Boreal Springs

December 18, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 27: ‘White Wedding’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 2:20 pm

Roman and Cara Anderson are happy their son is finally getting married.  Gregory and Lydia have come a long, hard way.  Can they keep it together or will everything just continue to unravel?

“I’m going to be sick,” Lydia said, trying not shake.  “I think I’m going to throw up.”

“Attractive.  Just make sure you aim away from me.”

“Can’t we just elope?”

“I think they’d notice if we left now.”

Despite her inherent cold feet and sheepishness at going in front of all the people Gregory’s family seemed to know, Lydia made it to the altar.  Marriage was big, it was huge and you don’t really figure that out until your knee-deep in rose petals and covered in so much lace you look like one of your grandma’s old curtains.

Still, Lydia was pretty sure she was okay with her decision.  It wasn’t as if she liked anyone else.  It was just… big.

The ceremony proceeded without a hitch and the further along it got the more at ease Lydia felt.  It was just stage fright, there were people everywhere, all watching.  It was unnerving.

“Dad, are you crying?”

“N-no… there’s confetti in my eye.”

The vows and rings were exchanged, bird-friendly petals thrown in lieu of rice.

Rosa was quick to congratulation her flaky sister, happy to finally see her happy and out of the house.

“Make sure you don’t come running back, okay?”

“Rosa, stop,” Kenya scolded, shaking her head as she walked by.

“I’m just kidding,” Rosa said, pulling back from the hug.  “You know that, right?”

“Yeah, I know.  Thanks, Rosa.”

“This place is amazing, I don’t see why you’d ever want to come home.  Makes our house look like a closet!”

“To be honest, I’m a little afraid I’m going to get lost…”

Outside, Hugh caught Lydia after the party had ended.

“I’m so proud of you,” he said, squeezing her shoulder.  “Be good, okay?”

“I’ll try,” she hugged him tightly.  “Bye, daddy.”

“See you, baby.”

“You survived,” Gregory laughed once everyone was gone and they were again able to relax.  “See?  Like pulling off a band-aid, it’s all over and never to be repeated again.”

“I guess so, I mean… if anything, I know I won’t be getting married again.”

“Oh, wow, thanks.  That’s a comfort.”

She smacked him on the arm, “you know what I mean!

Adjusting to life in her new home was a bit difficult at first for Lydia.  First, the house was huge and second, they had a butler.  Lydia didn’t even know that people had butlers anymore.  He made their meals, answered the phone and the door, and would even take their dry cleaner.  Perhaps what seemed most odd about it all was Gregory’s complete acceptance of it.  He’d been around it all his life and so to him, it was completely normal to have some strange, older man cowing down to your every whim.

Then, of course, there was the transportation thing.  Lydia had gotten a job with an architecture firm as a designer thanks to Roman.  Since the firm was in Aperture, the commute was ridiculous.  What she didn’t realize was that Roman took a helicopter to work and since their schedules synced up, so did she.  Talk about surreal.

Gregory didn’t have a day job like the rest of him.  His father’s ambition was for him to take over the family businesses.  So while they went to Aperture in a helicopter, he was stuck trying to remember everything his father had tried to teach him over the years.  The businesses still belonged to Roman but eventually, they’d be his.  His father insisted he learn every part of how a business works, including being a cashier.  Gregory hated this position most of all… he just wasn’t very good at it.

Gregory and Lydia’s honeymoon was delayed due to the construction of the vacation home Roman had recently purchased in the islands.  When it was finally done, the newlyweds headed off for some much-needed ‘alone time’.  It’s sort of hard to really enjoy one another’s company with nosy in-laws following you around.

The house was definitely worth the wait, almost as grand as the one they lived in.  Truth be told, all of this opulence was a little overwhelming for Lydia.  Her family had never been hard-up, but she came from a humble house and humble people.  All this money flying around was a bit dizzying.

Unfortunately, their honeymoon was cut short by a freak hail storm that refused to quit.  It rained golfballs and soon, soccerballs and they were forced to evacuate.  It was an unfortunate setback, but at least they managed to get some time to themselves…


Note from Mao: Sorry this entry is all over the place.  I accidentally played this lot awhile back and did the whole wedding thing before I realized I’d messed up the order.  Oops.  Anyway, when I went to the lot I had forgotten that they had a honeymoon scheduled.  It hailed almost the ENTIRE time.  It actually accumulated on the ground!  I’ve had Seasons since release and I’ve never seen this before.  Insanity!   I sent them home.

They both have the baby want, so we’ll see what happens… they certainly got busy enough!

Hope you enjoyed the wedding shots, I don’t usually do very elaborate weddings, but I figured after everything these two kind of deserved it.

August 4, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 26: ‘Once in a Lifetime’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 10:25 am

Roman Anderson has fulfilled his goal of making a name for himself besides simply being an ‘Anderson’; now he simply needs to ensure that Gregory can fill his shoes and carry on what he started.  Cara is a bit more of a ‘feeler’ than her husband and knows there’s more on Gregory’s mind than businesses and family expectations.

Gregory is barely home a day before the grilling begins.  Roman doesn’t waste any time asking his son what’s going on with this Lydia business.

“If you’re not getting married, why does she still have the ring?”

