“Welcome back for the first chapter of Family Roots. If you read the introduction, which I highly recommend that you do, you understand quite well why it is I wear this pained expression. I have sent a founder out with restrictions that have managed to scare even myself. But without further ado…let’s start our story which will begin with our man Jethro entering his father’s parcel of land.”
Ragged was a nice word to describe his childhood property. The legacy funds had hit his account about 48 hours after his meeting with Eric, and now he was standing on the land that was officially his. The only intact portions of the property was the old garden cabin, three rows of crops, and the tree and flowers his mother had planted near the pond. Although he wouldn’t admit it, this was going to be tough.
He quickly started planting the seeds that had been left in the cottage. It was one of the few possession that the bank left when they went on their repossession spree prior to the finalizing of the legacy contract. As he tilled the ground he felt oddly at home. He was sure that he looked rather foolish, being that he was wearing his freshly pressed trousers and silk button down to plant his tomato seeds. He was praying that they would grow, this had been a skill he lacked as a child, and although living in the city the phrase “fake it til you make it” ran wild, he was pretty certain mother nature could see right through that.
When Jethro had arrived at the property the bank had cleared it. They left the old buzzing refrigerator, a sofa, and the toilet and shower system in the outhouse. The repo men had managed the close the gate, a rather rickety one that Jethro was fairly certain he would need to tear down, on Tick and throw him a bone to keep him quiet. The only places left untouched was the garden his mother planted, and the patch of grass that was being protected by the black and tan coonhound.
He didn’t find a lack of work to do around the farm. He fished…without success. He painted…unattractively.
Truth be told he was adjusting quite well to the uniqueness of rural living.
What began to gnaw at him was the loneliness. After spending nearly nine years surrounded by the hustle and bustle of downtown Sim City, life in Crystal Springs was lonely. Not to mention as per his contract he would have to provide an heir to this parcel. The first neighbor to pass by his home was a redheaded woman. He found himself compelled to say hello, visions of childhood hospitality and rural living filling his head.
“Hi there!” He exclaimed grabbing the woman’s hand with a firm grip. “Jethro Beaumont.” He flashed her his winning smile, the smile that sold pizzas, the smile that got him in the door in apartment complexes. “Afternoon…” She replied glancing at her watch and then back towards the blue shanty that stood farther back on the property. “Can I invite you in for a cup of coffee? You seem to be a ways off the beaten path.” He chuckled slightly, not realizing his southern hospitality was not so novel here.
“I know who you are.” A rude light bulb seemed to flash into her eyes. “You obviously don’t know who I am. The real estate agent that kept trying to peel Senior Beaumont off of this prime piece of property! Do you have any idea what kind of mess you’ve made for Crystal Springs? This was perfect for starter families, good area, nice schools. Everything is perfect but this eye sore!” With that she stormed off huffing like a school girl who was just stood up for prom.
That winning smiled was quickly replaced with a worried frown. That attitude was probably wide-spread. His father’s reputation was obviously not great. Having spent the last week outside of what most of Crystal Springs would deem civilization he had forgotten the very reason he had ran into a difficulty obtaining his father’s deed. This was going to be a problem.
By nightfall the wheels in Jethro’s head had begun to turn. Between bites of his before bed sandwich he formulated a most intriguing business proposal. He would need to be looking outside of Crystal Springs for friends. He needed to be in the circles he was comfortable in…he had the makings of a popular guy, schmoozing was not a difficult point for him. He needed to circle back to his old haunts in downtown Sim City.
The next day, after two hours in a most unique smelling taxi he found himself walking the streets of downtown Sim City. The gazes from passers by were brief and he felt in his zone again. He could feel his confidence growing again, perhaps this legacy wasn’t doomed already after all.
By seven o’clock he had finally reached his destination. It was a rather ritzy restaurant and bar known as Londoste. He was dressed slightly casually for it, but he was fairly confidant he wouldn’t break the dress code badly enough to not be allowed entrance. The sound of the music and the warm glow of the lights left a smile on his face. He really missed this, it was difficult being out of Sim City. Having people around him always made him more at ease and the farm had little social interaction to offer him, save for Tick who would be just as well without a human as long as his bowl was filled.
