One Year Anniversary Special

Hello everyone! One year ago today was when I posted my first chapter! It feels strange (though not as strange as the fact that my baby challenge is more than two years old now).

While I’m super excited to have hit this milestone, I feel absolutely pathetic that I’ve posted nine chapters in three hundred and sixty five days. I’m seriously hoping to pick up the pace because, while I love this generation and all the characters, I’m extremely anxious to get to generation two. Don’t worry, though, I’ll try not to rush things.

Okay, so to celebrate our one year anniversary, I’ve asked all of my wonderful readers to ask characters of their choice anything they’d like. They’re all great questions and I’m excited to get to it!

So obviously, let’s start with the main character: Adelaide!

Hi there, Adde! I just really wanted to say that I think you’re great!  I was thinking about the time you thought you were pregnant and the news that you received. I’m really sorry to hear that! I really hope that things will work out for you in the end! -Sonny Wells

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“Aww, thank you so much! You’re very sweet, really. Thanks for thinking of me, Sonny. I honestly don’t even know what to say because you’re just so amazing. I feel like I’m rambling. Oh man, I probably am. So just… thank you! Ahh!”

Adde, due to the past that you had with Lincoln, did you expect that you would fall in love with him?  You guys are adorable! -Sonny Wells

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“Honestly, not really. If you remember, I had a little crush on him for the first few months that I knew him, but that went away pretty quickly. Then once I really got a good look at all the women he brought home, I realized that he wouldn’t want anything to do with me, because he could get anyone he wanted. I was just a kid, after all, and he had all of these filled-out women that knew what they wanted. And then he met Candie, and whatever hope I had of us getting together disappeared once they got engaged. Oh God, I’m kinda rambling again, huh? So basically, no. I always had a sliver of a crush that I wasn’t even aware was there, but I’m really glad that we did fall in love. And again, thank you! I think we’re pretty adorable, too, in all honesty.”

Adelaide, why did it take you so long to end up with Lincoln? Well, aside from the Candie factor? -Tantalizing Sims

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“I think I pretty much answered that in my last ramble, but I was barely eighteen and fresh out of an abusive home, and was kind of afraid to start anything with anyone, but especially not Lincoln, because I don’t think anybody here is going to deny the fact that he’s very attractive. And I believe I’ve said at some point before that I was concerned we’d get together, then break up and our friendship wouldn’t survive, which would’ve been awful, because before I loved Lincoln as his girlfriend, I loved him as his best friend. And considering the fact that I had never been in love before, I didn’t know that that’s what I was feeling for him.”

Now, Lincoln, before I say anything along the lines of you looking well, very handsome…I have to ask you why it took so long to see that Adde was the girl you really loved? What truly compelled you to keep up the obvious charade with Candie? -Sonny Wells

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“Aha, well thanks so much, beautiful! Don’t let Adelaide hear you say that, though, because between you and me, she gets pretty jealous.” *wink* “Anyway, I’m not afraid to admit that I can be pretty thick sometimes. And besides, why would a beautiful, down-to-earth girl like Adde want anything to do with a man-slut like me? And like what she said before about her being afraid of ruining our friendship, I was lucky just to have her as my friend, so I was hesitant to do anything. Then once I met Candie, I figured that if I pretended long enough, I’d actually want to stay with her. I was just scared. I’m a purple grape-chicken, Sonny. A chicken that tastes like a grape? Or a grape that tastes like a chicken? The world may never know. God dammit, Adde, you’ve rubbed your rambling off on me!”

Lincoln, why on Earth did you ever propose to Candie? -Tantalizing Sims

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“I’m sensing a pattern here. Did Adde pay you guys to say these things? I could dig deep for an original answer to your question, but that would probably just result in me saying a lot of things that don’t make sense. Like honestly, who starts talking about grape-flavored chickens?”

Would Lincoln ever consider doing a concert with the band, and has he ever thought about an introductory group full stop? -Bridget Everard (Skye Everard) 

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“Yeah, of course I would! I’ve heard some of your songs and you guys are pretty great, so I don’t really know why you’d want me. But call me up sometime and we can schedule some stuff!”

Can I lick you, Lincoln? Annie always said no, but you have free will right now. -Skye Everard

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“I’m gonna stop you right there and tell you no, you cannot lick my boyfriend.”

Lincoln, are you ashamed to be related to your parents? I would be if I were you. -Tantalizing Sims

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“Definitely. The way they treated Adde when I brought her to meet them was absolutely horrible, and while I love them because they’re my parents, I can’t stand them.”

Apricot, did you ever try getting in touch with your Mom again? What about your siblings?- Sonny Wells

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“My sister and I aren’t as good of friends as we used to be, but yeah, we do call each other every now and again. And if Adde weren’t around, Emily would probably be my maid of honor. The only reason I ever stopped talking to my siblings in the first place was because of my step mother, though. As for my brother, we never really speak at all anymore. He’ll call me up on my birthday every year and on Christmas, but that’s about it. And my mother? No way. I’m still extremely bitter. I do miss her sometimes, though, but I wouldn’t want to get in touch with her for a long time, if at all. Obviously I love her, but that doesn’t mean I have to like her, especially after she just left out of the blue, with absolutely no warning.”

Apricot, how did you initially feel when you found out Cherry preferred dicks over chick? -Tantalizing Sims

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“Oh my God, that was brilliantly worded! I was shocked at first, since he was a grade A ladies man since I had met him, but once I really thought about it, it wasn’t that surprising. I’d walk in on him with men who he claimed were just ‘friends.’ I’m sorry to break this to you, Cher, but friends don’t sit around with each other in their underwear and no shirts.”

Cherry, how did you come to the conclusion that you preferred bros versus hoes? -Tantalizing Sims

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“I’ve always known, but it was confirmed for me when I tried to date this one girl in high school. It just didn’t feel right with girls, and I continued to get confirmation every time I went on a date with girls after that. The only reason I’ve ever been with anyone other than a man is because I didn’t want my parents to know about me.”

Hey, Periwinkle, I think you’re sexy. -Tantalizing Sims

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“Why hello there… Thank you very much. I think you’re very beautiful, too.”

Ash, how do you feel about your breakup with Adelaide? -Tantalizing Sims

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“I was devastated at first, but now I’m in a happy relationship with a woman named Rose. I will admit that sometimes I do wonder what it would be like if I were still with her, but seeing her with Lincoln and me with Rose, I don’t regret a thing.”

Evangeline, why didn’t you try to get Peter help? He wasn’t abusive by his own will, but because he was sick. There was help for him. There was help for you. Your untimely death was completely avoidable. -Tantalizing Sims

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“Believe me, I tried, but he wouldn’t have any of it. He insisted that he was fine, and that he preferred the way he was then to the way he was before the accident. That’s one of the many reasons I had a hard time leaving– I knew if he had never been hurt, he would never have treated me like that. But once I met Sidney, I just kind of gave up on him. I know it was wrong, but it was clear to me that he wasn’t going to change. He didn’t want to, so I couldn’t make him. Thinking about it now, I really don’t know why I didn’t pack Adelaide up and run away with Sid in the middle of the night, but really, all that matters now is Adde’s happy and she’s found her father.”

Peter, did you ever end up in prison for what you did to Evangeline? -Tantalizing Sims

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“Oh yes. Adelaide called the police before she ran away, and they put me in prison. I pleaded guilty, because I felt it was pretty obvious. I know this wasn’t in your question, but I feel like it needs to be said: I feel awful for what happened. I wish that I had never been hit by that car, because it turned me into a horrible person. I think the genuine Peter (which would be me) was always tucked away. But since this will be the last chance I get before going back to the story line, I want to apologize to Evan and Adde, and say that I’m glad Adde’s happy and managed to find her real father. Adelaide, I’d like to think that if things had worked out differently, you’d be my daughter and your mother would still be alive.”

Sid, how do you feel about Adde dating, and does it make you want to find a forever-girl? -Skye Everard

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“I’m very happy that she’s been able to find somebody that makes her happy. I will admit it isn’t that weird for me because I didn’t ever talk to her when she was a child, so I barely know the difference. But if she’s happy, I’m happy. And yeah, it would be great if I could find somebody to spend forever with, but I’m not really sure how that would work. I’m still pretty beat up about Evan.”

Alright, on that happy note, let’s go to picture time! I figured that you can’t go wrong with a photo shoot of the cast and crew, right?

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I suppose that about wraps things up for now. I hope you enjoyed it, and I know it was short. I had other things planned but I had to help my mom clean so I couldn’t get around to it.

The next chapter should hopefully be posted soon.

Good bye for now!

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Special Chapter One: Apricot’s Back Story

Hey guys! This chapter’s gonna be written a little bit differently because it’s Apricot telling you about her life. So, of course, there’s going to be some mild language. And a little bit of mature content. No sex scenes or anything, just a lot of stuff being implied about… you know what. (wink wink) It’s also quite a bit shorter, because it doesn’t actually have anything to do with the story. It’s just for those of you that were curious about where she came from. Also, there aren’t many pictures in this post. I was having problems with the Sims and it was four in the morning, so you can imagine why I gave up. 

***

“Wait, what are you talking about?”

My mom slammed her suitcase on the floor and turned on her heel to look at me. She bit her bottom lip and twirled her pink hair with her fingers before replying, “Apricot, I’m so sorry, I really am.”

“For what? What’s going on? Why won’t anybody talk to me?” My voice cracked as I tried to steady myself. “Everybody’s acting so weird lately, you and Dad especially. Are you getting a divorce or something?”

She hesitated before nodding.

A tear leaked out of my eye and dripped onto the floor. “And why didn’t you tell me before you walked out the door? Are you leaving us, tonight?”

Another nod.

“And I’m just now finding out?”

“Yes

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“Well that’s bullshit!” I screamed. “I get home from cheer practice to see my mom abandoning us in the middle of the night and I barely even get an explanation? God, does Tyler know? Does Emily? Am I the last person to find out?”

“I’m so sorry, Apricot, but I have to leave. I wish I could tell you why, but I can’t.”

“So I can’t come with you?”

“No.”

“Will I see you again soon?”

“Yes.”

***

I wish I could say that wasn’t a lie, but I can’t. I also wish I could tell you that Adelaide is the only one of the group that has a sad back story. I mean, mine’s not as bad as hers, in fact it’s actually pretty generic. Here’s basically what happened:

My mom and dad got a divorce, she moved in with some hill-billy jackass that I still haven’t met to this day, had two kids that I’ve never even talked to, and sends me a birthday card every year. That was the only time I ever hear from her, and when I finally cooled off enough to want to start our relationship back up, she never took my calls.

My older brother, Tyler, and sister, Emily, told me they knew about the divorce for a couple months, but Mom told them to keep me in the dark so I wouldn’t be distracted when it came to my school work. I was seventeen, close to graduating, so the two of them were already off to college, and were, in their words, “mature enough to handle the situation.” Whatever the hell that meant.

Dad quickly got married to some bitch named Veronica that insisted we call her “Ronnie.” Think I’m being dramatic? She completely cut me off from talking to my sister–my best friend in the entire world–for a month for forgetting to take out the trash. No, not an exaggeration. She was crazy as hell.

