Sophomore year had begun for Memphis and his cousins and they were all enjoying living in the Flying PenguinosGreek House. It was certainly a massive step up from living in the dorms.
For one, the food was better, especially because Viola and Pearl were really good cooks.
Their rooms were also larger and more comfortable than they had been at the dorms, a fact that Spacely and hisgirlfriend, Ginger Newson, greatly appreciated.
And there were all sorts of the fun things to do around the house when one needed a study break.
While his cousins and older brother enjoyed the Greek House, Falcon was enjoying living on his own in the dorms;especially because there wasn’t anyone around to comment on how he was spending most of his time.
His double bed had arrived on the first day of the semester and since then he hadn’t had any trouble finding girls whowanted to share it with him.
His first had been a woman named Amaya Love and she had been amazing.
She also seemed to understand his intensions perfectly because although they fell asleep together…
…he found that she was gone when he woke up the next morning. He was also pleasantly surprised to find that hewasn’t bothered by that at all.
After that he quickly learned how to identify girls that were just looking for a good time and not a long term relationship.Every now and then he would misread the signals but the misunderstandings never deterred him for long.
Of course college life wasn’t all fun and games.“I am SO BORED!” Robert said one night as he struggled to finish an assignment. “Why is this class so stupid and fullof busy work? I feel like I haven’t done anything fun in ages.”
“Seriously, how do you managed to get good grades?” Viola asked as she sat down with some dinner. “But I agree.The semester is already a couple of weeks in and we haven’t really done anything fun. Aunt Bella would be appalledto learn that we haven’t thrown a party yet. So I think we should have one this weekend.”
“That is a really excellent idea,” Robert replied with a grin.
Jade and George, the resident popularity sims, were more than happy to take over the planning and soon word hadspread around the campus that the Greek House had a new crowd and that they were having a party.
Since it was the first Greek House party of the semester everyone who had been invited (and many who hadn’t) cameout to join in the festivities.
The attendees included Carla Carr and her friend Tara Hunicke. Carla knew Memphis’ last name was Penguino andthat this was the family fraternity. She had talked Tara (albeit very easily) into coming specifically in the hopes ofrunning into Memphis again. Sure enough she spotted him as soon as she walked in, but what she saw didn’t makeher happy.
Memphis was in the middle of the floor dancing with the girl that he had brought to the gaming competition. Carlasighed and headed for the punch.
She was more than a bit annoyed when the girl came over, helped herself to a drink, and turned to Carla with a smile.“Hi! I’m Viola!” she said. “I remember you from the gaming competition. Congrats again!”“Thanks,” Carla replied. She tried too keep the bite out of her voice but failed.Viola studied Carla. It was clear that she was very interested in Memphis and Viola had a good idea as to why Carlawas acting cranky with her, but Viola wanted to hear Carla say it.
Turning away to watch the dancers Viola asked, “So what year are you?”“Just started sophomore year,” Carla replied.“Cool. We all did too,” Viola said. “How long have you been winning competitions over at Games of Glory.”“For a couple years now. I don’t win them all, of course. But SSX is my favorite game,” Carla replied.
There was an awkward pause for a moment as they both sipped their drinks. Viola could tell that Carla wanted to askher something and she was going to give her the chance to work up the nerve.Finally Carla said, as casually as she could, “So how long have you and Memphis been together?”Viola had been expecting the question but she still choked on her drink as she tried not to laugh too hard.
When she could breath again she said, “Well we’ve been friends ever since we could walk and talk since, you know,our Moms are twins.”She watched Carla work that out with a grin on her face.“So…you’re…” Carla began.“Cousins,” Viola finished. “And best friends. I’m an only child. He’s the brother I didn’t have.”
Carla smiled at her genuinely for the first time, “So…does he have a girlfriend then?”“Not that I know of and he usually tells me everything,” Viola replied. “I should warn you. His mother is JennyPenguino so he’s a bit skittish about competitors.”“Ah…right…I heard about the dance competition she lost. It wasn’t pretty was it?”“Not at all,” Viola said with a grimace. Then she smiled and raised her glass to Carla, “Good luck!”Carla grinned back as she said, “Thanks!” Then she began to weave her way through the crowd toward Memphis.
Memphis was a bit taken aback when Carla suddenly appeared at his side.“Hi! Good to see you again!” she said with a smile.“Uh…hi...” Memphis replied, looking to George with a pleading expression.
