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Makin' It As Best We Can [A Story About Family]- Updated: 6/18/17

itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
This is a main thread I'm starting to collect the stories that I've posted the last couple days in another thread or two. The narrative ball gets really gets rolling around the third post, had to figure out a style.

A couple caveats:
1. This story does not start from the beginning. I'll post a little background but not everything. I'm considering doing a "Brewster Beginnings" series, Brewster being the founding name, but only time will tell if I feel up to it. :s And on that note,
2. I'm on summer break which means I have extra time to do these posts, but I'm starting a summer course soon and can't promise daily or weekly updates or anything, but I'll do my best not to leave you hanging too long if you like the story. :)

First an introduction:

Over the last year, I created my favorite lineage ever, The Brewster's; now six generations long, from Brewster, to Steel, to Flex. I didn't catch a lot of photos of the first two generations but, here's a couple of the 3rd on:

This is Olivia Brewster, the 3rd gen heir and her brothers, Nate (formerly Natalie) and Devon:
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After finishing her training at the Space Ranger academy, she moved back home, where she met and married Jesse Steel:
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They had three kids, Andromeda (drk blue), Callisto, and Leo Steel (named by their astronaut mom):
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Andromeda fell in love with Dewayne Flex in high school, and they had little Stelio together. But, Dewayne turned out to be a heartbreaker (I mean, he flirted with her mom on a camping trip right in front of her, what a plum-hole!), and cheated on her with a neighbor while she was pregnant with their second child, leaving her to bring up their children, essentially, alone. Thankfully, her family was very supportive:
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(Callisto had a surprise baby, Ada. Thanks MCCC lol)
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But, Andromeda found love again with Akshara Acharya who has raised the boys as her own. And, Dewayne recently reestablished contact with the family:
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Now, Stelio Flex has grown up and married his own HS sweetheart, but he made a promise to himself, and his wife Gia, not to hurt her the way his father hurt his mom:
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Stelio and Gia just had twins and are stating their own family adventure!
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Come along for the ride....
Post edited by itsmegamo on

Comments

  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    The first story backtracks a little to Stelio and Gia's weeding day.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    After Stelio and Gia eloped, they decided to move into Stelio's childhood home with his moms, Andromeda (bio) and Akshara (adopted), and his sibling, DeAndre. Announcing their union was only a little as awkward as they thought it'd be, everyone already loved Gia and were happy to welcome her into their home:

    Stelio%20and%20Gia%20Elope%205_zpsiqm5m39o.png
    Stelio%20and%20Gia%20Elope%206_zpsz3piz9t8.png


    The two wasted no time starting their new family:

    Stelio%20and%20Gia%20Elope%2010_zps1d7nyhf7.png
    A%20Morning%20Suprise%203_zpsqtfn9co2.png
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    A%20Morning%20Surprise%2011_zpswas5zv2x.png


    Gia had relentless morning sickness in her second trimester thanks to an unexpected little surprise, TWINS! Dr. Huff placed Gia on bedrest:

    Complications%20Arise%20for%20Gia%203_zpsidhqmwjb.png
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    One night after dinner a few weeks later, Gia felt the unmistakeable, kick-to-the-plum pain of labor. Stelio quickly escorted Gia to the hospital:

    Gia%20In%20Labor%204_zps1f5wc9we.png
    Gia%20In%20Labor%205_zpshiuoe6qn.png


    The twins were born a little early at 37 weeks, but healthy and happy:

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    Welcome%20Home%204_zpscyj6eqa4.png
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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Unfortunately, joy shortly turned to sorrow as Akshara fell ill. Andromeda found her unconscious in the living room, and took her to Emergency where she was diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer. After a few rounds of treatment, Akshara was able to return home for Andromeda's Elder-birthday celebration:

    Aksharas%20Sick%204_zps72hiy4gj.png
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  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Akshara came home three days before her partner Andromeda’s Elder birthday. She’d responded as expected to initial treatments considering the advanced stage of her cancer, and Dr. Huff thought it just as well that Akshara spend a few days at home celebrating with her family.
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%201_zpsil7oim8k.png

