Sunday, 1 March 2015

Chapter 40 - part 1 - Gen 2 - Tapestry

As I sit relaxing in the warm sunshine and stare out at the sea, I find myself humming, that damn snowman song from the Frozen movie, that seems to have irritatingly imprinted itself on my brain.  I catch myself humming it quite often, even before I realize I am actually doing it.  It has become quite a constant habit and strangely it almost has a comforting effect on me sometimes, especially when I am getting stressed or upset.   Even Rocky has picked up on it and we have joked about rocking it up a little bit.  I stop humming, annoyed with myself.

I glance over at Forrest, who is lay in the sun lounger next to me and I am not too sure if he is asleep or just relaxing as he lies there silently with his eyes closed.   I have heard Forrest talk about Sandy Shores, so many times over the years, but I never imagined that one day I would actually be sat in his beach house on vacation.

Being visibly a mixed berry I have always been trapped inside Sugar Valley, vacations especially to a beach resort like Sandy Shores, is something that I have never been able to do in the past.  For us mixed berry's, vacations at the beach are something that we can only dream about.  

Suddenly that does not apply to me anymore.

As far as the coded world is now concerned, I have now lost my mixed berry label.  I am now perfectly free to wander around in the coded world even without wearing my orange contacts, and everyone turns a blind eye.  Just like Rocky said, when it comes to fame, they suddenly become hypocrites!!  Of course there will always be haters of us mixed berries, but I am no longer at risk of being arrested and shipped off to a colour mixed town for being out in the colour coded world, or thrown into prison because I am visibly colour mixing, Vanilla, my yellow daughter being on show for the whole world to see.  I am one half of  'Rocky Storm'  the band that me and Rocky have put together and I am now known to the world as 'Storm', while at home in Sugar Valley I am just plain old Tapestry.

I have had a very hectic and almost mental three and a half months with my career, it took off, just as Rocky predicted it would, like a rocket.  Our first joint single that Rocky released, shot straight to the top of the charts and floated around at the top for over a month.  Within days of the single being released, the madness started for me, the single had taken off and I had to go with it. 

I was not in a very good place when the chaos started.  Only the day after Cinnamon's funeral, I was still in the hospital after having had my stomach pumped as a result of being found in the cemetery unconscious.  The alcohol that I had consumed, did not mix well with the medication and sedatives that were already in my system, which caused me to sit in the cemetery hallucinating.  I hardly had time to think about what had happened that night because Rocky was busy making plans for me and Prelude to take an immediate trip out to Rainbow Valley.   I had no choice but to pull myself together and get on with it, if I did not want to mess everything up for myself just as my career was starting to roll.  

Suddenly my life became a crazy whirl wind of plane flights, television, radio and magazine appearances, interviews and photo shoots, filming for music videos, live performances, as well as hours on end in the recording studio with Rocky in both Rainbow Valley and Berry Shores.  I did not have the slightest idea of what I was in for, I just followed Rocky, wherever he was I had to be, with it being a joint single, he could not do it without me.  Before the month was out, everyone knew my name and my face.  The only thing that I hate about it all, besides my sudden lack of privacy, is the time that I have to spend away from home, and especially Crystal and Vanilla.

Our second Rocky Storm single is at the moment sitting at the top of the charts and I have a few weeks break before my own stuff goes out.  My first solo single is being released in a few weeks, which I am very nervous about.   Rocky thinks that now is a good time for me to cash in on the hype, while my face and voice is fresh in everyone's memory.  I am nervous because, I don't know how my solo stuff will go, I am worried that our two joint singles have only flown because of Rocky!!  I will not have Rocky stood beside me when this single is released, I have to stand out there on my own, and this worries me. 

I do not get a moments piece from the press and public, even at home in Sugar Valley I am starting to get annoyed with the attention I get just from walking down the street.  I am suddenly suspicious of everyone, especially the people that I have known all my life who's attitude has drastically changed towards me, suddenly everyone wants to be my best friend.  There are only a handful of people that I can say I genuinely trust to be around these days, those who have never treated me badly in the past before.  Forrest being one of the very few.  So I am now hiding out in Forrest's beach house in Sandy Shores, which has it's own private beach, where I can get a little peace and privacy and take some time out to recharge my batteries before the bedlam starts again when my solo single is released.

