Interlude: Questions

“Can you believe that asshole? I was about two fucking seconds from kicking him out.” Jocelyne’s irritation was apparent, even over the telephone. “Whoever said ‘The customer’s always right’ has NEVER worked with people before. Ever.”

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Clara nodded sympathetically, though she knew her niece could not see her. “Oh my God that guy sounds like a total piece of shit.”

Remus and River’s eyes snapped up to look at their mother the moment the word passed her lips. “Mami!” Their voices chimed together as they leapt to their feet and raced toward her, leaving their void critter game behind.

“Fuck. Shit. Wait, no, I…” DAMN IT, not again! Now that the twins were older, she and Florian had been trying so hard to watch their language in front of their children. And unfortunately they’d been failing… miserably.

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Jocelyne’s laughter was so loud that Clara could still hear it, even though she’d dropped the phone to her side.

“Mami, you said a baaaaaad word! I’m tellin’ Papi!” River said disapprovingly.

Beside her, her brother laughed. “Well Papi was sayin’ bad stuff this morning at bre’fast. ‘Member?” He turned his gaze toward his mother. “Now you BOTH gotta put money in the swear-jar!”

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Clara sighed, but couldn’t suppress a small laugh of her own. “You caught me. Y’know, at this rate, you guys will be able to cash it in in no time…”

“Yay!” The twins cheered in unison.

“Sorry.” Clara turned her attention back to the phone call. “Just having a Mama-moment… I’m sure you understand.” The girl laughed.

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“Definitely.” Jocelyne agreed happily. “Tell those little rascals I say hello, by the way.”

“Why don’t you tell them yourself?” Clara suggested. She turned the phone on speaker-mode and placed it gently on the coffee table.

“Hey there, munchkins!”

Remus and River’s faces lit up at the sound of Jocelyne’s cheerful greeting. “Tante Jossy! Hi! Hi!” They shouted over each other excitedly.

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“What’s up? I hope you two are being really good for Mama and Papa.”

River nodded enthusiastically. “We’re bein’ sooooo good!”

“So so soooooooo good!” Remus was practically bouncing up and down. “And guess what happened! Mami and Papi bought us bran’ new bikes!”

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“They did! Wow! You must have been very good.” Clara could almost hear Jocelyne’s smile.

“Yup! And we rided ‘em all over!” Remus continued. “And we even goed the way to Onkel Lucas and Tante Hazel’s house! That’s like a million-billion kilo’mers away!”

“Not alone, obviously!” Clara cut in over the twins’ cries of excitement. “Florian was with them.” She clarified hastily.

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Jocelyne just laughed.

“And then we had a race!” River chimed in before her brother could speak again. “And I was the winner and Remi was a LOSER! Haha!” She stuck her tongue out at him.

“HEY!” Remus burst angrily. “Well… Well you’re just a Blöde Kuh!”

“Excuse me?!” Clara’s eyes narrowed. “That’s it… Both of you owe money now.”

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“No fair! Those kinda words aren’t swears, Mami!” River insisted.

Her mother was unconvinced. “They’re close enough.”

“Don’t argue with Mama, okay?” Jocelyne’s voice was soft and gentle. “I thought you two promised you were being good…”

“We are!” They cried out in unison.

Remus seemed eager to change the subject. “Tell us about the babies, Tante Jossy!”

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“They’re not babies!” River corrected her brother. “They’re talkin’ and walkin’ and stuff, right?”

Jocelyne laughed. “They’re doing great. And you’re right, River. They’re three years old now, so they do a lot of walking… and talking too!”

Poor Jocelyne… I thought I had it bad with TWO! Clara could not help the thought that crossed her mind.

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“Can we talk to ‘em?” The little boy asked. “I wanna tell ‘em all ‘bout the bikes!”

“Sorry, kiddo.” Jocelyne replied sadly. “They’re with their Papa this weekend.”

River furrowed her brow in confusion. “How come their Papa doesn’t live at your house, Tante Jossy?” She asked.

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“Well, our Papi doesn’t live with us all the time…” The girl’s brother reminded her. “He goes away with Onkel Lucas when they’re makin’ music. Maybe their Papa likes makin’ music too!”

“Is he a moosician like Papi?” River asked.

Jocelyne hesitated before replying. “N-no… Um, it’s… It’s kind of tricky to explain…”

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“Alright, you two. I think you’ve bothered poor Tante Jossy enough for one night.” Clara interrupted, keeping her tone light and casual.

“That’s okay.” Jocelyne’s gratitude was apparent in her voice. “I’ve gotta go get ready for my shift anyway.”

“Well, good luck.” Clara said. “Hopefully you won’t have to deal with any more jackass customers…”

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“Mami!”