    Andi wanted to have a small dinner, just them and the kids, but Akshara had additional plans. She enlisted Stelio as an accomplice, and sent him for a ring; a ring, she thought, she should have bought a long time ago. She’ll pop the question at dinner,…
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%203_zps2ghawblx.png

    if she can keep Andi from seeing the ring first.Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%204_zpsy1o8zb4c.png

    On Andi’s birthday, Gia and Stelio put the twins to bed early in order to help DeAndre and Akshara in the kitchen setting final touches for dinner. They made Andi’s favorite of Veggie Stir-fry, neatly placed several gifts on the table including the "Indigenous Plant Life of Widenburg" book she’d been hinting at recently, and Akshara carefully placed the ring near Andi’s seat.
    “Happy Birthday!”, they cheered as Andromeda entered, and moved toward her chair.
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%205_zpskqontax4.png

    “Thank you, family! Is that the ChunkoChocoCake from the little vegan bakery in Newcrest? You really do love me! Oh, the food smells wonderful, let’s—,” Andromeda stopped short as she spotted the ring. Smiling and tears-welling, she looked at Akshara.Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%206_zpsksdz2yqj.png

    Akshara began, “I know when we committed to each other that you didn’t see yourself getting married again anytime soon. But, we’ve been together for a long time now; we’ve raised two amazing kids."
    “Aw!,” pipped DeAndre.
    “I’m so proud of them, and so happy we got to do it together. You all have been and will always be my family, but how about we make it official? Andi, Andromeda, the Huckleberry to my Muckleberry, love of my life, will you marry me?”
    Gia snorffled, something between a sniff at the sentiment and a snort at the delivery. These two really were adorable together, how weren’t they married already? [Editor's Note: BECAUSE THE WATCHER FORGOT TO MARRY THEM!]
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%207_zpsmm3vpzif.png

    Andromeda obviously agreed. “Yes! Of course, I’ll marry you!”, she squealed as she dashed to Akshara and kissed her passionately.Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%208_zpsduf7gfue.png

    The family sat down to a lovely dinner, Andromeda blew out her candles and opened her gifts.
    _ _ _

    After dinner, everyone retired for the evening. Akshara shuffled awkwardly as Andromeda escorted her back to their room; for several days, it had been difficult for her to stay upright for extended periods of time.
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    Andi put her fiancée down to rest before hopping in the shower. When she finished, she checked all of the sleeping Akshara’s vitals, kissed her forehead, and said goodnight.
    Akshara replied with a soft, “I love you, babe.”
    “I love you, too,” said Andromeda before laying down to sleep.Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%2013_zpsaz65vvhr.png
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%2014_zpsqkt7xafk.png

    Early the next morning, Andromeda awoke to the harsh, sustained pitch of the blood pressure monitor flat-lining.
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    She immediately jumped to action; she yelled for Stelio to call the ambulance, pushed the medicines Dr. Huff had prescribed for a crash situation, and began giving chest compressions. After the fifth cycle of CPR, the siren wail still distant, Stelio checked Akshara’s pulse once more. He looked to Andi, and to DeAndre who had come to aid anyway they could; he didn’t know what else to do.
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%2019_zpsbifqhrp5.png

    A chill fell over the room, and they knew it was too late. The Grimm Reaper arrived, and Akshara was gone.
    Andromedas%20Elder%20BdayAksharas%20Goodbye%2021_zpspurognte.png

    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    edited June 2017
    A few weeks later...
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    As Gia finished cooking the veggie casserole, she called the twins from the living room to the kitchen for dinner. Glc2brx.png

    Santi, ever hungry tyke, wobbled through the doorway as quickly as his little legs could carry him. But, Malaika didn’t follow. Gia called out for her again. No response.
    “What is your sister up to,” Gia queried aloud as she walked past Santi to the door.
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    Gia found Malaika in the living room, playing with dolls and completely oblivious to her brother’s leaving or her mother’s arrival.
    “Malaika, sweetheart,” Gia called, in a moderate tone. The tot continued to play.
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    Gia bent down and gently touched Malaika’s shoulder. The babe startled, but smiled and reached out to be held when she saw her mother’s face. Gia picked her daughter up and sighed, “I think it’s getting worse, kiddo. Good thing we’re seeing that specialist tomorrow, huh?”
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    ~~~~