All I can hear ringing in the air, besides the seagulls, is the sound of Crystal's laughter and screams of excitement from down on the beach.  She has never seen the sea or sand before, like I have not, but as she plays in the sea, in normal Crystal fashion, she is as excited as a hyperactive child and she is letting the world know about it.  

I can not help but laugh at her.

I am still very shocked by how quickly it has all happened for me, even though Rocky said that it would, I do not think I really quite believed it.  Within such a short space of time, I now can not go anywhere without being recognized and pestered.  My life is no longer my own, everything that I do is being watched by the public and the press, which really irritates me sometimes.  Crystal and Vanilla's lives are also no longer private, Crystal is always coming to me with newspapers and magaizines, showing me pictures of us doing even simple things like walking around the supermarket - it is stupid!!  She giggles at the pictures she sees of herself, but it irritates the hell out of me.  Rocky says I will get used to it and their curiosity will die down eventually, at the moment I am just new hype for the press to cash in on.

The curiosity over me had an increase of press from out of town sniffing around in Sugar Valley and it did not take the press too long to dig me out - warts and all!!  The press have had a field day with me.  The mixed berry kid with strange eyes, from Sugar Valley, with a colourless Mother, girlfriend and cousin, Vanilla, Honey, Shadow, the abduction, my medical conditions and disabilities, it has all been out there for the whole world to see, and I doubt it is over yet.  

Once the first photographs of me and my colourless eyes were out there, there was no reason for me to cover them up anymore, so I don't.  I walk around in the colour coded world with my colourless eyes on display and white and orange clothes, just because I can.  Which really narks me in a way, because if it is alright for me and Rocky, why is it not alright for all the other mixed berries in the world?  Rocky is right - they are nothing more than narrow minded hypocrites!!  Just because they like to hear us sing, it is okay for us to break every rule in their stupid rule book!!

Crystal being out in the coded world in full view of everyone without getting too much stick for it, is what amuses me the most.  As long as she is holding my hand, she does not get too much verbal abuse thrown at her.  She and Vanilla have been out to Berry Shores a few times with me over the past few months, but we have not tempted Rainbow Valley or any other coded town yet, Sandy Shores is the first time she has been out in the coded world properly since this all started, but she is becoming a regular visitor to Raspberry Hill airport.  Like Rocky reminded me, there are actually no laws that exclude colourless berries from being out in the coded world like there are for mixed berries.  With colourless berries it is more just the stigma that has always been attached to them, and seeing a fully grown colourless person is quite a novelty to most pure berries, Crystal is the first one that most of them have ever seen.   As you know, most colourless babies, in the coded world, are abandoned or thrown out onto the streets and left to fade, so most of them fade during their early childhood and never reach adulthood.  

Crystal herself, just for holding my hand, and being out in public, is stirring up a media fascination with the outside world, all on her own.  Prelude has already been contacted by a company who are well known for creating exclusive and very expensive wedding dresses, asking if she would model some of their dresses for them, photographs that will appear in their catalog and used in their advertising campaign.  This seriously has amused all of us.

I was scared at first, and expected that the colourless parts of my life would ruin me straight away, but surprisingly it has not, I think it might even be adding to the interest and fascination.  If anything, it has created a new awareness of the whole albinism medical condition, which has even surprised Rocky.  I am always being asked to explain it, suddenly like people are interested in the facts.  It amuses me, how ignorant the colour coded world seem to be about the medical condition.   I think most people are shocked mostly by the fact that my Mother is colourless, yet I am orange.  Only mixed berries or anyone who lives in a colour mix town would not be surprised by the fact that colourless people do have coloured children, to the people out in the colour coded world, it is almost a revelation!! 

