Previously in The Absolutely Crazy Matriarchy: ...Tempe interrupted. "Lindsay has, it seems, some precognition. It shouldn't affect her in any way, except she'll sometimes see the probable future." "Only probable?" "The future is tricky to predict since it changes all the time. What Lindsay sees will not necessarily come to pass. You may have another two children, you may not."...
..."She's got your framming nose, Alejandro! The exact same nose! I almost pity her, stuck with THAT for her whole life." "Susannah, what has happened to you? You are not the person I fell in love with, not any more." "Reality happened, Alejandro!"...
...The baby gurgled happily. Suze cuddled him close. "I think I'll call you Adam. You like that?"...
...Lindsay continued with her paintings. The art seemed to be acting increasingly as a conduit for Lindsay's gift, as the people she painted were people she had never met, or people who had died long before her birth...
...Eventually, Fire made her way over to the young heir. Lindsay, have you... "Auntie Fire, I know what you're gonna ask. No, no big scary weird-eyed visions. I did freak Mum out with the painting I did of Uncle Justin, but nothing huge. Mostly, I just KNOW things, y'know?"... *** And now we return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.
It was Adam's birthday, and Suze decided to keep things quiet. Rin and Lindsay knew it was because Suze had argued with Alejandro and didn't want to feel obliged to invite him to a birthday party for his son.
Suze adjusted her grip on her son and leaned in to blow out his candles. "Make a wish, Adam!" Adam grinned. "Wanna be big like Lind'ay." "Don't think that'll be a problem, sweetie." Suze blew out the candles and set Adam on the floor for his transition.
The usual sparkles enveloped Adam, and Suze, Lindsay and Rin stood back to cheer as he made the change from toddler to child.
"I got bigger!" Adam was overjoyed with his bigger physique. Suze chuckled. "I think you need a change of clothes, Adam." "Why?" Adam looked down at his outfit with confusion. "Oh."
With his mother's help, Adam cut his hair shorter and picked out a new outfit that was more suited to everyday wear. He was pretty happy that he'd be able to keep up with his big sister now. ***
"Hey, Mum?" "What's up, pumpkin?" "Well, now that Adam's grown up I've been thinking about college. There's a really good arts degree at your old college..."
"Sweetie, if you're asking for my permission to go to college, you already have it. If you want to go, go ahead." "I'm probably gonna wait until Adam's old enough to come with me." "That's fine, Lindsay. It's your decision."
Lindsay's face brightened. "Awesome. The arts course needs me to submit a portfolio, as well as an audition type piece." "You better get painting then, Linds."
"Thanks, Mum." ""I will always support you, Lindsay. Always. I'd love to keep you and your brother around here forever, but you need to stretch your wings sometime."
Lindsay plonked a freshly-gessoed canvas onto her easel, picked up her palette, and paused. "Well, what am I going to paint?" she muttered to herself. Inspiration usually came naturally to her, but now she was drawing a big blank. Literally. Lindsay closed her eyes. "I can do this. I can do this. I just have to think of what to paint." She opened her eyes.
The world greyed slightly as Lindsay dipped her brush into her paint without seeing which colour she was using. She began to paint guidelines on her canvas, faster than she'd ever painted them before. The world slipped away as she began to uncover the painting hidden behind the blank canvas. ***
Painting finished, Lindsay stepped back and closed her eyes. It could have been five minutes or a lifetime that she'd been working; she had barely noticed time at all in her reverie.
When she opened them again, the world had shifted back to normal. Lindsay sighed with relief - the trance had been a little scary, since she'd had so little control over what she saw and what she did. She looked at her handiwork, and smiled.
The painting was interesting. A young blonde woman with a wistful tattoo of a swallow on one shoulder gazed thoughtfully into a mirror; but the mirror did not show her reflection. "The assessors are gonna have a field day with this one," muttered Lindsay. She couldn't shake the feeling that there was something profoundly odd about the painting, but she shrugged and set the canvas aside to be added to her folio. ***
Days went past. Lindsay worked hard on her folio, adding painting after painting. Her mother watched proudly, offering support rather than help as Lindsay was far more advanced than Suze had ever been.
Adam, however, preferred to immerse himself in reading. He quickly outgrew picture books and began instead to read heavier literature. He had a particular fondness for Jane Austen, and his copy of Sense and Sensibility quickly became battered.
Lindsay, while not painting, was beginning to enjoy the attention paid to her by the boys at school - in particular, the attention of one Armando Bear. "Lindsay, you have really pretty eyes," he said quietly one afternoon when she'd invited him hime from school. Lindsay blushed delicately. "You're too sweet, Armando. Come inside, it's freezing out here."
"I was thinking there was something I'd like to try." "What was that?" asked Armando, slightly puzzled.
"This." Carefully, Lindsay leaned forwards and brushed Armando's lips with her own.
She stepped back. "Um... that wasn't too bad, was it?"
