My Sim's Stories

Currently following the life of a Bluebeard


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3.4 Stopping in Paradise

The flight from Egypt to Crete was short.

To get to Sophia’s I had to take an additional boat ride to the island she lived on.

The water was beautiful, and the boat ride enjoyable.

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I saw Sofia waiting for me at the marina as the boat docked.

Butterflies immediately invaded my stomach.

I quickly gathered my luggage and departed from the boat.

She greeted me with a kiss to each cheek.

“Did you have a good trip?”she asked.

Oh, how I’ve missed her.

“Yes. I did, thank you.” I replied.

“Come, let’s go back to my house so you can relax.”

We got in her car and took off.

It was a hard decision to either stare at Sofia, or the beauty of the Greek Island.

Her house was adorable, and everything that I envisioned a Greek villa to look like.

The sun was starting to set and she had a perfect view from her back yard.

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“Are you hungry?” Sophia asked.

“Well, maybe just a little.”I said sheepishly.

“How about I make us some salads, then we can go play in the ocean…I trust you have a bathing suit?”

“That sounds wonderful, and yes, thankfully I brought my suit.” I smiled.

I asked her if there was anything I could do to help, and when she replied “No”, I relaxed in a chair outside and listened to the ocean.

We ate our salads outside.

The evening was perfect.

The salads were delicious.

The company was phenomenal.

I helped carry the plates to the kitchen.

We changed into our swim suits and walked out the back gate to the welcoming calm ocean.

“I’ve missed you” Sophia said.

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 “Not as much as I’ve missed you.” I replied.

I spun her in my arms and looked into her eyes.

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Then, I kissed her.

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Thankfully, she kissed me back.

We kissed all the way back inside.

We kissed all the way to the bedroom.

And then we “kissed” for a while longer.

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***

I woke to the sound of beautiful music.

I walked into the living room where Sophia was playing the piano.

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“Is there anything you can’t do?” I asked.

She played the last note and turned to smile at me.

“I was going to ask you the same thing.” she said.

She stood up and greeting me with a kiss.

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I could soooo get used to this.

“So, what do you want to do today?”she asked.

All I wanted to do was stay in her arms…but I couldn’t forget my other responsibility.

It was time to tell her my secret.

“Sophia, there is actually something I need to talk to you about….”

I proceeded to tell her everything, my ability to talk to ghosts, my job, my problems, and how everything was getting worse.

“Oh, Yanni. What a terrible burden. Is there anything I can do to help?”

“Actually, there might be.” I retrieved my cell phone and showed her the pictures I captured from the ancient book. “Is this Greek?”

She studied the pictures.

“It is! Very ancient Greek, but I think I can translate it for you.”

“I couldn’t ask you to do that!”

“It would be my pleasure. I’ll just transfer the images to my laptop and get to work. It shouldn’t take too long.”

“I am very grateful.” I said humbly.

“I’m sure I can think of a reasonable payment.” she said coyly and she kissed me.

***

I got dressed and went outside.

Finding a chessboard was perfect a perfect way to pass some time.

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Then I took a little nap in a lounge chair.

I was awaken by soft kisses.

“I need a break.” Sophia said. “Do you want to go to the beach for a little while?”

She already had her swimsuit on.

“I would love to.” I said.

I quickly changed.

This water was magical.

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We enjoyed the sun until we got hungry.

Then we walked up to the house and prepared dinner together.

After dinner, we enjoyed the sunset from the hot tub.

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This was paradise.

***

The next day planned to tell Sophia how much I loved her.

I never heard my phone ring.

But when I listened to my voice mail, I felt the blood drain from my body.

“Yanni, this is your father. Please come home soon. Things are getting worse.”

I would have to leave the next morning.

***

My head was a whirlwind.

My love for Sophia and my duties in Sunset Valley were conflicting.

I had only one option.

***

We went to a local tavern for dinner.

I ate my dinner quietly as I sat across a very understanding Sophia.

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I paid the bill and we walked over to the water.

“Sophia….”I started.

She looked at me.

“…I have something to ask you.”

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I got down on my knee…

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“I love you, more than words can express….will you please be my wife and come home with me to Sunset Valley?”

Tears formed in her eyes.

“Oh, Yanni. I love you too…but I can’t…”

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“….please understand. I can’t leave Greece for good. It is my duty to stay here.”

I held back my tears.

I held back my rejection.

I only hope no one else heard my heart shatter into a million pieces.

“Ok, Sophia.” was all I could say.

“Please don’t hate me.” Sophia pleaded.

“I will never hate you.”

And I hugged her, quite possibly for the last time.

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We drove back to the house in silence.

***

Morning came quickly .

