I’m sorry, you guys! I meant to put this up yesterday night after studying for PSYC midterm but then I ended up reading Pandora Hearts and spent the rest of the night sitting at my desk going, ‘WTF JUST HAPPENED’. Wow, that latest chapter. Really pulled a doozie on us, huh, Mochizuki >< She’s just playing us like monkeys or something with all her plot twists and feels.
Now that the girls started helping around the house with their self-employed careers, things had gotten a little more relaxed, financially-speaking. Bryony had more time to sleep now that she didn’t have to constantly work overtime just to earn a little extra cash, and she got up earlier in the mornings to cook waffles or pancakes for her daughters. Before this, the triplets had to scavenge around the house or the fridge just to find a leftover piece of jam and toast, or the last bowl of ice cream.
The triplets did almost everything together; even though Azalea and Clementine weren’t on the best of terms, they both were pretty good friends with Nyra, who held the three sisters together.
“What are you writing about?” Nyra asked Clementine, who shrugged, staring at her paper. It was almost time to hand in the first draft of the essay ‘My Family’. Azalea wanted to write about her sisters while Nyra wanted to write about Bryony and Frodo. Clementine was at a loss as to what she should write about. One of her friends, Moses Goth, suggested writing about her father and then he went on a tangent about how amazingly awesome his father, Mortimer Goth, was.
Clementine hadn’t wanted to burst his bubble and so remained quiet about the fact that the only think she knew about her father was that he worked as a cop. Bryony refused to even disclose the name of their father, because apparently he’s quite infamous around town. Although it wasn’t exactly what the assignment wanted, Clementine decided to write her essay on how her father being a police officer influenced her own dreams of becoming a cop as well. She wanted to work in law enforcement so that she could meet her father face-to-face and maybe even work alongside him in protecting the town.
Bryony did not know of Clementine’s lifelong goal, otherwise she would have advised her not to do so. By this point, Bryony had completely given up on trying to get Hank to marry her and any spark she felt toward the man had been absolutely extinguished by not only his stubbornness in avoiding responsibility, but also the constant rumours of his sleeping with anybody of the female gender. She usually spent her days thinking of how to tell Hank she wanted to end their relationship, but never being able to work up enough courage to drive to his house to tell him.
Instead, when she wasn’t working or hanging out with her children, Bryony worked on training Heartwood for riding, as the unicorn mare was still unused to having a rider on her back.
“Ugh!” Nyra clasped a hand to her mouth to try and avoid spitting out the charred excuse of a blueberry muffin she had just eaten.
After seeing Azalea cook batch after batch of perfect muffins for the girls to share, Nyra had felt the urge to try her hand at baking too. Once she saw that both Clementine and Azalea had gone to sleep, she snuck outside and, following the instructions in the pamphlet carefully, she made her very first batch of blueberry muffins.
Unfortunately, instead of the fluffy light texture Azalea’s muffins had, Nyra’s muffins tasted more crispy and stale. They certainly couldn’t be considered food!
“Azalea has a number of problems, from the way she acts to the way she laughs,” Clementine had commented grudgingly one day when Azalea was baking. “But I admit she’s got an innate talent for cooking.”
“Ahem, order in my court!” Standing on one of the oak chairs in their dining room, Azalea clapped her hands together as loudly as she could. Clementine, the only other person in the room, spared her a glance before spooning more autumn salad onto her plate.
Azalea ignored Clementine’s cold reaction and continued, “Clementine Summers, as your queen, I order you to show me your math homework so that I may copy off of them!”
“Didn’t you do them? I saw you working on them with Nyra.” Clementine replied, pouring herself a glass of juice now.
“Nyra’s getting a B in school and you’re getting an A,” Azalea replied as if it was the most obvious reason in the world.
“I saw your report card, Azalea,” Clementine retorted as she began to eat her breakfast. “You’re getting an A just like me. Just do your own math homework.”
Azalea sat back down and whipped her papier-mache crown off her head before sticking her tongue out at Clementine playfully. Clementine returned the favour and the two girls giggled lightly.
It was to be one of the last friendly interactions between the two sisters for a very long time.
A few nights later, Bryony marched over to the hospital to meet with her wayward boyfriend Hank Goddard, her face set in a deep scowl. While she was forgiving of his sleeping around, he had finally done something that not even the mild-tempered Bryony could accept. Cycl0n3 had informed her that Hank had started dating Zelda Steel, the wife of Christopher Steel, after lying to her about being single.