Even my Mother is starting to cash in on all the attention.  Suddenly her paintings are being sort after out in the coded world.  She has always done well selling her painting to the other colour mixed towns, but suddenly the whole world is interesting in what she is painting.  The price tags on her existing painting have increase dramatically and she can not produce enough to cover the sudden demand.  Not that she paints like she used to before her coma, she still does paint, and just as well, but it takes her months now sometimes to complete a painting because of her blackouts and brain damage.

Crystal is not alone down on the beach, Granite is also playing in the sea with her and he is making just as much noise down there as she is.  I watch them both as they start to splash water all over each other as they both laugh hysterically.  

Granite and Forrest have already been out here for a week on their own, we will all be here together for a week, then me, Crystal and Vanilla will have the place to ourselves for a week.  Granite and Forrest are both taking time out before Coral's babies arrive, as well as taking a well earned break from looking after Mace, who is out on bail and living with them until his trial and stretch in prison.  Mace is not coping very well with his new life of living in a wheelchair, he is depressed and being awkward to the max, he will only let Granite go anywhere near him, which is especially wearing Forrest down, because Forrest things he is acting up on purpose just to keep his claws into Granite.

I was pretty surprised when Forrest came to me and said that I could use his beach house anytime that I wanted to get away, and of course I jumped at the offer.  Even though Forrest is a pure berry and Granite appears to the eye to be one, being a colour mixed married couple, they can not go out into the coded world and be seen as being together.  However, this place is ideal  to hide out in, because it it pretty private and has its own private enclosed stretch of beach.  They can be themselves here without prying eyes and for me it is a perfect place, because I can at least get some privacy without too much hassle of everything that I am doing being watched.
Suddenly Crystal lets out a really loud scream and Granite starts howling with laughter.  The noise they are making causes Forrest to jump and he opens his eyes.  I watch Crystal as she seems to be pointing something out in the water and they both crouch down a little to stare at whatever she has spotted in the water.  Whatever it is, Granite seems to start poking it with his foot.  Suddenly Granite screams. 

"The bugger bit me!!"  he shouts.

I can not help but laugh as I watch Granite hopping around for a moment then he lifts his leg up out of the water, as he does that he loses his footing and falls backwards into the water.  He lies there in the shallow water, and his foot comes up out of the water with a crab attached to his big toe.  Granite and Crystal are now howling in hysterics. 

"Welcome to my world Tap!"  Forrest laughs from the sun lounger next to me, as he is glancing down the beach in amusement.  "Gran is such a clown!!  He is like a hyperactive child most of the time and I can see that Crystal is right there with him!!"


"Crystal is naturally childish, but I guess she is also making up for the childhood that she never had."  I laugh at him  "This is the first time she has been to the beach and it is all new and exciting to her."

"Crystal has got an excuse after the life she has had, but I am not sure what Granites excuse is. he has been coming here since he was a toddler!!"  he rolls his eyes at me  "He has always been like this, he makes enough noise for the both of us, I think the whole town knows when he is in Sandy Shores!!"  he starts laughing   

"They look like they are having a blast together."  I laugh at them 

"Yeah, I am actually surprised, Gran does not usually do women very well.  He can not bare them, especially your sister, but he actually does not mind spending time with Crystal, I think he really likes her." 

"Who does like my sister!!??"  I laugh quietly  "Crystal is not like normal women is she, she is more like an overgrown child most of the time, she still has not worked out yet that she should have cupboards full of clothes, shoes, handbags, makeup and all the other rubbish women hoard."  we both sit laughing as we watch them splashing each other again with water.  

"Are you okay Tap, you are exceptionally quiet again!!"  he frowns at me  "I actually expected you and Gran to be up to all sorts of mischief together by now.  It is unlike you not to be up to something, you are definitely not yourself at the moment!!"

"Yeah, I have just got a lot on my mind.  I have just been so busy with my career my head has hardly had a break for over three months, I am just trying to chill it out.  Besides you know I have to behave myself now in case someone has a camera pointed in my direction!"  I roll my eyes as Forrest starts laughing.

"I heard you up a few times in the night pacing about, way after Vanilla went back to sleep, you didn't sleep too well did you?"  he frowns at me.