Shit!”

“Talk to you soon.” Jocelyne said with a laugh. “Say hi to Florian for me… Love you guys!”

“Love you too.” Clara replied warmly. “Bye, Jocelyne.”

Even after five years, hearing her niece hanging up the phone never seemed to get any easier.

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“Mami?” River asked softly as Clara returned her cellphone to her pocket and sat back onto the couch. “Can I ask you a quesson?”

“Of course.” She smiled gently at her daughter. Clara had a feeling the kids would have more questions about Elliot. And now that Jocelyne was not listening in, she felt much more comfortable broaching the subject.

But it wasn’t Elliot she asked about.

“How come Tante Jossy lives so far away?” The little girl asked. “Why is she all the way in ‘Merica?”

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Clara bit her lip nervously. These were not the types of questions she’d been anticipating. “Well… Tante Jossy has a job there, honey. And her babies. That’s where her life is. With her family.”

“But we’re her family too, right?” Remus said sadly. “So how come she only visits at Christmas? I wanna see her all the time! And Charlie and Alex and Tony too!”

“She’s… She’s just really busy.” Clara assured them. She sounded anything but confident as she spoke. “But she loves us very much. And I know she loves our phone calls.” The young woman smiled. “We’re lucky we get to talk to her so often.”

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“I guess… But how come she doesn’t talk to everybody like she talks to us?” Remus asked softly.

Clara’s smile faltered. “W-what do you mean, honey?”

The two children exchanged a significant glance.

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“Well… Onkel Lucas always looks so sad when we talk ‘bout Tante Jossy.” River’s voice was persistent. “He makes a funny face every time we say her name.”

Her twin nodded in agreement. “It’s really, really weird, Mami. And one time we tried askin’ him about it and he got all quiet and sad and it made me feel sad too…”

Oh God… Is this conversation seriously happening? Clara cleared her throat uncomfortably. “Okay, so… A long time ago, Tante Jossy and Onkel Lucas had a… fight. And it really hurt their feelings. So they don’t really talk as much as they used to.” She explained. “That’s all.”

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River’s brow furrowed in confusion. “But… Me n’ Remi fight all the time! And we still talk to each other.”

“Those are little fights, Riv.” Remus shook his head and leapt to his feet, suddenly frantic. “What if we have a really really big fight someday and we say all kindsa mean stuff and say bad names until the swear jar’s all full and then we stop talking too?!”

Without warning, the five-year-old burst into tears. And his sister was on the verge of following suit.

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Jesus. Way to go, Clara. “Hey, hey, hey!” She crouched down to address her son. “You guys don’t have anything to worry about, okay? Because no matter what, Onkel Lucas and Tante Jossy love each other a lot. That never changed.” All she could do was hope that what she’d said was true. “And it’ll never change for you either… I know it.”

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Promise, Mami?” Remus asked softly.

“I promise.”

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“Now… Why don’t you two run downstairs and tell Papa to start getting ready for dinner, okay?” Clara smiled down at her children.

The twins skipped off to the basement without another word.

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50 Responses to Interlude: Questions

  1. Senna says:

    You think that talk about Luc and Jossy is awkward, Clara…

    Wait until they’re old enough to learn about the birds and the bees. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Xaneathmar says:

    I like Clara’s hair.

    Like

  3. EddieSims says:

    I’m in love with Clara’s kids. Technically they’re Gen 4, just like Jocelyne and Lucas. Does that mean we’ll get to see more of them before Gen 5 starts? This appears to be another time jump from the last chapter. I see a trend here. Does that mean the next chapter will be a time jump too? I really want Joce and Luc to be in the same room together and have that conversation. They need to resolve their issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I love writing the twins, they are adorable ^_^ I’m glad you love them too!

      This chapter is about two years since the last chapter, yes. We have one more big-ish time jump between this chapter and tomorrow’s. After that, there will be way less time jumps 🙂

      And yes, Joce and Luc totally need to work things out. But I think the more time that goes by, the harder it is to have that conversation… :-/

      Liked by 1 person

      • EddieSims says:

        Unfortunately for them, that’s so true. Or maybe it might be easier? Sometimes time makes it easier to let go and move forward because you end up forgetting why you were mad in the first place. Then again, Joce IS a stubborn one! LOL.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Mumei No says:

    Oh my! Five years! Is this when the time jumps are going to stop? Because I think it’s “on point” and It’s nice to see all this changes, because the other time skips form other gens was like: “This person aged, this one died, my hobbies is…” not literally, but kind of like that(?) And still having a little dicicult with the kid’s names…but, I think I get it now! And I wonder how everyone looks now…including Luc, because every time there is a time jump, something might happen, but they simply aren’t mentioning!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      We have one more time jump coming 🙂 And as for how everyone else is doing, we will see in more detail after our last time jump 🙂

