind me chuckled. “I think that’s what they call an addiction.”

“Poking fun at my need for coffee?” I chuckled as the man’s own cackle carried around me and ended up before me. “You’re one to talk. You’re up now and till god knows when. And–” I said, pointing this his full hands, “ I see you’re basically double-timing your intake.”

Sabin rolled his eyes and placed one of the cups on my side before sitting down. “I didn’t know if you got yours yet, so I went ahead and got you a cup.”

My eyes widened. “W-wow, thanks.”

I saw Sabin’s lip twitch upward. His sheepish smirk was electric—sure made the hairs on my arm stand tall.

“Now, don’t drink all of it at once, kay? I need you around tonight. Haven’t seen you the last few days and I was hoping to catch up.”

“I should be saying that line,” I mentioned, leaning forward. “Everything okay? You didn’t even really text me about it…”

Sabin’s brow furrowed. Somehow I felt I shouldn’t have said anything, but he leaned back in his seat, letting the cushion absorb him. “I’m sorry about that, but I just didn’t feel well enough to keep you company. Wouldn’t have been fun for you.”

“Did ya catch a cold?” I asked. God, I wanted something more out of him than apologies. We were really starting to get close. We started sharing things, but the closer we got, the sooner Sabin would cut off our personal chats.

“No I—look, Alma, it’s okay.” He bowed his head and smiled, only slightly, but smiled nonetheless when I nudged his foot with mine. “I’m better today.”

“And I’m happy to hear that. So what do ya wanna tal–”

“Can I take you out this weekend?”

I was happy that my mouth wasn’t full of coffee and that I wasn’t even holding the cup, because when Sabin spoke, I thought I was going to soon find Otto, his roommate with a camera in my face—screaming “HAH! GOTCHA!” I didn’t respond to Sabin immediately and I knew the pause was killing him, but I was taken back. Can’t blame me, right? He doesn’t show up for days, then just blurts out he wants to take me out? Like, wait…

“Like, on a date? O-or,” I quickly tried to come up with an alternative, but nope, I was blanking.

He nodded. “Like, a date.”

I was still quiet, feeling my body tense up to the point even the softest peep out of a chair screeching against the wood floor, or even someone clearing their throat would sound loudly, but Sabin’s soft chuckle soon alerted me of him and him alone.

“Your cheeks are so red,” he whispered tauntingly. “Does that mean we can try this?”

“T-try?” I smirked while I tried my best to have the color in my face stop concentrating on my cheeks.

“Something other than coffee for a change,” Sabin responded.

“Yeah…” As if there was anything else I could say when the thought of talking with him about nonsense had me looking forward to my evenings. “I think I could give up coffee for a night.”

***

The rest of our night was spent talking as if nothing happened. We went about our night touching up on subjects of new movies, new park attractions at the amusement park twenty miles from the school, and very rarely did we acknowledge the fact that our eyes lingered on each other longer than usual. Now it didn’t seem so innocent anymore. Now there was purpose.

“So, hold on,” Dani sat on her heels as I relayed what happened that night with Sabin. “Seriously? You’re finally going out with him? Girl, I thought you two were already getting down and dirty and you just weren’t telling me…”

“Yeaaaah, I wouldn’t do that.” I said softly. I never really felt the things that Dani did.

She clicked her tongue and hugged her pillow. She understood how I felt, but she still clicked her tongue and winked at me. “Yeah, I know. I’d be able to tell immediately. Wells, I can read you like a book.”

I shrugged.

I laid in bed that night, staring at the cream-colored ceiling. There were many nights spent wondering about what just happened and if it would ever become a reality. Some nights I’d lose sleep over silly things that he’d say, because I’d want to dig into some hidden-meaning when there really was none. But tonight? Tonight there was something to be analyzed.

Sabin felt something and that something went beyond me just being a friend he killed time with because he couldn’t sleep.

[Author’s Note: Yes, I am aware that there aren’t any pictures in this chapter. I’m currently finishing up my semester at school and loading the game to get a few pictures that eventually just crash my game is a bit much to deal with when I have 4 chapters (even if a bit shorter than usual) to post. I think 4 months is long enough to be on a hiatus.]


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Thirteen

Life at home was rather crazy, and even now that I was back at school I could feel the lingering presence of sadness. Before coming back we had Grandpa Grey’s funeral. It was a long week that I had to watch Dad struggle with the hope that there was a way out of a coma. In reality, that coma was what was keeping Grandpa Grey still with us. It was truly upsetting, and I felt horrible that I couldn’t be the most comforting person in the family. Mom was good at being there for Dad and for everyone who came to say their goodbyes. She asked me many times if I was okay, because I hadn’t cried. My expression faded and lost all trace of happiness, anger, and even sadness. I felt incredibly numb, but I–I just didn’t know what to do in such a situation. I never had to face such a situation where I almost lost someone. Well, not at an age where I actually understood what was happening.