I knew that both the hick, Darryl, and… Ronnie, were rebounds that went too far. Neither of them were happy with their new families. Sure, Mom said she was, but I knew her and could tell, even just from that one card a year, that she was miserable, and with Dad… it was just obvious. Whether he missed Mom or hated Ronnie, he hated the situation just as much as his kids.

No, the reason behind their divorce and my mom’s sudden departure was never explained to me or my siblings. All I knew was it was weird, and there was no reason to even try to understand, so I went back to the norm. Or as best I could, anyway.

I met a boy named Cherry (ah yes, you know the one) about a week later and quickly got attached. Not knowing he was gay at the time, I fell in love with him, but he was completely disinterested. Didn’t know why.

God I was an idiot. It was so obvious. I’d always turn around to catch him looking at guy’s butts, and when I called him out on it, he’d explain to me that he was searching for references. He claimed that he wanted to “determine the level of firmness that he wanted for himself.” The best part about the whole thing, looking back on it now, was he never even went to the gym. Not once.

My two new little brothers were named Jason and Myles. My mom described them as “boy geniuses,” but was informed at the end of the letter by Darryl that they were in fact quite the opposite. “If you call failing every test and not even doin their homework a smart move, then yeah, there gon be the next Albie Einstein,” he wrote.

I didn’t know Jason, Darryl, or Myles, and frankly, I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to meet my mother’s replacement family. I didn’t want her to rub it in my face.

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We had been so happy just two years before. We ate dinner together every night, and I could tell my mother everything that was on my mind and she’d always say just the right thing.

Dad would come home, give her a kiss on the cheek, pick me up and spin me around, then go take a shower. It was like that every day, then one day he came home and surpassed the kissing and hugging, just went straight for the shower. And I was the only one that seemed to care.

I guess I know now that it was because she was aware of their troubles, while I just thought that Dad was starting to lose it.

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I hightailed it out of there the second I turned eighteen, taking Cherry with me. We headed to a university in Paris, me majoring in art while Cherry decided to flirt with all the girls on campus. It took me two years before I finally realized that he didn’t even go to college, he just wanted to prove to his parents that he wasn’t gay. Although that’s a story for another time.

Anyway, he secretly had his own apartment and just woke up extra early to pretend he lived in the dorms. Considering he wouldn’t come out to me until I was engaged to Peri and living with Lincoln, his lie for then was that he didn’t want me to look down on him for not being smart.

I told him I didn’t, moved in with him to split the rent to help him out a bit, got a job as a waitress at a cafe, and finished up my schooling two years later.

We lived in Paris for a few months after that, and this is where it gets… sticky.

My mother sent me a birthday card that year, pleading with me not to become a lesbian. Apparently she “experimented” when she was at university in England when she was young, and it “didn’t end well.” There was no other explanation, so I decided to be the one child of every family that disappoints both of my parents with no personal gain whatsoever.

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Her name was Gabrielle, half French, half Chinese. Her features were mostly Asian, but she was born and raised in Paris, so obviously she had a matching accent. And obviously, girls tickled her fancy.

I was blatantly straight. I had had multiple pregnancy scares, seeing as I was a pretty slutty co-captain of the cheer team. The football players were my specialty, and never once had I decided that I wanted to get frisky with a fellow chick (although lemme tell ya, I had had quite a few chances. Please don’t forget that I was not a very good child to begin with).

We met at a concert, and she took me back to her place. I’ll spare you the details, cause this ain’t a porno you’re reading, but after that we were in a pretty serious relationship. Want some more dialogue? Here you are:

“So… you don’t even know French?” she teased, in nothing but a dress shirt and underwear, lazily kicking her legs as she lay on her stomach. “Need a friendly reminder that you’re in France and have been for the past four years?”

I chuckled, kicking my feet onto her desk. “Je n’ai jamais dit cela.”

Gabrielle cracked me a grin. “Yes, I suppose you didn’t actually say that. But you implied it.”

“I just didn’t want you to know how skilled I was at both the English and French language.”

She pushed herself off of her bed and slowly approached me, gripping onto my face and giving me a kiss. “You’re adorable.”

“Yeah, I know,” I said through a smile. “But we just met last night, so I’ll have to hold back on the cute until we know each other better.”

“I think that can be arranged,” she purred, dragging me out of the chair.

And that’s it, you little pervs. Don’t think you get to see me do the do. That’s gross. God.

Anyway, we dated for a little while then broke up, ‘cept it wasn’t a typical breakup. It was more like a test of my ninja abilities: she threw everything she could lift at me, so I dodged, but wasn’t completely missed each time. That leads us to the next part of my little story.

Gabrielle struck me on the head with her hair dryer. She was a tough little bugger, ’cause that landed me in the hospital with a concussion. After that, Cherry dragged me back to the States because I “couldn’t be trusted around luscious French ladies.”

When we got back home, me with a diploma in hand and Cherry slowly coming to grips with the fact that he was attracted to dudes, I got a job at a greasy little diner in Twinbrook.

We lived in separate apartments, since apparently we had had enough of each other over the past four years.

For the moment, I wasn’t planning on doing anything with my degree. I was only twenty two years old, it’s not like I would even be able to find a decent job involving art in such a small town, anyway.

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After about a month of working at the diner, a sweet little green girl named Adelaide popped into my life. We were immediately friends, but I suppose I can skip all the stuff with her, since you already know that.

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Then, because of her, I met Lincoln, which led me to Periwinkle.

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It was strange, after getting to know the mysterious blue man, to think that only a few months before I had been dating a girl. It was obvious this was the guy for me, even though we barely knew each other.

And I suppose that’s it. If you came here looking for an epic story of love and betrayal, you were probably disappointed, huh? All you got were a couple of flying hair dryers and a lesbian fling. Although if that’s your thing, that’s cool too.

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Alrighty. I suppose I should turn you guys back over to Adelaide. She’s getting kind of antsy over here, not being able to tell you her life story.

What the hell is that all about, anyway?

Like, what’s the point?

Is this story gonna end or what?

Kids these day. What with their random first person narrations and such.

Oh my God. The characters in this story are starting to get self-aware. Oh GOD! If I tried hard enough, do you think I could crawl through your computer screen and into reality?

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OH MY GOD. I LIVE IN A COMPUTER.

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WHAT IF Y’ALL ARE JUST LIVING IN A BIGGER COMPUTER OF SOMEBODY ELSE.

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AND THEY’RE SOMEBODY ELSE’S SICK LITTLE TOYS.

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OH MY GOD. ARE WE JUST SIMS OF SIMS? DO I HAVE SIMS? FUCK THIS, IT’S TOO MUCH FOR MY DELICATE LITTLE PIXEL BRAIN. DEAR LORD.

Gen. One: Chapter Eight- Tonight, We are Young

Alright, before you start I’d just like to apologize one more time for taking so long to get this published. I think I’m officially back into the simming/writing biz so don’t worry about that. And I’m also sorry that this isn’t as long as usual. I hope this meets your expectations and was worth the wait. -Annie 

***

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Lincoln wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me close to him, kissing the top of my head. He took a deep breath, inhaling the smell of my hair.

“I’ve missed you so much,” he muttered. I nodded and squeezed onto him even tighter. It was amazing how much I had yearned to be in this moment, and now that it was happening, I could barely believe it.

“What are you doing here?” I inquired.

He chuckled in reply. “I thought it was pretty obvious.”

The corners of my lips curved up. “But you’re supposed to be getting married right now.”

Lincoln shook his head, refusing to let go of me. “I couldn’t do it, Adde. I just couldn’t. I was so close, but the harder I tried, the more I understood that it should’ve been you in that church.

“I understand completely, though, if you decline this offer. I really do, because it wasn’t fair of me to just show up at your doorstep. I just couldn’t go through with it without knowing what you thought.”

I nodded. “You’re such an idiot, Grape. Of course I want this.”

I pulled out of our embrace and clutched onto his hand, tugging him into the house. “Dad!” I called, quickly realizing that I shared my home with somebody else.

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It took only a second for Sidney to emerge with a pot and ladle in his hands. “Yeah?” He started in his place when he noticed Lincoln. “O-oh, hello!”

Lincoln raised his hand in a rather pathetic wave and squeezed my palm. I could tell he was nervous: there was no telling what my father would think about this whole situation.

“Would you like some dinner?”

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Lincoln glanced at me and I nodded encouragingly. “That would be great,” he replied. Dad smiled and returned to the kitchen without another word.

I looked at Lincoln and said, “Have a seat,” pointing to the sofa. He complied and plopped onto the couch. I sat down next to him, leaning into his side. It didn’t matter that he had only just showed up: this was where we were supposed to end up.

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He draped his arm around my shoulder and rested his chin on my head. “It’s strange how right this feels.”

“Yeah,” I agreed.

Only five minutes before I was alone, depressed, and hated everything. Then my best friend showed up, and even though I wasn’t really sure what we were going to label our relationship just yet, I was suddenly happy.

We sat there for about fifteen minutes until Dad peeked his head out of the kitchen with his usual grin stretched across his face, and said, “Dinner’s ready!”

We smiled back at him and followed him into the dining room. “Smells good, Sid,” Lincoln mused, inhaling deeply, a peaceful look on his face. “What is it?”

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“Goopy Carbonara.”

“What’s that?”

“Hell if I know,” Dad chuckled, ladling some stuff into three bowls. “A lady at work gave me the recipe and told me Adde and I needed to try it. A reliable source, so I thought, why not, you know?”

Grape nodded and looked at me, then took my hand in his. He had barely put it down in the short time he had been there, which made me pretty happy.

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We took our bowls and sat next to Dad at the table, sipping on spoons of the mysterious stew-like meal: it was actually very good, although he refused to tell me what was in it, so I didn’t push it. I had learned the hard way a few years ago that if I liked something, I should never ask what the ingredients were. My favorite dishes were almost always ruined because of the answer.

When we finished, I got my first real look at Lincoln: his tux soaked through, his purple locks still pretty damp from the rain, and his pristine shoes squeaking with each step he took.

“Dad, do you have anything that Lincoln could wear and I’ll take his current outfit to the dry cleaners tomorrow?”

“Sure thing, I’ll go get somethin’.” He left the room while Linc and I did the dishes.

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Lincoln stared at me as I submerged my hands into the soapy water that filled the sink, rubbing the bowls down with a yellow sponge. “Having fun?” he teased, referring to how intently I was staring at them.

The corners of my lips curved up. I brought my hands out of the water and flicked some onto his tux. I figured that since it was already soaking, it wouldn’t hurt to do this. Although the second the lavender man retaliated, I questioned my decisions.

Within moments, we were in the middle of a raging water war. After only a minute or two, Lincoln wasn’t the only one soaked from head to toe: I stood in the middle of the kitchen, dripping onto the tile floor.

Sidney reentered the room with a look of confusion etched onto his face. He dropped a pile of clothing on the table and exited with the simple words, “You’re cleaning this mess up.”

We laughed in response and did as he said, and when we finished with that we headed to bed. I tried to make Lincoln come with me, but he said no: until we could talk about where our relationship was, he didn’t want to “take advantage of me.”

