Author Topic: Blessed Curse | Chapter 3.4  (Read 6561 times)

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 3.4
« on: February 01, 2014, 11:02:28 AM »
Hey! It's Jade. I solemnly swear that I will finish this legacy. Okay? ^^"

Below you can find the Family Tree (if you ever get confused) and the Chapters list (so that you don't have to scroll through looong posts to find where you are). Enjoy!

-- Updates will be fairly frequent, but I'm not promising anything. --




CHAPTERS

Generation I
Chapter 1.1

Generation II
Chapter 2.1
Chapter 2.2
Chapter 2.3
Chapter 2.4
Chapter 2.5
Chapter 2.6
Chapter 2.7
Chapter 2.8
Chapter 2.9
Chapter 2.10
Chapter 2.11

Generation III
Chapter 3.1
Chapter 3.2
Chapter 3.3
Chapter 3.4
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 1.1
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2014, 05:47:18 PM »
C H A P T E R  1 . 1

When I was younger, I was sent away to Smuggsworth Prep School. At the time, there was nothing “different” about me--nothing special. I was just the first child, who took up room in the household. I guess my mother didn’t realize that I was a teenager and was perfectly capable of helping out with my other four siblings, who were toddlers at the time.

When I came back, everything was different. So much can happen in four years. My siblings were all in school. Of course, my mother didn’t send any of them away. I was still unimportant, and required to stay home with Agnes--who had graciously opened her house up to us when we moved here with no where to stay--to take care of Casey, Jacob, Tori, and Mercedes.

Soon enough, they turned thirteen. The years go by so quickly when they’re young. I would know, having a daughter of my own now.

They were all different, but amazing in their own way. Casey was the loner, who preferred to be reading a book quietly on the couch rather than socializing with friends. Jacob was the smart one, but had a mental (insanity) condition since birth.  Tori was the rebellious, popular girl with tons of friends. Mercedes was the typical quiet teenager, who loved music and was a brave soul at heart.

And then there was me: the hard-working, unappreciated eldest.

If I hadn’t had so much bitterness inside of me, maybe things would be different. Maybe I would’ve seen my mother’s health decreasing rapidly.

Seeing my mother curled up on the ground, unbreathing, was one of the worst moments of my life. We found out later that she had been slowly dying from a fatal illness since I was born. How do you think that made me feel?



There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t hear my mother’s faint cry, where I don’t see her limp body on the bathroom tile. I can only hope that her suffering wasn’t great.

About two years after her death, I discovered the gift within me. Some might call it vampirism. Me? I call it the consequence for the feelings that I had bottled up within me. Now, I’m the killer. Now, I don’t have a choice. I couldn’t be around regular Sims for many, many months.



My only friend was Miraj Alvi, a boy I had seen around town--and at my work in Doo Peas Corporate Towers--only a few times. We slowly became friends, and a year and a half after we met, we were married. He was the only one who understood me. He was the only one who wouldn’t be creeped out by the screams that erupted from me during some nights.











Our first child, Samantha Pfeiffer, was born happily and healthily, and without the cursed gift that I had.To my great relief, I did not contract the illness my mother did from birth. But that didn’t mean that the fear completely went away.



I quickly learned, at my daughter’s second birthday party, that I was not to be in the heat for more than a few minutes. I had a close call. I couldn’t live with myself if I had burned to death in front of my beloved daughter.



A few years later, Miraj and I decided to try for another child. Though deep inside of me I wanted another, I was afraid at first. What if this child turned out like me? What if I gave them the curse? Nonetheless, I became pregnant with our second child.

My siblings all left me during my pregnancy. They thought that I wanted to be alone with my husband and children. They were wrong. I needed others around me, even if I had to control myself. I needed them still. Even though they had only moved across the street, where one of my friends, Tamra Saldana, had lived before--she had moved in with her fiancé, Ricky Mize--I still missed all of them, especially Casey.

A few weeks before my baby’s due date was Samantha’s fifth birthday. She looked so much like her father. She still does. I don’t see a trace of me within her--which I suppose is good.

When Cassidy Pfeiffer was born, I knew that she had the curse. And I hated myself for bringing it upon her.







A/N: This is based off of The Battle Against Life legacy challenge on the Sims 3 website. :)
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom



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Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.1
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2014, 10:18:52 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 1

My first day of school was awful.

I was going to eat breakfast at home--I’d heard too many negative things about the school food from Samantha--but the bus came right as I opened the fridge to get some milk for my cereal. I wasn’t to be defeated, though. I grabbed a juice box from the side and ran outside to join Samantha.



She let me sit next to her on the bus, but I could tell that she wanted to be with the rest of her friends. She ignored me the entire thirty-minute ride. When we got to school, she immediately joined Jerad Bunch on the walk up. I was left in the snow.

Of course, I worked hard the entire day. I didn’t want to be a slacker. Samantha talked to her friends. I thought we were in it together. We had many of the same classes together, but she didn’t care. My “buddy”--someone to show you around school so you wouldn’t feel so alone--was Florence Bunch. She seemed okay.

But lunch was the worst.

“Oh my Watcher. Who’s that girl sitting next to Samantha Pfeiffer? The one with the weird skin? Oh my Watcher, look at her eyes!”

“The one with the same glasses as Samantha? Gross. What a suck-up.”

“I mean, I thought they looked good on Sam. But now that that girl has them...we should tell her.”

“Oh my Watcher! She’s talking to Sam!”

My heart sank as I turned around. Florence was giggling with the other girls, many of whom I recognized as Samantha’s friends. Tears sprang to my eyes, but I blinked them away. They wouldn’t get to me.

After lunch, Samantha pretended like nothing had happened. “Jerad invited me over, so I’ll see you later.”

I nodded, ignoring the fact that all she had done all day was to try to get rid of me. “Okay. I’ll go see what Florence is doing.”

I went home.

To teachers, nothing was wrong. I was the star student, with one best friend and lots of acquaintances. In front of other adults, Florence listened to my every word, and acted like we were the best of friends. Out of the spotlight, however, was another story.

“You’re such a know-it-all, Cassidy Pfeiffer! Is Cassidy even your real name? Who names their child Cassidy?”



Samantha had teased Florence about her name plenty of times, but she wasn’t stepping up to my rescue. She probably never would.

My days consisted of going to school, working hard, listening to the taunts that everyone would throw at me, going home, doing my homework, taking a bath, and going to bed. The weekends were no different. Samantha had sleepovers seemingly every weekend. I could never get away.

My name is Cassidy Pfeiffer. I was born with the same “curse” as my mother. I am the only one of three--Samantha, Lexus, and I--who suffers from it.



A/N: This is 2.1 because it's the first chapter of the second generation. I know it's confusing. Also, I'm sorry for the lack of pictures. I needed to establish the background of Cassidy's life first. :) Other chapters should have more pictures and detail.
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.2
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2014, 08:14:38 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 2

Alone.

Always alone.



“I’m so proud of you, Cassidy! I know it’s hard to join school in the middle of the year, but you’ve already made friends. Florence says that you two are this close.” The counselor crosses her fingers with a bright smile.

I say nothing.

Later that night, I ask Mom a question I’ve been suppressing for almost a year.

“Hey, Mom?”