I gathered my belongings and Sophia handed me a folder with the translated pages.

I thanked her again.

I wanted to kiss her, but I couldn’t.

I wanted to stay in Greece with her, but I couldn’t.

I held her hand and gently squeezed it.

The taxi’s horn beeped impatiently outside.

“Good Bye” I whispered and ran to catch my ride.

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Tears ran down her face as I fought to keep mine in.

Once inside the taxi, Sophia and her house quickly became a blur.

I took out my phone with shaking hands and called my parents.

My father answered, sounding out of breath.

I told him I was one my way.

“Please get here soon….it’s your mother…the spirits have done something to her…”

***


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3.3 Two Trips in One

I arrived at the campsite in Egypt.

I didn’t mind roughing it for a few days.

First order of business, find a book store.

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I got directions to the main town and found my way to the bookstore.

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I began looking at the books on the shelves.

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“Can I help you?” said the store attendant.

I put the book back on the shelf.

“Yes, please.” I answered. “I need help….with a ghost problem.”

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“Hmmm…” he walked over to the shelf and handed me a book. “Maybe this one will be what you need?”

I took the book and sat down looking through it quickly.

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I knew it wasn’t what I was looking for.

I handed the book back to him.

“I’m not sure this book is old enough.” I said.

He scratched his head and looked worried.

“I know what book you are looking for.”

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“It is deep within the Sphinx….”

Now I was getting somewhere.

“I can’t go with you but I have some information that might help.

He made a few notes on a piece of paper and gave it to me.

“Good Luck.” he said.

I thanked the man and gave him some Simoleans for his assistance.

I rented a bicycle from the square and headed to the Sphinx, grateful It was close by.

The Tomb was majestic.

I looked at the piece of paper and was glad the first bit of information was how to get in.

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 I cautiously made my way from ancient room to ancient room.

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I made my way to a room with a table and chairs.

Chills ran through me when I realized they weren’t dusty.

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According to the notes there was a hidden door in here…somewhere.

I began knocking on the walls.

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I finally found the hidden panel.

The wall shifted aside and opened a room.

There was a large glowing statue inside.

I felt as though the statue was looking at me, like it was alive.

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And there it was, The Book.

I feverishly began to look through the pages.

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It was all so fascinating….and I couldn’t read a single word.

I took out my phone and started taking pictures of every page.

I could almost feel the statue looking at me disapprovingly.

The longer I looked at the symbols on the pages, the more I began to think it looked Greek.

I really missed Sophia.

But this was no time to let my heart slow me down.

I finished taking pictures of the pages and started to hightail it out of the tomb.

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I was almost to the exit when my phone began to ring.

I looked at my phone.

Seriously, I have signal in here?

I answered the phone. “Hello…?”

“I heard you are in Egypt.”said a sweet voice.

It was Sophia.

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“Are you psychic?” I laughed.

“Not that I know of” she chuckled. “You aren’t far from Greece…Why don’t you come see me before you go home.”

My thoughts went from the 300 pages of foreign symbols I had copied to my phone, to the smell of her hair and softness of her lips.

“I’ll catch the next flight outta here.” I said.

***


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3.2 Good-byes

Sophia was a wonderful distraction from my ghost problem.

It started with a chance encounter at a masquerade party, where we spent most of the evening talking outside.

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I gave her my phone number and asked her if I could take her to the Spring Festival.

 

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A week later, we met at the park.

We spent the entire day at the Spring festival.

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Having her in my arms felt so right…

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“I really enjoy your company” I said to her.

She blushed a little. “I enjoy your company too.”

I couldn’t  resist the urge to kiss her any longer.

“Please don’t get mad at me…” I said.

“For what?”

“For kissing you.”

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She looked shocked, then a smile spread across her face.

“I hope to have you kiss me again later.”

“I think I would be happy to.”

We danced to one more song, she twirled gracefully in my arms.

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“Can you walk me back to the bakery please?”

“It would be my pleasure.”

My parents happened to be at the festival, and I was going to tell them I was going, but they seemed to be lost in their own moment.

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Sophia and I walked back to the shop.

“The bakery is doing very well.” Sophia said, sadly.

“Why do you sound upset about that?” I asked.

“Because, that means it is time for me to go home.”

“You don’t have to go….”

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“You could stay here with me.”

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“That is very kind of you, but I can’t. I love my country, and miss her very much. I have family there, and a father that I will have to take care of.”

I tried to hide my extreme disappointment.

“How much longer do I have to change your mind?” I asked.

She looked at the ground…”My flight leaves tomorrow…”

“Then I better give you that kiss tonight.” I said as I embraced her.