Cara knows better than to jump to Gregory’s defense, so she sits quietly, waiting.  Gregory is silent for a moment.

“Well,” Roman insists.  “What’s going on, then?”

“It’s complicated, but I’m working on it.”

“Sweetie, you can’t force someone to marry you.  That’s not how it works,” Cara says, not quite understanding the issue.

Gregory shook his head, “I just need to talk to Lydia.  That’s all.  I’ll take care of it, just… give me some time.”

“Ha, time!  If only we all had such a luxury.” Roman sighed.  “Just make sure this mess is taken care of.  I don’t need our good family name drug through the mud because of Emma Davis.”

Despite Roman’s claims that he would be patient, Gregory knew better.  He was forced to go to all his father’s businesses and help him ‘clear his mind’.  While there, several high-society women around his own age just happened to be there, too.  Gregory was uninterested.  He would politely excuse himself and then get back to his duties.

One day, Roman left him alone at one of his newer businesses.  The employees were good and knew what to do, so Gregory was bored.  He wandered upstairs and started shooting some pool when he was joined by another.

Gordon Saunders hadn’t expected to find Gregory here.  He’d been looking for Roman.  The two had never actually met before, so Gordon was pretty sure that Gregory had no idea who he was.  He decided to play this to his advantage.

“Do you mind if I join you?”

“No,” Gregory said, not bothering to look back.  He was racking up the balls.  “But I warn you, I’m a bit good at this.”

Gordon chuckled, “so am I.  Years of practice.”

“You first, then.  Let’s see what you’ve got.”

When it was finally Gregory’s turn again, he was beginning to regret letting the mysterious stranger go first.  He’d sunk nearly half of his stripes in mere moments’ time.  A tiny slip-up allowed Gregory an opening, thankfully.  He leaned against the table, sucking in a breath, checking his possible moves.

“You seem troubled.”

“A bit,” Gregory replied, distracted.  He had one good shot, but it was going to take all of his skill to execute it.  “The usual ‘young love goes bust due to a misunderstanding and an overly amorous friend’ scenario that literature and movies seem to favor so much now.”

“It isn’t always a misunderstanding.  Sometimes, the man is just trying to have his cake and eat it, too.”

Gregory laughed, “Emma will always just be a friend, that’s it.  Just a friend.  But… Lydia…”

“Not so good at talking while you shoot, are you?  Perhaps you should concentrate more,” Gordon offered, grinning behind him.  This was turning out more informative than he’d planned.

“I’m just getting frustrated thinking about it.  She knew about Lydia, I confided in her, and she used it against me.  I don’t even think I can consider her a friend anymore, especially if she’s turned Lydia against me for good.”

“Maybe you should try talking to her… Lydia, that is.  Perhaps she’ll listen.  It’s been enough time now, hasn’t it?”

“I suppose… and I’ve tried.  I mean, I’ve gone over, but never been able to actually knock.  I always leave.  I’m a coward, I know, but it’s complicated.”

“Of course it is,” Gordon said, propping himself up with his pool stick.  “It’s always complicated.  That’s the simple way of ending it, isn’t it?  It’s complicated, so I can’t be bothered.”

“Th-that’s not what I meant at all!”

“Then why haven’t you done anything about it?”

Gregory lost his shot, the cue ball smacking violently against the edge of the table and rolling useless by the ball he had intended to sink.  He sighed, closing his eyes.

“Look, kid, if you want to get through life with even a scrap of your soul left, you’ve got to be a fighter.”

“You’re not, and that’s why you’re going to lose this game,” he continued, calling his shot confidently.  He aimed it up and nailed it.  “Consider this a new beginning.  From now on, you fight to win.  You want something?  You get it.  You want this girl–this Lydia?  Then you go after her.  If she didn’t love you, she wouldn’t still be waiting, would she?  Forget about Emma.  She’s my problem.”

Gregory blinked, “what?  I didn’t mean–”

“She’s my granddaughter, Gregory.  I’ll take care of her.  She’s been running a bit too wild for my tastes, anyway,” Gordon said, putting his stick back on the rack.

“B-buh…” Gregory felt like a sudden weight had fallen on his head, “G-Gordon Saunders?”

“Have a good night,” he said, turning to leave.  “And good luck.”

Despite the fact that the pep talk came from his father’s worst enemy, Gregory found himself suddenly filled with new-found determination.  He called Lydia and lucky for him, Rosa answered.  She wasted no time putting her sister on the phone.

“Lydia, wait, before you hang up… just listen to me,” Gregory pleaded, hoping she hadn’t already thrown the phone at its cradle.

There was silence on the other end, but no dial tone.

“I just want to talk to you.  If you don’t agree and hang up on me, I’ll just come over to your house and everything will be awkward.”

She hesitated before saying, “we can meet in Aperture.”

They met at a small, scenic park in downtown Aperture.  The city was growing and had recently begun a revitalization project that involved beautifying and improving on parks and scenery.  Apartment buildings were going up all over the place as people scrambled to move into the newly renovated city center.

Lydia’s apprehension was written all over her face, but beneath it there was something else, too.  They hadn’t seen one another since University.  It was ridiculous the amount of time that had passed since then.

“I was surprised when you suggest Aperture.”

Lydia gave a small shrug, “I can’t live with my parents forever.”