“Yes, honey?” she asks distractedly. Lexus is in one hand, a bottle in the other. Lexus is sweetly pushing the bottle away with both of her little hands.

“Can I learn how to play chess?”



“Cassidy, you know that I’m awful at chess. Ask Agnes--she’s your teacher, isn’t she?”

“Oh my Watcher, mom, you don’t know how awkward that is,” Samantha pipes up, rolling her eyes. “I know someone that could teach you.”

“Really?” I ask, but my heart sinks. Anyone she knows probably hates me.

“Yeah! They’ll be at my birthday party tomorrow. I’ll introduce you then.”

I nod slowly, feeling like I’ll never get anything I want.

-----

“Happy birthday.”



“Thanks! Oh my Watcher, you’ll never believe who I got to help you. Honestly!” Samantha squeaks. She’s been in a state of high energy all morning, waiting. The party’s supposed to start at nine. According to Dad, only eight people are coming, but that’s enough for Samantha.

Meanwhile, I’m moping around the house, hoping that the high schoolers he invited won’t be too nasty to me in front of my parents. I don’t want them to know about school. It’ll just make me feel worse.

Once the guests start arriving, Samantha disappears to mingle with Shawn Ursine and a few other giggling girls. I lean against the wall, bored.

Eventually, I wander outside into the snow. Before I can build a snowman, none other but Jerad Bunch corners me.

“What?” I ask him.

“Sam told me that her little sister needed a tutor or something,” he smirks.

“I don’t need a tutor--I want someone to teach me how to play chess.”



“Oh. Well, since Sam asked me…”

“Look, please don’t give me pity. I know that you don’t like me, but--”

“Who said I didn’t like you?”

“What?”

He agrees to help me and we both disappear inside for the birthday celebration. I feel a little lighter inside as I watch Samantha age up into a beautiful teenager.



As the party ends, Samantha runs over to me.

“I’m so sorry! Jerad already left and I didn’t get a chance to introduce you two.”

“We’ve met,” I say shortly.

“So? What happened?”

“He’s going to tutor me.”

“Yay! Oh my Watcher, he’s so hot.”

“Jerad?”

“No, Fidel Keaton! I mean, I thought I liked Jerad, back in middle school, but Fidel…”

I don’t hear another word of what she’s saying. At least she’s talking to me again.
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Playalot

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Re: Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.3
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2014, 03:38:38 AM »
Ohh, I was so hooked in.... what's his reply going to be? Is he going to go to the prom with her or not?  :D
Great story line, looking forward to reading the next chapter.
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Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.3
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2014, 07:45:11 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 3

“Mom, I really don’t want one of Samantha’s best friends teaching me how to play chess.” Even the thought of someone related to Florence Bunch makes the tears appear at the corners of my eyes. What if he’s just like her? I’m almost positive they’re related. Why did he volunteer to help me in the first place?

“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Mom says with a kind smile. Now that Lexus is old enough to start going to elementary school, a lot of stress has been relieved for Mom. I’m closer to both my parents than either of my siblings are--for some reason, Samantha really doesn’t like Mom.

“He’ll probably be just like Florence,” I mutter under my breath, slowly shaking my head. Different scenarios run through my head, a prominent one being Jerad and Florence laughing about me behind my back. That wouldn’t happen...right?

“Stop worrying, honey. Now, I need to go write a biography for Lisa Bunch. Is that alright?” Another side-effect of Lexus growing older is that Mom has a lot more time on her hands. She accepts any writing opportunities she can get nowadays, before she’ll be forced to disappear. Nobody has figured out about the curse yet (somehow).



“Oh. Okay. Have fun,” I say weakly, watching my only support grab her white laptop and disappear into the dining room.

The rest of the day goes by quickly. Samantha is away at a friend’s house, so I spend the afternoon building an army of snowmen to protect me from the other children at school. That night, I lay in bed, staring up at the bottom of the top bunk and wondering if things will ever change.

Breakfast is a hurried affair the next morning. I wake up early, but the electricity has gone out (huge windstorm) and our alarm clocks have been reset. Amidst the chaos, I'm the only one who boards the bus in our neighborhood that day. Everyone else opts to walk.

“Class, we have a new student,” Mrs. Crumplebottom says, once everyone’s meandered back to their desks during morning break. “Her name is…”

“Elena K.,” she replies softly. A sharp beam of hope shoots through me. Maybe, if I can get to her before Florence does, I’ll gain a new friend.

Usually, I dread lunch. It’s the only time of day where I’m forced to socialize with my “best friend” as to save face. She’s nice enough when the teachers come around. It’s the behind the scenes work that really gets to me.

Today, I have a plan.

Once the lunch bell rings, I grab my home lunch and rush to find Elena. I need to find her...she could be my chance at happiness in middle school. Thankfully, she’s still trying to find her way over to the lunch line through the mob of kids. Her short blonde hair is a dead giveaway in the middle of the brunettes.

“Hello. I’m Cassidy Pfeiffer. I saw you today during class--new student, right? Would you like to eat lunch with me?” I wait on tenterhooks for her reply.

“Oh...uh...well, Florence Bunch asked me to eat lunch with her. Maybe...maybe tomorrow?” she finally mumbles.

My heart sinks down to somewhere near my belly button. “Okay. Yeah, tomorrow.”

As I trudge down the hall to the library, where I occasionally eat, I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I won’t be eating lunch with Elena ever again, let alone tomorrow.

“Ah, Cassidy! I’ve been looking everywhere for you!” Mrs. Crumplebottom’s voice cuts through my cloud of self-pity.

“Yes?”

“I need to go to a meeting right after school today. I was wondering--could you clean the bug cage? It’s getting filthy and the entire classroom is starting to smell.”

“Oh. Of course, Mrs. Crumplebottom.”

Seems like nothing’s going my way today, I want to say. Obviously, I don’t.

By the time I arrive home, I’m just as dirty as the cage was. After a bath, it’s too late to do homework, eat dinner, or have my first chess lesson.

Crying myself to sleep is the only option.

The next day, is, thankfully, Saturday. I’m awaken by the sound of Samantha’s upbeat voice, talking through the cell phone that’s been attached to her ear since she got it.

“Oooh, right...she didn’t look too good...I don’t know, didn’t ask...this morning?...an hour?!...uh, sure…I have a question for you when you get here, by the way...yup...bye.” She laughs as she hangs up.

“Who was that?” I ask groggily, frustrated by being waken up on a weekend.

“Jerad! He’ll be over in an hour for your lesson. Then he’s going to hang out with me! Don’t tell anyone, but…”

“Yes?” I ask, playing along.

“I’m going to ask him to prom!” she squeals.

“What happened to Fidel?”

“He’s too old. I would get into so much trouble if I dated him. Anyways, Jerad is cuter…”

I instantly regret asking and cut her off mid-sentence. “Right. Thanks, Samantha.”

By the time I’ve eaten breakfast and brushed my teeth, Jerad is waiting at the door. When I open it, I’m surprised to see him there, so punctual.

“Hello.”

“Hi, Cassidy.”

He even got my name right.

I invite him in and lead him to the chess table upstairs. He nods when he sees it, something I take as a good sign.

“Would you rather play a game first, or have me load you with information?”

