Chapter 2.18 The Day That Changed Everything

I want to let you know that are few swear words in this chapter. Nothing overly graphic, but I still would like to give you a heads up.

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This day was just like any other sunny spring day in Twinbrook. The sun rose at 5:30am like it always does. The papergirl dropped off the morning newspaper, like she always does. Brandon dressed in his uniform and headed to the military base, like he always does. Stella dressed in her scrubs for her day at the hospital, like she always does.

However, this is not like any other day. This is the day that changes everything.

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The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over. The snow has melted, allowing wild flowers to spring up all over the yard. Cindy and Ryan Charming went back to Appaloosa Plains, and everything was starting to get back to normal.

Brandon completed his basic training, which meant a promotion at work. On the plus side, he no longer had to clean the latrines. But on the down side, he has been leaving earlier for work and hasn’t been able to make breakfast. Not that Stella had time for anything other than a quick cup of coffee anyway.

Stella drank her morning coffee in silent contemplation. She glanced over at his bedroom door as she leaned against the kitchen counter. She was proud of Brandon’s promotion, yet she still felt sad at the same time.

There were several times over the holiday season that she thought that Brandon was going to open up to her, and tell her that he loves her. Stella thought back to the time that she and Brandon had been ice skating on the lake together. She held his hand as they used each other for balance as they maneuvered across the ice. Stella was wearing gloves, but she could still feel how warm Brandon’s hands were despite the chill in the air. Even when she no longer needed him for balance she couldn’t will herself to let go of his hand. But that is where it ended. Brandon never opened up to Stella, or gave any hint that he may have wanted to be more romantic.

“He seems content with being just friends,” Stella thought to herself as she stood, still fixated on his bedroom door.   “So I guess I am going to have to learn to be content with being just friends too.”

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Stella’s routine at the hospital was the same each and every day. The day starts with morning rounds with her fellow pediatric students. Then they check the progress of a few of the worse cases from the week. Finally, at the end of the day there is a study session with Dr. Meeks. But before the study session there is lunch.

Stella ate her lunch with her usual friends, like she always does. There is Mike, who is in the pediatric program with Stella, and Sarah, one of the ER doctors. Stella was enjoying her garden salad and listening to Sarah talk about last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, when out of nowhere Sarah’s pager started to buzz.

“Oh shit, I gotta go!” Sarah got up and ran out of the cafeteria leaving her half eaten yogurt still on the table. Then other pagers in the cafeteria started to go off. It was like a domino effect, one pager after the other in a wave of buzzing. People were rushing out of the cafeteria leaving their trays and lunch bags at their tables. Then Stella’s pager was the next to buzz.

“Need you in ER ASAP”

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Stella was studying pediatrics so she had never had a need to ever visit the Emergency Room before today. It was a eerie feeling walking into that ER for the first time. It wasn’t the busy chaos that you might expect. It was calm; almost too calm. The kind of calm that leaves you with a false sense of security just before the hurricane bears down on top of you. Mike was with her, and the both of them were able to find Dr. Meeks who filled them in on everything.

“We need all hands on deck,” Dr. Meeks explained to them, “because there has been an accident at the military base.”

“But we are in pediatrics,” Mike talked fast and in a high pitched tone. You could tell that he was starting to panic. “What can we do?”

“You and Stella will help with triage,” Dr. Meeks remained calm as he directed his students. “Help give basic care to the patients who are not critical. Dr. Hart and I will be coordinating the OR for the most critical patients. You got that Stella?”

“Yeah sure,” she lied. The truth of the matter was that the only thing Stella heard was accident at the military base.

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A million different scenarios played out in Stella’s mind. What exactly had happened at the base? Was Brandon involved? Was he hurt? Maybe Brandon was out on a training mission and missed the accident. But what if he wasn’t?! Then where was he when it all happened? And, more importantly, where is Brandon now?!

At that last thought all things started to happen at once. The ambulances started to arrive. One after another. Stella helped as many patients as she could. And from there she was able to piece together the puzzle of what happened.

A helicopter was out on a training exercise when it started going haywire. It was spinning out of control and crashed into one of the barracks, which immediately caught fire. They were trying to put out the fire before it reached the ammo room, but it was too late. One little ember blew towards the ammo, and the whole thing caught fire creating a giant explosion.

