Interlude: Hope

Come on… Mari thought impatiently. It can’t be much longer now… Can it? She could feel the weight of the cell phone in her back pocket, still and silent as she waited impatiently for the call. Poor Colette had been in labor for nearly twenty hours, and it had been nearly three since Tobi’s last update on his wife’s condition. But he seemed to think it was close… And Mari prayed that he was right.

She felt almost like a little girl again, waiting anxiously to open her presents on Christmas Eve. But this will be better than any old present. She reminded herself with a smile.

05-22-16_8-11-33 PM

Mari was brought rather abruptly back to the present by a loud cacophony filling the air in the tiny music room. She could not help but wince slightly as the unpleasant sound reached her ears.

“I messed up again! The exact same part!” Florian slammed his hands on the keys in frustration, filling the air with another dissonant blast. “I suck.”

05-22-16_8-15-53 PM

Mari could not help but chuckle slightly at the boy’s outburst. He’s so much like me… “You most certainly do not ‘suck’.” She assured him with a smile. “How can you? You’ve got me for a teacher, after all.” She teased.

The little boy was not amused. “I just don’t get it. I know what the notes are! F E D C.” He reached out and played the series of notes for her. “I can do it right now. Why can’t I do it when I play for real?” Florian sighed softly and looked helplessly at his piano teacher as he spoke.

05-22-16_8-18-20 PM

Mari reached out gently, placing her hand on his shoulder. Florian had been her student for nearly four years now, since he was just seven years old. And though he was always quite eager to learn, his problem was always the same.

“What do I always tell you?” She asked kindly.

The little boy hung his head low. “I know.” He replied softly. “I think too much.”

Mari nodded. “Honey, music is… Well, it’s probably about 20% thinking and 80% feeling.” She explained gently. God, I hope he doesn’t realize I totally pulled that out of my ass. For a moment, she struggled to keep a straight face. “Every song tells a story.” She continued. “Every single one. And that’s what you have to feel when you play.”

05-22-16_8-19-19 PM

“A story?” Florian bit his lip. “I… I don’t know if I can do it.” He confessed. “But I guess I’ll try.”

“Good.” Mari beamed at him. “Now try it one more time, okay? But this time don’t think about it. Find the story. And feel it. I know you can do it.”

The boy nodded. “Find the story.” He repeated. “Okay.” And with that, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and began to play.

05-22-16_8-20-57 PM

Less than three measures into the piece, the sound of a high-pitched electronic melody filled the air, interrupting Florian’s performance. He stopped playing and looked up at Mari curiously.

Oh my God! Could this be it? She felt herself bursting with excitement as she pulled her phone from her pocket. “Hello?”

05-22-16_8-22-05 PM

“Mama!” Tobi’s warm voice called out. In the background, Mari could just barely make out the high pitched wailing of a newborn. “He’s here! And he’s perfect!”

Mari felt a warmth wash over her at his words. “Ahhhh!” She burst out laughing as the uncontrollable cry of delight escaped her lips. “That’s amazing! I’m so proud of you, sweetie. How’s Colette?”

“She’s fine.” She could hear the smile in his voice. “Everything’s fine. She did great. Grab the kids and head over, okay? Papa and Stefan too. I can’t wait for you to meet him.”

05-22-16_8-22-59 PM

“Me neither.” Mari’s smile widened. “Give that beautiful baby a kiss and tell him we’re on our way. I love you.”

“You too, Mama.”

Mari felt practically giddy as she returned her phone to her pocket. “Jonas!” She called into the study.

Her husband was already waiting in the doorway for her. “I heard.” He cried excitedly. “I’ll go grab Stefan and the kids.”

05-22-16_8-25-23 PM

Florian looked almost amused as he watched Mari walk back into the room. “She had the baby?” He asked.

Mari nodded happily. “I’ll call your Mama when we’re in the car. We can drop you off on the way to the hospital.”

“Oh.” The boy’s face fell. “Yeah… okay.”

“What’s wrong, honey?” Mari’s brow furrowed in concern.

05-22-16_8-28-32 PM

“Clara, you don’t need to bring that with you.” Jonas’ voice echoed from the top of the stairs, calling both Mari and Florian’s attention.

“But it’s not for me, it’s for the baby!”

