“How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.”Coco Chanel
“Oh, this was so much fun! How long has it been since we last did a shopping spree together?” Cordelia chatted on in a manner surprisingly casual for her.
“To be perfectly honest, I can’t recall us ever doing this before. Maybe when mom sentenced you to take me prom dress shopping, but I wouldn’t exactly call that fun, considering I was in the midst of my goth phase then and you kept trying to stick me into some nightmares in pastel.” Maeve replied as carefully honest as she could muster, followed by giggling.
“Yeah, you’re right, that was not our best day ever. But this one was one of the best days I ever remember having. We need to make this more of a thing. Maybe you can call me whenever you guys come back home for a visit and we’ll hang. Bring Rett and Blaine, too.”
“Hang? Did you just say ‘hang’? Who are you even these days, Cordelia Reed?” Maeve giggled, using her sister’s – and her own – maiden name, Cordelia had reassumed it after her divorce from Julian, which had become final several months ago.
“Oh plumblossoms! The lunch with mom! We’re gonna be late! We still have to change, I need to get all the way back to San Myshuno, and then all the way back out to Willow Creek, it’s at Taste of Tuscany and you know she wants us dressed up! No way we can show up without changing and freshening up first.”
Maeve rolled her eyes about her sister’s odd cursing and the sudden hurry, but obliged.
Taste of Tuscany Ristorante Willow Creek
Slightly out of breath, Maeve hurried up the few stairs to the restaurant, about to ask the host when she already spotted her mother and sister on the patio of the outdoor dining section of the upscale Italian restaurant.
As soon as she arrived at the table to greet them, her mother demonstratively looked at her wristwatch, which Maeve tried to ignore as she slid onto the chair by the already waiting cup of coffee.
“Sorry I am late. Got stuck in traffic and …”
“Please Maeve, be so good and spare us. Some things just never change. You were always tardy, which is very disrespectful! Your sister was able to make it, even though SHE had to come here from San Myshuno, not just Windenburg. Lucky for you, we are just having coffee today, yours is probably almost cold, serves you right. Your father and I are attending a nice dinner tonight, so I am going to fast for now.”
“Well, sorry again. And I guess Cordy and I are gonna fast at this lunch meet then too, thanks for your concern.” Maeve responded, barely hiding the snarky tone.
“Oh, you can eat. Eat all you want, but remember, women your age need to watch it or they’ll rise up like yeast dough. Your mother-in-law, what was her name again, Nicole was it? Anyway, she is a prime example. I am older than her, but she would not fit into even my loosest clothing. That’s not a good way to stay healthy.”
“Mom! First of all, I am 35, secondly my mother-in-law’s name is Natalie, as you know full well, and she looks great and jogs with their dog every afternoon. Maybe she gained a couple of pounds, but she’s 65 years old now. You act as if she were a rhino!” Maeve was visibly angered.
“Speaking of rhino, I would like to address the elephant in the room. Mom, Maeve, I met someone. He is a very nice gentleman, kind, compassionate. Actually, we met a long time ago, and have always gotten along well but …” Cordelia tried to change the topic to thwart a possible fight between her sister and their mother.
“Cordelia Reed! You just got divorced! It is bad form to start dating within a year of a divorce! What were you thinking?! What are the people supposed to think of you, and of us?!”
“Mom, come on now! Poor Cordy. After forever and a day with that sleeping pill Julian, let her have some fun with someone who hopefully has a pulse!”
“Oh, does he ever! A pulse and lots of fire in his veins. I cannot wait for you to meet him. Ah, both of you I mean, of course. And daddy, of course, too. We will do that soon. Promise. He is very energetic, funny, clever, charming, polite and oh so sexy!”
“Cordelia! We are in public!”
“Mom, chill! Not like she showed us dick pics of him or something. You can say ‘sexy’ in public.”
“Maeve desist! Always so vulgar! Hush your mouth or I swear I will leave this table right now!”
“Yah, sorry mom.” Maeve had to do her best to avoid rolling her eyes.
“Anyway, you are aware that you will not wear white for the next wedding, etiquette prohibits that, and the dress should be cocktail length. Or maybe a nice ensemble. Hmm. I know just the boutique where we can all go. Since your younger sister only graces us with her presence every once in a blue moon, we should pencil that in soon.”
“Mom, she just got together with him. They are dating. No wedding bells yet, reel in your horses, they a jumping fences like crazy!” Maeve said, shaking her head with a sigh.
