Erica dashed over to the Bloomer house, her heart racing. She could feel her hand tremble as she knocked on the door. They better be home, she thought. The letter had been collecting dust for way too long, it couldn’t possibly wait any longer.
Peter could see his sister was agitated as soon as he answered the door: “What’s going on Erica?”
“The twins! I got a letter from Gretchen! Actually, it seems it was delivered a few YEARS ago! But…” Erica hesitated. She wasn’t sure how to best explain it. Her brother just looked at her expectantly. She took a deep breath.
“The letter was addressed to Daniel. Gretchen must have thought that would be the best way to have it go under the radar. And it seems to have worked well… a bit too well maybe.
As you know, Daniel’s been getting worse with age. He… he thought it was the aliens who sent the letter, so he hid it up in the attic, to protect us. I should have noticed… I… I love the man, for better or worse, but…”
Erica hung her head in shame. Peter gently placed his hand on his sister’s shoulder: “You couldn’t have known!”
She looked at him gratefully. “Anyway,” she continued, “now that all of our kids have moved out with their new partners, we did a major house clean. And I found it. After all these years.”
“Let’s go inside and have a look at it,” Peter dragged his sister through the door, “Lilah! You have to see this!”
The three of them sat down and read Gretchen’s lines in silence:
You’re probably wondering why I’m sending this through the mail. Oh wait, you’re most likely wondering where me and Charlotte are. Well all I can tell you is that we are safe, for now. I’m sorry we had to leave without giving you guys a proper goodbye but Daddy didn’t give us much of a choice.
Speaking of Daddy, me and Charlotte heard the news and we were both wondering if you could put a flower on his grave for us? Yes Charlotte knows I’m writing this letter too. I guess I should catch you guys up on what has happened with us since we’ve been apart so long.
Well me and Charlotte got a cheap house together and Charlotte met a little somebody over Simbook! Funny enough her name is Charlotte too, but she’s a really sweet girl. Quiet and kinda nerdy, definitely shy, but sweet. She’s apart of this family called The Belles, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They’re just like our family except they aren’t building their version of Newcrest up, they’re just kind of the celebrities of it. Oh and do NOT even get me started on the heir to that legacy!
I guess I should probably tell you guys this, although I’m not really sure I should…but I guess I will anyways! I entered into a marriage contract with the heir. His name is Damen Belle and before you guys freak out it’s not what you think. He told me I could have all the benefits of being a wife in a wealthy legacy and I knew that I needed to snatch up the offer while it still was standing. His family could protect Charlotte and I.
Speaking of which have you guys heard anything else about the Lollipop Lair case? Is everything cooled off over there? Are me and Charlotte in the clear? God I hope so…we both miss you guys so much. If we ARE in the clear, and that’s only if we are, do you think you guys could come visit us sometime? We could have a little family reunion! Just don’t let the press find out!
If you guys can come I’ll leave my door unlocked for you so you can show up whenever you want. I can’t risk you guys responding to this letter. I don’t know if they can track that sort of thing. Hope we see you soon.
Lots of love,
Gretchen & Charlotte
Erica glances at her sister-in-law: “Don’t let the press find out… Aren’t you basically the press now, Lilah?”
Lilah snickers: “That’s a bit of an overstatement! I’ve only just joined the local paper as a page two journalist!”
“But perhaps I could use the resources available to me at work to do a bit of investigative research,” Lilah exclaims, “Gretchen has given us plenty of clues to find her and Charlotte. Another Newcrest, a famous family, an arranged marriage to the heir… I bet I can dig something out!
Erica isn’t too sure about this, but she would love to see her sisters again: “Just be careful Lilah! Nobody over at the paper can know what you’re doing!”
Little Booker overhears a bit of his parents’ conversation, but he can’t quite figure out who or what they’re talking about. A whole other town called Newcrest? Grownups must know everything about everything, he decided.
“Don’t worry, Erica!” Peter could barely contain his excitement. “Of course Lilah will be careful! Meanwhile, I’ll go through the stuff in our attic to see if dad’s old notes on the Lollipop Lair contain something useful! This is our chance to reconnect with the twins again!”
“Just imagine, our little Gretchen is probably married by now,” Erica ponders, “and to a man she doesn’t even love! At least Charlotte seems to have found someone she cares for!”
As soon as Erica left, Peter and Lilah got straight to searching for this Belle family in this other Newcrest. Let’s see how soon they can crack this!
Author’s note: Gretchen’s letter was written by the one and only iheartdinosx3. With any luck, perhaps a visit between legacies might be in order…