      Like

  5. witchazard says:

    So Remus and River are five, Charlie Alex and Tony are threee and Zayne is one or two. Stair steppers! Im going to overload on how cute Remus and River are! Swear jars it sad to admit but my family paid for a vacation because of one those! I just love Mama Clara! It’s sad how much time they keep letting go by before anyone tries to make a effort for resolution

    Like

  6. witchazard says:

    So Remus and River are five, Charlie Alex and Tony are threee and Zayne is one or two. Stair steppers! Im going to overload on how cute Remus and River are! Swear jars it sad to admit but my family paid for a vacation because of one those! I just love Mama Clara! It’s sad how much time they keep letting go by before anyone tries to make a effort for resolution but they’ll come around I just know it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yup, you’ve got the ages correct! ^_^ So hard to believe that Joce, Luc, and Clara are all parents now haha my babies grow up so fast! (Auggy, you’re next! XD)

      Glad you like the twins! And that’s actually both awesome and hysterical that your family could afford a vacation from a swear jar 😂 That’s probably where Clara and Florian are heading haha

      And yes, it’s so sad that so much time is passing 😦 Though I have one correction to make — the only one (not including Mark. We’re just talking Rosebrooks) not making an effort is Joce. :-/

      Like

  7. audreyfld says:

    Too bad we don’t have toddlers in TS4! I am pretty sure that is why we have to have so many time jumps once the next gen is born. I would have loved to see them toddling around and Jocelyn trying to keep up with them and wishing Mark was there to help her. You are very good at working around the lack of toddlers and working the time jumps into the story line. So next chapter we might get to see the triplets!!! Yay! My prediction – 2 girls and one boy. Not sure which is which.

    I absolutely adore Clara and the twins and the swear jar! Lol. I bet it’s already overflowing. They will each have their college paid for in full just from the money there! :). It is sad that Jocelyn and Luc haven’t reconciled yet. 😥 We didn’t hear anything about Mark this chapter like I had hoped. Since she and Luc haven’t mended fences I assume he hasn’t called her either. So very sad. Clara looks like she is thinking how to fix things between Luc and Jocelyn in that last picture knowing how close her twins are and how sad they seemed that they might someday not be. She knows from real life now how painful Luc and Jocelyn’s estrangement must be. Thank goodness for a chapter tomorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yeah unfortunately many time jumps are necessary because of all the kids haha The sad existence of a TS4 toddler… forever offscreen hahaha We will get to see the triplets in tomorrow’s chapter, yes!

      Glad you enjoyed this one! That swear jar is most definitely overflowing hahaha Clara and Florian will probably forever have mouths like sailors XD

      Yes, no reconciliation on the Joce and Luc front, and Mark has been keeping his distance too 😦 I definitely think Clara’s doing a lot of pondering in this one. She sees how sweet her twins are and how much they love each other and I think it really hurts that Luc and Joce are still estranged!

      Like

  8. Spottydog714 says:

    Oh my gosh, these kids talk like me! (Save the bad grammar, of course. XD )

    This chapter really made me smile. I love Remus and River so much, they are absolutely hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Jes2G says:

    The first half of this was the cutest! In other news, five years Joce? Come on now. This is getting ridiculous now. You know you want to fix things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Glad you enjoyed the cuteness! 😀

      And yes, Joce seriously is taking this too far at this point 😦 I actually read this interesting article about the psychology behind grudges, and it’s really helped me understand why Joce is being so stubborn haha. Basically for some people, it gets to the point where the grudge “defines” you as a person. You have this identity as a “wronged person”, and that anger and feeling like you’ve been wronged becomes part of who you are. And the longer you let it go on for, the deeper a part of your identity it becomes and the harder it gets to forgive, because if you forgive, you are giving up your identity as this angry person who’s been wronged. And people don’t want to lose a part of who they are, so they hold on to it. And even though it’s a strange POV, I can see the “logic” behind it, and I think that’s part of what’s going on with Joce. She’s been mad for SO long that it’s impossible to let go…

      Sorry for that psychological rant hahahaha 😛

      Liked by 3 people

  10. CitizenErased14 says:

    Yeah, showing the different ages is very hard hahaha but at the same time, like you said, showing/referencing the kids is a good way to do the time jumps because their ages can be used as a reference for how much time has passed ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  11. CitizenErased14 says:

    Oh yes, kids are so much smarter/more observant than we give them credit for! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one 🙂 I loved showing a peek at Clara and Florian’s little family ^_^