I pulled her close and kissed her…kissed her like I would never see her again.

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She had a tear in her eye as she pulled away.

“Good bye, Yanni…thank you for such a wonderful time.”

“The pleasure was all mine Sophia…”

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I started to walk back to my house.

My head was spinning.

Then my phone rang.

These ghosts have the worst timing ever.

In fact, I really wasn’t in the mood to deal with anyone…

I sighed and told the customer I would be right there, since it was actually on my way home.

I got to the house to find a very rude ghost.

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“Sorry Buddy,” I said. “I’m just not in the mood for games tonight.”

My work was done, and I walked the rest of the way home.

Mom was painting out in the Gazebo.

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I went and sat on the bench.

 She put down her brushes and sat with me.

“What’s the matter sweetheart?” she said lovingly.

 “I had the perfect woman in my arms tonight…”, I started.

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I told her everything.

When I finished telling her about Sophia I started telling her about how the ghosts were getting stronger.

She listened carefully.

When I was finished she said, “The problem with Sophia will work itself out, if she is the one for you. I know this for a fact. I know your heart hurts, but right now this ghost issue is your first priority.”

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“Yes…it is weighing heavy on me. I can’t just keep going around sucking up ghosts, I need to find out why they are here.”

“Sounds like you have some research to do.” She chuckled.

“Thank you for listening to me.”

“No problem, that’s what I’m here for.Now, this old lady has to go to sleep. Good night.”

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“Good night Mom. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

***

The next morning I rushed to the boat ramp to see Sophia leave, but the boat had already left.

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***

Over the next few weeks, I spent most of my days in the library and online searching for…anything…something…

I was about to give up when I found a lead.

There was a book hidden somewhere in Al Simhara, Egypt.

I photo-copied the page from the book and headed home.

After telling Mom and Dad about what I had found, I began making arrangements.

I packed my suitcase, kissed my parents and told them good-bye.

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I was going to Egypt….

***


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3.1 Ghosts and Coffee

I arrived at the 10th house-call of the week.

Same as the rest.

There were spirits everywhere.

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I pulled out my 3000 and began to capture the feisty spirits.

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The days…possibly weeks… went by.

The ghost-busting business was booming.

One would think that would make me happy, but it left me confused more than anything.

I worked almost every night, and had a hard time sleeping during the day.

Sometimes I found myself wondering aimlessly through the neighborhood.

I was walking through a familiar part of the neighborhood when I smelled an unfamiliar sent. A warmth in the air accompanied by sweet, sugary goodness.

When did we get a bakery?

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“Hello?” said the rather beautiful woman, that I had apparently been staring at. “Can I help you?”

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Her accent was like nothing I had ever heard.

“Gosh…I am so sorry.” I said. “I didn’t mean to be a creep…I’m just so tired, and the shop smells so good.” I chuckled a little.

It started to sprinkle.

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“It’s ok.” she replied. “Why don’t you come in and have a cup of coffee?”

“I would appreciate that a lot.”

We walked in the bakery.

Although the outside smelled wonderful, the inside still smelled like fresh paint. There was still a few pieces of wall molding laying on the floor, waiting to be nailed up.

She pointed to a chair. “You can have a seat. I’ll make us some coffee.”

She walked towards the kitchen. “My name is Sophia, by the way.”

“My name is Yanni.” I said loud enough for her to hear me.

A few minutes later she returned with two small cups.

“I hope you like Greek coffee…don’t drink the grounds at the bottom.”

The coffee was great.

The rain poured outside.

I tried to make small talk, and had to constantly stop myself from staring.

Sophia was beautiful.

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“So, where is you accent from?” I asked shyly.

“I am from Greece. Your name is Yanni, a common name in Greece, are you also Greek?”

“I guess a little bit…I was told my Great Great Grandfather was Greek. I would love to go there one day.”

She sighed. “It is very beautiful. I have only been a way a few weeks, but I already miss it.”

“How long will you be here?”

“Just until my cousin gets the shop running well…”

The rain suddenly stopped.

The sun had started to set.

“So, I cook. What do you do?”

I didn’t really know how to answer her…

“I…I…”

My phone rang.

“Please, answer it.” she said as she stood up.

She took our mostly empty cups to the kitchen.

I answered the phone.

Just as I suspected…another ghost problem.

Sophia returned from the kitchen.

“I apologize, but I have to go.” I said.

“Perhaps we can have a coffee again before I leave.

“I would love that.”

I waved good-bye as I walked out the bakery.

When I arrived at the house, I knew immediately something was different.

 I got chills.

They were getting stronger…

She appeared in front of me screaming.

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Crap….now what?

***

Note from author.

