Time has a funny way of flying by when you’re not looking. Olivia was trying to come up with a wish as she watched the candle lights glimmer on top of the cake. How do you settle for just one? She had so many. But time waits for no one, so eventually she blew the candles out and twirled into her teenage years.
Olivia gained the cheerful trait, and rolled the most useless aspiration for a teenager, successful lineage. You’re one generation early Olivia! I guess I’ll just let her enjoy herself throughout her teen years until we can get this changed.
Her cousin Newton entered the teen stage as a romantic aspiring to be a musical genius. Now that I can work with!
“Look at us,” Olivia chuckled, “We’re like twins in plaid!”
“Great minds think alike,” Newton grinned.
While birthdays are the easiest way to mark time in a legacy house, there have been other subtle developments. Some things change, and some never do.
Ethan and Yenn’s relationship has stayed as fresh as on the day it started, but the two have definitely grown together. Yenn left young adulthood and doubts behind, as an adult, she was finally happy with who she was.
As for Ethan, being with Yenn has opened up his mind a lot compared to when he first came to Newcrest. Sometimes he liked to tease Yenn and say she’s the reason he’d gone grey so early. But truthfully, while maybe both of them have gained a wrinkle or two throughout their relationship, nothing fundamental has changed at all.
What’s changed with Chell and Knox over time?
Well, they redecorated; their condo now had more muted colours instead of the bright pinks. They did not feel the need to be in a bright and loud environment at their age, though they still enjoyed listening to the gramophone together, and having a little goofy dance when no one was looking.
But nothing’s changed about the way they looked at each other.
That leaves us with Booker and Keiko…
The physical side of their relationship had died a long time ago, after it had turned into more of a chore than anything. And with that means of communication gone…
The truth was, the two of them barely spoke these days. They were both so busy with their careers they rarely saw each other, and on the off-chance they did bump into one another, neither of them was all that sure what to say.
They’ve both been quite successful individually, though. Keiko has become a big shot investor; as a hedge fund manager she no longer relied on Booker’s family fortune to satisfy her shopping streaks.
As for Booker, his career has skyrocketed… quite literally, some even called him Mr. Solar system! That’s right, he had topped the bodybuilder branch of the athlete career. Having also fulfilled his aspiration effortlessly, there was nothing in the way of building a neighbourhood gym.
This of course meant that it was time for yet another house move, and more importantly, a talk with the future heir.
“Soo… what is this about?” Olivia glanced at her parents. They looked tired, she noticed.
Keiko was nervous. She’d given so many business presentations to investors, but this was a lot harder: “Olivia… as you know, your father will be building a gym and spa on this lot, meaning we’ll all be moving out…”
“Aaah,” Olivia felt uneasy. “Is this the legacy talk? Look, it’s great that dad’s already making his contribution, but I don’t know what I want to build yet!”
“That’s fine, Liv,” Booker interrupted. “This isn’t about that. It’s just that, uh, when we all move… well, your aunt Yenn is going to be moving to a separate house with Ethan, and aunt Chell and uncle Knox will be getting their own home with your cousin, and um…”
Plum this will take a while, Olivia thought. Was he sweating?
“Gah, just spit it out,” Keiko finally lost patience, “We’re getting a divorce.”
“Oh,” Olivia sighed with relief. “Is that all?”
Keiko and Booker stared at her blankly.
“Liv, I’m not sure you understand,” Booker said slowly.
“No, I do,” Olivia replied. “I don’t remember ever seeing the two of you happy. I think it’s a good thing.”
“Ok,” Keiko took a deep breath, “Ok. Well, this leaves us with one decision to settle, and that’s which one of us you’re going to live with.”
“We want this to be your decision, Liv,” Booker said calmly. “But, as you know, my side of the family has been building Newcrest for generations, and you did point out earlier that you are the heir to this legacy…”
“However,” Keiko gave Booker a cold glare, “the legacy does not necessarily mean you have to live with your father. You can still very well stay with me and carry out your responsibilities as far as building up the town goes. It is a well-known fact that a child that’s being raised by the mother has a far more nurturing environment…”
“Hah,” Booker burst out laugh him before he could stop himself. “That’s a good one!”
“Look guys, I appreciate you making this my decision,” Olivia jumped in, “But in all honesty, I’d much rather live with aunt Yenn than with either of you.”
“What? That’s not acceptable, young lady,” Keiko yelled. “You’re a child, and you have to live with one of your parents!”
Olivia raised her eyebrows: “Looks like that concept of me making the decision for myself went out of the window quickly, huh?”
“Now Liv, we do want you to ultimately make the decision,” Booker replied, “But… don’t you think you should be living with one of your parents?”
“I don’t know,” Olivia ventured. “Where were those parents when I needed my help with my homework? When I wanted to learn how to swim? When I had my first crush and need someone to talk to about it? Oh that’s right, it was aunt Yenn that helped me with those things.”
Booker and Keiko fell silent.
“Listen, it’s fine that you missed those things, I know you both work hard,” Olivia tried to soften her statement. “But look at yourselves. You’re both miserable. I… I don’t want to end up like that. I think living with aunt Yenn would be the best for me for now.”
Booker sighed: “Well, we did say it’s your decision.”
“I promise I’ll visit you both all the time,” Olivia said hurriedly. “I mean, we’ll all still be in Newcrest…”
“Slow down, Olivia,” Keiko urged her. “I mean, we need to chat to your aunt first to see if she’d even be willing…”
“I’ll go talk to her now,” Olivia ran out of the room, knocking one of the chairs down in the process.
“Wow,” Booker said, looking toward the door his daughter ran through.
“Yeah,” Keiko replied uneasily.
Booker looked at his ex-wife: “Does she hate us?”
“I don’t know.”
They stood there for a moment. They could hear Olivia break the news to Yenn excitedly in the distance.
“So,” Booker looked away.
“So,” Keiko said.
“I guess that’s it.”
“I guess so.”
They had yet to move the furniture out, but the house felt empty.