Friday, March 2, 2012

Glenn Caswell Ch. 6 Removing the Sword Part 2

If you need information on Glenn and Gareth, go to the Errol Flynn Family tab on the home page~~Author

Please refer to Part 1 If you haven't already read it before you read this update. It's important to know what happened previous to this update~~Author

Glenn Caswell was talking with her grown son, Gareth, while they sat at the dining table. She looked down at her hands a moment and then back up at him,

"You've had a crush on Lori Lassiter since you were kids; you never said so but it was obvious to me," seeing him start to deny it she said, "Just hear me out and then we can debate it if you want to."

Link to the Landgraab Dorm chapter of University 1 where Gareth "warns" Harvey about Lori as a child *two thirds of the way down the page go HERE

"Out of John's kids I loved that little girl maybe the most of all. Still do," she went on, "So I admit I thought fondly of the idea that you might someday end up together. When you got to middle school I knew that, while a lot of your wildness was my fault for a number of reasons, I also knew you were acting out because Lori was content to just be your friend. I reasoned that either you would grow out of it or she would change her mind and choose you, maybe by high school. But she didn't, she eventually chose Harvey, and when you started dating Holly, I was happy, even though I knew you were fooling around with the occasional "bad girl" on the side. I didn't like it, but I figured you couldn't clean up your act in one fell swoop. So it was you and Holly and Harvey and Lori."

                           Gareth and Holly, teens    Harvey and Lori, teens

"When you and Harvey went off to University you seemed to pretty much straighten out in regard to partying and being promiscuous when you started going out with Melanie. You know I think the world of her and did, right from the start. I knew Lori was still with Harvey, but it didn't seem to bother you any more; you seemed to find some peace of mind with Melanie. Meanwhile Melora had confirmed to me that Lori and Harvey were becoming very serious about each other. Talking engagement, maybe right after college."

                  Gareth and Melanie in college    Lori and Harvey in college

Gareth again opened his mouth to speak, whether to deny or confirm, Glenn didn't know, but she stopped him,

"I'm almost done. So after a few months at University you would come back home at the holidays or for breaks and the four of you would go out; Lori and Harvey and you and Melanie. But sometimes, not always, you'd be tense and almost angry when you got home. I could see that, as far as Lori was concerned you were still smitten and jealous. It seemed to ease up the longer you were at school, at least that's what I thought at the time. When you and Melanie became engaged I was sure everything was fine with you two."

She got up and moved to a chair in the living room area and beckoned to Gareth to join her there. Glenn leaned forward and in an unusually soft voice asked,

"Gareth, aren't you happy with Melanie and the baby?"

He sighed heavily and rubbed his big hands over his face, then he looked back at her.

"Mom, I love them so much, I can't even say. I..I don't want to screw everything up or hurt anyone."

"Can you tell me your side of this then--am I wrong? What about Lori? Is she aware of your feelings? Frankly she's always seemed so happy with Harvey. Does Melanie know about any of this?"

"Lori is happy with him. She has no idea whatsoever that I feel this way," he paused, thinking, "Although sometimes lately I get the feeling Harvey has figured it out. I thought I was over her. Long ago. I mean, Harvey is my best friend. I was closer to Trey when we were kids but after college and renting Horrible House together Harvey and I got really tight. It makes me feel so guilty and I don't know why I keep hanging on to this. I guess I didn't even realize I was. Man, I sure hope Melanie has not picked up on my stupidity. But she seems to act the same with Lori, so probably not." 