So where was Brandon during all of this? Stella still had no clue. She was working on helping as many patients as she could, all the while Brandon never left her mind. Stella wanted desperately to see him and make sure that he is okay. But so far there has been no sign of him. The more time that passes, more horrible ideas began to creep in and poison Stella’s thoughts.

What would Stella do if Brandon came in bloody and broken? Or God forbid, what if he was dead? What would she do then? Stella tried to hide her worries as best as she could, but Mike could see the panic in her eyes.

“If I see Brandon, I’ll let you know.” he tried to reassure her.

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After what seemed like an eternity, the worst of it was over. Many of the doctors were relieved that the injury count wasn’t as bad as the initial reports led them to believe. Yet Stella couldn’t share in their relief. Brandon was still missing in action. After Dr. Meeks dismissed her, Stella made her way to the first empty On Call Room that she could find. It was there that she called her aunts.

“The accident is all over the news.” Aunt April informed Stella. “How is Brandon?“

“I don’t know,” Stella sobbed. “Nobody has seen him. I have no idea where he is, or how he is.”

“I’m sure he is alright my Sweat Pea,” Aunt May consoled.

“No news is good news, right?” Aunt June added.

“I just don’t know,” Stella continued to sob, this time more uncontrollably. “He could be laying under a pile of debris right now for all I know. What if I never see him again? What if he dies not knowing how I truly feel? I love him and I can’t imagine my life without him, and now I will never be able to tell him.“

With the realization that Brandon, the love of Stella’s life, is gone Stella broke down. Her aunts were trying to console her, but she couldn’t hear them. The phone fell out of her hand, as she fell to the floor crying out in sorrow. Stella desperately wanted to see Brandon again. Hear his voice one last time, look into those beautifully blue eyes. So she could finally tell him that she loves him.

But, it was too late!

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Test…Test

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So there have been a few chapters that have not been showing up in anyone’s readers.  I think I figured out what went wrong.  So, I’m testing to make sure we are all good going forward.  Please let me know if this post shows up or not.

Also, the links to the two missed chapters are here:

Chapter. 2.17 Stella’s Winter Wonderland

OUaL Special: Stella’s Snowflake Day

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OUaL Special: Stella’s Snowflake Day

I just want to share a quick update, that the last chapter didn’t show up in anyone’s reader.  I think I fixed the problem, but just in case you missed it the previous chapter is here.

OUaL Winter

 

Just like the Holiday Season is a time for family members to reconnect, this last chapter has given me the chance to reconnect with characters that I haven’t seen in a while. I forgot how much I missed April, May, June, Cindy, and Ryan until I used them for this past chapter. And in my usual fashion, I took way too many pics. So, I would like to share them here.  First a Before & After of Brandon’s Room:

Stella’s need to decorate as a way to distract herself from her growing feelings for Branson was a big part of the last chapter. She went way ridiculously overboard with the decorations, but I had fun trolling different sites trying to find the best CC for her.

I don’t get snow here is Texas, so I have to live vicariously through my sims and watch them enjoy playing in the snow. As soon as the snow was deep enough Cindy & Ryan began making snow angels.

“Do you wanna build a snowman?”

I know that is the wrong fairy tale, but I couldn’t help myself.

Stella and Brandon spent most of the day populating Twinbrook with an army of snowmen. They also went to the Snowflake Fair in town to try ice skating. It took a while, but they eventually got the hang of it.

When the sun went down and the weather got colder they retreated back inside for some hot chocolate. But, Cindy and Ryan weren’t done playing.

I really have missed these two.

Of course the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without the family getting together for a gift exchange. I know that that is not what the holiday season is about, but I still wanted the Charming Clan to have a proper Snowflake Day. Everyone gathered at the Season’s home for the day.

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Each of the family members cheered while the others opened their gifts. Everyone except Stella, who was more interested in anything other than the gift opening at hand.

Aunt April had the best surprised expression and Aunt May had the best disappointed expression (but if I was gifted a yard flamingo I would make the same face).

I hope you enjoyed this Winter Special in the middle of July. As always, have a great day or night depending on when you are reading this!!

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Memory Lane Challenge

I woke up this morning and opened my reader to see that not only did one of my favorite SimLit writers posted a new chapter, but she also nominated me for this fun award.  Thank you to loladiamond01.