Carla followed his glance and turned to George as well, “Hi! I’m Carla Carr!”“George Goodytwoshoes,” George replied shaking Carla’s hand. “Nice to meet you. Do you and Memphis have aclass together or something?”“We met at the SSX tournament at Games of Glory,” Carla answered.“Ahh,” George replied.
Before George could say anything else though Viola showed up, “Hey George? The punch keg is running low. Canyou help me bring in the new one?”“Sure,” George replied.“I can help you get it,” Memphis jumped in. “You stay here and socialize, George.”“That’s okay. We have it covered,” Viola said with a smile. She gave Carla a wink as she and George walked away.
“Right…so…having fun?” Memphis asked, as he looked away from Carla. How was he going to get out of this now?“Yeah I am,” Carla replied. “You guys throw great parties.”“So you’re a student here too?”“Yep. Just started sophomore year. How is living in the Greek House?”“Good. It’s nice to not live in the dorms.”“Yeah I wish I could escape them too,” Carla nodded. “I don’t have enough cash to go in on a house though.”“That’s a bummer,” Memphis replied.There was a pause as Memphis tried to figure out a way to extricate himself from the conversation and Carla tried tofigure out how to get him to open up.
“You know I really did mean it when I said we should get together sometime so I can show you how to navigate thatlast SSX course,” she said suddenly.“I…uh…really? You want to teach me your tricks?” Memphis asked surprised. His mother and her dance competitorshad always closely guarded their training secrets and signature dance moves.
“Why not?” Carla asked. “It’s just a game and it’s more fun to play together than by yourself. And I really like it when Ican play against other talented gamers. It’s not fun if all you do is win. So what do you say? Want to come over tomy dorm and play sometime? We have a pretty nice set up in the lounge.”Memphis just stared at her for a moment. His mind was reeling. What Carla was saying and what he had expectedher to be like were not adding up at all. She was looking at him expectantly and he realized that she was waiting for ananswer.“Uh…yeah…that sounds fun.”“Awesome,” she grinned. Why did that make him feel weak in the knees? “Want to get together next week sometime?”
“Sure,” Memphis said. “We could…um…also play something right now if you wanted to as well.” He nodded towardthe TV and game consol which was currently unoccupied. “I just picked up Mass Effect 3 the other day and we have afew other games.”“Sounds good to me!” Carla replied.
Viola couldn’t help smiling to herself when Memphis and Carla spent the rest of the party playing video gamestogether.
Back at the main house things appeared to be normal on the surface with both Gloria and Jeanie working on buildingtheir skills and relationships.
But underneath the surface things were not okay.
Having witnessed a number of fights and having come home to find Gloria, Jeanie, and Jenny upset after many moreCara decided that it might be best for her to stay home where she could act as a mediator.
So she retired from her job as head Mad Scientist, passing the title on to her son, Scott, who had definitely earned theposition.
Captain also saw the strife in his family but he decided to continue working. After all, he only worked a few times aweek.
And if he was completely honest with himself he had to admit that he still couldn’t give up the flying.
Despite all of the tension in the household and the fact that she spent a lot of her time trying to reconcile her motherand her siblings, Gloria was still managing to have a fairly normal childhood.
“Yes! I finally got an A+!” she exclaimed after examining her report card.
She ran into the house where she found Jenny reading in the living room.“Mom! Mom! Guess what! I got an A+! Isn’t that awesome!” she cried.“That’s fantastic sweetie!” Jenny replied as she closed her book.
“I’m very proud of you,” Jenny continued, holding out her hands.Gloria grinned and hopped on top of her Mom’s feet, giggling as Jenny twirled her around the room.
Jeanie rolled her eyes as she walked past the living room and saw her mother and sister dancing together.“I can’t believe she thinks dancing with Mom is fun,” she muttered under her breath. She paused then added, “Lucky.”Jeanie had arrived home from school an hour before Gloria and had gone upstairs to do her homework. She seemedto spend all of her time at home in one of three places now: in her room.
Or outside at the family’s wishing well. Three places where Jenny usually wasn’t found.“Hmm…what kind of guy do I want today…” Jeanie pondered. “Today I think a guy with dark hair would be nice,” shecontinued as she tossed a coin into the well.