He paused then and sighed as he shook his head,

"It was always Lori, Lori, Lori. You know, I can't even remember not loving her. I thought of her as mine for a long time. When we were kids I was always coming to her rescue. Me. Not Trey. Not Harvey. Me. She was spunky and could take care of herself most of the time, but she had that smart mouth on her. Sometimes she bit off more than she could chew. I even heard her tell off a kid back in grade school, sounding all feisty, 'You listen to me, Eddy Stewart, if you ever hit me or any other girl again, I'll tell Gareth Caswell and he'll punch your lights out!' I would have, too," he smiled a moment, remembering, "I'd have done almost anything for her. She was always looking out for other kids, especially if they were younger. Sometimes I'd think maybe she did care for me. I mean not just as 'good old Gareth, he's like a brother', but as boy. Sometimes instead of buying lunch she'd bring something from home and her mother always sent a piece of her Coca Cola cake or berry pie for dessert. Lori would save half or all of it for me. Back when I had that stamp collection she saved all the stamps from the letters Uncle John got from all over the world and gave them to me every so often. She hardly knew who Harvey was back in those days. I got brave and copped a kiss in the third grade. She giggled and told me I was her hero and then she hauled off and slapped me. Typical."

                                  Lori                                Gareth

                                               Harvey                             Trey

"Why didn't you ask her to be your girlfriend before she started seeing Harvey?" Glenn was curious, "I mean when you were in middle school."

"I did. When I'd ask her to do something with me she never figured out that's what I was asking. Every time I'd get tongue-tied and say something like, 'Um, want to, like...go to the movies?" she'd say, "Yeah, that sounds good--I'll call everyone.' Then she'd phone all our friends so we could go in a group. I never had a problem talking to girls, believe me, except for Lori. I don't think she was putting me off, though, she was just being a little obtuse. How could I be asking her for a date when she considered me her brother practically? I think she never dreamed I would feel romantic about her, since she didn't feel the same way. She'd known me for so long and never thought of me that way so she assumed the invitation was just a fun suggestion; just an idea of mine so all of the kids could do something together. I was probably pretty lame in the way I asked, I guess. She didn't really date anyone until Harvey. I don't count her stupid crush on that dirty old man Ottomas. Man, what a freak."

                                           Teen Lori                         Teen Gareth

                                            Teen Harvey                  Brian O. at 32

Glenn ignored his remark about Brian Ottomas; she knew the man was not and never had been some sort of deviant but it wasn't relevant to the subject and it was obvious Gareth still resented him as well. Brian was not a friend like Harvey was, so he could really enjoy hating him.

He went on,

"Then, when she and Harvey broke up for a while in our senior year, I thought that was my chance. Same thing happened; she just couldn't get that I was asking for a date--and I was afraid if I tried to make it any more clear she'd totally reject me. When I got to know Melanie I thought I could quit thinking of Lori. You know how Lori was all flirty and personality-plus, totally maddening, of course, but never dull. Heck, she flirted and teased Harvey into a frenzy sometimes. He covered it pretty well most of the time, but I knew it was torture for him because he said so to me.  He even told me at one point that he was afraid he was going to lose it one day, just haul her off into the bushes. Of course, I would have had to kill him then. But she was so much fun when she wasn't in a snit. Actually, sometimes I even liked to watch her blow up. Man, she was so cute when she'd stamp her foot or tell you off. And when you really know her, when you get past the mood swings and dramatics, you realize how sweet she is, how much she tries to make everyone happy. Of course, she wants you to be happy the way SHE thinks you should be happy, but she doesn't realize that."

He went on,

"Melanie's not Lori--no one is, I guess--but she's beautiful and classy and she's just as funny as Lori, but in a different way. Lori is funny and half the time she doesn't even know it, while Melanie has this very aware dry humor, kind of like Harvey, actually. I have so much respect for her, Mom. She builds me up and believes in me and I love her. I know I'm lucky to have her. Actually out of the three Flynn girls, she's the most dependable, has the most common sense. She's the youngest but they all rely on her. Smart, too, I forget what her I.Q. is but it's up there. Higher than mine, that's for sure. And she's just a wonderful mom to Scarlett. So how do I get rid of this stupid thing in me that still resents that Lori didn't choose me? That can't forget her. Believe me, I never kissed her after that time in the third grade, never even held her hand. She's the only girl who made me lose my confidence, to tell the truth. It's almost like I've loved her for so long that I can't get her out of my system; like she's part of my being now, like she's in my blood. Maybe it's because I know I never will be able to tell her; never have her even recognize how I feel."

