So! I had some crashes, and a gazillion of cc got lost in the stream of time/attempt to save the saves, but I can manage. Moving on!
In the last chapter, the twins’ cousin Jared was an adorable baby, and he is now an equally adorable child.
Just look at that sweet face. OH WHY CAN’T HE BE MINE?
Meanwhile, Declan is playing with his best friend (only friend) Wren, adopted child of a couple called the Gays. They are, however, not gay. Because you were asking.
I love that Jared looks a little smaller than Damon, he’s 1 or 2 years younger.
“So, let’s talk about my mum because she’s brilliant and all that.”
“Yeah. So, did you see that enormous crane down at the building site? It could lift a house, I swear!”
“Yes, wicked. Now let’s talk some more about my mummy. I love her so much!”
“Yeah, she’s alright. Your brother though, he’s a bit .. daft. Sorry.”
“But, like in the hall today, he smashed a wasp with a book, except it was sitting on a window so the glass broke, and then the head came and he was put in detention. You know, it’s a bit daft, isn’t it?” “I know, he’s my brother.”
Enter Tulip & Maebe Corona, Jared’s mother & sister. The name Maebe was randomized (since it’s not my household) so I have no idea how that came about. Don’t even know if it’s supposed to be pronounced Mayb or Maybe. I think of it as “Mayb”. She looks just like Tulip, you’ll see her in a bit. She also looks a lot like her grandmother Bee. May-Bee! Sometimes the game is cleverer (?) than I am.
(Obviously it’s Loud Lab Coat Friday down at the science facility. )
Enter also Maciek, Maebe’s schoolmate. I didn’t create him, and yet he looks and acts suspiciously like a guy from my high school. He MUST have the snobby trait, perhaps also inappropriate & loner.
I’d play Maciek just because, but I don’t know if I could bear it.
And yes, the game favours bangs when giving the Corona women a hair-do.
Maciek catches on finally – a celebrity in the consignment shop!
And she goes to my school! And I see her daily! Yet I’m having a meltdown!
Maciek: *I wish I was famous too*
Maebe: “You know, my school’s hotness index has so ranked up since I started!”
“Your what now?” “Oh mum, ME of course! I am so the fittest girl in school right now.”
“That’s great that you have been working out, love, but I don’t know about that index…”
Maciek: *wears the same trainer jacket as dad* *FAIL*
“NO mum, I mean I look good!”
“I know you’re pretty, sweetheart, but being pretty is not everything.”
“I’ve had three guys ask me to the dance already, but I think I’ll wait until I get a better offer.”
“I think, by the end of next semester, I’ll have every bloke in school fancy me.”
“Look, Maebe, I’m happy that you have friends and that you’re confident, but I wish you would direct your ambition towards something a little more serious. You’re almost a grown up, you have to start thinking about your future. And do try and treat people with a little more respect.”
Maebe was dumbstruck. “I don ‘t get it. How am I not treating people with respect just because I’m popular?”
(Enter Cora, missing an ear.)
“You are such a bigot, mum!”
“…I was going to say, and don’t interrupt me, that as for going with a girl, that’s perfectly fine, but it has to be with either a friend or someone you really like. You have to start taking better care of people’s… hearts, Maebe.”
“Taking care of their hearts? Really, mum? That’s adorable.”
“Look, it’s just a stupid school dance, this isn’t the 50s! It’s not like anyone cares. I can go with whoever. Even Maciek, LOL.”
“Will you chill? He didn’t hear me, he was probably thinking about some stupid fantasy book with swords and dragons and shit like that.”
“Regardless, you and I and your dad are going to have a talk about your work experience weeks.”
“I’ve already applied for a place at the beauty salon ages ago.”
“Yes, I know that, but you were also aware at the time that we were against it, and we would much rather have you work at the hospital or the newspaper.”
“So, what, now you’re punishing me for being popular and not wanting to go to the dance with an ugly bloke?”
“No Maebe, I’m revoking your privileges because of your lack of judgment.”
“That is so unfair!! I HATE YOU!!” And with those parting words, Maebe rushed out of the consignment shop, not seeing (or caring about) the hurt look on Maciek’s face.
“Cora! I’m so glad you’re here, I’ve been wanting to talk to you. I have a huge problem.”
“If it’s about Maebe, I heard most of it.”
“Yes, I guess you did. Well, you see… she doesn’t really listen to me anymore.”
Cora laughed. “Sounds like a teenager to me”.
Tulip didn’t seem to take notice. “When she was little, she always used to follow me around everywhere I went. She’d come with me to the lab and all my colleagues thought she was the sweetest thing and let her play with a microscope.”