I stare at him for a few seconds before realizing that he’s actually talking to me without sounding patronizing and mean. “I would rather play a game. Thank you for offering to teach me.” I know my voice sounds suspicious, but I want to know why he’d do such a thing with a sister like his.

While we play, I ask him about school and his family. He reveals that his parents were one of the only married couples in Sunset Valley at the time. There’s a long line of affairs and divorces in the history--even Uncle Jacob and Pauline split up after my cousin Cindy came along.



Once we finish our game, I hear Samantha calling for Jerad up the stairs.

Before he leaves, I stop him. “Wait. Why aren’t you bullying me like everyone else?”

“Who bullies you?”

“Florence Bunch, your sister.” I try to keep the accusatory tone out of my words, but it’s hard.

“She’s not my sister, she’s my cousin,” he says, looking at me strangely. “Yeah, she can be a little brat sometimes.”



He runs down the stairs--probably trying to get away from dumb ol’ me, jumping to conclusions--and I can hear Samantha’s, “Finally!”

 I slowly creep down to the bottom step, looking over the banister to see Samantha’s lovesick face, staring into Jerad’s eyes. I can barely make out her soft purring words, but they disgust me all the same.

“Will you go to prom with me, Jerad Bunch?”



They’ve been friends since pre-k. I should’ve known that I would have to put up with his presence a little more often than just chess lessons.
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.4
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2014, 07:54:18 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 4

Surprisingly, I've been spending more time with Dad lately. He's a nice, understanding man who certainly loves his family more than he loves even himself. Usually, Samantha spends the bit of the day that she isn't over at a friend's house with him. Now that Jerad's come into the picture, that's all changed.



Samantha talks about Jerad all the time, and frankly, we're all getting tired of hearing about him. For some reason, she thinks that I'm willing to give her advice on "what to wear" to winter formal and whatnot.

His chess lessons, as well as being useful, are beginning to become fun--not that I will ever admit that. During the game, we talk about various topics that just happen to come to our minds. He's the one person that I can talk to about the bullying. I haven't told Mom, Dad, Lexus, and definitely not Samantha. She means well, but she'd meddle, and I don't want meddling. Also, he doesn't talk about Samantha half as much as she talks about him, which is a plus.

Everyone has begun to warm up to Jerad, even through Samantha's incessant chattering about him. I've even seen Lexus asking him shyly for a game of tag (he accepted, which is good, because I would've been angry if he had denied her something so innocent).



"Oh my Watcher!! Mom! Dad! Cassidy! Lexus!"

At the sound of Samantha's shrieks, Mom and I rush into the kitchen. Samantha stands near the stove, next to a plate of burnt waffles, the newest SimPhone in hand.

"It's okay, sweetie. I'll make breakfast for you instead," Mom starts, thinking, like me, that it's the waffles, but Samantha shakes her head frantically.

"Look at this!" She scrolls down a little and shoves her phone into our faces.



"...What?" I ask. I don't see anything of importance on the bright screen in front of me. It's Jerad's SimBook page, overflowing with pictures of him and Samantha.

Samantha was only allowed to get a SimBook after lots and lots of pleading--according to her, "everyone" has one and it was only right that Mom allowed her to get one too.

"Look again! At the most recent photo!" Samantha begins to sob, and the sound is so heartbreaking that I give her a hug. Mom takes the phone from my hand and reads the screen.

"I'm sorry, Samantha."

"What's wrong?" I ask, curiosity getting the best of me.

Mom sighs, hesitating, and says, "Well--"

"His most recent photo is with Anastasia Bachelor! She's, like, two years older than him! And they're super close together and her face is so lovey-dovey it makes me sick!" Samantha wails. I decide not to point out that (a) they're not technically dating anyways, (b) Jerad is a full year ahead of Samantha, something that Dad strongly disapproves of, and (c) she should see her own face when she's flirting with him.

"I'm sorry," Mom says, giving Samantha a hug. My sister shakes her head and darts upstairs to our room, slamming the door. We all know from prior experience that she won't be in there long--the wifi signal is the weakest in our room.

"Hey, Mom?" I ask, following her as she slowly walks up the stairs to try and coax my sister out of her room.

"One second." Mom knocks on our door a couple times, whispering something through the wood that I don't catch. I wait a few moments, knowing what will happen next.

"I'm not coming out until I die!" Samantha proclaims loudly, and a loud thump signifies that she's thrown her pillow at the door again.

Mom looks so weary that I wait another few seconds before asking my question, but she stops me.

"There's something I've been meaning to tell you, honey. I wanted to make it a surprise, but you never were one for those."

"...Alright. Please go on."

"I've decided to throw you a surprise slumber party for your birthday!"

"My birthday isn't for another month," I remind her, a bad feeling beginning to form in the pit of my stomach.

"I know. I'd like to celebrate early this year. I invited all your friends from school. I made sure to personally call Lisa Bunch to make sure that Florence could come." Mom smiles down at me, obviously quite proud of herself, but all I can hear is a ringing in my ears.

"What?! Why didn't you ask me first?" I finally shriek.



"Cassidy Ann Pfeiffer, don't you dare yell at me," Mom says in a cool voice. "I expect an apology in ten seconds."

I wait a few seconds, and then mutter, "Sorry, Mom."

"It's quite alright. Why are you so worked up about this?"



""I-I..." I don't have a response that'll make much sense, so I mumble something unintelligible. "I don't know. Sorry, Mom." I give her a quick hug to make up for my behavior and begin to make my way over to the chess table.

"They'll be arriving at about five!" Mom calls as she walks downstairs.

I nod vaguely, already engrossed in my game. I didn't know that it was already three thirty. All too soon, I hear our first guests knocking on the door.

"Cassidy!"

"I'm coming," I say faintly. Samantha still hasn't left the safe refuge of our room. I have a sudden, overwhelming rush of desire to join her, but I force myself to walk down the stairs, already biting back salty tears.

"Hello, Florence," I say, keeping my eyes trained on her mother, Lisa.

"Hi, Cassidy. I'm excited to be here," she lies through her teeth, giving me a bright smile.

"That's... great," I finally choke out. She doesn't move from her spot on the porch.

"Come here, I have to show you something. You can leave, Mom. Love-you-bye." Her last three words are blended together into a jumbled mess. Lisa leaves abruptly, as if she couldn't stand a second more in our company. Mom goes back inside, giving me a quick smile.

I take one step onto the porch, but Florence does the rest and yanks me onto the wood. "I can't believe how lame your mom is. Inviting all of us? She even called my mom and talked to her. Mommy can't believe how weird she is."



Already, she's goading me to say something, to do something. She reaches out an arm, and I take a step back, afraid she'll slap me. I end up at the very edge of the railing, about to fall off. I hold my hands out in front of me, palms up, as if that'll help.



"Don't worry, Cassidy. I won't resort to physical violence." She runs inside, slamming me out into the cold, cold snow. After a few seconds of emotional build-up, I open the door and my ears are immediately greeted by loud, mainstream pop music.

I look around frantically for someone familiar to talk to (ie: my family) but all the older kids are down here. I race up the stairs, panicky, and come face to face with a boy named Anson Brinkley that's actually a few years older than me.