Congratulations! You’ve been nominated for a totally legit award. Get a gold star and stick it on your forehead like a boss.
2. Share FIVE of your favourite moments from your legacy/challenge/story so far.
3. Nominate 3-5 blogs to do the same.

 

So, let’s begin our walk:

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  • I really miss Cindy (but I do not miss my old computer).

 

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  • I had a hard time picking 1 picture of Lucifur and Missy.  I could do an entire walk down Memory Lane of just these two.

 

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  • SarahLouPlays made the comment about how much she liked the relationship between Cindy and Fay.  So, I for sure wanted to include a picture of them here.

 

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  • Young love.  Little did they know what was in store for them.

 

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  • Waking the Sleeping Beauty.

 

Now it is time to share the nostalgia.  My nominees are (I know that it says to nominate 3-5 people, but I just had to sneak that extra one in):

  1. Blood Brothers
  2. fabtiffsim
  3. Forever in Time
  4. SarahLouPlays
  5. Sempreviva’s Sims
  6. Starting Over- Escape to Nowhere

 

Bonus Pic (since you all are so great I wanted to include a preview for the next chapter):

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Chapter. 2.17 Stella’s Winter Wonderland

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Days passed, then weeks, then months.  And before long Winter Break had arrived.  Stella had a few weeks off until the next semester, but she wasn’t on a complete break.  The first semesters of school had been in a classroom, this next semester would find Stella learning hands-on in the hospital.

To help the students prepare, the professors gave each of the students a Teaching Dummy to practice on and learn from.  It would move like a person, rattle off different symptoms and Stella had to diagnose it.  The dummy would have everything from a splinter, to a severed limb, and everything in between.  Stella loved her new toy so much that she named him Harvey, but Brandon was not a fan.

“I think it is creepy.” he exclaimed after Stella showed him how it worked.

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Stella got a break from school, but Brandon didn’t get a break from the military.  He still left for the base every morning and returned late every night.  Stella was alone in the house with no one to talk to but her new toy, whose only response was a robotic, “I have pains in my stomach”.  It was on those days that she found herself missing Brandon more and more.  She was happy that he had agreed to stay with her. She convinced him that he could save money faster if he just took the extra bedroom instead of moving out. Brandon had bought himself a small bed and a small dresser.  Stella was happy that he would be with her at least a little while longer. Happy yet confused at the same time.

She wanted Brandon in her life, but only as a friend.  Or so she thought.  She had convinced herself that he was no more than just a good friend. Then again, why was she trying so hard to convince herself in the first place?

“He betrayed my trust,” Stella thought to herself, “I can’t forget that.“

Yet every time Brandon smiled at her a small part of her wanted to throw her arms around him and kiss him passionately.

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Lucky for Stella she soon had a distraction.  Her parents were flying in from Appaloosa Plains to spend Snowflake Day with her!  She was so excited.  It would be her first holiday season with them in her new house so everything had to be perfect.  Stella spent her days decorating the house, which meant less time to think about Brandon’s soft lips.  Or how she noticed that he had gained more muscle since joining the military.

“I have to hang more lights,” Stella though as she tried to focus on something else other than Brandon’s muscles.  Or his newly found confidence.  Or how the sparkle in his blue eyes had returned.  She didn’t know how to handle her conflicting emotions. Instead of dealing with her growing love for Brandon she buried her feelings and put up another Snowflake Day decoration.

Before long the entire house was covered in decorations!

“Look how happy she is,” Brandon thought as he looked around the living room.  “she has gone crazy overboard with decorations because she wants everything to be perfect for her parents.”

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Brandon was excited yet nervous about meeting Mr. and Mrs. Charming.  He was happy that Stella was happy, and excited that Stella was excited.  On the other hand, how would Cindy and Ryan treat the son of the witch who put their daughter under an evil curse?  Did they know about Brandon’s involvement in Anastasis & Maleficent’s  plan to harm Stella?

He was at work when Stella picked them up from the airport, and he knew they would be waiting for him at home.  He showered at the base and changed into a fresh uniform that didn’t wreak from the mess hall.

“It is a pleasure to meet you Mr. and Mrs. Charming,” Brandon politely spoke as Stella introduced her parents.  He noted how it stung that she referred to him as her friend, but Brandon didn’t let it show.

“Please call us Cindy and Ryan,” Cindy responded with a warm hug, while Ryan offered a strong handshake.  Brandon didn’t worry about them after that.