    At the clinic, Dr. Huff cheerfully greeted Gia and Malaika before taking the usual stats; weight, height, BP, etc; and noting them in the charting system. She clicked through a few pages, familiarizing herself with the little patient’s history, then, once again, addressed the patiently waiting Gia. “Alright, what brings you and the little one in today?”
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    Gia explained, “Her father and I have been concerned about Malaika’s hearing for while now. The twins both got Llama Flu when they were 8 months old, but her fever was much worse than Santi’s. Later, around 12 months, he started babbling then talking, y’know? Saying, ‘Mama’, ‘Daddy’, ‘juice’, ‘car’. Malaika didn’t. She continues to cry for us and what she needs instead of using any words. She, also, doesn’t respond when we call out for her, and the range she can hear us is getting shorter.”

    Dr. Huff nodded, taking in the information. “Ok, Mom. Based on her chart and the test given before your referral, I’m going to recommend another hearing test. That’s going to give us an audiogram so we can figure out the type, range, and extent of Malaika’s hearing loss. So, little one, shall we?” Dr. Huff reached to take Malaika to the testing room. Malaika recoiled.
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    Doubting her daughter could hear or understand her, Gia still tried her best to sooth Malaika, turning her head to look her in the eyes and gently rubbing her back, she said, “You won’t be gone long. It’s gonna be ok. Momma will be right here.” Malaika stared at Gia and, surprisingly, her face began to relax; she stood upright. Dr. Huff reached for her again, this time Malaika allowed herself to be picked up.
    “We’ll be right back, Mom,” Dr. Huff smiled as they left the exam room.
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    They weren’t gone very long, a slow morning at the clinic. Dr. Huff returned with a more measured cheerfulness than before and relayed the test results, “We’re looking at bilateral, sensorineural hearing loss with a threshold of about 90-95 dB in each ear, the volume of a lawnmower is where she begins to respond to noise. So, this isn’t total hearing loss, but it is profound. You'll want to consider how she’ll learn to communicate; though, it seems she may have already started. She calmed right down when she looked at you earlier, even though she couldn’t understand you; a good sign of reading non-verbal cues at her age. That’s a start, but she will need more going forward. You might consider SSL classes. There are many options from here, including some that may restore minimal hearing, but Simlish Sign Language will be useful to know and the earlier she starts the better.”
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    Gia quietly contemplated Dr. Huff’s diagnosis. She thought about the times she and Stelio had given Malaika time outs for throwing tantrums or not obeying when, really, their baby just didn’t understand them most of the time. For that, she was heartbroken; but, in the wake of the news, she was also relieved. Now that they knew, now that they understood what was happening, they could be better parents, help their daughter navigate the hearing world, and connect her with the Deaf community so she could have people to relate to.
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    “Thank you for your help, Dr. Huff. We’re gonna go home a start making a plan.” Gia smiled as they left Dr. Huff’s office, knowing these were the first steps of her daughter’s new life.
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    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Post edited by itsmegamo on
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    A little background, Andromeda is a stay-at-home mom/gardener/herbalist (healer). She has a tonic or tincture for EVERYTHING! She’s even said to dabble in magic/psychic arts…

    Also, DeAndre’s pronouns are they/them/theirs, so don’t be confused below when they are mentioned :)
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    It was late morning when Gia and Stelio descended the stairs, twins in arms. They’d spent the morning preparing the pair for an important event, finally meeting their grandfather… who doesn’t know they exist. Though Stelio'd kept a confident front the entire week leading up to the day, his doubts resurfaced the morning of the outing.
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    The couple spoke as they entered the living room.
    “Stelio, you said he was the one who reached out to you, and that he’s been keeping steady contact,” Gia offered reassuringly, “Besides, it’s thirty minutes til your meeting time, he lives in San Myshuno, he’s probably already on the way to Oasis Springs. Are you gonna cancel?”

    “Well, no, and I know…,” Stelio sighed, “It’s just that I was their age when he left, and I remember. So, what if he does it again? He leaves them, and it’s my fault.”

