Thursday, 23 January 2014

Chapter 1.22 - Choices and Decisions

“Ugh, my head,” Chantia moaned groggily the morning after the party. Her pulse was pounding through her head and even the smallest of motions caused waves of pain. “Do we have any painkillers?” she pleaded desperately, sneaking a look at Mia.
“If you want to do stupid things like killing your brain cells by getting drunk, I’m afraid you’ll have to live with the consequences, my dear sister,” Mia replied unsympathetically as she flipped the page, her eyes never leaving her book.

Chantia groaned loudly at Mia’s response and threw her arm over her eyes. “Oh, come on,” she begged tiredly. “It was just a bit of harmless fun,” she tried to convince her sister. Mia merely snorted at Chantia’s explanation. 
 “If it was just some ‘harmless fun’, you wouldn’t have been lying here in this condition,” was her response, but to Chantia’s relief, Mia seemed to gain some pity. “There’s some aspirin in the medicine cabinet,” the younger girl relented, but not enough in Chantia’s opinion. “You can get some yourself.”

Chantia glanced at the kitchen, but decided it was too much work to get up and fetch the aspirin. “Nevermind,” she declined tiredly.    
The girls sat in silence for a while, the silence only interspaced by the sound of pages flipping as Mia continued reading and Chantia tried to recuperate.
“By the way,” Chantia said after a couple of minutes, “how did I get back home?” she asked curiously. Mia snorted inelegantly at Chantia’s question, clearly amused by her sister’s confusion.  

“It seems like ‘Sammy’ is a nobler person than you are,” Mia replied, her voice heavy with amusement. “He was afraid you might do something stupid in your state, so he brought you home and told me to look after you,” she explained.
Chantia shot up and stared at Mia in horror, causing her head to spin and another groan to escape her lips. She waited several seconds for the world to stop spinning before she retaliated on Mia’s words.
“I did not call him that!” she protested, praying her sister was just joking, and yet she could vaguely remember doing so. She cringed at the thought. He had once told her that he hated being called Sammy, since it sounded too much like a girl’s name.

Mia nodded sagely. “You did,” she confirmed. “’Oh Sammy, you’re so sweet! Sammy, have I ever told you you have pretty eyes? Hey Sammy, can I kiss you?’” Mia repeated teasingly. Chantia’s face heat up as her cheeks flamed with embarrassment. She buried her face in her hands, embarrassed beyond belief while Mia’s laughter rang through the air, worsening Chantia’s headache even further.
 “Yeah, you made quite the embarrassment of yourself,” Mia confirmed again.

“I was drunk!” Chantia tried to defend her actions. “I couldn’t help it!”
Mia gave her sister a sweet smile with a smug look on her face.
“I know,” she agreed sweetly. “Which is exactly why I can and will hold it against you,” the young teen replied smugly.
Chantia groaned again, silently wishing the ground would open up and swallow her.
“I have to apologize to Sam,” she declared and sat up, looking around for her cell phone. “I can’t believe I called him that when I know he doesn’t like it!”
Mia’s only response was to laugh loudly at her sister.
One phone call later, Chantia was relieved to find out her relationship with Samuel was still intact. In fact, it seemed her antics of the previous night only made him like her more as he seemed to think ‘it was cute’, much to her embarrassment.

Later the next day, Evelyn came back from her trip, tanned, relaxed and happy, and most of all, sprouting a shiny new ring. Gustave had accompanied her on her trip to Isla Paradiso and had proposed to her during a beautiful sunset, ending their trip on the highest note Evelyn could’ve dreamt of.
 As usual, time went on. Chantia continued working at her part-time job. Mia settled well into high school and as always, impressed her teachers immensely with the high standard of her work. So much, in fact, that her science teacher suggested she enter the competition for ‘Best Upcoming Junior Scientist’ held by the Landgraab Science Facility. The prize offered by the Facility was a fully sponsored bursary to the university of choice of the winner, as well as a guaranteed job at the LSF, effective immediately upon receiving the prize. The offer given was simply too tempting to pass up, so Mia agreed and entered the competition.
Mia threw herself into her research, determined to win the competition. She ignored any and all distractions, trusting her family to inform her of anything important, and much to the disappointment of her many suitors, who started noticing her above-average looks when she entered high school, romance was sadly not high on her list of priorities.
“Hey, here’s another one!” Chantia declared and held up the love letter in front of her. “’Dear Mia, I’ve been too shy to say it in person, but I really care about you a lot. Do you feel something for me? Eloy,’” Chantia read loudly before putting the letter down and staring incredulously at it. “Seriously? Do you even know this guy?” Chantia questioned incredulously. Mia took a quick glance at the letter before returning to the work in front of her.