"No.  Our baby problem is also getting me down, and I have had another restless night.  I'm sick of the nightmares that I keep having!!"  he smiles at my sympathetically.

"The baby problem ... you need to stop stressing over it, it will work itself out in time, it is still early days yet.  What is the hospital doing with her?"

"Hormone injections and she's taking some medication, I can not remember what it's called.  It is Crystal who is the main problem, she has no patience and is constantly working herself up into a tizzy over it, she thinks we should be trying morning, noon and night and every morning she is doing a pregnancy test, she is driving herself crazy as well as me!!"  I laugh  "She packed our cases for this trip, she half filled one with pregnancy test kits."  Forrest starts to really laugh  "I took them out and banned her from taking one single test while we are out here.  I am surprised she has not tried to sneak off to the chemist yet."

"I know exactly how it gets with women desperate to have babies."  he rolls his eyes  "I had to watch Amber and Gravel going through it!!"  he laughs  "Me or Gran could try having a word with her if you like."

"You can try, but Dad, River, Winter, Ice, they have all tried and she just does not listen."

A few weeks after Crystal's first visit to the hospital, because of her 'women's problems', her periods did thankfully just start, probably helped along by her diet change and the medication that she had been given to take.  She had woke me, and half of the house up, the one morning screaming the house down like a maniac.  When I had sat up she had thrown the bed clothes off us and was sat their screaming at all the blood that covered the both of us.

At first I had been very shocked, and confused as to where all the blood had come from, that was smeared across my legs and stomach, but it was mainly all over and around Crystal and the bed clothes.  It took me a few minutes to realize what it actually was, I am not sure that Crystal knew or had realized herself at that point, as she sat screaming in terror, like one of us had been stabbed and was bleeding to death.  I had to run and fetch Winter to sort her out. 

Her periods starting was a great relief to us, but that was when the problems started with Crystal.  She now thinks she should be getting pregnant like yesterday and she will not be happy until she is.  Her age does not help, with her being close to 30, she thinks that she is running out of time, because they told her at the hospital that women's chance of conceiving decreases a little each year after the age of 35.  Sunny also stupidly told her that their own Mother has the same problem and that is why it took their parents over fourteen years to have another child, Crystal herself, after Sunny and his twin brother.  So she is now in one mad rush, and it does not matter what anyone says to her, she will not listen to anyone, especially overdoing the baby making, least of all me.  

The cysts on her ovaries are causing the problem, she does not have regular periods, they come whenever her ovaries decide to randomly spit out eggs and when they do come they are heavy and painful.  So there is no predicting if and when she will get pregnant, even with the fertility treatment that she is taking, it is just a matter of waiting and hoping.

"A few weeks out here should do her good, hopefully it will take her mind off it a little.  It will do you both good, you both need to relax a little a baby will come in time!!  It is not impossible in her situation, just a little more difficult."  he laughs at me  "You do realize don't you with all this fertility treatment she is getting, there is a higher chance of there being more than one baby.  Increased by there seeming to be a lot of multiple births in your family, triplets and twin, you have already had twins yourself."

"Yeah I know they have already warned us.   As long as there is not more than two I'm not bothered.  I am not sure how anyone copes with more than two at a time!!"  I laugh at Forrest  "Hopefully that might stop her wanting anymore, she is going to drive me cuckoo, if she starts this all over again after we have had one pregnancy.  I'm already not sleeping as it is!!"

"Have you thought anymore about having counseling for your nightmares, it might help you work through whatever is subconsciously bothering you."  he glances across at me thoughfully.  "Gran is having it at the moment, you know because of the shooting, Slate and his Dad's reappearance, it is doing him the world of good, and I know Mango thinks you should have some if you are still grieving for that child."

"Yeah I know he does."  I roll my eyes at him  "I swear Dad gets paid commission for keeping those shrinks busy - I only sneezed when I was a child and I was off to see one!!  They never helped me anyway, most of them were idiots!!" 