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That’s not exactly what I thought that meant, but I wasn’t about to argue with him: I was pooped. The second my head hit the pillow, I was in my dreamland. I didn’t even have enough energy to change into dry clothes. Whether it be from the quick H2O fight I had downstairs or the overall shock from the day, I needed sleep.

***

*~Apricot’s Point of View~*
Earlier that Day

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“He’s gone!?” Candie screeched, falling into a ball on the floor. As much as I hated her, even after our little outing together, I couldn’t help but feel bad: Lincoln had, after all, just up and disappeared. I couldn’t help but hope he was suffering wherever he was, even though I could guess where he had gone.

It had been so obvious the past few days. Whenever somebody made the mistake of mentioning Adelaide, Lincoln went silent and usually ended up leaving the room. A few times I even caught him looking all pathetic in front of her picture.

The reason I was so pissy toward him was because he had ran off to be with the love of his life while I was stuck dealing with the after effects. Do you think taking care of a weeping woman-child was easy? Well it wasn’t.

Candie refused to eat anything, no matter what I said in attempt to get her to give her stomach substance. I started to think that our assumptions that she was marrying Lincoln for his parent’s money were a little off: she was a complete mess. If she hadn’t been surrounded by people and was in a more homey environment, she would probably be in sweats and eating tub after tub of ice cream while watching chick flicks. Or so the cliché goes.

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“Dammit Candie!” I exclaimed, throwing a tray of salad onto the ground. “I give up! You don’t wanna eat, you don’t have to eat!”

I left her in the bridal dressing room, sweat dripping from my forehead, and made my way into the bathroom. Locking myself in a stall, I fell down onto my butt and clutched onto my knees.

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I didn’t feel that it was my responsibility to take care of the mess Lincoln had left behind. I wasn’t even one of Candie’s brides maids. Shouldn’t somebody closer to her have been dealing with it?

“Apri?” Periwinkle’s gentle voice questioned, leaning against the door. “You okay?”

I nodded, then remembered that he couldn’t see me. “I was at first, but now I’m mad at Lincoln.”

There was a moment’s hesitation before he replied, “You know, I’ll be the first to admit that Linc’s not perfect, but you need to cut him some slack. We could all see that he didn’t want to do this. It was really either this or he forced himself into it, which would just be the start of a whole new set of problems.

“I’m sure Candie’ll get over it. Whatever her intentions for this marriage were, she’ll find somebody else.”

“You still think that she could be a gold digger after what you’ve seen today?”

I could tell that he shrugged. “Could just be a good actress.”

I considered this for a moment before saying, “What do you think Lincoln’s doing right now?”

He stopped, probably to check his watch, then replied, “It’s been nearly six hours of crying bananas and angry guests, so I’d assume he’s with Adelaide now. No matter the pain he’s caused us, I hope he got what he wanted. He obviously loves her.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, resting my chin on my knees. “That much is true.”

“Listen, I’m gonna go help Cherry direct the families outta here. I think it’s time we tell them what’s going on, because he’s clearly not coming back.” Peri didn’t wait for a reply before his feet disappeared from my view and the door to the outside creaked open, leaving me on the floor with my thoughts.

Wait, they had let six hours go by before telling the guests how it was?

***

*~Adelaide’s Point of View~*

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The sun peeked over the horizon and through the curtains into my room, pulling me into consciousness. I pushed myself up and onto the floor, making my way into the bathroom and stepping in the shower.

I nearly melted in relief when the hot water from the shower head hit my bare skin. Smiling at what was waiting for me downstairs, I ran the soap over my body, then proceeded to shampoo and condition my green hair.

When I finished in there, I dried off, pulling on a white dress shirt, a grey sweater vest, and a matching green sweater, preceded by a short darker-green skirt. I then put on some slip-on shoes and curled my hair down my torso.

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I looked at myself in the mirror, confident in what I was wearing, and headed downstairs to see Lincoln in my father’s clothes: a simple black sweat shirt, blue jeans and converse.

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“God, you look beautiful,” he said when he laid eyes on me.

“Well that’s one hell of a good morning,” I laughed, wrapping my arms around his waist and pulling him in for a peck on the lips. “Would you like to go out with me today?”

“Yeah, where to?”

“There’s a sort of rec center across town that I’ve been to a couple times with a friend, and I enjoyed myself, and I think you would too. Interested?”

“Of course.”

He was on my heels as we walked to the car, the sun beating down on us relentlessly. By then I was used to it, but I could tell that Lincoln was starting to suffer a bit, so I cranked the air conditioning, followed by securing myself in the seatbelt. “Alright, before we go, I guess you should know that when I say ‘rec center’ I mean it’s basically a coffee hut with a bunch of random activities scattered around the outside. Regardless, it’s fun.”

“Sounds good to me. As long as I’m with you.”

I snorted. “You’ve always been such a cheese ball.”

It took us about fifteen minutes to get to our destination, but when we finally did, Lincoln opened the door for me, led me to an outside table and said, “You stay here and I’ll go get some coffee.” I nodded and obeyed, waiting for him to come back out.

Five minutes later, he emerged from the quaint little building with two mugs of brown liquid in hand. We sipped in silence for a moment, my eyes scanning our surroundings. When they landed on the pool table, I knew immediately what our first adventure would be.

I grabbed onto his wrist and pulled him toward it, handing him a cue and a little chalk-thingy-ma-bob. He complied without questioning my actions and put the blue stuff on the tip of the pool cue. It was obvious that I didn’t know my pool lingo, huh?

We soon started and were in the middle of a heated match–or as heated as a pool match could be, of course.

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“You’re goin’ down, Arbury.”

“Don’t count on it, you big grape.”

“You know, I don’t know if that’s an insult or a pet name anymore. I think we have more than just our relationship to talk about,” he joked.

“Take it any way you want to, as long as you know you’re a loser.”

“Ouch, right in the heart.” He dramatically put his hand on his chest and winced.

“Shut up,” I said, but smiled regardless.

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In the end, I lost, which honestly wasn’t all that surprising: I failed miserably every time I played. It was all just a lot of big talk for an amateur player, I suppose.

However, Lincoln wasn’t much better. Each time he took a shot, the cue ball would go flying off the table and into the sand. He tried to pretend like he didn’t care, but when I looked away for even a second, pure horror would overcome his features.

That got boring quickly, so Lincoln pointed us in the direction of the skeeball machine. “Now this I’m good at,” I said enthusiastically, scooping a ball into my hand eagerly.

“Are you sure this isn’t just another sad attempt at scaring me?”

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I rolled my eyes at him and hucked the ball, sending it soaring into the 100 slot. I repeated this action five more times, with my reward being Lincoln’s dropped jaw. “B-but… how? How is that even possible? What?

I giggled. “If you can get even remotely close to my score, I won’t rub it in your face for the rest of the week,” I mocked, sticking out my tongue.

He mimicked me and picked up a ball, throwing it toward the slots: it fell through the zero.

“Oh my God, did you even aim?”

“Shut your pretty little mouth, Arbury, and lemme show you how a man plays skeeball.”

“I hope it’s not what you just showed me because that’s just pathetic.”

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He shot me a look and took another shot: zero.

“Do all men suck at this or is it just you?” I piped up immediately.

“You know, you have a lot of stuff to say for someone who could barely stay caught up to me at pool.”

“Hey, is that even a real game? I’m not entirely convinced, considering you were the one who beat me.”

“I hate you,” he said, obviously suppressing a chuckle. He continued to play, but ended up with a total score of forty.

“Boooo,” I laughed, giving him two thumbs down.

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“You suck,” he replied, pulling me into his chest and kissing the top of my head.

“You suck more.” I looked up at him and grinned. “There’s a photo booth. Wanna take some pictures?”

Lincoln nodded and ran off toward the booth, singing, “Selfie time!” I followed him at my own pace, joyful at the thought of the short time recently spent with him. I knew I had missed him over the past year, but I didn’t know just how much until I saw him.

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We slipped into the seat and pulled the curtain around us. We started out with the romantic poses, then the silly ones, then what could be considered the normal ones. I considered taking more, but soon realized that I was flat out of money, so we made our way to the karaoke machine.

Lincoln started it up and picked the song “We Are Young” by Fun. He picked it up for us as I waited for my cue.

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Give me a second, I
I need to get my story straight
My friends are in the bathroom
Getting higher than the Empire State
My lover she is waiting for me
Just across the bar,
My seat’s been taken by some sunglasses
Asking ’bout a scar
I know I gave it to you months ago
I know you’re trying to forget
But between the drinks and subtle things
And the holes in my apologies
You know I’m trying hard to take it back
So if by the time the bar closes
And you feel like falling down
I’ll carry you home

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“Tonight,
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

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“Tonight, 
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

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“Now I know that I’m not
All that you got
I guess that I,
I just thought,
Maybe we could find new ways to fall apart
But our friends are back
So let’s raise the cup
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home

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“Tonight,
We are young
So let’s the set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun

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“Tonight,
We are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter
Than the sun”

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This was it. It was finally my turn. Even though there were only a few people in the crowd and I knew it was all good fun, I was nervous. Lincoln was a professional musician, this was what he did for a living. What if I sucked? What if I messed up and he never wanted to see me again? I knew that was ridiculous, but I couldn’t keep the thoughts from crossing my mind as I opened my mouth to sing…

But nothing came out. I tried to get the words to come up, but my throat felt closed. Suddenly, the urge to vomit overtook me and I sprinted to the bathroom, Lincoln following right after me.

I leaned over the toilet and released the contents of my breakfast, coffee and all. Lincoln barged through the door, concern strewn across his face, and knelt next to me. “What’s wrong? Are you okay?”

I shook my head. “We need to talk about this, about our relationship. I can’t be this nervous about what’s gonna happen for much longer, Linc, I’m sorry, but I just ca–”

He interrupted me and planted his lips on mine, but immediately pulled away. “That was supposed to be romantic, but your breath stinks.”

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I smiled slightly and crawled into his lap, leaning my head against his chest. “Let’s talk in the pleasing setting of the bathroom floor.”

“Well, I’d really like it if we could date, because, in the words of a sixth grader, I like-like you.”

I chuckled. “Me too.”

“You like yourself?”

I turned around and punched him in the shoulder. “This is serious time.” I said this, but at the same time, I was slightly amused. “So then, are we boyfriend and girlfriend?”

“Is that what you want? I don’t want to rush this, if you don’t.”

“Lincoln, I feel like I’ve known you for fifty years. I think we’ve waited long enough.”

“Alright… so we’re… going together? Going steady? Courting? Dating, what have you?”

I nodded. “Yeah, but do me a favor, for the love of God, don’t call it courting.”

***

Alrighty, so I hope you enjoyed, and I just wanted you guys to be able to look at the photobooth pictures up close. 

