“I can still sort of remember living here,” Vito pondered as the group approached the large building across the street from the park.
“Yeah right,” Seraphina laughed. “Only if you remember pooping your diapers too! You were one annoying baby!”
“That grew up into a charming man,” Vito dismissed her comment with a grin. Seraphina rolled her eyes. While she’d learned to deal with having siblings, she still sometimes struggled with not letting them know that she was obviously so much better…
“Now then, we’re not here to bicker, are we?” Pauline interrupted them, feeling giddy.
“We’re here to see your new lounge!” Carly nodded with excitement.
“Cause we can’t wait to see where mom’s stuck up musician friends will hand out,” Vito teased.
“Actually, I think you’ll find it a bit more interesting than that,” Pauline smiled conspicuously. “I figured there’s already plenty of places where I can spend time with my ‘stuck up’ musician friends over in Bridgeport.”
As a Concert Virtuoso, Pauline travelled from her job fairly often. Still, the nearby city of Bridgeport was somewhat of her home turf, a place where she delivered most of her performances.
The group followed Pauline inside.
“I asked myself what a lounge really needed to be, and how I wanted to contribute to Newcrest,” Pauline continued. “And since the four of you embody the future the Newcrest, I mainly thought of what you might like. So I created a place I would have enjoyed myself when I was your age, a hangout for teens.”
“Woah, this is pretty cool,” Hallie exclaimed, followed by a number of excited nods all around.
“Ah, I wouldn’t know,” Pauline was pleased with herself. “I’m just the uncool musician mom with snotty friends, aren’t I?”
Ground floor games area
“You might remember there’s a pool outside, that’s still there of course,” Pauline led the group along the corridor. “We’ve got changing rooms for both boys and girls along here… Now, if you follow me upstairs, there’s more to see…”
“Not too bad,” Seraphina admitted, surprised.
“Smells like popcorn,” Hallie noted.
“Hang on… is this what I think it is?” Vito asked.
“It was about time Newcrest got a cinema!” Seraphina said as they entered the screen room.
“This is amazing mom!” Carly did not hold back.
“Yeah, it is kinda cool,” Vito nodded.
“Kinda cool is what I strive for,” Pauline laughed.
“This room is my personal favourite, for obvious reasons” Pauline opened another door.
They found themselves in a spacious area filled with music instruments, microphones and beanbags.
“Sweet!” Vito’s eyes landed on the keyboard.
“I can see us having a sesh in here already,” Hallie agreed.
Music and entertainment area
“And of course, if the upstairs area is not enough, you can still drop some beats down here on the back deck,” Pauline grinned.
“Mom! So cringy,” Seraphina squinted.
Pool and outdoor dance area
Camp fire hangout
“Well, what do you all think?” Pauline asked when they sat down at the front deck, concluding the tour.
“It’s something to work with,” Seraphina said carefully.
“I think it’s amazing!” Carly exclaimed.
“I’ve gotta say… you’ve outdone yourself, mom,” Vito admitted.
“Can’t wait till we open it up to all teens in Newcrest!” Hallie nodded with a grin on her face.
“I’m glad you all like it,” Pauline looked around with a content smile.
“Of course, the fact I’ve finished my build means more than just you guys having a new spot to spend your time at,” Pauline became more serious.
Seraphina leaned over in anticipation. This was it. She was finally going to become the official heir.
Pauline took a deep breath: “I didn’t just bring you here to show you around the lot. I brought you here to talk to you about what’s next for Newcrest.”
The teens grew quiet.
Pauline paused for a moment. She was unsure how to break the news. She thought of her ancestors, having the same talk she was about to have with her children. Except hers would be different.
Then again, surely those before her had only gone with what they thought was right. And that was exactly what she would do.
“I’ve been thinking about the generations before us, and their vision for Newcrest,” Pauline explained.
“And I think each generation surpassed the next generation’s vision for what’s to come. So many lots have been built, and I can’t even imagine what else we could add to it. Luckily, that’s not my job anymore,” she smiled.
“I know that each and every one of you could add to this place, help make Newcrest better than ever. I also know that as the current heir, it is my duty to choose a successor that will ensure that Newcrest becomes the best it can be. With that in mind…”
“…I have decided that each and every one of you will be the next heir. Not just one of you; you’ll all carry the legacy forward. And so will your children, and their children after them.”
“What????” Seraphina could not hold back anymore.
“You cannot be serious!” Seraphina was shaking.
“But I am,” Pauline replied. “We’ve built the basics throughout the generations, but why stop there? Newcrest doesn’t need a long lineage to thrive, Newcrest needs many people who are trying to improve it.”
“Not to mention it takes the pressure off,” Vito giggled. “If you mess up, there’s other people to fix you plum-ups!”
“Well, I guess there is of a safety blanket hidden in this approach,” Pauline admitted. “But I’d like to think all of you will do your best. Each of the four of you should contribute with a building, and have a child to ensure we’re as strong as we can be.”
“Wait… did you say the four of us?” Hallie could barely sit still.
“No, no, no!” Seraphina burst out. “This is unacceptable! I could maybe deal with sharing with these two plumheads, but she is not even a Bloomer!”
“I think that’s up to me to decide, Sera,” Pauline kept her cool.
“But it shouldn’t be! It’s the wrong decision,” Seraphina yelled angrily. “Everybody knows that the legacy needs one strong heir, otherwise what’s the point? Your choice to spread it all out will be the end of the legacy! The legacy that should have been mine!”
She didn’t wait for her mother’s reaction and stomped away, her heels thumping on the wooden deck. Pauline watched her storm off in horror.
Carly did not pay attention to her sister’s outburst. She was used to Seraphina’s yelling, why would today be any different? Well, except for today being the best day of her life!
“Can you believe it Vito? We’re all going to be the heirs to the legacy!” she could barely contain her excitement.
“Now you better help me figure out what I’m gonna build… good job the smart one’s in my corner,” her brother laughed.
“There is no corners,” Carly beamed, wrapping him in a hug. “We’re in this together!”
“Are you sure about this?” Hallie asked her big sister. “I mean, Seraphina’s right; I’m not a real Bloomer.”
“Well, you could always change your last name if you think it will change things,” Pauline shrugged.
“I… I don’t know about that,” Hallie drew back.
“Look Hallie, you can be whatever you want and whoever you want,” Pauline told her. “Bloomer, Rocca… it doesn’t make a difference. What matters is if you think of this place as your home, and if you want to make it better. Because if you do, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be a part of the legacy.”
Several emotions flashed across Hallie’s face in quick succession. But there was one that prevailed. Gratitude.
“I won’t let you down, Pauline,” the girl said firmly.
“I know you won’t.”
Seraphina saw red. So her mother wanted to turn this legacy into a joke? Well she would not allow it. She knew she deserved it the most, and was determined to get back what was hers.
Author’s note: And so the last generation begins! Let’s see what all these conflicting personalities bring! And of course, here are the obligatory build blueprints for the new lounge/teen hangout: