Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-Five

Screenshot-369Sharlee was listening to a lecture given by one of her professors.

Screenshot-371The professor had been speaking for over an hour, when Sharlee felt an overwhelming wave of nausea.

Screenshot-372She rushed  from the lecture hall and into the restroom.  She vomited as soon as she entered the bathroom stall, barely making it in time.  Off and on for the previous couple of weeks she’d felt nausea, but not as bad as today.

She’d wondered if she was fighting the stomach virus that was being passed around Skylar’s play group.  Thankfully, Skylar hadn’t yet caught it.  Pregnancy had also crossed her mind, but she had stopped allowing herself to get excited and then disappointed when she wasn’t.

Her cycle was due in a couple of weeks.  If she missed it, then she would take a pregnancy test.  She wouldn’t say anything to Noah until she knew for sure because she didn’t want to raise his hopes again either.  She returned to the lecture hall.  After her classes were over, she went to Kaye’s and picked up Skylar.  Then she went shopping at an organic grocery store to pick up a few things that she needed in order to cook dinner that night.  Her family was coming over, and she was looking forward to it.

“Mommy, can we have chocolate chip cookies for dinner?”

“We can have them for dessert.”

“Yummy!”

Noah met them inside the store, and Sharlee put Skylar down to run and meet him.

“Daddy!”

Screenshot-354Noah picked her up and hugged her.  Then he noticed that Sharlee was a bit pale.

“Are you okay, Babe?”

Screenshot-356“Yeah, but I might be coming down with that stomach virus that’s going around.”

“Maybe we should cancel dinner tonight.  Your family will understand.”

“No, I’m fine, Honey.  Can you and Skylar go get some sea salt from the next aisle?”

“Okay.”

Screenshot-358Noah and Skylar headed over to the aisle where the salt was located, and Skylar stood up inside the buggy.  Noah reminded her that she was supposed to remain seated or he would carry her instead.

Screenshot-360Riding in the buggy was always fun to Sky, and she didn’t want her Dad to carry her.  So she didn’t stand again until they stopped.

Screenshot-379That evening, they were all having a good time.  Cara was playing a new song that she liked, and most of them were dancing around.

Screenshot-381Joy was dancing on Shawn’s feet.   Cara was dancing too.

Screenshot-383Dale and Alissa were dancing together, and Skylar was dancing.  Sharlee was getting dessert ready with Aidan’s help.

Screenshot-394She’d thought it was so sweet of him to volunteer to help her until she saw him sampling the cookies and the ice cream.

Screenshot-393“Aidan!”

Screenshot-400“You know I love your cookies and ice cream!”

Screenshot-403Sharlee couldn’t be upset with him.  She’d made the ice cream and cookies herself from scratch with natural ingredients.   “You can take some home with you, and I’ll make you your favorite ice cream this weekend.”

Screenshot-388Noah had been sitting and watching until Skylar came over to him.”

Screenshot-385“Dance me, Daddy!”

Screenshot-392Noah had picked her up and started dancing around the room with her too.

Screenshot-404Sharlee smiled when she saw Noah and Skylar dancing together.  Skylar’s and Noah’s faces were glowing with happiness, and Sharlee was glad that she hadn’t cancelled the dinner.

Alissa’s cellphone rang, and Aidan answered it for her.

“Mom!  It’s for you!”

Screenshot-409Alissa took the phone from Aidan.   It was Angelo.  She stepped into the foyer where it was quieter.

“No, I haven’t heard from her for a few weeks, but that’s how it’s always been with Crystal.  She likes her space.”

Angelo told her about Crystal’s relapse.

“Oh no!”

Screenshot-406Dale saw her expression and came over to her.  Noah saw it too and came over.

Screenshot-408“I”ll get there as soon as I can.  No, Angelo.  You do what your doctors tell you to do.  You can’t help her if you don’t get well.”

She spoke for a few more moments and then disconnected the call.

Screenshot-410“What’s wrong?”

“It’s Crystal.  She’s relapsed and using again.  Angelo was stabbed when he went looking for her.  I’m going to go find her.  I told him I’d get there as soon as I can.”

“I’m going with you.”

“Honey, no offense, but you won’t fit in where I need to go.  They’ll think you’re a “narc,” and I won’t get any information.”

Screenshot-413“I forbid you to go alone.”