    Like

  12. Clarity says:

    Clara’s a great mom! Swear jar or not, she’s so sweet to the kids. Poor Jocelyne though, it sounds like she’s in a pretty rough place. I hope she can forgive her family- to be perfectly fair the last incident was her fault. Remi said that she doesn’t talk to everyone, so does she only talk to Clara’s family? Or does she just not talk to Lucas and Hazel? Anyway, she doesn’t have to forgive them (though I think she will eventually) she could at least find a happier life in Willow Creek. I’m excited to see her kids! I wonder which one of them is the heir…

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, Clara has taken to motherhood really well! ^_^ I loved writing her interacting with the little ones ❤

      The comment about Joce not talking to everyone was in reference to Lucas and Hazel. Joce still talks to Auggy and her parents and grandparents. But she's totally shut her twin out 😦

      I hope she finds a happier life too! We'll see her kids soon, and also find out who's the heir eventually hehehe

      Like

  13. fairlyvocal says:

    This chapter made me so sad. As much as I hate Luc, I think Joce needs to come home.

    Like

  14. SpurklyNinja says:

    I LOL’d so hard everytime Clara cusses after her kids catch her cussing. Hilarious! 😀

    I love her new hair. ❤

    Listening to River and Remus's questions about Luc and Joce just about broke my heart. It's sad that they have to see that kind of strain between siblings and think that it'll happen to them as well.

    And okay, Joce, five years?! The distance and time were somewhat fine before, but you've let WAY too much time pass! The grudge has been held for too long, and she really needs to reach out, or she's going to be living a lonely life with no one except her kids by her side.

    On the plus side, the twins are adorable! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Hehehehe I’m glad you enjoyed the humor in this one! I thought it would be a nice break to all the drama, at least for a few moments LMAO.

      And yes, it’s so sad to see the little ones worrying so much 😦 Joce has definitely let this go on for much too long. And unfortunately, I think the more time that passes, the harder it gets to try to make things right. 😦 Something definitely has to change!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. theplumbob says:

    The kids are so cute! And Clara looks great! (That’s all I have today – not particularly deep, I’m afraid!)

    Like

  16. I love Mom Clara.
    And she’s so pretty. And the kids are so cute.
    I’m excited to see the triplets too!

    Like

  17. crstasse says:

    River and Remus are just SO cute!!! This chapter made me sad at the end and I love how you wrote this chapter too. Juxtaposing how close River and Remus are as twins and the innocence of childhood, with how distance Luc and Jocelyn are as adult twins. As if something very kind of special and precious has been lost between them. I hope they get it back one day.
    Clara makes a fantastic mum!!!
    I can’t wait to see the triplets!! Along with the changes in hairstyles. I think hair is a lot more symbolical of where people are at within themselves than we give it credit for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      So glad you enjoyed this one (including those cute lil twins!) and my comparison of Remi & River vs Joce & Luc 🙂 Its really a very sad situation!

      We’ll see the triplets soon ^_^ And I love that comment about hair! Haha Thank you so much for reading, as always 🙂

      Like

  18. I love seeing Clara as a mom. I bet her blog is totally a mom blog, albeit it one that discusses the virtues of a swear jar more so than organically juicing everything, lol.

    As someone who is not close to her brother, I don’t see the big deal with Clara not reconciling with Lucas as a concept. I do see it as a big deal though because it’s like everyone is stuck. Luc is stuck, Joce is stuck, hell even the kids are stuck. It would be one thing if everyone just accepted it, like how Mari never got back close to her sisters. But this is different and sadder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I’m sure Clara’s blog is pretty dang entertaining these days haha (and probably some fun mommy stuff, like you said!)

      I think the not reconciling is a big deal for the Rosebrooks because the family has always been close (and actually, Mari got close to her sisters again 🙂 They just don’t show up often in chapters). This is the first time anyone has been estranged from the family like this before, and after so many years and so many attempts (on Luc’s part) at reconciliation it’s saddening and frustrating that it doesn’t seem to be happening. I know not everyone is close to their siblings so I totally get it. But like you said, they’re stuck and can’t accept it

      Liked by 1 person

  19. fabtiffsim says:

    Clara looks great! And that was a sad one.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. raerei says:

    Actually, I really liked this chapter it was sneaky. We go to see Clara and the twins and stuff which is awesome becuase we don’t get to see them too much, but somehow through the phone call dialog and stuff I feel like I know where Joce is too even though we never saw her. I remember you saying you disliked dialog back in the day, but this one was perfect.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. theceltygirly says:

    This was too cute!!! I love the twins 🙂 I always love when you write children, because they’re so darn lovable XD
    Also the whole swear jar thing was hilarious XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Aw thank you! I love writing children but I also find it challenging!

      And I’m glad you like the swear jar 😂 Poor Clara and Florian try so hard

      Like

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