“Uhh…hi?” the young man said after getting up. “Wow! You’re cute! I didn’t think I’d get this lucky when I signed upfor this dating service.”Jeanie gave him a quick smile, “You should know that I’m just looking for a one time date here. Are you okay withthat?”
“Well in that case…” the boy leaned in and gave her a quick kiss. “Wow! Definitely okay with that!”Jeanie smiled and led him around the side of the house for a make-out session.
Unfortunately for her, she was not as well hidden as she thought.
Captain sighed as he watched Jeanie make-out with yet another random boy.“I’m getting too old to be dealing with unruly teenagers,” he muttered.
When Jeanie came back inside later that evening Captain stopped her before she could hole back up in her room.“Jeanie, I need to talk with you for just a minute,” he said.“Yes, Grandpa?” Jeanie flinched inwardly, wondering if she was going to get a lecture for fighting with her motheragain.“I saw you out in the side yard with that boy,” Captain continued.
“Oh,” Jeanie replied and had the decency to look a bit embarrassed.“Now I know that’s not the first boy you have had over without telling your parents, grandmother, or I and I want to letyou know that this has to stop. You are more than welcome to have friends and boyfriends over but I want to knowthey are coming and I don’t want you hiding outside with them. I understand that you are looking for ways to escapethe tension in the house but in the interest of not causing more fights, please just let us know your plans.”
“Sorry, Grandpa,” Jeanie mumbled. Like Memphis before her, hearing Captain’s disappointment made her feel worsethan any argument with her mother.“Promise you’ll stay where we can see you when you have boyfriends over?” Captain prompted.“I promise.”
True to her word Jeanie did start bringing the boys she brought home inside, although Dorian sometimes wished thatshe had just stayed outside with them.
When she didn’t have Edith or a boy over Jeanie could usually be found playing with the two cats. She adored Koko,who had been a peace offering from her mother, and could often be found playing with him after most of the rest of thefamily had gone to bed.
She also spent a lot of time with Tilapia and was quite pleased when she realized that Tilapia and Koko were expectingkittens.
She was the first one there when Tilapia had three little kittens one afternoon. Jeanie named the two females Halibut(Hali for short) and Tuna and she named the male Mackerel (or Mac).
And she found that they were quite a comfort whenever she and her mother were fighting.
Family kid days were also a welcome respite for Jeanie, as it meant she was able to get out of the house and awayfrom Jenny.
But as she got older she found the days less and less appealing.“Ugh…I hate being the only two teenagers at these things. Now I know how your brother must have felt when we werekids,” Jeanie said.“I think it’s fun to hang out with our cousins,” Edith replied.“You are such a family sim,” Jeanie said shaking her head. “Come on. Let’s find someplace quite to talk while the kidsplay.”Edith rolled her eyes but followed Jeanie out the door anyway.
The younger children were so engrossed in their own games that they didn’t even notice that Jeanie and Edith had left.
“I think this is as private a spot as we are going to find here,” Edith said as she and Jeanie eyed the climbing tower.“Works for me,” Jeanie replied and began to climb up.
“Much better,” Jeanie said as she leaned back against the railing. “I’m so ready to get out of this place and head tocollege. Memphis had the right idea when he ran off. Whenever I talk to him on the phone I can tell that he’s muchhappier now that he’s out from under Mom’s thumb.”“Well we get to start college next semester so it won’t be too long before we are gone,” Edith replied.
“We are going to have so much fun when we get there!” Jeanie said, a huge smile crossing her face. “Just think aboutall the boys we’ll meet and the parties that we’ll get to go to!”
“I’m more excited about the prospect of finding a guy to actually settle down with. Mom and Dad had a talk withRobert, Falcon, and I and I think I’m going to be the one moving back in with them once we have all graduated. It’ll benice to have Mom and Dad there to help when I have kids of my own.”
Jeanie shuddered, “None of that sounds good to me. I want a place of my own and no kids. That way I won’t have toworry about whether or not I’ll be able to get along with them.”
As Jeanie and Edith were talking their younger siblings and cousins had also decided that it was time to play outside.
