Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chapter 2.46-How To Light A Fire

          Sitting where her older sister could keep an eye on her, Mariah openly allowed the wonder to show on her face. The tattoos on the chick taking the order from Tibi, there was a traffic light, loud music blared, garage doors in the walls, and posters covered every inch of Pop!, a place Mariah had very much wished to visit before. And finally, Tibi had taken her.

          Every kid in school had stood hanging on the fence at recess watching as the glittering gold car had been installed. Then followed weeks where the kids had tittered and come up with wild tales of what might actually be in the new arcade/diner before it opened. Finally, someone appeared at school whose parents had taken them into the wonderland Pop! was rumored to be and they reported of the miracles they had seen. Bowling lanes, snow cones, video games, skee ball, neon lights that stretched into infinity. Slowly and surely everyone had had their turn to visit, but Mariah still dreamt of the time when she could finally walk through the glass doors. Now, she sat trembling afraid the supports holding the car above her sister would break and crush her like a bug. That would be her luck.
          But luck held out, and Tibi soon turned, beckoning her to the dining area on the other side of the room.

          “A little hungry, huh? I think you finished that in record time,” Tibi said a few minutes later, Mariah’s cocoa vanished. “Is Mom feeding you?”
          Mariah was careful to keep her face passive.
          “I don’t need Mom to feed me,” she answered as flippantly as she could. “I can feed myself.”
 “Sure,” answered Tibi with a sigh, pouring a generous measure of liquid from the bottle on the table into her own mug. “Sure, kid.”

          Following Mariah’s gaze Tibi turned in her seat to find the upside down car, and chuckled.
          “You want one for your birthday?” she asked playfully, turning back.
          “What would I do with it?” Mariah returned, slightly bewildered.
          Tibi snorted, “Oh, my dear little sister. You act so grown up, and yet you still have so much growing up to do.”
          “I am grown up,” said Mariah, resentfully.
          “Not nearly, sweetheart.”

          “I am plenty grown up!” it never took much time for Mariah to get hot, and even with the older sister she adored her temper was near the surface. “Just yesterday I did the laundry and took out the garbage!”
          “Whoa, whoa whoa. Easy there,” Tibi said in alarm. “I’m not discounting what chores you might do around the house-”
          “-They are not chores! I do them because I want to!”
          “Alright! Alright! I guess there’s no point is asking how Mom is doing then I suppose.”

          “Mom is fine,” said Mariah, suddenly docile again. “But she misses you. You should come over and see her.”
          Mariah looked straight at Tibi, hoping she was putting on the bestest puppy dog face ever. Layla did miss Tibi. And maybe seeing Tibi would help their Mom… Well, she wasn’t really Tibi’s mom, but she might as well be in Mariah’s opinion.
          “I don’t know baby,” Tibi sighed yet again. Mariah wondered what might be wrong if she was sighing so much. Maybe trouble with her girlfriend, Emily? “It might be a little awkward after…” shrugged Tibi. “I just- it’s probably- we’ll see. Okay? We’ll see.”

          “Hey, I’ve got some news for you,” said Tibi. “Emily and I broke up a while ago, and, uh, I've been seeing your cousin Henry instead. Your Aunt Phedra's son?”
          “You did?” Mariah was very disappointed. One of the girls in her class, Kelci, had been a flower girl in a wedding last summer and had gone on and on about how pretty it all was, and the dress she had worn. Mariah had been hoping she could do something similar when the time came for Tibi and Emily.
          “Aw, don’t pout over it! Be happy that I'm happy with Henry, and life moves on. It's not like Emily and I wouldn't ever grow up or apart.. It’s not like it’s the end of the world or anything. It’s certainly not like I’m leaving.”
          ‘You already left.’ Mariah huffed to herself.

          “Come on Riah, I’m sorry I didn’t tell you sooner, but I was fairly certain you’d be upset that Emily and I ended things. Now quit pouting about it. Please? I’m happy with Henry.”
          Mariah rolled her eyes. So Tibi got a new boyfriend and wouldn’t visit her or her mom ever again because she was happy and wanted to forget them. And Mariah would be stuck with Roger on the playground. And she’d always be afraid Abuella Sabria would appear to torment them all. And they’d never get a dog. The end. That sucked.
          “Please, Mariah? I’ll take you into the arcade for glow bowling if you’ll drop it and be happy for me.”