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I Really Wish I Didn’t Have to do This

Alrighty, don’t be alarmed, I’m not quitting: I’m officially putting Shades of a Rainbow on hiatus. I wasn’t going to do this but I realized I haven’t posted since Thanksgiving and that’s a little bit pathetic so I thought I should give you guys the respect you deserve and tell you what’s goin’ on. I’ve been having quite a bit of problems with life recently: my sister had a baby (not a problem but it’s time consuming), I struggle with anxiety and depression, I’m an extremely sick person, and my biggest problem is that, frankly, I’m a lazy butt. I’ve started the next chapter, so worry not, I’m making progress! It’s my goal to be at least halfway through generation two by the time school starts in September.

I love every one of you and I’m really hoping to get the next post out soon!

Gen. One: Chapter Seven- I Want to Make You Mine

*~Apricot’s Point of View~*

“Apricot, meet me at the park at 5 o’clock tonight. Peri.”

I woke up to that note on my pillow. Sitting up, I ran my hand through my orange locks and sighed. Peri was usually there when I woke up in the morning, so I wondered what was up.

Sliding off of my bed, I walked out of Adelaide’s old room and into the kitchen, where Lincoln stood at the stove, cooking, of course, pancakes. Candie was at the counter, watching him with an extreme hunger in her eyes as she looked at his butt.

Sick.

“Where’s Peri?” I inquired, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and taking a seat next to Candie. Of course, I would’ve rather stuck a knife through my eye because I hated that bitch. But you know, whatever.

Lincoln looked away from the pan for only a moment to glance at me. Turning back to continue cooking, he said, “I dunno. He just said to make sure you dress up as nice as possible before you go to the park.”

“Oh…”

I put my chin in my hand and rested it on the counter. I had a feeling I knew what he was going to do tonight, but I was trying not to get my hopes up.

Peri and I had moved into Adelaide’s room after she up and left one night to Sunlit Tides to live with her dad. Neither of us wanted Lincoln alone in that apartment with evil banana Candie, so we offered to “keep Adde’s room warm for her until she gets back.” Yeah, I didn’t think Adelaide was going to be coming back anytime soon, if at all.

She was happy with Sidney, and none of us wanted to affect her happiness.

It had been a year since she left. She had celebrated her twentieth birthday away from us, and no matter how many times we had tried to call her in that time frame, she wouldn’t answer.

Lincoln was severely depressed after she vanished, and gradually got better and better, but even still had a lifeless quality to his eyes. Only Adelaide could fill the void I knew was inside of him. He loved her, that was sure, and I knew he knew it, too. So why did he resign himself to Candie of all people, when he could have Adelaide? I knew his excuse would be because Adde didn’t love him back.

Bull crap.

She never even told us why she disappeared, but we all still knew: she couldn’t watch Lincoln get married to Candie.

Lincoln was still oblivious to that fact, though.

Linc served all three of us up some pancakes and then got ready to go to the park to play the guitar. “Hey Apricot,” Candie started, adjusting her dress to show more of her chest.

Bitch.

I really hated that woman.

“Yeah?” I replied unenthusiastically, staring absently at the picture frame on the wall.

When she didn’t reply, I turned to look at her. She was staring at me intently, and when she noticed that I saw her, she shook her head, smiled, and said, “Oh, sorry. Erm… Do you wanna have a girl’s day with me? Today? We could go out and buy a new outfit and get your hair done and such.”

This offer took me aback. “U-um, what? That’s a nice offer.”

She flashed her pearly white teeth. “Yeah! I mean, we all know what’s going to happen tonight! Peri obviously loves you, and you two have been dating for like, more than a year now!”

I just gaped at her, nearly falling off of my stool. I tried to speak, but all that came out was a pathetic little squeak. What… was going on!? Everything I knew to be true about the world came crashing down in that moment.

Candie wasn’t supposed to be nice and offer to take me shopping! Her natural instinct was supposed to be to rip out your self-confidence and give you cash to throw yourself a pity party! This was not at all how this was supposed to go down.

Her kindness was extremely unsettling.

“Um… Okay?” I said hesitantly. She smiled broadly, hopped off of her stool and ran into the bathroom. But before closing the door, she said, “Okay! Lemme get ready really quick! You just go get on something really fast and then we can go!”

I stared after her for a minute before convincing myself to get up and get some clothes on. I walked to my bedroom, pulled on a wrinkled, orange t-shirt with a burger on it (courtesy of Dill’s Diner) and slipped on some blue jeans and orange converse. Pretty much something Adde would wear, but orange instead of green.

Approaching the mirror in the corner of the room, I grabbed a hair tie from my pocket and pulled my hair up into a long ponytail and quickly applied makeup.

When I walked out, Candie was sitting on the couch in the living room, eyeing me up. “Well then, hot stuff, let’s get you a makeover!”

I shrugged and followed her out the front door and into the elevator.

As the crappy music invaded my thoughts, I tried to distract myself from the fact that I was standing next to Candie Collins. In an enclosed space.

Oh my God, what if she murdered me right here and now? I mean, she was petite and all, but really… I think she could do some serious damage with those damn fake nails of her. She could probably claw my eyes out if she wished.

Oh dear God. My life.

It was over.

But, fortunately for me, the elevator arrived at the bottom floor and my eyes were still very much inside of my head. Which was good.

She called up a taxi and in just a few moments we were in that yellow car that smelled like beer and cigarettes. I seriously hoped that the people drinking it were the passengers, and not the driver. Because if that man was drunk and got me killed, I swore to myself I would come back and haunt his ass.

We arrived at the clothing store without any casualties, although the drive there was rather awkward. Candie just kind of kept… staring at me. Like… staring. As in a “take off your clothes,” kind of a stare.

It was extremely weird, to say the least.

I hopped out of the car and Candie slid out after me, following me into the store. “Hello, can I help you find anything today?” a small, blonde woman asked the moment we walked into the store. She was wearing strictly clothes from the shop, which wasn’t all that surprising, and her hair was shaved, except for the mohawk in the middle of her head.

Her tattoos went up and down her arms, making a sleeve look. She definitely didn’t fit into this place at all.

From one look at her name tag, I knew her name was Sherrie.

“Hi Sherrie,” Candie greeted, offering her a big smile. “We’re pretty sure that Apricot’s boyfriend is going to propose tonight–” She gestured to me, “–and he said to wear something nice. So you got anything that she could wear?”

Sherrie nodded enthusiastically and chirped, “Oh yeah! I have just the thing! Follow me!” Her personality was completely different from her look, I soon began to realize as she skipped around the entire shop, grabbing clothes off of the shelves and racks.

It took two hours before I finally had something that I approved of. When I looked in the mirror, I twisted around, trying to see myself from all angles. “Wow, thanks a lot, Sherrie! I look great!”

“Of course!” she replied. After we finished at the register, we headed to the salon as fast as we could, and by the time we were done there, it was 4:30.

“Okay, only a half hour left!” Candie exclaimed, clapping her hands together giddily. “Go get on your clothes and lemme look at ya!”

I nodded and ran into the bathroom, pulling on my new clothes. I walked out, approached the mirror and examined myself. Candie did a wolf whistle after getting a good look.

“Man girl, you’re smokin’!”

I laughed in reply, taking it in. Sadly, I had actually had a lot of fun with Candie that day.

Adelaide would be pissed if she knew that.

My hair had been straightened and cut to just below my chin. My bangs were swept to the side, and my dress looked like it was just a giant sweater with lacey tights underneath. And then the boots… I did like them, but they kind of reminded me of a hooker.

Hopefully that’s not what Candie was planning on making me do tonight.

Candie wished me luck and I headed to the park with butterflies in my stomach. I was so nervous, but excited at the same time. I was trembling from it all, and suddenly felt light headed, but continued on. If Peri was expecting me, I had to get there.

I arrived at the park within ten minutes on foot, and Peri was seated at a table in the center. In the middle of the little round table was a candle, and he was grinning broadly at me.

“Hiya!” he greeted when I sat down across from him. He got one good look at me and his smile reached from ear to ear. “Man, you look gorgeous.”

I smirked. “I think Candie’s a lesbian,” I blurted out before I could stop myself.

Peri’s smile faded and he looked at me seriously. “W-what?”

I nodded. “Yeah. I swear she was trying to seduce me.”

He suddenly burst out laughing, clutching onto his stomach as it became harder for him to breathe. Wiping a tear from his eye, he said, “Oh, that’s gold.”

I giggled at his reaction, then realized how ridiculous it was to think she liked women.

She was Candie. She definitely liked men. Maybe even a little too much.

“Anyway, I brought you here to ask you something. Come over here.” He stood up, walked over to me and pulled me with him. Kneeling down, he looked up at me and said, “Apricot?”

“Yeah?” Tears stung at my eyes as my heart began to race.

“Lemme tie my shoes, then we can eat.” He bent down and tied his shoes. I rolled my eyes and he began to laugh again. “No, seriously.”

He grinned up at me, and started again, “Okay, I’m going to skip the big, cheesy speech, but I just want you to know that I really do love you, and I really want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?”

My heart was pounding into my throat as I whispered, “Yes.”

***

*~Adelaide’s Point of View~*

The non-stop beeping of my alarm clock burst through my thoughts and startled me awake. Sitting up abruptly, I gasped, putting my hand up to my head and rubbing my throbbing temples.

Evan, my Border Collie puppy, barked his squeaky bark on the floor, clearly concerned about me. I crawled to the edge of my bed and peeked down, smiling slyly at him. “Hey pup,” I greeted tiredly.

His tail began to wag like crazy at the sight of me awake. I slid off the bed and to the bathroom to get ready for the day.

I had been living in my dad’s guest room for the past year, and got Evan, my matching green puppy about two months ago. Both Dad and I decided to name him Evan, after Evangeline, my mom.

I was happy here in Sunlit Tides with Dad, yet there was a side of me that just felt so… empty. Without Lincoln there with me, I felt almost numb. I wanted him here with me. I just missed my best friend so much.

I managed to get a job at another diner, and I loved almost everything about it, except for my boss, Mr. Farwell–he was a jackass.

So to sum up my time here, I was happy and sad. I just didn’t know what to do. There were some times that I would be super happy and confident, then other times I would be sobbing on the floor and hating myself, thinking I was a failure.

As I stood in the shower, running my fingers through my hair to speed up the rinsing out-the-shampoo process, I thought about my friends back home. A lot had been going on, that was for sure.

Apricot and Periwinkle got engaged the week before, Lincoln and Candie had set a date for their wedding, and Cherry came out of the closet.

Yes. He’s gay.

That was the most surprising event that took place. We all told him how we’re proud of him for not being afraid to tell us, and then Apricot proceeded over our conference call to make a list of “cute guys that he would definitely like.”

This made me chuckle before bidding them farewell and hanging up the phone and heading off to school.

And then there was Apricot getting engaged to Peri. I screamed when she told me, which made Dad burst into my room with his gun in his hands. He was sincerely pissed when he realized he got worked up over nothing.

My orange best friend and her blue beau decided to get married six months from then, and I was immediately chosen to be the maid of honor, which was flattering, while Lincoln was asked to be the best man.

Yeah, because that wasn’t going to be awkward.

As for Lincoln setting a date for his own wedding, that struck me the hardest, and I didn’t understand why. I guess after a year, I was kind of just expecting them to be engaged forever.

Candie didn’t deserve Lincoln, that much I knew, but I also knew that I wanted Lincoln to be happy, so I kept my trap shut for his sake.