Gregory tried not to let that remark sting too deeply, “are you hungry?  We can get lunch, there’s a cafe nearby…”

Lydia was hungry, so she followed Gregory to the small cafe just beside the park.  It was just as scenic, with a little deck and pond behind it.  Odd to see in the middle of downtown, but pretty all the same.

“Lydia, I’m sorry about University–”

“I’m over that,” Lydia confessed, facing him for the first time since they sat down.  “I mean, it was stupid.  I know it was Emma.  I feel bad for thinking otherwise, but, well… it’s Emma.”

Gregory felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.  He tried not to smile too much, “so, then, what’s the problem?”

“I’ve had a lot of time to think.  I care about you, a lot, but… is it enough?  I mean, if the Emma thing threw us into such a tailspin, then what next?  We’re from two different worlds.”

“Like you said, it was Emma.  Everyone knows your history with her isn’t that great.  That’s over and done with, though.  I’ll never go around her again.  I just… I don’t want to do this anymore, Lydia.  We were doing great and then, suddenly, I don’t know.  I just know that I don’t want to go through having you gone again.”

She sighed, “your father hates me, Roman.  You know he’s against us being together.  He probably thinks I want your money or something.”

“He thinks everyone wants his money.  He’s difficult, but he’s not a bad person.  Everything is just kind of crazy right now.  Once my parents are sure everything is fine, they’ll accept you.”

“I just don’t know, I don’t think I’m cut out to deal with all that… that stuff.  I wasn’t raised into it like you were.”

Gregory, taking a chance, pulled her closer and took her hand.  She was still wearing the ring.  He wasn’t necessarily surprised, but made a show of it anyway, “you’re still wearing the ring.”

“I… I didn’t want to lose it,” Lydia replied quickly, feeling a little embarassed suddenly.

“Stop making excuses, Lydia.  If you’re afraid, that’s fine… I am, too.  We’re been friends forever.  I don’t want anything to ruin that, but I love you.  I want you to be more than my friend.  At least give it… give me a chance to prove to you that it isn’t such a bad thing.”

Lydia paused, closing her eyes.  She gave his hand a squeeze and nodded firmly, “all right.  One chance, though, that’s all you get.  I’ll tell you right now, though, that I have no idea what all those forks are for.”

“Me, either,” he laughed, unable to help himself.  “I just go from the outside in.  Don’t tell my parents, though.  They’d be horrified at my lack of culture and refined learning.”


Note from Mao: Yay, finally, these two have come together… AGAIN.  Let’s hope Gordon makes good on his promise to keep Emma otherwise engaged.  Speaking of that, Roman WAS watching one of Roman’s businesses.  He got bored, went upstairs.  Lo and behold, who should come onto the lot in the night but Gordon Saunders… who immediately joined him at pool.  Gordon has been practicing, apparently.  He kicked Gregory’s poor butt.

Given Gordon’s experience, general mindset, and overall nature, I figured it was only proper that he was telling Gregory to get off his butt and DO something.

July 22, 2009

Anderson 2 – Round 26: ‘Colorblind’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 2:01 pm

Hugh and Kenya Anderson welcome their eldest daughter, Lydia, back home while she tries to figure out what she’s going to do next.  Rosa isn’t too happy about her sister’s intrusion, fearing she plans to take her spot as heir.

Lydia wasn’t quite sure how she felt about coming back home.  She was staying in her grandmother Kate’s old room.  It was the same as it had always been, completely unchanged, right down to the crazy yellow wallpaper.  It felt weird to sit down on the bed.  She couldn’t stay in her old room, that was Rosa’s now.  She was a guest in her own home.

Absently, she glanced at the ring on her finger.  She hadn’t taken it off.  She had every intention of returning it… but until then, it was safest there.  It wouldn’t get lost if it was on her finger.

She felt bad about putting her family in the middle of her mess.  She happened upon her father dutifully screening a call from Gregory, kindly telling him that Lydia wasn’t home.  Of course she was home, she didn’t leave for fear of running into him.  She was a big old coward, to be honest.  Everyone told her she was an idiot, that nothing happened, but they hadn’t seen what she had.  She opened herself up and got smacked in the face, now she had lost her best friend.

Maybe it would have been better if she’d just let Emma win in the first place.  At least then they could still be friends and she wouldn’t feel so empty.

Rosa wasn’t very welcoming, Lydia hadn’t anticipated she would.  Word spread fast about Kit moving back home and taking Jennifer’s spot as heir.  Lydia didn’t want to stay home, she wanted to leave, to run away to some far away place, but her family refused.  She had no intention of facing it, of facing him.

“Isn’t it bad enough you’ve taken over the house?” Rosa grumbled.  “Do you have to take over the pool, too?”

Rosa wasn’t trying to be insensitive, but she wasn’t going to pussyfoot around the issue like everyone else.  Lydia was being an idiot.  Everyone knew that the situation was a huge misunderstanding, no thanks to one Emma Davis.  Gregory had been after Lydia since they were teens.  It wasn’t at all likely he’d just turn around and go with Emma the day after they get engaged.

She spoke her mind freely to everyone on the subject, much to Kenya’s chagrin.  She just wished it could remain a private matter.

