Ryman Legacy Chapter 11D

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Slide 1: 

The Ryman Legacy Chapter 11D By Mzyra Bad Influences

Slide 2: 

“Yes! A B+! That’s the best grade ever! Wait ‘til I show Mum!” Another school day ended…

Slide 3: 

And a work day too. Juan waved to his step-children as they arrived home, “Did you have a good day at school today, Jose?”

Slide 4: 

“Sure did.” Okay, that wasn’t strictly true; while Jose had gotten another A on a test, school and his social situation hadn’t changed in the slightest. However, that would all change very soon because Jose knew that tonight was his birthday, so tomorrow he’d be at a whole new school and able to start again and then, with a little help, he’d finally be able to be as popular as his siblings and cousins seemed to be. What had happened at junior school wouldn’t matter at all in secondary school.

Slide 5: 

Lyle was the one in charge of the invitations to the party, of course. Lyle and Jose didn’t share many friends, but Jose wouldn’t complain if there were a load of cool teenagers there – it would probably help him out. And Lyle was naturally happy to have any excuse to invite his best friends and girlfriend over, as well as some family members.

Slide 6: 

But Jose wasn’t a teenager yet, so he took the time to enjoy some kids’ TV for the last time with Liv, before the party started. “I never would have guessed the robot was built by aliens! That’s the best plot twist ever, don’t you think Jos?” “Er, yeah, I don’t think I’ve seen a show do that before…” he didn’t tell her he’d seen that coming about five minutes in. But then she was younger than him. And she had been talking at him about something Daisy had been telling her that today for most of it, so she probably wasn’t listening. If it hadn’t been his birthday he probably wouldn’t have been half so patient.

Slide 7: 

But it wasn’t long before all the guests started to show up and Lyle had thoughtfully invited Jose’s dad as well as all of his friends. Jose hadn’t thought about that in advance, but he was quite appreciative. He didn’t get to see Zack very much.

Slide 8: 

“So, I remember you called me the other week Jo, do you still need to talk to me about something?” “Oh, no, I think I’ve sorted out most of the stuff now.” “Oh… Well, you know, if things do come up again I am here for you, even if I can’t always be there immediately.” “Okay Dad, I’ll bear that in mind.” Who needed adults to sort out problems anyway? Everyone knew teenagers were pretty much self-sufficient, it was surely only because they were forced to continue going to school that they even lived at home.

Slide 9: 

Speaking of teenagers… “Kids parties, Lyle? Really?” “Ah, come on man, Jose’s becoming a teenager. It’s a teen party really.” “You don’t invite parents and your aunt to a real party!” “Be nice Wally, he’s shy and I think a good party will make him happy. Besides, we have a widescreen TV, what are you complaining about?” “Fine…”

Slide 10: 

So Jose stood on the brink of teenage-hood – which was practically adulthood really. On the one side he had his parents and little sister. They were nice and he loved them and all, but…

Slide 11: 

He was a lot more interested with the group on his left hand side.

Slide 12: 

He certainly knew the kind of stuff he was going to wish for for his birthday. Of course, he knew birthday wishes didn’t come true, but you could always hope…

Slide 13: 

And once the candles were out, and with a twirl and some sparkles, Jose grew a couple of feet to much cheering from his parents and siblings (and relative silence from Wally as he held back his comments on Jose’s new outfit).

Slide 14: 

As usual, the birthday boy disappeared off to consider the clothes stashed away in the old wardrobes and the rest of the guests continued the party. Lyle and Roxanne (and their inability to stay away from each other*) were particularly the subject of a lot of attention amongst the extended family. *[All autonomous here. Three bolts FTW!]

Slide 15: 

Meanwhile, however, outside… Jose swallowed his anxiety as he approached his older cousin. “Wally?” “Huh? Oh, hi Jose. Erm, happy birthday man. I’m just getting some fresh air out here, forget about me, go back inside.” “Oh, er, I- I didn’t come out here to- Look. I came out here to ask you for help.”

Slide 16: 

Wally looked at Jose sceptically. “Help? What can I help you with?” “Well… I’m obviously starting new at your school tomorrow and… I don’t really know many people… Or what to do when I’m there, where to hang out or even how to dress and I know all of that kind of stuff is really important…” he trailed off hopefully. Wally could see the kid’s point, but he had a very uneasy feeling about this.

Slide 17: 

“Well you’ve got an older brother who goes to the same school, why don’t you ask Lyle to help you instead?” Jose gave a bitter laugh. “I love Lyle and all, but he’d just tell me that I’m fine as I am! And…” Jose struggled to admit to Wally that which he had never told anyone before, “I never had any friends at school before, I was completely miserable and all I ever did then was be myself. I don’t care what Lyle says, I need to change things to be happy and, well, you’re cool and popular, so… Help me. Please.”

Slide 18: 

The uneasiness hadn’t entirely gone. Jose was right, Lyle probably would just tell Jose that he was fine as he was because he was so infuriatingly nice every second of the day, but Wally agreed with Jose – if he wanted to fit in and be cool and popular at their school, he’d have to change some things. And Jose’d been the one to ask, and Wally did know a thing or two about all of that… Lyle was probably going to kill him for this, but if it stopped his little brother getting bullied, how could he be mad? “Okay, I’ll help you out. But don’t tell Lyle.” “Great! Um, well, to start with, there aren’t really any decent clothes for me in the house, so could you like, help me pick some?”

Slide 19: 

So the two teens snuck away from the party and headed downtown, Jose feeling hopeful that all of his troubles would be over and Wally reassuring himself of his own good judgement in things.

