Monday, May 23, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 Ch 10

We sent Andee to the science academy, not the least reason being that her cousin Shawn attended there as well. He agreed to watch out for her at school, which took a large worry off my mind.

Every day after school she worked on her grandpa Ren's garden, planting Renoit grapevines, and repainting the old bar that had been by the pool. I have to admit, she has a talent for it.
"This is perfect, Andee. I'm sure your grandpa would have loved it."
"Thank you papa. He does love it. He told me so."

It became a favorite place for us to hang out in the afternoons.
"Don't forget about the Simcademy Award Ceremony tonight, Andee."
"I won't, I'm going to go work on my homework so I'll be ready."
"And don't forget to put your dress back on before we leave."
"sigh... yes, papa."

Best Actor in a Leading Role! Yes, he had done it! We were all so proud when they called Brann's name, and he walked up to the podium for his acceptance speech. I started to tear up when he said he couldn't have done it without me.

"Congratulations, we are so proud of you. That was an amazing speech."
We then headed across the street to the White Rose Nectar Bar for a reception and media event.

Since it was Cindy's birthday, we had a small celebration at the White Rose before the press and guests arrived.

"Happy Birthday, Cindy!"
We didn't have long before the whole town it seemed descended on us, everyone clamoring for Brann's attention.

Andee was fascinated by all the autograph signing. She still had a hard time wrapping her mind around the concept of why people wanted her papa Brann's signatures on little bits of paper.

But still she tried to get into the spirit of the event, almost knocking the autograph out of the excited fan's hand in the process.

"Psst, Cindy, why is that man taking pictures of me?" Andee whispered to her sister. Before Cindy could reply, they were interrupted by the photographer.
"Hello, ladies! Just a few questions for the young lady. Is this a new fashion trend? The barefoot look?  I want to hear all about it."
Andee glanced at Cindy for help. I started to make my way over to intervene, but stopped when Cindy handled the situation with aplomb.
"Why yes, haven't you heard? It's the newest thing. My, you are behind the times, aren't you."

There were a few more rough moments, but by the end of the evening, Andee was handling the attention like a pro.

It wasn't long after Cindy's birthday that she left for France to spend some time with Maurice. And it wasn't long after that she called to ask us to join her there - for her wedding.

It was a whirlwind trip, as Brann was busy with a new movie, but there was no way we were going to miss our little girl's wedding day. I wondered how Andee would react to the modern day changes to the island she had been raised on, but she took it all in stride.
She did close her eyes for a few seconds as we arrived. "I can feel them here. But they are happy now. Hyacinth is pleased."

It was so good to see Cindy again.
"Daddy, Papa, Andee! I'm so happy to see you guys! Pardon Maurice, he's on a roll with his new book, he has to write when the inspiration hits."

It was a beautiful ceremony by the pond. Cindy was radiant, and the weather was perfect.

The guest list was family only - Maurice's parents the Durand's were there, and of course Mathilde and Heather. And Andee remembered to wear a dress, always a plus.

As they kissed for the first time as husband and wife, I felt such a thrill of happiness for them. I hope Andee can find the same happiness someday.

Andee was making fast friends with Heather. I don't think I ever remember seeing Heather so happy. From what I could catch of the conversation, the main topic appeared to be the ancient Hyacinth.
"You knew her when she was alive?"
"I did. but I haven't seen her since I was a little girl. Not until last night that is! It was so good to talk to her again! Do you know why they left this place, in the old times?"
"Hyacinth told me once. She said someone named Delven bought the land, to plant a vineyard, and they were forced to leave."
I didn't mean to listen in, but.. Delven? That was my ancestor Gustave's family name, if I'm not mistaken. Could it be?

As the reception wound down, Cindy and Maurice cornered me to talk.
"Daddy, we have decided to stay here. I love it here, it's so inspiring for my art. We want to live in the cottage, is that okay with you? Mom like her privacy, but we will be close in case she ever needs help. What do you think?"
"Of course, sweetheart. You know we'll miss you, but we want you to be happy."
It was a bittersweet goodbye the next morning, knowing we wouldn't see Cindy again for a while, but also secure in the knowledge she and Maurice were so happy together.

Home again, Andee seems to have found someone special - another of the widespread Lessen clan, his name is Charles. 

When I went to call her in that night, I stopped short out of earshot when I saw her lean in to plant a little kiss on his face, then I returned to the house. They deserved their privacy.

Colt's and his family came to celebrate Andee's birthday, but we were all disappointed that Cindy and Maurice couldn't be there. Nevertheless, it was an exciting time. Our little girl, all grown up.

I had known from the day she stepped through the time portal into our life, that she would inherit the pendant, but now it was time to put that plan into action.

"May it lead you to what you seek."
"Oh, Papa. It led me to you. I wonder where it will lead me next?" Her eyes shone with excitement for a second.

Then her expression grew suddenly serious.
"I hope I can prove myself worthy. It's such an honor."
I smiled at her.
"Don't worry about that, sweetheart. You don't have to prove anything. Just be yourself, and let the pendant guide you, and you'll be fine. Trust me."
"Yes, Papa. I will."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brook - Gen 6 Ch 9

There, stepping out of the time machine, was a tiny barefoot girl who couldn't be much more than five years old.
"Papa?" She waved hesitantly at me as she called to me in an accent identical to the ancient shaman's whose island we had so recently left.

