Gage Briody is the third child of Brigit Briody. This is a spin-off of his story, From Riverview, With Love. The introductory chapter prior to this is Prologue, Velvet Sky, which is a prequel to FRWL, and also follows KCLKF’s 1.26 Unbearable.
Warning: This chapter includes content that is not suitable for younger audiences. The chapter contains sexual situations, language and adult conversations.
It all began with a boy. Doesn’t it always? And I was a girl who desperately wanted to be in love. I was that little girl who fantasized about her fairytale wedding under a canopy of red roses kissing my dream guy. I was the little girl who adored playing house with her dolls, dreaming up all sorts of romantic stories about my “happy couple.” I was the little girl who begged my parents to tell me their own love story over and over again every night as I fell asleep. I was the one who checked out every classic romance from the library, and went to every sappy romantic comedy in the movie theaters. I was the “love girl,” or the “lover of love.” Who doesn’t want to be in love? I thought.
Perhaps now looking back, I was quite naïve. It never occurred to me that love would be my eventual undoing and would cause years of heartache, devastation, and disaster. I never set out to be Olympic mom and have one hundred kids. Don’t get me wrong. Babies are a beautiful thing, and I love each one of my precious children, but so much of my life was wasted looking for love that I missed out on being the kind of mother my kids deserved. Now as a woman nearing her deathbed, I decided I should write my memoirs once and for all. I have a pretty epic story that is, though I’m not sure if anyone will actually want to read it. Nonetheless, I want to begin writing down my life experiences because everyone has a story to tell. I suppose my story begins with my parents.
My father, Anatole Genessa was a nobleman, son of Championne aristocrats. I remember my father as a warm, caring, likeable and funny guy. He had lots of friends and was quite the partier. In his younger university days, he was a hardcore football player (no, not the American sport… soccer). He got into professional surfing in the Simiribbean Islands and became a local legend. His father was the ambassador to Simlan.
He met my mother, Lin Yue, while living in Shang Simla. They were night and day different. After they were married, my father left his family home in Champs les Sims and bought a home in Bridgewood, Califorsimia. It was far enough out of the big city for my mother to enjoy the quiet suburban life and grow a vineyard and close enough to Bay City for my father to commute to work.
Despite his family wealth, my father worked as a sports agent for most of my childhood and early adulthood. He was a loveable dad who worked very hard to provide his family with the best things. I definitely was a Daddy’s girl.
My mother, Yue grew up in a traditional Simlan home. She pursued her academics vigorously as a girl and her university grades were off the charts, a natural genuis. Right out of university, she was offered a job as a video game programmer for a company called Sixam based in Shang Simla. After she married my father, they moved to Sim Nation where she continued to work remotely for the company until she retired after four decades.
I remember my mother being much more reserved than my dad. She was cool and level-headed, unlike my hot-headed and impulsive father. She was dedicated to her work, and married to her job. When my mother discovered she couldn’t have kids, she and my father decided to adopt me. They named me Karma Genessa on adoption day. I think it is a beautiful name.
My story really begins on a beautiful spring day. I was sixteen. Both of my parents were home on a Saturday, a rare occurrence, because contractors were working on our home. I always loved this house. There were many beautiful memories here. But I digress. Where was I? Oh, it began with a boy…
…a beautiful boy, I might add. Corban Daniels was just the sort of boy I want to fall in love with – cute, smart, funny. He wasn’t exactly the most popular kid in school mostly because of his family relations. Everybody knows his daddy spent every night at the dive bar usually till closing and he’d spent time in jail. All the kids in school were warned to stay away from the Daniels family.
But Corban wasn’t dangerous, I had decided. He was just trying to fit in and be your normal average kid. He kept his head down most of the time at school, shuffling through the hallway, reading his books. Probably figured he wouldn’t have to see the judgmental stares or listen to the gossiping as he passed by. One day he did look up at me as I nearly ran into him (**cough cough** accidentally you know). He gave me the cutest half-smile and his baby blues nearly barreled me over with their sparkle. I was head over heels in love… with a boy who had never talked to me.
Just my luck, during senior year, we had chemistry class together… of course. I was imagining the sparks flying as I doodled his name in my notebook at my desk and stared at the back of his perfect head of hair. That kind of behavior earned me a F on the test and a lecture from my parents. The teacher promised me I could make it up with some extra credit work. Toward the end of the year, we had a lab presentation we had to do. Lo and behold, I was sick the day they assigned partners and when I came to school the next day, I learned Corban had been assigned to me. Oh I about died and went to heaven! I never thought I’d be so happy to have a cold!