"You can conquer this, Gareth. If I can do it, so can you," Glenn said, "Long ago I also fell in love with someone I could never have. I wouldn't have been able to put it in the past without God and putting Him first. I was wild, impetuous and lived life on the edge before that. I'd dumped the bible and the beliefs I was brought up with when I was quite young. I'd been looking for that special someone for quite a while and I was angry about finally finding the person only to have them be unattainable, and for more than one reason."

His jaw dropped in shock; he'd always thought his mother walked alone by choice,

"Was it Remington Goth? I remember when you dated him when I was a kid. Never could really like the guy."

She laughed, "No. Absolutely not. And it doesn't matter who it was. They could never love me and I had to get over that fact."

"But I have to see Lori and Harvey on a regular basis. Not only is Harvey my best friend; Lori is Melanie's best friend." 

"I can only tell you I was able to do it; I kept being friends with the person--who never knew--and still got over it. And you have Melanie and your little girl to help you keep your focus."

"Was it sometime back in Charlotte? Or Atlanta?" he couldn't help it; he was totally amazed by this admission from his mother and dying to ask more questions.

"That's not the point."

"But then, you don't see this person anymore, do you?"

"Actually, yes, I do have to do so from time to time and, in my case, I never found anyone I loved as much. But I was able to finally just be a friend. It took time to get to that place and I couldn't have done it without God's help. I don't want you to worry about me being alone; I've come to the conclusion that some of us are just not meant for that kind of happiness, but I have so many other good things in my life, especially you and Melanie and Scarlett." 

She reached over and put her hand on his knee, 

"Son, how long since you cracked your bible, or went to worship?"

He looked down, visibly uncomfortable,

"Well, you know, Melanie's family, they lived in Hollywood for years. They're not religious in the least. I've actually never heard them refer to the Lord or to any scripture. I think Olivia used to go to church as a kid, but I don't think she ever took her daughters. And forget Errol. He's a good guy and I think a lot of him, but I don't think he even believes in God. I guess before he married Olivia he was wilder than I ever thought of being; believes in just living for yourself and the moment."

"It doesn't matter. You were brought up differently and you know better. Believe me you can do this, but not without help. God will take the sword out of your heart in regard to Lori, but you have to ask for His help. He loves you. But do you love Him? You know that the way you show your love for God is by obeying Him and walking in the light. You can show the way to Melanie. Show her your conviction; go to church without her if you have to, but from what I know of Melanie, she has an open mind. She loves you and if she thinks something is important to you, she will want to find out why. Time will tell. You have an obligation to bring Scarlett up to know God, but how can you do that? You can't ask her to do what you are not willing to do yourself. You have to show your family the way by your own actions, by how you live. You know, maybe the two of you should take a vacation; a little getaway with Melanie that's not a business trip would also help to break tension and get things back in perspective. Will you try turning back to God, try giving this problem to God?"

Gareth nodded,

"I will. I promise, Mom. I know you're right about everything. Actually, it's a relief to tell somebody all of this. Thanks for listening."

She could see that the conversation had made an impression; he had a lot to digest, but he looked less tense already.

She hugged him close.

"Think about changing your job, too. Life is much too short to work at something you hate. I think a good teacher is a blessing to the students they teach. You're needed. And you are great working with children. Melanie will love you no matter what your income. And grow your hair out, will ya?" she rubbed his close-cropped head, "I miss your curly locks."

He laughed,

"You are probably the only mother in the world who wants her son to grow his hair out longer instead of cutting it shorter."

"I want to see you looking relaxed again--inside and out. I want you to be yourself."

"Mom, I love you; I don't tell you enough," Gareth said, suddenly serious, "I want you to know I also admire you."

