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 Eighteen: Part Two

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We ended up at a small café not far from home. Sabin would be coming early the next day, so I didn’t have much time left for preparations. By that I meant: getting my family ready to meet him without asking unnecessary questions that could make Sabin’s stay unpleasant.

You know, nothing too crazy.

My younger siblings were becoming old enough to know when to suppress some questions that wouldn’t be appropriate, so they weren’t the ones I had to worry about. My main issues were with trying to figure out how my Dad would react. Mom let me spread my wings, but my Dad was something else. Not that he kept me from doing what I wanted, but he was looking out for me, or so he said. Especially when it came to people I was interested in.

Dad looked at me from across the table. We had gotten through the entire meal without actually having mentioned anything about Sabin. While he waited, I took my time to make sure that the food I consumed would stay down.

“You’re awfully quiet,” he mentioned.

“I know…”

“Know what? That you want to tell me something about your boyfriend?”

I stopped and leaned back in my seat. “Well, yeah, I guess. How’d you know? Did Mom tell you?”

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He shook his head. “It’s his first time coming here, so I figured you’d be giving me some information so I don’t blow a fuse.”

Funny how right he was.

“I already talked to Mom, because I really needed her to listen. You, though,” I paused, “Sabin isn’t like you or grandpa, or anyone else, really.”

Dad chuckled, “I’d say that’s pretty good news to me.”

I managed a weak smile. “Sure, I guess I could say that as well.”

There was no other way of doing it than to really jump into the fact that Sabin had PTSD, and he was much older than me. My favorite anecdotes of my boyfriend came flooding out of my mouth to help underline that fact that he was still someone I loved very much despite what he has gone through. I spoke so quickly and excitedly that it didn’t give Dad much of a chance to even react to the initial news. Sabin was someone I cared deeply about, but I didn’t want anyone in my family to shun him. We’ve all gone through great ordeals in our time, and we all got through it.

I just needed Sabin to be treated the same way. He wasn’t broken.

He simply lived.

Finally, I stopped to catch my breath and waited.

“Dad?”

He was quiet and that was what made me nervous. He was quiet for too long. If I knew my father, then he would have been making a scene about two minutes ago.

Still, nothing.

He finally exhaled sharply. It was painful to hear, but I prepared myself for whatever backlash I would get. Funny—backlash for loving someone.

“I see why you wanted to tell me in public,” he began. His hands were balled up into fists to the point I could see his knuckles turn white. “Wow,” he breathed again, “this is a lot for anyone to stomach. This man is how much older than you?”

“Almost 11 years.”

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“That doesn’t bother you?”

“No, it doesn’t.”

Dad leaned back in his seat and looked at me. His eyes moved slowly, studying each line of my face, as if trying to find a trace of uncertainty somehow hidden in my expression. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t find any of that. All that he would find was his daughter asking to give her relationship a chance.

“You and Mom are a few years apart, and look what that brought you!” My exclamations somehow struck a chord with him.

“Yes, we are, but neither of us have PTSD,” he sighed. “Look, I’m not saying that he’s an awful person, because I can’t say that. I don’t know the guy. I’m simply a father trying to protect his daughter from the world. It’s what parents do.”

I bowed my head because he was right. There was no reason to be upset over that, because he was a good parent looking out for his child. Out of the corner of my eye, I looked over to see if anyone was staring. Even if we weren’t yelling, anyone could hear what we were talking to. Would they also think I was crazy for fighting for my relationship with Sabin? I hoped not, because I needed someone on my side. I needed someone to understand.

“Are you listening?” Dad asked.

“Yes.”

“I don’t mean to sound like I’m scolding you, Alma. I just hope you understand what this is you’re getting yourself into. The man has his own battles to face, and regardless if he’s trying to or not—you will end up mixing into it all. That’s a lot to handle. Getting involved with someone from a broken home is one thing, but doing the same thing with someone who is suffering mentally after a traumatic experience?” He shook his head. “Have you thought this through?”