So, I haven’t updated in… a long while. Thank you to every one and anyone that reads and has been waiting for a new chapter. I have the story lined up and pictures already taken.

This chapter ran a lot shorter than planned due to my internet  wanting to upload pictures at a ridiculously slow rate. I almost fell asleep waiting for one! I mean seriously…the day I decide to write….

Anyway, Thank you again readers! I hope you enjoy.


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3.0 A Visit to Grim

Alone.

Yup. If there was one word to describe me, it would be Alone.

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My “gift” to see and speak to ghosts was known to everyone in town.

I avoided trips to town like the plague.

“Such a shame that FREAK is the heir to the Bluebeard name.” the men would say.

“What a waste of a handsome man.” gossiping women would say.

Sunset Valley used to be such a non-judgmental place, but I guess I was the limit.

I was a disappointment.

My mother constantly tried to cheer me up.

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She was so sweet, but deep down she was worried about the future of the family…I could tell.

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***

I was sitting around in my pajamas when I heard a familiar voice, one that only I could hear.

“Yanni, we need to talk.” Grandpa said.

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Here comes the “Find a Wife” speech…

“There’s a disturbance in the afterlife.” he said. “It’s almost time to use your gift.”

Nope, it’s the Doomsday speech.

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Yes sir. I understand.” I said respectfully.

“Mark my words…you will be needed.” he said as he hugged me.

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My family was awesome…at least they all loved me…even the dead ones.

It wasn’t until Grandma Pandora visited me that I actually started to get worried.

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“You’re Grandfather’s right, you know…something is not right. It won’t be long now.”

“Check mate.” I said.

She swung her hand across the chess board.

Chess pieces went flying.

“Are you listening?!?!” she asked angrily.

“Yes. I guess I don’t understand what it has to do with me. What do I need to do?”

She sighed. “You’ll have to go to Grim’s house.”

“That creepy place in the graveyard?!”

“That’s the place. Knock 5 times. Tell him who you are, and about your gift…he already knows, but it’s protocol….he has something to give you.”

“How will I know when to go?” I asked.

But Grandma had already left.

***

3 nights later I was tossing and turning in bed.

I think I was asleep.

I thought I was dreaming.

Suddenly everything was red.

Then there was a voice, a hoarse whisper.

“It   is   tiiiiimeeee.     Viiiiissssiiiiit      meeeee     tooooomoooorroooow”

I sat up. I was sweating and shaking.

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I looked at my clock.

Midnight.

There was no way I was going back to sleep.

I got up, put on my jacket and went out to Grandma and Grandpa’s garden.

“I hope you are both ok.” I whispered into the freezing night air.

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Thankfully morning came quickly.

I really didn’t want to go to The Grim Reaper’s house, but I guess when he summons you, there is no procrastinating.

I made my way through the dense snow to the graveyard.

I stood in front of the haunting door.

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Crap! How many times was I supposed to knock?!?!

Oh yeah. 5. Get it together Yanni!

I knocked. 1…2…3…4…5

The door began to creak open.

The freezing air became colder and every hair on my body stood on end.

My natural instinct was to run.

Grim stood before me.

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“Hi….I’m Yanni Bluebeard. I can see and talk to ghosts.”

He said nothing, but lifted his index finger.

He turned around and went inside.

Minutes, or perhaps only seconds passed.

The door opened and Grim appeared holding something that resembled a leaf blower.

He handed it to me.

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BANSHEE BANISHER 3000  was written on the side.

“GOOOOOO.” he said, although it may have been the wind.

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I guess that means I wasn’t going to get a friendly tutorial.

I quickly turned and left.

When I got home, my mother was waiting.

“What’s going on?” she asked. “Something doesn’t feel right in the air.”

“I don’t really know.” I answered honestly.

I showed her the Banisher and told her about Grandpa, Grandma and the Grim Reaper.

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“So, what are you going to do now?” she asked worriedly.

“I guess I wait.” I sighed.

Mom and I both jumped when the house phone rang.

Mom answered it. “Hello.”

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“Hi…um…I’d like to speak to the guy that can see ghosts…I think I have a problem….”

***


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2.8 Aiden and Yanni

The twins were growing up well.

They both had good grades.

They both kept their room clean.

They both did their homework and ate all their dinner.

But only Yanni had a girlfriend.

Her name was Lydia.

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She was a nice girl, and Yanni seemed to really like her.

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I will say Aiden seemed a little jealous, but I was certain he would meet a nice girl too.

***

One day after school the boys went over to Lydia’s house.

She needed some help rearranging the furniture in her bedroom.

“Thank you both so much for your help.” Lydia said.

