Chapter 3.12

Having people with three very different schedules living under one roof is difficult to coordinate but we were finally getting the hang of things.

We all agreed that I would be the sole chef of the house as I am the only one who seems capable of not burning food.  I’m ok with this arrangement because I don’t want to eat horrible food either!

Most days though I barely taste my breakfast because I’m working 7am to 9pm six days a week.  I love my patients but damn it would be nice if they refused to get sick on weekends!  I am a rising star at the hospital though so I should be a master surgeon before too long.

While I’m off saving lives at the hospital Xander cleans the house.  He’s working as an overnight security guard from 9pm to 3am.  So we rarely cross paths these days.  I’m hoping that’s the reason he has yet to propose and not because I’ve scared him away.

I haven’t the foggiest idea what he does while I’m at work and Adam is at school.

Something work related I assume.  They always seem to have side jobs for him in the afternoons.

I’d like to say that I get a break when I get home but that would be a lie.  I’ve been selected to compete on the hospital’s behalf in a medical knowledge competition.  If I make the hospital look good I get a promotion and a huge monetary reward.  So I’ve been spending long hours studying.

Yep, studying.  Well, everyone needs a break.  Liv and I have been honing our skills at the bar.  She’s a phenomenal singer.  I’m…not good.  But at least we didn’t get booed offstage like the guy before us.

The night before the competition I was up way, way too late studying.  I was only a C-student in college so I really didn’t want to eff this up and get fired.

Thank God for coffee.  I was tempted to take a shot of whiskey before I left but then I remembered I’m supposed to make the hospital look good and thought better of it.

After some cleaning (because it’s fun and relaxing for a neat freak…don’t judge) I was off to the competition.

Of course I won.  I’m awesome.  I was given a $10,000 bonus which meant I had $20,000 in my bank to do whatever I wanted.

Being the responsible adult I’m pretending to be, I did some house renovations.

I HAVE TREES NOW.  It’s so much nicer to look out my bedroom window and see trees instead of the vast empty waste of space that my lot used to be.

I put fences everywhere because this neighborhood has developed a Zombie problem and after Xander was attacked in the Spring I’m not taking any chances with Bug and Pickle.  Their mother would kill me if I sent home Zombie Babies.

I really missed the knowledge garden in China so I made my own half-assed attempt.  It’s not bad to look at and chess makes everything better.  I’m not much of a painter but who knows what Bug might want to do as she gets older.  Always got to have something fun for my boogers.

I’ve also taken to gardening in my spare time (which isn’t much but I have a dragon named Dork who helps me).  I’ve planted some fruit trees and some berries and we will see what happens.  Again, it’s all nicely fenced since I had a run in with some Zombies who thought my plants looked tasty (I’m glad they weren’t eating me but still…have some respect).

My favorite part is the gazebo.  It’s so relaxing to sit on my patio with the fire blazing.  It’s going to be a hopping party spot now that summer has arrived.  Once I get some more cash I’m going to enlarge that sucker and I’ve been toying with the idea of a pool.  Maybe when Bug and Pickle are older.  If they fell in…nevermind.  Nobody needs a pool ever.

I’ve promised Adam he gets to host the first party.  He’s straightened up after his rebellious streak.  He’s on the honor roll again and doing his thing in a really amazing way.

I didn’t realize that Xander had planned a trip with his buddies after work on Friday but Adam picked up when Xander called to remind us.  

Since then Adam has really stepped up around the house this weekend while I’ve been working.  He turned Rory down for a date just so he could clean and feed the pets.  

I still can’t believe I forgot about Xander’s trip.  I’m going to need a calender so I can keep track of everybody’s plans.

Chapter 3.11

It’s going to sound cliche but I fell in love with a boy on Love Day.

I was working at the hospital when I got the page that Liv was in Labor and Delivery.  Of course, being a trauma surgeon doesn’t leave much time to sneak away.  She called on Love Day and invited Xander, Adam, and I over to meet the newest Hanks-Hepworth baby.

Could Bug look any more like her daddy?  She was settling in nicely with being a big sister…mostly.