"Well, don't bottle it up or you will never sort it out, if you need to talk to someone, you know I am always here, I'm all ears."  this really makes me laugh and he glances across at me and smirks  "Yes, my ears have grown some over the years, thanks to you and Slate mostly, you were both particularly bad for constantly pulling on them when you were little!!" 

I laugh, I remember how Forrest's ears used to fascinate me, they still do, I have only ever seen him and his sister with those pointed ears.  We hear Vanilla who was asleep inside, starting to do her high pitched scream.  I get off the sun lounger and go inside to get her.  The moment I walk into the room the attention screaming stops. 

"Daddy!!"  she grins at me.

After changing her nappy I sit her out on the decking in the sunshine and try to cover her arms legs and face with sun screen, which she does not like.  She keeps yelling NO!!  at me as she is wriggling about, especially when I am trying to put it on her face.  She picked the bottle of sunscreen up and threw it out of my reach, trying to stop me from putting it on her, while I am reaching for it, she tries to escape, but she does not get very far because I am a lot quicker than she is.   I think she is already showing signs that she is going to be a right head strong little madam!!  When I have finally plastered her in sun screen I give her a bottle, which also gets launched across the decking with attitude. 

"Nilla!!  Naughty Daddy!!"  she sits pouting at me with attitude and her little arms are crosses across her chest, which always makes me laugh.

I have forgotten to add the vanilla,  she still will only drink milk with vanilla in it.  Once I have fixed it and added the vanilla, she sits and drinks it without a problem.  I sit back on the lounger and watch her.

At the moment she is only just starting to learn to walk and talk.  She only speaks about a dozen words that I have heard - NO!!  being her very favourite and most spoken word at the moment.   I am not sure how it happened but she started to call Crystal Mommy straight away.  At first I did not know how I felt about it, but Crystal will be a replacement for her real Mother so I just left it alone.  When she is old enough she will be told the truth about Honey and Shadow.  I do not want to hide it from her, not that I will be able too with all the Shines continuously buzzing around her.

When Vanilla has finished her bottle she throws it away, with attitude again, and crawls over to the xylophone, where she starts to perform.  I wander where she has got her dramatic streak from, neither me or Honey were dramatic.  I quite often look at Vanilla and wander who she is most like, I occasionally catch a look of Honey in her face, but  not often.  Everyone says she looks more like me at that age, even Sunny, but I do not see it myself.  Forrest is watching Vanilla and he starts to laugh.

"She is a right little performer isn't she!"  he laughs at her.  "It looks like she might have your musical talent."

"Yeah, she is a right little dramatic madam ... I hope to berry she is not going to be a drama queen like Coral!!"  I laugh  "And as for music talent, I think that is more musical racket that is only nice to her ears!!"

Vanilla is pretty forward for her age, so I keep being told.  She is miles a head of Ocean who is only two week younger than she is.  She is showing signs of being very head strong and clever, which shocks me because I half expected her to be stupid like me and River to have the intelligent child.  She is showing no signs of having any of my problems which I am really relieved about, and she is not colour blind either, she is already starting to learn her colours.

Vanilla and Ocean really do not get on, which I am really surprised at, it is also a little upsetting, they are always fighting with each other especially over toys.  Vanilla basically is the bully, which Dad laughs at, because he says I was exactly the same at that age, Vanilla only pushes, slaps and snatches things off Ocean, whereas I used to bite everyone.  At first I worried that she was going to be spiteful like this with all the other children, I think I am more scared that she will turn out like Coral.  However, it only seems to be Ocean that she has taken a disliking to, she gets on okay with Affairs three triplets, especially Magnolia and she loves Lyric, Rocky's son, when she is with the triplets and Lyric she is a totally different child, behaviour wise.

Vanilla also definitely sees our three spirits which was another surprised to me.  Whatever I have that allows me to see spirits, she must have inherited from me.   Storm was adamant that she could see him, and when Cosmic started to say it, we tested her out.  Cosmic stood there calling her and she crawled over to him and lifted up her arms asking to be picked up by him, just like she does with normal people.  Now that she is talking a little she actually has conversations with them, she hears as well as sees them. 