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It was decided that Stella, Brandon, Cindy and Ryan would spend Snowflake Eve with the Seasons, while Snowflake Day would be a quiet celebration at Stella’s home.

“Where are the guys?” Stella asked June when she noticed that Eugene, Matt, and Doug were absent.

“We thought that it would be too crowded.” June replied as she took everyone’s jackets when she greeted them at the door.  “Plus, we wanted a nice quiet night with your parents.”

The Season’s House was modestly decorated. There was a humbly small tree in the corner of the living room. There were also a few poinsettias scattered here and there, and a beautiful, but not over the top, centerpiece on the dinning room table. It was no where nearly as decorated as Stella’s house. Then again, there is not a single home in all of SimNation that is as decorated as Stella’s house.

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May, Cindy, and Brandon out did themselves with the dinner. They prepared a stuffed turkey with all of the fixings. They had slaved over the stove tops for hours, but it was all worth it. The meal was amazingly delicious.

Brandon had been nervous about the meal, because he knew that Cindy and May could cook circles around him. This was the first time that he had cooked for anyone other than Stella. So when the rest of the family complimented the meal, Brandon took extra pride to be included. Plus, his heart fluttered when Stella raved about the mashed potatoes, which is the side dish that Brandon made himself.

After dinner came the presents. Stella and Brandon decided to pool their money together in order to get nicer gifts for everyone. They got April a comic figure and a few comics to add to her collection. May received a new recipe book a unique seed that they found on one of their walks. June was given Twinbrook Gnomes pajamas. She loved them so much that she ran to put them on immediately.

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From the Seasons Cindy was gifted a necklace and matching earrings. Ryan was given some nice sweaters. They gave Brandon some cookbooks and a new pair of boots. To Stella they gave some new clothes, a mug that read, “Dr. Awesome”, and a brand new camera.

Stella’s present to her parents was a special one. She gave them a scrapbook that she made of their time here in Twinbrook, and she included some pictures from her previous trip to Appaloosa Plains.

“Your present is too big to bring,” Stella leaned in a whispered to Brandon. “So it is still back at the house.”

The whole evening was wonderful; full of memories and laughs. The presents hadn’t all been handed out yet, but Stella had already taken over 100 pictures with her new camera. And before the evening came to an end, everyone got together for one last family photo.

“I will take the picture of everyone,” Brandon offered.

“don’t be silly,” Cindy insisted.

“Yeah,” June added. “you know that you are a part of the family too.”

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Don’t go into your room just yet.” Stella told Brandon when they got home. “Your present is in there.”

Stella grabbed Brandon by the hand to stop him from going any further. They stood in the overly decorated living room right outside the door to Brandon’s room.

“I have said this before, but I feel like I can never say it enough.” Stella was still holding Brandon’s hand as she looked into his blue eyes. “I have to say thank you. You literally saved my life. I wouldn’t be here to spend Snowflake Eve with my family if it wasn’t for you. So, again, thank you and Merry Snowflake Eve. But before you go into your room you have to close your eyes.”

Brandon did as he was told. Stella put her hands over his eyes as she led him into his room.

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“Okay open your eyes!” Stella announced once they were inside Brandon’s room.

Brandon looked around the room in awe. He knew that it was his room, but he didn’t recognize the place. Everything in the room was completely different.

The old bed, with the lumpy mattress, was replaced with a brand new bed, and blankets in his favorite color, red. He had a bookcase to hold his cookbooks, a large full length mirror, and a giant rug (also in red). But what really caught his eyes (besides Stella showing off her bright smile in the middle of his room), were the brand new treadmill and weight machines.

“This isn’t just from me,” Stella beamed with excitement. She loved seeing the surprised look on Brandon’s face. “My parents helped with this too.”

“This is all way too much.” Brandon was still in awe. “I don’t know what to say. I feel like thank you isn’t enough”.

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“Now it is my turn to give you your present.” Brandon was still blown away by Stella’s generosity, but he needed to focus on the task at hand.

“Growing up I had a very different Snowflake Day,” Brandon began, “Mother used her dark magic to get anything that Ivy or I wanted. But more than anything I wanted to have a loving family. I wanted Mother to be like those loving and supportive moms that you see on TV. I wanted Ivy to be a loving sister; someone to play games and hang out with.”