“What do you think Edith and Jeanie are talking about up there?” Cayden asked Luna.“Probably crumple horned snorkacks,” Luna replied.“What’s a…” Cayden began to ask before he though better of it and stopped himself, “Never mind. Anyway I think thatwe should sneak up there to surprise them and then make them play with us!”“Oooh! We’ll need some Peruvian darkness powder for that,” Luna replied.“Or we could just surround the tower and all climb up there at once,” Cayden answered.“Well that’s no fun…”
Despite Luna’s hesitation the rest of the younger cousins were all for Cayden’s plan. Soon they had chased Edith andJeanie down and convinced them to join in on a rousing game of tag despite all of Jeanie’s grumbling.
Back on campus, Memphis and Carla had finally found a day to play SSX and Carla was giving Memphis a tour of herdorm before they started.“And up here is our lounge,” Carla said as they reached the top of the steps. “It’s a bit beat up but at least the TV andgame system work and the couches are comfy.”“Looks good to me,” Memphis replied.“So do you want to play SSX first or start with something else?”“SSX is just fine.”
“So how many hours did you have to spend practicing in order to beat this course without any trouble?” Memphisasked as Carla went to turn on the system.“I don’t really know and I don’t think I want to,“ Carla replied. “Months probably.”
“Well I’ve spent at least that long on this course too,” Memphis said with a smile. “And I still can’t get it until the secondor third run.”“The thing with this course is that there is actually a trick to it,” Carla said as she walked over and joined Memphis onthe couch.
“Really?” Memphis replied. “I’ve looked for strategies on-line and haven’t seen a mention of it.”“Yeah. I don’t think it’s easy to find. Let me see how you usually play it first and then I can show you how I play it.”
Carla watched quietly as Memphis played through the course a couple of times. He messed up and went off a cliff thefirst time and then was able to complete it the second and third.“Nice job! I’ve never been able to beat the course at all playing that route,” Carla said when Memphis was done. “I’mreally impressed! You’ll have to teach me how to do that after I show you my trick.”“Sounds like a fair deal,” Memphis replied.“Now let me show you how I play it.”
Memphis watched closely as Carla began the course.“Oh wow! I had no idea that was there!” Memphis said with surprise when Carla turned her character toward a hiddensection of the trail that cut out the spot where Memphis regularly went off the cliff.“Told you there was a trick,” Carla replied.
“Want to try it?” she asked when she had finished the run.“Definitely!”
“Yeah! You did it!” Carla cheered when Memphis completed the course without any problems a few minutes later.“That was awesome!” Memphis grinned. “Thanks so much!”“Now will you teach me your trick for making it around the curve?”“Of course!”
A few hours later Memphis reluctantly stood up, “I really should be getting home. I have a term paper that I need to dosome work on this evening. This was really fun though.”Carla smiled and Memphis felt himself going weak in the knees again, “I should probably go and do some homeworktoo. Thanks for coming over. I had fun!”“We should do this again sometime,” Memphis continued.
“We should,” Carla agreed. “We could also go and play games somewhere else too. Do you like bowling? Cause Iknow a great bowling alley downtown that we could try out.”“Bowling would be fun,” Memphis said. Then without giving himself a chance to think about it he added, “And weshould get dinner when we are out too.”Carla gave him a surprised but pleased look, “Sounds good to me!”“Cool. Can I check my calendar at home for good dates and then give you a call to work out the details?”“Of course,” Carla grinned again. “I’ll look forward to it.”
As the semester progressed for Memphis and his cousins, back in Antarctica, Cara and Captain had been taking thetime to visit with all of their children and grandchildren.
The visit with Greta had been the hardest because she seemed to fully grasp the unspoken reason for the visit, givingCaptain a hug that was extra tight when they left.
On this particular day they were visiting with Louisa and Dorian and Captain simply decided to go home with Dorianafter work. Dorian had been promoted to Captain Hero that day and was now second in command behind Captain.
Cara had arrived a few minutes before Captain and Dorian got home and while she settled in to talk with Louisa themen headed downstairs to the game room.
“I just want to say again that I am very proud of you for making it to Captain Hero,” Captain said as he and Dorianbegan a for fun poker game.“Thanks. That means a lot to me,” Dorian replied.
“I hope that you will enjoy the flying as much as I do,” Captain continued with a smile. “And while I have the chance Iwant to remind you how important it is that your second and even your third in command always know where to findthe secret formula. We don’t ever want to lose it again since it is so dangerous to rediscover.”
“I don’t think Louisa will let me forget,” Dorian replied.“Good,” Captain said. “And you can let George in on the secret a bit early since he’ll most likely take over the positionafter you.”“I was already planning on,” Dorian said.“Excellent. I’m glad I’ll be leaving this position in such capable hands,” Captain replied with a nod.