He saw the indignant expression rise quickly in her eyes.

“I’m sorry.  I used the wrong words.  I don’t want you to go alone.  You got hurt badly the last time you went looking for her in those type of places.”

Screenshot-411Sadness came into her eyes, remembering being raped and losing their baby.

“Dale, she’s my little sister.  I know that she won’t listen to anyone else, not to Miki or Jamil either.  I have to do whatever I can to get her to go to rehab.”

Screenshot-414“We can call Trent.  You know he’ll find her.”

Screenshot-412“Crystal is stubborn.  She’d be so angry with me for sending Trent that I know she’d refuse to talk with me then.  She doesn’t stand for any interference in her life.”

Screenshot-415“I’ll go with you, Mom.”

They had forgotten that Noah was there.

“What?  I can’t ask you to do that Noah.”

Screenshot-416“You don’t have to ask.  Crystal is my family too.”

Alissa made a quick decision.   She knew that Crystal had a lot of respect and affection for Noah.

“Alright, Noah.”

Dale was looking intently at Noah.  He sensed a bit of excitement and anticipation in Noah.

“Noah, can I speak with you alone?”

“Sure.”

Screenshot-417He took Dale into his office.

Screenshot-418“Noah, don’t take any unnecessary chances with Alissa’s safety nor with your own.  Remember that you have a wife and daughter to return home to safely.  Remember that you will need to be able to look Sharlee and Skylar in the eye when you come back home.”

Screenshot-419Noah couldn’t help but feel a bit of irritation that Dale had felt the need to tell him that.  He’d done a lot of work with Sarge at controlling his anger and his reactions.  The martial arts classes had also helped.  However, having a chance to use his street smarts and skills again felt good.

“I don’t intend to take Mom with me while I search for Crystal.  I think it’s better if I search alone and then let Mom know after I find her.  I’ll tell her after we arrive in town.”

Dale was relieved and told Noah that he thought that was a very good plan.  Saying goodbye to Sharlee and Sky hadn’t been easy for Noah.  He could tell that Sharlee had mixed emotions about him going.  She’d hugged him and made him promise to come back to her and Skylar.  He’d kissed her and promised.  He told Skylar that he wasn’t sure how many “sleeps” he’d be gone, but that he would talk with her everyday.

After they arrived in  Crystal’s town,  Alissa went to Crystal’s apartment to see if she could find any clues as to where Crystal might be, and Noah went to the hospital to see Angelo.  Angelo told him about the bar and the bouncers, but he wanted Noah to concentrate on finding Crystal.  He wasn’t interested in having the bouncer arrested, and he’d refused to answer the police detective’s questions about the stabbing.  He didn’t want to make it harder or more dangerous for Crystal.   Noah had agreed.

Screenshot-348Noah still intended to search without Alissa, and after he left Angelo’s hospital room, he called her at Crystal’s to tell her so.

Screenshot-349“Mom, please don’t be upset, but I’m going out now to find Crystal.  Angelo told me some places to check.  I just think it will be easier this way.  I’ll call you after I’ve found her, and then you can talk with her too.”

Screenshot-338Alissa was angry at first.  Then she sighed.  “Alright, Noah, but son, you be very careful.  I don’t want to lose you too!”

Noah told her he’d be careful, and then he headed for a barbershop.  He didn’t want anyone recognizing him.  He’d need a different haircut.    He knew Sharlee would probably hate it.  She loved running her fingers through his current style.  He’d grow his hair back out if she didn’t like the new one.

After he left the barbershop, he put phase two of his plan in action.  He went to the part of town where Angelo told him to search.  All towns have a seedier side, and this was the seedier side of Crystal’s.

The police seldom ventured there, and it was like that Vegas expression, “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”   He unobtrusively walked down the street soaking in the vibe.  Instinct told him that Crystal had ties to the bar where Angelo was assaulted.  This corner was close to that bar.  It didn’t take him long to spot the dealers.

Screenshot-150He watched them interact with their customers and with each other.  Then he knew which one he should approach.  This was the same way he’d met the members of the gang that he’d joined as a teen.  The key to acceptance was respect.  Respecting them led to them respecting him.

Screenshot-154At first Zeke looked at Noah suspiciously, but after they talked for a while, Noah could see that Zeke relaxed.

“So, Dawg, whatcha doin here in the hood?”