Mari could hear Stefan’s deep, booming laugh as his voice joined the others. “That’s very thoughtful of you. But he doesn’t need it. Trust me.”

She could almost picture her daughter rolling her eyes. “Okay, fine.”

There was the sound of small footsteps, the closing of a door, and then finally heavy footfalls as Jonas, Stefan, Clara, and the twins descended the stairs.

05-22-16_8-33-07 PM

“Hats and gloves, too!” Jonas called to the children as they raced for their coats. “It’s cold out there.”

Stefan poked his head in the music room, giving his mother’s young student a small smile. “Aren’t you coming, Mama?” He asked.

Mari did not immediately reply. Instead, she glanced back down at Florian.

“I really think I can do it, Mari.” The boy said softly. “Can’t I have just one more chance?”

05-22-16_8-35-55 PM

She hesitated, just for a moment.

“I’ll meet you there.” She said at last, giving Stefan a warm smile. “I’ll be right behind you guys, okay?”

The surprise was evident on her son’s face, but he did not question her. “Okay.” He agreed.

05-22-16_8-42-45 PM

“And don’t forget to call grandpa and vovó on the way.” She reminded him as he headed back into the front entryway.  “I think they’re still with Uncle Paolo.”

In less than a minute, the three children had been shuffled off to the car, and the house was silent once more.

05-22-16_8-46-03 PM

Florian looked up at her curiously. “But… aren’t you going too?”

“I am.” Mari agreed. “But first, I believe someone owes me a flawless performance of Für Elise.”

The little boy’s eyes widened. “Flawless?!”

Mari let out a small burst of laughter. “Well, yeah! Less flaws than last time, right?” She winked at him.

05-22-16_8-48-41 PM

“Ha-ha, very funny.” The eleven-year-old shook his head at his teacher, but gave her a small smile of gratitude.

Then he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and began to play once more.

05-22-16_8-49-42 PM 05-22-16_8-50-40 PM 05-22-16_8-51-47 PM 05-22-16_8-52-06 PM

—————————————————————-

Tobi gave his wife a quick kiss on the cheek as they looked down into the bassinet at their newborn son. I missed this. He thought, smiling to himself. The joy of looking at his child for the very first time. The soft warmth of a newborn wrapped in his arms. The feeling of pure and unconditional love.

05-22-16_9-02-18 PM

And being surrounded by that love, too… His smile widened as his gaze fell on his parents and in-laws as they talked excitedly amongst themselves.

“I’m so glad you made it in time to be here for Colette.” Mari smiled at Amelie as she spoke.

“Me too.” Colette’s mother replied, returning the gesture. “But those idiots at the train station gave me such a hard time with my tickets – I was afraid I wouldn’t.”

05-22-16_9-07-18 PM

Diego shook his head and let out a soft chuckle. “Nah, you would have walked here if you had to.”

“Good point.” She laughed.

“Do you know how long you’ll be in town?” Jonas asked kindly. “Jocelyne and Lucas are practically beside themselves about you being here.”

05-22-16_9-08-18 PM

Amelie shrugged. “At least a few days. Hopefully more, if I can.”

“Well I hope you’ll at least come by for dinner tonight.” Mari turned toward the other woman as she spoke. “When we sent mãe and dad back with the kids, I let them know we might have a few extras for dinner… Diego and Rachelle, you’re both welcome too. And you can bring Simone along – We can even talk about getting her started on some lessons, if she’s still interested.”

05-22-16_9-10-03 PM

“We’d love to come.” Rachelle smiled warmly. “And she’s definitely interested. Though she keeps flip-flopping between violin and piano…”

“Can’t help much with violin.” Mari shrugged. “But let me know. I could give you my friend Humberto’s number. He’s always taking new students…”

05-22-16_9-11-36 PM

“Would you look at that…” Colette whispered. “Do you remember the first time around? What a mess that was?”

Tobi almost laughed. “Yeah… Who would have thought that in just a few years it’d be like this?”

05-22-16_9-14-59 PM

Despite his joy at seeing them get along so well, Tobi felt a strange twinge of sadness as he took in the sight of his children’s grandparents laughing and smiling together. Though Josh had only been part of their lives for a few short months, Tobi felt that he deserved to be there too.  It might be too late for him to ever feel like my father… But maybe he still has a shot at being a grandfather. He thought hopefully.