"Hi, Cassidy." There's no trace of a sneer on his face, and I relax for a second before seeing Mom's blonde hair right behind him. He's acting nice because Mom's here.



"Hi. I really need to, um, go to the bathroom. Sorry."

I run to my parent's room down the hall and shut the door, locking it behind me. Take a deep breath, Cassidy. It's alright. They're just words; they can't hurt you. You can survive one night.

I'm usually not the dramatic one, but at this moment, all I want is to become invisible. I unlock the door after nearly an hour and quietly tiptoe down the stairs. No one's in the upstairs hallway, thankfully.

When I reach the bottom of the stairs, I'm surprised to find that there's not a mob of people waiting to insult me. I quickly spot the reason dancing near the stereo; my sister's finally decided to come out of our room.

My next move is towards the kitchen, and then the dining room. I almost make it to the bookshelves in the dining room when I hear a familiar, male voice calling my name.

"Hey, Cassidy." It's Joe Sekemoto.

"Hello, Joe," I say slowly.

"I've been meaning to tell you something for a while now," he says innocently. My heart speeds up, and I wipe my sweaty palms on my green slacks.

"Yes?" The bad feeling in my stomach intensifies by the second.

"You're such a freak. Your eyes are practically glowing; your skin has this weird tint to it; and what's with your teeth? They're so pointy. It's almost like you're a vampire."



I look down, but my mind is racing. He doesn't really know, does he? He's just trying to insult me. He doesn't know about the curse.

To my great dismay, someone else walks into the room; Ron New. He takes one look at me, face red, eyes down to the ground, and starts laughing. I swallow, and try to keep the tears from running down my flushed face.

"Oh, hi Cassidy. Fancy seeing you here," he manages to say through his laughing fit.

Joe whispers something in Ron's ear, and they both start laughing even harder than before.



I finally can't take it anymore. Before I can scream at them to leave my house forever, Dad walks in. Never have I ever been so glad to see him.

"Hello, boys," Dad says, looking at the scene strangely.

"Hi, Mr. Pfeiffer," they say, immediately solemn. I scowl in the corner.

Dad takes one look at my face and sighs heavily. "Why don't you two join the dance off out in the living room? It's right off the kitchen, when you first walk inside."

They scurry out, giggling occasionally, and Dad looks me in the eye.

"What's wrong, Cassidy? You look like someone's run over your cat."



"I don't have a cat, Dad," I sniffle.

"Oh, Cassidy. It's fine if you don't tell me now, but you'll need to tell me someday." He gives me a tight hug, glances at me again, and walks out into the living room.

I shiver involuntarily. It seems like he already knows about the torment I've been going through since my first day at Sunrise Elementary. Now that I'm in middle school, it's gotten so much worse.

"Bedtime!" I hear Dad call, and for once, I'm glad that it's time to go to bed. I don't think I can put up with this any longer.



A/N: Sorry that I haven't posted. This is also on a Wordpress blog (blessedcurse.wordpress.com) and I've been updating there but not here. Expect all the way up to 2.6 tonight. :)
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom



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Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.5
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2014, 08:02:26 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 5

The week before my birthday, Mr. Andrews calls me into his office again. I go along, but inside, I'm dreading what he'll ask. Will he want to hook me up with another friend? I believe I'm fine with just Jerad--though I don't know if we can consider ourselves friends just yet.

"Hello, Cassidy. Come in, come in," Mr. Andrews says kindly. I walk in, shut the door, and sit down in the uncomfortable chair in front of his desk, waiting.

He stares at me for a moment, and I squirm awkwardly in my chair. Finally, he sighs and begins. "Here at Sunrise Middle, we do badging ceremonies for those who choose to do scouting and recitals for those who choose to do ballet. Seeing that you've been in scouting since second grade, I think you're ready to have your badging ceremony. After all, you'll be up at the high school soon."

I stare, wide eyed, at him for a moment. I was not expecting something so trivial. However, a few moments later, I feebly nod. What can go wrong with a simple ceremony?



The badging ceremony goes by smoothly, without a hitch, and I even receive a trophy for my hard work. Of course, the other girls and boys snicker once I take the stage, but for once, I truly ignore them. It is my time when I receive that award.

The remainder of the week is so busy that I barely have enough time to think, let alone invite Jerad over for chess lessons. Miraculously, his presence has not been as never ending lately. I wonder if Samantha and Jerad have had a falling out, but I don't ask.

I still practice a bit on the weekend before my birthday, in between the mountain of homework I've been assigned. It's not easy.

On Monday, I go to school and work my hardest. My birthday happens to be on Thursday--Valentine's Day this year--and I want to keep my grade point average at a solid A. Anything else, and I'll go into high school with a less than excellent grade.

At the end of the day, I'm surprised to see Lance Sekemoto and Lexus standing next to each other at the entrance of the school. As I walk by, suspiciously (but apparently not inconspicuously) looking over my shoulder, I see Lexus poke Lance and point at me. I try to walk faster, but Lance and Lexus catch up to me.

"Hi, Cassidy," Lance mumbles, nearly drowned out by Lexus's more enthusiastic greeting.

"Hi, sissy! Hey, do you want to come over to Lance's house with me? We can all do homework together!"

I look at her for a moment, forcing a smile to appear on my face. "Uh... sorry. I have a big test to study for in history tomorrow. I should really... go home."

Lexus looks sad for a moment, but brightens up almost immediately. "We can help you study!" she suggests cheerfully.

"It's a... hard test," I say lamely, but Lexus bites her lips and nods slowly.

"Okay, sissy. I'll see you later."

"Bye, Lexus," I say. Lance, relieved, pulls Lexus along to the bus. They chat all the way down the stairs and to the sidewalk. Once the bus has driven away, I grab my bike from the bike rack and bike home.

Once I walk into the front door, I'm enveloped in a hug almost immediately. Was my report card in the mail today? I wonder.



"Cassidy, your mother and I were promoted to Division Managers today!" Dad exclaims, holding onto me tightly.

"That's great," I say, my voice muffled by his coat sleeve. I really am happy for them, but I know that both will be working online a lot more to try to get their next promotion. Sometimes I don't like having both parents in Business.

My mother simply smiles behind him, but I can feel the somewhat neutralized emotion of joy emanating off of her. With my gift, I can read others' emotions--usually, I can only sense hate.

"Where's Lexus?" Mom asks, and I suddenly know why the joy feels tainted with another, negative emotion: concern.

"She went to a friend's house," I say shortly, attempting to escape up the stairs.

"Which friend?" Dad asks, stiffening up.

"Lance Sekemoto," I reply, without looking back at them.

"She's already friends with a boy?!" Dad exclaims, but I'm already in my room.

-

The next day is winter formal for Samantha. Before school, she pulls me aside and directs me to stand in the back of the room. I oblige, having a faint idea of what I'll be about to tell her.

She paces the room for a few seconds. "I don't know what to wear to the formal," she admits, worry creeping into her tone.

"What happened to the one you bought at the mall?" I ask her, knowing Dad will be irked about the wasted money if she doesn't wear it. It's a medium length blue dress with ruffles and a brown, cropped, sleeveless vest. Though I wouldn't wear it, it suits Samantha almost perfectly.

"I don't know if it'll work. I mean, what if the other girls wear something that's long and flowy? There'll be me in my short, childish dress." Her hand slowly moves to her mouth to bite her nails, but I carefully stop her.