“Just because you’re a college graduate doesn’t mean you can come home and boot me out,” Rosa said, glancing at her mother.  “That’s what’s going to happen, isn’t it?”

Kenya sighed, “no, it isn’t.  Stop being rude, Rosa.  You know better than that… Lydia needs her family right now and you’re not helping.  If you can’t contribute, then be silent.”

Kenya rarely, if ever, got firm with her children, but she’d had about enough of Rosa’s poor attitude.

“I’m just saying,” Rosa replied, humbled.  She ate quietly for the rest of the dinner.

Lydia just kind of stared forward and said nothing.

Instead of going to bed, Lydia often went out to the pool and watched the stars.  There was a great view of the sky from this spot and the sound of the distant ocean was relaxing.  It was a shame the old lighthouse was retired, but it definitely added to the view.

It had been long enough now for Lydia to see the situation rationally.  She knew there was a chance that it was a misunderstanding, but it still hurt.  She couldn’t wipe the image from her mind.  Emma Davis was determined, opportunistic, and spoiled.  She had her family under her thumb and she always, always got what she wanted.  Even if she hadn’t gotten Gregory this time, how long until she did?

It wasn’t as if she’d just give up.  She’d keep trying and it’d make their relationship strained and filled with suspicion.  Lydia wasn’t sure if she could handle that.

“I know this is your problem and you have to work it out on your own,” Hugh began one morning, speaking out about the issue for the first time since Lydia had arrived.  “But I don’t get it, sweetie.  You two had fun, right?  You’ve been friends a long, long time… and for awhile, you were happy together.  He’s a good kid, and Emma, well, I don’t know what to say about her.  But I know, in my gut, this isn’t what it seems.”

Lydia sighed, “I know, but that’s not the problem anymore.”

“He still hasn’t come for the ring,” Hugh said hopefully, glancing at her finger.

She quickly hid her hand under the table, “I’m sure Roman wishes he would, though.  I’m half expecting him to walk up and yank it off my hand.”  She stared down at her plate, eyes listless.  “I don’t know if I can do it.  I’m scared.”

“You should talk to him, find out the truth, and decide from there.  You can’t hide forever.”

Rosa and Emma Davis were friends, but not in the extreme sense.  Rosa wasn’t exactly surprised when her friend called and began asking her questions.  Rosa rolled her eyes.

“Look, Emma, whatever you did was really stupid, okay?  You’re messing up things for a lot of people and that’s not cool.  Worse yet, you’re messing with my sister.  So you just need to butt out.”

She hung the phone up on its cradle without waiting for a response, walking away as if nothing had happened.  Rosa was sure Emma hadn’t meant any harm, but she was sick of all this crap.

Gregory had been by, but no one knew that.  He came just before it was unseemly to visit.  He’d go towards the door, but lose his nerve at the last minute, turn around, and walk down the street back to his house.

Sometimes, Lydia would get the urge to go out onto the balcony.  She’d tiptoe quietly through her parents’ room and out onto the small little balcony that held the telescope.  She’d wander to the edge and look down.  There was no one there, the entire street hushed and quiet.  It was eerie, almost.

If she looked far enough down the street, sometimes, she’d swear she saw a figure walking the opposite direction.


Note from Mao: Emma really did call Rosa, which I thought was hilarious.  How inappropriate!  Poor Lydia.  She’s no longer angry, but I can’t see her just jumping back into the saddle, not when she was so apprehensive to begin with.  It’s like breaking a horse who is extra spooked.  One wrong move and all that work is undone.  Gregory actually did walk by several times, but he never visited.  :(

June 17, 2009

B.S.U. Campus – Round 25: ‘Head Over Heels’

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 12:59 am

Gregory Anderson has gone to great lengths to convince his best friend, Lydia, that they should be more than friends.  Will Emma Davis joining them at University cause some unnecessary complications?

Emma arrived at university, filled with the hopes of perhaps that Lydia and Gregory hadn’t yet hooked up.  Everything seemed pretty normal, at first.  Still, there was that obvious, underlying something else going on.  She noticed it the most while they were all having lunch.  Gregory and Lydia kept talking as if they were the only two in existence, though Emma knew full well Lydia knew she was there.  Every now and again their eyes would meet for a brief moment.  Maybe she was just as baffled as Emma.

She tried cornering Gregory in the hot tub, appealing to his cultured side with talks of art and everything high class.  Everything seemed to be going well and Emma was glad she had brought that small bikini with her.  She was a bit of a dancer, so her body was definitely toned to garner male appreciation.  Unfortunately, Gregory mostly met her eyes and spoke to her like a human being.

Even worse, Lydia seemed to shop at the same store (though hers was blue) and was just as toned, if not more, than Emma was.  She was athletic, a tomboy, but still somehow had enough curve to remain girlish.  It wasn’t fair.  Emma grumbled and left the hot tub defeated while Lydia and Gregory became amorous, forgetting she was even there.

This was really becoming a bother.

Unfortunately for Emma, Gregory and Lydia had intensified their relationship before she’d even come into the picture.  Lydia wasn’t in love with Gregory, but she was certainly comfortable with him.  When you’re young, in college, and looking for new experiences… that’s really all you need.

Of course, to Gregory, it was more than just friendly experimentation.