Slide 20: 

They were gone longer than they planned to be, mostly due to indecisiveness. Wally figured that in order to reduce the chances of him getting killed for this, he ought to let Jose choose the outfits and then he pick the best, but after almost half an hour of various changes he established that Jose had no sense of style whatsoever – to the point of almost accusing him of wanting to be bullied – and settled for picking something for Jose himself, just in Jose’s favourite colour.

Slide 21: 

It probably – okay, definitely – wasn’t something Jose would have picked on his own. “Are you sure about this, Wally? I’m not sure I can really pull this off…” “Hey, you’re the one who asked for my help and with my help comes my sense of style. If you don’t want to listen to my advice…” “Oh- No, no, I do!”

Slide 22: 

“Good. As for pulling it off, you just need confidence for stuff like this.” “Oh. I’ve never been very good with that.” “Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it and you’ll be fine for school tomorrow.” “Okay, well, if you think so…” “I do. Anyway, I’d better go. See you then!”

Slide 23: 

Get used to it. How would Jose ever get used to looking like this? It was so different to anything he’d worn before or would have chosen… But then maybe that was the point – out with the old stuff and what came with; being miserable and lonely, and in with the new stuff, hopefully being happy, popular and cool. That was the point, wasn’t it?

Slide 24: 

So he practised being confident – or at least how he imagined it. “Hi, I’m Jose-” Maybe he should shorten his name to be cooler, he mused. “Hey, I’m Joe Ryman, just started here. Wally’s my cousin, you’ve probably heard of him. Yeah, like best friends really.” What else did cool people do? “Yeah, I went to a rave last night, I was up ‘til 3am, but I’m not bothered.” “Er, Jose, what are you doing?”

Slide 25: 

Jose jumped at the realisation that somebody else was in the room. “Oh, er, hi Lyle. Er, been stood there long?” “No… I just came in.” “Oh. Erm, right. Hi. Can I help you?”

Slide 26: 

“What are you doing and what-” he said with a small laugh “are you wearing?” “Do you like it?” “It’s not very… you…” “I know- well, I mean, it could be me, right? I could be this kind of person.” “But Jos… You’re not! It’s more… It’s more like-” then he twigged on.

Slide 27: 

“Hang on, has Wally got something to do with this?” he continued suspiciously. “What makes you think that?” “It practically says his name on it, except for it’s blue!” “Well I happen to like it and I have no idea what you’re talking about and it’s getting late, so if you’ll excuse me-” he said with a fake yawn, “I’m going to bed.” Lyle watched his brother leave the room incredulously and then just shook his head. Oh, Jose…

Slide 28: 

For his part however, Jose did sleep soundly, happily imagining and dreaming what the day ahead would have in store.

Slide 29: 

The next morning: “Hello, Ryman household, Liv speaking, how can I help?” (Liv and Daisy had had a long conversation previously about how to answer the phone and sound grown up, which meant Liv raced to answer the phone regardless of the likelihood that it would be for somebody else). “Oh, Daddy! Hi! You want to speak to Mum? Oh, you want to speak to me? The bus is here so I can’t be long…”

Slide 30: 

“I’d love to come over to your house after school! I’m sure Mummy will let me – last night was Jose’s birthday so I had to stay home, but there’s nothing happening tonight so I’m sure she’ll let me and I’ll beg if I have to! Great, I’ll see you after school then Daddy! Excited already!”

Slide 31: 

Back in the world of teenagers… The slightly dirty redbrick building seemed unusually big to Jose. It was only two stories, but… had junior school even been half the size? Confidence. He had to remember the confidence…

Slide 32: 

“So this is the school, huh?” “Huh? Oh, yeah, this is it. You kind of stop thinking about it after a while.” “Looks big.” “You think so? You should see the private school – Roxy goes there and it’s huge. I’m fine with this place though, I think a lot of the stuff they have is pretty unnecessary when we only spend four hours a day here anyway.” “Oh, right…” Jose was glad they weren’t at the private school – this place was intimidating enough as it was…

Slide 33: 

“Right, well, I usually hang out in the food tech rooms between classes – looking at recipes and stuff, you know – with James and people. You can come with if you want, or…” “Um, yeah, that sounds kind of cool. Actually I was wondering, you know, where Wally would be hanging out…?” Lyle raised an eyebrow at this “I knew he was behind your new look – what’s this about, Jose?” “I’m just wondering!”

Slide 34: 

“Look man… I like Wally and he’s a… good friend, but… I really don’t think he’s the kind of person you should be getting in with Jose. I mean, his reputation alone…” “I am capable of making my own decisions you know, Lyle.” “I’m not saying you can’t, but you don’t know what-” “Would you just tell me?” Lyle sighed. “He normally hangs out around the art rooms. Upstairs on the left hand side. And just… use your own judgement, okay Jos?” “Yeah, yeah… See you later.”

Slide 35: 

Jose headed for the stairs, taking in the new sights and sounds around him. He overheard a bit of a conversation between a teacher and a pupil… “Miss Thayer, having to go to a party is not a good enough excuse to get a deadline extension!” “Oh but Miss! You don’t understand! The guy throwing it is so hot and if I don’t go I will be a total social reject for like the whole rest of the year!” “It is not a good enough excuse, everyone must do the work!” “Ugh, you teachers are sooo unfair!”

Slide 36: 

And then another conversation between pupils… “Look Cormier, you put even a finger on me and you will have to have full-body surgery to remove said arm from your own rectum – is that message clear enough for you?!” Secondary school was clearly crazy.

Slide 37: 

Following Lyle’s instructions, Jose stumbled on to the – less than pristine – art room where Wally was on his own. With a large pile of stuff.