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“Anything for a pretty lady.” Aiden winked.

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“Dude, do you mind?!” Yanni said. “I don’t appreciate you flirting with my girlfriend.”

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The tension in the room was thick enough to cut with a knife.

Lydia cleared her throat.

“Alright, boys…calm down. I’m sure Aiden wasn’t trying to flirting with me.” Lydia said.

“Nope…not at all…” Aiden said. “In fact, I’m going to go ahead and head home.”

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Aiden left, perhaps unintentionally slamming the front door.

Lydia was slightly dismayed.

“Anyway..”she said rolling her eyes. “So, it looks like it’s just me and you now. My parents won’t be home for at least ten minutes…and I got a new flavor chap stick you should try.”

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***

Yanni was in the shower.

Aiden used Yanni’s phone to send Lydia a text message.

“Meet me behind Bowlerama”

“Aiden? Where’s Yanni?” Lydia asked.

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“Lydia. I can’t get you out of my mind.”

Lydia looked slightly confused.

 Aiden handed her a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

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“What about Yanni?!” Lydia said.

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“Yanni will always be my brother…but I don’t want to be without you.” Aiden replied

Then he kissed her.

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Yanni had never kissed her like that before…maybe she  had picked the wrong brother…

So, she did what anyone in her predicament would do….

She kissed back.

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Meanwhile, back at home, Yanni was about to text Lydia when he noticed a text….that he didn’t remember sending….

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He tried calling Lydia, but it rang and rang until it went to voice mail.

“Lydia. Hi. It’s Yanni… call me when you get this please.”

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But she never even heard it ring…

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***

Things were a bit awkward after that.

Lydia always seemed busy when Yanni wanted to take her out.

And Aiden always had somewhere to go….

Yanni started to get suspicious.

We were all eating breakfast one Friday when Yanni asked if he could spend the night at a friend’s house.

I agreed.

That evening Lydia stopped by.

Aiden answered the door and they walked outside.

They started flirting out by the garage…

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Yanni had heard enough.

It was as he figured.

He emerged from the side of the garage and cleared his throat.

“Lydia, I think it’s time you go home.” Yanni said.

She was speechless.

Although she was in love with Aiden, she still kinda loved Yanni too, and felt bad for hurting him.

She promptly left.

Aiden followed Yanni inside.

When they were in their room Yanni couldn’t hold his tongue any more.

“How could you  do this to me?!” He yelled.

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“I…I…” Aiden stuttered. “I love her!” he retorted.

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This infuriated Yanni.

He really did try to count to ten to calm down…

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Counting didn’t help.

He lounged at Aiden.

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I heard the commotion and ran into the room.

“WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?!?!” I yelled.

They stopped fighting and continued to gaze at each other.

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“I believe I asked a question, gentlemen.” I said sternly.

“Yes ma’am.” Yanni replied.”You see, Aiden has been seeing Lydia behind my back.”

I looked at Aiden. “Is this true?”

“Yes.” he said.

“Aiden. I am VERY disappointed in you. You should never do that to family, especially your twin brother.”

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“But, I love her. We were meant for each other.”

“Be that as it may, you handled it completely wrong.” I honestly didn’t know what else to say. “I imagine you are going to have to work pretty dang hard to get your brother to EVER trust you again. You two work it out, but in a civil manner. NO MORE FIGHTING!”

“You can have her.” Yanni said disgusted. “I’m going to go sleep in the other room.”

***

Life was slightly more difficult.

Aiden and Lydia continued to date.

Yanni was quiet.

Then it was graduation day.

“Yanni. I know I did you wrong. If it weren’t for you, I might not have ever met Lydia.”Aiden said.

Yanni cringed at her name.

“I want to ask your forgiveness, and your blessing…I want to ask her to marry me.”

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Yanni looked surprised.

His shoulders slumped.

“I wish you two the best, Aiden.” he replied.

Later that evening Aiden and Lydia were out enjoying the snow.

“Lydia, I know the way we met was wrong, but you’re the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me.”

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She blushed.

He got down on one knee.

“Will you marry me?”

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“Oh, Aiden…I was worried you were going to ask me tonight.” Lydia said.

Aiden stood up feeling rejected.

“So, is that a No?”

“I want to marry you, I do, but I got a job offer today….but it’s in Bridgeport.”

“You don’t want me to go?”

“You don’t have to stay?”

“I’d go anywhere for you.”

“Then Yes! Yes! How about now?”

Aiden laughed.

“Sounds perfect!”

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I guess everything happens for a reason.

I wasted so much time worrying about choosing one of my children as an heir, when there was never anything to worry about.

Yanni will do great things, I’m sure.