Liv positively glowed with her son in her arms.  Suddenly I realized we were adults and that was super weird.

I could handle being an adult if it meant hanging out with this booger.

Pickle is so mellow.  Bug is a but high maintenance which I’m sure she gets from her Momma.  Pickle just goes with the flow.  Xander wasn’t terribly into snuggling babies.

Bug was a little jealous that Aunt PP was spending so much time with Pickle.

She knows she’s always going to be my homegirl.  You can see it when she looks at me.  I wonder if my own kids will love me that much… I’m not going there.

Xander did more manly things.  He played with the dog and grilled with Mike and Adam.  I have no idea why he refused to play with Pickle.  He’s great with Bug.

Liv and I did girly things.  We took silly photos and played with babies.

“Um…how did you manage to have such cute kids, Liv?  Mike’s genes?  You best be careful or I might steal them one day!”

“Any time you want them you can have them!  Maybe then I’ll get some sleep!  And…it was my genes that made them cute.  Jeez.”

“So…I was thinking I’d ask Penny to marry me tonight.  We’re going to the beach at sunset and I think that’s the place.”

“It’s your business, dude, but I don’t think Penny will go for that kind of deal…I’ve known her since high school and I think that’s a little too sentimental for her.”

“No, no.  She’s changed.  Mellowed, you know.  I think it’s perfect.  Love Day, Sunset, Beach…perfect.”

“Whatever works for you, man.  She’s just my wife’s sister.  That kind of thing Liv would go for…Penny though?  I don’t know, man.  Good luck.  You better head out.  It’s already 4 o’clock.”

Xander and I headed to the beach while Adam took Rory out for dinner and dancing.  Lucky girl that one.

“So, are you going to propose now?”

“Pfft.  Whatever gave you that idea?”

“Oh you know…sunset at the beach on Love Day?  It’s so damn cliche.  It seemed like a proposal set up.”

“I can see how you would think that.  No, I just thought it was a nice thing to do on Love Day.  Christ you think I’d actually want to do something that dumb?  I know you better than that!”

We sat in silence and headed home shortly after sunset.

“Why don’t we head into the bedroom for a spin?  Or perhaps that’s too cliche for you, Penelope?”

“Shut up and get moving…Sweetie.”

After our fun we snuggled in bed for a bit.

“You know, you could ask me to marry you tomorrow.  At the beach around sunset if you wanted.  It’s just too sticky sweet to do it on Love Day.”

“Ha!  I haven’t even bought you a ring yet.  But yeah, Love Day?  Too cliche.  Let’s turn in.  Love you.”

And we faded off to sleep.

Chapter 3.9

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter contains language and subject matter that might not be appropriate for all readers.  Reader discretion is advised.

The morning of my procedure did not start off well.

I woke up to discover my chameleon, Nelson, had passed away.  I knew it was my fault, too.  I could barely scrape together the cash to feed myself and Adam.  I had to rotate feeding the pets and poor Nelson couldn’t hold out any longer.

After mourning the loss of Nelson I had to face the day.  Adam was already in the kitchen digging into breakfast leftovers.

“Why don’t you let me take you to the hospital today?  I don’t think you should be alone, Penny.”

“No, nope, no.  I’ll be fine.  You go to school.  If I even catch a whiff that you skipped you will be so grounded.”

“Ok, ok fine.  If you need anything you call me ASAP.  I’m not going to band practice after school though.  I’m coming home to check on you.  Well, or I’m going to go hangout with Rory.  If you call I’ll come home.  Otherwise I’m going over to Rory’s.”

Adam went off to school and I didn’t really feel like being alone so I headed off to the local pond.

I sat and meditated.  I needed to quiet my heart and mind to make sure this is what I wanted to do.  I realized that Nelson’s death was really a sign.  I can barely feed myself and my brother.  My lizard died because I couldn’t feed it.  I totally did not need to bring another stomach into this mess.

And let’s be honest…I’m not the most mature young adult on this planet.  I’m in no position to raise a baby right now.