Emma was surprised when he approached her while she was practicing her ballet.  She nearly kicked him in the face, causing him to cry out and duck just in time.  She flushed a little, looking incredibly sheepish.

“Sorry,” she said, lowering her leg slowly and trying to act casual.  “I didn’t see you.”

“That’s all right, I shouldn’t have crept up on you like that,” Gregory laughed a little.  “Can I talk to you for a moment?”

Emma tried to contain her excitement and said, very coolly, “sure.”

“I’m going to propose to Lydia,” Gregory confided, pulling a little box out of his pocket.  He didn’t notice that Emma’s face drained of color, nor did he see how truly fake her smile had become.  “What do you think?”

It was hard to speak, her heart felt as if it had suddenly jumped into her throat.  She managed to sputter, “d-do your parents know?”

“Yeah, it’s senior year.  I’ve all but graduated with a 4.0.  That was the deal, after all.”

“A-Are you sure… about this, Gregory?  I mean, Lydia… she isn’t in love with you, is she?  I thought you said–”

He sighed, “we’ve been doing this for four years now.  If she doesn’t feel it now, she never will.  So I’m taking that chance.”

June 1, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 25: ‘Steady Business’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 2:13 pm

Roman and Cara Anderson live a very comfortable life.  Will their son follow in his father’s footsteps or is his love interest a misstep?

Roman Anderson is doing incredibly well with his businesses.  He’s been kicking around the idea of starting another one, but is waiting to see how his heir, Gregory, will act during college.  He’s a little afraid that his preoccupation with Lydia Anderson will cause some issues.  Until then, he’s happy to check in on his already thriving businesses.

Now with a bit more age and experience under his belt, Roman kind of realizes that maybe his brother got a bit of a raw deal.  Roman has always looked out for the family’s best interests, but perhaps he didn’t focus enough on the people within the family.  Still, there’s not much he can do to help his brother now.  Three wives later and he’s just a bit tired of the whole rigmarole.  Nevio does visit the businesses frequently, though, and congratulates his brother on his successes.

Gregory also visits on weekends, when he’s able.  He chats his father up amiably and acts as if everything is going well.  Roman has connections and keeps a very careful look on Gregory’s grades and class performance.  He’s doing well, but Roman isn’t quite ready to accept that Gregory to manage both Lydia and college.  Cara tries to get him to back off a little, but Roman is indignant.  He won’t have his family name sullied by laziness.  Gregory wasn’t raised that way and some silly girl wasn’t going to change it.

“You’re with her, aren’t you?” Cara asks as Gregory is leaving.  Roman is out of ear shot.  She sighs, but smiles a little, “your father will come around, but just keep your mind on your grades, all right?  Young love isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be…”

“I don’t understand why you’re both so against this.  It isn’t as if she’s after money.”

“That’s not what this is about at all, Gregory.  Your father just wants to make sure you don’t end up like, well, your uncle Nevio.  He’s a bit controlling, yes, but he has your best interests at heart.  If you love her and this is serious, then your father will come around.  Just give him time…”

Gregory nodded and left.  Cara watched him.  She wanted to believe that Lydia would come through, but she doubted it.  Gregory and Lydia had been friends a long time and the girl had always been a bit of a flake.  It seemed to run in that branch of the family.


Note from Mao: I KNOW I took more pictures.  Unfortunately, Snag-It disagrees.  I think it’s angry because I’m using FRAPS for TS3.  Sigh.  But at least I got to address the big issue here…

March 16, 2009

B.S.U. Campus – Round 24: ‘Slow Ride’

Filed under: Anderson,B.S.U. Campus,O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:35 am

Maggie O`Hanlon is preparing to finish her years at University while Gregory Anderson and Lydia Anderson are just getting started.

Lydia and Gregory arrived together.  It was a little surprising for them to see how quickly they had each grown in such a little amount of time.  Lydia had decided her braids were a bit too childish for the stylings of a young adult.  Gregory spent most of his time studying, trying to please his father.  If Lydia noticed the distance, she didn’t say anything.

Maggie, meanwhile, was hanging out with James.  Maggie had always been fond of James.  That didn’t mean they were hanging out because he had recently divorced Kit Knight.  No, they were friends.  They’d been friends since James started hanging out with Maggie’s older brother, Timothy.  She had drug him out in an effort to cheer him up.  Losing your love because she gave birth to the guy you hate’s children isn’t an easy thing to get over.

Maggie, with her playful ways and consistently upbeat demeanor, did manage to bring James out of his funk.  They had fun.  She even conned him into some karaoke, which he was good at.  His father had been Shang Yu, after all.  Maggie would be lying if she had said she wasn’t hoping that he’d finally see her, though.  She was.  She was so much better for him than Kit, she had always thought so.  She had no interest in Claude freakin’ Saunders.

Lydia still enjoyed fitness.  She especially enjoyed jogging around campus.  It was a good way to clear her mind and she was doing tons of thinking lately.  She felt strange about the way things had gone with Gregory.  Ever since arriving at University, he’d been a little distant.  They’d always been best friends–talking, enjoying one another’s company, everything… but now, things were just awkward.  She hated it.  She especially hated that she had grown kind of used to being even closer to him.

She finally managed to drag him away from his studies long enough to explain what was going on.  It was a relief to hear that it wasn’t anything to do with her, but with his father, Roman.