Slide 38: 

“Right,” Wally muttered to himself, scanning the piles before him, “I’ve got the electronics sorted, might just have to tweak the actual alarm slightly so it doesn’t interfere with the school bell, don’t want them getting tipped off early, then I might have to cover the evidence of that work, but that should be manageable with just some card and glue over the scratches around it…” “Er, what are you doing?”

Slide 39: 

Wally jumped up startled “Oh, it’s just you Jose. I’m… in the middle of a whole new plan,” he said with a satisfied smirk. “A plan? It looks complex… And dangerous,” he added, eyeing the large drill. “Nah, it’s not dangerous. A little last minute – they did have to spring a science test on us today with only twenty-four hours notice, but we won’t have to worry about that now. I swear they want to make us miserable and fail…” Normally Jose was good at understanding things, but everything here was going way over his head. It did give him a bit of a bad feeling though; that was an awfully big drill. “Are you sure it’s a good idea? Whatever it is?”

Slide 40: 

“Are you questioning my judgement? Who has the experience here, Ryman?” “No, no, I just… If it were to go wrong would people get mad at us?” Wally laughed “Firstly, it won’t go wrong, and secondly – you want to make friends, right?” “Yeah,” Jose said earnestly. “Well nothing makes you popular like this kind of stuff. This, my dear little cousin, is why I’m one of the most popular guys at school.”

Slide 41: 

“So if I help you out I’ll get popular too?” “Weeell… Reflected glory isn’t quite as good, but it’s better than nothing. And if you pick up a thing or two from me before I graduate, you might be able to carry on my work – for the good of the next generation of teenagers – and get glory of your own.” “Wow. Great! And… nothing can go wrong? Things usually do for me.” “Meh, it might not work, there’s always a chance, but I find that so long as you take the ‘credit’ most people will appreciate your efforts.”

Slide 42: 

“So it’ll work either way? Neat!” Wally rolled his eyes a little at Jose’s enthusiasm but smiled all the same. “So what can I do to help?” “Hmm… You don’t know much about fire alarms or remote devices, do you?” “Er, no… I haven’t really covered that in school so far…” “Okay, well stand outside and keep an eye out for teachers – especially that blonde one, she has it in for me – and if they look like they’re going to try to come in, distract them. Say you’re new and you’re nervous or whatever and want help.” “Right, I’m on it!”

Slide 43: 

After school… “Hi Roxanne,” Lyle said nervously – he knew he shouldn’t be nervous, she was his girlfriend and all, but she made him go a bit weak at the knees regardless, “I’d like to introduce you to my friends. Well, they’re cousins, but they’re friends too.” Roxanne smiled slyly, “You made it sound like there were more than three of them Lyle…” “Oh, oh yeah, right. Well I wanted to introduce you to Wally and Jose as well, but I haven’t seen either of them at all since this morning, so that’ll have to wait. Anyway…”

Slide 44: 

“Guys, this is my girlfriend, Roxanne Raymond. One of her moms is May Raymond, the famous rock star!” “You make that sound as if that’s the only good thing about me Lyle,” she teased. “No, no – not at all-!” “It’s okay,” she laughed, “I’m just teasing. So who are these gentlemen?”

Slide 45: 

“I’d hardly call them gentlemen,” Lyle ribbed in turn. “That’s Joey and that’s his twin brother Ivan – that’s why they dress the same – and that’s James.” “Ohhh. I see…” she said vaguely. “I can’t say that you guys look much alike for cousins, but I guess I’m hardly one to talk!”

Slide 46: 

Then Joey charged forward. “Sorry, I couldn’t hold on for one moment longer – what do you use to make your hair so wonderfully smooth and shiny? There are just so many people today who are satisfied with having limp and dull hair, I think I need to find and share the secret!” Ivan and Lyle rolled their eyes at each other. “Oh, you know, Simtene Pro-V, just regular stuff-” “No. Way! Either there’s something else to it or you have some of the best hair genetics I have ever seen-”

Slide 47: 

“Oh god, something’s got him started again… He’ll be talking about it all day now. Mind you, she has got nice hair… And nice everything else.” Ivan mused as he tried to tune his twin’s chatter out. “Lyle’s a lucky guy…”

Slide 48: 

“Yeah, what’s your deal man?” Ivan turned on his cousin with a smirk. “I didn’t know girls made you go all shy and embarrassed.” “I didn’t see you rushing up to talk to her! And besides… I kind of met her before.” “Really? What happened?”

Slide 49: 

“The matchmaker dropped her for me.” “Woah! Seriously? Was this before she got together with Lyle?” “No! I mean, I had no idea who she was, but apparently the matchmaker doesn’t think teenage relationships count, so she got dropped for me. But she told me she was taken, so we just chatted about grilled cheese a bit and she went on her way. It was kinda awkward then, so it’s a lot worse now. Didn’t get my $5000 back either.” “That sucks…”

Slide 50: 

“Mind you, she’s probably right – how many teenage relationships actually work out anyway…?” Ivan trailed off, lost in his own thoughts. “I don’t know, but I’m not comfortable dating my best friend’s girlfriend, thank you very much!”

Slide 51: 

“So, Lyle, you are still free to come to my birthday party tonight, aren’t you? It would hardly be the same without you there…” “Of course I’m free, nothing would stop me coming. If I’m not there, then you should check with the hospital because incapacitation will be the only logical reason.” She laughed, “Oh, you can bring your brother too if you want, most of the other guests will be my girlfriends.” “Not if we die of boredom first!” Laura called from the bench. “You could come and chat to the guys, Laur,” Roxanne said reproachfully. Laura eyed the group sceptically before rolling on to her back, “Just hurry up, we’ve got to get to Karen’s graduation anyway.”