Stella silently listened to Brandon as he continued his story, “But I never got that. I never got my family Snowflake Day. Not until today. And that means more to me than I could ever express.”

Brandon handed Stella a plain white envelope. “I know that this isn’t much, but I hope you like it.”

Stella opened the envelope to find plane tickets to China; three of them.

“Why three?” Stella questioned. She silently hoped that Brandon wanted to on a trip together, so what was the extra ticket for?

“The tickets are for you and your parents,” Brandon explained. “You all can go visit China together this summer.”

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Stella realized how truly selfless Brandon is. He is always thinking about her; putting her first. Even risking his life for her.

For a split second she almost went in for a kiss. For a split second she almost told him that she loves him. But only for a split second. Stella’s trust issues filled her mind with doubts. Then the moment was gone.

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OUaL Special: The Fall Festival

 

Just in case you haven’t noticed by now, I love taking pictures of my sims. More pictures than I know I am going to need for a chapter. With the highlights usually getting posted in my Extras Page.

The Fall Festival from the last chapter is a very important moment in Stella’s story, but I couldn’t include all of the pictures that I took. I thought that the answer to my dilemma would be to include a Very Special Chapter.

Warning: I feel that I should let everyone know that this is a very picture heavy special.

OUaL Special Fall

While Stella waited for her aunts to arrive she took the time to take care of a few chores around the house. She started by making sure that the leaves in the front yard were all raked up in a nice, neat, and orderly pile. And Brandon did his part by making sure that the pile was not too neat, and not too orderly.

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Once they arrived at the festival they all sort of went off and did their own thing. April challenged some random townie to a chess match (sorry I totally forgot the guy’s name, but I do remember that April won).

I didn’t realize that June has her soccer ball in her inventory until she started kicking it around.

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And now she is just showing off!

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Stella and Brandon decided to take some goofy pictures in the photo booth. I wanted to put them in a frame in the living room after they got home.

Side Note: if anyone knows how to create your own wall art that you can put in your game please let me know!

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By this time the sun had set and the temperature dropped. It’s a good thing that Stella and Brandon brought their warmest jackets. After the photo shoot is was time to bob for apples. When Stella was in the middle of grabbing an apple she happen to look over at Brandon who had his head under the water. She laughed so hard that the apple fell out of her mouth and fell back into the trough. It was at that moment that Stella realized that she is in love with Brandon Crowe.

Bobbing for apples can really work up an apatite. So it is a good thing that a pie eating contest was about to take place. This time May and June decided to join in the fun. (it is kind of hard to tell from this picture, but when I wasn’t looking June went and got a pumpkin painted on her face).

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I just now realized that halfway though the contest Stella and Brandon changed their clothes again.

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“Hey Brandon,” Stella joked, “you have a little something on your face.”

“You know what,” Brandon teased back. “So do you.”

After the pie eating contest, which May won, Stella and Brandon decided to pose for a pie filling selfie.

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As soon as Brandon stepped onto the festival grounds he wanted to visit the haunted house (which surprised me since he has the coward trait). He made Stella go first, as they both dared to enter the Haunted House (queue spooky music with a chainsaw going off in the background).

But they couldn’t enter the house before changing back into their winter wear. I will never understand sims and their need to change outfits at the drop of a hat.

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As a thank you for inviting him to the festivivities, Brandon wanted to treat Stella to a cup of warm apple cider. This was the first time that Stella and Brandon got a chance to talk all day. At first they didn’t now what to say to each other. Stella was so nervous about her realization that she is love with Brandon that her defenses were immediately put up. She was so scared that she might give something away that she kept silent for as long as possible.

Her silence was broken when Brandon started talking about his job. She was so proud that he is part of the military, that she had no choice but to smile at him. Stella always has her guard up with everyone, even with the people she is closest to like her parents and her aunts. But no one can break down Stella’s walls like Brandon.

No trip to the Fall Festival would be complete without a trip to the pumpkin patch. Brandon and Stella each picked the prefect pumpkin for their Jack-O-Lanterns.

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Stella and Brandon started working on their jack-o-lanterns as soon as they got home.

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They put them outside as soon as they were done. Just in time to get their first trick-or-treaters.

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I hope you enjoyed this Once Upon a Legacy Special. And as always have a great day, or night, depending on when you are reading this.

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