I didn’t want him to hate me.

Linc and Pug-Face were getting married in two weeks. Since they had been planning their wedding for a year, they were nearly ready, they just needed to have bachelor and bachelorette parties, then they would be good.

And I guess they also left some extra time to mentally prepare for it, right? Lincoln needed to be ready to be a prisoner in his own home, so yeah, two weeks.

Stepping out of the shower, I wrapped my towel around me, exited to my bedroom and pulled on a green t-shirt, blue jeans and green converse, slipping my long hair back into a ponytail. There really wasn’t much need to get all dressed up to work at a greasy diner.

I kissed my dad on the cheek, patted Evan on the head, grabbed a muffin out of the basket and ran to my car, clutching a magazine above my head to shield myself from the rain. It had really been storming in Sunlit Tides recently, so I was prepared for the weather. Besides the fact that I didn’t have an umbrella. Sure, I could go out and buy one, but that would require work, and recently I was a lazy bum, so I resigned myself to the fact that a few sheets of paper would block me from being pelted by teeny rain drops.

When I opened the door and jumped onto the driver’s seat, the falling liquid made my side of the car fairly damp, causing me to scowl. Typical Sunlit Tides weather.

I sped down the street when I realized I was already ten minutes late to work, water splashing up from the street and onto the windows, making me laugh like a little kid. I knew I was twenty years old, but please, I was definitely still a child.

Pulling into the parking lot, I put the magazines above me once again, gearing up for the falling H2O. Unbuckling the seat-belt, I opened the door, slammed it shut once outside, and sprinted into the diner. I skipped to the kitchen to retrieve my apron and ran into another one of the waitresses, Millie. She was an islander, with dark skin and black hair, and we quickly became pretty good friends. Of course, she could never replace Apricot, but she was someone to talk to and keep my company. She also didn’t know my life story, but she knew quite a bit about me and still decided to stick around.

“Heya, Adde,” she said in her thick accent. Personality wise, she reminded me quite a bit of Apricot. Man, I missed that orange. Millie grinned broadly at me, flashing her perfectly straight, white teeth. “You’re late.”

I shrugged and rolled my eyes. “Yeah, I know. Sorry.”

“No need to apologize to me, but you know how the boss feels when you’re late.”

I nodded and didn’t say anything more to her. Maybe Mr. Farwell wouldn’t notice that I had been late–

“Adelaide!” Mr. Farwell screamed, stomping into the kitchen. I huffed, turning to face him. He was balding, pale, grey haired, and pot bellied. The only thing even remotely nice looking about him were his eyes, a piercing light blue.”You’re late!”

“I know, and I’m sorry–”

Sorry?” He laughed, causing the hair on the back of my neck to stand up. I really hated that man. “Sorry doesn’t cut it! I’d think after a year, you’d’ve realized that! Give me one good reason not to fire you right here and now!” His voice cracked from the strain of yelling so much.

“If you don’t pace yourself you’re going to have a stroke,” I stated simply, ignoring everything he had just said. “How old are you now, like fifty? I’d cut back on the sugar, too.”

A vein in his forehead started to bulge, and I knew I was in trouble. Sinking back, I muttered, “Sorry…”

Millie stood to the right, staring at me in awe, clearly trying her hardest not to laugh. When she couldn’t handle it anymore, she made a “pfft” sound with her lips and burst out laughing, falling to the floor. Mr. Farwell glared at her, then turned to me and slapped me.

Everything slowed down at that moment. Millie gasped, stood up and punched our boss. She had been fairly protective of me since I arrived in Sunlit Tides, but that was a new kind of protective. We were both so, so screwed.

Millie and I were both kicked out and banned from the diner, so we headed to my house, and when I told Dad what happened, he narrowed his eyes and screamed, “What!?” He sprinted out the door, and I didn’t see anything good happening.

“Think he’s going to beat the holy hell out of Farwell?” Millie inquired, wringing out her soaking hair.

I sighed and nodded, walking into the kitchen and opening the fridge. “Sorry I got you fired,” I apologized, snatching a pudding cup off of one of the shelves.

“Meh, it’s cool,” she assured me, sitting at the table behind me. “I hated working for that man.”

I grinned at her. Yep, maybe being fired would end up being a good thing. Except for the fact that there would no longer be money being added to my bank account.

***

Two weeks passed, and I was already broke. It became pretty clear how much money I actually spend once I ran out.

It was still raining non-stop, and Lincoln’s wedding was only a day away.

I felt like there was this hole inside of me the nearer it drew, and I had no idea why.

Even though I was still young, I felt destined to spend the rest of my life alone. I mean, who would ever fall in love with me? Me? I’m nothing special, and both of the relationships I’ve ever been in have ended pretty badly.

First there was Ash, whose heart I broke.

Then there was Sam, who cheated on me after only a couple months of dating.

Yep. Pretty much how my life goes, I guess.

The whole day before the wedding, I moped around the house, lazily throwing Evan’s toys around, trying to give him exercise without actually having to move myself.

I watched anime, Supernatural, and a ton of Marvel movies, starting with Iron Man and ending with the Avengers.

Then that day ended, and the wedding day started. I knew there was nothing I could do to stop Lincoln from marrying that woman, so I curled up in a ball on my bed, cuddled up close with the covers, and allowed the day to slip by without looking at the clock once.

I was also starving and had to pee really badly, and I was sure I was in desperate need of a shower, but I really didn’t care.

Life just sucked.

No job, no boyfriend, living with my dad at twenty, barely scraping by, and I had to ask my father to pay for my college again. And although he truly didn’t mind the last one, I did. I didn’t want him to have to be responsible for me.

As I readied myself to go downstairs to eat dinner later in the day after Dad called me down, there was a knock at the door. I slid down the banister so that he’d think I did something productive all day, and when I opened the door, my heart stopped and my stomach dropped.

Lincoln stood on my porch in his tux, soaking from head to toe, his sopping hair stuck to his face. His bowtie was undone and his collar was sticking up. His face was a deep crimson, allowing me to know he had run quite a distance, especially since he was breathing super fast and panting.

“Adelaide,” he breathed, leaning over to catch his breath. “I know this is so unexpected and out of the blue. I know you probably don’t feel the same way about me. I know you left to get away from me. I know I’ve barely talked to you at all in the past year, and I know I will probably never be able to make up for the crap I’ve put you through.

“I’m sorry for not understanding how I felt about you. I’m sorry that when I did realize my feelings, I didn’t do anything about it. I am so incredibly sorry for being such an idiot this whole time. And you have no idea how sorry I am that I chose to stay with Candie over you.”

When I opened my mouth to say something, he shook his head and continued to speak. “I want to be with you. I really, really do. I want to make you my wife and start a family with you, and I especially just want to end this speech and make you mine.”

I widened my eyes, taking a step back, completely and utterly in shock.

“I won’t expect you to just say yes, because let’s face it, this must seem completely random to you. I’ve been so miserable this past year without you. The only time I actually felt like myself was when I got to talk to you over the phone, even though it was only for a few moments.

“You have no idea how embarrassed I am, and how seriously worried that you’re going to tell me to turn around and go home. And you know what? I’m fine with that, because–”

I leaned in and planted my lips on his.

Gen. One: Chapter Six- Hey, Sam

The music blasted through my ears as I shoved my way through the annoyingly dense crowd of dancers. Mumbling to myself, I headed over to the long, white clothed table that held a variety of alcoholic beverages, and for the minors, punch. Shoving an orange cupcake into my mouth and washing it down with some beer–and yes, I do realize I’m a minor myself– I turned around and scanned my surroundings, trying to locate Lincoln.

Apricot had forced me to come to her friend’s Halloween party earlier that week after Sidney showed up. She thought it would be a good way to “get my mind off things.” I guess it worked, considering the only thing I could think about was getting out of there and back to the safety of my locked apartment. But to do that, I needed Lincoln–he was the designated driver. I wasn’t sure how sober he was actually going to be when I found him, but I couldn’t exactly leave him there.

Shouting would be useless–my eardrums were about to burst from the music, and the house was huge. He could’ve been anywhere. Suddenly, someone rammed into me, sending me flying across the floor, tripping multiple people as I went. When I finally stopped sliding, I sat up and rubbed my head with a groan. “What the–”

“Oh God, I’m so sorry,” came the soft voice of an unseen man. I looked around, but only got a blurry glance at a small group of people looking at me curiously before the pain in my head erupted and I fell to the floor, blacking out.

When I awoke, I was no longer on the hard tile floor, but on a soft, velvet colored bed. Sighing, I sat up, rubbed my tired eyes and looked around. In the corner in a matching chair, a light green man with much darker emerald hair sat, sleeping. He looked so peaceful, so I didn’t bother waking him up to ask him where I was. I was sure I would figure it out eventually.

Draped over him was the top part of my nurse’s costume. I narrowed my eyes and looked down–I was in a striped pajama dress. Raising my eyebrows, I slipped off of the mattress and tiptoed over to the man. Leaning over him, I reached for my shirt. About to clasp my fingers around the fabric, I yelped– he had woken up and grabbed onto my wrist.

He sat up with a start, causing me to fall back onto my butt. “What– Oh!” he exclaimed, seemingly realizing what was happening. He hopped up and extended his hand. “I’m sorry, lemme help you up.” I accepted his offer and was on my feet once more in one quick, fluid motion.

“I’m sorry, but… where am I?” I inquired, suddenly feeling dizzy.

“Oh, right,” he said, looking me up and down. I realized that this was the first time that he had seen me when I wasn’t unconscious. “I’m terribly sorry, you must be extremely confused.” His voice was laced with a very prominent British accent.

I nodded my confirmation, too nervous to speak. This man was gorgeous. There was something about him–maybe it was that he reminded me a lot of my mother, what with his green color scheme–that really drew me to him.

“Right, well, I’m Sam Chapel. I was pushed into you at the party, and you must’ve hit your head pretty hard because you passed out quickly afterwards. Speaking of which, are you feeling alright?”

I nodded vigorously, which caused a searing pain to shoot across my head.

He chuckled when I clutched the spot that hurt. “I think you’re lying… I looked at your license: Adelaide Arbury, correct?”

“Yeah.”

“Very pretty name, indeed. Anyhow, I brought you upstairs to my room and had my sister change you into some of her pajamas. I hope you don’t mind, but when I knocked you over your beer sloshed out all over your clothes, so I washed them for you.

“Beer, Adelaide, really? Nineteen years old, hm?” He laughed warmly as my cheeks burned. “It’s alright, I’ve been there.”

Ignoring his statement, I said, “So this is your house, huh?”

“Yes, it is. My little sister loves throwing these parties. You a friend of hers, or a plus one?”

“Nah, my friend Apricot dragged me here.”

“Ah yes! I know Apricot. She’s more of a family friend, I’d say, rather than belonging to Lillian.” When I gave him a questioning look, he said, “My sister.”

“Oh. What part of England are you from?” I wasn’t really the best at small talk, but I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to try.

“A short drive away from London. I moved here when I was fifteen.”

“And how old are you now?”

“Twenty one.”