"What other dresses are you thinking of?" I've learned what to say in situations like these to calm her down, thankfully.

"Well, I could wear the long blue one... you know, the one that ties behind my neck... or I could wear the one with the blue button up short sleeve with the ruffled skirt attached... but that's too short!" she frets.

"How about you try both of them on after school and see which one you like better?" I suggest.

"I guess," she trails off.

After school, she runs up to her room and doesn't come out until five, when the limousine honks for her to come down.

Mom, Dad, and I are eating dinner in the dining room, but when she hurries down, both Mom and Dad stand up. A few tears come to Dad's eyes when he sees her.

"You look beautiful, Sam," he whispers to her, and she beams at him.

"Thanks, Daddy!! Cassidy helped me pick out this dress." Not surprisingly, it's her original choice. However, I smile back at her and give her a thumbs up.

"I gotta go. Jerad is waiting outside for me," she says, waving at us. "Bye!!"

When I look out the window, I see Samantha rushing out to the limo, gesturing for Jerad to follow her. A sudden, odd feeling hits my stomach when I see him, and I swallow sharply. What's wrong with me?



I go upstairs, saddened for some reason, and lay on my bed reading a romance novel until Samantha comes back.

As I near the end of the book, engrossed with the characters and the plot--Special Snowflake is very well written for such a cheesy love story--Samantha walks in, a bright smile on her face. As she changes in silence, I try to finish the chapter, but her presence is distracting me too much.

"What're you reading?" she asks, and I stare at her, half dressed, for a moment.

"Uh... why do you care?" I question her, looking at her strangely.

"I just want to know," she says innocently, pulling some shorts on.

"Well... it's called Special Snowflake... the main character, Rosa, has just met this boy named Jake at school, and he's her only friend. Since she's deaf, the others tease her for her hearing aid and she's always upset. Jake's the only one that can make her feel better, because he stands up to the bullies and has never said a mean word to her in the year she's been at the high school so far. Right now, she's battling within herself because she thinks she has feelings for Jake, but she doesn't think he likes her back because he's dating another girl." Once I get the synopsis out, I feel another something in my stomach. Pulling my knees up to my chest, I look at her until she responds.

"Oh," she says, climbing up the ladder to the top bunk. "Sounds interesting." A few moments pass, and then she finally bursts out, "Jerad and I are dating now!!"



"That's great!!" I say, but I'm too tired to feel any sort of excitement for her at the moment. I drift off for a few moments, but her voice interrupts my light sleep.

"I know right?! Okay, so when we got there, there were so many fast songs, and I didn't know what to do! Jerad and I danced a little bit, but mostly we just hung out by the punch table. Then, a slow song came on, and he asked me to dance..." she stops for a moment, remembering, and then clears her throat. "Anyways, the lights had dimmed, and he was only inches away, and he said, and I quote, 'Samantha Pfeiffer, will you do me the honor of going out with me?' Obviously I said yes! And then he kissed me just as the song was ending! The DJ was so embarrassing, though. He kept saying things like, 'There's the cutest couple!' and 'What a dynamic duo.' Oh my Watcher, I wanted to kill him." I know she actually enjoyed the attention, but I keep quiet.

After a few moments of happy sighing, she whispers, "I really like him, Cassidy."

"Did anything go wrong at your perfect dance?" I whisper back, falling back to sleep.

"Well... I didn't get prom queen," she admits, even quieter.

I make a noncommittal noise and fall asleep, turning her words over in my head.

The next morning, I wake up bright and early, with the type of spirit only your birthday can bring you. Mom's already in the kitchen baking a cake when I go downstairs, and I smile a little at the amazing scent wafting in from the oven.

"Vanilla?" I ask.

"Yes! I know that it's your favorite."

"Thank you, Mom."

"You're welcome, honey."

All too soon, it seems, the family's gathered downstairs, waiting for me to blow out the candles on my homemade cake. I specifically requested that I have a private birthday party, because of the sleepover fiasco. Thankfully, Mom agreed, after reminding me that the sleepover was my birthday party.

I think for a moment at the cake, wondering what I wish for. Then, it hits me hard, and I bite back tears. I wish that the bullying would stop once and for all.



When I blow the candles out, my family cheers for me, but I feel like running upstairs and hiding. I know I should be happy that it's my birthday, but I've depressed myself with my sad, but truthful wish.

Mom smiles at me and opens her mouth to say something, but I'm already halfway up the stairs, thanks to my abnormal speed. I run into the bathroom and stare at myself in the mirror.

I slowly grab a brush and let my young looking pigtails fall onto my shoulders. After lots of brushing, clothing throwing, and glasses checking, I've finally decided on a look that makes me look older, but still reflects me, Cassidy Pfeiffer.



I may want the bullying to end, but I'm not changing for anyone.
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.6
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2014, 06:29:44 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 6

Now that I'm fourteen, I'm old enough to finally get a part-time job and rake in more money for our family. Thankfully, we're not poor, but Samantha's shopping takes a chunk out of our funds. Last time Dad asked her to apply for a job, she stared at him blankly.

I've already applied for four jobs: one at the bookstore, one at the grocery store, and two at the spa. Though I was accepted to all four positions, I eventually stuck with the one I truly wanted to do, in the bookstore.

"You're a Cash Register Specialist?" Samantha snorts, once I return home from my first day of work.

"Yes... why?" I ask, genuinely confused. A smile spreads across her face, and it doesn't look too kind.

"You chose that over being a Spa Specialist or a Receptionist? Even working at the grocery store is better than being in a stuffy, old bookstore," she says confidently. I bite my tongue to keep from retorting, and instead shake my head.

"You don't understand," I whisper to myself. No one does.

The next day is Valentine's Day. By twelve o'clock, Samantha's out with friends (surprisingly, Jerad's name has been absent from her daily gossip), Mom and Dad are at Bella Bachelor's house, and Lexus is at a gymnastics meet. I stare out the window at the sprinkling rain, unsure of what to do.



A few seconds later, my phone rings. I quickly fumble with the buttons and answer, seeing an unknown number pop up on the screen. Cassidy, you know better than that.

"Hello?"



"Hi. Is this Cassidy Pfeiffer?" a voice asks. The crackling of static is too distracting; I can't tell who's on the other line.

"May I ask who is speaking?" I say cautiously.

"This is Jerad Bunch... I gave you chess lessons back in middle school. We haven't talked for a while but Samantha gave me your number last year. I've been so busy that I haven't been able to call."

"Oh," I say dumbly, my stomach suddenly dropping to my feet.

"I was wondering if you'd want to come to the Spring Festival with me today? I mean, it's totally fine if not."

"What about my sister?" I ask. Something doesn't seem right here.

"I'm not sure what you're talking about... so, what do you say?"

"... Okay." I admit to myself that I've been waiting for a call like this all day, and anyways, it'll be something to do until six, when everyone will have returned home. "I will be there shortly."

"Great. Bye."

"Bye."

I stand there for a moment, disoriented, but then snap back to the present. Grabbing my wallet, I run out the door. Within minutes, I'm in a taxi on my way to the Central Park Spring Festival.

I find Jerad almost immediately by his rainbow-c0lored umbrella.