“Nope, never heard of him,” was Mia’s flippant response. Chantia shook her head in amusement at the letter before putting it with the rest of the letters from Mia’s admirers. The letters were separated into two neat piles, one which belonged to Mia and the other to Chantia, but Mia’s pile was definitely slightly higher. News at school had spread that Chantia was dating Samuel, so in general she was bothered less, something she was rather glad of. Of course, that wasn’t to say she didn’t feel flattered by the letters she did receive, but she didn’t want anything to become between her and Samuel, so she was glad nonetheless.
Part of Mia’s project included a small garden that the genius erected in their backyard, completely taking over Evelyn’s two lone plants.
 Chantia wasn’t exactly sure what Mia was researching, but she had to agree the results looked promising.
“What exactly is that, if I may ask?” Chantia asked curiously as she studied the strange plant in Mia’s little garden. Mia looked up from where she was applying fertilizer to one of the other plants, trying to see what Chantia was talking about. Her eyes lit up when she recognised the plant.

“Oh, that’s my botany project,” the genius explained. “Right now, that’s Specimen 15, but if it is successful, I’ll have created a new fruit type,” Mia enthused eagerly. “Well, to be honest, it’s actually just a refinement of a wild species, but I’ve…” As usual, Mia launched into a highly scientific explanation that Chantia could in no way make sense of.
As it turned out, Mia’s little gardening project wasn’t the one she submitted to the Landgraab Science Facility competition, but the project she had submitted turned out to be a raging success. The gap between Mia and the rest of the competitors was so large that she won the first prize with ease.

With Mia’s future set up and Chantia’s graduation rapidly approaching, Chantia found herself in a bit of a dilemma, as she still had no idea what she wanted to do after she finished high school.
“I can’t believe we’re graduating in a couple of weeks,” Chantia confessed disbelievingly. “It feels like only yesterday when we started high school, and now we’re almost finished.”  Chantia didn’t feel ready to graduate. She didn’t feel like she managed to accomplish much. Sure, she had perfect A’s at school and had been on the honor roll for almost her entire school career, but she still didn’t feel accomplished enough. Even the fact that she had progressed as far as possible in her part-time job didn’t appease her. Mia was two years her junior, and yet the younger girl had already achieved more than Chantia could ever have dreamt of achieving herself.

Samuel put his hand on top of hers, trying to convey his agreement.
 “I know,” he agreed sympathetically. “I’m a bit scared, to be honest, but excited as well,” he confessed and gave her hand a squeeze. “I want the rest of my life to start.”
 Chantia sighed and leaned back, discouraged by his words.

“Well, yeah,” she agreed, “except that I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life,” she complained worriedly. “I mean, honestly! How do you know what to do? How do you know which job to apply for? There are so many options, and yet nothing interests me!”
Samuel chuckled slightly at Chantia’s worries. “You just know,” he assured her. “Someday you see something or you do something and you think ‘that’s what I want to do’, or ‘that’s what I want to achieve’, and you know,” he informed her, causing Chantia to look curiously at him.

“And what do you want to do?” she asked curiously. “You sound like you already know.”
He rubbed his neck embarrassedly and inclined his head.
“I do,” he admitted, his voice coloured with embarrassment. “It may be a stupid dream, but I’m going to try and realise it nonetheless,” he stated determinedly.
Chantia leaned away slightly and looked eagerly at her boyfriend. “And what exactly is this dream of yours?” she asked with a large, slightly teasingly smile.