Even as he warned me I could still feel the warmth of my father. My heart was already heavy from worrying like a nut over all this, so I simply nodded. Yes, I had thought it through. Yes, I made numerous lists. Yes, I considered not seeing him anymore, but in those times that he was gone and not speaking to me, I felt like something was missing from me. It felt silly to say or even think, but I missed him terribly. Whatever he had going on in his life—I wanted to be a part of it. We were partners and I wasn’t going to step away from a chance of being a part of his life.

“Then that’s that,” Dad sighed. “We can only do so much, Alma. You know we’re only looking out for you though, right?”

“Yeah,” I responded. “So, you’ll be okay when he’ll be here for Christmas?”

Dad shrugged.

“Oh, come on!”

“Sweetpea, I will be as normal as possible, considering your mother is making mixed drinks. Her ratio of booze to mixer is killer.”

I rolled my eyes and reached out to grab his hand. “Thank you for this. I’m sure you’ll grow to really like him.”

He chuckled and squeezed my hand. “I’m sure I will.”

 


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Gen.10-Alma. Chapter Eighteen: Part One

Recently, I spent some time thinking about the events in my life that led me to where I currently was. When I looked back to the times when I was worrying about college and my classes, I almost feel silly. If I didn’t get into one school, then I could have applied to another. If I didn’t like a class, then I would take another. If I didn’t do well, then I would try again. At that stage in my life there were so many opportunities to fix every little mistake, but I always made it seem like the sky would come crashing down at any moment. Now, things were different. Having the perspective of issues that were much more grand, I was beginning to learn how fragile life was, and how different my challenges were becoming as I was getting closer to graduating.

Which led me back home to talk about some of the big changes in my life.

“I’m sorry–what was that?” Mom squeaked.

I sipped my coffee slowly while Mom hovered over me. I was home for winter break and I finally spilled the beans to her about Sabin. It felt like the right time to do it since he was actually invited over the a classic Wells Christmas. The least I could do was give her some background. Well, more than I did when I first announced we were dating. Since things were a little vague between us, I never went into more details. Plus telling my mom that my boyfriend was much older than me and had PTSD wasn’t exactly a conversation that one has over the phone, or over text.

Especially over text!

Since I dropped that bombshell on her while we were in the middle of having a nice chat, I could understand why Mom was leaning against the counter with both her thumb and index finger around the bridge of her nose. It was a lot to take in. Not only was Sabin eleven years older than me, but he was also dealing with his past–a past that now I was learning about. Since telling me about his PTSD, I only heard bits and pieces of what happened, but honestly, I didn’t know if I would ever know the full story.

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“PTSD?” She sighed. “Well that sure is a lot of information to take in at once.”

My fingers fiddled around with the ear of the mug. What could I say? I looked over at my puzzled mother and offered her the most sincere smile I could manage. By sincere, I meant a very crooked attempt at a smile. I knew it was a lot to handle. I was still struggling with being around Sabin whenever he had an episode, but I was still around and I had no intention of disappearing. I was not about to budge. Sabin was worth it.

I didn’t tell anyone yet, not even the man himself, but I was in love with him.

“I know it’s a lot to hear, Mom, but I just want you to know. I really care about him, and he’s a big part of my life now,” I admitted.

Mom nodded. There was that Wells approval. “I understand that, but this isn’t like some baggage from a previous family, or even helping someone recover from an injury. This is something that can also take a toll on you. PTSD is no joke.”

I knew that very well. Sometimes it would get so bad he wouldn’t want me near him. We were rarely intimate, and if we were, then we would have to be very careful. Apparently he was working on that in therapy, because he wanted to feel close to me without any triggers. It was our work in progress.

“Alma, are you listening?”

“I know it’s not a joke. I know it’s a lot to hear, but I just need you to know. So, please don’t ask about his service, because I don’t think he’s ready to talk about that just yet.”

“Okay, I get it.”

There was a silence between us–a growing tension that someone could cut with a knife.

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“You’re not going to tell Dad, are you?” I asked softly without looking up from my drink. Seeing how Mom reacted, I wasn’t about to go through all that with Dad. He was like a bulldog when it came to that.

Mom laughed almost instantly as she grabbed her cookbook from the counter. As she walked towards me, she stopped and shook her head. “Honey, this is all you. It’s none of my business to tell him these things, but it would be good if he knew. You know how much he cares about you.”