"Hello, Jerad. It is nice to see you," I greet him politely. The rain is pouring down even harder now, but I don't really care.

"Hi, Cassidy! Watcher, I haven't seen you in forever. You look so much older..." For some reason, his face flushes a light pink.



"Well, I have learned all the basic fundamentals of chess," I say unhelpfully. "Thank you."

"It was no problem." He smiles.

An awkward silence lays over the scene for a few minutes, but then Jerad starts telling me about all that's happened to him since we stopped our chess lessons. Talking to him is easier than talking to Mom. He listens, but also says the right amount to let you know that he's not letting your words brush by without a glance.



He reveals that he's become a self-published author, though he's only a Fan-Fiction Drafter at the moment. He plans to be known internationally, like the author that wrote Simderella. After a few hours, I finally ask the question that's been nagging me for a while now.

"Why did you not invite Samantha here with you today? It is Valentine's Day, after all."

Jerad looks uncomfortable for a second, and I feel bad for asking. It is his life, after all.

"We're just taking a break for a little while because she's a minor. She was busy today so I thought I'd invite you..." he says, trailing off. "I'm sorry, it was uncalled for."

"No," I say quickly. "Thank you for inviting me. It really means a lot."

Without warning, he pulls me into a hug. I can't help but feel my face grow hot as I smell his cologne.



Suddenly, I pull him towards the dance floor.

"They will crown the Spring Dance queen and king soon. Perhaps we should try?" I ask, smiling.

"Sure, Cassidy," he says, looking relieved that our previous conversation has ended.

We dance for almost an hour, talking over the loud music that blasts from the DJ's speakers. The dance floor lights up in neon colors, and soon, I begin to get a headache from the loud, pop music. I'm more of a Roots person, anyways.



The rain ends as the DJ says, "We're gonna slow it down a little. Grab a partner and dance to the latest hit, Say Anything by It's A Small World."

The piano introduction begins to play, and I avoid Jerad's eyes as I slowly edge off the dance floor.

He follows me awkwardly, and I check my watch: 6:37pm.

"I need to go, sorry," I say quietly, glancing over at the DJ. He's humming with his eyes closed, a small smile on his face.

"I do, too," Jerad admits. "I had a really great time tonight, though."

"I did too," I say truthfully. "I will see you another time."

Once I arrive home, Samantha corners me, her eyes narrowed dangerously.

"What the Watcher were you doing with my boyfriend at Central Park?! Florence Bunch said that she saw you two slow dancing and then that you kissed! What...?!"



"What?" I sputter, at a loss for words. "First of all, he invited me! He told me that you were busy and that you two were just waiting until you turned eighteen so that you would not get in trouble! Second of all, we left when the slow song started because that would be completely disrespectful to you. Third of all, why would you listen to Florence Bunch? She hates me!"

"You're one to tell me about respect, missy!" Samantha yells, jabbing a finger into my chest. "Stay away from my friends! Especially Jerad! I better not see you tomorrow at my birthday party!"

"I have work anyways, Samantha! I am sorry that you have chosen to listen to Florence Bunch instead of your own sister. Do not worry; I will not be present at your big party tomorrow."

I hurry up the stairs, trembling from anger and something else that I can't quite name.

Am I in love with Jerad?

The next morning, Samantha merely glares at me across the dining room table as we eat breakfast. I don't feel any remorse for my words--she said things I would never, ever say to her, even if I did suspect her of stealing my boyfriend (if I ever had one, of course).

Once the bus horn sounds from outside, she abruptly gets up from the table and scurries outside. I follow behind her, sighing. Surprisingly, she allows me to sit next to her on the bus, in the front seat.



All I hear about during the course of the entire day is Samantha's eighteenth birthday party. From the sounds of it, everybody's going. Throughout the day, I receive no scathing comments like usual. In fact, Anson Brinkley smiles at me as we walk down the hall, and I find the courage to smile back.

Florence sneers as she sees our little exchange, whispering something to her group of followers, but only a few of them laugh, and one or two even glance back at me, their eyes round with... concern? sympathy? amazement?

On the bus ride home, Samantha looks at me for a few moments and opens her mouth, but I turn away and look out the window. Her words still echo in my head, and I won't forgive her easily.

Once I step off, she corners me in front of the door.

"Hey, wait, Cassidy. I'm sorry for what I said. Can you please stay for the party?"

I stare at her for a few seconds, momentarily stymied. Samantha Pfeiffer does not apologize easily; in fact, I've never heard her say "sorry" once, and especially not to me.



But then I remember her insensitive words from the night before, and I shake my head.

"My first commitment is to my job, Samantha. I am sorry, but I will not be able to stay for your party." I spit the last word out as if it's venom, just as my carpool honks.

"Bye, Samantha. Have fun," I say coldly. As I get into the run down car that they've assigned to the lady who carpools with me, I wonder what's possessed me to be so cruel to my own sister. I'm not usually like this. Am I?



I work hard during the next few hours, helping Mrs. Andrews sort books. Every time I'm assigned to help her, I feel awkward.

Weeks ago, I caught Agnes and Mr. Andrews kissing upstairs. Both swore me to secrecy, but every day, it threatens to spill out. I don't want to take the blame and wreck the Andrews' marriage, though--Agnes can do that herself.

I don't have to see Mr. Andrews anymore for counseling. I'm not a new student at Sunrise Middle anymore--I go to Sunset High--and he's retired.

Once she dismisses me to go home, I bite my lip. Do I really want to return home and face Samantha's sadness?

When I walk into my room, the sudden mess of people that greets me makes me stumble back in shock. I see both of uncles, both of my aunts, and almost everybody that goes to Sunset High. Swallowing hard, I run upstairs, only to bump into Samantha.

She gives me a long, hard look and says, "I know that I've hurt you. I see it now. I'm so sorry, Cassidy. I'll be moving out soon, maybe with Jerad. I want to be an Investigator..." Without another word, she runs downstairs.

I stand there, shell-shocked. My sister, an Investigator? I would've thought she'd want to be a Fashion Designer or an Architectural Designer, but certainly not this. Then, there's the fact that she actually picked up on my feelings, which she's never done before.

Maybe she's changed.

-





A/N: Some of the phrases were a little awkward. I had a little trouble writing this because I was distracted the entire time. ;) Also, yes, I updated this chapter to add on Samantha's birthday party, if you checked earlier and are confused.

I think Samantha is stunning. She gained the Perceptive trait when she aged up.
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.7
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2014, 06:36:08 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 7

My senior year passed by so quickly that I wasn't quite sure when it started and ended. It was all just a blur to me; a blur of emotions.

Through the end, Anson Brinkley was one of my only friends. I didn't trust him as much as I trusted Jerad, but he was someone to fall back on--someone who loved you even when you didn't quite love yourself.

That's not to say that he never teased me. That was the difference between him and Jerad. I know Jerad would never say a hurtful thing about me--especially not in front of me.

Samantha's graduation was the day after the last day of school. When I walked into that auditorium, pride went through me at seeing my older sister finally graduate Sunset High with Honors. She was voted "Most Likely to Become a Millionaire." I can't say that I disagree with that. She certainly has the potential.