“That’s very nice, Tulip, I hope they didn’t give her a Bunsen burner though. Now, what was the problem?”
Tulip looked hurt. “You heard her! She’s conceited, selfish, egotistical, she has no respect for adults.. she doesn’t care about school, all she cares about is her clothes, her precious I-phone, guys, make-up…”
Cora wasn’t impressed. “Yeah I get it, she’s a brat. They all are, though, it’s part of the package. So ground her or something?”
“George and I don’t believe in grounding.” Tulip looked like she was going to say something more, but nothing came out. Cora wasn’t particularly keen on “George and I” and she would rather have the conversation end.
“Oh for Watcher’s sake, Tulip, if you have something on your mind, say it!”
“Oh Cora, would it be terribly inconvenient if Maebe came to live with you during the work experience? Please, you would be doing me such an enormous favour. She respects you, she thinks you’re “cool” or something, and I most definitely am NOT cool.”
Cora went silent for a few seconds. “I really don’t think that would be such a good idea.”
“I know I didn’t make it sound very appealing to have her, but it’s just me she’s rebelling against.”
“I didn’t hear any rebelling from Maebe at all. Maybe she’s a little full of herself, but so are you, sometimes. Like now, for instance. Maebe is behaving like a teenager and I think you should be able to deal with that. I have twins, Tulip, and today Declan was sent to the head for breaking a window in the hall. I’m guessing you never had to deal with stuff like that.”
“I get it, trust me I do. Why is it that you always assume everything in my life is easy? You always did that. You know my ex-husband was abusive, and you know I was unemployed for years after our divorce, and you know I only found happiness in these recent years, with George.”
With George. “Yes, I know. I’m not saying you were never unhappy. I’m just saying…” Cora sighed deeply, then paused. “That maybe it’s not my place to raise a teenage girl who in every aspect resembles you so much. Given the fact that you’re my sister. Given the fact that… well, when we were young. That we didn’t exactly see eye to eye.”
“That was a very long time ago, Cora, and I’m not in any way asking you to raise her! I just think it would be good if we all had a breather and got some perspective on.. things. And she would help around the house of course.”
Cora didn’t look convinced in the slightest that a teenage girl would “help around the house” or help her “find perspective”. And she still couldn’t really see the problem. Maebe was pretty, popular and probably not stupid. If she thought she could have all the boys and half of the girls lusting after her in school, maybe that was true, and besides, she’d be disappointed soon enough anyway. Before she hit 22 somebody would certainly break her heart in a million pieces and she’d be a mere mortal again.
“I don’t know… I would have to ask Quentin, of course. And the twins too, but I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. I’m still torn myself, though. If she would take her disappointment out on me, I’m not sure I’m up for that. I have to think of the boys first. And I fail to see the point of all this, to be honest with you. Where would you have her work, if not at the beauty salon? I know you want her to be a pillar of society and all that, but shouldn’t she have a say in it too?”
“I was thinking.. maybe she could work for you?” Tulip sounded almost shy, like she had stepped over the final line. Cora looked at her like she was barmy.
“You know I’m hardly working anymore, and I can’t have a kid with me when I do surveillance, it’s too risky. And office work is terrible, she would hate it.”
“No no no, not the detective stuff! Of course not. I meant.. she is actually pretty good at gardening, and she likes it too. I know your garden has some old grapevines that uncle Elis brought home, she could learn how to make nectar? Basic stuff of course, but I think she would really enjoy the experience. Maybe she wouldn’t admit to it at first but.. yes, I think so. And vegetables and that too, of course.”
Cora looked at her sister with surprise – she didn’t expect this from her at all – an idea that didn’t blow!
“You know, that’s not half bad. I’ve been ignoring those poor grapevines for too long. You know what the best part is though? She’ll be too exhausted to bitch and moan about all the make-overs she’s missing out on.”
“I can picture her covered in grape goo, on her ass in the nectar press.”
“Remember that time we used up ALL of uncle Callum’s oil paint to decorate the wall in fire station’s backyard?”
“Um, YES? We were in house arrest for about 50 years?”
“Poor Callum! At least then we knew that we weren’t meant to follow the artistic path.”
“Never say never! Speaking of which, I suggest you hide all your make-up and good dresses before she moves in.”
“Is this a really terrible idea? What do you think?”
“Probably, you came up with it!” Cora protected her shoulder from a small, white fist.
“Seriously though, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. It’s not the end of the world if it is. She’ll have a bad time and hate you for it, and perhaps hate her aunt too, I’m sure it will be character-building!”
“That’s lovely, Cora. You always were such a rock to hold on to.”