But as expected, life keeps moving forward. There is no way to pause anything. Dani had heard about what happened over my holiday, so she kept her questions to a minimum the moment she saw my body tense up. She was like my sister. She could read me like a book.

“Did you want to hang out tonight?” Dani asked, flinging her backpack onto the foot of her bed. “I’m done with classes for the day!”

I was happy that she offered, but the reality was that I had to actually study for my horticulture classes. With a foggy mind, I knew I couldn’t pass any of my classes without putting in extra hours with my books, and well, with my plants as well. “Maybe another day? Maybe you can spend some time with Saul? I’m sure he missed you over break.”

She opened her mouth quickly before shutting it again. She changed her mind. Dani bobbed her head. “But next time, please let’s hang out. I feel like I’m not getting nearly enough one on one time with you. And you know I’m here if you want to talk, right?”

“Yeah, Dani. I know,” I smiled, picking up my bag to head out. “Thank you,again.”

The day was coming to an end, but that didn’t really affect me. That was mainly because sleep wasn’t treating me all that well, so I made the best of it by loading up with my favorite tea late and spent most of my time at the college cafe. I actually got a lot of my homework done that way.

You could say that I was a bit of an insomniac at school. My productivity was at its highest outside of my dorm and between the hours of midnight and 4 in the morning. I was lucky that semester, because the majority of my classes weren’t until 1 in the afternoon, which gave me some time to actually get a good nights sleep after powering through my studies.

 

***

“Alma, thought you wouldn’t make it tonight,” the barista said. “Green tea late?’

I took the warm cup from the barista and dragged my feet to the back of the café. Tonight there was a small group of people studying, but no other special events. The ethereal sound of Soren Juul occupied the air.

Days passed like that.

I lost track of what was happening outside of my school work. Getting ahead on my homework and taking on extra projects mainly to help myself became almost cathartic.

Thinking of my grandfather and of my father became easier with each month, but I still stayed at the café each night.

I loved the solitude that I found in a busy space.

Before I knew it, months had passed, and like clockwork I’d make my way to the café. By that point I only had to slip the barista money and my order would be waiting for me.

Screenshot-2340

It was the middle of April when I heard the chair behind me screech like a fork against a porcelain plate. Even if it was annoying, I did my best not to turn around. I was sure the person who caused it didn’t want any additional attention drawn to them.

Then it squeaked again, so I had to turn around except that the person was no longer in their seat, but standing in front of me. Being seated didn’t help, because the guy was tall. Like, very all. I craned my neck up to look at him.

He was lean with facial features that could help distinguish him from others. His cheek had a discolored line that trailed down his cheek and his cheeks were decorated lightly with freckles of different shades of brown. I looked at him as if I had seen him before. The hair was different, but the blue tint was like a blurred memory.

“What’s up?” I finally said. As those words left my lips, I remembered. I remembered the hair, but it wasn’t until his lips parted lightly to show half his teeth that I knew exactly who he was. All that was missing from his hands was a plastic bottle of water. Instead he had a steaming drink in each hand. “Ah….hello there.”

His face appeared to be tense, knotted with some form of anxiety. I only knew because I saw that look in the mirror every morning when I rushed to get ready for my classes.

“Don’t know if you remember me…,” he said.

“Oh,” I chuckled, “I remember.”

His name was Sabin.

Screenshot-2344

Sabin and I talked till six in the morning that night, which normally wasn’t easy for me with people outside of my family, unless it was Dani. We didn’t seem to run out of things to talk about, but I admit that the majority of our conversation ended up with him bringing up the party where we first “unofficially” met.

Sabin continued to laugh heartily until he covered his mouth to cough. “You know,” he said breathlessly, “I’ve been meaning to talk to you for months.”

“What?” I asked suddenly stopping mid-bite of my stale croissant.

Screenshot-2343

“I saw you here a few months ago. You seemed really down, but I didn’t want to be some random guy walking up to you ask if you were okay…”

I didn’t know which night in particular, but I knew it had to have been not long after the funeral. My life was all sorts of crazy then. The café served as one of the few places I could escape to.

“Well, you’re certainly not a random guy anymore,” I smiled. “Now I’ll actually remember your name instead of a partially blurry face.”

He chuckled.

I was so drawn into the conversation that I barely noticed that the baristas changed. The morning girl was there, Aimee.

“Oh my god! What time is it?”

Sabin stopped and glanced at his cell phone. “Oh wow…”

I quickly stuffed my notebooks and laptop back into my bag while Sabin sat without flinching. He simply watched me. I had to stop for a moment to glance over at the barista then back at him. “Why don’t we make a little routine out of this?”

“Routine?” He said with a smile.

“Yeah. I’m here every night. And if you’re around, then let’s talk…,” I bowed my head. “I could use more talks like this.”

Sabin bobbed his head and got up as I did. “Yeah…I’d like that, too.”