Samuel smiled and looked at the stars above them. The full moon had passed recently, but despite its fullness the moon already couldn’t manage to drown out the brilliance of the stars above them.
 “I want to be an author,” he admitted softly. “There’s just…something magical in writing something. Whenever you write something, it’s like you create this completely new world and you can see it emerge from beneath your fingers. People that never existed and never will suddenly become alive, and they retreat into that amazing new world you created, where they live out their lives and struggle through their own problems, and at the other side of the world there’s a person reading this tale and…and actually enjoying it. They’re reading this tale and they cry and laugh and scream at these characters who aren’t even real, and they forget about time and their problems and just for that moment, they are completely emerged in an entirely different reality,” Samuel explained enthusiastically, trying to get Chantia to see his point.  “It’s just…I think it’s pretty amazing to be able to touch a person’s life without ever meeting that person,” he admitted.
Chantia stared mesmerized at the stars with him as she listened to him talk. From his voice alone, she could tell how much his dream meant to him.

“I think that’s an amazing dream,” she confessed when he finished talking. She leaned over and gave him a soft peck on the cheek. “Don’t ever change,” she requested softly. Samuel smiled and gave her hand another squeeze.
 “I’ll try not to,” he promised with sincerity in his eyes.

Chantia smiled and leaned against his side. “In that case, let me tell you some stories,” she requested, “and in return I’ll listen to some of yours. So just for tonight, let us retreat into that magical world you just told me about.”
Samuel squeezed her hand again in agreement.
“All right,” he agreed with a warm smile.
So Chantia started talking. She repeated the tale her father had once told her mother, and later her. She told him about parallel worlds and magical creatures and ghosts and magical Songs, and about a Keeper of Balance. She told him of a little girl born with the ability to see ghosts, and how that little girl became best friends with a lonely dead girl that lived with several other ghosts in a big empty house to try and be less lonely.
And through all her talking, she never once mentioned the fact that the little girl in the story was herself. She wasn’t quite ready to let him know of that little detail.

“What a beautiful tale,” Samuel whispered once Chantia finished talking. “Is that something you thought of yourself, or are you just repeating it from somewhere else?”
Chantia laughed embarrassedly. “I’m mostly just repeating it,” she confirmed with a smile. “My dad is a bit of a collector of old tales and legends, so some of it I’ve heard from him. Other parts I’ve heard from one of my best friends,” she explained before shrugging slightly. “Although I will admit that the part about the girl with the ghost friend isn’t something I heard anywhere,” she admitted. Mainly because I am the little girl in the story. Of course, that she didn’t say.
 Chantia’s approaching graduation wasn’t the only thing that promised change in the Marquel household. Evelyn and Gustave had decided not to go with an elaborate setup for their upcoming nuptials, deciding to go with a small and intimate wedding instead, surrounded only by their immediate family.
 Nevertheless, the end result was the same as Gustave became a part of the household. Chantia was thrilled to have her father live with them, but she was starting to notice just how small their house actually was. She couldn’t wait to get out of the house and do her own thing, but she still had no idea what she wanted to do, despite talking about it to both her parents.
 All too soon, the day she both dreaded and welcomed arrived. With the people in her life she cared about the most, Chantia aged up into a beautiful young woman, entering adulthood and starting with a new chapter in her life.

I’ll admit it, I rushed a bit through Chantia’s teenage years, but to be honest the teen stage is not my favourite stage and I’m getting really impatient to start with Chantia’s generation. Also, to those who had been expecting a big party, I’m sorry for disappointing you. L I planned the scene and everything, but once I started writing it I realised it wasn’t the right set-up for what I wanted to accomplish, so I ended up cutting it out. So let’s just say Chantia went to the party and had a great time, but nothing special happened except that Chantia made a bit of an embarrassment of herself. :P
And yay, Evelyn and Gustave are finally married! Poor Evi had the wish to marry him locked in ever since Chantia’s birth, so I’d say it’s about time she finally got her wish! 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Chapter 1.21 - The Dance

  For many days, Chantia couldn’t find the nerve to ask her mother for permission to attend the gathering. She knew her mother was way too overprotective to allow her to somewhere where there were firstly, no adult supervision and secondly, hormonal teenage boys present.