Slide 52: 

“Ignore her,” Roxanne said to Lyle, “she’s just sad because we’re leaving school forever.” “Well if you’ve got an event to go to, I’d better let you go anyway. Much as it pains me,” he added, pulling her into a close hug. “Yeah, there’s a lot going on today.” “Your birthday’s the most important. And I will see you there. And if I see Jose I’ll invite him too. Not sure where he can have gotten to, I just hope Wally’s not gotten him into trouble…”

Slide 53: 

“Well, I’m far beyond the point by which I could be at all surprised by any of your antics, Mister Verse.” “Well you do insist on giving us tests, Miss.” “I can’t say that I can comprehend why you feel the need to sabotage a physics test when you yourself can set up tricks of that magnitude. You ought to be an A+ student.” “Freedom fighter, ma’am.” The headmistress sighed and rolled her eyes, exasperated, “Of course you are.”

Slide 54: 

“I am, however,” she continued, “surprised at you, Mister Ryman. Your previous records say that you are a star student and yet you start off so badly on your first day. What did you think that you would accomplish, following in Mister Verse’s footsteps?” Jose just murmured incoherently at the table. “Regardless, and I’m sure I don’t need to tell you this Wally, your parents have been informed. I hope they take it seriously. For once,” she added, glancing at Wally as she left.

Slide 55: 

“Well it sucks that it didn’t work out – after all that effort and complexity, I would forget to check the batteries were new. Still, word will get out that we tried and, you know, the students respect you for that. The ones that hate tests, anyway.” Jose just groaned. “Hey, what’s up man?” “Why didn’t you tell me?” “Tell you what?” “About this.”

Slide 56: 

“What? You mean detention? Brief lecture from the headmistress, we sit here for an hour, maybe get made to do chores – what’s the problem? Heck, this is better than usual, I don’t always get company.” “My parents are going to kill me.” “What? Mia and Juan? Please, from what Lyle says they’re pretty soft-” “That’s only because we never get into trouble!” “What, never? Seriously? My dad says I’m sending him to an early grave, but he doesn’t mean it, he’s just kinda given up trying to stop me. Will your parents really be bothered by one little detention?”

Slide 57: 

Jose gritted his teeth. “Yes. They will.” “… Well you didn’t say-” “Well you didn’t say we’d get in trouble!” “Hey! It’s a choice, right? You can be popular with the teachers or you can be popular with the students here, you can’t be both, and you said you were desperate to get friends, so I just tried to help you out! Don’t turn it on me!” “Whatever, it doesn’t matter now anyway…”

Slide 58: 

They sat for the rest of the time in silence and Jose never looked at Wally. And it wasn’t his fault, was it? The kid should have been able to tell what he was getting into – what did he think they were doing, baking brownies for a school bake sale? He never said he couldn’t get into trouble, and that was why Wally had so many friends, what did the kid expect? It wasn’t his fault that the kid was so thin-skinned… But the heavy feeling in the pit of his stomach told Wally that he wasn’t even convincing himself, especially since he was pretty sure Jose was crying.

Slide 59: 

Across town…

Slide 60: 

Liv devoured her plate of spaghetti anxiously – she’d never been to her Dad’s house before and she was nervous. Then it occurred to her that maybe she shouldn’t be eating with her hands in front of him. But he’d cooked the meal, surely it’d just tell him how much she liked it? She could never quite read his reactions to things she did, she just had to hope.

Slide 61: 

Luckily he was making an effort with the conversation too, or else there would have been a lot of awkward silences. “So how are things at school? Are you enjoying your classes?” “Erm, yeah, I guess… A lot of the work’s not much fun though, I’m always looking forward to break-times-” Maybe she should have pretended that she loved classes and were really good at them- “I was the same at your age. I was good at maths, but I never really enjoyed all the pages of sums. Things are a lot more fun when you find ways to use them in real life.”

Slide 62: 

“Yeah! I think there should be like a class for sosh- soc- chatting and stuff though. I think talking to people and making friends is a lot more important than the teachers do. That’d be my favourite subject.”

Slide 63: 

“Oh, I agree. Socialising and dealing with people is vital. People can often get a lot further in achieving what they want if they know how to deal with people rather than actually knowing the relevant facts. So many jobs and opportunities involve interviews or knowing the right people.” This was great! Her Daddy thought she was saying good things! And he didn’t lecture her for talking in class! Maybe she could get him to tell her Mum to stop doing that…

Slide 64: 

But all too soon the spaghetti was gone. He’d invited her for tea, but now tea was finished she’d have to go home and when would she get to come over again? She knew her Daddy was an important and busy man, what if he didn’t have time for her again until she was in secondary school or something? And sometimes people weren’t as nice to you when you got older…

Slide 65: 

“I- I guess I’ll have to be going soon then…” “Already?” he responded with a look of mild surprise. “Well you certainly can’t go before I give you your present.” “Present?” Liv hadn’t been expecting that. “Sure, I’ll just go get it for you…”

Slide 66: 

“Ta-da! Do you like it?” “Y-yeah, it’s really pretty…” “Not only that, this used to be owned by the princesses of Simvania, handed down for generations.” “Wow,” she responded, wide-eyed, “Don’t they usually keep stuff like that in museums?” Rodney laughed, “What would be the point of keeping kids’ toys in museums? Toys are for playing with! It would be worth a lot though,” he added thoughtfully. “Oh. Thank you!”

Slide 67: 

“You know, somehow I get the feeling that you’re not all that happy with this Liv…” “No, no, I am! I really like it, but… It’s not my birthday or anything. And I don’t think I’m meant to take things for no reason. Like if you get something you should give something and stuff.” Rodney laughed, “Firstly, you’re my daughter; I can give you as much as frequently as I want to and can. Because children give their parents their own existence as a gift, in a way.” “I guess that makes sense…” Liv said.

Slide 68: 

“I suppose the reason you’ve been told all that about not taking presents or whatever is because people see things like that as buying friends.” “People shouldn’t have to buy friends,” Liv agreed. “The problem with that though, Liv, is that… some people lie. To people like that they can tell you that you’re their best friend without even liking you.” “Seriously?” she was shocked – such an action never even occurred in her mind.

Slide 69: 

“Well some people aren’t very good at lying, so it doesn’t matter, but there are those who can be very convincing and you can never tell who they are.” “So what are you supposed to do?” “Well if you can’t be certain that you’ve actually got their affection, you might as well take their gifts, because you can be certain then that you, or something about you, is worth at least as much as the object they gave to you. The more expensive and/or rare, the better.”

Slide 70: 

“That… makes a lot of sense.” “Exactly! You can’t rely on most people in the world, they’re only looking out for themselves, but money and possessions have no ulterior motives of their own. You can trust in them.” “But… that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t trust anyone, does it? I can trust you, right? And Momma? And Daisy and Lyle and Jose?” He smiled, “Yes, you can trust me, and probably all of the rest of them, but people can change. If they’re not family – and sometimes not even then – you should be aware that they may be lying to you.”

Slide 71: 

“Nobody ever told me this stuff Daddy!” Rodney rolled his eyes, “A lot of people think that children can’t handle the truth and should be protected, but it just increases the chances of them getting hurt really. And maybe some of the children are naïve and can’t acknowledge stuff like this, but I know that my daughter is more sensible than that. Right, Liv?” “Yes Daddy!”

Slide 72: 

“Anyway, it probably is about time you get back home, so here’s your new – incredibly rare – dollhouse. Remember what I said.” “Yes Daddy, I will. And I’ll play with it all the time!”

Slide 73: 

“Goodbye Liv. And don’t worry, I’ll see you again as soon as I can. Maybe when you become a teenager I can get you a car?” “Wow! Those are really expensive!” “That’s just how much I care, honey.” Liv skipped off home happily. Rodney smirked.

Slide 74: 

Back at school detention ended and Jose waited until Wally left before getting up himself – he didn’t want to let the remnants of his tears show. He’d been truly stupid. Why had he tried to be like Wally? The two had nothing in common and, actually, he’d barely known his cousin anyway. Lyle had been right – but he hadn’t stopped him when he must have known what was going to happen. But then he hadn’t listened to his older brother anyway… Whatever, he just had to get… to get all of it off of him. Starting with the stupid clothes. They were so wrong for him. He’d just have to go home in his PE clothes.

Slide 75: 

And then there was the hair as well… Looking in the mirror as he smoothed it back and flattened it down, the tears came again. He may not have looked himself, but he’d looked cool – why did he have to be uncool? Was it genetic? Lyle always seemed to manage to walk the line between having friends and being a pretty good student. How did he do it? Why was Jose always incapable of getting anything right when everyone else found it so easy?

Slide 76: 

“You made it!” “Of course! No Jose though. I wonder if he went back to Wally’s or something, I’ll have to have a word with that guy later; I love Jose, but he’s not tough enough to hang out with Wally, he’ll only get hurt…” “Aww, you’re such a good big brother.” “I try,” he smiled.

Slide 77: 

“But anyway. You’re becoming an adult.” “Yup. Scary prospect really.” “I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about this, you know… You being an adult for so long before I become one…” “Way to make me feel old, Lyle.” “No, but I mean… You’re going to meet a whole bunch of new people as an adult when you get a job and stuff, so I was thinking… If you want to break up for now so you can look around properly then – well, I won’t be happy really, but if I’m not the best person for you then I’d rather you be happy-”

Slide 78: 

“Lyle!” “I mean, what if you’re out being a journalist and you meet some really cool, mature and suave politician or whoever with loads of money? You don’t want to have to be like ‘Sorry, but I’m tied down to some high school boy’, so, I mean, if you want to, then I’ll get by-” “Lyle Juan Ryman! You stop that right now! I’m not going off with anybody! Though how do I know that you’re not going to fall for some new girl at school? Maybe that’s what you’re thinking and why you want to break up…” “No way! Never!”

Slide 79: 

“Exactly. Now, hypothetically, if one of us were to meet somebody else… We’d talk about it, like any couple would, but it’s no reason to break up pre-emptively, just in case we meet other people. If everyone thought that way, hardly anybody would ever get together.” “You’re going to be the clever one in our marriage, aren’t you?” “That depends. Do you always plan to be this silly about things?” “Are both of you always going to be this soppy?” Laura interjected irritably. “You’re just jealous because your boyfriend can’t come to your birthday party.” Laura stuck her tongue out at Roxanne, but acknowledged it with a smile. “Come on, I can’t put off aging forever…”

Slide 80: 

“God, so many candles… You don’t start getting wrinkles as soon as you age, do you?” “Just get on with it, Rox!”

Slide 81: 

And with a quick spin Roxanne was a full-grown woman. “That’s the dress Janice grew into! You haven’t been sharing a wardrobe, have you?” Tessa asked. “Coincidence, I assure you. And I certainly won’t be wearing what Janice wears now…” All the girls had a certain ‘knowing’ look. “What? Why? What does she wear?” Lyle asked, not wanting to be left out. “Let’s just say that people who usually wear that stuff would have their lives rated R,” Laura replied, eyebrows raised. Lyle pretended he understood, while Roxanne went to get changed.

