Chaprer 7.2: Generation Gap


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Chapter 7.2 of The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy.

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Chaprer 7.2: Generation Gap

  1. 1. Previously, in The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy: …Eventually, everything was hung to Lindsay’s liking. She strode towards the door, pausing only to gaze at the one painting of hers that still mystified her. She hadn’t named the canvas, simply leaving it as Untitled. It still niggled at her that she had no idea who it was that she’d painted, if such a person existed. “Probably just being stupid. It’s just a painting,” she muttered to herself as she tore her gaze away and headed out the door…
  2. 2. …“Oh no. No way.” Suze looked in panic at her midriff. “I’m too old to have kids again!”…
  3. 3. …After the date, they wandered back to Lindsay’s studio, where she did some more work on the painting. Zack was happy to watch Lindsay work, fascinated as always by her absorption in the painting. Oh yeah. He had it bad…
  4. 4. …“Oh, cheesecake.” Suze stood up from the couch as pain rippled through her abdomen. “Muuuuuuuuum! BABY TIME!”…
  5. 5. …“Whoa.”… And now we return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
  6. 6. Despite the largeness of the crowd that had congregated in her living room (which had not expanded to include the mailman and the paper delivery girl) Suze managed to block everything out and concentrate on the task at hand. After some screeching and cursing of men in general, she delivered a healthy baby girl.
  7. 7. She grinned hugely. “Right. You lot can get lost now. I need you less now that I did five minutes ago. Which was not at all, just in case you were wandering.” With sheepish expressions on their faces, everyone trooped out. Everyone except for Rin, that was.
  8. 8. “Hello, gorgeous! I’m your Gramma Rin! Goodness, where did that colouring of hers come from?” “Her father,” said Suze fondly. “She got his hair and eyes. Isn’t she beautiful?” “She’s yours, so of course she is. Got a name for her yet?” “I’m going to call her Clarissa. Rissa for short.” Clarissa is named after Clarissa Fray from the Mortal Instruments trilogy.
  9. 9. Suze carried baby Rissa up to the nursery which she’d already decked out in pink in anticipation of a baby girl. “Your big sister hasn’t been wrong yet, kiddo.” Rissa stared gravely at her mother through her father’s ice blue eyes. “As much as I love Lindsay, I really hope you didn’t get the psychic thing. It’s kind of scary, really.” Rissa gurgled. Suze chuckled and laid her in the crib. “That’s my girl.”
  10. 10. As she straightened up, Suze felt a slight twinge in her lower back. “Well, what do you expect?” she grumbled to herself. “You’re middle-aged, Susannah. Ought to be taking it easy, not having another kid.” She sighed. “Ah well. Can’t do much about things now. And if I had the choice…” Suze looked back at the cradle. “Can’t say I’d change a thing.”
  11. 11. Zack waved a hand frantically in front of Lindsay’s face. “Lindsay? Can you hear me?” “As it once was, as it shall be. Listen well to my prophecy.” Lindsay’s words echoed in a voice that didn’t quite belong to her. Zack shuddered. “Oh, trust me, I’m listening. Man, this wasn’t in the relationship handbook.”
  12. 12. “Faceless pretender dims a light Legacy continues bright Prophecy that no-one hears Event that every family fears The empty heart, the dying day One who bleeds shall fade away.”
  13. 13. Adam’s talent seemed to be walking in at inappropriate moments. As Lindsay finished her prophecy, he wandered in from class. “Hey Zack, Linds.” “Adam. Where’s the switch for Lindsay’s ‘normal’ setting?” asked Zack desperately.
  14. 14. “Wait, what… Oh. Yikes.” Adam finally noticed Lindsay’s blank white eyes. “What is going on?” asked Zack desperately. “Uh. Lindsay can kinda see the future. I take it she hasn’t mentioned this yet?” “I wouldn’t be this freaked out if she had!”
  15. 15. Lindsay turned to face Adam. “You’re not here.” She seemed almost confused. “You’re missing.”
  16. 16. “What does that mean?” Adam stared at his sister, confused by her words. “As it once was, as it shall be,” whispered Lindsay, her eerie prophet’s voice echoing off the walls.
  17. 17. With that, her eyes rolled back into her head and she slid bonelessly to the floor.
  18. 18. “Was that meant to happen?” asked Zack helplessly as Adam yelped. “I have no idea! I’ve never seen her do this before!” “We might as well put her up on the couch or something,” said Zack desperately, trying to think of something constructive to do. Adam nodded vigorously. “Good idea.”