  In the end, it turned out it was might be much easier for Chantia to go to the gathering than she had thought. Evelyn had won a free vacation for two days to the beautiful Isla Paradiso from a raffle she had entered at a whim, so the woman had to decide whether she was going to use the tickets or give them to a friend.
  “I’m not really sure if I want to use these tickets,” Evelyn admitted to her girls. “It would be great to have a small breakaway, but I’m not really comfortable leaving you two alone for that long.”

  Chantia immediately jumped at the chance. “I think you should go,” she suggested innocently. “Mia’s birthday is the day before you have to leave, so we’ll both be old enough to look after ourselves. Besides, you really deserve to have some time to yourself,” Chantia told her mother.
  Evelyn gave her daughter a sceptical look. “You seem awfully eager to get rid of me,” she accused suspiciously.

  Mia took pity on Chantia and decided to help the older girl out. Chantia had already told Mia about the gathering and even invited her along, but since Mia’s birthday was the day before the school dance, she had refused the invitation, declaring she wasn’t going to attend the dance either.
  “We just want you to be happy,” Mia told Evelyn. “You’ve done so much for us, so it’s only fair that we allow you to take this opportunity. We don’t want you to go, but you deserve it,” Mia said earnestly. Although she was really only trying to help Chantia, she did believe that Evelyn deserved to get away from them for a little while.
  Evelyn folded under their pressure and decided to trust the girls and accept the vacation. Chantia felt a little bad for abusing her mother’s trust, but as long as Evelyn never found out about the gathering, no harm would be done, right?
  Pretty soon, the busy week arrived. The first event that happened was that Mia’s birthday arrived and the young genius aged into a rather mature teen.
  She refused to have a birthday party or a cake, so in the end Evelyn had to make do with only giving the girl a new gift. To say Mia was ecstatic about the gift would be a major understatement, so the teen made sure to thank Evelyn profusely. The gift was incredibly expensive, but seeing the happiness it brought the young girl made it worth the money in Evelyn’s eyes.
  The second event that occurred was that the day of the school dance arrived and with it, Evelyn’s vacation. Luckily her flight only departed several hours after the dance started, so Evelyn managed to see her daughter all dressed up.
  “You look so beautiful,” Evelyn complimented her daughter proudly. It felt like it was only yesterday that Chantia grew up into a child, and yet here she was, already looking far too grown up for Evelyn’s tastes. “Have fun at the dance, and remember to be responsible, okay?”

  Chantia hugged her mother cautiously, making sure not to mess up her hair or dress.
  “Of course Mom,” Chantia assured her mother before smiling warmly at the woman. “Enjoy your trip, okay? We’ll be waiting to hear all about it.”

  Evelyn laughed in response to Chantia’s words, knowing all too well the girls were both looking forward to being on their own for a while, but nevertheless promised her daughter to bring back lots of photos.
  All too soon, Chantia’s ride arrived at the door, ready to take her to the dance. Chantia hugged her mother good-bye before getting in the limo.
   During the ride to the school where the dance was being held, Chantia was nervous and anxious, but most of all excited. She and Samuel were tentatively together, but she hoped to make it official before the night was over. Then, of course, there was the gathering at Ethan’s house to worry about and what her mother would do if she ever found out about it, but Chantia tried her best not to think about it. Those were worries of another day.

  At school, Samuel was waiting patiently for her and immediately went to her side once he caught sight of her. Samuel lived in the school dormitories, so they both agreed it would be better to meet up at school instead of Chantia’s house.
    “You look great,” Samuel complimented with a warm smile, causing a light flush to appear on Chantia’s cheeks.