It gets a little awkward sometimes when she keeps saying Stormie, Cos or Saffy in front of people other than Dad, River and Sunny who believe and know that the spirits are there.  I have already had Mom saying that she is worried about Vanilla because she sits and talks to herself a lot.  What Mom does not see is she is actually sat talking to Storm.  How do you make a toddler understand that she is not supposed to be talking to the spirit, we can't, we can not make her understand until she is older. 

As I sit watching Vanilla putting on a dramatic performance, my mind automatically wanders to the little boy that I hallucinated in my intoxicated state.  The faces that Vanilla pulls and how dramatic she is about things sometimes, really remind me of that little boy that I imagined in the cemetery, who I can not stop thinking about and is a part of my nightmare.


Granite comes wandering up the beach, he is limping and he is carrying the crab that bit his toe, in his hand, which amuses me.

"I wish Mace was here, he would know how to cook this thing!!"  he grins  "He is not biting me and getting away with it!  I think I'll phone him and ask him how to cook Mr Crabby."  

Granite laughs as he comes walking onto the decking waving the crab around, which is fairly big and looks a little angry as it keeps snapping it's claws together.  Forrest cuts him a look, probably for mentioning Mace.  I have noticed Granite is always talking about Mace which I can see is annoying Forrest.

"No you won't phone him!!  Throw the damn thing back in the water, if you want to eat crab we can go to the bistro down by the main beach."  he snaps at Granite  "You are such a child Gran!!"  

Forrest gets up off his lounger and takes the crab off Granite, he tells Granite to go and sort his toe out, which is bleeding all over the decking and almost storms off towards the water, like he is going to throw the crab back into the sea.

"What's got his y-fronts into a knot?!"  Granite laughs as he watches Forrest walking down the beach

"You mentioning Mace I think!"  I laugh at him

Granite rolls his eyes and slaps the back of his hand and walks into the beach house laughing.  I sit back down on the lounger and watch Crystal continue to play in the water on her own, while Forrest strips off on the beach and goes for a swim.  I think to cool his temper down, I have noticed he seems to get very upset and annoyed with Granite continuously mentioning Mace.  They seriously have got themselves into the weirdest of situations.

Granite comes back out after he has got dressed.  I notice he is not wearing his shoes and has a bandage around his big toe.  I jump up off the sun lounger, because I want a quiet word with him while Crystal is not around.   We were discussing something last night, after she had gone to bed, something that I want to do, but do not want to be seen by the public, and especially not the press, doing it because I am trying to avoid the fuss.

"Is it still okay for you to go into town today to fetch that thing for me later, that we were looking at online last night?"

"Yeah, no problem."  he smirks at me  "You will have to show me which one you want, I got a little confused after a while."  he starts laughing at me as he pulls out his phone and loads up the webpage we were looking at last night.

"You'll have to take my card to pay for it."  I tell him when I've pointed out the one that I want. 

"Pay for it online and I'll just collect it."  he smiles at me, so I hand him my card and he stands there punching in the payment details.  I get a little annoyed with myself, having to rely on other people to do these sort of things for be because I can not do it for myself.   

"What are you two whispering about?"

Forrest appears ringing wet after his swim and sits on the bench and just stares at us for a moment.  I tell him what Granite is doing and he just laughs and starts to read a book that he had left on the bench earlier.

"You know you could always do it here, while nobody is looking if you really want to avoid all the fuss!"  he starts to laughs  "You seem to be able to get away with doing anything out in the coded world because of your fame, so I would imagine you would be able to get away with that here too!"

"No Gran!!  I think Mango might just go ballistic if he did and at you for even suggesting it!!  Stop putting stupid idea's like that into his head!!"  he snaps at Granite  "Just because you are an impulsive idiot, doesn't mean you have to drive everyone else to be!!  Do you ever think before your tongue runs away with itself!!"  he pulls a face at Granite

"My we are a grumpy grouch today!"  Granite laughs at Forrest  "Did you not get enough last night?"  Forrest rolls his eyes as I start laughing  "Leafy get your ass inside, now!!"