  19. 19.
  20. 20. Five minutes later, Lindsay opened her eyes. The boys breathed a sigh of relief when it became evident that said eyes had returned to their normal deep blue. “Oh, hey guys! Did I fall asleep? Man, sorry.”
  21. 21. “Er, not exactly, Linds.” Adam sighed. “You had a grey-out.” “Oh. Oh, no.” Lindsay looked frantically at Zack. “Uh. There’s something I kinda haven’t told you yet.”
  22. 22. “I’ve figured that out, thanks.” Zack sat down heavily on the end of the couch and ran a hand through his hair. Lindsay sighed. “This is not how I pictured you finding this out. I actually pictured that I’d be in control of my actions, and such.” “Stuff doesn’t always end up how we want it to.”
  23. 23. “So did I say something or do something of particular interest?” “Oh, yeah.” Zack didn’t look at Lindsay as he recited the words that had burned themselves into his brain. “Faceless pretender dims a light Legacy continues bright Prophecy that no-one hears Event that every family fears The empty heart, the dying day One who bleeds shall fade away.”
  24. 24. “Well, what’s that meant to mean?” Lindsay groaned. “Why can’t I ever make a prophecy that is actually decipherable?” “I guess nobody’s meant to know the future, really.” Neither of them looked at each other.
  25. 25. Lindsay got up to leave. “I’m sorry, Zack. I guess I didn’t see this coming.” She chuckled hollowly. “Wait.” Zack stood too, and blocked Lindsay’s path.
  26. 26. He reached out and stroked Lindsay’s cheek. “This hasn’t turned me off you, Linds. Nothing’s bad enough to do that. Halitosis, maybe, but not this. All this means is you’re special, and a little creepy.” Lindsay smiled hugely. “You mean it?” “Yeah.” “I’ll just be over here,” said Adam cheerfully. He was completely ignored.
  27. 27. “C’mon, silly. I’ve got something I was gonna show you before the whole spooky eye thing.” “I thought you were just coming over to see how the gallery opening went?” “I was, but I had an ulterior motive. Come on, I left it outside.”
  28. 28. Zack led Lindsay outside, where he’d left a large canvas leaning against the steps. “I figured you were too busy with the gallery to do a proper sitting for me, so I just did a portrait from memory. I took a bit of creative license with it, but…” Zack looked hopefully at Lindsay. “Do you like it?”
  29. 29. The painting showed Lindsay in a long green dress with her hair falling softly around her face. She was lying in a bed of wildflowers, and gazing thoughtfully out of the painting. “This is how you see me?” asked Lindsay. “Well, I haven’t actually seen you wearing anything like that, and it’s too cold at the moment for wildflowers, but… yeah. It is.”
  30. 30. Lindsay stared at the canvas. “Zack, it’s beautiful. You made me beautiful.” “You already were, Linds. I just made it so the world could see.”
  31. 31. “I want you to have this, by the way.” Zack handed Lindsay a large and ornately wrapped box. “What’s this?” she asked, slightly overwhelmed. “It’s the necklace you’re wearing in the portrait. I saw it in a jewellery store, and I thought… That’s Lindsay’s.”
  32. 32. “You’re amazing, Zack. Thank you.” “You’re worth it, Lindsay.”
  33. 33. The next day, Zack picked Lindsay up for their next date. “Wow, look at you, with the clothes that aren’t trackies.” “I was kinda getting tired of them. They were getting a little bit battered, too. The fly was stuck at half-mast.”
  34. 34. “Didn’t get a haircut, though,” said Lindsay playfully, eyeing Zack’s fauxhawk. “Hey, you love the fauxhawk. Don’t deny it. A good-looking fauxhawk is the sign of a stud.” “I’ve never heard anything stupider in my life. Studs with fauxhawks.” “Aw, don’t disrespect the hair! Let’s go, we’re wasting daylight.”
  35. 35. So they went to the park, and sat in the hedge maze talking. There were periods, though, without much conversation at all.
  36. 36. Zack pushed Lindsay on the swing, and they laughed like children and ignored the odd looks from passers-by.
  37. 37. When night fell, they moved over to a nearby club and danced for hours, never looking away from one another’s eyes.
  38. 38. Eventually, it got to the wrong side of midnight and the club was starting to empty. “Guess we better get going, huh?” said Zack. “Aww, but I’m toasty warm and comfy,” complained Lindsay. “You have a hot tub at home, Linds. We can use that all you want.”