***

I’d like to wish all my readers a Happy New Year! Thank you for reading! 


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2.7 Zach and Zelda

I had been doing a lot of thinking since Yanni and I had our…talk.

In fact, my mind often left me sleepless.

I kept going back and forth of whether Jeff and I should choose who continues our legacy, or whether I should do what my parents did, and let them decide.

I tossed and turned in the bed.

Finally, I just decided to get up and paint.

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I was in The Zone.

And that’s when the security alarm went off.

I saw a figure sneak through the living room.

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The intruder was in the hallway trying to steal one of my paintings.

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I gasped as I realized the intruder looked extremely familiar.

“TRIXIE?!?”  I screamed. “Is That YOU?”

She turned and looked at me. Tears rolled down her face.

Suddenly, blue and red lights filled the hallway.

The police had arrived.

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“Don’t run. I’ll save you from the police, but you have some explaining to do.”

She quickly went and hid in the kitchen as I let the officer in.

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“I am so sorry officer.” I stated. “I wasn’t sleeping well. I went outside to get some fresh air, and must have forgotten to disarm the alarm.”

He looked at me suspiciously.

“Well. Ok. Please be careful next time.” he finally said.

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The officer left and Trixie started to walk out the kitchen door.

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“Where do you think you are going?!” I asked.

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“I…I…” she stuttered.

“What were you doing? Why did you break into my house?” I yelled.

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“I…I..” stuttered again.

“Answer me Trixie!”

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She started to cry.

“Please, please forgive me. I got in some trouble with some bad people, and they said if I didn’t steal one of your painting, they were going to kill Zach.”

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“Trixie. You didn’t have to break in. Why didn’t you just tell me? I’d give you all my paintings.”

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“I was scared.” she started crying again.

I hugged her.

I went inside and got the painting.

“You best change your ways, Trixie. My son loves you, and I love my son. You better not EVER put my family in danger again.”

I handed her the painting.

“I think it’s time for you to go deliver this.”

“Thank you…”

The porch light flicked on.

Trixie was gone.

Zach stepped out the door.

“What’s going on?”

I hesitated on whether I should tell him or not…

***

Later that day Zach saw Trixie coming out of the theater.

“Trixie!” he called out.

She looked surprised to see him.

He grabbed her and kissed her.

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“There’s something I want to ask you.” he said.

She looked nervous. Did he know?

Then he really surprised her.

He got down on one knee.

“Trixie. I love you. I want to take care of you for the rest of our lives. Will you marry me?”

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Trixie was speechless.

“You want to marry me?”

Zach was starting to get nervous….

“Yes….that’s why I’m asking you…do you want to marry me?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Relieved, he slide the ring on her finger.

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“So…” he said coyly. “What to get married right now?”

“Zach Bluebeard what do you have up your sleeve?”

“Nothing up my sleeve, but how about keys to our own house in my pocket.”

“What? Are you serious? A house? A real house?”

“Of course silly!”

“Oh Zach, I love you.”

And with that, they exchanged vows.

And I got a phone call…

“Mom. Trixie and I eloped.”

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“Oh, Zach.” I said. “I wish you all the happiness in the world. Please don’t forget to visit me…” my eyes started to water.

“Mom, we just moving across town…not another country.” he laughed.

***

The house felt different without Zach…

We were still quite busy, planning Zelda’s graduation.

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***

Marshall Tucker was planning his and Zelda’s graduation as well.

“Mom,” Zelda called from the hallway,”Marshall said he has a graduation present for me…I’m going to go over to his house…”

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I met her in the hallway.

She looked beautiful.

“Ok, sweetheart.”

I watched her walk across the park.

I noticed Marshall in his yard doing the same.

He welcomed Zelda with a kiss…and I decided it would be best to do something else…like paint.

“Zelda, “Marshall said. “Are you ready to be a Farmer’s Wife?”

Zelda blushed.

She glanced across the street to the house she grew up in…and she glanced at the beautiful farm-house.

The aroma of apples filled the air…a sent that always reminded her of the first night she met Marshall.

“Yes. I am ready.”

He put a dazzling ring on her finger.

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My phone rang.

“Hi Mom.” It was Zelda.

“Is everything ok?”

“Oh yes. More than ok….it’s about my graduation present from Marshall…”

“Yes…go on…”

“I’m going to be a Tucker!”

I smiled.

“And I’ve decided to live here, with Marshall…”

“As long as you’re happy.”

“Yes, I am. I love you Mom.”

“I love you too, Zelda.”

Suddenly, the house felt really big…

And now, there were only two children left to pass on the tradition.

But it didn’t make the decision any easier….

