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A Little Faith

Season: Winter
In this post: Jennifer Crabtree, Sharon Crabtree, Tyson Dawn, Mindy Schmidt, Jason Wilson, Chris Merrick, Josh Merrick

Things in Mindy life were moving at warp speed.  Everything seemed to be happening to fast, changing without notice or her consideration.  The only thing that she knew for certain was that the adults in her life were going crazy.  That was the only explanation, the only reason that her mother would all the sudden announce that Tyson was moving in.

The only one that seemed to think that craziness was the only reasonable explanation for her mothers actions was her.  None of her closest friends seemed to agree.

“Well, how else do you explain it?”

“It’s simple, Amanda.” Jason was the only person that called her by her full name.  Everyone called her Mindy expect when she was in trouble.  Jason was the only other person that insisted on calling her by her full name, he called everyone by their full name.   Sometimes, she had a hard time telling when he was being condescending.

Maybe he just had a major personality flaw, which is was what Chris suggested.  That Jason had a problem relating with people his own age.

“She’s in love.  She wants to move forward with her life.  You didn’t really believe that your mother would pine for your dad forever?  Did you?”

“You know, Mr. Smarty Pants.  Sometimes you can be a real ass.” Chris said not giving Mindy a chance to respond.

“What?”  Jason sounded confused.  Mindy could tell by the look on his face that he was searching for the reason that anyone would be offended by what he had said.

“Not everyone has a television family like yours, Jason.”  Josh snapped.

“I’m only stating the truth.  Statistically speaking, couple who become parents while teens don’t make it.  It’s almost inevitable that they would break up.  Add in a kid and the odd that they will stay together after 5 years is almost null.”

The sound of Jason’s alarm going off interrupted any further conversation.  It was their warning that the school bus with the little kids should be showing up in about 10 minutes.  That it was time to put on her babysitting hat and watch her cousins Becky and Danny.  It was now her job to watch them every Tuesday and Thursday while their mother helped out at Just Desserts.

Mindy watched from the boys make their way home on foot from the bottom of  front steps of her porch.  She sat quietly and waited for the bus.  Tapping her feet and trying not to think about the fact the in less than one week Tyson was going to move in.  That in less than five days she would have to get use to not only sharing her house but also her mother with another person.  She never realized how accustomed she had gotten to it being just the two of them.  Adding a third person into their space just seemed unnatural.

The sound of the bus pulling up jolted her out of her musing.   She jumped up from her spot on the step and made her way to the bus to greet the twins.

Danny award her effort by running pass her barely mumbling a barely audible  “Hi.”

Becky followed him at a normal pace stopping to reach out for a hug.

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“Are you nervous?”

“Nervous about what?”  Mindy answered, they had been silent at the table all night.  Not a word passing between them.

Sharon had been cleaning the house nonstop, clearing invisible spider webs from the corners.  Lamenting the fact that there furniture was not of better quality even though it had served their purpose well for years.

Mindy wondered if her mother was more worried about what the matriarch of the family, Jennifer, than about Tyson.  Tyson had seen the house a couple of times before and still wanted to move it.    She had a feeling that her mother was more nervous about what her grandmother would say about Tyson than what Tyson would say about the house.

And since she can’t fix Tyson, she is fixating on the house.

“Mom, you have done everything that you can.  Grandmother is going to love Tyson and she is has been her plenty of times.

“Not nervous about lunch with Mom.  About Tyson moving in?”

“Oh.”  Mindy tried to come up with something to say that would be reassuring for the both of them.  “No.”

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Jennifer pulled Mindy into a tight hug, holding her close she whispered low enough only for her to hear, “Don’t worry.  You can always come stay with us.  I don’t know that silly child of mine is thinking.”

Mindy cringed.  The glance that Tyson throw in their direction indicated that he had heard what Jennifer had said.  Not that Jennifer cared, she had not made any effort to lower her voice.

“You know sometime, Sharon.  I really worry about you.  You barely know this guy.”