  39. 39. It was two in the morning when Zack finally walked Lindsay to her porch. A simple goodnight kiss turned into groping and frantic making out. “Stay,” Lindsay muttered against Zack’s mouth. She couldn’t hold him close enough, or kiss him long enough. “Stay with me tonight, Zack.”
  40. 40. Zack drew back a little. “No, don’t do that,” Lindsay complained. “Are you sure, Lindsay? You really want this?” “I’ve never wanted anything more in my life. I trust you, and I love you, and this feels right. So right.”
  41. 41. “Let’s go then.” Zack drew Lindsay back in for another kiss. “There’s not a lot of the night left.” “We’ll have to make it count, then.”
  42. 42. They didn’t need words after that.
  43. 43.
  44. 44.
  45. 45. Adam was awake, having been in the campus library studying in the quiet of late night. He heard strange noises coming from the second bedroom, and looked sideways at the wall. “Why am I not surprised?” he murmured to himself, turning a page in his book. He decided to invest in a good pair of earplugs tomorrow.
  46. 46. Lindsay woke the next morning when sunlight streamed in through the uncovered window. It took a moment to remember why she wasn’t alone in the bed, then the events of the previous night flooded back. She smiled smugly.
  47. 47. Zack muttered and turned away from the light, snuggling in closer to Lindsay. Lindsay giggled. “Wake up, silly.”
  48. 48. “Whassat?” Zack opened his eyes. “Oh. Morning, Linds.” “Morning.” “Mmm.” Zack put his head on Lindsay’s shoulder. “This is nice.” “It is. But I can smell pancakes, which means Adam is up and cooking. We better make ourselves presentable.” “Hmm. This is better than pancakes.” “While it may be, one cannot survive indefinitely on snuggles without some form of food.”
  49. 49. “I guess you’re right.” Zack threw the covers back, making Lindsay hiss at the sudden cold. “You won’t regret it,” she said. “Adam is an amazing cook.” “Oh, I’m sure the food will be awesome. The brother-boyfriend post-coital weirdness? Yeah, not so much.” Lindsay hunted around for her underwear. “The pancakes will be worth the awkward. So will the pancake-flavoured smoochies.” This perked Zack up considerably.
  50. 50. Breakfast turned out to not be too bad, as Adam was only half-awake and not up to making his sister’s boyfriend uncomfortable. This Zack could handle, especially since the pancakes were as great as promised. Adam did mention that he wanted to speak with Zack privately after everyone was dressed, though, which unnerved him slightly. Adam didn’t seem to be the overprotective type, but it was sometimes hard to tell.
  51. 51. “You wanted to speak with me?” asked Zack half an hour later. “Is this going to be the ‘if you hurt my big sister, I’ll kill you’ talk?” “Not exactly.”
  52. 52. “What do you mean by that?” “I know I’m not threatening enough to pull the threatening brother act off well. I just wanted to talk, honestly.” “What about?” “You’re a Romancer.” It was a statement, not a question.
  53. 53. “Yeah, I am, but before you get all prejudiced on me…” “You guys get pretty bad press, I know. In my experience, though, there are two types of Romance Sims. There are those who use it as an excuse to break as many hearts as they can, and there are those who strive to be better than that and who stay devoted, extremely devoted, to just one lover.” He sighed. “I very much hope you are the latter.”
  54. 54. “I’m in love with your sister. Deeply, ridiculously in love. People who are really in love like that just don’t hurt each other.” Adam nodded. “Lindsay’s been hurt before. I just wanted to be sure.” “I’d rather cut off my painting arm than hurt Lindsay. She’s… well, if I believed in soul mates, she’d be mine.”
  55. 55. “Good. Glad we’re on the same page. If you ever do hurt her though…” “You really can’t pull that off.” “…I’ll tell Fire. My family is very well acquainted with the Simselves of this ‘verse.” Zack gulped. “I’ll be good.”
  56. 56. The two shook hands on that note, and any hostility vanished; though Zack doubted that any more mornings that he came downstairs in his underwear again with Lindsay would be just as awkward as before. The phone rang as they let go. “’scuse me,” said Adam.
  57. 57. “Hello? Oh, hi Mum! What’s… Oh. Oh! Wow!”
  58. 58. “LINDSAY! Mum had a girl! I told you so!” “What do you want, a medal or a chest to pin it to?” called Lindsay from upstairs. “Nothing’s changed over here, Mum,” said Adam sarcastically.