***


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2.6 Trixie, Ghosts, and Teenagers

I arrived just in time to see Zach defeat Grimm.

I was more than relieved.

Unfortunately, defeating Grimm gave Zach a renewed sense of…confidence.

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***

“That’s a pretty decent tag.” a mysterious voice said.

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Zach spun around, half expecting the police.

Instead, it was a girl…

“Watch my back, and I’ll show you how it’s done.”she said coyly.

“Ok.” Zach said, slightly dumbfounded.

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The mystery chic opened her bag, and with a cloud of spray paint, she was finished.

Zach was impressed by her talent.

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“God. I’m starving.” she said. “Come on. I know were there is a broken vending machine we can steal some snacks from.”

Zach was still trying to figure out who this chic was.

“No…no…let me get us lunch. Let’s go over to the Bistro across the street.” Zach said.

She looked puzzled, but it had been a while since she scored a decent meal.

They walked across the road.

“Order whatever you want.” Zach said. “My Grandpa worked here for a long time…they still give me a discount.”

She ate her meal slowly, enjoying every bite.

Then they ordered dessert.

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“My name is Zach, by the way. I can’t remember if I mentioned it earlier…you kinda surprised me.” he ended in a whisper.

“Why are you being so nice to me?” she snapped.

“Well, you are the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen, and you are ridiculously talented.”

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“My name is…Trixie. Trixie Doubloon. Thank you for lunch.” she said.

Then she kissed him.

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Trying to stay calm and cool, Zach asked,”So…” he cleared his throat. “So, where do you live?”

She pointed to the hill. “Up there.”

There were only three houses at the top of that hill.

His, The Tuckers and The Altos.

“Huh, me too…” he said. “Can I give you a lift home?”

“Oh…uhhh…sure.” she replied.

“Hope you don’t mind motorcycles.”

“Ok with me.”

The got on Zach’s bike. She put her arms around his waist.

He quickly put his helmet on to hide that he was blushing.

They rode to the hill.

He stopped at the center pond and pointed to the left.

“That’s my house. Where can I take you?”

Her eyes shifted nervously at the other two houses.

“That one.” she said, pointing to the Alto’s.

He walked her to the sidewalk.

“Well, thanks for lunch. Good-bye.” she said quickly.

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“Ok then…guess I’ll see you around.”

“Yeah…sounds great.”

Zach turned to leave and Trixie quickly jogged behind the Alto’s house, where she hid behind a bush until Zach was home.

She sighed.

That was close. she thought.

The next day at school, Zach looked for Trixie-without any luck.

He was getting off the bus when he saw her at the pond across from the house.

It looked like she was rolling up a tent, but he couldn’t be certain.

“Hey!”he called. “Wanna come in and get a snack?”

She put something by a tree and walked over.

They went inside.

She was oddly fascinated by a painting on the wall.

“Who painted this? This looks like Bianca Bluebeard’s work.”

“Yeah. It is. That’s my mom.”

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“Do you have more?” she asked.

They walked into the study.

“Do you know how much these are worth?!” she stated.

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***

Aiden was like me. Always painting.

Always.

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***

Yanni on the other hand.

He threw us a bit of a curve ball…

“Hi Grandpa!” I heard him say one night. “Will you read me a bedtime story?”

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He hugged the air. “Do you think they would believe me?”

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We were playing video games together one morning.

“You know Grandma and Grandpa are really proud of you, right?” he said as he put down his controller.

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“How do you know that sweetheart?”

“They told me so.”

Again, on another morning I heard him talking to someone in the living room.

“Hey honey. Who are you talking to?”

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“Grandma.”

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I hope this is just a phase. 

***

Zelda and Marshall were still inseparable.

“Will you go to prom with me?” Marshall asked.

“I’d love to.” Zelda replied back.

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“You know, “Marshall stated, “One day soon, this farm is going to be mine…Do you like to garden?”

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“I…I…”

“It’s ok, you don’t have to say anything right now.”

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She said her good-byes and jogged home in a state of confusion.

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The next day, she started reading gardening books.

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***

Graduation day came for Zach, and although I was worried Trixie was a negative influence, Zach graduated with decent grades.

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There was now a teenager sharing my easels.

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And Yanni…he spent most of his days in the garden…talking to my dead parents.

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“Mom.” he said. “Is it true only one of us gets to stay in this house and carry on the family name?”

“How….how did you know that?”

“Grandpa told me…”

I was speechless.

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2.5 Twins and Robots

Today was the twin’s first birthday.

I sighed.

It also marked a year since my parents died.

They died the night I gave birth to Aiden and Yanni.

I watched as Aiden played with his peg box and Yanni beat the xylophone.