But as his gaze fell on his mother’s smiling face, Tobi felt his heart sink even further. He loved seeing her like this – warm, funny, happy, and so kind. She’d even been the last to arrive at the hospital because she wanted to give a struggling student the chance to finish his lesson.

05-22-16_9-19-57 PM

That’s her. He thought sadly. That’s my Mama. Not the angry, bitter woman she’d been during Josh’s first visit. And not the meek and sorrowful one she’d been during every visit since, either. And if Josh was here now Well, Mari wouldn’t be. Not really, anyway.

05-22-16_9-21-08 PM

Tobi missed his biological father every time he went away. But I miss her more. He realized. If only there was SOME way they could…

His thoughts were interrupted by a loud peal of laughter from his mother as Diego chuckled heartily beside her.

05-22-16_9-23-22 PM

Colette gestured down toward the sleeping baby and shushed them scoldingly, though her hint of a smile betrayed her true feelings. “Sorry.” Diego mouthed from across the room as Mari covered her mouth to suppress more giggles.

Tobi shook his head, unable to hide his own smile. Though it had been several years, he still remembered how horrible things used to be between his mother and Diego. And look at them now. He thought to himself, amazed. If they could do it, then maybe…

05-22-16_9-25-24 PM

Tobi did the best he could to chase the thought from his mind. There was no point in dwelling on ‘what-ifs’, or looking ahead to the future. Not now. Take it as it comes. He told himself. Focus on right now.

05-22-16_9-26-06 PM

And for now, well, all he could do was wait.

05-22-16_9-34-45 PM

And hope.

05-22-16_9-29-39 PM

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41 Responses to Interlude: Hope

  1. XSimMimX says:

    Congrats Tobi and Colette! Florian’s really cute, too.
    As a sidenote, how do you preserve space on your WordPress media manager? I only have three chapters of my story up and I’ve already used up 2% of my storage! Do you pay for more?

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hi SimMim! It’s nice to see you here on WordPress! 😀 Do you make your pictures smaller before uploading them? I shrink my pictures down to 640×320 pixels. I have about 15% full right now, with Gen 3 wrapping up 🙂 (So I’m hopeful I’ll make it to the end of the legacy without issue *crosses fingers*)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Derubelle says:

    So many nooboos it’s going to be hard keeping track xD How do you find it, writing with so many characters? You will be happy to know I’ve started screenshotting again but I have about 8 characters to shoot together (plus extras running about)… how do you manage the chaos? 😀

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I’m excited t hear the next chapter is in the works! Yay! 😀 As for how I manage all the characters, well Alex and Jade don’t really live in the house anymore XD Unless I need them for a chapter. But I still do have more than 8 characters in the house (the baby makes 9 now!). I sometimes need to resort to needs cheats to keep people from wetting themselves or passing out hahahaha.

      And if you’re talking about how do I pose them and stuff for shots… The Pose player, Advanced/Debug Cheat mod, and lots of patience 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. audreyfld says:

    Congrats on the baby! So what happened to the real Mari and where is the body buried? Lol. I liked seeing this sweet and caring side of Mari easily doing things and enjoying life without stressing over every action. It was refreshing. Maybe she can look back on this and see what both Tobi and Stefan saw. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahahaha this IS the real Mari 😉 We just never get to see much of her 😛 I thought it might be nice to show people that there’s a reason her family loves her and puts up with her hahahahaha. To me, this is the real Mari that’s in my head, so it was good to get to write her this way for once ^_^

      And thanks for the congrats on the baby! 🙂 This family keeps growing and growing hahahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Simslover163 says:

    Congratulations on the nooboo!!!

