Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gen 4: Chapter Five

I walk into the kitchen to find Rissa at the stove.
Dameon: Mmmm! Something smells good in here.
Charissa: It's just plain old Mac and Cheese. It should be ready shortly. How are the boys?
 Dameon: Gabe's sleeping but Juan is still having some tummy trouble. Granddad offered to walk him while we eat.
Rissa was about to say something else when her phone went off. She mouthed that it was her father calling.

I stood to the side as I unashamedly listened in.
Charissa: Hi, Dad. Oh, about to eat dinner. What are you up to? Uh huh. Oh. Yea.
I started to get bored. I was about to check on the mac when I heard a change in Rissa's voice.

Charissa: Daddy, don't say such things. Momma would never do that. It's just your imagination. You know what I think? I think she is putting hours in at the hospital even though you asked her not to. Yeah, it does make more sense.
Rissa started to laugh.
Charissa: OK, Dad. Love you too. Bye.
She hung up the phone and put it back into her pocket.
Dameon: What was that all about?
Charissa: I'll tell you later. DAMEON! You let my mac burn!

 Dameon: Can you say "Dad-dy"?
Rissa and I decided to sit down with the boys and teach them some word basics. So far, the boys are both resisting.
Dameon: Juan. Juan, look at Daddy?
Charissa: Maybe we should try something else.

I look over at Rissa. She has started clapping out the words to Gabe.
Charissa: He said fish, Honey! He said fish!
Funny, how exciting it is to hear your son say such a simple word. I follow Rissa's example and do the same with Juan. I hang my head as Juan wonders off to the toy box.
Charissa: Aren't they so sweet?
I stand up and dust off my pants.
Charissa: They grew up so fast, Dameon. I wonder ...
She paused and looked up at me.
Charissa: Maybe we should try for a little girl?
My head began to spin. Our house was so full already and with Rissa's fertility, we could wind up with triplets!
Dameon: We can ... talk about it.

I walked out the boys room in time to see Rachel running out the door. She seems to be adjusting well to prep school. She has even been invited to a friend's house this weekend. I hope all goes well with that.

And the vet just confirmed that Angel IS pregnant. Rascal will be a proud Papa very soon. I watch as the two dogs nuzzle. It made me think about Rissa asking for another child. I shook my head as I started getting ready for the day.

Dameon: But I thought everyone was eligible to join the SimFest?
Becky: But you are arriving so late.
Becky: I already have a magician act. She has some really great tricks. Maybe you can learn a thing or two from her.
I can feel my face turning red. Not just from embarrassment, but from frustration. This is the second time I have been turned down for a gig today. I sullenly walk over to the stage to see what this girl had to offer.

She is doing my tricks!
Dameon: Boooo!
I can't help myself. I know that getting heckled can throw off your routine. I hope my yelling made her drop her hat. How can I compete in a town full of talent just like mine?
Unknown Male: Man, that girl is good! I wished they had shows like this in Sunset Valley.
  An idea formed in my head. I, of course, need to talk things over with Rissa. But maybe going out of town might just work.

I come home to hear raised voices in the boys room. Was that Rissa?

Charissa: Haven't you ruined enough lives?!
Miguel: Charissa, listen. There are things you don't understand. Besides, I broke it off already.
Charissa: And you think that makes it better? My parents might get divorced. DIVORCED! After almost forty years of marriage. Why do you have to be such a selfish prick?
I don't know what to think. My father has been having an affair with Shirley? But she hates his guts ... and mine.

Miguel: I don't expect any of you will understand.
Rissa turns and puts Gabe on the floor and hands him a bottle. Dad slowly shakes his head.
Miguel: Women have always been my downfall. I can't seem to resist them. But when The Watcher showed me my second chance with Rachel, I've tried to do better. Even got rid of Dina because she isn't the type of woman I want my girl looking up to. I think I am just meant to fail.

 I watch my father leave the room in silence. Rissa turns to me. No words are spoken but I understand her heart. I envelope her in a hug meant to console.
Dameon: Everything will be alright. You'll see.

Dameon: With everything that happened earlier, I forgot to talk to you about something.
Charissa: What is it, Honey?
Dameon: I want to travel to Sunset Valley to do a live show. It will boost my standings and hopefully help me get more gigs here in town.
I hear her sigh as she stares at her hands. Leaving now will make it hard for her. But I am hoping it will pay off in the long run.

