Chapter 2.1 Unwritten

Chapter 2.1 Unwritten

“24. Tell a story that directly or indirectly illustrates the type of person you are.”

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I’ve known I wanted to be a journalist since I was very young. I can remember sitting on the leather couch with my father in the den, the room dark except for the glare of the big screen. After everyone else had long gone to bed, Daddy and I would split a bag of buttered popcorn while Tom Tucker and Diane Simmons would deliver the evening news. I wanted to jump in the screen and dive into the action. I couldn’t imagine a better job and refused to accept that there was one.

The past eighteen years have prepared me for this moment, this next step towards reaching my goal. I can’t believe I’m finally here.

 


 

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“…and that’s all I’ve written so far,” Brynn sighed.

“Well that’s an interesting start,” Ellie said.

“That’s all you’re going to say?!”

“I just wouldn’t stress about it so much right now. It’s only your junior year, Brynn. You have plenty of time before you have to send your application in.”

“I’m. Not. Stressing. Mother.” Brynn hissed. “I. Have. Goals.”

“Then what seems to be the problem? You have the accolades. 4.3 GPA, two hundred hours of community service, a slew of extracurricular activities, editor of the school newspaper. Sims University would be crazy not to accept you.”

“But then you have people like Sonya DeVille who overcame leukemia in the fifth grade. Bray Wyatt’s parents died in a car crash. Mandy Rose has dyslexia.”

Ellie smiled, bending down to weed a tomato plant. Her poor Neurotic, Over-Emotional girl. “So you think you need some sort of tragedy to make your admission essay stand out.”

“There are thousands of applicants who have perfect GPAs and are in a hundred different after school clubs,” Brynn whined as she harvested a potato. “What can I write about to set me apart?”

“You’re certainly going to have to reach way down deep inside and figure that out,” Ellie agreed, moving on to a row of corn that needed watering.

“Well excuse me for not being homeless for a year and working on a farm,” cried Brynn.

“Well excuse me for raising three kids in a three parent household and always keeping food on the table and the utility bills paid,” her mother shot back.

Brynn blanched. “I’m sorry, Mom. That was rude of me.”

Ellie set her watering can down. She gently took her daughter’s face in her hands. “I love you, Brynn Dorothy Bradshaw. I love your father, Bryce, and your brothers. I love this crazy, unpredictable, and rewarding life that we’ve been given, no matter how unconventional the path may have been. You’ll find your way, too. I believe in you.”

Brynn’s eyes filled with tears as her mother enveloped her in a giant bear hug. “Mom?”

“Yes, baby?”

“Thanks.”

 


 

 


BLOOPERS:

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Generation 1 Summary

Generation 1 Summary

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  • Brooding
  • Rebellious
  • Night Owl
  • Loves the Outdoors
  • Hot Headed

LTW: Presenting the Perfect Private Aquarium

 

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  • Neat
  • Bookworm
  • Socially Awkward
  • Genius
  • Neurotic

 

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  • Lucky
  • Athletic
  • Brave
  • Grumpy
  • Irresistible

LTW: Become a Superstar Athlete

 

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  • Over Emotional
  • Neurotic
  • Charismatic
  • Artistic
  • Absent Minded

LTW: Star News Anchor

 

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  • Insane
  • Eco Friendly
  • Clumsy
  • Childish
  • Good Sense of Humor

LTW: Super Popular

Chapter 1.11 Moon River

Chapter 1.11 Moon River

Ellie, Casper, and Bryce took to parenthood like a duck to water. Due to Bryce and Ellie’s open work hours, there was always someone home to watch the baby. Despite Bryce’s initial reluctance to be a father, Alex had him wrapped around his tiny little finger from the jump. There were many nights Bryce spent with the child, rocking him to sleep and giving him his late night feedings. As far as Ellie and Casper were concerned, Alex was just as much Bryce’s son as he was their own.

Screenshot-106Screenshot-4In fact, Bryce would encourage Casper and Ellie to get out of the house and have some fun while he stayed at home with the baby. Alex was finally old enough to sleep throughout the night and he cherished the quiet winter evenings he spent sculpting.