With that it was time to head to the hospital.

Three hours and $4000 later it was over.  I sat down on the bench outside the hospital and I wasn’t sure what to feel.  I was stunned, sad, relieved, and happy all at the same time.  I didn’t want to go home and be alone but I didn’t want to call Adam because he shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff.

Suddenly I knew exactly where to go.

“Can I see Katie?”

“Oh, Katie-Did, Aunt Penny messed up.”

I remember hearing somewhere that babies remember the place they come from, whether it is heaven or something else I don’t know.  I don’t even know if they can communicate with it telepathically.  In that moment none of those unanswered questions mattered.

“If you see her in your dreams, Bug, tell her I love her.  Tell her that’s why I did it.  Tell her I’m sorry.  Tell her I would have done anything to change this mess I created.  Tell her name is Piper.”

After pouring my heart out to my niece I sat down in the chair I bought for her in France where this whole mess started.  I fought back tears as I realized what I selfish person I had been.  I’m always coming over here to steal kisses from Bug and harvest food from Liv’s farm but I’ve never given anything back.

I went downstairs and amid protests from Mike I prepared cheesesteaks and apple cobbler for Liv’s family.

Once finished I headed home.

Not long after I got home Adam returned from Rory’s house.

“Are you ok?  How did it go?  How do you feel?”

“It went well.  I’m doing ok.  I think everything will be ok.”

“That’s it?  Really?”

“Yeah, Adam, that’s it.”

“You had a fucking abortion and you’re acting like it’s no big deal!  What’s wrong with you, Penny?!”

“Don’t you presume to know how I am feeling, Adam.  Don’t you dare!  You have no idea what I’m going through.  I know it is a big deal Adam.  8 hours ago there was a potential human in me.  Now there is nothing.  Do you hear me?  Nothing.  I’m still not sure how I feel about it.  Don’t you ever tell me I don’t understand.”

After that we spent the rest of the evening in silence.  Adam went off to his room to study and I was left to wonder how everything got so fucked up.

Chapter 3.8

I woke up around 2:30am on Sunday morning thinking Adam was finally wandering in from Prom.

When I got up to ask him how the dance went I came face to face with someone trying to steal my egg gem collection!

Don’t mess with my egg gems.  I took that bitch down!  The cops came but they were useless.  The woman ran right past them out the door.

When I woke up next time it was 9am and Adam was working on his latest comic book.  He’s really becoming well-known in the nerd community and his comics are bringing in a bit of money.

We both agreed that from now on I was the sole chef of the house.  We had a good laugh about the horrible waffles but money is tight and we cannot afford to be wasting food.

Adam went and got himself cursed by the fortune-teller and it’s really causing us some financial problems.  Every morning at 12:01 AM my bank account hits $0.  It doesn’t matter how much money was in there, it is immediately drained.

Which usually leaves me with no way to purchase groceries, pay bills, or pay for the procedure tomorrow.

I headed down to Mom’s gallery to sell some of my photos from my trip.  I hoped they wouldn’t sell today but tomorrow morning so that the money would still be worth something.

I also donated some of my relics to the museum area Mom set up in one wing of the gallery.

I figured while I was out I should go and visit my parents and meet my new sister, Ericka.

I was happy to see Dad looking well despite of the cancer.  Mom was still fuming that he hadn’t told her and they spent my whole visit arguing.  I didn’t even get a chance to hug Dad or talk to Mom.

I went upstairs to meet Ericka and was shocked to find that the kid looked just like me.  Purple skin, black hair, her eyes were a blue-green that hinted at my own.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the thing in my body would look like me.  I put Ericka back in her crib and got the hell out of that house before I did something I would regret tomorrow.

I ran home and threw Adam in the car.  I needed some normalcy to life and the Fall Festival was just the place for that.

I think Adam got that because he suddenly had a take no prisoners attitude with the festival games.  He beat me at the pie eating contest.

He beat me at apple bobbing.  He would have beaten me at the mechanical bull, too but I refused to ride it.