“I have to keep my grades up, any hint of distraction…”

“You think he’d pull you out?  Really?” Lydia was a little startled.

“No, but he’d probably keep me from seeing you.  Best friends or not.  Whatever else or not.  I really don’t want that to happen.”

Lydia nodded, “I didn’t realize…”

Meanwhile, Maggie was having a discussion with her older brother Timothy.  It wasn’t one she particularly looked forward to.  He wasn’t very pleased to find out she’d been hanging out rather closely with James so soon after his break-up with Kit.

“Don’t be a rebound girl, Maggie.  You’re better than that,” he advised.  She could hear Isolde in the background, trying to take the phone from him.

“I won’t, I told you.  I’m fine.  And tell Isolde that, too.  You guys worry too much.”

Timothy sighed, “I spoke to James.  I know what you’re planning, Mags.  It isn’t–” there was static and the Isolde’s voice broke through, “If you need a place to stay, you can always stay with us!”  More static as Timothy stole back the phone.  “Yeah, what she said.”

Maggie laughed, “you guys are expecting.  And you’ll need the room.  It’ll be fine, I promise.”

Maggie was elated when James came to see her the night before her graduation.  He hadn’t called in advance or anything, just popped up.

“We have an extra room, if you need it,” James offered.  He was fond of Maggie, she was pretty, defintiely, and her personality opposite of Kit’s… but he knew better than to make any moves.  It was too soon and she was Timothy’s little sister.  He was offering her as a friend.

“That would be nice.  Isolde wants me to stay with them, but with the baby and all…”

He nodded, “yeah, I was just there yesterday.  It’s a little hectic.”

She took his hand and smiled, “thanks, James.  I see you in a few days.”


Note from Mao: Ahh, Maggie and James have almost three bolts, lol.  Lydia and Gregory were also quite amorous this update…

What’s with the mascots and cheering woohoos?  Seriously!  This was at the end of the round, too… dundundun.

March 8, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 24: ‘Run’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 8:56 pm

Gregory and Cara Anderson are nearing their twilight years while Gregory is on the cusp of becoming a young adult.

Roman isn’t quite sure what convinced Gordon to back off, but he was thankful.  He wasn’t about to go running headlong into anymore schemes.  He would spend his time tailoring Gregory to be the best heir he could.  Perhaps Gregory could achieve greatness without dirtying his hands.  Cara seemed pleased with her husband’s new found dedication to their son.

Of course, Roman wasn’t at all pleased to see that Gordon’s grandchild, Emma, seemed rather intent on Gregory.  Gregory was unmoved, though.  He hung out with Emma, but that was it.  He didn’t have any real interest in her past friendship.  Sure, she was pretty and girly, but… well, she knew she had money.  Gregory was a bit more humble.

“How can you hang out with Lydia?” Emma asked him, completely bewildered by their friendship.  “She doesn’t even have an inheritance!”

Gregory sighed, “money isn’t everything, Emma.”

“Says who?  Have you looked at your house recently, Gregory?  Sheesh,” she laughed, small and prettily, “you’d think you would be happy poor or something.”


She rolled her eyes, “I doubt it.”

Despite Emma’s attempts, Gregory’s interest in Lydia was unfaltering.  She was the one that made him smile just by dropping by or noticing him when they both happened to be in the same room.  They had been friends forever and natural progression dictated that they move onto something more.  Unfortunately, Lydia didn’t seem to agree.  She was still kind of put-off by the whole ‘relationship’ thing.  Gregory was her friend.  Can you really date your friend–the one you threw mud at?  Seriously.

Roman and Cara entered old age gracefully.  They’d built a good life for their son, that was certain.  Both were happy and satisfied with their particular careers.  Their marriage hadn’t been without its hills to climb, but they were still together.  Old age had softened Roman some, but not completely.  He was livid when he found out Gregory had lost one of his college scholarships.  He knew it was because of those girls constantly clamoring after him!

He lectured Gregory long and hard before he left for University.  If his grades slipped in University, he’d have to face Roman.  Gregory was suitably humbled by his father’s disapproval.  He had never really brought forth his wrath before and didn’t look forward to more of it.  Maybe Roman was right, he had been spending too much time focusing on girls… he had his future to think of.  If Lydia came around, she came around, otherwise?  He had to keep an eye on himself.


Note from Mao: Both Lydia and Roman are now in University with Maggie.  Roman and Cara aged quite well, too!  Emma has a big crush on Gregory, but he doesn’t seem interested.

February 23, 2009

Anderson 2 – Round 24: ‘The Look of Love, End’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:08 am

Kate finally has the family she always wanted.  Hugh and Kenya are still deeply in love, despite their struggles.  Rosa continues to thrive despite her adversity, but Lydia is finding her own troubles as she blunders her way through being a teenager.

Kate is not willing to leave her family behind.  She’s struggled hard for this!  But Death refuses to allow her to remain another second.  Her former husband is gone and now it’s time for Kate, too.  Her struggle means nothing in the end and Death takes her as he is wont to do.

Hugh doesn’t handle his mother’s death very well at all.  He hears the news as soon as he leaves his carpool.  His long-time admirer is about to swoop in and take advantage of his vulnerability before Kenya comes out and collects her husband.  She shoos the would-be homewrecker off and tries to reassemble her family, despite their grieving.