    “That’s not on you, babe,” Gia countered, when another voice joined the exchange…
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    “If you want my opinion,” Andromeda interjected from the kitchen doorway, “and it may surprise you, your father has done a lot of growing up these last few years. He can still be selfish, don’t expect him to miss a Llamas’ home game for anything, but he’s trying. The nerves are understandable, but part of you wanted to give him a chance. So, don’t deny yourself, give him a chance. If he gets flakey, you can be the one to pull back. Now, come in the kitchen before you go, I have a tonic that’ll set you just right. Fortify ya.”
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    “Ah, but Mooooom, they taste so awful,” winced Stelio.
    “Don’t dawdle, son. And, don’t deny the power of Fireleaf!” Andi chuckled as she turned on her heel into the kitchen.
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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The crew arrived at the park 15 minutes early, so Stelio ushered the kiddies to the playground to pass the time.
    They were in the middle of an intense game of “Space Monster” when Stelio suddenly heard a familiar voice from behind.
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    “Hey, son, thought that was you,” his old-man said gruffly; a little too much time on the bubble blower, though it didn’t show as much in his face. Dewayne was a silver fox, as they say. “But, uh, who’re the kids?” he grinned.

    “Ah, see, well, they… they’re… they’re your grandkids,” Stelio bumbled sheepishly,…
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    “This is Malaika, and that’s Santi.”
    Dewayne looked at the children playing in the spaceship cockpit. He especially noticed their pointed ears; just like Stelios’, just like his. “Uh huh,” he grunted, pensively. He cleared his throat, then continued, “Well, uh, you wanna bring ‘em over here so we can properly meet?”
    Seems to be taking it well, Stelio thought as he lifted the twins from the jungle gym, and lead them over to where Dewayne then stood.
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    Stelio set Santi down, Malaika hesitated, and made introductions, “Santi, Malaika, this is your… well, what do you want them to call you?”
    “I don’t know,” Dewayne replied, “I suppose I always liked Pop-Pop.”
    “Oh no, that’s Gia’s dad. Anything else?”
    “Hm… How about Papa?”
    “Word, I like it. Santi, Malaika, this is your Papa. He’s my Dad, and your grandad.”
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    “Hey, kids. It’s so great to meet you”, Dewayne smiled.
    Santi clapped excitedly and sang, “Papa, Papa, Papapapa.”
    Malaika turned her gaze from Dewayne and looked expectantly at Stelio.
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    “Right. She’s not sure what I've just said. See, we recently found out she’s deaf. When she lets me set her down, I’ll try to sign everything to her.”
    “Oh, sign language?,” asked Dewayne, “I picked up a little when I did some upgrades to the computer labs at Newcrest School for the Deaf.” He threw Malaika a sign he thought she might recognize; and one he meant, even after only knowing her a few minutes: “I love you.”
    yKXoQp6.pngMalaika wiggled so excitedly in Stelio’s arms, that she nearly jumped from them as he set her down. She stood tall and proudly returned the sign, with a smile and a wink, before giggling and joining her brother playing in the sand.XlcNzX7.png

    Dewayne continued, “In fact, I still have an in with the Superintendent there, maybe I can drop her a line about letting little Malaika here into the preschool.”
    “Really, Dewayne? That would be great! Thank you.”
    “Yeah, of course. I wanna do anything for my… my grandchildren,” Dewayne still couldn’t believe he was saying those words… together. “I just… I wonder why you didn’t tell me about them until now.”
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    Stelio knew the question would come, but he still hadn’t known what he would say until he said it. And it didn’t burst out of him like he feared it might. Instead, he felt his anger at their past like a slow, steady, manageable burn in his belly; like Fireleaf. Mom really did know her stuff. Stelio took a deep breath and calmly proceeded, “Dewayne, Dad, I’m glad we’ve reconnected these last few years, but it hasn’t been easy for us, for DeAndre or myself. They weren’t born yet, but I remember. I remember you and Mom fighting, and you leaving. And I remember Mom crying, just crying and crying because you hurt her. But she healed, and loved again, and we are healing. We’ve still got to work our stuff out. I have my fears about you but, I want you to be a part of my children's, your grandchildren's, lives.”
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    Dewayne nodded, taking in his son’s words. After a pause he sighed, “I understand, Stelio. Well, I can’t change the past. I am sorry I wasn’t there when you were little. And, I’m sorry I hurt your mom, there is no excuse for what I did. But, I thank you for letting me come back into your life, your lives, even though you didn’t have to. I promise, I’m gonna do right by these two. You’ll see, son.”
    Dewayne choked back tears as he looked down at his grandchildren playing at his feet. Then he grinned and bellowed excitedly, “Alright, who wants a piggyback ride from Papa?!”
    yGHvDGd.png

    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    Side Adventure:

    The twins got to meet Supergirl!