"You'll make me cry and you know how I  hate that," she smiled and blinked rapidly to hold back the tears. She hated to be emotional; it didn't happen often.

After he left Glenn got a call from Melora Lassiter who wanted her to visit. John was on a business trip and Melora asked if, in fact, Glenn could come the next day. Glenn assured her it was no problem. After the call she took time to wash the dishes which she'd sloughed off when she got the chance to talk with Gareth. Then she got ready for bed, stopping to play with Chiquitita and take her out briefly. Even though she'd said nothing dire, Melora had sounded stressed and Glenn wondered what the reason was.

"I guess I'll find out soon enough," she muttered as she turned out the light and went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Glenn Caswell Ch. 6 Removing the Sword Part 1

If you need information on Glenn and Gareth, go to the Errol Flynn Family tab on the home page~~Author

Gareth Caswell visited his mother, Glenn, at least once a week; she was getting older and lived alone so he wanted to check in with her and help with anything she might need. It was with relief that he learned she wanted to buy a small one-story house. He hated the thought of her going up and down the stairs in the house he grew up in, but until now she'd refused to move. She was in excellent health, looked 15 years younger than she was and as independent and feisty as they come. It was typical that when she made up her mind she'd never even asked him or told him, just found what she wanted, plunked down the money and put their old three-story home up for sale. He'd only learned about it when she called and told him that if there was anything he wanted from the old house he should come and get it because she wouldn't have room for a lot at the new place. 

Having enlisted professional movers to do the job on a weekend Gareth and Melanie were gone on a business trip she was ensconced in her new home before Gareth could even help. So today he was going to see her and it would be the first time he got a look at her new home. She was waiting on the tiny porch of her tiny house when he got there.

"Mom, it's so small," he worried as she gave him a very short tour, "No place for your game table or a pool table, no swimming pool, no basketball hoop. The yard is like postage stamp size." 

All the things he'd listed were items he'd had at his disposal when he was growing up, of course. There was a smallish bedroom, one tiny room that could not even qualify as a guest room where she was simply storing things at the moment; two small bathrooms; a living room and a tiny kitchenette. Not even a dishwasher.

"I don't need a big house anymore. And I already love this little house; it's so quiet on this street, I guess because of the cul de sac. There are quite a few kids, but they're all well-behaved, at least so far. I don't entertain large groups at one time, you know, no wild parties and the open concept makes it feel larger than it is; at least to me. Of course, I'm still moving things about and decorating, just as the mood strikes me. As for the games I can always go to Galaxy Arcade and play pool or any other game."

"Yeah, I heard Trey bought out Mr. Blackford; hard to imagine the place without him. I've been meaning to get over there to see Trey."

He looked over at the small dog that snoozed on a pet bed in the hall,

"So why'd you get a little rat dog if you wanted a pet, anyway? I'd have thought you'd rather have a cat; you always said you liked cats best."

"Oh, I stopped by the shelter on a whim and she'd been there a while and she was just so darn sweet," she grinned, "She's a Chihuahua mix and her name is Chiquitita. Anyway, I can always add a cat later."

"Chiquitita, huh? Quite a mouthful," he grinned back.

"Yeah, you know how I am about Abba. I call her Chiqui for short sometimes."

Gareth looked doubtful, but before long he was playing with the little dog as Glenn watched with amusement.

"Oh, I almost forgot; I saw Lori the other day at Food Lion and she said the twins are doing fantastic; growing like weeds and into everything. The health club is really starting to take off, too; she's so proud of Harvey," Glenn mentioned when Gareth sat back down at the dining table with her.

She glimpsed a flicker of irritation come over his face as he replied,

"Yeah. Well, she wouldn't really care if he was digging ditches at the north pole in the middle of February; she'd say her life was wonderful and that Harvey was a big success. She still thinks he hung the moon." 

"I wasn't aware that digging ditches was the worst that could happen to you in life," Glenn remarked dryly, "And why shouldn't a wife consider her husband to be the star of her show?"