  “Thanks,” Chantia replied happily, the butterflies in her stomach making huge somersaults. “You look great yourself,” she reciprocated.
  Samuel offered his arm to Chantia and waited for her to take it before leading her through the doors and into the hall where the dance was being held.
  At the dance, Chantia was having the time of her life. She was quite surprised when she realised Samuel could dance, but really delighted as well, as it allowed her to dance to her heart’s content. The beat of the music was pounding through her body, directing her moves, and Samuel was moving perfectly in tune with her. Everybody was looking at them, but Chantia didn’t really notice. She was simply too preoccupied by the music pounding through the room.
  Several songs and dances later, Chantia took a break from dancing to catch a breath of fresh air, Samuel accompanying her. The stars were bright and the air sharp with the last chill of winter, but the atmosphere between Chantia and Samuel was heavy with promise and potential.
  “You were great out there,” Samuel told her with a gentle smile. Chantia smiled in reply and rested her head in her hand, looking at him from beneath her long lashes.

  “You weren’t so bad either,” she teased smilingly. Samuel scoffed slightly and rubbed his neck in embarrassment.
  “I was just following your lead,” he confessed. “When you dance, it’s like…I don’t know, like you’re…like you’re possessed by the music, or something like that. It’s…it’s rather amazing.” Something in his eyes changed and Chantia felt her heart flutter at the sight. She chuckled embarrassedly and looked away with a blush on her cheeks, both flattered and embarrassed by his words.
  “I, uhm…well, thanks, I guess,” she stammered self-consciously. “I just….really like music,” she offered lamely. “It’s like it talks to me,” she admitted softly, looking back at him.

  Without noticing, they had somehow gotten closer. She could feel the heat radiating from his body, causing her cheeks to warm slightly. She really really liked him, and really wanted him to like her back.
   He suddenly cleared his throat and looked away, breaking the eye contact. Chantia’s heart fell, positive she had done something wrong that made him refuse to look at her.

  Samuel rubbed his neck again.
   “I was wondering…do you want to make this official? Like, be my girlfriend?” he asked nervously.

  Chantia’s eyes shot to Samuel at his words and for a long moment, she just stared at him, unsure if he really said what she thought (hoped) he said. Then he offered her a hopeful smile and Chantia’s heart leapt as she realised she heard correctly.
   “Yes!” Chantia exclaimed eagerly before shielding her mouth with her hand, embarrassed by her outburst. Her cheeks heated up and she started giggling, both out of happiness and embarrassment. Samuel blinked in surprise at her outburst before her giggles set him off as well. His chuckles merged with her giggles and it was several minutes before she could compose herself enough to stop giggling.

  She cleared her throat once she managed to get her giggles under control. “I mean, sure. I’d like to be your girlfriend,” she tried again with a broad smile on her face.
  The smile that adorned Samuel’s face was the widest one Chantia had ever seen. He took her hand and looked at it for a moment before looking back at her with a content smile.

  “Thanks,” he said and gave her hand a soft squeeze before he led her back to the hall.
  By the time they returned to the reception, the slower songs had begun and several couples were already slow dancing to the music. She and Samuel shared a look before they grinned simultaneously and joined the other couples on the dance floor. The music was slow and beautiful and Chantia once again lost herself in it, but this time she fully enjoyed the feeling of Samuel’s hand on her waist.
   All too soon, the event grew to a close as the prize-giving ceremonies started. Chantia didn’t expect anything at all, so she was greatly surprised when she was declared Prom Queen, especially when told that she and Samuel were ‘the dynamic duo of the dance’, and ‘possibly the cutest couple’ as well.

  (Later on Chantia learnt that it was Aisha who had nominated them for that particular title.)
   The dancing resumed after the ceremonies, but Aisha decided she had waited long enough for them. Before they could return to the dance floor, Aisha stopped them.
   “Come, we’ve been here long enough. Let’s go now to the real event,” Aisha suggested with a slightly mischievous smile.