When Alex was two, Ellie revealed to her partners that she was pregnant again. She bought another white crib to put into the nursery, secretly hoping for a daughter this time. Ellie had heard that if you eat three watermelons when pregnant you will have a girl. She didn’t put much stock into that old wives’ tale but found herself consuming an ungodly amount of the fruit just in case. Regardless, a healthy six pound, seven ounce baby girl was born on a snowy Monday afternoon. They named her Brynn.

Brynn was a quiet child who had a surprisingly somber demeanor for one so young. Miles once said that she carried “the weight of the world upon her small shoulders”. It’s true, her gray eyes betrayed a keen intelligence and it was unnerving how even at the age of three, their little princess had already mastered the perfect withering glare. As Bryce used to say, “Brynn will grow up to either be Leader of the Free World or the Empress of Evil”. She took her studies seriously (unlike her Athletic older brother) and set her sights on becoming a Star News Anchor while still in grade school.

Campbell arrived right before the throuple’s Adult birthdays. Although he was a spitting image of his mother, Cam’s personality was most definitely his own. The youngest Bradshaw had a penchant for mischief and a rebellious streak a mile long, if setting loose one hundred frogs in Mr. Pearson’s sophomore biology class was any indication for what was to come. Deeply loyal, Cam always put his family first. His older brother Alex was his idol and everything he wanted to be when he got older. Brynn had a tendency to be a total nag but when Lorenzo Moretti snapped her bra strap one day in the school cafeteria, best believe Campbell was there waiting for him with a knuckle sandwich.


Tragically, some time after Cam was born, Dwight Howard passed away. Apparently he had not been doing well for some time. Andrew Hatfield was still working for the Howards but was busy raising his own family with Bryce’s sister Layla. Dorothy had powered through, determined to run the farm by herself if necessary. She came from a different time where as long as there were cows that needed milked and crops that needed harvested, there was no time to cry. Nevertheless, she persisted.

As soon as Ellie received the news about Dwight, she raced to the Howard farm. Dorothy was at the stables, attempting to remove the bridle from her horse, Willowmere, without much success. In a moment of weakness, the elderly lady had allowed three small tears to trickle down her wrinkled face, as she sobbed quietly into her beloved horse’s coat.

“Dorothy!” shouted Ellie, running towards her old friend. “What ever are you doing?”

“Oh Ellie, you’re here. Andrew was supposed to be here tonight but Kate’s got the chicken pox and Layla works late. I took Willowmere for her nighttime walk and now I can’t get this darn bridle.”

“Let me take that,” Ellie said, removing the bridle with ease. “I can brush her, clean her hooves, and put her in her stall if you want to go inside for some tea.”

“I appreciate your help but I don’t like you fretting over me like this. I’m sure it’s just a bad day,” Dorothy tried to reassure her, even as she wrung her mangled, time-worn hands.

Ellie started brushing Willowmere’s coat. She missed working on the farm. When was the last time she had visited the Howards? Ugh, it had been too long. And now Dwight was gone and it was only a matter of time before the arthritis took away the full use of Dorothy’s hands. Should she ask Casper and Bryce if they wouldn’t mind letting Dorothy live with them?

Dorothy scowled, “Eleanor James as I live and breathe you better cut that out right now.”

“Cut what out?” Ellie asked innocently, setting the brush down and walking over to her friend, a plan already forming in her mind.

“I see the way you’re looking at me. The way everyone looked at me today during the funeral. Well I don’t wish for your pity,” shouted Dorothy. “I wish…I wish…”

For one moment, Ellie feared that Mrs. H was about to have a heart attack and they were going to have two funerals in less than twenty-four hours. Then the fire left Dorothy’s eyes with such an abruptness that left the old lady’s face appear older as it sagged in defeat. It was so silent that Ellie could hear the crickets and frogs down by the pond.

“I wish Dwight was still here. I wish my body wasn’t broken and my mind was still sharp. I wish I wasn’t selling the farm to go live in a retirement home,” Dorothy cried.

Ellie wasn’t surprised to hear she was selling the farm but the idea of Dorothy in a place like a retirement home made her incredibly sad. Surely, they could put her in the spare bedroom. After the Howards took Ellie in, she gained a roof over her head, three hot meals a day, employment, but most importantly, a family. Without the forgiveness and kindness from people like Casper and the Howards, Ellie’s life on Aspen Islands would certainly have turned out differently. She hugged Dorothy. “Stop that nonsense about a retirement home. You’ll come live with us.”