Screenshot-155“I got a “Baby Mama” hittin me up for support.  It ain’t that easy com’n up with the “bank.”  I ain’t goin back in the pen.  Besides, I caught feel’ns for her and for the kid.”

Screenshot-157Zeke studied Noah’s face for a few moments.  Then he said, “I got a coupla “Baby Mamas” too.  I feel ya.  So, ya lookin to grind or are ya hard core?”

Screenshot-156“I can dish the heat at the joint.”

Screenshot-159“I’ll hook ya up with da “Boss Playah.”

He headed down the street, and Noah followed him into a club.  It was the one where Angelo had gone looking for Crystal.  Noah didn’t see Crystal as Zeke knocked at a door and then led him into an office.

Screenshot-172Noah and Zeke sat down and waited quietly until the man seated at the desk was ready to talk with them.

Screenshot-160Luther finished some paperwork and then looked up at Zeke and Noah.

Screenshot-174Zeke introduced Noah and told Luther why they were there.

Screenshot-176Luther studied Noah’s face for a few moments.  Then he spoke to him.

“I’m always looking for solid guys, but you’re going to have to prove yourself.  I don’t let just anyone work here in the club.  Do you have a problem with that?”

Screenshot-173“No Sir.”

Luther led the way out into the club and signaled to one of the bouncers.

“You hold your own with him and you’re in.”

Screenshot-188Noah stood facing Ralphie.  Although Ralphie was a big guy, Noah wasn’t afraid.  He was filled with adrenaline and keenly focused on Ralphie’s first move.  The two men faced each other, sizing up one another.

Screenshot-190Noah knew that Ralphie expected the stern expression in his eye to unnerve him, but instead Ralphie was surprised when Noah grinned at him.  Noah felt good.  He was enjoying himself.  He was happy with his life with Sharlee, but that didn’t mean that he could not enjoy this time too.

Screenshot-224Noah’s grin angered Ralphie, and he charged at Noah.  Noah met him in the middle.   He didn’t want the fight to end too soon. 

He knew that big guys like Ralphie depended on using their brute strength to win fights, and Noah could easily use that against him.  Especially now that he had martial arts skills.  However, humiliating Ralphie and making him an enemy was not a part of Noah’s plan.  So he let Ralphie slug him. 

Screenshot-237Then when Ralphie tried to hit him again, Noah feinted away quickly and then swung around to land a blow.  It caught Ralphie off guard. 

Screenshot-221Then Noah let Ralphie get another blow in on him. 

Screenshot-255They exchanged blows one after another, and then Ralphie tried to punch Noah full force again.  This time, Noah dodged out of the way using a martial arts move. 

Screenshot-256He instead flipped Ralphie into the air. 

Screenshot-258Ralphie ended up on the floor.  Luther stopped the fight.  He’d been watching it closely. 

Screenshot-259Noah helped Ralphie up from the floor, and they shook hands.

Screenshot-266“Damn good fight!”

Screenshot-263Noah grinned despite his bleeding lip.  “Yeah!”

Screenshot-269Luther took Noah aside.  He again looked at Noah silently.

“You could have taken him at any time.  Why didn’t you?”

Screenshot-268Noah shrugged.  “No sense in frontin.”

Screenshot-267Luther knew that Noah had handled it that way so as not to shame Ralphie.  Luther respected Noah for making that choice.

“You got the job.  Go to the restroom and get cleaned up.  Ralphie will show you the ropes and give you a t-shirt.  You start tonight.  We open at 5:00.”

“Thanks man!”

Screenshot-340Later that evening, on his break, Noah went outside and called Alissa to let her know what he was doing.  

Screenshot-341Then he called Sharlee and Skylar.  He kept an eye out all evening, but he didn’t see Crystal.  Ralphie told him about Luther’s “stable” of girls and the dancers, but he didn’t mention Crystal.

After the bar closed, Noah made his way back to Crystal’s place, keeping an eye out to make sure that he wasn’t followed.  No one followed him, and so he knew that the group trusted him.

Screenshot-344“Noah are you sure this is safe for you?”  Alissa was looking at his bruised eye and cut lip.  She’d waited up until he came back.

Screenshot-345“Yeah, I’m fine, Mom.  This was sort of an initiation.  Crystal wasn’t there tonight, but she may be there tomorrow night.  If not, then I’ll try to dig out some info.  I have to be subtle so that they won’t be suspicious.”