So I decided to show what went on at prom. I wasn’t planning on it, but then Chantia and Samuel were so incredibly sweet going about it I just couldn’t leave it out. I tried to be as true as possible to the messages, and I think I managed to succeed, because pretty much all of the messages went on about how they were liking each other and hitting it off etc. J The only message that wasn’t about the two of them liking each other was the one declaring Chantia as Prom Queen.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Chapter 1.20 - Growing Up

  The day of Chantia’s birthday dawned white and very cold, indicating that winter had arrived. The inhabitants of the house slept as late as they could, but unfortunately life still went on, so they couldn’t remain in bed the entire day. Their morning that day was a bit busier than usual, since they were all running slightly late due to their slight lie-in.
  “Hey, who changed the music to country?” Chantia asked when she noticed the different music. They usually made turns listening to their favourite stations and nobody in the house particularly enjoyed country, so Chantia was a bit surprised by the change.
  “And whose bright idea was it to put a gnome right in front of the stereo?” Chantia continued.

  “Does it really matter?” Mia replied. “It’s just a gnome, but if you don’t hurry up we’re going to be late,” the girl admonished her sister.

  “I’m just saying it’s weird,” Chantia protested, but still listened to Mia by turning away from the stereo and rushing to get all her books.

  Mia shrugged. “Well, then maybe the gnome did it,” she stated and left the house, leaving her sister and the gnome behind.

  “That doesn’t make any sense,” Chantia laughed and put the matter out of her mind. It didn’t really matter, after all.
  Once again, her birthday fell on weekday, so Chantia didn’t get a birthday party. She didn’t expect anything special, so she was pleasantly surprised when she got home that afternoon to a very familiar person.
  “Dad!” Chantia exclaimed and wrapped her arms around his neck, really happy to see him. “I didn’t know you were coming!”

 Gustave chuckled and returned his daughter’s hug. “I’ve missed enough of your birthdays,” he declared. “I wouldn’t be a very good dad if I didn’t try to attend at least one, right?”

  “I’m just really glad you’re here,” Chantia told him earnestly.

  The rest of the day and evening was spent rather peacefully, with Chantia building a snowman with her dad, where she caught him up with everything that was news in her life…
…and later building an igloo with both her parents, after which they retreated inside to warm mugs of hot chocolate. Mia was busy with her afternoon activity, which was the only reason why the young genius didn’t partake in the activities as well.
  They ate dinner together as a family until the clock struck and Chantia officially became a teen.
  The rest of the evening were spent quite peacefully, except that Gustave and Evelyn properly celebrated their reunion in the newly build igloo.
  The next day arrived and with it, Chantia’s first day of high school. She was glad she knew at least one person, but she was still nervous. It soon became clear that it was unnecessary, as just by being close friends with a popular senior, she managed to get her schoolmates’ respect.

  Of course, the way she had managed to bloom from tomboyish girl to beautiful teen definitely helped as well, especially once she started to apply her natural charisma.

  Unfortunately, although Chantia enjoyed the social aspect of high school a lot, the homework aspect got a lot harder as well.
  “I don’t understand,” Chantia murmured, her brows furrowed in confusion. “If you take this and divide it by that, it should give you the answer…except that this part is in the way then! Why does math have to be so hard?” she complained with a pout that many boys her age would’ve found rather interesting.

  Mia looked over at Chantia’s homework, inspecting her work. “Oh, that’s easy,” she declared, “but first you have to take this part and multiply it by that part and then you can divide it by…”

  Chantia stared at Mia. “How do you know this? You haven’t done it in class yet!” she asked incredulously.

  Mia rolled her eyes. “I’ve read advanced mathematics for fun, Chantia,” she deadpanned. “Believe me, I know what I’m talking about.”
“I have no doubt about that,” Chantia replied in a mutter. “But, wow, really? You read advanced maths for fun? I know you’re crazy, but that’s going a bit far.”
Mia rolled her eyes and didn’t bother to give a reply, focusing her own homework instead. But she did manage to get her revenge for the statement later.
 As usual, life continued. Evelyn won the Teacher of the Year award from the school, something she was really flattered about, even more so when the title was rewarded with a raise. After the event was done, Evelyn was able to walk away with the knowledge that she was a true master of charisma.