We picked pumpkins for carving.  Adam made sure to grab a few extra so that we could use them for food.  Smart kid.  He’s learning!

Granny Liddy and Aunt Holly were also at the festival that night and we had a picnic and caught up with each other.  It was weird that Granny wasn’t pregnant since that’s how I always remember her when I was growing up.

Finally we got home after midnight.  Adam and I carved our pumpkins and ignored the fact that we were both exhausted.  Tomorrow would come too soon if we slept.

I carved a boring pumpkin while Adam got a little silly with his.  We stuck them out in front out the house even though Halloween was over a week away.

Adam finally made it to bed at 3 in the morning.  I felt bad because he’d be so tired at school.  I wasn’t the least bit sleepy.

Tomorrow was going to suck.

Chapter 3.7

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter is HEAVY in adult subject matter and language.  Readers discretion is advised.

The night I told Adam about how I got pregnant was one of the worst nights of my life so far.

“So…does Xander know yet?”

“He’s…he’s not the father, Adam.”

“Oh.  Um…do you know who is?  I don’t mean that in a bad way either.  I’m just confused I guess.”

“I met this guy back in France.  He was twice my age but we hit it off anyway.  It was supposed to end there!  Just flirting but then…  I found out right before I left that he was married.  And his wife was pregnant, too.  I’m such an idiot.  Before you ask: No, I’m not keeping it.  I have an appointment set up first thing Monday morning.”

We sat in silence for a few minutes.  I wasn’t sure what Adam was going to say.

“You are not an idiot, sis.  That asshole played you.  I’d rip his balls off if I could.  Anything to prevent you from this situation.  At least there’s a reason for you puking 900 times a day.  I thought you’d gone bulimic on me.  Not that this is any better.”

“Adam, please please don’t tell anyone about this.  Not with what Liv is going though.  And if Xander ever knew…well.  Just please don’t speak a word of it.”

“I’ll take it to my grave.  I swear it.”

“Thanks baby bro.  You are going to be a great man one day.”

It was 3am before either of us crawled into bed.  I don’t know how well Adam slept but I tossed and turned all night.  I crawled out of bed at 10am the next morning looking like a zombie.

Adam was in the kitchen whipping up some waffles.  I really had to hand it to him.  For only being 16 he really puts other people first.

Despite the prowess he showed with his toy oven the waffles were horrible!  They were a giant pile of charcoal!

We had a good laugh about it but ended up tossing them after neither one of us could dare the other into eating them.

I snagged Adam after breakfast to have another chat.

“I’ve got to go down to the resale shop and get some new clothes.  The parasite inside me is starting to take over and my pants don’t fit anymore.”

“Oh well…perhaps I could drive you?  You shouldn’t drive in your condition.”

“Adam, I’m pregnant, not incapacitated!  You don’t even have your license yet!  I’ll give you some lessons when we get home.”

“I wasn’t trying to get lessons out of you.  But if you insist.  Also, could you grab me a tux and a yellow shirt while you are out?  Prom is tonight.”

Short notice much?  I headed off with no money in my pockets and a lot to purchase.

A new clothing resale shop had opened up on the edge of town.  It looked cute on the outside but it was wretched inside.

I guess I should have figured it would look cheap.  If I can get a new wardrobe for $100 I shouldn’t expect it to look like a Neiman Marcus.

I ran by the salon on the way home.  I thought it might be too conspicuous to have lighter, flowy clothes at the beginning of fall so I needed a new hairstyle, too.  That way I could say I just wanted to change things up.

I found my new look hard to complain about even under the circumstances.  I’m such a hottie.

“Lookin’ hot, sis!  How about those driving lessons now?”

“Lookin’ hot now goes under the things you can’t say to me category.  Have you ever driven a car before?”

“Not legally.  Once I backed Dad’s car down the driveway and into the mailbox.  That’s about it.”

“Get in the car.  I swear if you even think about crashing my car I will never let you do anything fun again!  Just homework and housework!”

Adam was out the door and in the car before I could even blink.  The look in his eye was a scary combination of excitement and determination.