Alissa looked at him doubtfully.  For a while longer, she’d continue to trust that he knew what he was doing. 

Screenshot-347Even though it was the wee hours of the morning, Noah called Sharlee again before he went to sleep.  He knew she wouldn’t sleep until she knew that he was back at the apartment safely.

Screenshot-272The next day when Noah went to the club, the dancers were practicing their routines.  He was relieved when he saw Crystal come out from the back and out onto the stage.  She hadn’t seen him yet.  She started practicing on one of the poles.

Screenshot-274Noah had to stifle laughter.  She wasn’t good at it.  One of the other women tried to give her some pointers.  Crystal still didn’t improve.

Screenshot-273Crystal looked over and saw Noah.  He saw the shock and shame in her eyes.   Then a look of anger.  She started to march straight over to him until she saw Luther come out of his office.  She veered over to the bar instead and asked for a drink.

Screenshot-278Luther came over to her and touched her hair.  She pulled slightly away from him. Luther frowned and said something to her. 

Screenshot-280Crystal went back over to the poles. 

Screenshot-279Noah pointedly stared at Crystal and made sure that Luther saw him looking.

Screenshot-284Luther came over to him.

“One other thing, Noah.  She’s off limits.”

Screenshot-283“That’s not the problem.  She’s my “Baby Mama’s” aunt.   If she narcs to my kid’s Mama about see’n me here, I won’t get to see my kid again, and it’ll be completely over for me and my girl.  If I catch up the support, then my “Baby Mama” says she’ll give me another chance.” 

If I don’t, she’s through with me, and I’m going to jail.  If she finds out that this is what I’m doin to catch up, she’ll still be through with me.  I need to talk to her aunt and ask her to keep her mouth shut.”

Screenshot-282“Go ahead.  It’s worth a try, but no threats.”

Noah agreed quickly. “Sure, no threats.  She ain’t the type to take a threat anyway.”

Luther laughed.  “Yeah, you know her alright.”

He went over to talk with the bartender, and Noah went over to Crystal.

Screenshot-287“Boss says I can talk to you.”

Crystal looked over at Luther and then led Noah over to a table.  It would be another hour before the bar opened to the public, and so she still had time to practice her dancing.

Screenshot-288At first neither of them said anything at all.  Then Crystal started the conversation.

“I called the hospital, and they said that Angelo was stable and in good condition.  Is he really okay?”

“Why don’t you go see for yourself?”

“What are you doing here, Noah?”

He told her the spiel that he had given Luther.

Crystal smiled for the first time since they sat down and then laughed.

Screenshot-290“I just can’t imagine Sharlee as a typical “Baby Mama.”  I might just have to tell her what you said.”

“She’ll be glad to see you.  Why don’t you come home with me and tell her.”

Crystal’s smile left.  Noah could see that she wasn’t completely high, but she had taken something.

“Did Angelo ask you to come?”

Screenshot-289“No.  He called Mom and told her that you are using again.  He said he had come here searching for you, and he got shanked.”

Screenshot-298Crystal looked guilty, and Noah was shocked to see her fighting tears.  He’d never seen her cry.  She pushed the tears away and a stoic expression came into her eyes.

“I didn’t expect that to happen to him, and I’m sorry that it did.  For his own good, he needs to forget about me and to go on with his life.  I’m where I want to be now.”

Noah was surprised when his phone rang and it was Sky.  They had just recently given her a phone and it was programmed to only call him or Sharlee.  However, she was not to make a call without their permission.  Before he left home to search for Crystal, he and Sharlee had agreed that he would call them when it was the right time for him to call.  So he knew that Sky was calling without permission from Sharlee.

“Take her call, Noah.”

Noah answered.

Screenshot-377“Daddy!  You come home now.”

Screenshot-320“Sky, I miss you too, and I will be home as soon as I can.  I’m not sure how many more “sleeps,” but I won’t be back home tonight.”

Screenshot-375“But Daddy–!”

Screenshot-312Skylar broke off.  Then he heard Sharlee speaking to Skylar, and she told Skylar to say goodbye to Noah.  Skylar said goodbye and told Noah that she loved him.  Then she handed the phone to Sharlee.