Chantia started taking violin lessons, and not surprisingly, it turned out she was a natural at it. The first couple of times she practised it was horrifying, but she improved rather quickly, much to the relief of her family (and neighbours).
 Additionally, Chantia got a job as a spa receptionist as well, trying to get some money for herself. While they weren’t poor, they couldn’t afford to spend money on just anything, so Chantia wanted to have some money of her own. To make sure Chantia didn’t have to overly rely on taxis to get to her new work, Evelyn relented and bought a second-hand car.
 Chantia stared at the car in fascination, almost positive the thing would fall apart where it stood. “Well, it’s certainly…well, a car,” she told her mother, who merely shrugged.

“It works, and nothing is wrong with it,” Evelyn replied. “It’s just a little,” she tilted her head slightly, studying the car as well, “dilapidated.”
“Mom, it looks like the first little bump on the road will make that thing fall apart,” Chantia pointed out.
“Nonsense, Chantia,” Evelyn disagreed and managed to open the car door after several unsuccessful attempts. “Now, are you ready for your first driving lesson?”
Chantia didn’t feel close to ready to get in that car, but she had to learn, so she joined her mother in the car.
 It turned out her mother was mostly correct, as the car managed to bring them home successfully after a day of driving around. It also allowed Chantia to get her driver’s license, something she was very proud of. Chantia still had her doubts about the car, but it managed to get her where she wanted to be, so she kept using it, despite her misgivings.

Mia continued her research, inventing different potions until she finally felt there was nothing more she could do with the chemicals she had at hand. So, instead of wasting more time with something she was sure she had already perfected, she took up a new hobby instead: fishing. In her research, she had found mention of several rare compounds that were only found in fish, so her hobby had the extra benefit of providing her with new samples to study.

Unlike Mia, Chantia didn’t spend her free time pursuing academic skills. Instead, she tried her hand at everything that interested her, such as ice skating…
 …or teaching Luna some new skills, like hunting.
 For Chantia school also got a little more interesting when a guy she had been eyeing started talking to her. After several conversations, Chantia finally got the courage to push for more, asking him to be her date to the school dance.
 “I’ve been planning on asking you myself,” Samuel confessed, accepting her invitation with pleasure.

At school, Chantia met Samuel’s best friend Ethan and Ethan’s girlfriend, Aisha.
 “So we’ve been planning to have a small gathering after the dance,” Aisha explained to Chantia. “Ethan’s parents are on vacation, so we have the place by ourselves. So, think you’ll come?”

“I don’t know,” Chantia admitted. “I’ll definitely try, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to get past my mother. She’s a bit…overprotective.”
Aisha patted Chantia’s shoulder sympathetically. “I’m sure you’ll manage,” she ensured Chantia. “So, we’ll see you after the dance, right?” Aisha told Chantia. Chantia sighed and gave in to the pressure.
“Right,” Chantia agreed, hoping she’ll be able to get Evelyn’s permission. If not, she’ll have to lie to her mother once again.
The gnome thing? Nothing important. It just surprised me by changing the music, so I decided to throw it in just for kicks.
Anyway, so Chantia finally aged up in this chapter and I was seriously blown away by how beautiful she turned out. She's so pretty! I’m rather surprised by that, actually. Right after I made Evi get pregnant, I took her and Gustave into CAS to play with their genetics and see how their looks meshed together. The results weren’t pretty, at all. Both have rather strong features which really didn’t carry over well to their kids. But apparently I lucked out, because Chantia definitely has features from both parents (her eyes and upper part of her nose is almost identical to Gustave’s) but she turned out really pretty!
Also, Gustave and Evelyn are so sweet together. Gustave stayed for two days and in that entire time, they never left the other alone. Whenever they had a moment of inaction, they would automatically go back to the other and socialise (flirting mainly). It was so sweet. <3
And Evelyn finally gained the Eternally Faithful moodlet! It took 37 days, but it finally happened!