He did really well though.  I was still I little worried he might run over kids at the playground but he kept it on the road.

We got home just as the limo I ordered pulled up.  I figured if I had to buy him a tux I might as well rent the limo, too.  I was also living a bit vicariously through Adam since I skipped my own Prom.

Adam’s girlfriend Rory was already waiting when we got home.  He neglected to tell me she was going to come over so I felt kind of shitty about her waiting alone.  The limo seemed to make up for any anger she had though.

It was 11pm when I crawled into bed with no sign of Adam.  I figured he’d be home eventually or the cops would bring him home.  One way or another he’d show up!

I wasn’t going to set a time limit on his fun.

Chapter 3.6

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter gets a bit heavy in adult content and language later in the chapter.  Reader discretion is advised.

I don’t know why everyone keeps telling me raising teenagers is a pain in the ass.  Adam is awesome!  I know I was just a great.

He gets up every morning and makes his own food.

He does chores.

He even helps take care of the crazy critters I call my “Slime Babies”.

A few months had passed since my adventures abroad and the bills were starting to pile up.  In fact, the repo man had just left my house after stealing my washing machine.

Alas, it was time to get a job.

So I headed the salon.  I got my hair, nails, and makeup done.  I also donned a stellar new suit I picked up at a garage sale.

I realized as I looked in the mirror that I was, in fact, an adult now.  I tried not to vomit at this thought.  It was time.

I got to the hospital just in time for my interview.  I had no idea what to expect.  I didn’t think I’d get the job.  I mean, I had a mediocre school record and here I was trying to get a job as a surgeon?  They’d laugh me out of the hospital.

But they hired me!  After some celebration in front of the hospital I realized where I was and toned it down a bit.

You know how it is.  You hire a surgeon and then someone sees her dancing like a mental patient in front of the building.  Then you get fired.

I ran home to change because I had a date later that afternoon.  Not with Xander though.

“Did Bug get my gifts!?  I missed that kid!”

“Yeah, the movers came and dropped off her stuff months ago.  Why are you just now getting here!?  Also, don’t you think a whole bedroom set from France is a bit much for a 6 month old?  At least call next time and tell me a moving truck is coming with 30 things for my daughter’s room!”

“Uh, hello!  I’m pulling rank.  As the oldest twin I do not have to listen to what you say about my gifts for Bug.”

“I am the MOTHER.  Which trumps anything you are to Katie.  I appreciate the furniture and toys you got her but next time a heads up would be nice.  Also, if you turn her into a spoiled brat you get to keep her.”

“Ok, well you can ride your high horse.  I’ve got a niece to visit!”

“BUG!  I missed you, kiddo!”

The look on that kid’s face is everything to me.  I hope one day I have one just like her.

It was neat seeing the post cards that I sent her on the wall.  At least Liv didn’t toss them!

I spent some quality time with Bug in her new room.  I heard Liv crying downstairs and I took Bug to go investigate.

Liv didn’t even notice when I stuck Bug in her swing.

“Honey, what’s wrong.  What’s going on?”

“Oh, Penny.  While you were away I had a miscarriage.”

“Oh, Sweetie.  I’m so sorry…I didn’t know you were trying.”

“We didn’t either…”

“Look, I know this isn’t going to make up for what you lost but I got you something while I was away.  I have something important to do but I really want to be here for you.  Let’s have a lunch date next week.”

“Ok, Pen.  I’ll call you!”

I left Liv’ house with a heavy heart.  I will always hurt when she hurts.  Right now I had my own fish to fry.

After a staring contest with the box, willing it to go my way, I took the test.

“Penny…I’m home!  I got a promotion today!  Penny…where the fuck are you?”

“…Penny?”

“Yeah…come on in.”

“Penny…what’s wrong?  Are you sick?”

“I’m pregnant.”

Chapter 3.5

Notice anything different?

The first thing I did with my loot when I got home was sell it to the museum.

The second thing I did was have my house remodeled, repainted, and refurnished!

I bought some furniture in France and had it shipped overseas.  It was spendy but I had some money to spare.

