Sunday, 23 June 2013

Chapter 1.11 - Friends, Festivals and Flowers

Pretty soon, Snowflake Day arrived in Sunset Valley. The day was still bitterly cold, but at least it had stopped snowing. Evelyn wasn’t planning on doing anything special that day, just spending some time with her children. She wished Gustave could’ve been with her, but she knew he was just too busy with his work, so when the loneliness grew too profound, she wrote him a letter, telling him how much she missed him.

She spent the day at home, playing with Chantia and reading with Mia. Chantia was a bit moody when she saw Evelyn spending time with Mia, but Evelyn managed to diffuse the tension before Chantia could do anything more than glare at her sister by providing the toddler with food and making sure to play with her when she finished eating.
Evelyn’s efforts with Chantia seemed to pay off. Once again, Chantia became the same sweet girl she used to be, surprising Evelyn one day when she returned home from an errand and caught her two girls chatting happily with each other.
Luckily, it wasn’t a once-off occurrence. It turned into a routine occurrence for the two girls to chat with each other. Evelyn would never complain, but sometimes the girls’ conversations tended to leave her a bit bemused at their choice of topics.
Time passed and winter changed into spring and with it came new problems. Evelyn got another promotion at her work, becoming a Department Head, but with a salary raise came longer working hours. To top it off, Melanie McCoy, the girls’ babysitter of many years had graduated from high school and was no longer able to look after the girls. Evelyn had to find a new babysitter.
The first one that pitched up after Melanie graduated didn’t quite meet Evelyn’s standards, but luckily the second one was a bit more of a success. While he wasn’t to the same standards Melanie had been, his answers satisfied Evelyn enough to appoint him and he appeared to take good care of her children afterwards.
By the time Evelyn managed to adjust to her new position at work, it was time for her child to step into the world as an elementary school student. Since Chantia’s father was unable to attend her birthday, Evelyn decided not to throw a party, but she did buy the girl her own birthday cake.
The little girl puffed her cheeks and with help from her mother, managed to blow out the candles and officially become a child.
“You’re too big now,” Evelyn sighed. “It feels like it was only yesterday when you took your first step and now you’re already old enough to go to school,” Evelyn lamented. “I wouldn’t have minded if you stayed a toddler a bit longer, you know,” she told her daughter, causing the girl to pull a face.
“Nuh-uh!” Chantia protested. “I don’t want to be a baby anymore!” Evelyn merely chuckled at her daughter, causing the girl to scowl more when she realised her mother had only been teasing her.
“I know, sweetie,” Evelyn told the girl. “I was only teasing,” she informed the girl before putting down her fork. “But, talking being a big girl...tomorrow is Love Day, so I’ve been thinking we should go to the Spring Festival,” she suggested. “You’re a big girl now, so now we can go out more. So, do you want to go to the Festival?”
Chantia clapped her hands together at the suggestion. “Yes, please!” Chantia enthused. “I want to go!”
“Then we’ll go,” Evelyn promised the girl. Chantia smiled happily at the answer.
The first thing Chantia did to celebrate her newfound freedom as a child was to buy herself an ice-cream treat from the van circulating the neighbourhood. It was very cold and very sweet, but Chantia enjoyed it immensely.
Later that day, Evelyn’s best friend Teresa called Evelyn to arrange a play-date for their children. Joy Mendel, Teresa’s daughter, was a couple of years older than Chantia, but Evelyn still thought it would do her daughter good to know at least one person in her school, so she agreed to the play-date.
The play-date was a huge success. Chantia and Joy played tag until it was too dark outside to continue…
…where they then retreated into the house to play with the dollhouse. Evelyn and Teresa spent the entire time catching up on each other’s lives and the latest gossip.
It was long past the girls’ bedtime before Teresa finally announced they should return home. Being the proper young lady she was raised to be, Chantia thanked the woman for the visit after saying goodbye to her new friend.
After Chantia went off to bed, Evelyn took the time to express her own gratitude. “Thank you so much for today,” Evelyn thanked her best friend. “I was afraid Chantia might not be able to make any friends, but after today I feel much better about it. So, thank you.”
Teresa laughed and pulled her friend into a hug. “It was no problem at all, Evi,” the woman assured Evelyn. “We haven’t had much time to see each other lately, so it was great catching up with you.”
The next day, Chantia was up bright and early, eager to go to the Festival. Evelyn was in the shower, getting ready for the day, so Chantia decided to get some breakfast. Joy had given her a very good vanilla muffin recipe and she was very eager to test out the new toy oven her mother had given her. She was very proud when the muffin turned out nice.
By the time Evelyn was done, the weather looked a bit ominous to her, so she made sure the girls were dressed warmly before finally setting off towards the Festival. To their greatest disappointment, Evelyn’s suspicions were proven correct when they arrived at the Festival Grounds and the heavens opened up, rain pouring down on them. Evelyn tried her best to convince the girl to let them go home…
…but Chantia wanted nothing of it.
“No! You promised we’d come! I’m not going home!” Chantia protested. After numerous unsuccessful tries, Evelyn relented, but warned the girl that they wouldn’t stay long. That was enough for the girl to immediately get started with her planned activities for the day, which included searching for eggs…
…redeeming festival tickets…
…and picking wildflowers. Unfortunately, it turned out that she was mildly allergic to pollen, so the rest of the day wasn’t quite as pleasant as she’d hoped.
By the time they arrived home, Chantia was sulking over her allergies and the short time she had been allowed at the Festival. Her mother immediately sent her to the shower to get out of her wet clothes. It was only after Evelyn promised her that they’d go to the next festival – the Summer Festival – that she finally stopped sulking.

About that first babysitter...he remained standing outside the whole day, never taking care of the toddlers, so I had Evelyn fire him. It was only later that I realised he didn’t come inside the house because I locked all the doors to prevent Chantia from going outside. Oops.

So, Chantia is finally a child! I feel bad, but I laughed so hard when Chantia got the allergic reaction from the wildflowers. I was thinking that Evelyn probably wouldn’t allow her into the rain at all, in case she got sick, so when she actually got sick I found it rather ironic.


  1. Aww, Chantia is still as cute as ever, and glad she's made a friend so easily. Shame about the weather at the festival, but hopefully the summer festival will be better.

    Good to see a nice happy chapter, but I'm still wondering about that ghost girl! Eek! :)

  2. Chantia grew up lovely and I'm glad she and Mia are getting along better and that she's made a friend before she starts school :)