Gavin Newson is 29; April is 29; Georgia and Garrett are 15
Kyle Centowski is 57
"You know," April said, "I'm really impressed with Kyle for what he's doing..."
"... I mean, its his new shop. Don't you think he'd really want to be there himself to get it underway? But instead he decides to stay most of the time at the Richmond shop, just because this is a bad time for Uncle Cory to be left running the place himself."
Gavin hesitated before answering. He'd momentarily forgotten that Cory was April's uncle. He'd have to be careful what he said. "Yeah, I guess," was all he finally offered.
"I thought you'd be a bit more enthusiastic about it," April said. "Especially since he's made you the manager of the Bluewater Village shop."
"Maybe I would be if it actually meant something," Gavin said. "As it is, I'm only manager because I'm the only person around to do it."
"You're still manager," April said. "This is your chance to do things your way, try out your own ideas..."
"... stock the shelves, be cashier, clean the kitchen..." he continued. "Remember, I've got no staff yet. Its just me at the moment."
"Well, you said it yourself - Bluewater's small. It can't be that busy."
But the problem was, it was busy. Aside from the locals, SSU was just a short drive away. Sure, the campus had a book shop, but it was an academic bookshop, and college kids read for pleasure too. As the weather warmed up, more and more people were coming out to the beach, and browsing around the shops while they were there, and the tourist season wasn't even really underway yet.
He shook his head. "Lets just talk about something else," he said. "Tonight's a special night and I don't want to waste it talking about work."
It was late when he finally walked April to the door of her apartment.
"Thanks for tonight. For spending it with me." April said.
"Of course I'm spending it with you. What else would I do?"
"I... um... I should get some sleep," April said, pulling away.
"So... now I just leave?"
"We don't have to - "
"Gavin, please don't,.." April said.
"Ok... ok, I'm sorry." Gavin said, taking a step away from her.. "I know I said I wouldn't pressure you, but sometime I just - "
"I'm sorry this is so hard on you," April said, "but I'm not sorry for what I'm doing. I have to do this - you do understand that, don't you."
Gavin nodded. He'd say he understood, just because that was what she wanted to hear, even if he really didn't understand it at all. "I should be going now," he said.
He kissed his wife's cheek. "Happy anniversary," he said, then he walked back to his car.
"You ok," Kyle asked Gavin.
"Yeah, I'm ok. It's just so freaking early..."
"Willow's been driving down there at five in the morning for years... "
"... which is why I'm not getting a ride with Willow." He looked up. "You're coming down today, aren't you?"
"You can drive." Gavin said. "I'm sick of that damned road..."
"Gavin, are you sure there's nothing - "
He was interrupted by Georgia and Garrett, running loudly down the stairs.
"We're not going to a girlie movie like - "
"We are! Hope wants to see it, too. You're outnumbered!"
"She does not."
"She doesn't! She's my girlfriend, I know what she wants to see!"
"She only said she didn't want to see it because - "
"Hey, KEEP IT DOWN!"
"Sorry," the twins said to Gavin in unison.
"You should be," said Gavin. "Its too early for that kind of racket. What are you talking about, anyway?"
"We're trying to decide what movie to see tonight."
"You're not going to the movies tonight," Gavin said. "It's a school night."
"Yeah, we are," said Garrett, turning to Kyle.
Gavin turned to Kyle, too. "Did you tell them they could go to the movies?"
"It's not a late screening," he said. "I don't see the problem with it."
"The problem is, they don't go out on school nights."
"We're getting good grades now," said Georgia.
"Yeah, even she is," Garrett added.
"They're sixteen now," Kyle said. "They need a little more freedom."
"It's not your business to decide what - "
"Just forget it!" Georgia said. "I never wanted to see any dumb movie anyway!" She ran back up the stairs.
"Now look what you've done!" Garrett said to Gavin, running after his sister.
Gavin started to follow them, but Kyle stopped him "I don't think that's a good idea."
"Oh, and you're full of good ideas, aren't you?"
"Gavin, when you were their age, you and Ginger were living without parents, trying to raise the twins and your other siblings, on your own. Think about how you felt back then, then try to tell me they're too young to go out to a movie on a week night."
"We don't have time for this," Gavin said. "We're going to be late opening if we don't get going."
"Nothing's wrong," the younger man insisted
"Something's been wrong all morning," Kyle said. "You don't have to talk to me if you don't want to, but it might help. Did you and April have an argument or something?"