I had the kitchen remodeled, too!  The guys came in a moved all the cabinets and stuff across the room.

That way I could have patio doors installed for my non-existent patio!

I loved the French style so I tried to recreate it in my dining room!  It’s full of yellows, whites, and blues.  Also I got one of the photos of the French countryside framed and hung it on the wall!  I was so proud.

My bathroom is probably my favorite part ever!  Seriously…I always wanted a bathroom like this.  I may have stretched the budget a little thin but it was so worth it!

Don’t mind that weird little gnome.  He followed me home and now I can’t get rid of him.

Speaking of things that followed me home, Storm is fitting right in!  He’s a really happy bird and seems to like his tree.

A week after my return I was getting into my routine.  Adam was going to be moving in soon and I realized that his room was the only one without furniture.  At least I moved the lizards out of the spare room I guess.

I headed out to get some stuff for a teenage boy.  I was feeling ill (it’s not a good idea to eat leftover pizza that you got before leaving on a month long trip) and I just wanted to get in and get out of the store.

I headed to the third floor and tried to find something that was not too girly or too childish.

So I bought some punk rock teen furniture and headed home.  If Adam doesn’t like it the boy can buy his own stuff next time.

I made it home just in time, too.

After taking a nap I was finally starting to perk up a bit.  I decided to make some spaghetti for dinner since I was feeling adventurous.  I heard some banging around down the hall and I went to investigate.

Adam was catching up with Theodore Q. Rumplefugly who moved in with my crew when I return from my trip.

“You say hello to your lizard before you greet the sister you haven’t seen in a month and who is graciously letting you move in with her?”

“PENNY!  Thank you so much!  And I did miss you.  But, I mean…Cueball is my homeboy and you are my sister.”

“Whatever.  Hey, I know this stuff isn’t really your style but I wasn’t feeling great today and it was cheap.  If you hang around for a while perhaps we can get you some better stuff.”

“Are you kidding?!  It’s great.  Mostly I’m just glad that I don’t have to live with Mom anymore.  The woman has lost her marbles!  And that baby thing is obnoxious.  Have you met Ericka?”

“Not yet.  I was going to go over later this week to give them their goodies.  Anyway I got spaghetti going so call mom and tell her you didn’t die on the way over and then come eat.”

While Adam called Mom I finished the food.  He wasn’t going to be too terrible a room-mate.

Using my new dining room felt great!  I cannot believe I have awesome furniture now!

Not everything was all sunshine and rainbows though.  My NEW sink broke while I was washing dishes.

I’m going to have to get used to the joys of home ownership.  I’m also going to spend a great deal of time upgrading.  And maybe hire a maid.

I need a job.

Chapter 3.4

Note from SweetPoyzin: This chapter contains language that may not be appropriate for all readers.  Reader discretion is advised.

France is by far the best place I’ve visited.  I’m so in love with this place!

Not to mention they have the best beds of all the hotels I’ve stayed at on my travels!

Of course I bought Bug some goodies.  Actually, I bought her A LOT of goodies here in France.

I’m taking it easy this time.  I’ve been spending my mornings eating at the local cafes and staying out of trouble.

Well, mostly out of trouble.  This time it wasn’t my fault.

Some woman asked me to go to this creepy ass deserted house and find out why the people disappeared.

The whole place was full of these stupid traps that I had to disarm.

It was a really neat house though.  Since everyone was gone I thought maybe I could loot some of the furniture but I am not a kleptomaniac.

Super weird place though.  There were all these burn marks everywhere.

And this whole deserted nursery should have made me think, “Penny, you should probably go back to the hotel and read a book…”

But I make bad decisions.

So I got electrocuted.  I’d like to say it only happened once.  But I can’t.

I went home and showered (which is why I was riding through the streets of France while singed) and then reattempted this whole mess later.

I found some dead bodies.

A lot of dead bodies.  But I figured out that the guy killed his family and hid them in the walls and that’s why he ran off and nobody saw the family ever again.

Good times.