"No Gran!!"  he stares at him wide eyed with embarrassment.

"I need you to put a few stitches in my toe..."  he smirks at Forrest as he snatches his book off him and starts to drag him off the bench, giving him no choice but to go inside.

I sit back down on the sun lounger laughing, as I can just imagine what Granite has planned for Forrest and I doubt stitching up his toe is it!!  Vanilla is still playing away merrily performing on the xylophone.

"Mommy doin?"  Vanilla asks as she looks in the direction of Crystal's laughter, which is getting extremely loud.  I guess she can hear the racket but can not see Crystal from where she is sat on the floor.

"Mommy is playing in the water."  I smile at her. 

"Me want water!"  she throws down the xylophone stick and starts to crawl off in the direction of the noise. 

"Oh no you don't madam!!"  I laugh as I jump up and catch her and pick her up, she starts to pout at me  "The sea is not like the bath tub."

I take Vanilla down onto the beach and we stand watching Crystal who is now playing in the water quite happily alone.  Crystal is in a world of her own, giggling as she kicks and splashes the sea water with her hands and feet.  She has been playing in the sea for hours, I would have expected her to have had enough by now, but she clearly hasn't.

"Me water!  Me water!"  Vanilla starts to jig about in my arms pointing at the sea.

After getting myself changed, which I do on the decking.  I am glad I had put my swimming trunks on underneath my trousers this morning, not really wanting to go into the beach house at the moment knowing what Granite and Forrest are probably up to.

I take Vanilla into the sea.  I am actually surprised that Crystal has not taken Vanilla into the water with her, she never usually leaves her alone for so long.  I am normally having to fight with Crystal to get anywhere near my own daughter most of the time.  Crystal has taken on the roll of being Vanilla's Mother, like a natural and sometimes I do forget for short period's of time that Crystal is not actually her biological Mother.  

I do not think that anyone actually worries about whether me and and Crystal are capable of taking care of Vanilla anymore.  Strawberry has now virtually shut up and even my Dad has had to eat his words and leaves us alone to get on with it, without checking up on us all the time, because I think he can see we are perfectly capable of raising a child.  Even though Crystal can be very childish, she also has a very sensible side, especially as far as Vanilla goes, and she looks after Vanilla like she is her own child.   As far as I go, I have actually surprised myself, Vanilla is subconsciously always at the back of my mind and I have not done anything to put her in any danger like I was expected to do, I have not put her down and forgotten her or done anything stupid, I think I can actually take better care of Vanilla than I do of myself. 

Vanilla likes having a bath and playing with water, so I do not worry about putting her into the sea.  The water is pretty warm too which surprised me, I expected it to be cold.   Vanilla starts to make as much noise as Crystal once she is in the water, kicking her little legs and squealing.

"Tap you are silly!!"  Crystals starts to really laugh at me  "Nilla has a bathing costume and armbands inside, she might sink."

"She won't sink, I'm holding her!"  I laugh at Crystal   

"What about if you drop her!"  she tuts at me  "She will definitely sink in her nappy!!"

"I am not going to drop her and the water here is not very deep!!"  I laugh at Crystal who is now looking all stressed out  "Besides, she is not wearing her nappy.  I took it off, Naaaah!!"   she laughs and sticks her tongue out at me. 

"You need to teach her to swim."  Crystal says which makes me laugh

"Isn't she a little too young to be having swimming lessons?"

"I don't know, but she needs to learn to swim and I can't teach her!!"  she is getting stressed out again  "I don't like her in the water, go and put her armbands on!!"

"Stop stressing, I am not going to let anything happen to her!!"

It was not until now that I actually realized that Crystal can not swim either and that is why she is getting so stressed out and probably why she has not taken Vanilla into the water herself.  

There are so many things, like swimming, that I have learned to do during my lifetime that I just take for granted, and a lot of the time I never even think about the life that Crystal had in comparison, and the things she has never been taught to do.  Obviously, Crystal has never been taught how to swim, she has not even been to a swimming pool before.  Now I realize why she has just been stood here splashing in the shallow water, that does not go above her knees.