Charissa: What if some woman tries to take advantage of you?
I can tell by her smile that she is teasing me. I grab her and nibble playfully on her neck.
Dameon: Oh, I think I might be able to fend her off.
We both laugh then settle into a comfortable silence.
Dameon: Are you sure this is OK?

She says nothing but pulls my head down to her lips. As her arms go around me, I sink deeper into the kiss. As the passion flames between us, a part of my mind recalls her request for another child....

The taxi showed up at exactly eight in the morning. I kissed everyone goodbye and headed out.

It was for only two days. I didn't foresee anything drastic happening.


Charissa: I appreciate you helping me out while Dameon is gone.
Julio: No problem. It's not a chore helping out with my great grandsons.  Come on big guy, in you go.

 Charissa: You think I am terrible for yelling at Miguel the way I did yesterday, don't you?
Julio: I don't judge. That is for The Watcher to do. I merely exist. But ...
Charissa: But what? You think I should apologize to HIM for saying those things when HE'S the one who screwed up?
Julio: I said nothing of the sort. I ... did you hear that?
Charissa: I didn't hear anything. Rachel's at Maria's house and Miguel has been in bed all day.
Julio: MIGUEL!

Julio: No, no, no, no! Miguel!

Julio: The stress. It must have been too much for him.
Charissa: Oh Watcher, did I cause this? I.. I can't think. I have to call Dameon!



 The phone call came in right after my performance. I was shocked. But I made it home in one piece. Granddad was tore up and went out into the night to only The Watcher knows where. He is in bed now that the sun is up. Rissa is strangely silent. I think she blames herself for my father's death.
Dameon: I'm going to put Juan in the nursery then go check on Rachel. OK?
Charissa: That's fine.

Rachel: Life's just so UNFAIR! Dad promised to take me to my first football game. And he was going to help me earn my gardening badge. And ...and... I can't stand being in this house anymore.
I watch as Rachel dissolves into tears. I try to pat her back but she shrugs me off.
Rachel: I want to go to Smuggsworth.
I am caught off guard at her declaration.

 Dameon: Rach, I know you are hurting right now. And leaving here for a bit might not be a bad idea. But let's give it time and think about things. I'm not saying no, I'm saying wait. Can you do that?
She nods her head slowly. Suddenly, she falls into my arms and begins to sob. Her cries bring out my own. I slide to the floor and lean against her dresser, cradling Rach against my chest. Time ceased to exist as we held onto each other and mourned.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gen 4: Chapter Four

Dameon: What the hell are YOU doing here?! 
My surprise at finding Miguel in my house had quickly turned into anger. I seriously never expected to see my father again. And I had already made peace with that.
Miguel: I don't know why you are up on your high horse when YOU are the one needing help. 

Dameon: What?! I don't need help, especially not from you. So you can crawl back under whatever rock you came out of. 
Miguel: You ungrateful brat! I came here because Dad asked me to. And since your illustrious Granddad sold the house in Riverview out from under me, that means you are stuck with me.
My brain was not connecting the dots. The anger coursing through my system was making logical thought difficult. I hadn't even noticed that Charissa had gone into the bedroom with Rachel.   

Miguel: Look, you want to raise your brood in this two bedroom shack, fine. I'll walk. It's not like I wanted to come off the road to begin with. But this sickness in me ... it has other plans. So whether you take my money or not, I will be around. And I plan on spending time with Rachel, with or without your consent.
It hits me. He is willing to help us move to a bigger place so he can be a part of Rachel's life. My fog lifts enough for me to notice, for the first time, how much my father has aged since last I saw him.

Julio: What Miguel here isn't telling you is that he's sick and can no longer be on his own.
Miguel: That's shit and you know it. I don't need anyone to nursemaid me!
I watch Granddad glare Father down until he turns around and walks to the couch to sit down.
Julio: Despite what he thinks, this sickness is taking a toll on him. He is fine most of the time but some days he can't even get out of bed and that's when I worry. I want to be close for when his time comes. Can you understand that?

I nod my head. When my father was younger, he and Granddad actually were close. I forget that.
Julio: The company gave him a big settlement to keep quiet about the side effects of using the Banshee. That money could really help us out, Dameon. But if you really don't want this, I won't force you.
Only an hour ago, I was a happy man who had just learned he was going to be a daddy. How quickly The Watcher can turn things on you...