I also did some excavating here, too.  I did not obtain the proper permits, hence why I am digging in the dark of night.

I did not get arrested though and I found $10,000 worth of stuff!  I’m so getting new furniture when I get home!

I heard there was a nectary nearby that allows tourists to harvest fruit.

Did you even have to ask if I did it?  FREE FOOD!

I also spent a ton of time fishing.  I can see why Xander likes it.  Since I learned how to make frog’s legs I thought I would try to catch some frogs to bring home with me.  My mother will be so impressed by this meal!

I found this really weird bird out by the lake.  It’s a Spotted Sixam and is really rare.  I befriended him and put him and he let me put him in my pocket to take home.  I named him Storm.

Late into my trip I headed to the famous art gallery here in France.  I seriously spent the entire day wandering the halls and still did not see it all!

It was also a little weird seeing miniatures or parts of big monuments in the museum…especially those I’ve seen in person in China and Egypt.

On my trip home from the museum I passed by this beautiful little house right on the river.  It was a two bedroom, one bathroom vacation home and it was for sale.  The best part–it was in my price range.

I knew right then that house was meant for me.  New furniture be damned!  I’m buying that house.

I went back to the hotel to sleep on it but ultimately decided to go ahead with the purchase.  I could see making France a second home.  I’d love to travel here with Bug one day.

I setup a noon meeting with the local real estate agent and then wandered to the cafe to have some breakfast.

Just as I was sitting down to enjoy my crepes my phone rang.

“Can you meet me behind the cafe?”

I made a new friend in France.  His name is Gerald and he’s probably close to 20 years older than I am.  We didn’t really discuss specifics.

But he’s a nice guy and after a month alone on the road a girl needs a little friendship.

We said our goodbyes since I would be leaving in a few days.  Then I ran off to meet with the Realtor.

I went back to yet another serving of crepes (I might have an addiction) when my phone rang again.  This time it was Adam.

“Sup, baby bro-man!  How are things with you?”

“Oh they are good here…SoDadHasCancerAndMom’sGoneCrazyBecauseSheHadTheBaby.  So actually things aren’t that great and I was wondering if I can I come live with you?”

“I’m still in France, Adam.  No you can’t come–DAD HAS CANCER?!”

“Yeah he’s known about it since I was a toddler but he didn’t want to tell anyone and because the doctors said it was slow-growing and wouldn’t be an issue.  Well somehow mom found out and now she is hormonal with all the post-baby stuff and she’s worried about Dad dying and she’s sleep deprived and might go postal.  So can I come live with you when you get back?”

“I don’t know?  I mean…Xander and I haven’t even moved in together yet!”

“I know.  But when I asked him if I could live there he told me to call you!”

“Wait–you asked to move in with my BOYFRIEND before you called me?!”

“Well, no.  First I asked Uncle Ollie.  Then I asked Aunt Colleen.  Then Grampa Vic.  THEN Xander.  They all said no so I called you.”

“So I’m like the last one on your list I see.”

“No, Liv is the last one.  Everyone knows you are the fun twin.  I promise I’ll stay out-of-the-way so you and Xander and get jiggy with it!”

“As your pseudo-parent I forbid you from referring to my sex life.  And never say get jiggy with it ever again.  Pack your shit.  I’ll be home in a week.”

“YEAH!  Mom is gonna be so pissed at you.  I’ll see you soon.  Try not to die!”

After I hung up with Adam I called the real estate agent to cancel the meeting.  There was no way I could buy a vacation home when I now had to support another person.  I sat down to finish my lunch but realized I wasn’t really hungry.

What was I doing taking Adam into my home?  I’m not qualified to be a mother to a teenage boy.  Even one as good as Adam.  And Dad has cancer.

“HEY!  HEY YOU, BITCH!”

I got up to see what all the commotion was about.

Turns out Gerard has a wife.  A wife who just found out that morning she is pregnant.  I’m sorry let me rephrase that.

It turns out Gerard has an EX-wife who just learned she’s pregnant with his child.