“Hank Goddard!” Bryony screamed when she saw him in the distance about to drive off. The taxi driver hurriedly drove away before Hank could get in the car and Bryony made sure to stand right in front of him as she glared at his face. “Hank Goddard, what is this I hear about you and Mrs. Steel?”
“Hank, I’ve put up with a lot of crap, you know. You have children with me and then you just leave, and don’t even marry me. Then from what I hear, you’re still sleeping around with all these women even though technically we’re still going out. And now I hear you’re pretending I don’t even exist just to sleep with Zelda Steel? You’re despicable!”
“Hey, I didn’t ask for you to give birth to all those girls, Bry.” Hank retorted back, though his tone sounded meek compared to his usual voice. “And besides, I send you guys $300 every month as child support, don’t I?”
“$300?!” Bryony yelled. “Do you have any idea how much money it takes to make sure they’re all fed and happy? Do you have any idea how much money it is to buy all three of them clothes, and to pay the bills, and to make sure Thunder and Heartwood are fed?!”
“Thunder and Heartwood?”
“But no!” Bryony waved her arms dramatically in the air, ignoring the questioning looks the nearby Sims were beginning to send their way. “You just HAVE to play around and diddle daddle while we have to work our butts off just to keep the house! The girls are only 10 and they’re already out there earning money while you just…just…SLEEP AROUND. I’m ashamed to even tell them that you’re the father!”
“This is the last straw, Hank. We’re through. I don’t know if you think I’m still the soft little Cake Islander that came here all those years ago, but I have had it with you. I thought you were so nice when I arrived, but now I know that you’re just a selfish, mean person who would say and do anything just for a night with a woman. You’re a pig, Hank. You know that? You are a disgusting pig.”
And without another word, Bryony stalked back to her car and drove back home. Unfortunately, Bryony’s outburst in such a public place meant that almost everyone in town had soon heard of it. Even those Bryony wanted to keep it a secret from…
When Bryony returned home, she was surprised to see Azalea still awake and eating an evening snack at the dinner table. The two exchanged brief greetings while Bryony prepared a salad for herself.
“So I heard you broke up with Dad?”
Bryony set down her fork slowly and looked at Azalea, who was staring back at her without any hint of emotion on her face. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Azalea.”
“Oh, Mom, just like you’ve got Mr. Cycl0n3 to tell you things going on around town, I’ve got a friend too.” snorted Azalea. “He told me that our Dad’s that Town Gigolo, Hank Goddard. He said that you just had a big fight with him by the hospital and broke up with him.”
Bryony knew she was caught and she kept her voice down as she whispered, “Azalea, I don’t want you telling your sisters this, okay? I know Clementine really idolizes him because all she knows about him is that he works as a law enforcer. Don’t tell Nyra either. She doesn’t care about who her father is and I don’t want her having to deal with that now.”
Azalea waved a hand dismissively as she finished her muffin and took her plate to the sink. “Don’t fret, Mom. My lips are sealed.”
True to Azalea’s word, life in the Summers home passed without incident. Bryony continued to work at the hospital and visited the local park every once in a while to issue vaccinations. Nyra continued to pursue her love of fishing and to the relief of the family, she spent less and less time talking to her imaginary friend Frodo and stuck solidly in the realms of reality. Clementine and Azalea maintained their strange relationship; one day they would be arguing and yelling at each other over the pettiest of things, sometimes even resulting in fistfights. The next second, they would be laughing and giggling together, playing tag in the yard or feeding the unicorns together.
Azalea never breathed a word of their father’s true nature to either of her sisters and for that, Bryony was grateful.
Soon, it became time for the girls to reach the age of fifteen and enter the world of high school. As the oldest, they decided to let Clementine blow out her candle first. Bryony had been at work for this and missed Clementine’s party, though the girls all understood and did not hold her at fault.
As Clementine blew out her candles, she wished to become a police officer and to one day meet her father
Next, it was time for Nyra to blow out her candles and make a wish.
“I wish for our family to stay happy and for all of our dreams to come true. I also wish to catch a swordfish.” Nyra whispered under her breath and then she blew out her candles.
Finally, Azalea approached her cake and thought about her wish for a second, ignoring Nyra’s yell of ‘Hurry up, Azalea! I want cake!”