Screenshot-316Crystal watched Noah’s expressions as he spoke with them both.  He was still a happily married man and father.  She saw the warm glow in his eyes as he spoke with his family and thought about how Angelo had that glow when he looked at her.

Noah hung up the phone and explained the call.  Crystal couldn’t help but laugh at Skylar’s antics.

Screenshot-306“Yeah, Sharlee made her sit in the naughty corner as punishment.  She’s usually obedient, but occasionally she does get stubborn.  That naughty corner seems to really work though.  She hates sitting there.”

Screenshot-328“Go home to your family, Noah.  I’m where I want to be.  I don’t want to have to worry about anyone but myself.  I don’t want to answer to anyone but myself.”

“I can do that, but I can’t speak for Mom.”

Crystal raised her eyebrows.  “What!  Alissa is here?”

Screenshot-323“Not only is she here, but if you don’t go to see her, she’s going to come looking for you herself.”

Screenshot-303Crystal was frowning.

“I don’t want to see her.”

Screenshot-322“She is just as stubborn as you are, and you know she won’t give up until she talks to you in person.  Dale mentioned that she had been badly hurt once before when she tried to helped you.”

Screenshot-297Crystal looked guilty and sad.

“Yeah, she was.”

Noah glanced around and saw that Luther was looking over at them.  He knew that they couldn’t talk for much longer.

Screenshot-307“In some ways my life was easier when it was just me that I had to take care of, but there’s no way that I would come back to this now that I’ve found Sharlee.   Making her and Skylar happy makes me happy, and I feel like I finally have the life that I want.  I never want to lose my relationship with Sharlee.  Definitely not for this kind of life.   You were happy too Crystal.  How deep are you in?”

Screenshot-317“I’m renting a room here.  It’s a lot cheaper than living at my place.  My apartment is going into foreclosure.  I had to use my money to buy my “dust.”  I’ve gone through most of my savings now, which is why I asked Luther to let me start dancing.”

Noah told her straight out.  “Well,  you do know that you stink at dancing don’t you?”

Crystal nodded.  “Yeah, I know.”

Screenshot-294“So, after your money runs out, you know what comes next?”

Crystal didn’t answer, but he knew that she did know that too.

“Angelo caught up the mortgage on your place, and Mom is there now.  What do you want me to tell her?”

Screenshot-325“Tell her that I’ll come to see her tomorrow.”

Screenshot-321“You’d better keep that promise, or I won’t be able to keep her away from this part of town.  She’s just as stubborn as you are especially when it comes to the people she loves.  So whether you want it to be so or not, Crystal, what you do effects the people who love you.  Will you need help getting out of here to see Mom?”

Screenshot-295“No, I’m free to come and go as I please.  I’m still paying my own way.  Ain’t nobody gonna control me.”

Noah looked at her silently.  He wondered how long she would be able to keep her spunk if she stayed here.  He hoped that Mom would be able to convince her to go into rehab.

Screenshot-304“I’ll give you till 12:00 pm.  If you’re not there by that time, I’m coming looking for you, hopefully without Mom.”

“I’ll be there.  You can tell Luther that I’ll keep your secret.  I won’t tell your “Baby Mama” so long as you don’t tell her about me dancing.”

Noah grinned.  “Deal!”

Screenshot-351He went over to Luther.  “We made a deal.  I don’t tell about her dancing, and she won’t narc about what I’m doin.”

Screenshot-352“Good.  Now go out front and get to work.  We’ll be opening soon.”

Crystal went to her place the following day just as she promised she would.  Noah left the room to give them some privacy.

Screenshot-331“Alissa, go back home.  I’m fine.  I can take care of myself just like I always have.”

Alissa looked at Crystal sadly.   She could see that Crystal was high.  Her appearance had not yet deteriorated from the drug use, but it would probably happen soon.

“Crystal I can’t do that.  You’re my only sister.  You’re special to me.  Please don’t go back.  Please let me help you.”

Screenshot-332“I don’t need your help!  I don’t want your help!  I’m happy as I am!  I don’t want to have to worry about anything anymore.”

Screenshot-333“That won’t ever be true.  Life doesn’t work that way, little Sis.  You’ll have to worry about when you’re going to get your next “hit.”  You’ll have to worry about how you’re going to eat, or where you’re going to sleep.  That is unless you get a pimp to take care of you.  Even then, you’ll have to worry about meeting your quota of “Johns.”  Or maybe he’ll keep you for his “private stock.”  Then you’ll have to please him whether you want to do it or not.  So even if you go back or if you stay with me, other people will be in your life.  At least if you go to rehab, you will be able to decide what role they will play in your life.”