    Stelio made friends with Kara Danvers after meeting her at the Flea Market, and joining the Major Chords. They bonded over their alien heritage; her being Kryptonian, him an Earth-born descendant of Sixam. He took the twins on a club outing and, knowing they are big fans, asked Kara to show up as Supergirl. She happily obliged.

    Twins%20Meeting%20Supergirl%201_zpshmm2wrun.png

    (In my game, Kara lives with her wife, Lena Luthor, and her sister, Alex Danvers, who is married to Maggie Sawyer. I don't play them, but love seeing them around.)
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    edited May 2017
    A quick reminder that DeAndre (Dee)’s pronouns are they/them/theirs
    It may take some getting used to reading, but I promise it’s a thing :)
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Deandre was excited to get home from school. They’d placed an application for early admission to San Myshuno College of Art and Design several month ago and, even though they were only a high school junior, they hoped that their portfolio would give them an edge. The center piece was a tribute to Akshara that Dee sculpted from wood and photographed for the binder. They’d learned the skill from her, so they felt it was fitting. From the bus window, Dee saw the flag turned up on the mailbox. Their heart started racing as they steadily walked toward it. Anxious with anticipation, they opened the door to find the letter from SMCAD inside.
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    After settling in from the day, Dee asked their mom, Andromeda to join them on the front porch. They wanted to tell her the news before anybody else, and immediately launched into it.

    “Mom, don’t freak out buuuut…. Surprise! I got accepted to SMCAD!” Dee pulled the letter from their pocket and handed it to Andi. “You know my photography teacher, Dr. Neidert? He said my photographs blew some of his Grad students out of the water. Can you believe it?! I was nervous about being too young but, he sat down with me to fill out an application, and vouched for me in his department. And, I. got. IN! It’s not that I didn’t want to tell you, I just didn’t want to disappoint you if I didn’t make it, I guess.”
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    Andi lifted her gaze from the letter, and gently placed a hand on Dee’s resting in their lap. Her youngest was always so hard on themself, like they had something to prove no matter how much she assured them otherwise.

    “Sweetheart, you could never disappoint me by following your dream. Even if you hadn’t made it, you would have tried. You’re my brave, confident, intelligent, creative, not-so-little-anymore nugget. And, I’m so proud of you.”
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    Dee smiled and gave a soft chuckle, “Thanks, Mom. You know, I wish Momma A was here for this. She gave me my first camera.”
    “I know, sweetie. I know,” sighed Andi with a reminiscent smile, and a squeeze of Dee’s hand; and, the two sat for a moment thinking of her.
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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    On moving day, Deandre sat the last box down by the porch, and stood back to admire the stack; their life was neatly packed up, ready to move from the only home they’d known.
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    Shortly, Stelio appeared at the top of the stairs.
    “Wow, this is really it, huh,” Stelio asked, stopping to also survey the heap.
    “Yeup!” Dee said with a long sigh. “My life. In boxes. Thought there’d be more, honestly.”
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    “Well, Little Sib,” Stelio reached out his arms as he descended the stairs, “I can’t believe you’re leaving already.”
    “Shame, right? Just as I was starting to like you,” Dee quipped with a wink before receiving the embrace.”
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    “Look at my children, so good to each other,” Andromeda sighed blissfully as she approached.
    “Ok, sweetheart, I put some powdered Will O’ the Wisps in your night-bag. Take a spoonful stirred in water before bed, ‘cause when you’re stressed, you don’t dream, and when you don’t dream, you get cranky.”
    “Yes, Mom,” Dee grinned, exchanging a knowing look with Stelio. Dee would do as she asked, but they weren’t looking forward to the aftertaste.
    Andi had held her composure by busying herself helping all morning, but as she looked at the box holding Dee’s bear, Mr. Russ, she couldn’t hold back any longer. She sniffled, “Oh… I can’t believe my baby is leaving,” then pulled Dee into a hug that’d knock the wind out of a bear.
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    “Oof! Wow, Mom,” they chuckled. Dee held their mom close and relished the moment. The two held each other for a minute before Andi stepped back to look at her child. Dee continued, “I’m only moving 30 minutes away. I’ll be back to visit, often. Can’t miss the little niblings growing up, right?” Finally, the taxi arrived to take DeAndre to San Myshuno and they loaded everything in.