Lydia is shocked to find that her grandma is just suddenly gone. Rosa handles it better, despite being much younger.  But her life is a simple one, Lydia’s is not.  Her best friend has suddenly betrayed her and become some kind of hormonal crazy person she barely recognizes.  Now her grandma is gone.  The dogs offer little comfort.  She needs someone who will listen and give her advice.

Lydia seeks out her father.  He’s the only one left she can think of.  She loves her mother dearly, but her father has always been her shoulder to lean on.  Despite his own mourning, Hugh does his best to be there for Lydia.  He hadn’t realized the poor girl was dealing with so much.  He had become accustomed to Gregory being around or her being there, but never really imagined that becoming a teenager changes things, even friendships.

“It just feels wrong,” Lydia sniffled, the recalling of her grandma’s passing and her confusion over Gregory bringing her to tears.  “I mean, I should be able to call my friend, right?  Because my… my grandma… but I can’t… because he’ll just be thinking about that and I don’t, I mean.  I just want a friend!  I don’t want anything else…”

Hugh sighed, “boys come into these things faster than girls sometimes, Lydi.  You have to be patient.  If you truly don’t like him that way, it is your duty as his friend to not lead him on.  Be direct and perhaps your friendship will survive.”

Lydia decided to try and take her father’s advice.  Gregory came home with her afterschool and as they usually did on warm summer afternoons, they hung out by the pool.  When they were little, they used to pretend they were pirates, inspired by the beached, rotting ship out on the distant shore.  Now they were teenagers and instead, they talked.  Mostly about the weather, like awkward adults on a first date.

Lydia longed to say that she didn’t like him like that, but when confronted with him, she wasn’t quite sure what she felt.  So she said nothing.  She knew she should say something, to cut him loose, but Gregory was her friend.  She felt a selfishness wash over her as he suddenly spoke of Emma Davis.  Emma was younger than they were, but not by much.  Everyone knew she had a ridiculous crush on Gregory except him.  He was oblivious like that.

Hugh, meanwhile, was moving up in the world.  They’d never be rich, but his family would certainly be secure.  He wasn’t enjoying the longer hours, though, and missed being home with his girls.  They were growing up way too fast.  Rosa was usually coming in from school with Lyra at her heels when he was leaving for work.  They barely got to say goodbye to one another.

Lydia got a text message on the weekend to meet Gregory and she did, reluctantly.  It was at his dad’s new business, a cafe/restauraunt intended for family get-togethers and others who simply enjoy a nice, open atmosphere.  Still, the place looked way beyond Lydia’s means and she just felt… small there.  When she was finally able to focus on what Gregory was saying, she heard him mention Emma again. She had been here.  What was she doing here?  Her grandfather had helped with the place… Gordon Saunders.  Lydia felt her jaw clench tightly.  Of course.  Emma Davis was rich, Gregory was rich.  They were rich people meant for one another.

Lydia loved Gregory like a friend, but she wasn’t quite sure if she could get past the whole friend barrier.  He knew way too much to be a love interest!  Still, she wasn’t about to let Emma and her rich, spoiled brat ways to come in and ruin her friendship.  She’d steal Gregory and she’d lose her friend forever to fancy dress parties and stupid wine tasting trips!

Unfortunately, it didn’t make it any less awkward.  It was a mutually attempted kiss that ended in Lydia’s nose getting quite the knock.  Gregory was abashed, Lydia was mortified.  She could just tear Emma apart.  Let the little rich girl try a real fist fight once.

Rosa, meanwhile, was lacking in her studies.  She simply didn’t get school and had no real want to.  Her homework piled up and eventually, her teacher called Kenya.  That was the end of Rosa skipping out on her homework.  Kenya watched her like a hawk.  Rosa became rueful of her mother.

When Rosa became a teen, Kenya again tried to reinforce the importance of a good education.  Rosa shrugged her off.  She was an artist!  You couldn’t teach someone the skills she posessed.  She’d be awesome with or without straight A’s.  Kenya sighed.  She’d have to bring Hugh in on this one.  She simply wasn’t one for hard parenting and so it would take them both leaning on Rosa to get her to pay attention.


Note from Mao: Poor Gregory and Lydia, LOL.  I have no idea where this is going.  Emma does really have a crush on Gregory… Emma and Lydia also do not like one another.  At all.  Which is hilarious.  Poor Gregory seems oblivious to it all, though he has no romantic wants for Emma, only Lydia.  Rosa is a horrible student.  She whines about homework.

February 4, 2009

Anderson 4 – Round 23: ‘A Good Boy’

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , — Mao @ 10:32 am

Roman Anderson has spent a considerable amount of time tailoring his only son, Gregory, for greatness.  Has it all finally paid off?

Gregory Anderson is not your average teenager.  He isn’t rebellious, he doesn’t hate his parents, and there’s no door slamming or stomping when he’s scolded.  Instead, he’s the polar opposite of most kids his age–obedient, ambitious, intelligent, and polite.  He asks his father if he can go out and he thanks his mother when she serves food.  He does his homework on time and he always, always keeps his room clean.  Gregory is the anti-teen.

So when Gregory asks if he can go hang out with Lydia Anderson, his best friend, Roman allows it freely.