They say a woman gets a glow about her when she is expecting. I can honestly say that Rissa is getting more and more beautiful with each passing day. We decide to take a detour to the park after her doctor's appointment. Twins! I still can't believe it. But we have the ultrasound pictures in the van to prove it. I watch her rest a hand over her belly and exhale.
Dameon: Come here, Love. Let me just snuggle with you while my brains wraps around the idea of twins.
Charissa: What? Oh!
She must have been distracted but she scoots closer and lays her head on my shoulder. She takes my hand and places it on her belly then stacks both of hers on top.
Charissa: Sorry, I wasn't listening. I had noticed that Mom was over by the stage.
I look across the water. Sure enough, Shirley was there.
Dameon: Is that my father?
Charissa: Yea. I thought it strange too. She has never been shy about expressing her dislike for your Dad. I wish we could hear what they were saying.

Miguel: Hello, Shirley. Never thought you would be so bold as to call me and arrange a meeting. Did I bring up old memories? Maybe some you would like to ... relive?

Shirley: Ugh! Keep yours disgusting hands off me. Everyone around here knows you are sleeping with that whore, Dina?
Miguel: Well, we do quite a bit more than sleeping, My Dear. But you already know all about what I do in bed, right?

Shirley: Listen to me, you filthy rat! The only reason I called you was to warn you to keep your mouth shut. If you breath a word of our ...
Miguel: Tryst? Romp? Woohoo? Cheap motel sex....
Shirley: AFFAIR. I was going to say affair. Look, it was a long time ago. Charissa was just a baby and so needy. With Jebidiah working so much, I just needed ...
Miguel: I know. I understood then and I understand now.

Miguel: You just needed someone to fill that void. To make you feel special again.
Shirley: Yea ... I guess. Damn it, Miguel. Why after all this time do I feel like you are the only one who understands me?
Miguel: Maybe because I am.
Shirley: No. Stop with your charming words. I don't need anymore strife in my life, right now. It was a mistake that doesn't need repeating!
Miguel: Are you sure?

Dameon: Whatever they said, they appear to be on better terms now.
Charissa: Where do you suppose they are going? And are they getting into your father's old clunker?
I shake my head. Too much of my life has been wasted on wondering what my father was up to.
Dameon: It doesn't matter.
I reach across her slightly swollen belly and pull her a little closer. She places her hand on my thigh and turns toward me.
Dameon: With the new house almost finished, we'll be moved in before the twins are born. We won't have time alone like this after that. So let's enjoy it.
I close my eyes and lean in to kiss her soft lips.


Finally, the old house was empty. There were only a few more boxes left to  unpack at the new place. Since we decided to put it into Granddad's name, he went to close and sign the final drafts of the sale. My father went too, insisting on taking Rachel. Rissa and I opted to wait for them at the new Legacy House.

Dameon: It is a lot of room. Do you think you can handle this much?
Rissa laughs. I watch as she rubs her lower back. The move was hard on her and despite my offers of help, she insisted on doing her share.
Charissa: Oh, I love all the room! After being cramped with three men and a toddler in the two bedroom, this is heaven.

Things had gotten a bit rough towards the end. With Granddad being awake all hours of the night and having Dad snoring on the couch, I don't see how Rissa could stand it.
Dameon: And now we have a proper nursery. With enough room for both my guys, huh?
I lean down to rub Rissa's round belly. 
Dameon: I felt one of them kick!!
Charissa: Are you sure it was just one?

I keep my hand in place as my child continues to kick around.
Dameon: We are going to have two beautiful baby boys to love, Rissa. Can you imagine?
I lean my head down and press my ear next to my hand. I close my eyes and imagine holding an infant ... my son, in my arms.  

Life moved pretty quickly after that. I took the plunge and adopted a female for Rascal. It was time he had a family of his own as well. Psycho's Pet Adoption agency is a rescue operation that I was glad to have worked with. Angel is the dog's name. She and Rascal get along well enough. But she doesn't seem to like his noisy barking. I admit, I am not a fan of it either.
Since the coffeehouse, I haven't been able to get another gig. I have gone back to practicing for tips at the square and, occasionally, in front of the consignment shop. It helps me stay close to home in case Rissa needs me.

Granddad bought a pool table for the den. He spends hours practicing. I guess it gives him something to do while he is up late at night. We had the house built with him in mind so a lot of the rooms were built in the basement area. My father is downstairs as well, to afford him the privacy he wants.

Rissa is getting restless. She has just over six weeks to go. She is always complaining about her ankles and the weight she has put on. I assure her she is beautiful but she just snarls at me. Hormones, I blame the hormones. 