She kept true on her promise. By July, she had gotten a job as an Investigator and moved in with Jerad. I haven't seen him since last spring, which I suppose is good. My feelings won't interfere with their relationship.



Instead of Jerad, Lexus became my chess partner. Though I'm definitely more skilled than her, she learns quickly, like me, and has never complained about my mostly-silent teaching methods.



The only thing I have left of Jerad is the picture we took at the Spring Festival.



"Cassidy?" I hear a small voice call my name, and I turn quickly.

"Hello, Lexus," I say, slightly disappointed. For a second, I was sure that Samantha was back. I miss her, more than I thought I would. I wish we had ended on better terms than our argument and the inadequate apology she gave me.

"Can you read me a bedtime story?" she asks hopefully. I inwardly sigh, but nod.

"Get into bed. I will be there shortly," I tell her, and she runs off to her bed. There's enough room for her in the kid's bedroom, but she prefers to sleep out in the hallway below Agnes.

I grab Logic Vol. 1 from the shelf and sit on the edge of her bed, trying hard not to bump my head on the bed frame. Slowly, I begin to read it to her. She doesn't seem to mind the boring material I've picked out.

Once I hear her snores, I tiptoe down the hall to my room and close the door. It's past eleven, but something feels wrong. I feel like something's about to happen... something bad.

I brush away the feeling, but go downstairs quietly to get a glass of water. Water always calms my nerves.

As I open the fridge, I hear the porch creak outside. My heart immediately speeds up, and attempting to stay as quiet as a mouse, I peer out the window. I have to withhold a gasp as I see a lady decked out with a black and white jumpsuit shoving a bobby pin into the lock.

Without calling for either of my parents, I run outside and try to push her off the railing. Why did I leave my phone upstairs?



Without so much as a warning, the lady snarls and tackles me. I try to fight back, but she throws punches relentlessly.



Eventually, she leaves me lying on the porch, bruised and possibly broken. With a laugh, she whispers, "I won't take anything from this house, no matter how pathetic their self-defense is."

Her footsteps fade away, but the world flickers from my vision. I manage to pull myself up, and double-lock the door before trudging back upstairs to my room. I'm out like a light.

"Cassidy! It's my birthday!"

I groan and turn over on my side. My whole body hurts, and it takes an effort to even scoot over on the bed to let Lexus sit down. I had forgotten--today is her thirteenth birthday. She'll be going to Sunset High this upcoming year. I feel a pang in my stomach; she'll be alone, with only her cousin, Cindy, with her.

"Cassidy?" Lexus asks.

"I'm here," I say, slowly standing up.

"Mommy and Daddy left. So did Agnes. She had to go to a summer training," Lexus whimpers.

I follow her downstairs, wondering why Mom and Dad would leave Lexus alone on her birthday. Had they forgotten in the chaos of the morning?

I grab the store-bought cake out of the fridge and place it on the counter. "Make a wish."



I jealously watch as she ages up into a beautiful young teenager. I don't see any of Dad in her, surprisingly. She looks nearly identical to Mom.


Lexus Pfeiffer | Teen | Gained Childish

The only thing she inherited from Dad is his deep blue eyes.

I spend the rest of the day playing chess with Lexus, who suddenly understands it better than I did at her age. The familiar pangs of jealousy that I felt when Samantha was still here return every few hours, but I push them back fiercely.

The next month passes by much the same. Dad decides to teach Lexus how to drive; no one ever offered such a privilege to me. She's offered a part-time job at the Bookstore, and accepts it, instead of choosing an after-school activity.



Come August, my phone rings, only a few days before my birthday. I look at the caller ID, and seeing that it's Samantha, answer it immediately. "Hello, Samantha."



"Hi, Cassidy! I haven't talked to you in months! I heard that Lexus is going to be at Sunset High this year. Watcher, she must be so excited!" She's only been gone two months, but I decide not to correct her on that fact.

"Yes," I say simply. "Is there any specific reason you are calling?"

"Of course," she says, sounding hurt. I bite my lip, wishing I could take back my abruptness. "I'm... pregnant!"

My mouth feels dry. I try to swallow, but I feel as if I might throw up on my phone. She's pregnant with Jerad's baby.

"Have you married him?" I choke out.

"No. I'm... no," she says. I can tell that something's wrong, but I don't pry. If they're happy together, that's all that matters.

"Cassidy!" I hear Mom's voice calling me frantically.

"I need to call you back," I tell Samantha quickly, and run to Mom and Dad's room.

I gasp loudly at the sight that awaits me.



"Agnes!" Lexus yells from beside me, running up to try to touch the ethereal being in front of us, but her hand goes through her like smoke.

"Agnes," I whisper, tears filling my eyes.

"Agnes," Mom says with disbelief.

Dad remains silent, in shock.





We lay her grave next to Erik Darling's. Mom tells me about Agnes's tragic story: how they were only on their honeymoon when Erik drowned in the ocean they were swimming in. I admire Agnes's courage to keep going after such an event, but my heart aches. She knew my grandmother. I never asked her about her.

Agnes has been with our family for so long, yet we did nothing to appreciate that fact.

Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.7
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2014, 07:51:41 PM »
After Agnes died, Lexus moved into my bedroom. She told me that she didn't want to be reminded of Agnes's death every time she closed her eyes.



I understand her pain.



The day before my birthday, Mom comes home looking happier than I've seen her in a long time.

"I was promoted to CEO!" she exclaims, hugging me so hard that I feel as if my lungs might burst.

"That's great!" I reply, smiling at her. I haven't seen my parents so dedicated to their work since I was in first grade. It's good to hear that it's finally paying off... even though Dad's been denied promotions to Vice President because of the higher-qualified Division Manager in front of him--Dustin Langerak.



"Mom?" I ask tentatively, not wanting to burst the happy bubble she's been enclosed in.

"Yes, honey?" she asks, her smile slowly fading.

"Did Agnes paint any portraits of my grandmother?"

Mom stares at me for a long second, and then nods, another smile coming to her face: a sad one.

She disappears into the attic for a few minutes, and returns with a medium-sized portrait of Grandma Trish. I help her hang it in the living room, where she'll be remembered forever.



-

I stand in front of my birthday cake, reflecting on all the events in my school life that have led me to be the person that I am today. I've had many, many bad moments, but there's good ones that sprung up in between the weeds.



I wish only for happiness.

I keep the look I had projected in my teenage years, though with a wardrobe more mature than before. I try to incorporate equestrian-like boots into the outfit; I find the style more appealing now.


Cassidy Pfeiffer | Young Adult | Gained Equestrian

I look at myself in the mirror and smile. I'm ready to begin a new life... but first, I must forgive my sister.

-

I walk into the Police Department, ready to apply for my first job in the Law Enforcement career. Other than the fact that Samantha and Jerad both work here, I'd like to be someone who will take care of the nasty criminals that run around in Sunset Valley. I still feel the bruises up and down my back from the burglar.



"Cassidy Pfeiffer? Are you related to Samantha Pfeiffer?" an unfamiliar lady asks.

"Yes," I reply warily.

There's a long pause, and then the woman says, "You start tomorrow as a Snitch. I look forward to having you in our crew."

Who knew that Samantha would help me with my career? I wonder.

