Note: The lot featured in the chapter is built by TheGreatSimphony and is inspired by the lost Gardens of Babylon. You can download it here. Also shoutout to the ever awesome Julyvee, since I only discovered this lot thanks to her hilarious Mooch of your Neighbour Let’s Play.
It was just the two of them, other than the sound of seagulls flying around. The smell of salt in the air was a sensation Pauline was familiar with, having grown up on one of the islands near Windenburg. But it wasn’t this particular one. She had never seen a place quite like this one.
The brochure didn’t lie, it did seem like a perfect honeymoon spot. Although Pauline couldn’t help but think of her past. She wasn’t sure if it was the setting, or the ancient feel of the resort.
“Is this what your childhood home was like?” Leo asked, as if he knew what she was thinking about. “Because I’ve got to tell you, this place doesn’t seem nearly as bad as what you’d described!”
“It may have been a tiny bit less lavish,” Pauline laughed. “But it was very pretty. That’s not why I hated it.”
“Sorry,” Leo hesitated. “I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
Pauline smiled. “Don’t worry. We are really near the place. See that island with the ruins in the distance? That’s the Bluffs. The island I grew up on is just on the other side.”
“You know, maybe we should go there,” she said. “For you to see where I’ve come from…”
“I’d like that,” Leo agreed. “I can just picture little Pauline running around barefoot…”
“Well, I’m not so little anymore.” Pauline looked at him coyly. “This is our honeymoon, after all.”
“We should probably check in… and make sure the room’s ok,” Leo winked.
“Wow, this is beautiful,” Pauline looked around the airy suite.
“Not as beautiful as you,” Leo pulled his new wife closer.
Panic spread across Pauline’s face. It seemed romantic when they first decided they’d wait until after the wedding, but she was now more nervous about it all then ever as a result.
“What’s wrong?” Leo stopped in his tracks.
“I’m just being silly,” Pauline shrugged.
“Hey, nobody calls my wife silly!”
Pauline let out a soft chuckle. “Maybe I still am a little girl.”
“I’ve seen you do a lot of grown up things,” Leo objected. “Things that take guts, and dedication. Dealing with Astrid, being there for your sister, advancing in your career… You’re definitely a woman. But hey, that doesn’t mean we have to rush with things…”
“That’s ridiculous,” Pauline said. “We’re married. We’re in a honeymoon suite, for crying out loud. Taking things to the next level makes perfect sense.”
“Unless it doesn’t,” Leo interrupted her. “Maybe we rushed with the whole wedding thing. I mean, it didn’t seem rushed to me because I knew what I wanted,” he added quickly after seeing the expression on her face. “But it did all happen really fast.”
“I knew what I wanted too. I wanted to be with you. I want to be with you.”
“Well that works out perfect. Since we’ve got our whole life together ahead of us. So there’s definitely no need for rushing.”
Ok, she was definitely being silly, Pauline decided. She kissed her perfect husband.
Rushing, waiting… all those terms lost their meaning; whenever she was with him, the time would stop.
And their time was now.
“Why are we running?”
“So that you can connect with little Pauline running barefoot in the sand!”
“We’re not barefoot!”
“Then take your shoes off!”
“Shouldn’t you lead by example?”
“Only if you catch me!”
Pauline sped up, dashing towards the shore.
“Your effort’s in vain, you can’t run any further!”
Leo caught up with her, planting a kiss on her lips.
“Oh well, I gave it my best shot,” Pauline said, snuggling into her husband’s arms.
“It’s not like you to give up.”
It wasn’t, Pauline thought. If she had given up, she would have never left this island. She looked around.
“The hut we lived in is gone,” she realised.
“Apparently,” Pauline nodded. “I was so scared to go back here, and now I barely recognise the place. All those memories… Not all of them are bad, you know. Some are great. But some…”
“Maybe it’s time to make new memories,” Leo jumped in.
“I can think of a thing or two.” Pauline’s eyes twinkled.
After getting over her initial fear of woohoo, Pauline couldn’t get enough. Plus, if she was really going to let go of her childhood memories of the island, what could be a better grown up choice?
The couple giggled when they emerged from the bushes.
Alright, perhaps not too grown up, Pauline thought.