Turning his attention to the game, Captain said, “I think I may have you with this hand.”“Really? Well, we’ll see about that!” Dorian answered as he raised the bet.The two men enjoyed the rest of their game until the ladies called them upstairs for dinner.
Later that evening, after Captain and Cara had returned home, they received a call from Victoria.“Hello dear! How are you doing?” Cara asked.“Really well. I was wondering if you and Dad might be able to stop by for a bit tomorrow afternoon. I have someexciting news to tell you,” Vicky replied.“Of course we can visit. Would 11am work?”“That would be great! Thanks Mom!”
“Mom! Dad! Hi! I’m so glad you could come over!” Vicky said as she flung open the door.“We’re always happy to visit our kids,” Cara said as she leaned in to kiss her daughter on the cheek.“And you said you had some news to share?” Captain asked with a hopeful look on his face.Vicky smiled and tried not to laugh, her father’s family sim sense had clearly kicked in when she had called. “Yes I dohave some news.”
She stepped back and let them enter the living room where a young man was sitting on the couch. He jumped to hisfeet as soon as Cara and Captain entered the room.“Mom, Dad, I’d like you to meet Miguel Jalowitz,” Vicky said as she walked over to him. She slipped her hand into hisand then said, “my fiancé.”
Miguel braced himself for Vicky’s parents to be angry. After all, they hadn’t even known that he and Vicky were dating.“I’m sorry we haven’t met before. It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind…” he began to say.
He was cut off as Captain wrapped him in a tight hug. “Welcome to the family! It’s so good to meet you!”Cara was also smiling but clearly wanted a few more details, “And how long have you two been together?”
“Well…” Vicky began, blushing. “We met at work shortly after I graduated and really hit it off. Everything just seemedto feel so right. I’ve been looking for the perfect guy for so long and when I met Miguel I just knew he had to be theone for me.”
“We went out on a few dates and really had a good time.”
“And then last night we went on a date to the garden maze downtown…” Vicky continued.“Vicky, from the moment I first saw you at work I just had this overwhelming feeling that you were the right woman forme. And I know we haven’t been dating for very long but this just feels right too.”
As Vicky finished telling their story Miguel looked at Cara nervously, wondering if she wouldn’t approve.
“That’s wonderful, honey. I’m glad you are happy,” she said as she wrapped each of them in a hug.
As her parents stepped back Vicky leaned over and whispered to Miguel, “Told you they’d like you immediately.”He just grinned back.
“Can you stay for some lunch?” she asked as she turned back to her parents.“Of course, honey,” Cara replied. “Let me give you a hand.”The two women headed to the kitchen, leaving Miguel to fend off Captain’s questions about how soon he might getmore grandchildren.
Vicky pulled out the fixings for sandwiches and soup and began to get lunch together.“I’m very excited for you, sweetheart,” Cara said as she stirred the soup on the stove.“Thanks, Mom! I think we are going to be very happy,” Vicky replied.Cara nodded. “Do you know when you are planning on holding the wedding?” she asked.“Well we haven’t exactly picked a date yet,” Vicky replied. “I wanted to pick a time when everyone could come.”
Again Cara nodded as she poured soup into bowls. She chose her next words carefully. “Vicky I would stronglyencourage you to not wait too long to have the wedding as your father and I would really like to attend it.”
It took a moment for the meaning of her words to sink in and then Vicky looked horrified. “Mom…”But Cara held up a hand. “We aren’t going anywhere tonight, or even tomorrow, but please hold it soon. We don’twant to miss it.” Then she leaned over and gave Vicky a tight hug. “Should we call our men in for lunch?”
Vicky nodded as she tried to wipe away the tears that were threatening to fall. As she went to the door to tell herfather and fiancé that the food was ready she made a few decisions. She wouldn’t mourn her parents until they weregone. Instead she would enjoy every moment she had left with them. And she and Miguel would get married thatweek.
But once Captain and Cara had left Vicky pulled Miguel aside.“Can we go upstairs? I need to talk to you about something and I don’t want to be overheard.”“Of course,” Miguel replied.