Despite the money he’s been raised with and his parents’ own egocentric ways, Gregory is humble.  He congratulates Lydia often on how friendly and outgoing she is–she makes friends so easily.  Of course, being his friend, Lydia counters with the fact that everyone likes Gregory best, because he’s just so nice.

Gregory and Lydia have been friends since they were young and now that they’re older, it’s hard not to notice that things have changed.  They still hang out, they still talk freely, but Gregory has been feeling a bit… differently about his very best friend in the world.  He’d like her to be more than just that.

Being the good, obedient boy that he is, he makes sure to clear the decision with his father first before attempting anything.  Lydia and Roman had met before, when she was younger, but he was surprised how much she had grown.  She wasn’t nearly as dirty, and while she still had that same bounding energy, it was more composed now, more feminine.  She wasn’t rich and she came from a very distant branch of the Anderson family, but Roman couldn’t really find a reason for Gregory not to pursue her.  Besides, teen romances rarely last, anyway.

Gregory took his time after that.  He couldn’t just spring his feelings on Lydia, he had to wait, to calculate.  When he finally did make a move, Lydia was understandably shocked.  To be honest, she really hadn’t seen Gregory as anymore than just, well, Greg–her friend.  So to see that he had been considering more worried her a little.  She was noncommittal with her response and told him they’d have to talk later.  Gregory tried not to be crushed.


Note from Mao: Gregory has had going steady with Lydia in his want panel for awhile, without me even locking it!

Unfortunately, Lydia has had no such wants.  She mostly just wants to hang out, talk, and play.  Maybe that will change, maybe it won’t.  Either way, Gregory autonomously hugged her in front of Roman… which was hilarious.

January 27, 2009

Anderson 2 – Round 23: ‘The Look of Love, Pt. 5′

Filed under: Anderson — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 4:39 pm

Kate is happy that her son, Hugh, and his wife, Kenya, have a happy marriage and two lovely girls, Lydia and Rosa.  They were hoping for a boy, though… maybe soon?

Rosa, despite her eccentricities, enjoys timid and calming things.  She spends a lot of her time painting in a corner, all by herself.  She’s not nearly as outgoing and loud as her older sister, Lydia.  Instead, she’s creative and subtle.  As much as they all hate to admit it, sometimes, they even forget she’s there!  That’s okay with Rosa, though.  She isn’t overly fond of this branch of the Anderson name being brash and overbearing.

Hugh and Kenya manage to go out on a date, the first time in what seems like forever.  Kate agreed to watch the girls while they headed out to Aperture for some unwinding.  Kenya was no good at singing, but indulged her overenthusiastic husband.  Hugh, on the other hand, had music in his blood.  It had been so long since he’d done anything really, truly creative with music.

The two greatly enjoyed their night together–the quiet, the calm, the ability to have adult conversation without little voices constantly interrupting.  There was love there, love that seemed completely endless.  Kenya had been a little worried, she knew Shang’s reputation and dating one of his sons?  Oh boy.  But Hugh was different and completely oblivious to the lascivious stares of the coworker that drove him home every night.  He was definitely unlike the rest.

Lydia and Rosa were sisters, but that didn’t mean they got along.  Rosa was too weird and Lydia was too energetic.  They clashed constantly, but never to the point of fighting.  Instead, it would begin with Lydia asking Rosa to go play, and Rosa quietly saying she’d rather paint.  Then Lydia would laugh and ask if he she planned to paint forever and hide away in the house.  She was already pale as a ghost!

They were sisters, but they’d never be best friends.

Lydia’s birthday came quickly, too quickly, for her parents and grandma.  Now she was a teen and while she matured a bit, she was still the same old Lydia.  She loved playing video games with her grandma and still picked on her little sister for being a weird nerd.  She still wrestled with the dogs and most of all, she still hung out with her very best friend, Gregory Anderson.

It was hard to say how long they had been friends, it seemed like forever.  Gregory had grown, too, like Lydia.  They were teens and their minds had changed, but not their friendship.  Best friends, thick as thieves, and yet so very different.  Gregory was obedient and driven, yet kind.  Lydia was a powerhouse of unbounding energy and wit, yet beneath it lie great knowledge and intelligence.  Together, they were an odd pair.  They often hung out in the park, even when it snowed.

“Do you think anything will ever change?” Gregory asked.  He always liked asking random, weird questions.

“Like what?”

“I don’t know, nevermind,” Gregory replied, wistful.  “It’s nothing.”

“You’re so weird, Greg.”

While Rosa may not have gotten along with her sister, she certainly enjoyed her mother’s company.  Kenya and Rosa were similar in their attitudes, the quiet strength behind the more boisterous front of their siblings or spouse.  They loved making strange and weird snowmen, using random things from around the house.  They both favored wearing raincoats instead of snowgear.

Like mother, like daughter?


Note from Mao: Lydia is adorable.  She’s a Knowledge sim, if I remember correctly.  Anyway, she and Gregory have chemistry, we’ll see what happens.  Rosa and Lydia really do not see eye-to-eye.  They don’t hate each other, but they don’t particularly care for one another, either.  Most indifferent siblings ever!  Kenya and Hugh both had the want to go on a date, so they did.  Still no boy.  Boo!

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