          “Oh Tibi!!! I’m so very happy that you and Emily broke up and you didn’t tell me! You know I always thought she was a bit of a tramp, and only looked out for her own good. And I just know that you’re going to do so much better without her. In fact, I bet Henry is far more concerned about your well being than Emily ever was!”
          “And of course I forgive you for not telling me that it’s not just that you and Emily broke up, but that you've already moved on! It’s not like mom’s also not gone through a rough patch and could use family support, just like you.”
          “That’s quite-”
          “And meanwhile I sit at home waiting on pins and needles for my wonderful older sister and her new boyfriend, who happens to also be my cousin- isn’t that called inbreeding or something like that? I mean aren’t there reality shows on tv about people who marry their own-”

          “-Who’s ready to go bowling?!?”

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          “How much farther?” Roger whined.
          Rolling her eyes, Mariah turned back over her shoulder to see him trudging after her. If he’d only run like she did they would have already been there. But he insisted he couldn’t keep up with her making them walk and slowing them down considerably.
          “If you’d save your breath for getting there, we’d get there a lot faster,” she snapped back.

          Finally seeing where she usually left the well-worn path, Mariah gave a little skip.
          “Come on,” a little more patience in her voice this time. “It’s downhill from here, and easier to run the rest of the way.”
          “Let’s just walk it-Mariah! Wait up!”
          But she’d already taken off, allowing the downward slope to lend momentum to her steps. This time, Roger caught up faster, looking slightly red and flustered as they neared their destination.

          Suddenly, Roger grabbed her elbow, jerking her to a stop.
          “Hey, look,” he said, eyes wide. “There’s a building down there! By the river! Can you see it?”
          “Well, doy,” Mariah rolled her eyes. “Where do you think we’re going?” And she ran on again.
          “Is it safe?” Roger asked. “Hey! Hey Mariah wait.up!”

          But Mariah did not wait for him. She ran all the way down the hill, dodging brambles and thorn bushes on her way to the door of the tiny cabin by the river.
          “What is this place?” Roger panted when he’d caught up.
          “My house,” Mariah answered, peeking around the corner to see if she needed to open the shutters on the other window. “Come on.”

          “Don’t be such a baby,” Mariah pushed the door open, walking in confidently. “And I thought you were the one who wanted to see where I go when I don’t go home.”
          Several weeks ago he’d observed that she didn’t always go inside her home when the bus dropped her off and had spent the rest of his time pestering her about it. When she’d finally answered him about where she went he switched to begging to be brought along.

          “Welcome to my home,” Mariah said somewhat shyly as he finally entered. She really hadn’t wanted him to come. This was her place. Her escape and sanctuary. Her thinking place, and the one place she could really be herself.
          Also, she’d put a lot of work into the old cabin, wearing out two brooms getting it swept clean. It was her pride and joy and she kind of hoped she could get Roger to help her fix it up some more. Perhaps lug some more chairs and maybe a table into the place.
          “This is where you come?” Roger’s voice held no hint of the disgust she was sure he would feel and for half a second her heart swelled in gratitude.

          Roger’s eyes swept over the few objects before he strode across the floor, plopping himself down in front of his friend.
          “So, what is this place? How’d you find it?”
          “Wandering around one day when I just didn’t want to go home to Abuella I found it,” she answered, adjusting herself to be more comfortable. “I think it’s just an old abandoned house. At least, when I found it it looked like no one had been here in years. So I cleaned it up and I come here sometimes.”

          “Well,” he answered. “I think it’s awesome.” His eyes swept around again, a half smile on his lips. “I mean, you’ve kind of got your own hideaway. Sometimes I wish I had a hideaway, to get away from JJ and Benji. Sometimes, when I’m tired of them picking on me, I just hide in the hay loft, but they can find me there, so it’s not a very good hideout. Why do you hide here from your Ah-AhbWay- Ah-Bay-Way-Lah? And isn’t your mom back? Are you hiding from her too?”
          Stiffening, Mariah looked down at the hands folded neatly in her lap.
          “Doesn’t matter,” she said quietly, trying to find a way to change the subject. “And it’s Ah-bway-lah. It means grandma. Though I don’t know why we call her that instead of Grandma.” 

          “Awwww,” Roger stuck his legs in front of him and leaned toward her. “You can tell me. I told you that I hide sometimes, too. It’s ok. We’re friends!”
          Then he grinned that grin that made Mariah hate herself for reasons she didn’t fully understand. And that made her hate him.
          “I told you it doesn’t matter,” she said, not meeting his eye. “Just drop it, okay?”
          “It’s alright! You can tell me!”
          “No! I can’t! And I shouldn’t have brought you here to my place. It was a dumb idea.”
          Roger’s face fell, and he leaned back, tracing a finger along the grooves in the floor.

