Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chapter 1.36

Chapter 1.36- No One Else

            Just because he’s smiling doesn’t mean he likes birthdays. Though, truth be told, Buck is looking forward to this birthday just a little. Growing old should mean he’ll be able to slow down a little bit, something he won’t mind at all.

            He’s lived a good life so far. It’s not every man that could claim such a sweet and pretty daughter as his Layla. His little Laydee Bug. Level headed. Kind. Thoughtful.

            Then his son, Galen. Strong, smart, sometimes a little clueless but overall a nice young man. Galen had plans for his life. He was going to work at the local branch office of a large corporation. He was going to be their tech-support agent, and with his head for computers he’d do well Buck thought.

            Then again, it could be a lot of Galen’s plans were made so early on because his girlfriend was a force of nature. Looking closely at his son, worry began to cloud Buck’s mind. Maybe Galen wasn’t such a strong young man as he could be. Perhaps Buck should have given him more spine.

            He looked over his shoulder at his wife, Helen, cheering him on. For most of their time together Helen had been so strong willed and bull-headed that Buck himself hadn’t really shown much spine. Usually, he had gone along with whatever plans she had forced on him. Was Galen’s weakness in the face of a strong personality his own fault?

            Smiling a little, Buck pushed the thought out of his mind. He loved Helen. And lately she’d begun to mature a little, leaning on him more and more. It made him feel so needed and loved. No. He’d taken the right course with Helen. There was no one else he could imagine spending his life with. No one else he wanted by his side as he grew old.

            Always easily startled, the sparkles caught Buck completely by surprise.

            It takes Helen by surprise when she sees how Buck has changed. His new look will take some getting used to, sure. But overall she’s pleased. It’s nice to still have a handsome man at her side.

            Even Buck is happy with the change. If this is what getting old feels like, he thinks that he’ll be getting used to it fairly easily.

            It isn’t until he sits down between his two wet-behind-the-ears teenagers that a few things finally hit him.
            He has two teenagers. Two! And both of them are going to want to make their own way in the world. Both are going to want to get married. Galen has already talked about the wedding plans his Arden has begun to make. And though Layla hasn’t brought up marriage, she’s got a steady boyfriend and they spend plenty of time together. How on earth is he supposed to provide money for all of that?
            And though he believes that Helen was his right choice, how is Galen supposed to known that Arden is going to be the right choice for the rest of his life? A teenager doesn’t always know what is best for them. Should he say something? In his opinion, Arden is far pushier than Helen ever was.

            Then a long ago statement made by Phedra comes ringing back in his ears. Layla wants to travel too. That’s why she runs around trying to collect jewels and precious metals every afternoon. She wants to save up to travel. But does that mean she doesn’t want to stay here? And does Galen realize that’s what she’s going to do? Does Helen?
            Looking up from a bite of cake, Layla spots Buck’s concern. Nope. Concern was passed about 30 seconds ago. He looks almost panicked.

            Unable to meet her father’s wide-eyed stare, Layla stares down Galen hoping for an intervention of some sort. Galen is oblivious as usual, shoveling cake as though each bite is his last.
            Sighing, she lowered her head. When she raised it to see Buck still focused on her, she gives him a tight-lipped nod before finally starting on her own cake.

            Taking it as acknowledgement of his thoughts, Buck deflates. Closing his eyes as he tries to come to grips with his children growing up. He sighs. Finally, Galen looks up, frowning, watching Buck before catching Layla’s eye. Perhaps they aren’t as close as they were as children, but they still know how the other thinks.

            It isn’t until Buck has risen and washed his plate that Galen finally makes his thoughts known.
            “He’s gone senile,” Galen whispered, a sinister look in his eyes.
            Trying hard to suppress her giggle, Layla grins broadly back. It’s the first thing the other has said to each other in a long time that didn’t have to do with how the future should be mapped out, or not.
            Pushing his chair back, Galen grabs his plate to wash it up.

            Galen had no idea that Buck was still standing right behind his chair.
            “I’ll have you know,” said Buck. “I’ll have you know that I am not senile. And just because I’m a little older doesn’t mean my hearing has been affected one bit! You young whipper-snappers have no idea what it’s like to become old.”
            Helen can hardly smother her laugh.
            “You’ve been a Senior Citizen for all of 20 minutes. How do you have any idea?”
            “I’ll fix your wagon later,” Buck grinned back. “I want a word with this one first.”
            Swallowing hard, Galen nodded back at Buck.

            Helen went off to sort some laundry as Layla finally finished her cake, taking her plate to the sink, she purposely dallied trying to hear some of the conversation between her brother and her dad.
            “Alright boy,” Buck began, his tone serious and gentle. “Just what are your plans with this girlfriend you’re so serious with?”
            Frowning, Layla turned the water on. Was he really worried about Galen? Or Arden?
            “Well,” Galen was as shocked as Layla. “Well I think we’re probably going to prom next weekend. At least, she told me we’re going together and what kind of corsage to get her. She also helped me pick a place to rent a limo from.”

            “And she’s found this organic Chinese place we’ll go to first for dinner. They make an amazing vegetarian Dim Sum-“
            “You’re taking your sister and her beau along aren’t you?” Buck interrupted Galen’s recital of Arden’s plans.
            Spluttering, Galen was taking completely aback. Arden hadn’t said anything about anyone going with them. He didn’t want to ruin their plans or their night by doing something Arden hadn’t planned.
            “Of course you are!” Buck answered for him. “You want to make sure your sister is okay for the night. Now then, those are not the plans I was askin’ about. I was asking about your plans for after high school. You’ve mentioned that you’ve got plans to marry this girl. Don’t you want to look around any after school first? Is this really what you want?”

