Yes, the standishes are back! Hopefully you won't notice too many inconsistencies in the way the sims and house look... I tried very hard to make everything as close to what I had as possible by looking at my previous updates. :D
In the previous chapter, Gen 5 heir, Matthew Standish, became a teenager... and his grandmother gave him a letter that had been written by his mother. It explained why she and Matt's father, Ripp Grunt, had left him in Viper Canyon when he was just a baby, while the two of them had moved away together.
Matthew's grandfather then told him he holds the key to how his future relationship with his parents would develop... if he even wanted one. It was all in Matthew's hands now...
Generation Five: Matthew, Part II
Matthew heard voices downstairs... the sounds of excited greetings and laughter, and the tinkling of glasses as drinks were poured.
He took a deep breath. His parents had arrived.
Matt’s grandmother had arranged this meeting with his mother and father, a dinner gathering held at the Standish estate, and she had assured Matt she and his grandfather would remain nearby as long as he needed them. Matt couldn’t help but feel awkward... these were people who he didn’t even know, but yet, he was supposed to be very close to? He had no idea how to act or what to say.
As many books as he’d read, none of them had anything in them about how to prepare for something like this. He'd just have to do what felt right, he supposed...
Taking one last glance in the mirror, he combed his hair back, set his jaw and went downstairs.
He was a Standish, after all.
Matthew’s first feeling upon seeing his parents was one of amazement.
Oh my God... I have his eyes.
Matt couldn’t take his eyes off the man who was his father, and the feeling seemed to be mutual. For several moments, they both just stood and stared at each other. Then, a tall, well-dressed woman with long, wavy, dark hair who could be none other than his mother came forward.
“Oh, Matthew,” she gasped. “My baby... just look at you!” She was on the verge of tears. “You’re all grown up...”
She came close to him and kissed him on the cheek. “You can call me Hope,” she told him. “I know to call me ‘Mother’ is probably a little too much for you...”
His father stepped forward then. “Call me Ripp,” he said, shaking Matthew’s hand, then pulling him into a brief hug.
“Wow,” Ripp exclaimed. “You sure are a chip off the old block...” He trailed off pensively, studying Matt’s face. “You look a lot like me,” he continued. “But I can tell you probably act more like your uncle Tank and your uncle Buck. They were always the serious type, too...”
“Who?” Matt asked weakly. He had uncles?
“Yes, and he’s certainly not like Zack and Emily, is he?” Hope said, giving Matthew a fond smile. “I say that in a good way,” she whispered to Matt, looking at him out of the corners of her eyes as though she was telling him a secret.
“Your brother and sister never meet a stranger and some days their antics send me straight up a wall. Both of them are just so playful and outgoing, I vow...it’s like a circus some days.”
Matt was dumbfounded. Brother? Sister? This was all coming too fast!
“Hold on...” he said, wiping a hand over his forehead. “I need to sit down.”
He sat at the kitchen table and took a deep breath. After a moment he looked up at his mother and father, who were watching him apprehensively.
“Okay,” Matt said slowly. “Did you just say I have a brother and sister?”
Hope sat down across from him and Ripp quickly sat beside her. Matt’s grandfather and grandmother busied themselves getting the food ready, leaving the three of them alone while Hope and Ripp told Matt all about their lives since they had left Viper Canyon.
The two of them had gotten married as soon as Hope’s divorce from Ben had become final. Matthew decided that must have also been around the same time Ben had killed himself, and he was on the verge of mentioning that to his mother, but refrained. He still wasn’t sure if she knew, and if she didn’t, he wasn’t going to be the one to tell her.
“It was a small ceremony,” Hope mused. “Just a visit to Judge Loner in Strangetown, but it was enough. After that, your father and I moved in with his father for a while... your grandfather, General Buzz Grunt.”
“...only until we could afford our own place,” Ripp interrupted. “You see, my dad and I didn’t ever get along, and things weren’t much better this time around. He was especially mad that we hadn’t brought you with us. Called us ‘irresponsible parents,’ ” Ripp sighed.