  59. 59. Zack didn’t spend a lot of time in his dorm after that. He never seemed to leave the Greek House, inventing excuses to spend time with Lindsay in the studio or out on dates.
  60. 60. Even when they weren’t working, or on dates, Zack just liked to hang out in the Greek House. The food was better, and the company infinitely so. Eventually, Adam just told Lindsay to ask Zack to move in – he practically lived with them already.
  61. 61. So she did.
  62. 62. Zack’s answer was not surprising at all.
  63. 63. After they’d been marked, the pair took the portraits they’d painted to Lindsay’s gallery to display. Lindsay had redone her painting after changing her mind a thousand times about which medium she wanted to use, and which techniques. Besides, she reasoned, a change of painting meant she could paint Zack shirtless if she wanted.
  64. 64. Back at the main house… “Guess what, Rissa? It’s your birthday!” crowed Rin as she plucked Clarissa from her crib. “You’ve got your big brother and sister and your daddy coming to see you, and there’s a cake and everything! Although no,” she muttered, “decorations or ‘gingerbread’, as your mother put it. She never lets me have any fun.” Rissa reached up to tug at Rin’s purple hair. “Heh. Do me a favour, kiddo, and dye your hair purple when you’re old enough. Your mother needs to be reminded sometimes that life doesn’t have to be boring.”
  65. 65. As Rin carried Rissa downstairs, Suze was greeting all the guests. By the time the last handful arrived, it was sunset. “Lindsay! Glad you could make it. And this is… Zack?” “Yep. Nice to meet you, Ms. Chandler.” “Oh, you can call me Suze. Most everyone does. Come in, come in.” Suze turned towards the door, only to bump into Parker.
  66. 66. “Hey, Parker.” “Suze.” Parker and Suze shared a moment at the top of the stairs before Lindsay coughed delicately behind them. “I’m guessing this is Parker?” “Yep. Parker, this is my daughter Lindsay. Lindsay, Parker.” The two sized each other up, before nodding and walking inside.
  67. 67. “Okay, have we got everyone?” The party was a small one, with only immediate family and Zack on the invite list. Rin hadn’t managed to persuade Suze to make it a larger party, and was sulking ever so slightly as she carried Rissa to the cake.
  68. 68. “Here goes, Rissa!” Rin leaned over and blew out the candles on the cake. Rissa gazed thoughtfully at the candle flames, and crowed happily as they disappeared.
  69. 69. After Rin had thrown Rissa into the air and caught her again, it was clear that she looked a great deal like her father. She wasn’t quite as adorable as her brother and sister had been, but she was certainly cute, with her big blue eyes the exact same shape as her mother’s.
  70. 70. The guests took the opportunity to mingle; or rather, Suze took the opportunity to interrogate her daughter’s newest beau. “So, you’re dating my daughter.” “Yeah. I guess I am.” “And you’ve been filled in about the…” “Psychic thing? Yup. Fairly thoroughly, at that.”
  71. 71. “Actually,” said Suze with a wry smile, “I meant the Legacy. But it’s good that you know about Lindsay’s gift.” “Right! The Legacy! Yeah, I’m cool with it. I mean, it’s not the way I imagined spending life with Lindsay, but I can handle it. She’s worth it.” Suze nodded. Zack was clearly smitten with Lindsay, and a better man than the one she herself had chosen. She dropped the mildly hostile air she’d had and chatted with him amiably for the rest of the party.
  72. 72. Meanwhile, Rissa had wandered away from Rin and found someone else to order around. “Want!” she demanded, figuring the pretty lady with the bright hair as an easy target. “Uh.” Lindsay looked down at Rissa awkwardly. She’d had no experience with kids, and even though Rissa was her sister, she was still a toddler and completely foreign. “What do you want, Clarissa?” “Rissa want!”
  73. 73. Nonplussed, Lindsay bent down and patted Rissa on the head. “One of these days you’re gonna need an actual vocabulary, Rissy.” Rissa, who had in fact just wanted attention, giggled. “Rissa like you.” She looked up at Lindsay with some suspicion. “Who you?” “I’m Lindsay. Your big sister.” “Lindy!” crowed Rissa. “Want up!” Lindsay sighed, and prepared to cater to the whims of a demanding toddler for the rest of the evening.
  74. 74. Life marched steadily on in the Greek House. As the semesters wore on, term papers were written and submitted…
  75. 75. …and assignments were completed by the truckload.