    Awwwww, Mari. She’s as sweet as a chocolate sundae!! Loved seeing the sweet and caring side of her. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks! I loved writing her this way too 🙂 To me, this is the real Mari. ^_^ And thanks for the congrats on the new baby! 😀 He is super cute

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Senna says:

    Awwwww. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Zygi says:

    I wonder if we will see Florian in future 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Maybe! I loved writing him. He is a super sweet kid (and one of Mari’s favorite students… Not that she’s supposed to have favorites XD)

      Like

  7. Jes2G says:

    Well well well! Look at all this cuteness! I’m glad the adults have all gotten over themselves and are getting along just like loving families should. And, Tobi is right. It may take some time, but Mari may come around with Josh eventually. Just don’t put all your eggs in one basket like your bro, dude. LOL

    I like that name, Florian.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha yes, Tobi and Colette’s parents (and step-parents) are all on very friendly terms now. A big difference from 7 years ago! So maybe there’s hope for Mari and Joh (but hopefully it won’t take 7 years? :P)

      And you can thank July for the name Florian! Hahaha we were chatting while I was writing this, and I said “Help, what do I name Mari’s piano student?!” XD

      Liked by 1 person

  8. kaffepigen says:

    Loved this! Congratulations Tobi and Colette! Your family deserves so much happiness! Also I liked the length of this chapter 🙂

    It was so sweet og Mari to let the kid finish his music lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks! Tobi and Colette are so excited about the new baby, and it’s nice to give them a little joy!

      And yes, Mari was very sweet to little Florian. 🙂 She knew he really wanted to do it, and the baby had already been born so it wasn’t like she was missing the actual birth. So she was okay with being a little late getting to the hospital so she could make one of her students happy ^_^

      Liked by 1 person

  9. …ah, Tobi. You really will kill your Mama, you know that? I love how he is only thinking of his Mom cause she made a big fuss, but what about Jonas, the guy who was always there for you? The guy who is your dad if not biologically, what about him? Congrats on a baby! And I want Florian, and I ❤ how Mari is with him, so patient and kind!!!!!!

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I think Tobi isn’t as focused on Jonas because Jonas has been handling the Josh thing so much better, plus he has a great relationship with Jonas and they’ve had talks about it back during Josh’s first visit (as referenced in one of my past chapters). He knows Jonas is ok. He knows Mari isn’t.

      And yes I love Florian too 🙂 He’s one of Mari’s favorite students haha

      Liked by 1 person

  10. sonniejj says:

    I’m in France right now and don’t have much time to read/comment anything, but this chapter was just too heartwarming ❤ so happy. Welcome to #teamoptimism, Tobi, good to have you with us!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Aw I appreciate you reading and commenting even when you’re on your trip! I hope you enjoy it ^_^ I’m really glad you enjoyed this chapter, and Tobi graciously accepts your welcome to #TeamOptimism 😛

      Like

  11. Yogiwonks says:

    When Mari said for them to go on ahead I thought something bad was going to happen to her. I’m glad it didn’t! (Mostly anyway.. I’ll admit I like drama hehe)
    I’m excited for the next gen! 🙂

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hahaha I’ve trained everyone to expect the worst, I guess! 😛

      About 15 more chapters until we are in Gen 4! ^_^ I’m excited to start writing it 🙂

      Like

  12. lisabeesims says:

    Lovely job with Tobi’s introspection and self realization … Good to see a softer side of Mari too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂 I loved writing the softer side of Mari, as well as Tobi’s thoughts. This was a fun one for me. Glad you enjoyed and thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. theplumbob says:

    Loved to see Mari in a different context than just with her family for once. The dynamic with Florian was really sweet – wouldn’t mind seeing him around more! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Thanks! Florian is totally Mari’s secret favorite student hehehe And believe it or not, we WILL be seeing more of him! But not until Gen 4 😉

      Like

  14. CitizenErased14 says:

    Time always seems to help Mari, it’s true! She has a long processing time before she can think clearly hahaha

    Like

  15. Congrats on the baby! And Florian is adorable. But yeah Tobi, give her time. She tries.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I think I love you hahaha. People are always so hard on Mari (and I get it… she’s so frustrating and irrational much of the time!). But you just said it perfectly — she TRIES. She really really tries. But her issues run so deep that a lot of the time, she fails too 😦

      And thanks for the congrats on the baby 😀 And I love Florian ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. theceltygirly says:

    HAPPINESS!!!! Such a rarity :3

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes! Haha I remember back when I did this chapter I was marveling at how pretty Mari is when she smiles… We see those smiles so rarely!

      Like

  17. I’m re-reading and I forgot about how cute little Florian is! ❤
    I love this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Awww Steffie! I’m so glad you’re re-reading, that’s awesome! And yes, wasn’t he so cute??? He was originally never going to appear in anything more than this chapter, but I really loved him (and so did the readers) and the rest is history 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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