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They both had my mother’s hair and my father’s eyes.

I loved my boys so much, and it felt like in a way, my parents were still with us.

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It was bed time, and as usual, Yanni was hiding.

He wasn’t crazy about bed time.

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I tucked the boys in and looked at the wall paper. This room was past due for a makeover.

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I stepped out on the back porch and put on my snow boots.

I walked to the small garden were my parents rested.

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“I miss you guys.” I whispered.

***

Taking care of twins was definitely a challenge.

Jeff’s job was keeping him extremely busy.

Zach tried to help.

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Zelda….Zelda tried too.

“Mom…” she yelled from the study. “…what was I getting again?”

“Yanni’s bottle.” I said, possibly for the third time.

“Oh yeah.”

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***

With Jeff’s long hours, and I really was trying to keep up with the twins, a teenager and an absent-minded daughter.

One night I was teaching Aiden how to talk…

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My phone rang.

“Mrs. Bluebeard, this is Officer Glass. We have Zach in custody. We caught him shoplifting.”

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My hands started to shake.

“What do I need to do?”

“Well, he is still a minor…so I can just bring him home, as long as you are there.”

“Thank you Officer. I am home.”

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I was furious. No….I was beyond furious.

“How could you be shoplifting! Why?!?” I yelled.

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“I…I…”

“We have enough money for you to buy anything you need!”

“I…I…”he stuttered. “I don’t know  Mom. I’m sorry….”

“Don’t do it again.”

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Zelda stood in the hallway.

She was crying. I sighed.

“Go to bed Zach. Zelda, go pick out a book sweetheart. I’ll read you a story.”

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The boys woke up at the same time the next morning.

Early.

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I had hardly slept the night before.

I got the boys settled  and walked to the kitchen.

“Wow, Mom. You look rough.” Zach said.

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“Wait…that’s not what I meant. I mean, I know it’s probably because of me…Look, let me watch the boys and Zelda. You could go to the spa or something.”

And so I did.

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“What about your hair?” the stylist said.

“Cut it.” I said.

A make-over was just what I needed.

I felt like a completely new person.

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***

Finally, after all these years, and a lot of hard work, the time portal had been stabilized.

The company wanted Jeff…and me…to go to the future, research and build a robot for the present time.

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I knew we shouldn’t be gone long (in present time), but I asked a friend, and neighbor, Sheila Tucker to come watch the kids.

Jeff and I stepped through the portal.

His first time wasn’t so fun.

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Jeff began by interviewing the resident robot.

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The next morning we went to the Bot Shop.

I was particularly interested in the Nannybot.

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While Jeff was drawn to a more aggressive model.

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And although Jeff and I weren’t on vacation, we did enjoy some time alone.

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After quite a bit of research at the library,

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Jeff was ready to build his first robot.

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He was felling pretty confident, and I must say I was impressed.

He adjusted the robot’s trait chips.

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We were almost ready to go home….there was just something I needed to do first.

I looked up Bluebeard in the directory.

I got the address and went to visit.

The house was awesome.

I was greeted by a nice lady.

“Hi. I’m Bianca Bluebeard…is Diane home?”

She hugged me.

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 “I’m her sister-in-law, Mary. Diane isn’t here right now.” she leaned in and whispered,”I’m house-sitting. She and my brother are on their second honeymoon. It’s their 20th anniversary!”

We talked for a little longer, and it was a relief to hear that everyone was doing well.

The next morning, Jeff, the robot and I were ready to go home.

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When we got home, Jeff packed a few things.

He had to deliver the robot to Hidden Springs, and unfortunately that meant he would be gone for a week.

At least he made it home in time for the boy’s 8th birthday.

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Not even a week later, Zelda turned 15.

She was turning into a lovely lady.

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Zach was phenomenal with the guitar.

Jeff  and I were so proud.

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***

One crisp Spring evening, Zelda accompanied me to the Tucker’s house for a get together.

I’m not sure if I had forgotten that their son Marshall had turned into a teenager, or that Zelda was a teenager…

He introduced himself.

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She was instantly smitten.

By the end of the evening, the both were.

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I was not prepared for my daughter’s flirtatious giggles…

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I cleared my throat, thanked Sheila for a lovely evening, and announced that it was time to go home.

Zelda was not happy with me.

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Too bad!

***

Zach was only days away from graduating.

I was sitting in the kitchen watching Yanni play in the new sand box.

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Zelda came running through the door.

“MOM!” she yelled with a panic.”

“What’s the matter Zelda?”

She was out of breath…

“Some college guys….in the park…they dared Zach to….guitar duel…Grimm…Cemetery!”

I got in the car.

I hope I make it in time….

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