Screenshot-334Crystal started to cry.  Alissa held her, and she was crying too.

Screenshot-337“I’ll go.  I don’t know how I’ve made such a mess of things.  I won’t be able to get another firm to hire me after what I did with Lionel.”

Screenshot-336“Let’s get you well again, and then we’ll worry about that.  Angelo has called several times and threatened to disobey doctor’s orders to go talk with you.”

“It’s because of me that he got hurt.  It’s better for him to just stay away from me.”

“I’ll call and tell him that I’m taking you to rehab, and that you’re alright.  You don’t have to see him until you want to see him.”

Crystal had brought a backpack with her that contained all of the belongings that she’d had at the club.   Alissa let her take a shower and change and then Alissa, Crystal and Noah caught a flight to an excellent rehab facility in another state.  Alissa didn’t want to give her a chance to change her mind.

The counselors at the rehab center advised Crystal that it would be better for her not to return to her town to live.  It would be too easy to relapse.  So she sold her loft and moved in with Miki and Jamil.  Angelo had come to see her and told her that he was still committed to her.  He was willing to wait as long as she needed to decide what she wanted to do.

Alissa suggested that Crystal try freelancing as a graphic design artist.  Then she could slowly rebuild her business reputation.  Crystal took Alissa’s suggestion, and it felt good to be working again.

Screenshot-421She started back talking with Angelo regularly, and he had come to see her several times.   The fact that he still wanted to be with her despite everything that she had put him through removed the last bit of reservations that she’d had about Angelo. 

Screenshot-422During his last visit, Crystal had told him again that she loved him, and Angelo was happy that their relationship was strong again.  He was making plans to move because he knew that Crystal couldn’t return to their town.

Chris’ counselors had also told him that it would be unwise to live in the same town when he had finished treatment.  He had apologized to Crystal and to Angelo about lying when he’d told Angelo that Crystal had caused him to begin using drugs again.  They had both accepted his apology. 

So the band was relocating.  They just needed to decide on a definite place to move.  Angelo, Crystal and his bandmates were trying to decide on the best place.  Freelancing meant that Crystal could work from anyplace she wanted.   However, she didn’t want to stay in Santa Fe permanently.  She loved her family, but she still wanted to live in a bigger city.

Screenshot-425 June had also come to visit her several times.  Crystal had apologized to June for shutting her out, and June had just hugged Crystal. 

Screenshot-424She’d told Crystal what all the people in her life who cared about her felt.  “I’m just glad to see you healthy and happy again.”

Crystal had smiled because it was true.  She was healthy and happy again.  She had friends and family who had proven how much they loved her.   She was especially thankful that she had such a wonderful sister as Alissa who refused to give up on her no matter what, no matter how hard Crystal had tried to push her away!

__________

I hope this chapter wasn’t too long.  Thanks for sticking with the story!  ❤

 

14 thoughts on “Alissa: Chapter One Hundred and Sixty-Five

  1. Yay Crystal is doing better!
    It looks like Sharlee might be preggers!!! If Sharlee is pregnant again will you be doing a poll for baby names like last time? I was just wondering because I have some names for the possible baby.
    Noah’s hair was a disaster! I just do not like that hair on him, I hope he grows it back out :/
    I’m glad everyone is doing well for now. Can’t wait for the next chapter!!!

    • Yes, she’s doing better. Alissa got to her in time. 🙂

      Do you want me to do another poll? If you have name suggestions, I can definitely do one for their next baby too. I hadn’t thought of names yet.

      Yeah, it was hard to find a good hairstyle for Noah in this chapter. I agree. He has a sweet face and so a lot of hairstyles make him look too innocent to me. I thought this one made him look a little tough, but he’ll definitely be in his old style the next time we see him. 😀

      Thanks for reading, Kelli! ❤

    • Yes, he did look different. He’ll be back to his old self in the next chapter though. 😀

      I love Skylar’s big brown eyes! I think that she got the best features from her Mom and Dad.

      No, her story isn’t over yet. I’m just slow with updates.