  76. 76. Adam supervised the redecoration of the kitchen, as he was tired of the mismatched chairs and tacky linoleum.
  77. 77. Lindsay threw several successful toga parties, which put the Greek House right back up the top of the “Best Greek House” list.
  78. 78. Finals were studied for, and completed well. Lindsay had realized early on that having a boyfriend in her classes was excellent for post-exam congratulatory kissing.
  79. 79. Gladys ate a cow mascot, and was duly rewarded.
  80. 80. The gallery prospered, and Adam found himself working there more often than he’d have normally liked.
  81. 81. And everyone in the house was generally happy with the way life was going. But such happiness does not last forever.
  82. 82. One morning, Lindsay disentangled herself from a still-sleeping Zack and sat on the edge of the bed without moving.
  83. 83. They graduated today. Her charmed time with Zack was about to end.
  84. 84. Lindsay had already asked Rishell to take care of the Greek House until the next generation arrived. Finals were over; everything was set for them all to move on.
  85. 85. Lindsay’s graduation party was attended by not only her college friends but by her family. “Oh, I can’t believe my little girl is graduating already!” Suze exclaimed into her daughter’s shoulder. “Already? It’s been four whole years, Mum! And you can’t have missed me that much… you’ve got Rissa to keep you busy, surely.”
  86. 86. Suze grinned. “You do know I’ll be expecting you to help me with her when you move back home. Especially potty training.” She laughed at the fear on Lindsay’s face. “You’re a horrible parent. I think I’ll go embarrass you by dancing the smustle with Granma.” Suze mock-shuddered. “Please don’t encourage her.”
  87. 87. The party was a successful one, helped along no doubt by Lindsay and Zack’s multiple public displays of affection.
  88. 88. As the party finally wound down, Lindsay felt the strange tickling sensation that always accompanied age transitions. “Please let my outfit be decent!” she muttered.
  89. 89. “Drats. Oh well, it won’t be for long, I guess.” There was a loud beep from outside. The taxi had arrived, and everyone stood up to wish her well as she walked out the door.
  90. 90. Lindsay stepped into the taxi, pausing only to take one last look at the Greek House. I had fun here, she thought. I hope my kids do, too.
  91. 91. Zack quickly followed suit, choosing not to throw a party for his graduation but to sneak away without anyone seeing his transition outfit. He’d put a down payment on a house in Bluewater Village, and hoped to be able to visit Lindsay often. Very often.
  92. 92. As for Adam… “Uh, Fire? I’m supposed to go to a Bachelor Challenge somewhere, but my grandmother hasn’t told me exactly where.” Don’t worry, Adam. We’ve already sent you a taxi – it’ll get you to the dimensional transport. Have a good time. “I… uh, yeah, I’ll try.”
  93. 93. With some trepidation, Adam too left the Greek House, wondering what exactly was in store for him now.
  94. 94. Lindsay arrived back home some hours later. Suze, who had of course travelled by broomstick, was already home and waiting for her. “Welcome back, Lindsay honey.” “Thanks, Mum. Is Granma back yet?” “She is. She took that sports car of hers, and I suspect she didn’t stick to the limit. Go on in, hon, I just have to get the mail.”
  95. 95. Lindsay walked inside and came face-to-face with Rin. “Hey Linds!” said Rin cheerfully, before grinning wickedly and dumping Rissa into Lindsay’s arms. Lindsay panicked.
  96. 96. “What do I do with her?” she asked frantically, holding Rissa like she would hold a live bomb. “Whatever she wants,” said Rin easily, flaking out on the couch in the hallway. “She probably needs a bath.” “No baff! Want storee!” shrieked Rissa. “Yeah, okay. Story. Right. Phone’s ringing,” said Lindsay distractedly, taking the toddler upstairs.
  97. 97. “Uh, the phone’s not…” Suze had just come in behind Lindsay and caught her last few words. She was cut off by the phone ringing. Rin nearly fell of the couch laughing. “Yeah, okay.” Suze rolled her eyes. “Wonder who it is?”
  98. 98. Rin shrugged. “She’s not a caller ID service, Suzie. It’s just as easy to pick up the phone and answer it, you know.”
  99. 99. Suze picked up the phone. “Suze Chandler speaking.” “…” “Hello?” There was a strange crackly noise over the line, like someone breathing. Abruptly, there was a click and the line went dead.
  100. 100. “Must have been a wrong number,” said Suze.
  101. 101.