“It was no use trying to explain to him our reasons. All he knew was that he had a grandson out there that he couldn’t get to, and it was driving him nuts. You see,” Ripp said to Matt, “my father was always a controlling son of a bitch, and he gets pissed off when he doesn’t get his own way.”
“Anyway,” Hope continued, “your father found a job as an EMT and started going to night classes at the local college.
He worked his way through medical school, and now he’s a specialist and a very respected surgeon.”
“Really?” Matt said with a spark of interest. It was the first time he had spoken. “I’m thinking about becoming a doctor, myself! Was it hard to do?”
“Very.” Ripp laughed. “But, it was worth it. It took me a while to get used to all the blood, but you do get to the point where it doesn’t bother you anymore.” He shrugged nonchalantly. “You learn to train your eyes to see the whole person beneath it all... then you just get to work on putting it back."
“Yeah, I think I can see that...” Matt said thoughtfully. “But wait...didn’t you say I had a brother and sister? What about them?”
Hope reached under her chair and brought out her purse. She opened it and pulled out several photographs and gave them to Matt.
“Zack and Emily,” she said proudly. “They’re twins, and they're ten years old now, going on about twenty-five.” She laughed. “They really want to meet you, Matt. They’ve known about you their whole lives.”
“I wish I could say the same,” Matt muttered, looking at the photos.
They showed him a pretty little girl with Hope’s wavy brown hair and Ripp’s dark blue eyes, and a impish looking blond- haired boy who had steel-grey eyes and Ripp's nose.
“They look like good kids,” Matt said lamely, giving the pictures back to his mother. What was he supposed to say?
“They’re absolute hellions,” his father contradicted, laughing. “Oh well, they say what comes around goes around.”
“So, Matthew... what has your life been like since we... um... since we left?” his mother asked quietly. “Has it...” she gulped and took a deep breath. “Has it... has it been...”
“Has it been... good?”
She dropped her eyes to the table and Ripp placed his hand over hers.
Both of them seemed to be waiting with bated breath for Matt’s answer. He looked from his mother to his father’s face and shrugged.
“Yeah,” Matt said slowly, wondering why they seemed so concerned. Didn’t they know his life would have been good? Isn’t that why they left him here, so he’d have a better life? “Yeah, it’s great. It really is. You don’t need to worry about me...”
Yet, suddenly, he felt very sad. Was his life truly better? How could he possibly know?
Just then, his grandmother came in to tell them dinner was ready, and Matthew gratefully got up to go to the dining room. His mind was spinning; he was wondering about all kinds of things he’d never thought of before. Right in front of him were his long-lost mother and father, appearing on his doorstep as though nothing had happened. It had been fifteen years since they’d seen him, and they acted like it had been only yesterday.
Well, how did I expect them to act? Matt asked himself as he walked to the long table and sat down. Did I expect them to fall to their knees, begging for my forgiveness? For what?
For leaving me in a loving home and ensuring I’d have the best future possible? For making it so I’ll be one of the wealthiest men in Viper Canyon one day?
Matt ate his dinner thoughtfully, looking across the table at his parents, who were talking and laughing animatedly with his grandparents.
No, they did what they felt they should, I suppose. It’s like Pop said...it’s up to me, now. I can either accept things the way they are, or I can sulk over what could have been and tear myself up wondering if it would have been better or not.
One alternative would lead to a good relationship with his parents and siblings, and the other would inevitably lead to suspicions, resentments, and harsh feelings on both sides. One would bring his family together again, and the other would drive them even further apart.
Matt studied his plate intently, making designs in his vegetables with his fork.
It was obvious what path he should choose.
Maybe it didn’t make sense for Matt to be so accepting of the whole situation, but he was mature enough to understand things didn’t always have to make sense to be right.
He cleared his throat and everyone at the table looked at him. “Um...” he said awkwardly. “Nana, I was thinking... maybe after dinner we could get out the scrapbook... you know... the one from when I was growing up?”
Matthew looked into his mother’s green eyes and smiled shyly. “I think my mother and father might really like to see it.”
To Be Continued...