With that, she stepped out of the kitchen and waltzed out into the living room.

Now I was left with the weight of time that was left before I would be forced to talk with my Dad. I had a relationship before and even some issues we talked about, but even then he got all riled up and wanted to “make things right”. Whatever that meant.

Luckily my was cup was still full, so I wasn’t about to race upstairs to tell Pops the great news. I was going to embrace every single sip of the magical drink if it meant that I had more time to mull over the speech I was writing in my head. However not all moments were meant to be dragged out like I wanted.

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“Hey, kiddo. I didn’t hear you come in!”

Well, here goes nothing…

 

 


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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 Twelve

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So much of life passes us by in a single blink of an eye.

You don’t think much of it until you’re struggling to grasp each second as it begins to slip past your fingers, like sand…

We arrived at the house not long after we originally promised. Oren and Jax were still young enough to have the excuse of their bladders not being strong enough to withstand a few hour drive. Our slight tardiness, however, did not mean that we weren’t welcomed with open arms.

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“You’re here!” Aunt Arecia exclaimed. She practically busted down the door and ran to us just to be the first one to wrap her arms around all of us. “I sure hope you found this place alright. I know we’re a little secluded.”

Mom assured her that everything was fine and that our tardiness was not the fault of our GPS failing. In fact, at some point during our trip we were actually able to outsmart it!

When we walked inside the house, I finally saw the holiday decorations. Lights and festive garlands decorated the already rustic atmosphere of the house. To be honest, this house was perfect for the holidays and everyone seemed to agree. If someone was lacking the holiday spirit, then all they would have to do is step inside Aunt Arecia’s home to immediately be embraced with the fuzzy feeling of Christmas.

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“Is that my baby, I hear?” It was Grandma who came from the kitchen once we were all filing inside. Mom was right! Our grandparents were here, and I couldn’t wait to tell her about my time away at school. Grandma looked amazing for her age. In fact, she was one of the few people, aside from Grandpa Grey, who rocked a cane. I mean, she had quite a swagger to her walk!

I wanted to just right into my conversation with her, but I was going to hold myself back until after dinner, or at least right before it. We were only getting warmed up, and some of us weren’t even in the house yet. Kaden was running back and forth with Dad, bringing in all the presents we had for everyone. I was really beginning to feel the holiday spirit when all I could see were the smiling faces of my family. I mean, even at this point in my life, and even Mom’s–people who we used to see every day, or at least once a week, were only seen a few times a year. It was a no-brainer that life got pretty crazy. I suppose this was a good example of importance of “stopping to smell the roses”. The older I got, the more harder I tried to appreciate that thought.

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“U-um,” Madelyn yelped. No one seemed to notice it at first, until I gave my Mom a tap on the arm. My younger cousin looked both horrified and confused.

“What’s going on, sweetie?” Mom asked, suddenly raising her hand, to pause the conversation she was part of.

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The poor girl was speechless as she continuously pointed back to the kitchen and in no time everyone was rushing to see what was happening. We all made it there quickly only to find Grandpa Crescendo on the ground with  Grandpa Grey, laying on the wood floor. Everyone gathered around them–my cousins, my uncles, my friends–they all stared in disbelief as our grandfather was working on keeping  Grandpa Grey’s head from hitting the hard ground. Past me came my dad, and his reaction was one that sent the entire moment into a slow motion montage. I loved my dad more than words could ever possibly express, and there was never truly a time that I saw him look more scared than he did at that very moment.

Mom was right beside him within moments as she quickly instructed me to dial for an ambulance. I did that without thinking twice.

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“911 what is your emergency?” The operator asked.

“My grandfather collapsed; he’s unresponsive…”

 

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The flickering red and blue lights blurred the holidays lights. Despite the beautiful decorations in my Aunt’s house, the feel of solemness couldn’t be taken away. My dad was shaken. Mom was doing her best to console him, but even then it was difficult to watch, because all my life I saw my Dad as the true pillar of strength in our family. When Mom was stressed, he helped her fight back and regain her strength. Now, it was her that was working on being there for him. I loved him, but seeing him like that–I was afraid to step closer. That was how I was stuck with babysitting duty along with my brother.

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“When will we go home?” Jax moaned.