Rachel's birthday rolls around. I almost missed the small party because I was auditioning at the Rodeo-Go-Go. Despite being turned down once again, I was in a jovial mood. Rachel is growing into a child!

Dameon: Yay, blow out the candles, Rach!

Granddad is honorary candle helper. Dad and I cheer them on as Rissa blows on the birthday horn. We are making quite a ruckus. The dogs are barking and howling along with us. Everyone is so excited!

Julio: Come on, Sweetling, blow out the candles for Granddad. Like this...
The candles flutter out. Granddad places Rachel on the floor and the magic that is life, begins. 

With a jump and a spin, Rach grows into a beautiful child. She continues to have our father's eye coloring. But as I watch Dad's face, I know he only sees those parts of her that are Bella. Afraid he is going to turn his back on her, I start to step forward. But I am surprised to see he kneel down in front of her.
Miguel: Oh Rachel, you look so much like your mother. The Watcher has blessed me with a most precious gift! I promise not to waste it.
I step back as he embraces Rachel. The first true emotion I have seen him express towards her. I feel a knot form in my throat and can say nothing as I look at Rissa. She grabs my hand and leads me out so the two can share their moment, unobserved.



(click to read)

My alarm goes off promptly at 4:55 am. I immediately notice Rissa isn't sleeping next to me. Without a thought for a robe, I walk out my bedroom door to check for her.
Dameon: Whoa. Rach ... Rissa. What are you two doing awake? It's five am!
Rachel: Morning, Bubba. I was sitting here keeping Rissa company while she was in labor.
My step falters on the way to the coffee pot. Labor?

I slowly turn around. Rissa struggles from the chair and starts to absently rub her belly. I notice the grin covering her face is a mile wide.
Charissa: The contractions started yesterday evening but I didn't notice they were regular until around midnight. I have been timing them. We should be heading to the hospital soon.
Rachel: Can I come? Rissa said I was good at distracting her from the pain. I could be useful.

 Suddenly, my brain shuts off and all logic has left me.
Dameon: Labor? Hours? Why didn't you wake me up? Oh my Watcher! We need to uh ... damn it, Brain! Work!
Rachel and Rissa start to laugh but then a pain grips Rissa and she starts to double over and grimace. 
Dameon: Oh shit!
Rachel: Bubba, that's two quarters for the swear jar. Keep it up and I will tell Granddad.

Julio: Tell me what?
Somehow Granddad has appeared in the room during my confusion. I gesture to Rissa.
Dameon: She's been in labor for hours and didn't tell me!
Julio: We don't allow tattle-telling in this house, Dameon.
Why is everyone making jokes? Don't they see how serious this situation is? Rissa is no longer grimacing but doing some deep breathing. Oh right, that class said breathing will distract her from the pain.
Julio: Dameon, calm down, everything will be alright. I will stay with Rissa while you go change. You can take my truck and drive her to the hospital. I will call ahead and let them know you are coming.

I quickly change and grab the hospital bag sitting by the door that Rissa had packed weeks ago. She goes through two more contractions before we are able to get out the door. I hear Granddad talking to Rachel as we shuffle our way out.
Julio: I know, and you were a big help, keeping Rissa calm by talking to her. But right now, she needs Dameon.
Rachel: Oh, alright. Do I still have to go to school, though? 

The drive to the hospital seems to take forever. I honk at slow cars, trying to get them to move, and whip around a slow moving van.
Charissa: Dameon! I want to live to see these boys born. Slow down.
I glance over at her gripping her belly and the side arm rest. I bring my speed down and reach over to rub her shoulder. She smiles at me and I can see she is just a little scared too. 
Dameon: It's OK, Rissa. We are almost there.
I drop her off at the front where a set of nurses are waiting with a wheel chair. She refuses to use it and insistes on walking. I drive off to park and then run back across the parking lot in time to see her snarling at the other nurse, the one not pushing the chair.
Charissa: I am waiting for my husband! So back the hell off!
Oddly enough, it makes me feel better to know she snarls at others at well. But by now, she is huffing and unconsciously gripping her belly. The nurse starts hollering for the wheel chair again and talking about checking dilation and other mysterious stuff. Charissa is unable to resist the chair, the contraction is that strong.
Nurse: It won't be long now. Not with contractions like that, no sirree.

And she was right! Four hours later, Rissa gave birth to two beautiful, healthy baby boys. Gabriel (loner, athletic) and Juan(light sleeper, excitable)! I am so proud of her. She was up and walking around, with assistance, within hours. Two days later, we were heading home with the newest Montoyas.