          “I’m sorry,” Roger looked up at last, puppy dog eyes brimming with tears. “I’ll go now if you’d like.”
          Mariah rolled her eyes, looked away, sneered.
          “It’s not your fault,” she whispered, not trusting her own voice. “I’m sorry, too. I shouldn’t have yelled at you.”
          Sniffling a little, Roger wiped his nose with the back of his hand and nodded.
          “Will you still be my friend?”

          Mariah sighed. She was so mean to him, and he was way too nice.
          “Of course we’re still friends,” she said.
          “Okay,” Roger nodded his head again then suddenly brightened, eyes alight on the fireplace. “Cool fireplace! I learned how to light a fire with just some twigs and cotton in Scouts. Wanna light the fireplace?”
          Fire sounded like lots of fun to Mariah too, it was also always a little chillier down by the river.
          “Sure! Then we can do our homework together next to a roaring fire!”

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First of all- They are NOT going to get hurt with fire. They are both really close to being teens (In story. They are already teens in game) and my brother and I lit lots of fires on our own in the great outdoors and in fireplaces when we were growing up and never got hurt. Well, for the most part. At least we never destroyed anything ok? There’s nothing wrong with firebugs. (Mwuuahahahahahaha!)
Second- for the record Henry and Tibi is not inbreeding. In case anyone forgot, Tibi is the daughter of Melly, not Layla.
And finally- This is glow bowling in my game.(WARNING! Pretty Neon Game Spam Upcoming)
Suck it EA. We’ll get to go in that arcade with the nifty lighting later on. And for the record, Mariah totally owned Tibi 24 to 16. lol


  1. I *love* Mariah & Roger! They're so cute together! She is going to get him in LOTS of trouble when they're teens! I can see her leading him around by the nose!

    1. lol. They are a lot of fun to put together. So opposite. So attached at the hip whether Mariah knows it or not. ha! Hmmmm! Will she? Or will there be a few surprises in store for the two of them? Though I will admit I totally ship them too. lol

  2. I'm with Megan. lol. Mariah is a bad influence on innocent little Roger, and I just know he'll do whatever she tells him to. This should be fun >:)

    LOVE the glow bowling! How did you make it glow? Or is it just neoned in CASt? Go Mariah! Beating your adult sister like that pahaha!

    So, being with Emily turned Tibi straight? That bad? Wow. LMAO. I assume that was like my Taylor dumping her long time girlfriend for the best friend of her daughter as soon as she moved out.
    I LOVED the 'and they get a dog' reference! PAHAHA! Really lightened the tone there ;)

    Why *does* Mariah escape? Because of Layla and her living in the past? Poor girl. Hopefully stuff will get easier when she becomes a teen and has a little more freedom. Maybe her Abuella will leave her alone, then? Not likely... (loved Roger not being about to pronounce that, btw)

    Roger is so cute and geeky! <3

    1. Hmmmm, does he do whatever she tells him? To be honest, with what was above, Roger was the one suggesting things for them to do and then wearing down Mariah until she consented. lol. Persistence is key! lol. Though he is certainly a lot more innocent than she is.

      Lol, CASt, and Lighting. A LOT of lighting. The neon stripes on the walls are lighting, and not CASt though. And for real. I laughed like crazy that Tibi couldn't see to get the hang of it. TBH, I've got shots of Mariah laughing at Tibi's fails too!

      LOL! According to SP, Emily was the one to dump Tibi (I decided to make it equal) and the next thing I know Tibi's dating Henry. However! Henry was my original plan for Tibi anyway. Only Emily stepped in and foiled that. So IMO, this is just how it's supposed to be.
      I couldn't resist! Little miss Storm Cloud there needed a little kick in her stuffy britches to get her moving along. So that reference fit perfectly.

      Yeah. Layla living in the past and Mariah taking on a lot of the responsibility at home. She's still a kid and needs time to be a kid. Home anymore is just responsibility. This cabin she's found is freedom from the worries and cares she's taken on. And we'll see what happens to Sabria. I'm thinking she's kind of spent her frustration at herself and has kind of moved on to grieving properly.