“Mother, really.  We’ve been together for two years.  If I don’t know him by now then I’ll never know him.

Jennifer started to speak but Sharon cut her off again.  “I’m a big girl, Mother.  I know what I’m doing.  Have a little faith in me.”

Jennifer couldn’t help but worry about Sharon.  Sharon had always been her most impulsive child, running off  on a whim to do whatever caught her attention.  Jennifer was convinced that was how Sharon ended up with Mark Schmidt.  His bad boy appearance and sad eyes drew her attention.  Sharon got carried away.  So, far away that she shocked her parents when she announced she was pregnant.

Now years later she finds herself sitting across from Sharon’s new boyfriend, she couldn’t make herself believe that impulsive child was now a responsible women. Sure Tyson’s travel stories were exciting but was he ready to take care of her daughter and granddaughter?

“I wish you would think about this more, Sharon.”

“Mother.  He is moving in.  It’s already settled.  For once, can you have a little faith in me?”

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  • I had so much fun editing this one. Before editing it I thought that it was missing something.  Hopefully, whatever was missing has been found.  
  • Sharon is finally moving on.  I was trying to wait for her to roll the want to marry Tyson.  She hasn’t rolled it yet but based on her personality I thought him moving in would be prefect.  Maybe marriage will come next.
  • Mindy doesn’t have the much longer in the teen stage, but there is a lot going on with both sides of her family at the moment.  So far, she is holding up well.  Hopefully, she can keep it up?
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Cold Black Heart

Season: Winter
In this post: Virginia Duffy, LaKisha Vincent, Cael Mason, Robin Duffy

Author’s Note: This ended up being much longer than I wanted it to be. You have been warned.

Virginia warmed up her hands by the fire.  It probably wasn’t as cold as she felt but at her age her body temperature was really off wack.  It was always either too cold or too hot.

It was the price she had to pay for getting old.

She snorted to herself, “I’m not old.  I’m vintage.”

Old was what you called people like her neighbor and once best friend LaKisha.  Who was anxiously planning her daughters wedding.  Wondering how long it would take the girl to get pregnant and make her a grandmother.

Virginia felt a strange twitch in her chest at that thought.  Thinking back to the excitment in LaKisha’s voice as she speculated about her future grandkids.  If you let LaKisha tell it she had been waiting for this moment forever, for her children to have children.  If you let LaKisha tell it, it was feather in her cap.  An indication that she had been a good parent.

Stepping away from the fire, she headed to her bedroom to change into her yoga clothes.  She refused to let her mind travel back to the past.  If there was one thing life had though her it was never to look back.  It always hurt a little bit too much.

But this night the past seemed to be chasing her.  As she pulled the sports bra over her head her mind congered up images of  what her room looked like before.  When they, her and Kimberly and Robin, had first moved in.  When the bunk beds they shared took up most of the space.  When the walls were painted dark purple.

“This is all your fault, LaKisha Vincent.”  She accused, fully changed into her workout clothes.

She mad her way back to the livingroom and the fireplace.  Prepared to leave the past behind with the help of yoga.

As she started her nightly rountine, she promised herself she would not let LaKisha”s excitement let her think of what ifs.

What if she had been a better mother?

What if Kimberly would have lived?

What if the baby had lived?

What if? What if? What if?

She signed, giving up.

“Fucking old bitch.”  Virginia cursed, sticking up her middle finger towards LaKisha’s house as she headed to her computer room.

But the computer offered no escape either.  The first news story that popped up was had to do with the investigation into the faulty elevator that had killed two of her neighbors.

For weeks, she had avoided all talk of news of the incident.    The boy lived next door, since his death the house had gone quiet.   She could hear the school bus pull up in the morning but the afternoon noise of children running around was absent.

The man lived right next to the boy, that house had been a lot busier.  Cars pooling up at all hours of the day.  Mostly family, coming to consul the grieving widow.