Dorothy smiled sadly. “You know, Dwight and I were never lucky enough to have kids of our own. I used to wish we had but I reckon that’s why we met you and Andrew. We sure loved both of you.”

“I love you both too,” choked out Ellie, dreading what was next.

“Ellie, it’s been my pleasure to watch you go from an angry, rebellious street rat to a loving partner and mother. When I first met you, I would never have been able to predict the kind of relationship we would have. But you and I, we’re thick as thieves. So you should already know that I would never want to be a burden. No,” Dorothy shook her head. “You need to focus on raising your kids. I’ll be alright. As long as you promise me one thing.”


Many years later:

“You know, Ellie, you never told me what you promised Mrs. Dorothy.”

After that night at the stables, Ellie had learned that Dorothy was actually in hospice care, not a retirement home, and the old bat neglected to tell her she also was terminally ill. Ellie paid for Mrs. Howard’s medical bills up until her death, which was three years later. To Ellie’s knowledge, she was the only one to visit the old lady in her final days. The funeral was small with only Ellie’s family in attendance.

Ellie smiled. “She said one word. Love.”

Casper threw an arm around her shoulders. “And did you?”

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She did.


 

Chapter 1.9 Sweet Baby

Chapter 1.9 Sweet Baby

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“So, what’s it like being a new dad?” Casper grinned. He and Ellie were visiting Miles and his wife Addie, who recently welcomed a baby girl into their family.

“We’re still getting used to the whole thing,” Miles admitted.

“She doesn’t sleep much,” Addie chimed in. “So Casper, when will it be your turn?”

“Yes! When are you and Ellie going to pop out one of your own? Or are you leaving daddy duty to Bryce?” Miles couldn’t help but smirk. The throuple arrangement perplexed and amused him.

Casper glanced at his girlfriend, who was gingerly holding baby Sarah. Things at the new house were going great. He had just gotten a promotion to Senior Engineer, Bryce had recently sold a Yankee Doodle Dining Chair for a sizeable profit, and Ellie had started a garden in their backyard.

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“What do you think, El?”

Ellie went pale suddenly, carefully handing Sarah back to her parents before running into the bathroom.

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Chapter 1.8 To Build a Home

Chapter 1.8 To Build a Home

 

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  • 25 cardboard boxes.
  • 11 trips across town between Casper’s condo, Ellie’s farm, and Bryce’s apartment.
  • 2 kittens.
  • 2 Beagles.
  • 3 Exhausted young adults.
  • 1 attempted robbery.
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Happy to be moved in!

OUTTAKES:

Layla may have found her Prince Charming in a certain Andrew Hatfield.


Chapter 1.7 Second Favorite Man

Chapter 1.7 Second Favorite Man

When Bryce got home, he was surprised to see his sister Layla in his kitchen chopping vegetables. She scowled. “Have you been eating enough? Your fridge is empty.”

He sighed. Layla had practically raised him after their parents had passed away. She couldn’t help but be overprotective. “I literally just got back from the grocery store,” he muttered, putting away the produce in the fridge and hanging up the cloth bags by the door.

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“So when will I be meeting this mysterious Ellie James? We should all have dinner some time.”

God, he had been home for five minutes and already she was grilling him. “Yeah,” he muttered, “that would be lovely.”

The two Street siblings ate their cheese plates in peace. Bryce knew that his sister just wanted him to find a sweet wife and pump out a gazillion babies. She was a Hopeless Romantic after all. Layla believed in Happily Ever Afters and knights in shining armor. What would she think about his relationship with Ellie?

Bryce knew he would never be a father and he never had much interest in being married. When Ellie started seeing Casper, he’ll admit it, he was a little jealous. Then he realized they both loved her and could give her different things. Casper was more of a family man, with a good job and reliable income. Bryce was her rock, her best friend, and soul mate. Ellie could never choose between them and shouldn’t have to. The existence of one didn’t diminish the other. Casper had recently bought a house for the three of them to live in together. As much as Bryce was dreading this conversation, he had to rip the Band-Aid off. Layla deserved to know.

“Sis, I’ve got to tell you something,” he glanced up at her nervously. “You’d better sit down.”

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EXTRA:

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Casper and Bryce are actually Best Friends in game and can’t wait to move in together.