The girls have been so good with helping Cycl0n3 and me take care of the two new little ones. What are the odds of me having two sets of twins in a row? Cycl0n3 pointed out that older women have a higher chance of conceiving twins or triplets, which would explain Lake and Brook, but I wasn’t that old when I had Aqua and Turquoise. I guess it’s just one of those mysteries of life.
Aqua and Turquoise are both so bright and talented. They’re the top two in their music class. I was worried that their competitiveness with each other when it comes to music would hurt their relationship, but it actually seems to have brought them even closer together. No one ever sees either of those girls without her twin by her side. Like any girl their age, they’re also starting to become interested in boys. Normally, I’d be happy to let them go off to find mates to have offspring with right now, but things on the surface are very different. I found that out the hard way when I first came here. I don’t want my girls to have as hard a time as I did living here so I’d rather they wait until they’re older and out of school and have jobs to start having offspring.
So far, their giggling over boys seems harmless, however. Cycl0n3 says they have… um… crushes? Is that the word? It doesn’t make much sense to me. Being crushed is a bad thing, isn’t it? Cycl0n3 assured me it was a good thing, though, as long as they didn’t take things too far with their crushes but he doesn’t seem worried about that, so neither am I. I trust him more when it comes to human socialisation on the surface.
“So? Who are these crushes your father’s been telling me so much about?” I asked them one night at the kitchen table. They both gave me rather uncomfortable looks. Apparently, moms aren’t supposed to get involved in their teenagers’ social lives. It’s not “cool” as Aqua put it. Another term I don’t really understand.
“Oh uh… it’s not really a ‘crush,’ Mom…” Aqua mumbled uncomfortably.
“Yeah, just some guys at school we’re friends with. Johnny Cavaletti and Chuck Davell,” Turquoise added. “We’re all in the same music class so we do projects together a lot.”
And that was all the information I was able to pull out of them on Johnny and Chuck. My girls are good kids. I trust them to make their own good decisions, but I hope they don’t end up in the same mess I did when I first came here.
Teenage crushes wasn’t the only new thing I discovered. On my way home from work one day, I caught sight of something very large moving around the lake across the street from my house. I was curious. I’d never seen anything like that before so I crept over to the lake to get a closer look. My breath was taken away. A strange, yet incredibly beautiful creature that walked on four legs lifted its head and looked at me. I had no idea what it was but I wanted to touch it. I walked up to it and held out my hand, but it rose up on its back two legs and kicked out at me with a shrill sound before running away.
I couldn’t get my mind off of the lovely creature I had seen so naturally, I asked Cycl0n3 about it.
“Oh, you must have seen a wild horse,” he told me after I had described the creature to him.
“No. I know what seahorses look like,” I protested. “They’re much smaller than that and don’t have legs and they can’t survive out of the water…” I began but Cycl0n3’s laughing stopped me. “What?!” I demanded.
“No, not that kind of horse,” he clarified. “We have horses on land, too. They… don’t really look anything like seahorses except maybe the shape of their head,” he admitted. “Land horses are much bigger and stronger. Humans like to ride them. I saw that a herd of wild horses has been seen running around the valley on the news. I guess it’s true if you saw one.”
That got me incredibly interested about horses and other land creatures. I started interrogating him about different animals and he told me about dogs and cats and reptiles and rodents and birds (so that’s what those flappy little things up in the sky are! I always wondered…) and I decided I wanted one to join our family. It would be like another child, except not quite as expensive and difficult to raise. Cycl0n3 wouldn’t let me bring a horse home. Apparently, they’re too expensive to keep and take too much work to care for.
When the Altos next door sent out flyers saying they were giving away a litter of puppies, however, I went over there right away. From what Cycl0n3 told me, dogs are a lot of fun and make good family members and they’re not as hard to take care of as horses.
“Ah, Ms. Azure Waverunner! How delightful to meet another celebrity! Are you here for the puppies?” Nick Alto greeted me when I showed up on his doorstep. Celebrity? What?
“Uh, yes I am… celebrity?” I asked with confusion. Mr. Alto gave me a smile that somehow didn’t seem too friendly.
“Oh yes. Haven’t you heard? You’re the newest addition to Sunset Valley’s d-list,” he sneered. Somehow, I got the feeling that the d-list was not a list people wanted to be on and that whatever this “celebrity” title was, I wasn’t a celebrity for good reasons. I didn’t ask him anything else about it. I’m not sure I actually want to know. I just came to look at his puppies, anyway.
They were all so cute, but one caught my attention right away. A little fluffy white female. As soon as I walked in the door, she walked up to me and started sniffing at my shoes and it wasn’t long before she let me pet her. She’s so soft! I decided right then and there that I wanted to take her home and that I loved dogs.
“Excellent. We named her Vixen, but of course you can rename her if you want to. You’re her owner now. Take good care of her,” Mr. Alto told me as he ushered me out the door with my new puppy. I think he was eager to get rid of me.
“Hm. Vixen…” I muttered. I decided I liked that name even if I didn’t know what it meant and kept it.
The house exploded with squeals when I walked in the door with her.
“Aaaaaaah! Mom, it’s a puppy!” Aqua gushed. “Is it ours? Can we keep it? It’s so cuuuuuuuute!” I almost laughed. She sounded like she was a child again.
“Yes, she’s ours. We’re keeping her. I got her from the Alto family next door. Her name is Vixen.”
By the end of the day, Cycl0n3 had gone out and bought a dog dish and dog food, a pet bed and some toys for the new addition to the house and no one had gotten as much attention in this house in their entire lives as that little puppy did her first day as a Waverunner. Vixen certainly seemed happy with all the affection.