The past was stalking her, she was sure of it.  It was finding a way to work it’s way into her everyday life.  Banging on the lock that she had sealed tightly shut  over her heart and brain.

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 The rest of the week went fabulously.  The past had been safetly locked away, again.  She made sure of that by avoiding LaKisha and the dead people families like the plague by indulging in her favorite past time, dating.  Lots of it.  At least once everyday, sometimes twice.

Normally she liked to meet her dates in Eaton, to keep herself out of small town gossip.  Not that it helped much, she was sure that the whole hood knew more about her “guest” than she did.  That’s why she had left the small town life as soon as she had been old enough to hop on a bus by herself without being asked any questions.

Her date, this time insisted that they meet in Oasis Valley.  He said he wanted to see it, never had a reason to drive out that way and seeing her would be the prefect excuse to head across the bridge.

Something told her to protest more but she didn’t.  Just the thought of sampling on of Susan Schmidt’s tasty little desserts made her mouth water and she agreed.

Only to find herself run smack did into another reminder of her past.

Virginia barely had time to introduced Robin to her date.  When Susan, interuppted and showed them to a seat outside.  Virginia was sure that Susan’s timing was just a coincidence but she was sure that an angel somewhere had pulled some strings for her and done her a huge favor.

For a normal person the sight of their daughter wasn’t enough to ruin a date but Virginia would never call herself normal.  And Robin’s appearance was like a thunderstorm at a wedding.  Am instant mood changer.

“Are you okay, Viriginia?  Your a little quite today.”

She didn’t answer what could she say really.  That the sight of her daughter ruined the day for her.  No, no one would understand that.  She barely understood it herself.

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Someone had told her that the prospect of death could make a person re-evaluate their whole life.  If the last few days of her life were any indication that person was a right.  The dead kid and the dead man had not even been hers, yet she found herself looking at her past.  Wondering how people would remember her once she was gone.

The only person that would probably even give her passing a second thought would be the only child she had left, Robin.  She wondered if Robin would have the same reaction to her death that she had to her own mothers:  a slight ping of regret for what could have been but nothing more.

She sat there in the dark with a glass of tea in her hand and let the memories that she had locked away escape their person.  She remember the promises she would make to her doll when she was a little girl.  To be a better mother to her doll than her mother was to her.

Where had that little girl gone?

When had that little girl been replace with the women that was sitting alone in her house with only a glass of tea and a fire to keep herself company?

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Cael and Robin had been watching the nigthly news when the phone had first rang.  Robin looked at the clock to check the time.  Wondering who would call them after ten o’clock at night.  Cael glanced at her indicating that he wasn’t expecting a call either.  He turned back to the television ignoring whomever it was.

Robin got up to check the call id, having no intention to actually answer it.  Whoever it was could call back at a more respectable time.  She was just curious to see who it was.

She had thought that she had read the number wrong.  Virginia never called her, something had to be wrong.

“Robin speaking”

The voice on the phone did not have the confident tone that she had come to expect when talking to her mother.  “Can you come over?”

That question shocked her, Virginia never invited her over.  “Now?”

“Yes, now.”

She didn’t know what she was expecting to see when she arrived at her mother’s house.  But all kinds of crazy thing ran through her mind.  She didn’t knock, just let herself in.  She found her mother in the kitchen.

To an outsider Virginia Duffy would have looked like the picture to health, but Robin could tell that something was wrong.  Maybe it was the set of her shoulders or the tears in her eyes.  But Robin could tell that at this moment Virginia needed someone and she had turned to her.

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  • This update ran away from me.  When I had initially wrote it, it had gone in a completely different direction.  There was pictures for everything.  But somehow when I sat down and to edit, Virginia decided to go emo on me.  I am don’t like her like this at all.

Long Lost Friend

Season: Winter
In this post: Craig Vincent

If someone ever asked what made Craig do it, he wouldn’t have been able to answer.  It started out as a mild curiosity, a popup ad on the computer.  A click.  A filled out registration form.  A profile and a then a picture.