Slide 82: 

“Wow!” “Do you really think I look okay? I couldn’t get the top higher cut and I wasn’t sure if the top and jacket were too similar in colour…” “Er, I don’t know about fashion – you’d have to ask Joey about that stuff – but I think you look amazing! Though with your hair up you look even older than me…”

Slide 83: 

“Yeah, I was hoping to try and look grown-up and professional for job interviews and things, but I promise I’m pretty much the same person underneath.” “Well obviously anybody would be crazy not to employ you when you’re so clever and nice and beautiful and intelligent and gorgeous-” “I think some of those compliments meant the same thing, but thank you Lyle.”

Slide 84: 

“I mean it. And any time you need to call and talk about work or family or whatever, I’m more than willing to listen or come over or anything you need.” “And I’d do the same for you, though I’ll have to let you know my work hours when I find them out. Hopefully the years will fly by and we can be together again.” “… I’m pretty sure they’re going to drag on like it’s forever.” “I know, but we can hope. Goodnight Lyle.”

Slide 85: 

Jose trudged his way back home in the dark. It wasn’t that late, but he knew that, even if the headmistress hadn’t called his parents, they would have noticed his absence. He didn’t really want to go inside, but he had nowhere to go and he couldn’t really sleep on the lawn. That’d probably only get him into more trouble anyway. Maybe he could sneak in and go straight to bed…

Slide 86: 

As if he could be that lucky. “Hello Jose. You’re rather late home.” “I walked.” “You’d better go in the lounge and sit down.” There was no point in arguing.

Slide 87: 

His eyes glazed over as his mother started up. Juan didn’t say anything, though being stood there in his police uniform still said enough. He reminded himself that nobody got taken to jail for breaking the school rules. Or did they? Where was the line drawn? “I was shocked to hear from the headmistress this afternoon Jose – I was convinced she must have the wrong student, that you weren’t like this! Whatever possessed you to do such a thing?!” Jose could have answered that to a reasonable level, except Mia didn’t leave him enough of a gap to explain himself, apparently this was a one-way conversation. It was unfair of the teachers to tell parents and then keep the kids away from their parents so their parents had hours to stew on their shock and anger without their kids being able to explain.

Slide 88: 

“What kind of example would you be setting to your little sister? How would you feel if she followed in your footsteps?!” She wouldn’t, Jose thought, that was part of his problem… “We’ve never had any of this trouble with Lyle!” Of course you don’t, he thought, Lyle’s life is perfect in every way… “Do you think it’s clever do get yourself into trouble, on your first day no less?! Do you want to have a bad reputation? What you do now can affect the rest of your life – getting jobs, forming relationships, these kinds of actions are just throwing those things away!”

Slide 89: 

Great, apparently he’d messed up his entire life already. Jose was getting a serious headache and stomach pains. He couldn’t take much more of this… “Do you not like being lectured? Well you take responsibility and the consequences for your actions and being told off is some of the least of it! But I just don’t understand why you would want to do such a thing! Are you trying to rebel? Do you think your life is hard? Well some of us grew up with three younger siblings and no parents, put your problems in perspective!” Oh god, that was it.

Slide 90: 

“Where do you think you’re going?! I’m not done yet!” “I’m a terrible person who’s destroyed his whole life, I think I get it. I’m going to bed.” “Jose!” “Let him go, Mia. Give him some time to let it sink in. And to cool down a bit.” “Do you think he’s angry at me?” “Actually I was referring to you, honey.”

Slide 91: 

“But he got detention! He broke the rules! Lyle’s never done that…” “Honey, do you remember when we were that age?” “I never broke the rules!” “No, but I did. Don’t you remember? I got into fights at least once a week and sent to the headteacher all the time. But I grew out of it eventually. Admittedly that did kind of involve me dying, but I like to think it would have happened eventually anyway. As far as we know it’s the first incidence of him acting out, so maybe it’ll be the only time. Give him a chance, you don’t want to alienate him.” “I guess you’re right, but I don’t want him going off the tracks…” “I know, it’s because you care. Don’t worry, it’ll work out eventually.”

Slide 92: 

Mia spent the rest of the evening cleaning away her stress. The kitchen rapidly became spotless as she tried to convince herself that Juan was right. If Juan had reformed from being a bit of a thug, anybody could, right. This did not have to mean a downward spiral. And Lyle could always keep an eye on his brother at school. It would all be fine. She scrubbed harder.

Slide 93: 

One thing. One sodding thing. One mistake – surely that wasn’t enough? Surely it took more than that to ruin your whole life? It wasn’t like he killed somebody, he just helped somebody else in a plot to be able to set off the fire alarms at any given time. It wasn’t even his idea! He didn’t know how! And way to hammer it home, Mom. Of course his problems paled into insignificance against her life of ‘my cousin killed my parents so me and my brother had to raise our little brothers and sister, then the same cousin killed both my fiances, leaving me a single mom’. Obviously people had worse problems than he did, but that didn’t make sitting on your own everyday any easier to handle and it only made his self-esteem worse. Maybe sleep would make things better…

Slide 94: 

Meanwhile Juan, happily feeling like the calm heart of the family for one night at least, went to check on the other kids. Lyle had gone to bed staring at the photobooth picture he’d taken with Roxanne, seeming a little down, but hopeful. Then he joined Liv. “Wow, this is a nice dollhouse Liv, did your mother get it for you?” “No, this was a gift from Daddy,” she replied happily. Juan was glad Liv was too busy playing to see his expression darken at the mention of her father. “Oh. Any particular occasion?”