I grinned at him. “Just barely of age, are you now?” I teased. He laughed again at me.

“I probably seem really creepy, taking you up here. I assure you that I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I just sat down for a moment to clear my head and get a better look at you–not in an Edward Cullen kind of way, just to see who I was dealing with–and when I didn’t recognize you, I drifted off before I could leave the room.”

“It’s alright, as long as you don’t get frisky. Thanks, anyway, for helping me out.”

“Oh yes, of course,” he said gently. “Listen, would you like to go out for drinks sometime?”

I sighed sadly. “I’m sorry Sam, but I just broke up with my boyfriend, and it didn’t end on very good terms. I guess I’d really just like a while to pass before I go out with anyone else.”

He nodded slowly, eyeing me up and down. “Okay then, how about we go out on a non-romantic outing sometime? As acquaintances? I swear I won’t lay a finger on you, if it makes it less lovey-dovey. What do you say?”

I studied him silently for a moment before saying, “Alright, why not? Gimme your number.” He walked over to his sister’s bedside table and pulled a piece of white paper and a pen from the drawer. Scribbling something on it, he handed it to me gracefully.

“Return the favor.” I nodded and wrote my ten digits onto a gum wrapper that was in my pocket, using the pen that Sam had.

“Well, thanks for everything, Sam. I need to change and then I should probably get going. I’m here with a few other people who will probably have heart attacks if I don’t get back soon.”

Sam scooped up my costume and handed it to me, pointing at a door to the left of us. “You can use that bathroom there. I’ll make sure that no one comes in.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled before running in, ripping off Lillian’s gown and pulling on my scrubs. When I opened the oak door once more, Sam was gone, so I folded up the dress and set it on the bed before walking out of the room and down the stairs where I was sure Lincoln was having a panic attack.

***

Pulling up outside of Dill’s Diner in the yellow taxi, I paid the driver and hopped out, shaking from an uncomfortable mix of anxiety and excitement. This was it. I was finally going to be able to talk to him, ask him all of my unanswered questions. While I was happy, I was also extremely nervous: what if he regretted his decision to ask me to lunch? What if he realized that I wasn’t at all what he expected, so he bailed?

I pushed open the door leading into the diner, causing a little bell to ring out, and my green eyes immediately landed on him: Sidney Rogers. My dad.

He was seated in a corner booth, his hands folded gently in front of him, staring absently at his thumbs. I walked over to him cautiously, and when I finally approached him, he looked up and smiled widely at me. He scooted over, allowing me to get in next to him. I slid in gently, still not saying anything.

“Hello,” I said quietly.

“Hello Adelaide!” he said enthusiastically. “Thank you so much for meeting me here. I understand you work here? As a waitress?”

I nodded my confirmation. Why was I so nervous? He seemed genuinely excited to see me, so there was no reason to assume he didn’t want me.

“You probably have a lot of questions, huh?” I nodded once more. “Hit me! I’ll answer anything!”

I pulled the letter from my mother out of my pocket and slid it across the table to him. He looked at it, confused, before opening it. “That’s a letter from my mother.” At these words he perked up instantly. “She wrote it for me, so I could understand a little bit better how I ended up where I did. I just wanted you to read it so you can know what has already been explained to me.”

His eyes that matched mine so perfectly wavered on me for a moment, before shooting down and zipping across the page that held words written from my mother’s hand. When he finished, he sighed and folded his hands the same way in front of him as when I came in. “Alright, shoot then.” The enthusiasm that was previously entwined in his tone had suddenly vanished.

“Okay, answer me this: why did you never come back? If you really loved my mother, loved me, why did you just leave? Not even try?”

“Believe me, I tried,” he said after thinking for a few seconds. “But I knew that if I came back to retrieve you and Evangeline, Peter would kill you both. He was unstable: I knew about how he was ‘normal’ at one point, and how he once loved her like I did. So I didn’t want to risk anything.”

“You were willing to let me grow up in that shitty situation?” I demanded, my voice automatically rising, following my sudden anger. “Death would’ve been preferred–and I’m not kidding–to what I went through. To what Mom went through. He beat her every day. Every. Single. Day. He ended up killing her. So I guess your attempt at letting us live failed in the end.”

He sighed and rubbed his temples. “Listen, I’m not expecting you to understand. You have every right to be angry with me. But believe me, if you had been in that situation, that is exactly what you would’ve done.”

“I never even got to know my real father. Did you ever even try to know what was happening in my life? To go to one of my plays? My graduation? Or did you just move on, leave us behind?” I asked, my voice cracking.

He raised his hands defensively. “I assure you, Adelaide, I never moved on. I obsessed over getting you two out of there. I called the police, but they never did anything. So I settled for option number two…”

“Which was?” I prodded.

“I gave Eva money once a month, enough to get you through the next four weeks, to at least keep you alive. When we’d meet, she’d bring pictures of you and tell me everything that happened, that you did, in the time since we last got together.

“She risked a letter to me whenever a big event would happen in your life, like plays or your graduation, for instance.”

“You– You were at my graduation?”

Sidney nodded. “Yes, and your sixth grade play. I believe you were the atom?” he chuckled. “I was in the shadows, but I still got to watch you grow up.”

“So what happened?” I asked, slightly less angry. “When Mom was killed, why didn’t you come for me? Peter was gone: there was nobody who could hurt me anymore.”

“I tried,” was his simple reply.

I rolled my eyes. “Care to elaborate?”

He rubbed his thumbs together, clearly lost in thought. “I tried,” he repeated. “But you moved quick. I came to your house, but you were already gone. I asked around, but nobody knew where you went. Believe me, I searched for you, I really did, but for almost a year I couldn’t find you. Anywhere. I looked in every city even remotely close to you, but nope, I found nada.”

While I was still slightly miffed at him for not rescuing me from Peter, I did understand a little better. There was really nothing he could’ve done that he didn’t try. “So how’d you find me?” I inquired, running a hand through my hair.

“I just ended up looking in the right place.”

“And that check–did you just expect me to know who you were?”

“No, honestly, I knew you didn’t know about me–or I thought you didn’t, anyway. I sent that check knowing that shortly after I’d arrive and be able to explain it all to you. But it appears you already knew who I was. I apologize–it seems I confused you.”

“Yeah, you did,” I agreed. “But it’s fine–I know now.”

“Did you cash the check? Are you going to college?”

“Oh yes!” I said, smacking my forehead, suddenly remembering. “I did! I start school next week. I’ve got all my books and things that I’ll be needing. Thanks a lot, by the way. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you afford to support Mom and I, and pay for my education? College isn’t cheap, I know that.”

Sidney smiled at me. “I don’t mean to brag, but I am a rather wealthy college professor in Sunlit Tides. I have been for a while, and I wanted to at least start making up for the time I didn’t get to spend with you.”

“Sidney, I’m not mad at you, I promise, but you can’t make up for that time.” He looked at me, clearly shocked at what he was hearing. “All you can do is stick around and get to know me a little better, and maybe someday the time you and I spent apart won’t matter.”

***

Pulling on my green Converse sneakers and slipping on some blue jeans and a matching green t-shirt, I walked out of my bedroom and into my kitchen where Lincoln stood, as always in the morning, making some pancakes. “‘Ello doll, don’t you look mighty fabulous today,” he snickered, mimicking a horrendous British accent, that, despite its false sound, reminded me of my new friend.

I playfully shoved him. “Shut up, Grape. Pancakes again? Aren’t you sick of those?”

“Please, as if I know how to cook anything else.”

I laughed. “It’s funny because it’s true,” I sputtered, sipping on his glass of water placed next to him.

He smirked at me and attempted to flip one of the cakes, but failed miserably: it went flying out of the pan and flopping onto the floor. He looked at it sadly. “He was a good man, and fought a great fight,” he said, exaggerating his words and then saluting the fallen pancake. “Your kitchen thanks you, young flap-jack.”

I giggled and sat down at the table while he transferred the still living pancakes onto a plate and set it in front of me. “Thank you, kind sir.” He grinned at me and went back into the kitchen to get his own breakfast.

Sitting down in the seat across from me, he said, “So, you ready for your first day of school, munchkin?”

I shrugged. “Not at all.”

He put his purple hand on top of mine and squeezed. “Hey, it’ll be alright. You’ll do great. I bet everyone there will love you! No reason to be nervous, and if you really can’t stand it, pull out your phone and call me. I’ll keep my cell on me all day, just in case.”

I chuckled. “Well then, thanks.”

After finishing up, I set my dishes into the sink, slung my–you guessed it, green–backpack over my shoulder and headed out. As I pulled up to the enormously monstrous university, my shaking got worse and worse. “Alright Mint, you can do this,” I mumbled to myself, using Lincoln’s nickname for me. I tried to steady my shaky breathing, got out of the car and headed into the huge building and to my first class: Dance.

Considering I wanted to be a dance teacher, I did need to take a dance class. To my surprise, when I walked in there, a familiar, muscular, dark green figure stood in the middle of the gym-like room. “Sam?” I exclaimed. He stopped talking to the woman he was speaking with, smiled at me and waved. He said a few more words to her and then walked over to me. “What’re you doing here?”

“What do you think?” he asked. “I take this class.”

I narrowed my eyes at him. “Really? You’re a dancer?”

He laughed. “No, I’m only joking. I convinced Apricot to give me your schedule so that I could see you. How do you feel?”

I huffed. “Not good. I’m so nervous.”

“Well, I promise that it gets so much easier. I only have one more year to go and then I can get out of here. I’m still alive, if that means anything. I have to go now, though, my first class is starting. I’ll see you later.” He patted my shoulder and ran out the door.

What an interesting encounter.

—-

Lincoln looked at his phone. Nothing. She still hadn’t called him. There was only an hour left until she was supposed to be home from school, and yet she still hadn’t picked up the phone to check in. Was she okay? Should he call her?

His thoughts were interrupted by the jiggling of the door handle. Lincoln hopped out of the chair he was seated in and ran over to see who it was. Not many people had a key, so it could only be a select few: Adelaide, which was doubtful, Cherry, Periwinkle, Apricot, or Candie.

It was Candie. She bounced in and leapt into his arms, nuzzling his neck. “Hello Lincoln!” she exclaimed, kissing him on the lips. He smiled widely as he set her gently onto the floor. “You said you wanted to talk to me?”

Lincoln nodded. There was something he had been wanting to ask Candie for a long time. Something life changing. For some reason, recently, he hadn’t been able to open his mouth and just ask. He knew there was a reason, he just wasn’t sure what it was. He also hadn’t been able to tell Adelaide what he was about to do: every time he tried, he stopped short and talked about anything else.

Oh well. Now or never.

Lincoln got down onto one knee and took hold of Candie’s banana colored hand. For a split second, she looked smug as she ran her hand through her bright yellow hair, but quickly looked shocked, but pleased. He brushed that aside, took out the small diamond ring from his pocket, and said, “Candie, will you marry me?”

—-

The moment my last class of the day got out, I sprinted to my car and sped home, eager to tell Lincoln all about my day at school.

I hadn’t called him at all yet because Sam was just around every corner. Why bother Lincoln when someone just as amazing was there to help me through my problems?