I must’ve brushed my teeth and combed my hair ten times and changed my outfit fifteen times. Mother was mad at me because of the large, rather noticeable pile of clothes on my bedroom floor. She made me promise not to bring the boy upstairs to my room before returning to her office. Corban must’ve hiked down the hill because he ended up in our backyard. I raced out the kitchen door to meet him.
“Hiiiii Corban,” I grinned like a fool.
“Uh… hi… sorry… I… uh…” he stammered. “My brother was watching the nature channel, some fishing show. I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t listen to another ‘I caught a fish this big….’”
I threw back my head and laughed like a fool. Corban gave me a strange look before continuing.
“So I went for a hike up in the hills and then I looked down and realized this was your backyard so I just came down this way,” he explained.
“That’s nice. You ready for some chemistry?”
I could’ve kicked myself. How stupidly obvious could I be!
“Yeah, I guess. Can I get a glass of water first?” he asked.
“Yeah, definitely,” I said, still grinning.
“Are we going to go inside?” he gestured after a moment of awkward silence.
I realized I hadn’t budged.
“Oh… uh… yeah… I just… Corban has anyone ever told you that you have the most beautiful eyes?” I exclaimed before I clamped a hand over my mouth.
I could’ve died. I’m sure my face turned a thousand shades of red. Why on earth did I say that?
Corban looked at his feet awkwardly before raising his gaze to meet mine. His cheeks were tinted pink.
“That’s…that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me,” he replied gently.
“Oh,” was all I could think to say as my face returned to normal color.
“You know what?” Corban continued, with a newfound bravery. “Has anyone ever told you that you’re the prettiest girl in school?”
“Thank you, Corban,” was all I managed to whisper.
After that day, Corban and I were inseparable. He took me on a hike to Ruby Lookout about two weeks later…where we had our first kiss. Oh it was magic!
Corban really liked staying active. We often went hiking to the lighthouse lookout. We didn’t do much looking…
We’d go to the beach. Frankly, we did more staring-into-each-other’s-eyes than swimming.
We’d go for runs. Jogging in the sand did wonders for toning my legs. I think Corban liked the view from behind.
We would sit on the sand and talk for hours.
We’d go fishing,but we spent more time trying to catch our breath between makeout sessions than catching fish.
Every night, we’d climb to the roof of an abandoned warehouse. We would look out over the town and dream about our future. Sometimes, we’d look through all the random stuff in the warehouse. We’d find all sorts of treasures to be found – old bicycle parts, boxes of torn, but well-loved books, broken kitchen gadgets, and other things. We liked to pull out pieces and dream about the kind of home we’d have someday. Corban was a great boyfriend. He was so affectionate and thoughtful and always played along with my imaginings. I adored him. I was head over heels in love.
Graduation day arrived sooner than we both would’ve liked. I knew he’d be going off to university in the fall and I’d be staying at the community college in town. We planned for me to transfer after a year so we could be together. In the meantime, Corban would commute home on weekends and I’d drive down to see him on Tuesday nights to have dinner with him when I had my art class in Bay City. It would be new and challenging, but nothing we couldn’t handle.
After the graduation dance, we parted ways from our friends. Corban had a special surprise planned for me. We headed to the abandoned warehouse for a romantic picnic. Corban had packed chicken salad sandwiches, watermelon, potato salad, and my favorite peanut butter cookies.
“Sorry about the hamburger buns,” he apologized. “We were out of regular bread at home.”
“Oh it’s fine. I like it better this way,” I smiled.
When we finished, he packed up our leftovers and threw away our trash. Then he came back and cupped my face with his hands.
“Karma, you are so beautiful,” he stared into my eyes. “You look so radiant tonight.”
“Thank you,” I grinned. “You’re looking mighty fine tonight too.”
“No, I’m serious, Karma. You are breathtaking. You’re a rock star… a rare jewel… a goddess,” he took a step back as he spoke and surveyed me.
“Wow!” was all I could say.
“I have one more surprise for you, but we have to wait until it gets dark.”
“Ooo,” I squealed. “What is it?”
“Karma, if I told you it wouldn’t be a surprise,” Corban laughed.
“I know,” I said excitedly. “But I still want to know.”
“Let’s watch the stars first, my darling.”
The sky turned from pink to velvety blue. As I sat in Corban’s arms, I thought, Life can’t get any better than this.
“Karma?” Corban breathed in my ear.
“Yes?” my heart caught at the sound of him saying my name.
“I want to ask you something very important, and I don’t want you to feel pressured one way or another to give me an answer…” Corban began, but I cut him off.
