Royce wasn’t who Peyton was expecting when she answered the doorbell that day.
“Morning sunshine,” Royce greeted her nonchalantly.
“What the plum, Royce?” Peyton growled. “You think you can just show up here like nothing’s wrong after how you treated me the other day? I don’t think so!”
“Look Peyton, I’m sorry, but what was I supposed to do?” Royce shrugged. “We were in public…”
“So what?” Peyton frowned. “You were embarrassed of being seen with me? Well, that just doesn’t cut it. I don’t have time for this. I’m expecting real guests, you know, people I actually want in my life?”
“Fine, suit yourself,” Royce replied. “You don’t know what you’re missing!”
Peyton watched Royce walk away in disbelief. Who did he think he was?
She shook her head. Live and learn. Not to mention there were far more important things on her agenda for the day. She wasn’t lying when she told Royce she was expecting visitors.
Her parents came over all the way from Windenburg to see their daughter’s new home. Peyton was naturally excited about seeing them again, though she did have another agenda…
“Sis!” she yelled “My parents are here, you should come say hi!”
Pauline walked outside hesitantly. It was the first time she’d seen Peyton’s parents since she found their past was a lot more linked than she’d ever imagined.
“I did always like how you two girls felt as close as sisters,” Candy smiled. “Nothing like a close girlfriend!”
“Well, Pauline really does feel like a sister to me,” Peyton winked. “Anyway mom, I’ve got to show you my new DJ booth, it’s so cool! Pauline, you can keep dad company for a bit, right?”
“This is the life,” Paolo beamed happily as him and Pauline sat down at the back of the house. “Can’t say I blame Peyton for staying here, I wouldn’t mind having a pool in my backyard!”
Pauline observed the man. Her father. She’d seen him many times before, but it felt like he was a whole other person now. Like she’d only just met him for the first time.
She knew Peyton left them on their own on purpose, of course. Peyton really wanted her sister to tell Paolo they were related.
But how would one even go about that, Pauline wondered: Oh Paolo, remember that alien chick you once dated? No? Well of course you wouldn’t, she wiped your memory! Nevertheless, I’m the secret daughter you had with her… surprise!
No, that wasn’t going to cut it, Pauline thought. He was so happy, so blissfully unaware. She excused herself and hid inside the house.
She decided to try to forget about her troubles and drown them in music instead.
Meanwhile, Peyton and Candy rejoined Paolo in the living room.
“How was your chat with Pauline, dad?” Peyton asked quizzically.
“Chat?” Paolo was confused. “You know Pauline, she’s always been quite shy, hasn’t she! Probably because she grew up on that secluded island…”
“So she didn’t say anything?” Peyton was disappointed.
“I wouldn’t say that, of course she talked a bit,” Paolo shrugged. “She was saying how much you both enjoy Newcrest…”
Peyton sighed. He still had no idea.
“Are you ok, Peyton?” Candy asked. “Something seems off…”
“Oh, it’s nothing,” Peyton replied quickly.
“Something’s definitely on your mind,” Candy wasn’t convinced.
“Oh, uh… it’s just… this guy!” Peyton finally came up with an excuse. At least Royce would be useful for something, she smirked.
Peyton spent the majority of the day just talking to her parents. They reassured her that Royce was being a plum and she was way too god for him – something Peyton knew all on her own, but she didn’t want to admit the true reason why she’d been distracted. At least not yet. But she had to tell them somehow… especially her dad.
She encouraged Candy and Paolo to go explore the park across the street. She needed time to come up with a plan. So she recounted the whole romance story behind the park that she’d heard aunt Yenn tell before…
Sure, maybe Yenn told it a bit better. But Peyton’s version was convincing enough to make her parents inclined to take a romantic trip over to see the famous Ruby Perrin Memorial Park for themselves.
Time to gather energy, Peyton thought to herself. She knew what she’d do when they got back. She’d considered it before, but Lomdra and Danrof told her it had never been attempted.
Well, there’s a first time for everything, Peyton decided.