When I made it to my apartment, I barged through the door and took a whiff of the air: it smelled like mashed potatoes and steak. I scanned the apartment to see Lincoln, Candie, Peri, Apricot and Cherry all seated in a circle in the living room, chattering happily. Candie had a diamond on her ring finger.

My stomach dropped at the sight.

“Adelaide!” she exclaimed, jumping up from her seat on the carpet and running over to me. “I’m so glad you could make it! I’ve been so excited to tell you the big news!”

I took a deep breath and strained, “Oh? And what would that be?”

“Lincoln proposed today!” She jumped up and down excitedly. It took all I had not to roll my eyes at her.

I looked over at Grape and glared. I was no longer in the mood to speak with him, and I had no idea why. “Congratulations, guys! That’s amazing!” I lied. “I’m sorry, but school really wore me out, so I’m gonna go to bed now.” As tears brimmed my eyes, I jogged to my room, threw my backpack onto the floor and dropped onto my bed, silently crying into my pillow.

What was eating at me like this? I didn’t understand. Shouldn’t I have been out there right then, hugging Lincoln and telling him how happy I was for him? Instead, I was locked in my room, feeling sorry for myself, and I didn’t even know why.

I really needed to get to the bottom of that before it ate me away.

***

During the rest of the night, most everyone attempted to get me out of my room, Apricot being the most determined, saying that if it would make me emerge, she would shoot Candie in the face. I couldn’t resist chuckling at that one, but I stayed where I was.

Finally, when I had heard everyone go home, there was a quiet, hesitant knock at my door. “How many times do I have to tell you to go away, whoever you are?” I croaked through my pillow.

“It’s Lincoln,” the voice replied.

“Then you definitely need to go away.”

“I’m coming in,” he said, completely ignoring my previous statement. Seconds later, the door burst open and Lincoln trudged in, sitting at the end of my mattress. “What’s wrong with you? Why was Apricot offering to shoot my fiancé?” he demanded, folding his hands in his lap.

“Doesn’t matter,” I mumbled. “Just my own stupid problems.”

“What happened to being able to tell me about all your issues? Aren’t we best friends?” The sadness in his voice was heart breaking, but for some reason, I just didn’t care.

I knew it was ridiculous to be mad at him. As long as he was happy, then I couldn’t really complain. If he really loved Candie, I needed to shut my mouth and let him carry on.

But that was such a hard thing to do.

I sat up, sniffled, and wiped the tears off my wet cheeks. “You know what? I’m fine now. I just had a lot to cry about, but it’s okay.”

“You’ve been having a lot of those days recently,” he replied. “But as long as you’re okay, I guess I’ll just leave you to it.”

I nodded my appreciation as he left my bedroom. Looking at my cell phone, I knew exactly what I had to do. Even though I had just broken up with Ash, it seemed like the best option. He was such an awesome person, so going on one little outing with him couldn’t hurt. Could it?

It was settled. I picked up my phone, dialed the number and when he picked up, I said, “Hey, Sam.”

Gen. One: Chapter Five- I’m Sidney Rogers

Pushing the green pillow against my head as hard as I could,–making it feel as if I were going to be walking around with my fluffy pillow sticking out of my ears for the rest of my life–I rolled over on my bed, groaning. Not sure how loud I was, considering I couldn’t hear anything but muffled, delighted laughs, I removed the pillow, listening hard.

I could no longer hear Lincoln and his most serious girlfriend yet, Candie, in the bedroom down the hall from mine, so I set the plush square back onto the bed and laid my head down, attempting to fall asleep.

Lincoln and Candie had spent every night for the past month “together,” not for lack of a better word, but to spare me from disturbing thoughts. It was easy to accept the fact that my best friend was off gallivanting with strange women who I never saw again, but to know that he spent all his time with one, nice woman who he wanted to someday marry was absolutely awful, and I had no idea why.

It’s not like she wasn’t a kind person. In fact, I liked her the most out of all the girls that traipsed through our apartment, but for some reason I couldn’t look at her without getting the sudden urge to vomit. “You’re in love with him, obviously,” said Apricot casually when I recited this exact thought to her while working at the diner.

I scoffed and brushed this thought aside. Yeah, I was in love with Lincoln Lavender. Never in a million years would I feel anything even remotely similar to love towards that grape.

“Now, I need help wooing Periwinkle,” Apricot said, just as nonchalantly as when she told me I was in love with Lincoln.

I looked up at her, cocking one eyebrow. “What?” I asked, completely confused as I turned back to resume wiping the already pristine counters. My orange friend had never brought up anything related to Periwinkle before, not even as a passing comment. “What happened to liking Cherry?”

She shrugged. “Please, that was before, when I was young and childish–”

“–that was less than a year ago–”

“–and had absolutely no clue what kind of man I was looking for–”

“–again, I say, that was maybe ten months ago.”

She slapped me as hard as she could across the face. Yelping, more from surprise than pain,–considering she hit like an old woman– I glared up at her.

“Stop interrupting me,” she seethed. “I was speaking, if you didn’t notice.”

“Oh, I noticed,” I said coolly. “I just wanted to make sure you knew that you were ‘young and childish’ only a few months ago. I’d like to know what you even see in Periwinkle. You’ve never mentioned him before now.”

She sighed. “Oh Adelaide, poor, deprived, Adelaide. My sweet,” she said, cupping my chin in her small hands. “How I wish I could bestow upon you the knowledge I have collected over my many advanced years in this life.” She drew out her words, making everything she said seem rather dramatic. “If I don’t do something about this treachery, you may die before ever having the chance to truly live.”

I pulled out of her surprisingly firm grip and swatted her hands away. “Shut up,” I snapped, trying to keep myself from laughing. She really was amusing when she tried. “Now speak to me as a twenty-first century human being, and tell me what is going on.”

She giggled, clearly proud of herself and shrugged again. “I dunno,” she stated simply, sitting on the stool placed behind the counter for the employees. “He’s cute and we’ve been spending most of our time talking to each other. We really get along and understand each other.”

“Wow, a big shot doctor like him can spare time for a lowly waitress like you?” I teased.

She hit me playfully again, suppressing a smile.

“It sounds like you’re getting along just fine, why do you need my help?”

“We’re friends, yes, but I want to ask him on a date and don’t know how. I’m really nervous. What if he says no?”

“Then he says no and you move on with your life.”

She gaped at me. “I wish I had your attitude about things like this. It would make going through life much easier.”

I grinned at her. “I know how to pretend like I don’t care.”

***

“Hey Adde, mail’s here,” Lincoln informed me, slapping some envelopes onto the kitchen counter.

“Okay, thanks,” I stated absently, turning the page of my book.

“There’s something for you here,” he urged.

“I’ll get it later.”

“I think you might want to open it.”

Slamming the book down onto the couch impatiently, I pushed myself up from where I sat and walked over to where Lincoln stood, eyeing me excitedly. “Why are you so eager for me to open my mail–” My mouth dropped at the sight of the return address:

Sidney Rogers, Sunlit Tides

There was more, but I didn’t get a chance to read it before lunging towards the gorgeous little piece of paper containing something from my real father. Ripping it open like an eager carnivore around meat, I sent the little shreds of white flying everywhere, causing Lincoln to groan as he leaned down and scooped them up into his purple hands.

Nothing. It had nothing but a check. I pulled it out and stuffed it into my pockets, hoping that maybe he had attached a letter as well.

Nothing but a piece of paper with “For Your College Education” on it. I looked at the check and my eyes widened. “What the fu–” I started, but was interrupted by Lincoln snatching the note and check out of my hands.

“Son of a mother,” Lincoln breathed. I almost laughed at his lack of swearing,–which only happened when he was genuinely shocked–but I was too surprised myself to let out more than a “Yeah, I know.”

“Why would he send you a check for your college education after nineteen years of being away?” Lincoln asked dumbly. As if I knew. “And not even a damn letter. How courteous of the man!”

I laughed hoarsely. “Lincoln, you know this is a good thing, right?”

He nodded quickly. “Clearly, but the lack of wording is a little disappointing.”

I sighed. “I know, but this shows that he wants to be there for me. Should I take the money?”

“Should you take–” he started, but stopped, rubbing his temples. “Uh no der!” he exclaimed. “Free money, baby! Take it! Take the money.” His last sentence made him sound rabid.

“Calm down there, Mr. Grape Pants, I can’t take green from a man I’ve never even met before, regardless of our relation.” Lincoln looked at me as if I were going insane. He opened his mouth to retort, but before he could say anything, I said, “I’m sorry, Lincoln, lemme think about this.”

I ran into my room, holding firmly onto the check and little piece of paper and sunk onto my bed. Tears formed in my eyes and I blinked them away. It wasn’t like me to get emotional. I hadn’t cried since the night my mother was murdered.

Hearing from my biological father, no matter how letter-less it was, was amazing. It confirmed that he was real, that he was a living, breathing person that actually cared about me. Hell, he gave me more money than I had ever seen in my life for my education!

And yet, something didn’t seem right. Why would he not explain anything? Why would he not tell me who he was? Did he just expect Mom to tell me who my real dad was? If he didn’t, did he honestly think that I’d be stupid enough to take cash from a mysterious source?

Whatever his thoughts were before sending this, it felt good as I laid back on my bed, putting my hands behind my head, still holding onto the first thing that my father had ever sent me. I quickly fell asleep with the thought of someday possibly meeting him.

What would it be like? Would he be happy to see me? And how quickly would we adapt? I knew it would be nicer than having Peter as a father, but I was still concerned that we would never warm up to each other and nothing would change, and there was one thing I knew for sure:

I needed a change.

Maybe taking the money and going off to college would be a good thing. I had already wasted nearly a year doing virtually nothing with my time that I could’ve spent at college, getting an education. I did need a good job that could help support Lincoln and I. And then a thought occurred to me: if Lincoln and Candie got any more serious than they already were, I’d be working for only one: me.

Regardless, I planned to head to the bank and deposit the money sent from Sidney Rogers. Maybe everything would just get better from here.

***

The next day, after relaying this news to Apricot, Cherry and Periwinkle, I headed to the bank, thoughts of Ash clouding my mind, making the drive to Twinbrook Bank a total haze.

We needed to break up, and I knew it. We weren’t working, and the worst part of all of that was, was I had missed my period, and that was what triggered this need to end it between us.

I knew that if I were pregnant, I needed to go to college especially bad, but it would also make things harder.

The only person who knew of my possible pregnancy was Lincoln, and he convinced me to go to the doctor to check. I was too afraid to use a home pregnancy test, terrified of what it would tell me. With other things on my mind, I hadn’t been able to get around to it yet. Before I could address that problem, I had to deal with Ash and this college situation. But what first?

Ash. It would be the easiest and would take the least amount of time. I know that probably sounds really insensitive, but the less sentiment I put towards it, the better. If I thought about what it would probably do to him and how it would seriously change the way I lived, it would only make it more difficult.

After handing my cash over to the bank, I headed to Dill’s Diner, where I had scheduled to meet up with Ash. When I walked into the building, my gaze landed on him in the corner booth, waving his yellow hand in an attempt to get my attention. I smiled as genuine as I could and headed over to him, sliding in beside him.