"Papa!" More sure of herself now, she ran and threw her arms around me. Still shocked and confused, I returned her exuberant embrace.
"How did you get here, little one? What's your name?"
"Don't you know me, papa? I'm Oleander. Auntie Hyacinth said it was time, that I was old enough now. She sent me through the portal on the island. She said you were waiting for me."
As I gazed down at her, for a second my softly glowing pendant caught my eye, and I instantly realized the truth of her words.
"Of course, sweetheart. I've been waiting for you for a long time."

My heart still filled with the wonder of it all, I led her into the house to meet Brann.

She charmed him instantly, the same way she had with me. Neither one of us were sure how exactly it had happened, but she was ours now, and we were overjoyed.

We enrolled her in school, and I was amazed at how fast she caught on to modern life. Her quick mind made homework a breeze, and she also appeared to have the old Greenbow artistic talent that had  eluded both my father and me.

Cindy was excited to have a little sister to hang out with, talking about art, and boys, and clothes. She tried her best to convince our little Andee to wear a modern dress and shoes, but she would have none of it.
"Auntie Hyacinth made me this dress, I like it. And I hate shoes! They hurt my feet!"

What Andee liked to do best of all was to wander. At first we tried to restrict her to the area close to the house, but she would invariably forget, and we'd find her way off in the hills, chasing butterflies or searching for rocks.

Eventually we gave up, and bought her a cell phone so we could keep track of her, and made her promise to be home before dark.

Even that was not always successful. Occasionally the sun would dip down below the horizon, and still no Andee. One evening even the cell phone went unanswered, and Brann and I began to worry.  It was starting to get dark in earnest, so Brann, Cindy and I spread out, searching all Andee's favorite haunts for any sign of her.

It was Brann who found her, at the graveyard, calmly sitting on the grass working on homework.
"Andee! We were so worried! Why didn't you answer your phone?"
"I"m sorry, Papa Brann. It was bothering Margi. I had to turn it off."

"Margi? Who is Margi?"
"Oh, you know," Andee pointed to one of the tombstones. "My great-great-grandmother Margi. She was helping me with my homework."
Now if I know Brann, and I'm pretty sure I do, standing in the graveyard at night talking about ghosts is probably near the top of his 'least favorite things to do' list.
"Stop it, Andee. Stop it right now. It's time to go home."

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you mad."
"Aw, Andee. I'm not mad. I just - I was just worried, that all."

"Come on, I'll race you to the car!"

Later that night I had a long talk with Andee again about her wandering.
"We love you so much sweetheart. We worry about you when you don't come home at night."
I'm not sure she heard, though, as she was staring off into space with a faraway look in her eyes.
"Sweetheart? Did you hear what I just said?"

Obviously she hadn't, as she abruptly changed the subject.
"Papa, how did you get Auntie Hyacinth's necklace?"
"What? This?" I held out my pendant. "Hyacinth had a pendant like this?"
"Not 'like this', papa. It's the same one. With the tiny flower in it. How did you get it?"
My eyes went wide with amazement. Was it possible? Andee needed to hear the pendant story as I knew it, but it was way past her bedtime.
"It's a long story, Sweetie, and it's getting late. It's Saturday tomorrow, I'll tell you in the morning, okay. Now off to bed with you."

The next morning, I began the tale of the pendant out at Sunflower's Pond.
"Sunflower settled here with the pendant many generations ago."
"But that was a long time after Hyacinth, wasn't it, papa."
"Indeed it was, you are so smart."

"She passed it on to her daughter, Rose. This is her rose garden."
"Mmm, they smell so good. The nectary is named after her, isn't it?"
"That's right, sweetheart."

"Marguerite was next to get the pendant. Brann says you've met her at the graveyard?"
"Uh huh. She helped me with my homework. Papa, why doesn't the ice melt?"
"No one knows. Marguerite took her secret with her when she died."

"This is the biggest olive tree I've ever seen!"
"It's huge, isn't it. Your grandpa Ren planted it for his mother Olivia. Marguerite passed on the pendant to her, and she gave it to my father, Ren. And now I have it."
"Where is Ren's garden?"
There is a garden for everyone else who had the pendant. Why doesn't Grandpa Ren have one?"
I was slightly chagrined at the question. Why indeed.
"I guess because I never made him one. I'm not really good with gardens."
"Well, when I get bigger, I'm gonna make him one, okay papa?"
"I think that's a great idea, sweetheart. I think he would like that."

Andee never ceases to amaze me. Today she found the old box that I had fished up from the pond at our estate in Champs Les Sims.
"Oh, papa. Its him! It's Lao Hu! Where did you find him?"
"Wha..? Have you seen this before?"

"Oh, yes! I thought he was lost forever! But you found him! I wasn't allowed to play with him. He was a special toy, from 'before'. But one day I sneaked  him out to play with him, and when I tried to open his box, it fell down the bank and into the pond. Auntie Hyacinth was so angry."
I was speechless for a minute. Then my mind zoomed in on one phrase.
"Before? Before what?"
"Before we came to Champs Les Sims, of course."

Andee continued to amuse, and bemuse, and wander, and worry us, until she was ready to begin her teenage years. Her dress was bothering her that day, I think it was getting too small. So she stripped it off for the party, in typical Andee style.

It's hard to believe the tiny waif that stepped through the time machine door is becoming a beautiful young woman.

My brother Colt and Jia Li, and all the cousins - Shawn, Paul, and Louis -  came for the celebration. Andee stayed to listen to Colt's playing for a little while, but soon I noticed her slip silently out the door. 

"What are you doing out here in the dark, sweetheart? Everyone else is inside."
"Oh, papa. Look. Aren't they beautiful? I had to come say hello to the garden. And I have an idea for Grandpa Ren's garden."
"That's wonderful. And yes, they are beautiful. Happy Birthday, sweetheart."