"I'm not sure. I think we'll have to try again." Unseen by the couple, Rin slipped down the stairs and into the loungeroom. "That's my girl," she muttered as she walked past. Lindsay rolled her eyes and refocused on the task at hand.
Lindsay marvelled at herself in the mirror. How could she not look any different? Why was the fact that she was in love not immediately obvious? She felt like she was glowing, radiating sunshine and moonbeams. Now, she mused, she understood what all the romance books were fussing over.
Too excited to go for too long without seeing him, Lindsay dialled his number and waited eagerly for him to answer. "Armando speaking." "Armando, it's Lindsay."
"Lindsay, it's the middle of the night." "I know! We should totally go out tonight!" "...You mean sneak out?" "Why not?" She could practically hear him smile over the phone. "Sounds perfect. I'll pick you up at midnight."
Lindsay had barely sat down to wait when her mother walked in the door. "Lindsay, how come you're up so late?" Lindsay did some fast thinking.
"I was up doing my homework, and wanted a late night snack. But I think I'm done for the night." She yawned theatrically. "I never realised it was so late." Suze smiled. "Okay, Lindsay. I'll see you in the morning." Suze walked upstairs, too wiped out from her concert to notice that Lindsay never followed her.
"Whew, dodged a bullet there," Lindsay muttered to herself as she clambered into the car Armando had arranged for them. "This is going to be so much fun." ***
Rin was an early riser at this stage in her life. She'd traded men for children a long time ago and had become used to getting out of bed at 3:00am to change nappies or heat up some formula. She sneaked into Adam's room and tucked him in, then into Lindsay's. Lindsay's bed was empty. Having been a teen who bent the rules herself, Rin put two and two together and crept downstairs to await her granddaughter's return. ***
Lindsay quietly let herself back in when Armando dropped her home. They'd spent the night at the bowling alley, then had gone out for coffee. It had been absolutely fun and exciting, the tinge of danger only sweetening the deal. She was about to sneak back upstairs, when a flash of black and purple in a doorway caught her attention.
Rin sighed. "I'm not going to punish you for this, Lindsay." "You're... not serious, are you?" "Believe it or not, I do remember what it was like to be young and in love. It was an awfully long time ago," she quipped, "but I do remember." "Where exactly are you going with this, Gramma?"
"Just that I hope you're careful, Lindsay. Lust can be wonderful enough to masquerade as love; don't give everything up for a schoolgirl crush." Lindsay looked at her nails. "You're hardly qualified to lecture on relationships, Gramma." Ignoring the sass, Rin grinned wryly. "Don't I know it. Look, I may be a Romance Sim who's over the hill, but I do worry about you. Just be a bit more thoughtful next time. At least stick a pillow in your bed to make it look like you're still there."
Lindsay nodded, and walked towards the stairs. Impulsively, she turned and hugged her grandmother. "I must be the luckiest teenager in the whole of Veronaville."
"You won't be if your mother catches you. Off to bed, now." Rin watched Lindsay walk upstairs with an odd sense of nostalgia. It felt odd to be an old lady watching her granddaughter's hijinks from the outside. It felt stranger still when she realised she wouldn't have it any other way. ***
Life went on, as it has a tendency to do. Adam started school, and quickly turned to his big sister for help. "Linds, what's 4 times 6?" "You should be able to do that, kiddo. Just imagine you have 4 groups of six grilled cheese sandwiches." "Why grilled cheese?" "Gramma taught me to multiply. Her analogies aren't always the most sensible." "Oh. What's an analogy?"
Adam's friendly nature led him to make friends with everyone whose path he crossed. Nobody could say no to his infectious cheer. "Buh-bye, Ms Bus Lady! I'll see you tomorrow!"
Adam disembarked, then unfolded his report card with trepidation. Had he gotten that question right? Maths was so hard! "Blah blah blah... man, teachers can talk... blah blah has achieved an A in this subject!"
"Mum! Mum, I got an A in Maths! I did it!" Suze smiled proudly. "Good job, honey. I'm proud of you. Go show your sister and grandmother!"
Suze watched as Adam scampered off to show his A to his sister. He kids were growing up so fast! Surely it couldn't have been so long since Lindsay had been a small, stinky baby. She knew she'd have to let them go eventually, but she also knew that at least Lindsay would return and take over the Legacy.
As Suze tucked Adam into bed that night, she whispered "You're going to be a teen soon, Adam. You'll be an adult before I know it. I just hope you'll be happy and find the right person to make you happy." Adam mumbled in his sleep and turned over. Suze dropped a kiss on his forehead and switched out the light. ***
The day of Adam's teen transition dawned. Rin, as usual, had aggressively claimed decorating rights and had shut everyone out of the kitchen. "Hmm. What to do with this... Ah! I know! JEEVES!" called Rin. Out in the hallway, the Chandler's new but long-suffering butler Shane rolled his eyes and then entered the kitchen. "I need balloons. Lots and lots of balloons."