A random bout of boredom, he told himself.  He just wanted to see what was out there.

The he received a message, followed by another.

There was nothing wrong with responding, it was just over the internet.

Besides it made him feel good.  Made him feel young again.

That was were it was suppose to end, harmless flirting through the computer screen.

Until he received an invitation; short and brief.

Craig,

Let’s meet over dinner.  My treat.

Nikki

He stared at the screen only for a second.

Nikki,

Love to.

Craig

Craig never once thought about canceling.  He had forgotten what the feeling of new romance felt like.  Back in the day he had been a wild one.  Before LaKisha, the daughter, the house in the boondocks, and the son.  This feeling that had been lost for years, and he wasn’t sure that he wanted to let it go.

“Craig?  You look just like your picture.”

Dinner.

A touch.

A hug.

He welcomed that feeling like a long lost friend.

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  • Finally, some interesting drama in the Vincent household.  This family has been pretty plain since the start of the hood.
  • Craig’s primary aspiration is Romance.  For the last couple of rounds he has had the generic want to date and woohoo.  I figured that since they were directed specifically for LaKisha that he wanted to go outside his marriage for romantic interaction.

Season: Winter
In this post:Dorain Kauker, Allyn Kauker, Kenneth Tyson, Teresa Flores-Tyson, Jose Flores-Tyson

Kenneth had been coming to the house everyday for weeks.  Trying to prepare them all for this moment.  He knew that one day he would have to step back into the role of father.  He just never expected it to come so sudden of fast.  Never expected it to happen like this.

How could one expect something like this.  Elevators just didn’t crash.  It almost never happened.  The one time it did it took the life of a child, someone’s father, and even a grandmother.

He would have thought that by now he would have gotten use to the unexpected happening to him.  But everytime it happened it was a shock to his system.  It stopped his heart and like the most powerful earthquake imaginable it knocked his world off it’s axis.

Never to be the same again.

“Are you sure?”  He couldn’t seem to stop asking that question even though their answer was always the same.

Allyn and Dorian looked at each other.  Knowing that Kenneth did not mean any harm.  He just didn’t know what else to say.  They knew, he knew from experince that all the condolences in the world would not make their pain go away.

He was trying to offer them an out.  A way to back away from their plans.  A way to lessen their pain and the childrens pain.  They had looked at it from every angle and had come to the same conculsion each time.

“We love them like they were are own.”  Dorian explained again.  His voice deep with plain.  “But we have to go.”

“Kenneth, we are not doing this to hurt them.”  Allyn voice was pained.  Kenneth hate himself for bring up the subject again.  “But the memories here in this house.  This town.  Of Cephus.  Of Maria.   Are two much for me.”

He hadn’t expected that the mention of her.  This was about them and their son but of course her memory would still be there.  Their family photo hang proudly behind his back.

“I know.  I just…”  He paused not sure where to go from here.

“I just want you to know that you’ll always have a home here.  If you decide to come back.”

“Thank you.”

“I’ll go get the children. So, they can say their goodbyes.”

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  • Have you ever written an update and looked at and then realized that it needed to be changed?  Then after analyzing it for days you realize that you don’t now how to change it?  This was that update for me.  I have been looking for this for a couple of day and I wanted to change something but couldn’t figure out what.  So, I gave up and pushed published.

Season: Winter
In this post: Victoria Hale, Dominique Keyes, Tiffany Keyes

It amazed her, the little things that seemed to through her day into a downward spiral.  The day would start out nicely, well nicely as possible since she received the call that Anton had died in an elevator accident.  Dominique would get out of bed determined to make this day different, better than the last.  It never worked as planned, something always ruined it for her.  She knew that somewhere the gods were having fun at her expense.

Today, had started out like all the rest.   Dominique was determined to finally take her mother and sisters advice and try to move forward with her life.  As they said, she was the only parent Tiffany had.  She had to pull herself together.