The corner of his mouth went down as he stood and walked to the kitchen window and stared out unseeingly. Then he came back and sat down again, all without looking at his mother. 

"You're right. It's just, sometimes--sometimes she gets on my nerves the way she is so, I don't know, peppy and upbeat all the time. I've known her since we were both ankle-biters and I know what a drama queen she really can be; she's not fooling me with that Mary Sunshine rah-rah act she puts on for him."

He finished his little rant and refused to look at Glenn, who regarded him quietly for a moment.

"That was quite a speech. You know, son, I have never liked to interfere in your life, but the time has come for me to have a talk with you."

Gareth popped up out of his seat and nervously jingled the keys in his pocket.

"Mom, I'd really like that, but I need to be getting back home now. Melanie wants to go to the movies tonight."

"You can spare 30 minutes, I'm sure," she said smoothly, "So give your old mother a break and hear me out. This is serious."

His heart sank; Glenn was nothing if not honest and direct. This was not a conversation he wanted to have, but he respected her totally so he took a seat again. He would rather have been at the dentist getting a root canal, though.

"Harvey is your best friend, why should you resent Lori bragging about him?"

"I don't know; maybe I'm envious," he suggested his eyes avoiding hers, "He's working at something he loves and now I'm sitting at a desk and hating it."

"So what's keeping you from leaving that job and going back to teaching and coaching?"

He shrugged,

"The money I guess." 

Glenn took a breath and then said,

"This antagonism toward Lori predates Harvey buying the gym, Gareth. It goes back a long way. I've known for years what the problem is but I hoped you'd outgrow it."

Still not meeting her gaze he protested,

"I'm not antagonistic. I just made one remark, so big deal."

"Look at me, son."

His face carefully expressionless Gareth finally met his mother's eyes.

"You're not fooling me. You need to get this out in the open and deal with it. You've been angry with Lori since high school at least. And I know why."

To be continued...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Versatile Blogger Award

Brianne from With My Collie By My Side was kind enough to give Sims 2 Stories by Lorelei the Versatile Blogger award, it comes at a perfect time for me, mood-wise, and I want to thank her for reading my blog and for thinking of me!

Here is how accepting the award works.

1. Add the award to your blog.
2. Thank the person who gave you the award.
3. Post the rules on your blog.
4. Mention 7 random things about yourself.
5. Pass the award onto 15 bloggers
6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are the random 7 things:

1. I'm an aging baby boomer (fossil) who actually saw the Beatles in concert back in 1964 and screamed myself hoarse. Paul was my favorite.

2. I absolutely love cats and have lived with one or more of them for over thirty years. My youngest one, Babydoo, died last fall at 12 years old. I miss him terribly. This year is the first time I've been cat-less. I will never get through 2012 without bringing home a cat to love. There are various breeds I covet, like Birman, Persian, Ragdoll, but in the end all my cats have always been either strays or shelter cats. I just can't buy a purebred from a cattery when I know there are so many cats who desperately need a home.

3. I'm addicted to playing Sims 2 and writing about my Simmies. I loved to write before this and my blog tends to be "Sim-illustrated stories" (as one of the blogs I read puts it). I have a very rich fantasy life. :)

4. I was bit by a dog, just below my eye, when I was two. It took me until I was 29 to get over my fear of dogs. I love them now, though. But once in a great while a large, unknown dog can scare me like I was a child again. Cats work better for me because I have problems with depression and a touch of agoraphobia. But...if I COULD have a dog...I tend gravitate to small dogs like Chihuahuas, Shi Tsus, Papillons, Pomeranians. I like collies and always wondered if I would like a Sheltie.

5. For fun I used to sing with a country-rock band on talent night back in the late 1970's. It was a house band and I got to be really good friends with them...especially the guitar player (paging Brian Ottomas!). I didn't even like country music or know it when I moved down to NC, but I grew to really love it from 1975 through 1979 when it seemed to be the background music to my life. Things change and I haven't listened to any of the current country music in 20 years. I still listen to the old classic country, though.