He strolled in confidently, and once seated at the bar began to scope the room as he waved at the bartender. “Scotch please, Miss.” He said his drawl a little too heavy now. It slipped back so easily. He sighed as he watched her turn away to retrieve the bottle from the shelf.
She handed him his scotch. Looking around at the bar and noticing the lack of people in attendance she poured her own glass before turning back to her guest. “Here you go. I think I’ve seen you here before, usually not with such a long face though.” She winked at him and nudged the glass forward as he had seemed not to even notice it was there.
He downed the contents of his glass before replying his head already bobbing slightly from the strength of his drink. “Yes, I’ve been here a couple of times I’d guess.” He looked down at the bottom of the glass before looking up at her. “I’m Jay.” He hadn’t even realized he’d slipped into using his old nickname. “Who might you be?” “Jenna Lew. Now care to explain that down look or do I need to go back to polishing my bottles?”
He picked up his glass, perhaps as emotional support, perhaps as an anchor. “I’m an entrepreneur, live out in Crystal Springs if you’re familiar with the area. I’ve landed a pretty decent contract with Mr. Simself. With power comes responsibility, you know?” He flashed her that smile, hating himself only slightly for his truth stretching. Friendly company would be nice right now, even under pretense. “A contract?” She was quiet a moment before the dimples at either corner of her mouth deepened into a smile. “A legacy? You’re a contracted legacy holder?”
“Yes actually you know much about it?” He made his way around the bar, taking her interest as an invitation. “Are you kidding? I love those, they’re so interesting! The documentaries are fabulous to watch.” She was laughing, and the interest in his situation gave him confidence, he was coming into his old self and that goofy smile was spread across his face. “They are aren’t they? Our governing creator has been without one and its been highly unfortunate. Being a family man I find the dedication to a family line intriguing.”
“I had no idea a legacy was taking place. I suppose Crystal Springs would be the place to go, not too crowded and the neighborhood is really taking off in development.” She seemed smart, like she knew her stuff, and it was attractive to Jethro he couldn’t fool himself out of that. “It’s a really nice neighborhood, the kids are feeding straight into Academie La Tour now. I did enjoy the rural farming community feel to it, but times are changing I suppose.” Perhaps it was back pedaling, but truly he didn’t really ‘lie’ per say.
He stepped a little closer to Jenna as if to see the name tag on her uniform. “I have to say I haven’t had this nice of a conversation in quite some time. I was wondering if you might like to continue it sometime when you’re not working?” She felt a little flutter, he was sharply dressed, and although a bit forward, quite handsome. “I’d love to.” “Great, I know a place with an awesome view of Sim City, we could have coffee there? Friday?” With a few words of acceptance Jethro was out the door with a bit of a skip in his step.
Back in Crystal Springs Jethro found time with Tick. “Dad loved you, Dog.” He said scratching his belly as the dog’s rear leg kicked with approval. “I’m going to try to keep this piece of land. I met someone today.” He sat back on his heels as the dog grumbled in disapproval of the discontinuance of belly rubs. “She’s a smart girl Tick…I just hope she doesn’t see through me too quickly.” He frowned as he crossed his arms and looked at the coonhound.
Back in Sim City, Jenna sat back behind the counter as she finished storing the last of the wine coolers. She leaned back on her hands starring at the flavored syrups in front of her. “Jay.” She said her face remaining expressionless. “Jay…” She furrowed her brow.
Next time on Family Roots… How does the night with Jenna fair…. Why the heck Jethro is making such a face on the phone… Is Mrs. Crumplebottom in love with Jethro or simply an alcoholic…or….both?? The answers to all these questions (but probably not the third one) and more…in chapter two.
I leave you with this cat. This terrible, awful, horrible, life ruining…cat. He pranced upon my lawn and proceeded to tear apart my bed and…my shower. Jethro must shower at the gym and must sleep upon a sofa and must continually ask me for comfort. This cat…is an awful, awful creature.