“Uh … about that. He and I have talked about the next level, as I mentioned we are not strangers, just weren’t able to live out our feelings for each other while I was still married. Obviously we have since caught up to our hearts’ desire for each other and … he has asked me to move in with him. We have also discussed getting married and agreed we want just a quiet ceremony, close circle of friends and family, a justice of peace kinda thing followed by a small party. We are looking at late August.”
Helen Reed nearly choked on the coffee she had so elegantly sipped.
“Whoa! Damn sis! You are wasting no time! Tell us a little more about … ouch!” Maeve yelped when Cordelia had kicked her under the table, now frantically shaking her head while their mother was rummaging through her purse for a handkerchief. After she found one, she looked up, studying both daughters.
“That would interest me too, and I am sure your father as well. How come you have a new relationship and we are the last to learn? Not even mentioned him in passing. Today’s youth, had I done something like that in my days, my parents would have set me straight something fierce!”
“It’s not as if I was trying to hide it. We just kept it quiet to enjoy ourselves first, get to know each other beyond friendship and such. Plus, we have been busy house hunting.” Cordelia explained.
“House hunting?! This keeps getting better! As far as I know, there is nothing available in Windenburg or surroundings worth a second glance. I also assume you do not want to stay in San Myshuno to flaunt this in your ex-husband and his family’s faces?”
“No. We are looking at a nice house with enough bedrooms for the triplets. Very scenic, large, big yard. In Strangerville.”
“What?! You must be jesting! You could not find anything further away?!” Helen Reed was clearly not amused by the news.
“That is just stone throw away from Del Sol Valley. I like it. I’ll keep an eye on her for ya, mom.” Maeve grinned.
“That would be the day! You can barely keep an eye on yourself, not to mention that strange husband of yours or that naughty son, Maeve! Anyway, you and I will talk about that some other time, Cordelia. You cannot run far away, bad enough one daughter is already in that cesspool called Del Sol Valley, now you want to move into some dubious no-mans-land? Strangerville. Really. That name alone! How are your father and I supposed to tell that to people. Strangerville. You most certainly have rose colored glasses on. Once those come off you will realize how silly of an idea this is.”
“Mom. Cordy is over 18. Her kids will be teens soon. Better for them to grow up in a suburban place with nothing but desert around like Strangerville, than downtown San Myshuno with nothing but clubs, bars, shopping and restaurants. Too tempting to get into trouble and with triplets, you don’t need the usual worries threefold! Who cares about the name of the city?!”
“I, for one, do. As does your father! Well, I had quite enough of this lovely family reunion. I trust you both will join your father and me for dinner this Sunday?! Bring the children, but please make sure they know to behave this time. Especially your son, Maeve. That child is out of control! Although I was not very pleased with the behavior of your three at the last visit either, Cordelia.”
Helen Reed got up, nodded at both daughters then left. Once out of hearing range Maeve said
“Yeah, sure, bye mom, don’t worry, we’ll pick up the tab. Seriously. Invites us – sorry, orders us – out here to lunch, starves us out and then doesn’t even pay. If we did that to her, she’d have a fainting spell or heck knows what. So what terrible things did your three do to set her off, Cordy?! I thought they were three angels in our parents’ book, who can do no wrong.”
“Nothing, they were being children. Too noisy, playing in mom and dad’s pool, so she had me get them inside, for the neighbors’ sake. Dad made them watch the history channel, some boring thing about World War II. Of course that is not something for three 12 year olds.”
“Yeah, just like the good old days. So, about your sexy Mr. Lover-Lover. Since you kicked the shit out of me under the table, you owe me the WHOLE story – and a photo!”
Cordelia smiled, blushed slightly, then pulled out her cell phone and showed Maeve a snapshot of herself with a handsome man, both of them very obviously close.
“Look at you, sissy! So, let’s cut to the juicy stuff! What’s this hunk’s name? He is so yummy! So what’s his deal-io?! He would definitely be approved by mom and dad, looking like that. So what’s the catch? Oh my god I know! He is married and has a ton of kids?! Am I right!? Mom and dad would have a seizure?”
“Nope. He has never been married, no kids. And his name is Prescott Carmichael. The best thing, he doesn’t even have parents. Orphaned as a child, raised by his grandparents, but they died too. Sorry, that came out cruel, what I meant was, unlike my ex, no more meddling in-laws!”