    “I better get going if I’m going to be on time to meet Dr. Neidert at the student apartments. I’m really gonna miss y’all… I love you,” Dee choked, giving final hugs to their family. They turned toward the cab and, as they hopped in, flashed Andi and Stelio one last wink before heading to the city.
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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Later that evening, near sundown, Andromeda decided to meditate while tending to the garden and plants around the homestead. But, Andi struggled to connect with inner peace as thoughts of Akshara passing, DeAndre leaving, and recent talks of Stelio and crew moving to Newcrest to be closer to Malaika’s new school weighed on her mind. Eventually, the sadness became too much and she cried into the lilies Akshara had planted by the doorway on their third anniversary of building the cabin.
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    Suddenly from behind came a sound she’d heard only once before, when her grandmother had come to visit her as a child… after passing. Andi turned quickly and was met by the ghost of her mother, Olvia Steel. And she looked good for dead, head tiltled confidently with a smirk that said “Yep, I’m here”.
    “MOM!” Andi shouted, mouth agape in surprise.
    “Sweet girl, my, how you’ve grown,” said Olvia gently rubbing a hand down Andi’s silver hair.
    “How are you- What are you doing here,” Andi asked excitedly.
    “I came because I could feel your pain, dear. Like your father’s mother you have the gift. Your heartache reached across the veil, I felt I had to come to you, and here I am.”
    “Oh Mom, it hurts so much. I thought I knew pain but not like this. Even if it’s not entirely true, I feel like I’m losing everyone.”
    “Your baby will always be your baby, as you are mine. And even those who have gone on are not gone forever. I mean, hello?” Olivia waved her waved her arms up and down her body in a “See?” fashion.
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    “Why doesn’t Akshara come to see me then? I miss her so much,” Andi began to cry again. “When I think of her, it’s like a fist clenched in my chest that won’t let go. My heart feels like it could burst.”
    Olivia held her daughter by the shoulders. “She may come, when and if the time is right. She’s adjusting to the afterlife and you have to learn how to carry on. You’ve got so much life ahead of you, and she wants you to live it.” Olivia winked, and Andi couldn’t help but crack a smile, knowing Olivia carried some wisdom beyond her lifetime, and that that would be precisely what Akshara wanted.
    “I understand. Just please, tell her that I think of her every day?”
    “Of course, I will, Andi. Of course.” Olivia turned her head slightly to the side as though hearing something in the distance; Andi heard nothing. “I must be going,” Olivia smiled. “Take care of yourself and your family, you’ve raised them so well, but they’ll always need you.”
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    “I love you, Mom,” Andi choked as new tears sprang to her eyes. This time they were tears of relief at her new-found assurance that she wasn’t, and she would never be alone.
    “I love you too, dear heart” whispered Olivia as she vanished back to the Spirit World.
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    Post edited by itsmegamo on
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    edited May 2017
    Can't sleep. le sigh... Gonna post latest now, then I'll be a minute with the new pack before updating the story again.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    On Saturday evening, Stelio asked Andromeda to watch the twins so that he and Gia could have a date night; he planned to take her to dinner and a showing of Whimder Woman, then finish the night with drinks at home. After seeing the parents out on their evening, Andi turned to Santi and Malaika seated on the couch, immersed in their tablets. She gently cleared her throat. No response from the tykes as blips and bloops filled the air.
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    “Ahem,” she tried a little more forcefully, “SooOooo, who wants to read with Nana?”
    Santi’s eyes shot up from the screen, and he tapped his sister’s arm. At some point, he’d learned to catch her attention when they were both being addressed. He’d also learned a few signs from the caregiver at the Newcrest School for the Deaf during a family tour and orientation; kids are sponges at his age, he took to it quickly and remembered quite a bit. He signed the word “book” for her, and pointed to Nana. Malaika smiled, even if she couldn't hear, she liked looking at the pictures. The pair giggled as they jumped from the couch.