      I luff Roger too. He's my little sweetie in game right now. lol

  3. Wow! Pop! looks awesome!! How did you manage to make it? I'm terrible at making buildings and lots
    Mariah is really grown up, isn't she? And, sorry if I managed to miss something, but why does she hate her Abuela Sabria so much?

    1. Thank you! Lots and lots of time. I'm normally terrible too (Box houses with EA presets FTW!) Or maybe I'm just a lazy builder normally. lol. Pop! took me probably 8-10 hours of work to get it looking right. I'd offer it for download, but anytime I've tested saving it the light colors won't save so the walls in the arcade (and the bowling lanes) are just flat and lifeless. Plus it has a TON of cc. Very long list.

      Mariah blames her grandmother for the events leading up to and including Ignacio's death. Then, while Layla was away in prison, Sabria had custody of the girls. Sabria's way of handling the deaths of her sons was by becoming a control freak over every little thing, determined that she could make the future bright again. Of course, that never works out. And so she became frustrated with Tibi and Mariah and just harangued them constantly, earning their spite towards her. She then made a final appearance when Layla returned to vent her spleen against Layla which Mariah witnessed. After that, Mariah is terrified she will show up again to harass the two of them. She hasn't, but it really haunts Mariah.

    2. Ah, thanks for summing it up for me, and I can see why Mariah would hate to see Sabria again. Its got to be traumatic enough for a child to see a murder right in front of them, the last thing they would need is someone trying to turn a bright light on things

      I'm the exact same with houses, I just make a 5x5 room for bedrooms, 3x3 or 4x4 for bathrooms and make a box around it. I usually just add rooms on or up. I could never take too long on a house, I'd start and then get bored. I get intimidated by my own plans sometimes

    3. Not a problem! The story line got a little complicated, and I'm bad at explanations. So thank you for asking! =D Yes. Mariah has had enough tough breaks. She doesn't need emotional drama either.

      Yes! The perfectly sized 5x5 box bedroom! I love using those. lol. Though at least you have plans with your houses. I'm usually like: Box. Box. Boxbox box. Voila! House. Let's play! It's why I use EA premades a lot in my stories. At least they have visual appeal and different floor plans. Ha! Pop! Was my own challenge to push boundaries and recreate something in my head. It kinda worked even. lol

  4. Pop! Love it and I especially love the bowling area. I also the bowling expression. ^.^

    Mariah is something else! I love her personality I really do. Even when she was being sarcastic with Tibi (hilarious!) I love her. Her and Roger's friendship is so cute and I can't wait to see more of them together and what they get into. I heart geeks <3

    1. Thank you! The bowling animations are awesome! Tibi did the full victory dance after a spare that had me rolling.

      She is a spitfire isn't she? Where Layla was so careful lest she offend someone, Mariah just doesn't care. They are So adorable together. They've got a lot going on coming up and I'm having fun making some of what they get up to right now that has me all happy. Why? Because Geeks Rule! Whooo!

  5. Argh - Blogger ate my comment! Let's see if I can remember what I wrote...

    It's good to see Tibi again, she's looking good too, I hope she will come round and visit Mariah and Layla occasionally, it would be good for Mariah not to feel so alone or to have to be so responsible all the time. Pop! is also a great looking venue - especially with the neon bowling!

    I love the interaction between Mariah and Roger, I suspect that far from Mariah getting Roger into trouble, she's going to find herself pushed and cajoled into doing what he wants! Despite all the bullying, he seems to be pretty strong-willed and certain of what he wants and what he thinks is best. I adore the little cabin Mariah's found and the way she's tried to do it up a bit and yay for fires!

    1. Oh no! I hate it when that happens!

      Tibi grew up gorgeous! I was so sad to let her and her pretty go. I don't think we'll see too much of her in the story in future. But if she gets married/has babies, we'll make sure to find a way to show them. But Mariah does have Roger, and she'll lean on him more and more as she grows. You are very right that she needs someone so she doesn't feel so alone. Roger is going to fit that bill wonderfully. =D

      Pretty much. lol. At least he's a good kid and is going to try to push and cajole her into keeping her head screwed on straight. And you are exactly right. He's got a strong will of his own, and very much knows what's what and what he likes and wants. I love her little hideout too. We'll visit it some more later on with Mariah.

      Yes! Yay for fires!

  6. I love Pop! And so nice of Tibi to take Mariah there with her. I'm glad to see she's still in Mariah's life, even if she left because of the problems she was having with Sabria.