“What’s the matter?” he asked as soon as Vicky had shut the door to their room. “I thought the meeting went well…”“My Mom said some things while she and Dad were here that made it sounds like she thinks they won’t be aroundmuch longer…” Vicky began, cutting Miguel off.
“Oh Vicky, I’m sorry,” Miguel said quietly as he pulled her into a hug. “I know how that feels.”Vicky took a deep shuddering breath against Miguel’s shoulder as she willed herself not to cry.
“Mom asked if we could have the wedding sooner rather than later because she and my Dad want to be there. I knowthat means that we won’t be able to have anything quite as fancy as we were originally thinking…”“Of course we can have it early. We can have it tomorrow if that’s what you want.”
Vicky smiled, she was so lucky to have found this man, “I think tomorrow is a bit soon but maybe later this week? Thatgives us some time to send out invitations and get everything arranged.”“That sounds perfect to me.”
“Thank you,” Vicky whispered as she leaned in for a kiss.
Fortunately Vicky had a clear idea of how she wanted her wedding day to be and with the help of Cara and her twin,Bella, was able to quickly pull together everything within just a few short days.
The wedding was everything that Vicky and Miguel had hoped for and more.
And Vicky was very happy that both Captain and Cara were there to see it.
While everyone else just enjoyed the excuse for a big family party.
Viola was perched on Memphis’ bed a few days after the wedding, watching as Memphis tried to make his curlsbehave.“So…you and Carla are going bowling tonight?” she asked casually.“Yep.”“And you are taking her to dinner first?”“Not really. We’re going to just eat at the bowling alley.”“I see,” Viola gave Memphis a wicked grin.
“What?” Memphis asked turning and fixing Viola with a look.“Nothing,” Viola replied, still grinning.“Come on. Spit it out.”
“Well I’m just wondering what kind of outing this really is. Like is it prune or a fig? Or, you know, a date?”“I…you…it’s not a date!” Memphis spluttered as he started blushing. “We’re just friends.”
“Suuure. Whatever you say,” Viola replied as she got up and walked over to pat Memphis on the arm. “Have a goodtime on your not-date then.” She winked and then left the room.“It’s not a date!” Memphis yelled after her. But then again, when he thought about it, perhaps it was…
Memphis couldn’t stop himself from grinning when he picked Carla up at her dorm later that evening and she, ofcourse, noticed.“What are you smiling about?” she asked as they started walking toward the bowling alley.
“I’m just happy to be out with you,” Memphis replied.“Oh really?” she asked, smiling back.“Yes.”“Well I’m happy to be out with you too,” she said and Memphis’ grin got even wider.
When they reached the bowling alley Memphis turned to her, “Do you want to eat first or bowl first.”“Well it looks like the lanes are full,” Carla replied. “So how about dinner?”“Sounds good.”
It didn’t take long for their food to arrive after they had ordered and Memphis was relieved to find that they had a lot totalk about besides video games.
They were almost finished with their dinner when Carla suddenly said, “Oh no!”“What? Is something wrong with your food?” Memphis asked.“No. No, the food is great. It’s just…”
Memphis watched with horror as Mrs. Crumplebottom walked over to the counter, traded in her shoes, and then,pulling a bowling ball out of her purse, walked over and claimed a lane.“Damn it,” Memphis thought. “There goes any chance for flirting here tonight…”
He glanced over at Carla and saw that she also had a frustrated look on her face.
She gave him a wry smile, “Well at least we know why people always say that that bag of hers feels like it is full ofbricks now…”He grinned back, “Want to see if we can beat Crumplebottom’s score?”“Yeah!”
“I should tell you,” Carla said as Memphis picked up his ball. “I’m actually not very good at bowling.”“Oh? Then why did you suggest it?” Memphis asked.“Cause it’s still really fun. Just don’t laugh too hard at all my gutter balls, okay?” Carla said with a wink.“Well then I challenge you,” Memphis said with a mischievous grin.“Oh? To what?” Carla replied.
“Person with the most gutter balls wins!” he said as he rolled his ball.
…and almost lost her balance as she let go of the ball.“Awww drat!” she said as the ball managed to knock down a few pins. “Looks like you might win this one,” shecontinued with a grin.
In the end Memphis had a lower score than Carla.“Congratulations!” she said with a smile.“Thanks,” he grinned back.“Do you want to play another round or do something else?” Carla asked.“I think we should head over and play some pinball,” Memphis said, nodding in the direction of the machines.“Sounds good to me,” Carla replied.“And I think since I won at bowling that means I have to put in the coins.”“If you insist.”