6. I had a dream to be a hairdresser since I was a child. Seriously. I went to beauty school and worked in a hair salon from 1969 through to early 1975. I loved, loved, loved everything about doing hair, but I was ready for a change when I moved down to North Carolina with my parents to work in the family business of making rubber parts for antique and classic cars.

7. I love old movies. I'm talking OLD, like from the 1940's, 50's and 60's. If you give me a thumbnail description of plot from a movie of those eras I can probably name the movie you're thinking of and who was in it. Conversely, if you only give me the name of the actor and actress from a movie and the decade I can guess the movie. You can take the information to the bank; no sense in arguing with me about it.

Here are 10 blogs (I know there's supposed to be 15 but I'm very carefully selective and there are, so far, only 10 that I read)

1. Tales from the Dark Sims - This is a "Collection of Short Stories Inspired by The Sims" and currently is telling the story of the Swans, a family of vampires. Sovereign is a very good writer, the stories are quirky, dark indeed, but with a sense of fun and humor. Her vamp Simmies are especially beautiful to look at, too. It has a content warning due to violence I would think (after all, they ARE vampire stories) although it is not at all graphic.

2. Travels - a wonderful travel blog that will take you to exotic locations via fascinating photographs and articles from a remarkable woman who has changed her life so that she can devote it to world travel. Just reading about, and seeing photos of, the food alone worth taking a look! She writes in a way that you feel like you're beside her on the trip.

3. With My Collie By My Side - Reading about Brianne's beautiful collie, Violet, and Griffin, a blue merle Aussie puppy (and seeing the photos she takes!) just makes my day. She injects her posts with fun and the love she has for her family and her dog. She's a busy girl but posts often and fairly regularly.

4. The Fuller Legacy - This is the first Sims 2 Legacy that I got hooked on. Sim Girl writes about the Fullers with tender regard and beautiful photographs. I love this family and they’re up to the fourth generation. I would rate it PG-17 like my own blog, mostly for adult themes.  

5. Carolyn Steele Agosta - Carolyn is one of my four sisters and also a favorite author--her blog has her articles on various subjects, short stories and excerpts from her two published novels. The stories can be amusing or heart-wrenching, sometimes both. That's good in my opinion; I like a little humor with my drama :)

6. Funkycherry's World of Sims - A Sims 3 Legacy blog I've just begun reading but already like it a lot. It's written by a teenager and she has a very helpful post on making photographs for your Sims blogs on there, too. I'm actually caught up on this one *faints*. Can't wait for the next installment.

7. Hyperbole and a Half - I love the articles and her accompanying sketches in this blog. Generally I laugh out loud at least once or twice in every post, but she manages to layer in incisive comments on life in between the quirky humor. Take time to check her out and you'll be glad you did. In fact, here is one of my favorites, the illustrations make it, so please check it out!

8. Lakeside Heights, a Sim-illustrated story Another new blog I’ve started reading, this one is not strictly Legacy, but a “Sim-illustrated” futuristic story. A TON of characters but I'm wading through them and it looks like it will be another addiction of mine. Like most Sims blogs, this is pretty much PG-17.

9. Bloodline - The Ryuzaki Family A Sims 3 Legacy blog I've begun following. I hope someday I can get my blog this organized. It's taking me a while to catch up to present day stories, but I'll get there and I'm already tied to the family. These legacy stories have strict rules and it's best to familiarize yourself with the rules so things will make more sense. Again, this has a content warning but I've not found anything to worry about in the stories so far, just adult themes.

10. Write Out Loud - This blog is by painterchic, an artist/writer/photographer who is also friend who attended my sister's writing class with me. She doesn't always get to post very often, but her humor is warm and totally on the mark. I got introduced to the other blog "Hyperbole and a Half" (above) through painterchic's blog.

Thanks again, Brianne!