    Hehe, Tibi talking to Mariah reminds me of you for some reason. It is a funny contrast, as Tibi says, that Mariah acts so grown up (and *is* grown up in some ways) but of course, she isn't. It's interesting that she seems to have abandonment issues where Tibi is concerned. Is that from losing Iggy, and then losing Layla for years? Not that Layla's really present, even now.

    Ha! They got a dog, the end! Goodness, she's a sarcastic little thing! She really took Tibi to task. Though I think Tibi deserves it, a little. Not that she wasn't justified in leaving, just, Mariah's right. Layla could use the support. Especially since Tibi knows very well how Sabria can be. Does Tibi even know how bad off Layla is?

    Doy--haven't heard that one in a long time.

    Gosh Roger's such a cutie, but he's going to have a tough time keeping up with Mariah, I think, and it's obvious he values their friendship more than she does (or at least, realizes yet). When they age up, we'll have to send them on a double date with Jessie and Annie.

    1. She wants to be there for Mariah, really she does. But she's also having a hard time connecting with her. Mariah and Tibi were raised completely differently. In fact, Layla was more a mom to Tibi than she is to Mariah and that even causes Mariah to have a disconnect with Tibi, too. But Tibi is trying.

      Mariah is totally me most times. Only I kick myself later on for saying all of that outloud. Ha! And yes. Mariah has had no one stable in her life since Ignacio's passing, which, if you will recall, happened just a day after she became a child. And those abandonment issues crop up quite a bit in that sarcasm. Layla was more a mother to Tibi than she ever has been to Mariah, and Tibi isn't Layla's daughter, a fact that is not lost on Mariah. No. Tibi doesn't realize how bad Layla is. She knows Layla isn't doing well and things at home aren't the best, but she's unaware of how deep it all goes.

      Yeah, I couldn't resist. I think I'd been shooting this while Lulu watched Wreck It Ralph in here, and Vanillape says it a lot.

      He has a hard time keeping up with her, but at the same time he forces her to push ahead. He does indeed value their friendship very highly. It's one of the few things he can claim as his own in a house where he's the youngest son and mom and dad are too preoccupied with their own troubles to notice his brother's cruelty to him.

      OMG yes! Though I'm betting Mariah and Annika would probably butt heads pretty badly with their fierce independence and strong opinions without a filter to keep them inside their heads. Ha!

  7. The bowling alley looks awesome.
    Oh, gosh, I love that Mariah has her hideaway, I used to have fantasies like that when I was a kid, of having some place I could go away from the family. So it made my heart happy to see Mariah actually has it. And that she has a confidant in Roger, that's great.

    1. Thank you! I've got to change out the lights over it to something invisible, ( keep forgetting! Grrr.) but I luff it too.

      IKR? That place you could go to be alone, and away from it all, somewhere that was truly yours? I've done so much to Mariah that I wanted her to have that place where she can truly decompress a little. Plus, it'll have other uses later on in story also. ;)

  8. I liked how Mariah grieffed Tibi on not visiting Layla. I think she hopes that if Layla sees the grown Tibi that she'd stop calling Mariah Tibi.
    The cabin is great! I can see lots of naughty things in the future in that cabin. They need more furniture, and that will be a bear to get all that to it. It'll have to be done at night. Hmmmm

    1. (This reply is SO much easier to sort since I've been in Mariah's head all day. lol.) It's not that she hopes Layla will have an Ah-Ha! moment or anything. She's lost hope for that entirely. However, this is a very near miss. Very. Mariah is still at a point here where she misses genuinely being a kid. She's tired of the responsibility she's voluntarily shouldered and Tibi is the only adult she trusts left in her world. She's kind of hoping that Tibi will see how bad Layla is and will want to move back home to help out. However, she's still a little kid and admitting she needs help in this situation is tough. Couple that with the fact she is genuinely proud that she's managed to hold the household together without anyone outside recognizing what's going on and she really can't express what she's really hinting at.

      xD Naughty things indeed! And yup! It needs more furniture and things, but there are lighter weight lawn chairs and folding tables, etc that are fairly easy to lug around. =D

  9. Did I mention that I love Mariah? Because I do. Such a brat <3

    The arcade looks awesome! That's going to be a neat hangout for the teens :)

    1. She is a non-spoiled toughie for sure. lol.

      Thank you! I love it too, just updated it to keep using it in fact. lol. There are some issues with it. (The upside down car does NOT want to stay upside down, for one. The lighting sticking to those colors for another.) But it seems like half the town ends up there each evening. Haha.