Slide 95: 

“Nope. Daddy says that parents can give their kids stuff whenever they want. And that you can’t trust people when they say they’re your friend unless they give you things and the rarer and more expensive the better!” “Does he now…” “Yup! Like Daddy says this dollhouse is really rare and expensive because it used to belong to the princesses of Simvania!” “…Wouldn’t that be in a museum?” “That’s what I said! But Daddy said toys are for playing with, not for putting in museums.” “I see.”

Slide 96: 

“Well, you have fun with that Liv, I have some things to take care of. Don’t get to bed too late, you don’t want to be tired in the morning.” “Yes Juan,” she replied brightly, but making no move to put the toys away.

Slide 97: 

“Hello Rodney. I think I need to have a word with you. Face-to-face, if it’s not too much trouble in your ‘busy’ schedule. Fine.” To say that Juan hated Rodney Jalowitz was a terrible understatement and he knew that by seeing him he’d probably lose his status as ‘calm’ heart of the family tonight, but he knew nobody else would call him out on his actions, so he’d have to.

Slide 98: 

“Jalowitz,” Juan greeted, containing his loathing. “Harris,” Rodney responded, completely uninterested. “Any particular reason you’ve called me out in the middle of the night?” “As if it’s any change in your regular schedule anyway.” “I’m sure I have no idea to what you are referring.” “I saw the present you gave to Liv. You know a museum in SimCity was robbed not so long ago, including a dollhouse that once belonged to the Simvanian royal family. Liv says that her new dollhouse belonged to them.” “Yes, I thought that was a nice story to tell her, make her think it’s special.”

Slide 99: 

“So if I investigated, that dollhouse would turn out not to be from that museum?” Rodney shrugged. “The guy I bought it off seemed legit.” “I bet he did.” “What’s this really about, Harris? If this were just because you thought I robbed the SimCity museum, you wouldn’t warn me about it like this.” “I want you to stop corrupting Liv – you tell her that the only way to trust people is if they give her things in advance? She’ll just get used and what happiness will it give her?” “Oh, so this is just a heartfelt plea for my daughter’s happiness, is it?” “At least partly.”

Slide 100: 

“Well excuse me if I want my child focused on something more substantial than grilled cheese sandwiches. My parenting methods are my own and I am free to educate my daughter howsoever I choose. If anybody has a right to complain, it’s her mother, not you. I assume if I were that bad, Mia would be talking to me.” “Mia’s too nice for that and you know it.” “Ah, plain talking now are we?” “You, Rodney Jalowitz, are scum of some of the lowest kind and if I could have my way, you’d never be allowed anywhere near Mia, Lyle, Jose and most especially Liv ever again.”

Slide 101: 

“Ah-ha-ha,” Rodney laughed triumphantly, still studying his fingernails in vague disinterest, “see, I respect honesty. And, since you’ve given that to me, I shall do the same in return. You, Juan Harris, are a repulsive freak of nature who could only ever marry the most naïve and overly-nice of stupid, desperate women. And your only child – the only child you are capable of having now – is obsessed with a type of sandwich. You have, quite frankly, failed at life, and now you are failing at whatever life/death thing you having going on too. And, let’s face it, the reason you hate me so much is because you are jealous and also, mainly, because you know there is absolutely nothing you can do about me. Liv wants me around, Mia wants me around for Liv and, trust me, I’m not going anywhere.”

Slide 102: 

“So do me and everyone else a favour, zombie boy, and keep your big blue nose the heck out of my business.” Juan watched Rodney walk away, half wishing he had laser vision. You may think you’re untouchable Rodney Jalowitz, but I think I know your weak point and then you’ll no longer continue to damage my family. You’ll see… ~~~~~End of 11D~~~~~

Slide 103: 

Lots of random rest-of-the-neighbourhood stuff! Given that this bit covered two whole days(!), a surprising amount has been happening in the neighbourhood, firstly day one: Tommy Wong, youngest of Rick and Celeste’s kids, became an adorable child (though if those are Goopy-lips then may not stay quite that way when he hits teen)…

Slide 104: 

Over at university Billy continued to pursue Karen, with increasing success. We knew she couldn’t hold out for long…

Slide 105: 

Which lead to the first engagement of generation 3. We’ll have to wait a while for babieeeez!!!!1! though, as Billy is numerous semesters behind Karen…

Slide 106: 

At Marina’s old house we got the first pet death of the legacy with her old dog Pepper, who was put to rest at her old master’s feet…

Slide 107: 

And Janice Andrews became the first adult of generation three and aged into entirely inappropriate clothes…

Slide 108: 

Well, inappropriate for her at least. That was quickly rectified and then she made use of the brand new genie lamp that had been left so that she can have 3 bolts with every straight guy and gay girl who’s more distantly related to her than first-cousin status, which has been seriously creeping us out ever since as there are so many of those and some of them seem so very, very wrong… And any mention of babieeez to her will lead to pain, but also an increased use of contraception, so I suppose it’s all to the good.

Slide 109: 

On day 2 (Roxanne’s birthday) it was also Karen and Laura (our resident reaper twins)’s birthdays. And Karen prepared for a potential future in being a hula girl by learning the actual hula. And Laura won’t have kids until Karen has kids, so they’re putting off babieeeez as well (can you tell I’m getting broody?).