            Eyebrows shooting up, Layla was surprised by Buck’s question. Her curiosity burned to sneak a peek behind her to see the look on Galen’s face. Putting an extra shot of dish soap in the sink, she slowed down scrubbing her plate even further.
            “Well,” said Galen slowly. His mind was still racing to come up with an answer. “Well, I guess so. I don’t see why not. There’s no one else at school-“
            “-But I’m not talking about school,” interrupted Buck. “I’m talking about the rest of your life. You may have found a nice girl to be with at school, but what if there’s someone better out there that isn’t at your school? And you’d better not guess this time. Guessing is only going to land you regrets.”

            There was no answer from Galen, whose face had fallen into stunned concern. Nodding sagely, Buck looked down at the carpet to give Galen a moment for his own thoughts.
            Finally, after an eternity during which Layla dried her dish 4 times, Galen cleared his throat.
            “I love computers. I’m going to work with computers. And I’ll marry Arden,” Galen said slowly.
            “Well then,” Buck smiled sadly. “So long as you know.”
            And he left the room to go and find Helen. Leaving both teenagers lost in their thoughts.

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

            I forgot to get a headshot of Elder Buck to put on the Generational Goals page. Sorry! I’ll have one up soon.
            I really didn’t intend for this to be all “Buck has an epiphany” or anything. But I did want to show that Buck and Helen aren’t totally oblivious to what is going on with Galen and Layla. It’s just that out of the two, Buck is always going to get there first and have to bring Helen in on the conversation.


  1. I loved Buck's attempts to have a discussion about the future with Galen!

    1. Attempts! I didn't realize it until you said it, but that's totally it! Attempts only. lol. Yeah. Galen hasn't really thought about his future much. Why should he? Arden has it all planned for him. *facepalm.

  2. Bless his heart, lol. Buck is right to have that conversation with Galen, though it probably won't change Galen's mind a single bit. And what did Laydee think of Buck telling Galen that he and Arden had to bring her and Anthony (I think that's his name). And how are Layla and her beau doing since the surprise kiss?

    1. Well then, you'll have to wait and see about how Anthony and Layla are doing! I'm pretty sure that's next chapter. I'm getting it uploaded right now. lol
      Buck might not change Galen's mind, but he is making Galen use his mind and actually think for himself a little bit. Something he should have done a long time ago. And the results might be surprising.

    2. I'm sorry, I lied. It's two chapters from now. lol. I missed one in my counting. That's awful isn't it?

  3. Replies
    1. Buck looks fat when he's old :'(
      I want Buck to be young again :'(

      But anyway, I'm glad that Buck and Helen aren't completely oblivious to Arden and her complete and total control of Galen. I want Galen to see sense, because I just hate that bitch so much.
      I don't think Layla want's to go to dinner with Anthony, Arden and Galen before prom... But she does need to keep an eye on her brother. I worry about him.

      Once again, thank you Buck for the priceless faces!

    2. I want Buck to be young again, too. lol. But I think his face looks that way because he's missing his facial hair. His face is very wide with a really prominent jaw line. I actually thought he did pretty well for his elder transition. lol
      You'll have to see what happens with Layla, Galen, Arden and Anthony for prom. Buck's talk with Galen is the beginning of several things. You'll just have to watch and see what they all are.

    3. WHAT?! What the hell was that?! You decide to be nice and not leave the chapter on a cliffhanger, and then go ahead and give me some info that has me on edge anyway!

      You're mean. >:( Hmpf.

    4. ROFL!!! You're just going to have to see. It's nothing BAD. LOL. Just the story taking a slight left turn it was going to take anyway. Besides, I ended this booger with everyone THINKING and PONDERING. What else is that for? :D

  4. Aw, I think Buck makes a handsome elder.
    I am glad he isn't oblivious to what's going on his kids' lives. It was sweet and funny how he compared his relationship with Helen to Gale's with Arden. They do share that kind of spinelessness. Well, early Buck, anyway. And thinking back on early Helen...she's grown a lot since hr Elena days. So, even though Arden does seem more pushy than Helen, I dunno...Elena was scary sometimes, lol, and Steve did whatever she told him.

    1. Thanks! I didn't think he was that bad. I think most of it is the missing facial hair. But it just wouldn't have looked right on him right now.
      I don't think Arden is even in the same league as Elena. Elena/Helen rushed in without thinking and did whatever she wanted whenever she wanted to do it. Arden is just one of those people who thinks life is a roapmap with all the pitstops and scenes already planned. Helen still has problems with not thinking things through occassionally.
      Buck's spine has grown considerably. lol. Yay! It's a pretty miserable existence if all you do is what someone else tells you to do. You've got to be able to be yourself sometimes. And Buck is hoping Galen learns that soon.

  5. Oh, Galen. You're going to be trouble. Poor kid. Sounds like his girlfriend is just running his life. Yuck.

    1. Buck's questions have at least started a few wheels turning in Galen's head. They may be a little rusty though. lol

  6. Galen has no spine. I suppose that comes straight from Buck. Hopefully, this discussion does get those rusty cogs turning, though.
    And imo, Arden isn't even that pretty. Maybe she gets prettier as a YA. Then again, it could just be me. :)

    1. Lol. Probably at least a little of that spinelessness comes from his dad. :D Oh gosh, no. Arden isn't a looker. Nopenopenope. But I think at the time I picked her she was the only unattached female teen sim in the town. Ha! I've since gotten over my fear of the enmity the "Ask to break up with xxxxx" interaction causes.