“Is Grandpa G going to come back for story time?” Oren pouted, squeezing my arm tightly.

I didn’t know what to say.

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Oren and Jax were huddled under my arms. Their spirit was dimmed, and it had occurred to me that this was the first time they were in the hospital for something like this.  This wasn’t the Christmas they were picturing in their mind. Normally around this time we would be seated around the holiday table and often everyone would be moving onto second helpings of delicious holiday food. I made eye contact with Mom from time to time while she remained with her arm on or around Dad’s shoulder. Then when I wasn’t around to get Mom another cup of water for Dad, or snacks for the kids, Grandma Attie and Grandpa ‘Scend were cruising around the waiting room asking to provide the same thing.

“How are things at school?”

I looked at my grandmother and I couldn’t think of what she was saying. I saw her lips moving, but nothing was registering. “W-what?” Did she seriously ask that?

“I-I’m sorry,” she quickly apologized before taking a seat beside me. “I was never good at hospitals. I’ve been in so many in my life, and rarely was it a good time.” She exhaled softly and rubbed her head. “I don’t know what to say, truly–gosh, I was just hoping to maybe change the subject. You’ve been sitting here so quietly–are you alright..?”

I couldn’t answer Grandma’s questions when even I didn’t know the answer to that. How was I to know how to respond. I saw my father cry for the first time yet there I was without a single hint of moisture in my eye.

Grandpa walked to us and placed his hand on Grandma’s shoulder. “Have you heard anything?”

I shook my head. Grandma did too.

It was Christmas Eve in a hospital. As happy as the holiday was generally assumed to be, there were high spikes in attendance during the holidays too. As upsetting as it was, it was the unfortunate truth. I didn’t know what to say to my grandparents, but talking about school was just something that I couldn’t do. It didn’t seem right, you know? We were all huddled on the uncomfortable seats in the waiting room long enough that Grandpa ‘Scend offered to take the younger kids back to Aunt Arecia’s place. Mom agreed that it was a much better idea for them to be there while we waited for any news on Grandpa Grey. I was asked if I wanted to go back as well, but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave my parents.

As the waiting room slowly vacated, a middle aged man with his blond hair slicked to the side walked out the door with a clipboard in his hand.

“Cateo Saunders?” He asked like a professor taking attendance.

Dad quickly got up from his seat and walked to the doctor. It was then that I saw how heavy his eyes looked. “C-C-Cateo Saunders. Y-yeah. I’m uh, that’s me. My last name changed, but yeah, I’m Grey’s son. How’s he doing, Doctor?”

You know those moments in movies when someone receives bad news and all of a sudden all dialogue fades and all you see if the gestures while emotional  music plays? Well, this was nothing like it. This was nothing like that at all. The waiting room wasn’t quiet at all. Coughing patients occasionally walked by and nurses pushed wheelchairs, but even then I could see my father’s face lose all expression that even held a smidge of hope.

“I’m sorry, Doctor,” Mom said, stepping to Dad with her arm immediately around him. “What’s going on?”

“Mr. Saunders has suffered a severe stroke.” He quickly looked over his notes on his clipboard and rubbed his head. “It is to no surprise, I am sure, that Mr. Saunders is very old.”

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“But I’ve known people who’ve had strokes and they’re fine! I’ve even seen them with some facial paralysis, but they were still alive and well as they could be for many years!” Dad suddenly exclaimed before being pulled back by Mom. He was clutching his head; I couldn’t even think of how horrible he must have felt. I never really knew what it felt like to lose someone, and seeing the way Dad was reacting had me wishing to never feel it. If I were in his shoes at that moment, I wouldn’t be able to take it. Grandpa Grey was Dad’s father. He was all he had left since his mom passed away when he was much younger. This wasn’t fair. Grandpa Grey still had so much life left. This couldn’t have been it for him.

The doctor bowed his head and ushered for Mom and Dad to follow him down a hallway where I felt they were keeping Grandpa. I quickly shot up from my seat only for my uncle, Mattieu, to help settle me down.

“There’s nothing we can do right now, but just wait.”

Waiting was the worst part, because we couldn’t do anything. We didn’t know what was happening, and we definitely had no medical knowledge to know how to help him, to help anyone in our situation right now.