I think now might be a good time to return home…

Chapter 3.3

Good news: I made it to China which means I did not get arrested for my antics in Egypt.

More good news: I get to sleep in a bed now!

China is incredible.  I keep saying that but compared to the everyday-ness of Starlight Shores this is amazing.

I decided to take it easy again my first day in China.  I went to the shops and stocked up on goodies to take home.

Of course I got tons of stuff for Bug.  I’d be a terrible Aunt if I didn’t spoil her.

I spent most of my first three days training in Martial Arts.  I quickly learned I am disciplined and I excelled to Black Belt almost immediately,

Word got around that there was a newcomer in the area.  Some woman called me on the phone and told me I needed to spar with some locals to prove myself worthy of the belt.

I lost but I still got to keep the belt.

The last part of my trip was fairly uneventful.  I spent most of my time visiting the sights.  The Terracotta Warriors were by far my favorite.  There was supposedly 7000 of these guys when they were dedicated to the first emperor of China!  And they were all different!  That is discipline right there!

Of course I stopped to check out the Great Wall, too.  How could you not?!

My favorite was just the everyday beauty of China.  Not the grand monuments but the subtle quiet and tranquility of the area.

My last night there I slept in the old Warrior barracks.  It was very peaceful and left me feeling more determined than ever.

So determined thought I could spar with this elderly guy.

He totally put me in my place.  Never spar with old men.  Looks can be deceiving.

After getting by ass whooped I went exploring for relics.  I found some nice vases but that was about it.  No mummies here.

I finally took a moment to slow down and relax by the pool.  It didn’t last long because I find I can never sit still.  I love exploring.

So I tried to read a book on local mythology.

I gave that up too and went fishing.  I’d never fished before but Xander is a master angler so I thought I’d give it a whirl.  I caught the biggest fish EVER.  Well, at least the biggest fish I’d ever seen.

While I was fishing some local children ran by and I realized I really missed Bug and the hustle and bustle of everyday life back home.  Eh, France is coming up and I’m sure I’ll forget about home soon enough!

Chapter 3.2

Holy crap!  I made it to Egypt!

Seriously beautiful here.  It’s just what I needed to escape from reality.

Everything is so lush right next to the Nile.  Contrasting with the surround desert it is an amazing landscape.

My accommodations aren’t really what I am used to…I mean I’m not really a tent kinda girl but I can adapt I guess.

I decided to take it easy on my first day in Egypt.  To be honest I was still pretty jet-lagged.  I spent the whole day shopping in the market square.  I bought cook books for mom, local authors for Dad, fishing books for Adam and Xander, and trinkets for everyone else.

I also took in the sights and learned what passes for fun if you are a local.  Some folks even taught me some songs.

That evening I went to the Temple of Hatshepsut.  I learned about it years ago in elementary school and to be standing there at night was stunning!

The next day I spent the whole day exploring the Great Pyramids.  Sleeping on the ground in a tent is rough work so I woke up a little bit late and almost missed the tour group.

While the tour guide was explaining how the tomb mysteriously sealed itself up years ago and nobody has been able to open it I may have accidentally figured out how to open the tomb.  BONUS TOUR.

I also may have wandered away from the tour group to explore on my own.

Being in the Great Pyramids exploring was incredible.  Yes, I could have been arrested but I seriously have some sort of magic touch…the doors just opened in my presence.

I also snagged some plants from inside the tomb.  I’ve never been one to pass on free food.

Liv would not have lasted a day in here.  Yeah, she does get puked on and occasionally pooped on but there were BUGS on my arm.  Thank goodness I’m brave or that would have turned out in a screaming, flailing, Oops I died kinda mess.

Oh, and I made a friend.  He did try to kill me but in his defense he hasn’t seen another human in like 4,000 years.  I’m sure it was like a bad surprise party.

“SURPRISE!  You’re dead and I accidentally desecrated your grave!”

Nobody enjoys that kinda party.

I also found a part-time job while I was in Egypt.  I was hired by a resistance group and I had to break into a huge government complex, sneak into the basement and hack a computer.

You know…normal vacation type events.