She decided in the end to just wish that she could meet someone special in high school and blew out her candles as well.
Bryony felt so proud of her beautiful daughters as she cheered during the party. She had been in a terribly foul mood following her breakup with Hank and seeing her children growing up reignited her inner child again. She clapped her hands and jumped up and down excitedly, laughing along with her girls as they shared the three cakes amongst them.
Clementine grew up to be absolutely stunning and Bryony felt so proud of how well she turned out. Clementine became very athletic and obsessed with staying fit in her teenage years due to her dream of becoming a police officer, though she still wasn’t sure which branch. As usual, she decided to keep her hair in her signature braid, as she found that she was so used to it that she felt rather odd with her hair out of its usual style.
Unlike her more fashion-conscious sisters, Nyra preferred to keep things simple and clean. She didn’t wear as much makeup and didn’t like to wear expensive clothes like Clementine or Azalea. Nyra, who had had plenty of practice as a child, became quite a talented fisherperson and loved to be in the outdoors and just enjoy the peace and quiet. She didn’t care that she wasn’t as pretty as the rest of her family. She just cared that, unlike her sisters, she didn’t have any sort of drama or internal issues to work through.
The fact that she still thinks Frodo is real, however, should probably be considered an ‘internal issue to work through’
Azalea decided to let her hair grow out now that she was older, though it was still as messy and untameable as before. Like Bryony had suspected during Azalea’s childhood, she was quite the natural cook and almost everything she makes nowadays turns out delicious. Unfortunately, Azalea didn’t seem to care much about cooking and only seemed to care about her ‘plans’, though she would never tell her family what exactly her ‘plans’ were.
Like during elementary school, the girls decided not to take on afterschool activities and focus instead on earning money for the family through part-time jobs. Azalea decided to start putting her ‘plans’ into action and joined the nearby crime syndicate as a lowly delinquent. They accepted her with open arms and Azalea managed to keep quiet about the identity of her father, though there was no use hiding the identity of her mother.
At the same time that Azalea joined the mob, Clementine decided to join the youth patrols of the police department. She looked around while in HQ for anyone that could resemble her father, but he must be busy with a case because when Clementine came out of the station about an hour later, she hadn’t seen anyone that looked remotely like anyone in her family.
Nyra decided to register herself as a self-employed angler. She had already been one, technically, when she was a child, and she found that she had been bringing in the most money amongst her sisters. She emerged happily from City Hall, stretched, and headed down to the park to fish in the pond.
“Ms. Pauline Wan?”
Azalea had heard from her information source the location where her father lived and had told her that he was roommates with an Asian woman named Pauline Wan.
“Yes, who is it?” Pauline asked when she opened the door.
“My name is Azalea Summers and I’m looking for Mr. Hank Goddard?”
Pauline looked confused. “But you are much too young!”
Azalea resisted the urge to gag when she immediately realized when Pauline was implying. “No, Ms. Wan, you’re mistaken. I’m just here to talk with him.” She gave Pauline a watered-down version of events, making sure she kept her more choice words regarding Hank’s personality and person out of her explanation. Pauline seemed sympathetic enough and let her in, though she warned her that Hank was at work and wouldn’t be back until several hours later.
“Oh, don’t worry, Ms. Wan” Azalea assured Pauline as she settled down on their couch and switched the TV on. “I can wait.”
The rest of the Summers family, who didn’t know of Azalea meeting with Hank that day, spent their afternoon in general peace and monotony. Bryony had another vaccination clinic at the park that day. Whereas at first, Bryony was unable to deal with the pained screams of her patients, she was able to handle it quite well and professionally now. She was well on her road to fulfilling her lifelong dream of becoming a surgeon at the hospital.
Just several feet away from her mother, Nyra was fishing at the park’s pool for goldfish and minnow. She had already caught several small fries and she was aiming to catch a nice big one to sell. Although Azalea had teased her of being boring, Nyra didn’t mind the monotony and waiting of fishing, preferring to spend the time lost in her daydreams or quietly conversing with Frodo.
When Hank finally came home at 4 o’clock after a tiring day at work, the last thing he expected to see was Pauline chatting with a strange, somewhat familiar-looking teenage girl.
“Pauline, who’s that?” Hank asked as he placed his jacket on a nearby hook.
The girl turned around and glared at him and Hank held his breath as he realized instinctively who he was looking at.