How does one help others deal with grief when they don’t know how to grieve themselves?

I felt so useless in a time when I knew my family needed each other the most.

~

Grandpa Grey was brought home to us for the finals days that he had left. Being that he was so up in age, Grandpa was kept in a coma, which was essentially the best way that doctors could alleviate the pressure on Grandpa’s brain. The doctor mentioned doing everything to help make things easier, however any additional operations wouldn’t have  aided him. Despite there not being many days left, Dad didn’t want Grandpa to be stuck in a hospital that lacked the feel of true comfort. It was a sterile environment without a single hint of home. So after renting out all the medical equipment required to sustain Grandpa, he was brought home for his final days, which would be spent with family.

Our holiday was cut short due to the obvious circumstances, but Mom never failed to try bringing some brightness to our days, even to Dad who very rarely left Grandpa Grey’s side. Even though he was comatose, Dad believed that his dad sensed his presence, and didn’t want him to think that his only son was celebrating during a time of great struggle for the family. As hard as Mom tried, it was the simple reality that our holiday wasn’t going to magically turn into an amazing celebration. To me it made sense and I understood completely, but Mom definitely had to spend some more time with my younger siblings, the twins specifically, to explain to them why we weren’t going sledding, or allowed to play with their new toys around Grandpa Grey.

Grandpa Grey was taken care of very well in his final days, but even so, his time had come in the early morning with no pain or discomfort. It was as we were told: he simply drifted deeper into a sleep that freed him of any pain.

~

“Is Dad going to be okay?” I asked, keeping my head bowed in some poor attempt to muffle my voice enough for Dad not to hear me. He was sitting outside the church just beside the cemetery where Grandpa’s funeral was. Everything happened so quickly, like dominos collapsing into a pile of active dynamite. There was no slowing it down, no stopping to smell the roses. A life had ended and the aftershock was finally hitting those around us. Friends and family were sending their condolences and yet there I still was–unsure of how to respond.

Mom sighed, the fatigue she felt was underlined clearly by the bags under her eyes. “I don’t think so, sweetie,” she responded.

That was a stupid question, really. How could anyone who lost their parent be okay?

“So you’re heading back to school soon?” Mom asked, doing her best to stray from other topics, mainly ones that were unfolding behind us. “Is Dani going to be back yet?”

I shrugged. “No, but I figured I’d go get my stuff setup again. I have some stuff to review before my classes start up again.” Every word that left me felt like complete and utter bullshit. I felt pathetic, and frankly pretty shitty because I didn’t know what to do anymore.  “Will you let me know if you need anything? I’m only a short flight away,” I mentioned. I wasn’t good at coming up with the right thing to say in that situation, but I needed them to know that if they needed anything, I’d be there in the blink of an eye. Even if it meant having to take time off from school to help–I needed them to know I’d do that.

Taking a quick look at Dad, Mom smiled as heartily as she could. “I think we’ll be okay. In time it will get easier. I think we just–your father especially–need some time to process and grieve properly. I’ll be staying with him and working out any legal things that are left on Grandpa’s will.”

I stepped back, but before I could walk away to catch the taxi I had called to take me home and then to the airport, I forced myself to walk to Dad. The closer I got the more clearly I could see his discomfort. Dad was lost and he needed us. There wasn’t anything that I could think to say, except for that I was sorry. He had nothing to say in return, but he pulled me into a hug. His arms were trembling, but he was still so strong.

We knew we would make it through. Maybe not in the next few hours, or even the next few weeks, but in time we would.

And I would be there every step of the way.

~

[Author’s Note: Hey, guys! Thank you for reading!! And thanks for being so patient. This was supposed to be out last night, however, my game is just a pain in the butt right now. This explains why the post isn’t FULL of pictures from start to finish. When a game takes about 10 min. to start up and crashes constantly…well, it’s a little annoying. I really don’t have the time for that to be happening every time I play, especially since I have a full school schedule AND work. So I think I should say that posts won’t be too frequent while I work on figuring out what to do with this. This doesn’t mean I’m done posting–I just ned to redo some stuff in my game to hopefully make it run better.

Thanks for your understanding!

xOlga]