We played for ages in the water, I am not sure who was having the most fun, Crystal or Vanilla, or me laughing at the both of them.  They had splashing competitions to see who could make the biggest splashes and of course Crystal won every time, but Vanilla did not seem to notice.

After we have finished playing in the water, Crystal takes Vanilla inside to get her dried, changed and fed some baby food, while I sit out on the sun lounger talking to Forrest.

Forrests phone starts ringing, he jumps up to answer it.

"Hey Daddy Rock, how's it going?"  he laughs into his phone  "No Gran is sunbathing, his phone is inside why?  Is Mace giving you and Atlas loads of stick?"

I sit and watch Forrest's face as he listens to his phone call, the smile drops off his face and his eyes widen, he does not look like he is happy about what he is being told.

"Shale seriously you need to repeat that!!  I think I am going to pass out!!"  he stands there listening for a while again. "Okay, I'll get him to phone you, once he has gotten over the shock.  You do realize don't you this is going to send Granite's head all over the place!!"  he goes quiet for a moment  "Is Slate okay?"  there is a short pause  "You shouldn't have told him, you should have waited until we got home!!"

Forrest snaps his phone shut as he stares at me wide eyed.

"Hell!!"  he just stands there for a few moments almost like he is in shock.   

"I think you might not like this piece of news either!!"  he laughs quietly  "It looks like the odds on your sister's babies being Gravels has just gone back up to 50/50!!"  I frown at him.  "Mace's sister has had the baby, a little boy, the paternity test has confirmed it is actually Gravel's baby!!"

"That is not good!!"  I stare at him wide eyed

"No it is not!!  It is going to make this next month very twitchy while we wait for your sister's babies to arrive!!  Granite and Slate are counting on those babies being Slates.  I dread to think what this is going to do to both of their heads!!"

"What is going to happen to the baby with both of it's parents being in prison?"

"That is the amusing part!!"  he laughs  "Tarragon wants both Mace AND Granite to adopt the kid together!!"  he laughs  "Oh Berry!!  I ain't never getting rid of Mace now am I!!  I think his sister has just handed him a way to keep his claws firmly rooted into Granite!!"  he rolls his eyes at me  "Guess I had better go and break the news to Uncle Gran!"  he laughs again  "Oh Berry!!  Wish me luck because this is not going to be pretty!!"

He starts to walk away then turns back to me.

"Tap I think you best had phone your Dad and tell him the bad news!!"

I watch Forrest as he strolls slowly off in the direction of Granite who is sunbathing on the beach. I doubt that my Dad is going to be too pleased with this news either.  The very last thing any of us want is Coral's babies turning out to be Gravels!!

I snap open my phone to call him.



  1. Yeah, doing the time skip was the best choice. I think dwelling on what happened at the cemetery would have slowed the pace too much. Besides, it was super great to see Vanilla as an adorable toddler :D And learn how Tap's career has been going, that Crystal can have periods, and the big one of Coral's babies having a much higher chance at being Gravel's! Dang. I knew there was going to be some sort of bump in the road somewhere. I'll just have to hope that Slate's 50% chance wins.

    1. I have slowed myself down so much with this generation getting very distracted - this and the next 3 are kind of a little detour - part of which I planned to do later with Rocky but I ended up doing it here instead lol I am going to have no ideas left by the end of the next generation LOL

      Yeah Dang - there is still so much to come LOL

  2. There were so many good things we learned this chapter...I loved it! Nilla is a toddler, YaY!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it :D Yes she is a cute little toddler - hopefully her generation is not too long away - I play to start hers when she is a child. I say hopefully because you know me I have 3 big things still to do with Tap before I am finished with his generation - I have got to try not to drag it out too much (rolls eyes)

  3. I'm glad that Tap is ok and that his career is going well. I hope that Crystal will cool it a little with wanting to get pregnant. I have my fingers crossed that Coral's babies are Slates and not Gravels.

    1. :D yes Tap is doing well at the moment, lets just hope it lasts!!
      Everyone hopes that the babies will be Slates ... we will know soon :D