“‘Allo,” he said, his cheeks puffy from the bits of hamburger he had in his mouth.

“Charming,” I said, preparing myself for the words that would come out of my mouth in only moments. “Ash, we need to talk.”

He looked at me more seriously now, all humor that was previously there vanishing. He quickly swallowed his food and wiped his mouth. “You’re breaking up with me, aren’t you?” he whispered, nearly inaudible.

I sighed and nodded. “I’m really sorry, Ash, but there’s just… things, going on in my life right now.”

“I know, and you won’t tell me about any of them. Have you ever thought that maybe I could help you with your problems if you just told me what was going on?”

I shook my head. “These aren’t things you should deal with.”

He snorted. “But I love you, I’m willing to deal with anything.”

I shook my head again, only more vigorously. “No, Ash, I assure you that my problems are too big for you to handle. I’m a complicated person, and it’s only going to get worse from here. Whether you like it or not, I need this to end. If you really love me, you won’t argue like I know you’re preparing to do.”

He nodded, looking defeated as he shut his previously opened mouth. “Okay, I guess I can’t really argue with you, can I?”

I smiled wearily and risked touching his exposed hand that was resting on the table. He pulled away, which wasn’t all that shocking. “I better go,” he whispered, hastily got up from his seat and speed-walked away. I watched him get into his car through the window and drive off, knowing that there was a good chance that I would never see Ash Crow again.

With less to do that day,–regardless of how weighted down I felt after that confrontation with Ash–I headed home and registered for classes online. I had it planned to hopefully teach dance at a high school or middle school someday, so I based my classes on that wish.

With a new sense of satisfaction I was worried my breakup with Ash would overpower, I headed to Lincoln’s bedroom and knocked on the door. A few moments later he opened it and admitted me. I could feel his lavender eyes staring at me intently as I sat down at his desk and fiddled with the pencil sitting there pointlessly.

“So, how’d it go with Ash?” he asked, sitting down on his bed, not taking his gaze away from me.

I shrugged. “As well as it could’ve.”

He grinned. “I’m glad you’re done with that guy. He really didn’t feel right to me. I’m sure you’ll meet someone better.” He turned away, and I could’ve sworn that I heard him say “and someone more purple,” but it was probably just my imagination.

I slapped my hands on my knees, earning his attention once more. “I was tested a few weeks ago for my pregnancy, and he called yesterday so I scheduled a doctor appointment for later today.”

“Oh, great! Can I come with?” he inquired hopefully.

I shook my head. “I think this is something I should do alone.”

He nodded, allowing me to exit his room. I left the apartment and I swear that no elevator ride has ever taken that long before. I took a deep breath as I stepped off onto the bottom floor and trudged to my car, trying to prepare myself for what could possibly be life-changing news.

I knew that I was still young,–only nineteen–and that I wasn’t yet ready to be a mother, but I also knew that the few nights I spent with Ash would have their consequences and I needed to face what would be dealt out to me.

I drove for about fifteen minutes, not really paying attention to what was going on around me, completely oblivious.

When I arrived at the doctor’s building, I pulled into the parking lot, stepped out of the car and headed into the office. “Hello,” said the nurse behind the counter politely. “Please sign in and fill this out.” She pointed at a clipboard with “Sign In” typed at the top and handed me another clipboard with a sheet filled with questions on it.

“Thanks,” I said quietly and took a seat next to a girl who couldn’t have been more than sixteen.

I absently checked my symptoms and answered the questions that it asked until another nurse popped through the door and called, “Adelaide Arbury?”

I hopped out of my chair and handed her the information. “Do I give this to you?”

She nodded and smiled at me. “Alright Miss Arbury, come with me,” she said after glancing at my ring finger, clearly to check that I was still “Miss.” She led me to a small area with a scale and a green, fading seat and indicated the scale. “Please take off your shoes and step up here for me.” I obeyed as she scratched down the numbers onto her board.

She pointed at the emerald chair and I sat down, focusing intently on the floor.

“I’m just going to take your blood pressure now.” She wrapped the black what’s-it’s-bucket around my arm and squeezed the pump on the end. It got tighter and tighter until it felt like my entire limb was going to fall off.

When she had finished with the small tests she took me to a room and sat down at the counter, writing some more things down on a sheet that I couldn’t see from where I was sitting.

“Okay, well, the doctor should be here in a few minutes,” she informed me and left the room, leaving me to myself.

I scanned my surroundings: There was nothing significant, only a few magazines on a little shelf and a couple of posters showing what the baby looked like when it was in the womb. I sighed. Did I have a little peanut in me right then?

I was snapped out of my trance by the door opening: In walked a man in a white coat, smiling broadly at me. His hay colored hair was balding and his skin was a pasty white color. He was slightly pudgy, but it appeared that at one time or another he had been adorable.

“Hello Adelaide,” he greeted. “I apologize for all those tests. We failed to get them the last time you were here for one reason or another.” He eyed me up and down and said faintly, “The test came back, and you aren’t pregnant.”

I heaved a sigh of relief and smiled. “Great, I’m not ready to be a mom just yet.”

He nodded his understanding. “I do, however, have some bad news to go with the good news.” My eyes widened involuntarily at his statement. He folded his hands on the white counter and looked at me sadly. “Adelaide, chances of ever conceiving a child are very slim.”

He allowed me a moment to let his words sink in. When they did I covered my mouth, suddenly frustrated. “What’s wrong with me, then?” I muttered, my voice muffled by my fingers.

He shook his head. “Nothing, your body’s just simply not made for baby carrying,” he replied.

“So it’s not possible to ever have a kid?”

“No, no, it is, but you honestly have a better chance of winning the lottery. I really do regret to inform you of this, Adelaide, but you have to realize that this isn’t uncommon. It happens to a lot of women everywhere.”

“But this doesn’t explain why I was late. My period, I mean.”

“It’s also rather common to be a little late. It isn’t always going to come on the exact same day each month. There’ll be some times where it’s a little imperfect, but such is life. I expect it’ll be arriving any day now.” There was genuine sadness entwined in his tone.

“Thank you,” I mumbled, standing up abruptly, giving myself momentary whiplash.

“So you have no questions, then?” he confirmed, standing up as well and opening the door to allow me to exit.

I shook my head and gave him a weak smile, leaving the building in a haze. I don’t remember how I got into my car and drove home, but the next thing I knew I was lying in my bed, sobbing into my pillow. Tears streamed down my face as I sniffled, wiping my nose on the fabric, not really caring about how I was soiling the cotton.

Lincoln barged in, concern on his face. “Adde, what is going on?” he demanded, sitting on the foot of my bed, staring at me fiercely. “I heard you crying and have been trying to get you to come to the door for the past five minutes.”

I ignored him and continued to weep, shielding my face from his view. “Please go away,” I whispered, just loud enough for him to hear.

“No.” He crawled up the bed and wrapped his arms around me, cradling me where we lay. “I’m here now, if it makes any difference.”

I grabbed his hand that was laying limping over my waist and squeezed. “What would Candie say if she knew this was happening?”

“It doesn’t matter. Candie isn’t here.”

I closed my eyes, savoring this moment. I had never felt so sad, but I didn’t want that moment in time to end. Lincoln made me feel warm.

I fell asleep in his arms a few minutes later and when I awoke again, the sun had set and rose again. I slumped through the doorway and into the kitchen, where Lincoln stood by the stove, cooking his trademarked (although not really) banana pancakes. “Hey sleepy,” he said as I sat at the counter, resting my head on my hand. “Care to explain why you were crying your pretty little eyes out yesterday?”

“I’m not pregnant.” There was no need to tell him or anyone else the whole of what the doctor had said to me. There was nothing that anybody could do for me and I knew that their attempts to make me feel better would be in vain: The only thing that could make me feel happier was a little bit of time between the moment the doctor walked in and the moment where I accepted it.

He half smiled, clearly not sure whether this was good news or not. “And clearly it’s not a good thing, huh?” he asked as he flipped his fluffy goodness.

“No, it is. I’m too young.”

He nodded. “Then why were you crying?”

“There are just some days that you gotta let it all out, ya know?”

Lincoln turned around and grinned at me. “Yeah, I definitely know. You have a good lot of things to let out, too, don’t you?” I smiled weakly at him. He fixed his attention back on the pancakes until they were finished and served them up on a plate for me.

“Oh, no,” I said, holding up my hands. “No thanks.”

He cocked his head to one side and looked at me blankly. “But why?”

I shrugged. “I’m just not in the mood is all. Not hungry. I’ll just fix myself something later.”

“Well… Alright.” With that he plopped down on the stool next to me and dug in, little, smashed bananas flying out of his mouth with each bite.

***

“I asked him out on a date and he said yes, Adelaide, yes!” Apricot screamed into my ear as I filled up a cup of root beer. “I may someday be Mrs. Periwinkle Blueberry!”

I laughed at her. A little bit of my usual self had come back over the week since my doctor’s appointment. “Then it’s definitely a good thing that Peri moved to Twinbrook then, huh?”

She nodded violently, causing me to giggle.

“I’m glad you’re happy, Apricot, I really am.” I was honestly excited to see how those two worked out. I was sure that they would be an adorable couple, if not a little bit crazy.

“So how’s the search for your dad coming? I haven’t really heard anything From Officer Cherry lately, or Doctor Periwinkle. Or… Musician Lincoln?”

I chuckled. “No, they won’t know anything. I told them to feel free to take a break. I want to find him, but I’m just… scared.”

“Why are you scared?” She sounded genuinely concerned as she put her hand on mine.

I shrugged. “What if he doesn’t want me? What if he has another family and doesn’t need me?”

She began to laugh hysterically. I raised my eyebrows at her in response. “He sent you a lot of money so you could go to college! If that is a man saying he doesn’t want you and doesn’t care about you, then I want my dad not to care about me!”

I smiled weakly. I guess she had a point.

When I got home later that day after my shift ended, I plopped down on the couch and turned on the T.V., prepared for another evening of boring laziness. I turned on Supernatural, so as to freak myself out. I didn’t know what it was with me, but I liked to scare myself before going to bed.

As the episode came to an end, the doorbell rang. Assuming it was either Apricot, Cherry or Peri, I hopped up from my seat and skipped to the door. “Uno momento, porfavor!” I called as I unlocked it and flung it open.

I stood behind the door, expecting one of my friends to come dancing in like they usually did, but whoever it was remained in the hallway.

“Get your berry butt in here,” I commanded, still assuming  it was one of my friends, since we never got any visitors. The only friends Lincoln and I had were the pink, blue and orange ones.

“Um, hello, is Adelaide Arbury home?” The voice that echoed out through my living room was most definitely not one I recognized. It was a deep man’s voice. I peered around the door to get a look at my guest.

He was the same color as me, eyes, hair, skin and all. I instantly knew who it was. “Yes, I’m her,” I confirmed, walking around to face him straight on.

He smiled broadly, flashing pearly white teeth that literally sparkled in the light. “Hello Adelaide,” he said warmly. “I’m Sidney Rogers, and I’m your father.”