“Yes, Corban,” I replied shyly, my eyes dropping to the ground before meeting his eyes. I squeezed his hands. “I want to be with you.”
“Reaaalllly?” his voice squeaked.
I laid my hand on his cheek. “Yes, in every way,” I whispered.
“I’m so glad to hear you say that,” Corban responded, closing his eyes as he leaned his forehead against mine.
The temperature dropped as darkness settled in. Corban took my hand and led me into the building. He helped me up the ladder to the abandoned loft, but made me close my eyes before we reached the top. I shivered.
“Are your eyes still closed?” Corban asked.
“They’re closed… I’m just freezing,” I said, rubbing my arms.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be warm soon,” Corban assured me.
“Okay you can open them now.”
I was shocked. Tears filled my eyes. Corban wanted our first time to be special. He had found an old mattress that he covered with some clean sheets and a bent wire headboard and beat-up boxspring he had repaired. The bed was in the center of the room surrounded by dozens of candles. He’d even lit a fire in the fireplace.
“Well are you going to say something?” he asked.
“I’m surprised that still works,” I managed to laugh weakly.
“Karma, I’m not talking about the fireplace,” Corban chuckled.
“It’s beautiful. It’s perfect and romantic and you’re… oh… Corban! I love you!” I cried as I flung my arms around him and kissed him hard.
Somewhere between the hot kisses and heavy caresses, I peeled off Corban’s dress jacket, unbuttoned his shirt, and unbuckled his pants. Corban gently tugged my dress over my head, trailing kisses down my neck, chest, and abdomen. I dropped one arm low around his waist and the other high around his neck, tracing light circles on his bare back. After a few minutes, Corban stopped me.
“Are you okay? Is this okay? I mean we didn’t exactly talk about this before now. I mean, I’ve been planning this and I hoped this is what you wanted, but I didn’t know,” he rambled.
“Corban,” I reached up and laid my palm on the side of his face. “I want you. I want this. I love you.”
“Oh, I love you too,” he leaned in for a kiss, tracing his thumb around the lacy hem of my panties.
I caught my breath and sighed. Corban took this as confirmation, reaching up to unhook my bra.
As we kissed, I took note of his body. He felt interesting and strange up against my bare skin. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that wherever he was taking me, I’d try to enjoy because he was enjoying me so well. His skin was flushed and warm, inviting me. I was tingling all over and shaking with nervous anticipation.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “Should we slow down?”
“Uh… I don’t know,” I laughed awkwardly. “I’ve never done this before.”
As we stood bare before each other, Corban held my head and stared into my eyes with so much love before allowing his gaze to travel down my body. He sweetly wrapped his arms around me, tugging me close, crushing me to him. His hand rested on my upper back. I gave him a small smile to encourage him. He trailed one hand down to the small of my back, tickling my little hairs. I closed my eyes and leaned back so he could see me more clearly. He groaned in awe and wonder, tracing his other hand tenderly over each of my breasts, trickling down the sides of my rib cage, and trailing around back to caress each cheek. I moaned with pleasure, his touch sensational.
He led me to the bed and we lay side by side, holding hands and staring up at the ceiling. I suddenly felt cold and self-conscious. He gripped my hand hard, his palms sweaty. I gulped.
“Karma, it’s okay. We can wait…” he reassured me.
“But I don’t… you don’t… everything is so perfect and beautiful… and you did this all for me,” I cried out in frustration.
“Should we get dressed again? Would that help?” he offered.
“No… um… yes… I don’t know… I mean…” I stammered. “You want this… we are here… and I want…and I…”
I was suddenly aware I wasn’t making sense. My breathing intensified as he stared at me without saying a word, waiting. After a few minutes, he leaned forward and placed the slightest kiss on my forehead that sent a cool tingling sensation pumping through my blood. I tried to anticipate his thoughts and read his feelings as there was so much emotion mixed up on his face. I was overwhelmed.
“So this is love?” I whispered.
“I love you,” he said in a low, seductive voice. “And I’ll wait if you want me too. I want you to be okay with this, Karma, and if that means waiting a thousand years before we can be together, I will.”
“Let’s not wait,” I said enthusiastically, throwing myself into his arms and hugging him with every last drop of love within me.
He grinned and pulled the covers over our head, the blackness of the blanket and the crackling of the fire comforting me. His touch was tentative and tender. Each time he ventured somewhere new, he met my gaze as if asking for permission before continuing. We met that night – Corban and I – heart, body, mind, and soul – and it was magical.
“So this is love?” I exhaled as we emerged from under the covers, drenched in sweat and panting in pleasure.
“Yes, this is love,” he gave my hand a squeeze.