“All right. I noticed he’s deeper complected. Is that what you are worried about? Him being bi-racial?”
“No. He just tans easily, but has Spanish heritage on his father’s side, from the south there, near Cordoba. No worries there. But what is a problem is his job.”
“OMG! He’s unemployed! Yeah, they would definitely flag that. Or no! He’s a stripper, am I right?! I can see him all oiled up shaking his stuff into mom’s face. Ha ha ha! They still cannot get over Rett and me being musicians, here we are, multi-millionaires, and they act like we play for pocket change in the town square.”
“He has a job, he is NOT a stripper, Maeve, but has a successful career even. He’s a politician.”
“What?! Like dad?! You kidding me, they will drag you and him to the next chapel! That makes him more than perfect in their books!”
“It would, were he not with the opposition. So now you know why this is going to be a difficult introduction.”
“Uh oh. Okay, yeah, now I do get it. Well, but dad’s been talking about retirement, so … maybe his conservative views will lighten up …”
“Seriously Maeve?! Have you met our father? He will never retire from politics. But, I would like for you and Rett to meet him, very much so. I am actually famished now, and no time like the present. How about the four of us have dinner tonight, not here though, and without kids if you don’t mind leaving little Blaine with your in-laws for an evening.”
“Nope! I have to meet that hunk. Count us in. Rett and I will be there with bells on!”
The sisters decided to leave and get ready for the dinner that same night with their respective partners, but not until sharing a hug.
It felt strange to Maeve, but in a good way. Liberating, a new hope and a new beginning for them. The sisters had always gotten along, but were divided by Maeve’s rebellion against their strict and conservative parents, while Cordelia fully and wholly obliged, even as children and teens, often leading to friction between them and even physical separation when Maeve ran away from home at only 17 never to move back again. She had kept in touch with Cordelia then, who helped her out where she could, financially, emotionally and any way she was able to, while keeping Maeve’s whereabouts a secret from their parents.
Despite of all, both girls always acknowledged that their parents weren’t doing it out of ill will, but out of a warped, very outdated sense of parenting. The Reeds loved their daughters, just had a hard time showing it for fear of seeming lax or weak.
However, the sisters had only really gotten closer over the past few months. Adults now, passing time and maturing had made them more willing to let bygones be bygones and realize as different as they were, they also shared much in common.
It obviously had taken a lot for Cordelia to realize she would never be happy until she broke free from their parents’ spell. But she had, mostly, and was on her way to become fully her own, independent person with a new lease on life and love. Hopefully.
Windenburg Restaurant "Rhapsody" Later that same day
Meeting the new man in Cordelia’s life proved a piece of cake, especially in Everett and Prescott’s case. Over dinner, followed by wine, the two men hit it off, never once running out of topics both were passionate about, not leaving much of a chance for Maeve to get more than a few words in with Prescott. He was nearly the exact opposite to Julian, Cordelia’s former husband, not only in appearance, but he was a genuinely easy going man with a great sense of humor and definitely a talker.
He would never forget to occasionally wink at Cordelia, plant a tiny kiss on her hand when Maeve and Everett were talking to each other for a moment, or just smile at her. Maeve noticed and it made her happy. Her sister may have been complicated at times, but she deserved happiness.
Her older sister was beaming across the table from her. It was obvious that she was in love and that it was reciprocated in kind.
Once it was time to leave, all four had firmly decided that this was worth repeating.
While all were walking out the men were debating about sports, while Cordelia and Maeve agreed the house in Strangerville was now at the top of the list.
If they moved there, the sisters could see each other a lot more than now.
In the divorce Cordelia had received custody of the two girls, her husband kept the boy from the triplets they shared. On certain times the kids would be all together in one home, then would swap for a week or so to the other parent, before it would return to the original agreement.
This meant that Cordelia still needed at least a four bedroom home. How all this would play out would remain to be seen.
First of all would be Everett and Maeve’s career demanding tributes, the coming weeks were booked up with TV and radio appearances, which would end with the Starlight Accolades they had been nominated for together as the act “Rett & Reed” as well as each of them as solo artists.
After all that times would get calmer again. Or not, considering they had invited Everett’s twin nephews to stay with them for the last part of summer, while their parents were on their adventure vacation in Selvadorada.
Everyone involved knew that was going to keep them all on their toes.
A. N. : All lots and Sims featured are 100% my own creations.