An argument? Hell, Gavin almost wished they'd had an argument. At least he could make sense of that. Somehow it had all been easier, right after she'd left him. They were both still angry at each other. It was black-and-white then. They were separated. They didn't get along...
Then, they started talking again. They found that they both didn't want to see other people, and they both didn't want the marriage to end... but then that was where it all got so damned confusing. Despite all that, April still insisted that she wasn't ready to live with him again. In the end, all he could do was let her have her time to live alone, get to know herself or whatever it was she was trying to do, and hope that, eventually, she'd be ready to come back to him.
"Everything went great with April! That's what's wrong!" He strode ahead to unlock the shop without waiting for Kyle's response.
It was getting late by the time Gavin got back to Richmond, but instead of going home, he had Kyle drop him off at April's apartment.
"Come in," April said. "I called you because... we need to talk. There's something you need to know."
"What is it?"
"The twins... they were here earlier."
"They came to tell me that... that they were happy living with their foster parents now, and that you could go live with me again and I wouldn't have to worry about them messing up our marriage."
"What the hell... it's none of their business what - "
"Wait, Gavin, I think you're missing the most important part."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, they think it was their fault we split up. They've probably thought that this whole time."
Gavin sighed. "So, what did you tell them?"
"The truth. That we split up because I got married too fast. That I went from living with my parents to living with you in college, to being married to you, without really having any time to just be myself. That I realised that I need to get to know myself before I can ever be happy with anyone else."
"Did they understand?"
"I think so."
"Well, that's good because I'm damn sure I don't!"
"Maybe..." April started tentatively. "Maybe you'd understad it a little more if you tried it, too."
"What do you mean?"
"I've been thinking about this ever since I talked to the twins... you've said you hate the commute out to Bluewater Village. Maybe you should get yourself a place out there, now that you'll be working out there all the time."
"But... Garrett and Georgia - "
" - are doing pretty well with their foster parents, as far as I can see."
"But - "
"Gavin, pretty much all your life you've been trying to take care of your siblings. Maybe its time to let go and just live for yourself for a change."
Gavin just stared at her.
"You'll have to do it eventually anyway," she said gently. "They'll be going to college in a couple of years and they won't need you to take care of them any more. But right now... they've got a good home, you've got a new job, new responsibilities... maybe something is trying to tell you that its time."
"I... don't think I'm ready to do that..."
"Well... that's probably all the more reason that you should do it. The twins won't wait until you're ready. Maybe it's better you be the one to cut the ties."
"Is that what you were doing when you left me? Cutting the ties?"
"I wasn't cutting anything," she said. "I was just stretching them a bit... making some room to grow."
"I wish you'd consider it," Kyle said. "We'd only need you for a few months, if that... just to help us through the summer, give me time to find permanent staff... I need people I can trust since I won't be out there all the time myself.... You told me what you were earning at the bar. I'll pay you slightly more, and the cost of living is cheaper in Bluewater, too."
"I don't know," she said. "Can we meet up somewhere? It's probably easier to discuss things face to face."
An hour later, Kyle waited at a city coffee shop. He wasn't a fan of all this secrecy and sneaking around, although he could understand why she wanted to do it this way.
He'd been surprised at first, when he'd seen her at Serdar Green's funeral... but when he thought about it, is wasn't all that unexpected that she'd come back. From what he'd heard, she and the old man had become quite close. What was surprising was that she'd stayed. It was only by chance that he'd heard that she was still here in Redwood City, getting a bit more money together before moving on.
"Kyle?"It's good to see you again."
He got up to greet her.
"Samantha, it's good to see you too."
Yeah, she's back!
I was the next active blog on the list when Samantha left Simsville... but aside from being only semi-active myself at the time, I didn't have any reason for her to return just then. Serdar's funeral created an opportunity for her to come back, and the new shop gave her one to stay a while. We're just going to say she's been traveling elsewhere during the gap between.
She's supposed to be here six sim-months, technically she's already been her a month (since the funeral), but I'm going to start counting from this, her 'official' return to the story. A long time has passed since we all planned Samantha's journey, and possibly not everyone originally involved is still sim-blogging/interested in hosting her, so it might be a good time to re-group and re-plan where she goes from here.
As for the rest of this post, I originally split Gavin and April up because their relationship level dropped and they rarely rolled wants for each other. Since then, Gavin has rolled lots of wants for April, but hers are all over the place... so, for now, she's not ready to get back with him. I'll probably get back to them relatively quickly, as I'll be playing the new shop a lot to give Samantha maximum story while she's here. For the record, I have nothing planned - once again, I'm just seeing how it develops :)