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    Andi looked on pleased and amazed. “Malaika chose last time,” she said, and pointed to communicate as well as she could, “Santi, you get to pick the book tonight.”
    “I pick. I pick. Iiiii PICK,” he sang to himself as he toddled to the bookcase. He was a musical little tyke, no surprise with a musician for a father.
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    While he made his selection, Malaika waved to get her Nana’s attention; she was signing something Andi recognized, but it took her a minute to get it. “Oh, milk! You want milk, Malaika,” she realized, and headed to the kitchen. She took the child's enthusiastic clapping as an affirmation. By the time Andi returned with the sippy for Malaika, Santi had chosen a book written by her sister, and his great-aunt, Callisto. Stephon Galaxy was a story Callisto wrote as a teenager, a story about a young half-alien boy and his alien family, "The Mighty Minerals", saving the planet from other aliens. “Oh, great choice," she said, and beamed as she sat down between Santi and Malaika. Santi danced at the praise before the twins snuggled up for the story.
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    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
    The couple arrived home before the twins were put to bed, but Andromeda assured them they wouldn’t be disturbed. Stelio lead Gia to the upper balcony of the cabin, overlooking the coast. There he’d set up a romantic oasis. Gia was over the moon.
    “Oh wow!” She gasped. “I thought our dinner out was the surprise, what have you done here? Marshmallow Treats? My favorite. And, look at this! You kept the matchbook I gave you at the karaoke bar where we first met?”
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    Stelio replied, “Yeah, I put it in my keepsake box. I had a feeling about you. I guess you had some feelings about me, too, Mrs. Flex.”
    Gia gave a soft chuckle and nudged Stelio’s arm, “I guess so. Thank you for the lovely evening, Mr. Flex.”
    “You’re very welcome,” he smiled, then, in his best Appaloosa Plains impression, “And, I’m mighty thankful for the comp’ny…”
    Gia laughed aloud this time, remembering the joyful Lightning Bug cosplayers they'd met that evening at the restaurant having dinner between convention panels. “Flatterer,” she snorted.
    Stelio continued, his voice back to its usual cadence, “Though, I wonder if we could do with more.”
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    “How do you mea-…” catching his expectant eyes, Gia realized what Stelio meant before finishing the question. “Are you serious? Wait, I don’t mean that to sound like I think it’s a bad idea. I mean, we just had the twins, are we ready for more?”
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    Stelio replied, “We talked about having several kids, right? Just happened to get two of them at the same time. When I think about how I grew up... I love my sibling. But Dee was so much younger than me, I was a teenager before we could even hold a conversation. I want our kids to be close in age, to have things in common.”
    “I know what you mean,” Gia agreed. “We were starting 10th grade when my brother Ellis was born…”
    For a moment, Gia searched Stelio’s face. She could still see the lanky crooner she fell in love with but, he'd changed. He'd grown. His eyes were jade pools radiating devotion and sincerity as he assured her, “I know we can do this. Together we’ve started a wonderful family with two incredible little people who, if they turn out even a little like their Momma, are gonna do wonderful things.”
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    Closing her eyes, Gia took a deep breath. It was always the plan to have more children. And Stelio made a compelling point about their ages, one she’d considered herself privately a few times before. Gia could feel Stelio watching her, though not with a pressuring gaze; he knew this was her process for big decisions. Even so, she wanted to give him an answer. She took another deep breath, then Gia opened her eyes. Spotting the rose bloom in the vase before her, she remembered the feeling of carrying Santi and Malaika, of holding them for the first time. And to have the chance to do it all again with the man she loved? She had her answer.