Breakfast was cooking on the stove, Tiffany was upstairs getting ready for school. Everything was going great, exactly like she planned.  She was setting the table when she happened to past a calendar on her way to the kitchen to get the glasses.

It hit her like a blot of lighting.  It had been a month.  A whole month.

Dominique barely made it through breakfast.  She put on her best happy mommy smile as she packed Tiffany off to school.  Then she headed into the house to call Mildred and notify her that she wouldn’t make it into Half Cafe this morning.  After getting off the phone with Mildred, she called her job to tell them she wouldn’t make it into the office this afternoon.

Instead, she headed to her room and took up a position that had become way to familiar over the past few weeks.

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Victoria was getting the feeling that maybe she had failed her children in a very fundamental way.  When Dewayne had died all those years ago, she completely lost it.  Had become completely unglued at the seams.

As she watched Tiffany get off the bus, she wondered if she would have even shown a small amount of strength, back all those years ago would she have found herself in the position she was in now.  Waiting at the top steps to greet her grieving grandchild while her mother spent another day in bed “resting”.

“Where’s Mama?”

“Upstairs, taking a nap”

“Again.”

Yes, again.

Victoria patted the cushion next to her and waited for Tiffany to settle in.  Dominique should have been the one seating here comforting this child.  But because of her negliagnce her daughter couldn’t cope.  Maybe, if in those weeks after Dwayne’s death she hadn’t locked herself up in her room, her daughter wouldn’t be doing the same thing now.

“Mama’s sad because daddy’s never coming back?”

She hadn’t expected that, didn’t know how to answer.  Didn’t want to answer.  Her granddaugther had asked a question and so she answered the only why she knew how.

“Yes.”

“But, I miss daddy too and I don’t sleep all day.”  The confusion, the pain, were all there.  In the voice and face.

She drew her close and held on.  Held on to Tiffany as tight as should have held on to Dominique all those years ago.

Victoria said the only thing that came to mind.  “I know baby, but your mama needs just a little bit more time.

Season: Winter
In this post: Victoria Hale, Dominique Keyes

When the phone stared ringing Dominique had at first decided to ignore it.  Today was her day off.  The first day off that she had had in months.  She never thought her husband, Anton’s little coffee shop would have turned out to be so much work for her.

She wondered how she did it sometimes.  Holding three jobs, no four jobs.  Wife, mother, secratory, and coffee shop manager.  She was exhusted and determined not to let anything interrupt the only piece of alone time she had been granted in a long time.

She let the phone ring and go to voicemail.  Making a mental note to listen to it after lunch.

Only to have it ring again, five minutes late.  She let it go to voicemail.

Like clockwork, five minutes later it started up again.

This time she answered.  Who ever was at the other end was determined to get her attention.

Dominique doesn’t remember calling her but her mother is there.  She heard her call out her name from the bottom of the steps.  She couldn’t find the strength to answer.  She just hoped that she would know where to look.

The sounds of Victoria footsteps on the stairs, let her know that her mother was getting closer.  She silently urged her on, hoping that some special psychic mother-daughter connection would let her know how desperate she was for her warm, stable touch.

Her appearance in the room was like a valve being released.  No words were needed.  Just the soft swish of her jean covered thighs rubbing together and the muffled sound of heels meeting the carpet.

Dominique squeezed her eyes tightly together.  Trying to hold back the tears.

I must be strong.  I must.

Her senses wee on overload.  The shifting of the bed as her mother sat upon it, upset her balance making her sit up taller and straighter to keep from tilting over.  The sound of her mother’s breathing was like church bells right in her ears.  The feel of her loving arms wrapping around her body felt like a vice grip, squeezing her tight.

That was the final straw.

The tears began to fall.

They sat there, for hours or minutes.  It didn’t matter, time had no importance. Victoria held her oldest child tight, trying to soothe her pain.  Knowing that she was working in vain.   Dominique tried to control the tears, to stop their flow.  Hand gripped tightly on her knees barely keeping in the sobs.