At five-thirty, I pulled out of his arms and pulled my dress back on over my head. Soundlessly, I kissed his forehead as he continued sleeping before I climbed back down the ladder and ran home. I hoped to slip in unnoticed before anyone was awake.
Both my parents were awake. Mom was cool and collected, but I could tell she wasn’t calm. Her eyes were a dark gray, the color they became when she was upset. It was cold fury I saw in her eyes. Dad, on the other hand, was angrily yelling at me.
“How could you be so irresponsible?” he shouted. “I can’t believe you’d worry your mother and I like this. Were you out with Corban that good-for-nothing…”
“Dad, stop!” I raised my voice, feeling my own anger bubbling inside. “Corban is not good-for-nothing.”
“So you were with him?” Mom said quietly.
“Yes, and I’m fine. Nothing happened to me. Look I’m still here,” I pinched my own wrist as if to prove my point. “I’m all in one piece.”
“You are most definitely not the same!” Dad replied irately. “My daughter had sex tonight!”
“What?” my eyes widened. “How do you know?”
“Karma! I’m not stupid!” Dad threw his hands up in exasperation looking at my mother for help. “Do you hear this? Do you hear this from our daughter?”
“She’s going on the pill,” Mom answered.
“Dad! Mom! I’m seventeen!” I interjected. “I’m not a child anymore.”
“No, until you’re eighteen, you’re still under our roof, and our rules, and I thought we raised you to be smarter than this,” Dad grunted. “I can’t believe you’d sleep with that jailbird’s little bastard.”
“Dad! Don’t call him that. Corban is… I… I love him!” I cried, the tears falling hard and fast down my cheeks. “You have no right to interfere in our lives.”
“I HAVE EVERY RIGHT!” Dad thundered. “I’M YOUR FATHER.”
“NO YOU’RE NOT!” I shrieked.
Both my parents stopped and stared at me silently.
“YOU’RE NOT MY PARENTS. YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD AND YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM. YOU ADOPTED ME. BUT YOU CAN’T CONTROL ME!” I screamed.
Dad took a step back and dropped his hand to his waist. Mom did something unexpected. She reached out to hug me.
“You’re right,” she said sadly. “She’s right, Antol. We aren’t her biological parents.”
“What are you saying?” Dad asked, his voice breaking.
“I’m saying she needs to know…”
“I need to know what?”
Mom took me by the hand and led me upstairs to the attic. I followed reluctantly, hearing Dad crying on the couch as we left the room. Mom handed me a box with papers.
“Here,” she said. “This will have all the answers you’re looking for…”
“What answers?” I stared at her blankly.
Mom left me to rummage through the box alone. I found my birth certificate on top. The words on the baby’s name line read Brigit Briody. The name in my mother’s line read Cybil Briody.
What? I flipped through the other papers. I found my parents legal adoption papers and my legal name change paper. So I was born Brigit Briody? I’m not really Karma. My shoulders hunched forward and I began to sob, loud, wailing sobs. I covered my mouth, hoping the sound wouldn’t travel. But no one came even if it did.
After about an hour, Mom came upstairs. She packed me a small bag and had purchased us plane tickets. She said I was going to live in Champs les Sims with my aunt Cherida. I didn’t even bother arguing with her that dad’s sister wasn’t really my aunt, since I wasn’t really their daughter. I didn’t protest. I was too exhausted from crying for over an hour.
Cherida was happy to see us, but I was in a daze. I couldn’t believe how much my life had changed in forty-eight hours. I went upstairs and curled up on the bed, refusing to eat dinner.
Six weeks passed, and I fell into a mindless routine.
Wake up. Brush my teeth. Pick at my breakfast. Sleep. Wake up. Cry. Eat part of my lunch in my room. Read in the library. Sleep. Wake up. Cry. Sleep some more. Wake up. Cry some more. Argue with Cherida that I wasn’t eating dinner. Cry myself to sleep. Wake up and repeat.
My heart ached. I wanted to talk to Corban but I didn’t know what to tell him or even how to make a long distance call. I understood I would probably never see him again. Mom had told me that my father had a long conversation with his father and they decided it was best for Corban and I to break up. What I couldn’t understand was the letter Mom had given me from Corban telling me that our night together was a mistake. What I couldn’t understand was why I was gaining weight when I wasn’t eating much.
I stumbled into the bathroom, hugging my stomach with my arm. The muscles ached badly from all my endless sobbing. I couldn’t go on like this. I had to escape this house. I had to get out of this country. I had to get back to the Sim Nation and somehow convince Corban to take me back, that our night together meant something, that I wanted to be with him despite our parents.