    “Yes. Yes, of course, yes. Let’s do it! Let’s have another baby!”
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    All Stelio could do was smile. He was going to lean in for a kiss when Gia leaned toward him instead, and added, “But let’s make sure the ones we have are potty trained first.”
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    Stelio beamed, “Deal,” and sealed it with a kiss.
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    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    "Th-th-th-That's all (for now) folks!" Tune in after the Parenthood drop for more.
    Post edited by itsmegamo on
  • itsmegamoitsmegamo Posts: 259 Member
    Last we saw them, Stelio and Gia made a big decision to expand the family. To do so, they'll need a new place....
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Stelio was starving after another long night tickling the ivories down at the Dapper Llama Lounge. Luckily, he thought, this would be one of his last shifts. Entering the kitchen, he found Andromeda hovering over her cast iron pot. Saturday nights were reserved for curing and prepping tincture bases; fruity aromas wafted him as he passed, must be reducing Huckleberry extract.
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    As he searched the fridge for anything to stop the crescendo-ing grumbles of his stomach, his thoughts turned to the fact that this would be one of the last times he’d walk into this kitchen for a meal. The down-payment on a new house in Newcrest, facilitated by an advance from Stelio’s new record label, had cleared that morning. And, the family was slated to move in less than two weeks. There was just one problem.
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    Finally settled on a caprese salad, Stelio pulled some items, closed the fridge door, and placed the ingredients on the counter. The problem, he felt, was that he had not yet convinced his mom to go with them. So when a second realization, that this would be one of the last times he’d walk in to see Andi brewing in the kitchen, rolled over him, he felt driven to give persuading her yet another try.
    “Hey, Mom, when you’re done with that, can you stick around? I wanna talk to you about somethin.”
    “Sure, dear,” she replied, pulling the pot from the stove eye and carefully bottling the syrupy contents. “I’ll take a seat at the table.”
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    Stelio felt famished by the time he’d cut everything up and finally sat down. He shoveled a fork full of crispy lettuce, juicy tomato, soft mozzarella and the tangy vinaigrette into his mouth before launching into his argument.
    crunchcrunch I was- munchmunch- wondering if you had- crunchcrunch- given anymore thought to- gulp- moving with us. The check cleared this morning, and Gia and I think it’s best we move in before the twins’ birthday so that Malaika can start her new school program right away."
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    Andi laughed, “Don’t talk with your mouth full, sweetheart.” She continued, “I have thought about it. I’m just not sure, son. There’s so much to take care of here. Akshara and I started the community garden together, what’ll happen to it when I leave? And my clients, how will I care for them from so far away?”
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    From upstairs, rolled a sudden patter of little feet, giggles, a set of larger feet in quick pursuit, then a muffled reminder that after bath time comes jammies, not streaking. Stelio looked up, shook his head, and smiled. It was probably Santi giving Gia a hard time. However, going to help was a risky bet; Stelio’s presence could likely be the catalyst for another hour’s worth of sibling shenanigans. He decided he’d better beg Gia’s forgiveness for standing-by instead, and takeover breakfast in the morning. Besides, he still had business to attend to.
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    “Mom… I really want you to come with us. I know you and Akshara built this cabin and the garden together, and how many memories we have here of her and as a family, but I don’t want to leave you alone. I figured out this morning, it’ll be a tight squeeze before the album drops but, we have enough to keep this house in your name. Maybe we could even make money off it by renting it out… when you’re ready. Gia, the kids, and I love having you with us. I don’t know how we can be a family without you.”

    “You’ll always have me, dear," Andi countered.

    “You know what I mean. I’ll miss you too much. Besides, shouldn’t the people of Newcrest have a chance to experience the wondrous wares and healing hands of Andromeda? And Newcrest isn’t so far away that your clients won't stick with you. We can set up a mail order service, too, to make it easier for them.”

    Andi sat a moment in silent consideration, her thoughts were racing. She had raised one persistent child, but he offered some elegant solutions to her problems. She could indeed keep the house in the family, and her business could easily incorporate mail orders to provide for her current clients. But Andi simply couldn’t shake the feeling that she would somehow be abandoning Akshara. She sighed, “I know moving day is approaching, dear-heart, but I need more time to think.”

    Stelio himself sighed, almost a mirror of his mother, and replied, “That’s all I can ask. But, I… we… really hope you’ll say yes.”
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