“All right. Let’s see how this goes!” Carla said as Memphis put a few quarters in the machine.
“Nice!” Memphis cheered as Carla started racking up the points.
And when she had run out of balls she insisted on paying for Memphis’ turn at the game.
In all, Memphis thought it had been a great evening.****
Gloria’s teen birthday happened to be just a few days before the end of the semester, and in typical Gloria fashion shewanted a big family party. Her older cousins were only too glad for the break from studying for finals.“Yay! You are here! I’m so glad you all came!” Gloria bounced up and down with excitement when the college grouparrived.“Wouldn’t miss it,” Memphis said with a grin.“Come on! You have to see the awesome cake Grandma baked!” Gloria cried as she ran towards the kitchen.
As other members of the family arrived Captain and Cara met them at the door. Vicky and Miguel were the last toshow up.“And how is married life suiting you?” Cara asked as she hugged her daughter.“It’s just wonderful!” Vicky replied with a grin.
Cara looked at her youngest daughter closely, “Yes, you do seem quite happy. In fact, I’d say you’re practicallyglowing!”“Thanks Mom!” Vicky grinned before letting Miguel lead her toward the kitchen where everyone was gathering.
“I think, perhaps, we’ll be getting another grandchild soon,” Cara said quietly.“Really? Did Vicky tell you that?” Captain said with excitement as he turned to watch Vicky and Miguel.“No. I don’t think she’s realized it yet,” Cara replied. Then she gave Captain a stern look, “Now don’t go spoiling it forher. Let her find out herself.”“Yes, dear,” Captain said with a fake sigh and a wink at Cara as they went to join the rest of the family to watch Gloriagrow up.
Gloria smiled as everyone gather around to watch her blow out the candles, though she couldn’t help but notice thatJeanie had found a place in the crowd that was a far away from their mother as possible.
Gloria sighed inwardly, but she was determined that tonight she wouldn’t let the problems in her family trouble her. Itwas her birthday after all and it was supposed to be a celebration.“But it can’t hurt to make my birthday wish be that Mom and Jeanie will learn to get along,” she thought as she blewout her candles.
“Alright! Go Gloria!” Gloria smiled even bigger as her grandmother cheered for her.
And then in a flash of sparkles she was suddenly much, much taller.“Wow!” she said.(Gloria rolled popularity with the LTW to have 20 best friends.)
And while her transition outfit hadn’t been bad it was more Jeanie’s style than Gloria’s. So her first order of businesswas a quick wardrobe change.“What do you think Grandma?” Gloria asked once she had returned to her party.“Excellent choice, dear. You look so grown up now!” Cara replied.“Thanks!” Gloria said.“Now you go and enjoy your party,” Cara said with a smile.“Okay. I will,” Gloria replied before hurrying off.
It was a typical, large Penguino Family gathering. Jenny got the smutsle going while other family members enjoy thevarious games around the house or just caught up with each other.
Captain and Cara made the rounds as well but as the hour grew later they snuck off to a quieter corner for some timealone.
Cara looked over Captain’s shoulder at their extended family, “Do you think they’ll be alright?”Captain smiled, “We survived losing my parents. They’ll lean on each other and eventually, yes, they’ll be just fine.”
He reached up to caress Cara’s cheek, “I love you, you know. Thanks for sticking by me even with everything I putyou through.”“I love you, too,” Cara replied. “And I’d do it all again.”
And then they stepped apart as a cold chill came over them both. Jeanie was the first to realize what was happeningand she began to cry as Grim entered the room.
“CARA PENGUINO. IT IS YOUR TIME,” Death said.“Captain will be right behind me, right?” Cara asked, with a sudden feeling of apprehension.
“YES HE WILL,” Death replied.“Well in that case,” Cara smiled and reached for the drink that Grim offered her. “See you in a moment, dear,” shewhispered.
True to his word, Death turned to Captain after Cara had faded away.“CAPTAIN COOK PENGUINO. IT IS YOUR TIME AS WELL,” Death said.“Let’s not keep Cara waiting, then,” Captain replied as he also took Death’s drink and faded away.
As the Grim Reaper disappeared the family turned to each other for comfort. Memphis instinctively looked for Jeaniebut he couldn’t find her in the crowded room.