As if Samantha has heard my thoughts, I see her across the street at the Central Park Summer Festival, her baby in her arms, talking to Jerad. I run down to the Park immediately. This is my chance to forgive and forget.

Averting my eyes from Jerad's, I greet her with a warm smile. "Hello, Samantha. Is this your son?"



"His name is Morris Pfeiffer," she replies lovingly. "Do you want to hold him?"

"I would love to." I take Morris carefully into my arms. His little hand clutches my thumb, and I feel warmth spread through me... or maybe that's the sun's UV rays burning into my vampiric skin.

I hand Morris back to Samantha and turn, unwillingly, to Jerad. Before I can say a word, he envelopes me into a friendly hug. I feel the sparks fly... again, maybe from my skin.



Over his shoulder, I see Samantha smiling sadly at us, and I wonder if she feels the attraction between us.



A/N: Extra-long chapter this time! I wanted Cassidy to become a YA, but then all these other events happened and I couldn't just pretend they didn't happen. :P If you find any mistakes, please comment! I'm copying and pasting this over from a Wordpress blog, and the formatting is different. You can also comment if you like it. I wouldn't mind that. ;)
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline JudesSims

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Re: Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.7
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 08:53:59 PM »
This is an excellent story. I'm hooked!

Offline RaiaDraconis

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Re: Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.7
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 09:15:53 PM »
All right, you've got me hooked. It's not very often when you see Miraj Alvi as a legacy/dynasty/whatever spouse. :)

The love triangle between Samantha, Cassidy, and Jerad is very intriguing. It will be interesting to see how that plays out!

Offline Jade

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Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.8
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2014, 02:12:50 PM »
C H A P T E R  2 . 8

After that day, I decided to withdraw away from my family. I couldn't risk Samantha hating me forever if I accidentally told her of my feelings for Jerad. I couldn't risk Jerad hating me forever if I told him of my feelings for him. I couldn't risk the rest of my family knowing, because neither Mom, Dad, nor Lexus would be impressed.

I began to call over ranked chess opponents. Far from getting my mind off of my practically nonexistent love life, they reminded me of him. I remembered how he had spent so much of his time teaching me how to play a silly little game of logic.

Back when I was in my late teenage years, I would breeze through my opponents, beating each of them soundly. Suddenly, I couldn't even make it past the first few moves without being checkmated.



Graduation came and went. When I was up on that podium, I didn't feel any different than I had before. I didn't feel any older, or wiser. In fact, when they called my name, I just felt a dull sense of relief that my school years were behind me.

I graduated with Merit, which didn't help the slow depression I was falling into. Even Samantha, my own sister, had graduated with Honor. I had expected to be named Valedictorian, at the very least. Instead, I was given my diploma and voted "Most Likely to Save the World."



Career-wise, I wasn't getting anywhere. I came to work grudgingly, but my Logic skill far surpassed any of that of my co-workers. I hadn't been assigned a partner yet, but I was impatiently awaiting one. Samantha popped in every so often to receive her duties, but I avoided eye contact. Jerad, meanwhile, was mysteriously absent.

Thankfully, there was one thing that calmed me every night. I would go outside once night fell and search the galaxy for stars. As of now, I've found two stars--a Medium Blue Sub Giant that I named Jassidy, and a Medium Blue Giant Star that I named Cerad--and one comet, which I christened Pfeifferan.




Two years pass. The day that Samantha calls, the trees' leaves have turned a rosy red, and frost lays over the town like an icy blanket.



"Cassidy, are you busy today?"

"No," I say, bewildered by her seemingly random phone call. Her voice sounds vulnerable, and I wonder if something's happened to Jerad or Morris.

"Could you... um... come over after work? I need to... to talk to you."

She sounds so distressed that I agree to meet her after my shift is over. What's wrong?

I can't concentrate on my work that day, which is just as well. My boss, Hank Goddard, lets me off early.

"You're overworked, Pfeiffer. Go home and rest."

"Sir--"

"Go. I don't want to see you back here until late next week."

I unlock my car, replaying Samantha's words over and over again in my head, trying to make some sort of sense out of them. If only she had told me the problem over the phone...

I narrowly avoid hitting Jerad's car as I pull up to their house. The grandness of it makes me stop suddenly in my tracks, but then I think of our house--Agnes's house--and the house doesn't seem so big.

The sky darkens as I walk up to the porch and ring the doorbell. Samantha opens the door immediately, grabs my wrist, and pulls me to the back of the house. Before I can say a word, she leads me outside into the back yard.



"Cassidy..." Samantha says, her voice shaking.

"What is wrong, Samantha? Has something happened to Morris?" I ask her, trying to keep the note of panic out of my voice.

"No, it's not that... I'm breaking up with Jerad," she whispers, her eyes trained on the ground.



"What?" I hear her, but the words echo strangely throughout my head.

"I saw the way you looked at each other at the Festival two years ago... he talks about you all the time.... You two were meant to be together, Cassidy. He never truly loved me."

"No, Samantha, wait--"

"Remember the night of my prom? Did you ever finish Special Snowflake?"

"I..." Her question catches me off-guard. "No."

"Jake dates Rosa's best friend, and Rosa doesn't know what to do. But right before they graduate, Jake gives Rosa her first kiss after breaking up with her best friend, because he finally realized that they were meant to be together. It's like your story, Cassidy... you just waited a little longer." Her voice grows stronger as she continues to talk. "I won't ask you two for child support. I can take care of Morris. Just... just promise me that you won't rub it in my face."

"I would never, ever do that," I pledge to her, giving her a hug. Her words are still sinking in.

Thirty minutes later, Samantha's making dinner in the kitchen, Jerad is outside playing the guitar, and I'm playing peek-a-boo with Morris. He's a sweet little boy--I know he'll grow up just like his father.

I pick him up and tickle him, just as Jerad walks inside.



I put Morris down, and without a warning, Jerad embraces me tightly.



"I'm sorry," we say at the same time.

"I feel as if I am ruining your family," I admit to him, tears beginning to brim in my eyes. "You will not see Morris as much as you must."

"I know," he murmurs, pain evident in his eyes. "But it's worth it. I'm in love with you, Cassidy."

After dinner, he drives me home. We're silent on the ride home, but the fondness in the car is almost tangible.

When we walk inside, the house is strangely quiet. Jerad is moving in with us as soon as he gets everything prepared. For tonight, he's sleeping over. Unfortunately, we don't have any extra beds, but he brought a sleeping bag just in case.

He takes my hand gently and leads me over to the couch. We sit down for a long, awkward moment, and then we look at each other and kiss.



The kiss I've been waiting for since I admitted to myself that I loved him.

"It's always been you," he whispers in my ear.



A/N: Thank you for the kind comments! For future reference, this story could be a legacy, but I'll be doing something in a future generation that prevents it from being a full one.

Also, are the pictures okay? I know they're not the best quality, because they're Highslide Thumbnails resized to 800 x 600 when the original size is 660 x 495. Photobucket annoys me. :P
Blessed Curse

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom

Offline dinodymo

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Re: Blessed Curse | Chapter 2.8
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2014, 04:09:04 PM »
Loved this chapter! More plz!
I didn't fall! I simply attacked the floor with my awesome ninja skills!

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another. Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
― Veronica Roth, Divergent

 

anything