Victoria finally let go.  Not because she wanted to but because she realized how much time had really passed.  Tiffany should be returning from her aunts house at any minute.

She stood by the window and stared at the lake not that far away.  She could see that same lake from the porch of her house.  And just like she had many times before, her daughter was now searching that same lake for strength.

Widowhood was the one thing that Victoria had hoped she and her children would never have in common.  At least, not in her lifetime.

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  • Anton Keyes is the second (and final) ROS death this round.  Again, I hated killing him off.  I didn’t have any plans for the Keyes family but I thought that they were just adorable together and hated taking him away from his wife and daughter.
  • On the other hand it makes for a great storyline.  I have no idea what I am going to do with Dominique now.  Anton was on the top level of the business track and they are deeply in debt because of the house and the business he just brought.
  • No pictures of my favorite, Tiffany, this time.

Season: Winter
In this post: Dorian Kauker, Allyn Kauker, Teresa R. Flores-Tyson, Jose C. Flores-Tyson, Cephus Kauker

Dorian couldn’t decide if he loved his schedule or hated it. Morning time seemed to be the worse part of the day in a house full of children.  No one wanted to wake up for school.  The boys always argues when told to brush their teeth.  For some reason that he could not grasp, the bathtub would always leak when it was his turn to use it.

The saving grace for working in the on Saturday afternoon was the fact that he got to take care of the important things.  Cephus had his last counseling session in Eaton and as was custom he was going to take him.  The social worker would drop to an weekend recreation program where Dorian would pick him up after work.

Allyn wasn’t good a handling these types of things.  She worried about the kids way to much.  Asked so many questions the counselor said that she was looking for problems that weren’t there.  Cephus was fine and had adjusted to his new family much better than expected.

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She almost missed the sound of the phone ring.  They kept meaning to buy one for the second floor but like other non-esstenitals it got pushed to the bottom of the list or completely forgotten, until that moment when she was rushing down the stairs trying to catch it.

“I’m coming.  I’m coming.”  Allyn said like the person on the other end could hear.

They had heard the ringing downstairs.  They knew that Allyn went down to get it.  She had said she would be right back.  Then nothing.

“I’m going down to check on her.”  Teresa grabbed her teddy bear from the bed.  She felt uneasy and needed it reassurance.

Jose looked scared, something was making them both scared.  Neither could put their finger on it.

“Wait here, I’ll be back”

“Teresa.  I don’t…. I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

Teresa headed down the stairs, her footsteps much lighter than normal.  She didn’t know why but she felt that she shouldn’t make her presence known.  At the third step she came to a sudden halt as what sounded like a sob broke through the air.

Was Allyn crying?

The hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention.  She didn’t want to go any further.  Another sob and a sniffle broke the silence.

Maybe, Jose had been right.  Maybe this wasn’t a good idea.

“Cephus, Cephus, Cephus, Cephus.”  Teresa heard Allyn repeating over and over.  As harder louder sobs came out.

Teresa turned and headed back up the stairs.

“What does that mean?”

Teresa petted the fur on the teddy bear, wondering if she really should be the one telling him this.  “He’s dead.”

“Don’t say that, Teresa.”

“He is.”

“You can’t know for sure.”

Teresa looked at her brother over the bears head.  She felt bad now,  he would’t even look at her.

“I can”  She said before cuddling the bear to her chest.

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  • Cephus is the first of two sims that are going to die this round.  All with the thanks of ROS. 
  • I really hated doing this because even though Ally and Dorian are just minor characters I really wanted them to have and Happily Ever After type life.  I could just see them as model parents and grandparents.  Based on how I think of them, I doubt that they will adopt or have more kids.
  • This death also made me feel bad for Teresa and Jose.  They really have suffered the last couple of rounds and now this.  Jose and Cephus were best friends and I thought of there relationship as brotherly.