      Thanks for reading, Kater! ❤

  2. Hi Daisies! I’ve been reading all along, just not so great with remembering to comment :). Whenever you update it totally makes my day <3.

    This Crystal storyline started off so sad! I just wanted to jump in and be all, "JUST SAY NO!!!!!" But I do understand that once someone is already hooked, and/or they've already crossed that line of being willing to try drugs, it's not that simple. I love how you resolved it, though, and I'm so happy she and Angelo are back together. It was also fun to see she and I now have the same job! Working freelance is a great option for people like Crystal who have a difficult time dealing with others' schedules and taking orders, although if Crystal doesn't have someone else to support her while she's starting out, money may be tight until she gets known and builds up a good client base.

    I love Noah's new hair! I see from the comments that that's not the popular opinion, but I think it makes him look tough and sexy and really shows off his jawline :). I saw you're going to have him in his old style next time we see him, but it would've been fun if he'd come home expecting Sharlee to hate his hair and she turned out to love it instead.

    I'm so glad you're not through with this story! We still haven't resolved the issue of who cut Noah's brakes…and I can't decide yet whether I should assume Sharlee is pregnant or there's going to be a twist.

    When are Cara, Shawn, Joy, and Aidan going to age up? It seems like they've been at their current life stages forever! I know you're probably reluctant because then Alissa and Dale won't have little kids anymore, but there's always Sky! And what's Alex been up to since dealing with that perp?

    • Awww, thank you, Maddie! Don’t feel bad about not commenting.

      Crystal thought it would be easy to say “no” too, but she was wrong. 😦 She’s going to have to be extra vigilant now that she had that relapse. You work freelance! I bet that is really nice to have that control over what you do. Yeah, money will be tight for her for a while, but she does have Angelo and her family to help her if she lets them help. 😀

      You like Noah’s new hairstyle? I’ve had a hard time finding a new look for him because I don’t want him to lose his “bad boy” edgy style. 😉 Maybe I should make a poll for him. I was also debating giving him a bit of a beard.

      You’re right that we still haven’t found out who cut Noah’s brakes. We will before much longer though. I promise! 🙂

      Thinking of them all aging up is sad for me, but it will happen in chapter 167. I have some height sliders, and I’ve made Shawn and Cara taller with it already, but they will have aged up to young adult in that chapter. I also used sliders on Joy and Aidan, but they will be aging up to teen. Alissa and Dale will be aging up to adults too. They don’t look much different as adults though. I’m trying to make their parents look older too, but the elderly age in the Sims just seems too big of an age jump for Matthew and the other parents.

      Thanks for sticking with the story, Maddie! ❤

  3. Hi Daisies! Great story line with Crystal’s relapse. I didn’t think it was too long at all and kind of like the way you went through Crystal’s issues but without forcing it out over many chapters. It was nice to see her again, even if it wasn’t in the best of circumstances. Crystal’s a smart girl who just sometimes makes poor choices. I wouldn’t even say bad, per se, (*ahem* drugs are bad, mmkay? haha) but more like a residual action from the life she came from. I’m glad she didn’t have to sink to any lower point to see the error of her ways and work to turn it around.
    At first I didn’t think I liked Noah’s hair, but it’s really not that bad. It took me a minute though because he has such big brown eyes (hello, Skylar!) that he really does look very innocent in some shots. I can see how finding the right hair could be difficult. But I do think he should wear it home at least and get Sharlee’s reaction. I could imagine him having some awkward half-grown out stage where the kids make a joke out of it and he gets mad (not seriously mad or anything, just the ‘picking on family’ kind) but then it becoming a lesson for Sky to embrace herself. Sorry! I don’t mean to write things for you at all. I just love these characters, and you’ve made them identifiable enough that imagining those sort of things happening to them comes easily.
    Keep it up Daisies, looking forward to the next! (Oh, and aging up soon! Somewhat sad, but really exciting too!! :))

    • Thank you Angie!

      Yes, Crystal has made a lot of bad choices. 😦

      I hadn’t thought about getting Sharlee’s reaction to Noah’s new hairstyle. That’s a good suggestion! I think I’ll add that into the next chapter, and we can see Sky’s reaction too! 😀

      Awww, thanks, Angie! I’m glad you’re attached to the characters too! ❤

      Yes, I'm sad about them aging up. 😥 It'll happen in the chapter after the next one.

      Thanks for reading, Angie! 🙂

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