Then he caught a flash of pink exiting the room at a high speed out of the corner of his eye and he quietly extractedhimself from his family to follow.
Memphis found Jeanie in her room stuffing clothes haphazardly into her suitcase. He knew immediately what wasgoing on. The scene was eerily familiar to the night when he had run away to college.“Jeanie?” He said quietly.“I’m going with you,” Jeanie replied without turning around. “I’m done here. I’m ready to go to college.”“Do you really think now is the time to do this?” Memphis asked.
“You did the same thing!” Jeanie snapped as she whirled around to face him.“Yeah, but it wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made…” Memphis began.“I am NOT staying here with just Mom and Dad with Grand….with….with them gone! So either you can give me a liftor I’ll go call for a taxi right now.”“Okay, okay,” Memphis held up his hand in an attempt to placate her. “At least tell Dad that you are going alright? I’mnot doing it for you and we aren’t leaving until he knows.”“Fine,” Jeanie replied as she returned to packing. “I’ll meet you downstairs in a little bit.”
Jeanie was on her way downstairs when she ran into Gloria.“There you are! Are you okay?” Gloria asked. There was a pause as she noticed Jeanie’s suitcase. “Are you, uh,going somewhere?”“Yeah, college. I’m not staying in this hell hole one more minute.”“But…but…Mom and Dad will be upset!” Gloria started to say.“I’m sure Mom won’t even notice I’m gone,” Jeanie replied as she pushed past her sister. “You won’t convince me tostay so stop trying.”
Gloria fought back more tears as Jeanie disappeared down the steps.“But I’ll miss you… And it’s my birthday…” Gloria whispered.
Dorian wasn’t happy either when Jeanie announced that she was leaving.“Can’t you at least stay until tomorrow?” Dorian asked. “Now is not the time to be making more big changes.”“I was going to leave in a few days anyway so a couple days earlier won’t make any sort of difference,” Jeaniesnapped.
She turned to Memphis who was standing nearby, “I’m ready. Let’s leave.”Memphis looked at their father and they seemed to have a silent conversation before Memphis nodded his head.“Okay. I’ll go gather up everyone else.”
“Take care of yourself,” Dorian said as he pulled Jeanie into a hug, surprising her. “Don’t forget to call and pleasecome visit. Your mother and I will miss you and so will Gloria.”“Yeah, okay,” Jeanie said awkwardly. “I’ll do my best.”“That’s all I’m asking.”
Gloria had put on a brave face to come down and say goodbye to her guests and Memphis gave her a big hug.“Sorry your party had to end this way,” he said.“I’m just glad that everyone was here on…on their last...” she began.“Me too,” Memphis replied.“Come back soon?” Gloria asked.“I promise we will,” Memphis answered.***
In a moment, everything can change,Feel the wind on your shoulder,For a minute, all the world can wait,Let go of your yesterday.
Can you hear it calling?Can you feel it in your soul?Can you trust this longing?And take control,FlyOpen up the part of you that wants to hide awayYou can shine,Forget about the reasons why you cant in life,And start to try, cause its your time,Time to fly.
All your worries, leave them somewhere else,Find a dream you can follow,Reach for something, when theres nothing left,And the worlds feeling hollow.
Can you hear it calling?Can you feel it in your soul?Can you trust this longing?And take control,FlyOpen up the part of you that wants to hide awayYou can shine,Forget about the reasons why you cant in life,And start to try, cause its your time,Time to fly.
And when youre down and feel alone,Just want to run away,Trust yourself and dont give up,You know you better than anyone else,
In a moment, everything can change,Feel the wind on your shoulder,For a minute, all the world can wait,Let go of yesterday,
FlyOpen up the part of you that wants to hide awayYou can shine,Forget about the reasons why you cant in life,And start to try,FlyForget about the reasons why you cant in life,And start to try, cause its your time,Time to fly.
In a moment, everything can change.Goodbye Captain and Cara! This chapter is so late because I just couldn’t bring myself to play the last part of it but itneeded to be done so that we could meet the next generation. Captain has been in my game since I started playingthis legacy over 5 years ago and he and Cara have been awesome. I am really going to miss them but at least he getsto enjoy “flying” around as a ghost now!Song lyrics from “Fly” by Hilary Duff. Thanks to Cait for helping me find the perfect song for Captain and Cara!