Sunday, October 3, 2010

2.22 The Mail

With Connor consistently writing a book every four months, his royalty incomes really helped the family to have bigger plans for the future. Not to mention every book he has ever written were selling like hot pancakes.

Imagine receiving a cheque in the amount of 50k simoleons a month just with three books a year! Utility bills covered. Child education covered. Medical bills covered. Family Assets and life Insurance covered. The Vanglorious were really grateful to have sufficient money for every necessities.

But cheques weren't the only thing this family is grateful of. Every now and then, Connor would receive fan letters and presents.

To know that his works were enjoyed by many was the very reason he strives to improve and write exciting Mystery novels to be enjoyed by all ages. This was apparent, as the numbers of fans, young and old, had been growing exponentially since his first best seller.

Even with big plans ahead of them, Connor's selfless generosity was also well known throughout Sim City and their very town, Sunset Valley.

He had been contributing to a number of charities and non government organizations along the years. He enjoys giving back to the community in anyway he can.

Connor de Frio, his pen name, were on every Gratitude mentions of the daily papers. The unexpected publicity was a good advantage for him, no doubt about that.

But he is not the kind who boast about fame and or good deeds.

Also, with Hayden being a young lady, and having Vingcanti following her around, cookbooks weren't the only thing that concerns her now.

Hayden would spend time just listening to Ashton's stories of the past. Of the big family she never could imagine her mom had, the tragedy, and Ashton's experience of recovering in the psychiatric institute.

But most of all, Hayden liked how fate entwined for different people, and having everything pieced together; how her mom, dad and uncle's story were linked in the most strangest of ways.

Although Hayden doesn't understand why reviving the Vanglorious name was important yet, she was pretty much excited to actually be part of the bloodline.

That to have the family's mythical guide following her was really something.

Ashton never saw Vanglorious family being a bloodline although it is. She realized how her daughter had a different perspective about family than her. A positive outlook rather than sentimental. For once, Ashton felt liberated from her past scars. She laughed really hard.

"Uh.. what's wrong, mom?" Hayden was puzzled.

"Nothing, darling," she stroked her daughter's hair. "I'm glad Vingcanti chose you."

Screw legacy, Ashton thought. It's too dark, and heavy laden.

Having a bloodline to link back to was much more meaningful, now that she sees it. Names are meaningless without bonds. So from now on, Ashton promised to herself that she would nurture togetherness instead of just identity.

And of course, nothing else could bring a family together much better than a hearty meal. Although lately Cyclone had been going outstations for Chess competitions, Ashton told him to always drop by no matter how busy he is.

Even if Connor never mentioned it to Ashton, she knew he really liked having his step brother around. Blood related or not, bonds are more important than name, right?

"Can't believe you have no time to play with me anymore," Hayden would complain. "Why can't you bring me to your tournaments?"

"Kiddo, you know your dad would kill me if I leave you wandering alone again," he reasoned dramatically. "I can't protect you from those geeks when I'm defending my King, y'know. - Remember what happened last year, O' Queen?"

"Yeah, yeah, I got cornered by pawns," she grimly recalled.

Pawns were the term Cyclone used for the beginner ranked Chess players who came to the competition solely just to dig chicks.

"Still, that's not fair. You're moving up and I'm still here," she muttered. "Check."

"Ah, you're forgetting one thing," he said, unthreatened by her move. "Being my student, you're as good as me compared to anybody else I've faced."

"But not good enough yet!" he suddenly announced. "Checkmate! You got served!"

"Rrgh!" Hayden growled in defeat. She hated it when her uncle praised her one moment just to crumble her down the next second.

She never lost a game in her school competitions, and having to lose under Cyclone was a sign she's not that mighty yet, a sign that there is more room for improvement. But nevertheless, she liked having a good match with him of all people.


Having Martha staying with them had made Hayden glad that she could meet and talk to her godmother anytime she wants.

But it also saddened her that Martha was really thin and frail now. And she wasn't as talkative as she had used to be. Sometimes, she would just stand there and listen to Hayden talk.

Hayden worry about her a lot.

And she sometimes wonder if Martha actually understands how Hayden really cares about her... even if Martha can't remember almost everything lately.


On the other hand, Jesse was growing up really well. Unlike Hayden when she was a toddler, he didn't cry when nobody paid attention to him.

Sometimes he was too quite and just playing by himself, it scares Connor and Ashton.

They thought maybe there's something wrong with Jesse, so they gave him more attention than he ever asked for.

But the thing is, Jesse was too occupied with himself to give his attention to his parents. He thought they were boring, and that his toys were much better.

When he's on his own, he can do anything he wants. He can go wherever his imaginations take him to. Such as hunting bears...

He liked winning over the fearsome teddy. Nothing scares him. Jesse is a brave toddler after all.

When both parents can't seem to figure out their son, the sister somehow managed to grab the little one's attention.

She makes things talk and come alive. She fed him with a far more bigger imagination than his little mind can yet to imagine.

She's the only grown up he likes to have fun with.

"Dad, I was wondering if you'd let me have a part time job," Hayden asked one day.

"You don't need to work, Hayden" Connor chuckled. "My job can support the whole family. What is it that you want to have money for?"

"It's not about money, dad," she reasoned. "I just wanted to have some experience working among the community. I promise it's not going to affect my studies. Besides, mom said yes."

Connor stared at his daughter, not flinching.

"Please~? Daddy?" she begged.

"What. Where. When. And how's the shift like?" Connor bombarded, although it means that he's giving in to her plead. "Remember, you have curfews, young lady."

As strict as he may be on her, Hayden knew fathers are supposed to be over protective of their daughters. His indirect green light was all that matters.

"I'll find an opening that would get me home by dinner time before you know it!" she said excitedly. "Love you, dad!"

"Alright, now give me Jesse," he said with a straight face. "And would you please check the mailbox? I'm expecting an invitation this week, see if it's here already."

Hayden went out skipping.

She can't wait to tell her uncle that her dad had allowed her to have a job. She might want to ring Cyclone up later to ask whether he knew of any part time vacancy in the town.

"Cheques, fan mails, postcards, bills, flyers..." she rummaged through the mailbox, taking everything that was in sight. "Nope, no invitation cards."

Suddenly her eyes caught sight of an unusual envelope. It wasn't addressed to Connor de Frio. It was for Hayden Vanglorious. And the stamp was from Twinbrook.

"Who's in Twinbrook?" she asked herself. She don't recall having a long distance friend ever. So Hayden immediately opened the letter to answer her curiosity.

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Hayden was so surprised beyond words. It was Helmut! But it was only now did she remember about him.

She hadn't seen him for a very long time since high school started and honestly, she really had forgotten about him.

His letter unearthed many memories of them together. And although while reading his letter reminded her of his terrifying face shouting at her, the photos he included had a shot of him except... he looked less terrifying.

"How did you grow up so..." she wanted to say good looking but that wouldn't cutout enough for a person like him; harsh and annoying. "Pleasant looking?"

Nevertheless, Hayden was excited to actually hear from him. She decided to reply him even though he hadn't included his address in. She wondered why.

Did he forget? Did he purposely left it out cause he didn't want me to reply? What?

Brushing her thoughts away, she decided to write anyway. She'll search up the internet for the boarding school's address later.

But writing back was unexpectedly difficult. They weren't really buddies to begin with. And he never did treat her like they were friends in the first place. But then...

She didn't know what to say to him.

Hayden never knew it could be so hard to reply a letter.