Nausea pooled in my throat. Here we go again. Chunks from my meal stirred in my stomach and shot up the back of my throat. I propelled myself over the toilet bowl. For about a week, I had been losing my lunch. I was beginning to worry that I had the flu.
I stood up dizzily. A strange thought occurred to me. The more I thought it, the more I realized it was probably true. What if I’m pregnant?
A test confirmed the truth. The strip turned pink. I was pregnant. I panicked. What was I going to do? It was bad enough I was six-thousand miles away from the baby’s father. My parents had forbidden me to see him, and he didn’t want to be with me. I had no one to turn to. I felt sick again.
For the next seven and a half months, I felt miserable as I was cooped up inside Aunt Cherida’s home. Aunt Cherida tried to make me feel comfortable as much as possible. She even helped me to the bedroom on the main floor so I wouldn’t have to climb the stairs anymore. She told me if I ever wanted to talk that she’d listen. I knew she was just being kind.
Mom flew out in the final month. Dad didn’t come. Mom had flown out to see me, but Dad refused to come. My pregnancy was just one more reason for him to be disappointed in me. Mom wasn’t pleased, but she brought me some baby clothes. I rested on my bed and she knelt beside the bed and talked with me. Then she mentioned the Fosters.
“Who?” I said.
“You know, the Fosters. Dad arranged for them to come to Championne after you give birth. They’re the couple who is going to adopt your baby. They can’t wait to meet you,” Mom clasped her hands together.
I stared at her dumbly, blinking rapidly. My parents wanted me to give up the baby. And they haven’t even discussed it with me.
I responded coldly, “Mom, I’m keeping the baby.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. You can’t raise it on your own, dear. After you give it up, you can come back home finally and we’ll be a family again. You can start community college again in Simgust. Dad arranged everything for you. The Fosters are a wonderful family,” Mom replied.
“What?” I exclaimed, jumping up from the bed. “It has a name, Mom. A baby, Mom. My baby. Mine and Corban’s. I am keeping the baby.”
“Karma, you aren’t responsible enough…”
“Mom, I grew up the minute the strip turned pink. I’m going to get a job and a place of my own and raise this child with or without Corban and with or without you. I’m eighteen now. I can make decisions for myself and I don’t need you or Dad arranging things for me.”
“Try and get some sleep, dear,” Mom kissed my forehead, completely ignoring what I had just said. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me.”
I fumed and paced the room after Mom left. I was furious they hadn’t included me in “my future plans.” This was a disaster. I couldn’t give up my baby to strangers. I wouldn’t let Mom and Dad do this to me. They weren’t even my real parents.
I did an Internet search for Cybil Briody. She had been widowed twice, divorced once. I packed up all of my belongings, left Aunt Cherida a note thanking her for everything, and walked to catch the subway. With what money I had left, I purchased a ticket on the next flight out… to Twikkii Island in the SimNation.
When I arrived, I ignored the ladies handing out flower leis and went straight for a computer to look up my birth mother’s address. As I was clicking through the pages, I felt a sharp pain in the left side of my abdomen. Then my water broke.
“Owwwwcccchhhh!” I shrieked, grabbing my belly in horror.
I was going to give birth. I half-ran, half-waddled out to the curb, hailing a taxi cab.
“To the hospital,” I shouted.
I didn’t think I was going to make it, but I came in through the hospital doors when my contractions were still three minutes apart. A nurse saw me and had me sit down in a wheelchair, calling a doctor over to assist us.
“What’s your name, honey?” she asked as she wheeled me into the delivery room.
“Owwww!” I cried in pain.
“Your name, honey? So we can put it on your wristband?”
I paused for a moment, sobering. Karma Genessa was my legal name, but Karma was dead. Her heart was back with Corban Daniels in Bridgewood, Califorsimia. I wasn’t going back there.
“Brigit. Brigit Briody,” I went with my birth name.
Labor was over almost as soon as it began. I must’ve passed out, exhausted. When I came to, a doctor was standing over me.
“Ms. Briody?” she asked softly. “Would you like to see your babies now?”
“Babies?” I repeated tiredly.
“Yes, you had twins.”
I don’t recall a moment where I ever felt so much excitement, pride, and joy all rolled into one as I held my two children.
Zia had creamy white skin and bright blue eyes like her father. And Zeke had chocolaty skin and dark eyes like me. And they were beautiful.
“So this is love,” I hummed to them. “So this is love. So this is love.”
Check out my Simblr Exclusive post that goes along with this story.
- Dates were changed.
- Zero’s name was changed to Zeke.
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