Some hours later, Rin and Shane had managed to turn the kitchen into a party room. Rin surveyed her handiwork and cheered to herself. "Mother?" called Suze from the hall. "Can we actually let the guests in now?" "No! They'll mess everything up! I spent hours on my jelly statue!" "Mother. Let. Us. In." "Fine. Miss Bossy."
Eventually, everyone assembled around the cake to watch Adam grow up. Not usually shy, Adam gulped as he looked up at the adults watching him expectantly. Then Rin yelled out "Okay everyone! One... two... three!"
Suddenly everyone pulled out whistles or noisemakers and cheered. Adam couldn't help but laugh at his grandmother.
He leaned over the cake, considered his wish briefly, then whispered it before blowing out the candles. "I want to know stuff."
Moments later Adam transitioned into a pretty awesome looking teen with awful fashion sense. Adam rolled Knowledge/Popularity.
Though he'd felt a little awkward doing so, Alejandro showed up to the party, but chose to hide behind his llama costume.
Alejandro needn't have worried. Suze was very careful to avoid him altogether and stayed at the opposite end of the room. ***
A week later, Lindsay called Armando to inform him of her plans to head off to University. "Armando, I have to eave for university soon. But I was thinking..." "Spit it out, Lindsay." "You could come with me! You wouldn't be able to live with me, but you could placehold, or move in next door, or... or something."
"Lindsay, you're a nice girl, but a commitment like that's not exactly what I'm looking for."
Lindsay's face crumpled. "But you said you liked me, and liked being with me!" "Well, sure I did. You had fun too, right?" "I... I thought..." Armando laughed. "You didn't think anything was serious, did you? I'm a Romance Sim, baby. That's the way we roll."
"You used me. The whole time, you were using me." "I never used you, Lindsay. We both had a good time, but we have to move on with our lives. You'll go off and do whatever, and I'll stick around here." "I think you should go now," said Lindsay coldly. Armando glanced at her, still grinning lopsidedly, then walked away.
Lindsay managed to hold the tears in until she got to her room. "Why didn't I see this coming? I see everything ELSE coming! Why not this?"
Suze found her there, crying her eyes out. She didn't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the source of her daughter's problems. "Oh, Lindsay. Men just aren't worth crying over." "H-h-he said he loved me!" "I know, honey. I know. He's still not worth it." Suze thought of Alejandro. "Not many of them are." ***
"Lindsay, honey, there's something I want to give you before you and your brother head off." Rin pulled a large giftwrapped box out from behind her back and presented it to Lindsay.
"For me? What about Adam?" "I have something for Adam too, but he'll have to wait a couple years for his. Be a bit of a distraction if he got it in college." Lindsay ignored the cryptic comment and opened the box.
"It's a piece of paper." "Not just any piece of paper, Lindsay. It's the deed to Veronaville Art Gallery. You're the owner now." Lindsay was stunned. "My own gallery?" "Sure! Your art needs somewhere to sit on the walls and be admired. Where better than in a gallery?" Lindsay hugged her grandmother. "Have I mentioned how cool it is to have you as a gramma?" "All the time, sweetie. But I still like hearing it."
"You ready for this, big sister?" "I'm not sure, Adam. But it has to happen sometime, right?" "Yeah. And you did get your acceptance to that arts degree."
"Well, I *will* get the acceptance. They haven't sent the letter yet, but... Anyway. You don't want to stick around, Adam?" "Nuh. I want to LEARN, Linds. I want to go and get a degree. Maybe in Physics, or Biology, or Maths, or..." "All right, all right, I'll make the call." Adam grinned smugly. "Mission accomplished." Lindsay just rolled her eyes at him.
She picked up the phone, and dialled the number that someone had written next to the phone. Probably Bella - Rin's handwriting wasn't anywhere near as neat as that.
"Um, hello? I need a taxi for two to Sim State."
And so Lindsay and Adam moved onwards to meet their futures, leaving home behind... for now. ***
"Alejandro, it's Suze. The kids are gone; do you want to come over and celebrate?" "I do need to talk to you, Susannah. I'll be around in a moment." Suze smiled as she hung up. Maybe this was what she needed to fix her relationship with Alejandro - a fresh start.
Don't try to explain your mind I know what's happening here...
One minute it's love And suddenly it's like a battlefield...
One word turns into a war Why is it the smallest things that tear us down?
I never meant to start a war You know I never wanna hurt you...
Don't even know what we're fighting for...
Why does love always feel like a battlefield?
Can't swallow our pride Neither of us wanna raise that flag...
If we can't surrender then we both gonna lose What we had...
Don't even know what we're fighting for...
Why does love always feel like a battlefield?
We could pretend that we are friends tonight..
And in the morning we'll wake up and we'll be alright 'Cause baby, we don't have to fight...
And I don't want this love to feel like A battlefield, a battlefield, a battlefield...
Why does love always feel like a battlefield? Lyrics taken from Jordin Sparks' Battlefield . *** That's the end of the chapter. Thanks for reading!