Slide 110: 

Elsewhere the elderfication continued with Karen and Laura’s uncle Brendan and his ‘girlfriend’ Diane. Normally we basically just give elders their adult clothes back, but Brendan’s outfit matched his bandana and was awesome, so he gets to be a pirate a bit from now on.

Slide 111: 

And Rodney got to be a perma-platinum Criminal Mastermind. Yay for him T_T (yes, we too resent him a little)

Slide 112: 

And now to scene shooting issues! Juan, that is not neutral face. “Mia’s so pretty when she’s yelling at people.” I don’t care – get serious!

Slide 113: 

I was going to use this picture of Jose sleeping, except he apparently has some kind of glitch whereby I can see his eyes through his eyelids. It’s gross and therefore left out.

Slide 114: 

No, Roxanne, you don’t get to be psychic. Mia barely gets that. “But this is how she got it!” Actually she got it through her eyes going blank when looking for rain, not from basking in the Sun. So there. Stop being creepy.

Slide 115: 

Back to neighbourhood randomness: The vampires are really beginning to get on my nerves, especially now they’ve apparently started turning playable sims, as Noelle found out…

Slide 116: 

Luckily this is where Tiana comes in handy. “Ugh, the things I do for you people. Can’t I get a moment of peace to stress out about my eldest daughter effectively becoming a prostitute?” Apparently not. Sorry Tiana.

Slide 117: 

In the main house Carla doesn’t seem to appreciate Wally corrupting one of the few great-grandchildren she can probably relate a bit to. “You’re a shame to the Lewis bloodline, Wally!” “But great-grandpa Birch would like me!” “… Probably, but he’ll like what I tell him to like! Now start behaving!”

Slide 118: 

Speaking of the Verse household, playing them is fun. Wally’s getting well into his teen years now and hasn’t gotten decent chemistry for anybody he can actually have, so we got the matchmaker over to help him out.

Slide 119: 

Sophie Miguel seems like a pretty decent choice for him. I can give their child another Maxis hairstyle I rarely ever use! Plus they hit it off anyway.

Slide 120: 

Very well in fact. It’s kinda sweet, Wally’s pretty inexperienced with romance really. And as a point of clarification, I love Wally and think he’s awesome. He’s just… misguided and probably has a better opinion of himself than he might deserve. But we love him anyway.

Slide 121: 

Wally’s little brother James has a tendency to try and follow his big brother and so, after building up his confidence in the mirror…

Slide 122: 

Gets the matchmaker over himself.

Slide 123: 

And what was said in the story about him getting Roxanne dropped is true – apparently the matchmaker doesn’t consider ‘going steady’ as being off the market. This is a pretty big problem this generation really – there are three male grilled cheese sims and three female grilled cheese sims, but five of them are cousins/siblings, meaning that Roxanne is the only one who isn’t considered a relative and therefore all the boys – Lyle, James and Ivan – want her more than any other girl. *Sigh*

Slide 124: 

Anyway, James can’t have Roxanne for obvious reasons (and he’s too nice to steal his best friend’s girlfriend), so we tried again and got Michelle Kearney.

Slide 125: 

James wasn’t complaining.

Slide 126: 

Meanwhile Wally is always spinning up wants to sneak out, especially with Lyle – who has a pretty beat-up car, presumably because he can’t take Juan’s police cruiser…

Slide 127: 

Surprisingly (or not, depending on how you look at it – possibly Wally does this so much that the police have figured out a pattern to catch him), Wally doesn’t always get away with it.

Slide 128: 

But how bothered he is by Calvin’s lectures is pretty… low. “Why do you have to do these things all the time, Wally? Do you want a bad reputation?” “I’m pretty sure we’re past that, Dad. And all the guys - and some of the girls - at school think it’s cool anyway.” “That’s just high school! That’s not the real world! How are you going to get a job if you have a criminal record as long as your arm?!” “Yeah, I’d hate not to be able to follow in your footsteps Dad…”

Slide 129: 

“Who’d pass up the chance to dress like that everyday?” Calvin’s a prestidigitator (I only recently looked that up and realised it pretty much means magician) and wears this to work everyday. I like to think his work is a nice escape from trying to get through to Wally.

Slide 130: 

Not that his home life is bad – he and DJ are one of the closest couples I have, they’re always dancing or being romantic or, as now, doing both.

Slide 131: 

And speaking of romance – Johanna got her first kiss with Noah at last…

Slide 132: 

And we let Norman call up the matchmaker to get a date too. Part of the reason for this is that, for the foreseeable future, Norman (and James) won’t be getting married and therefore it’s just easier to get them teenage romance that’ll break off automatically when they get to adult and stops me feeling bad that they might never be in love otherwise. We do feel sorry for our singletons (unless they’re like Janice and revel in it…)

Slide 133: 

It’s also nice for our neighbourhood cashiers, who have been getting a rotten deal lately. Did you know that cashiers can be pick-pocketed? I didn’t!

Slide 134: 

They can also be vampirised (which is why Michelle Kearney was a vampire on her date with James too)! In fact, they’re probably in the highest risk category for it. By the time the legacy ends we’ll probably have a legion of vampire cashiers and their replacements… Still, gives us plenty of choice for teenage romances.

Slide 135: 

And, classily, we end on a picture of Diane in a giant chip outfit. We wouldn’t find it so funny, except she’s meant to be sexy, and this may be the very antithesis of that. Still, if luck holds, somebody else might outdo her to great hilarity… But that’d be for another time. Will Lyle be able to cope not being with Roxanne for 8 whole days? Will Jose ever get a break? Will Liv stop being so trusting and naïve? Will Juan kick Rodney’s ass? Some of this and more in, oh, about a month’s time? See you then!

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