8.59: Not Ready

“Anybody want another drink?” Xander called out to the others gathered around the pool area.

Despite the wave of pain that had begun rising up in her lower abdomen, Emberlynn laughed softly as she watched Zelda, Jace, and Tristan’s wife, Hannah, eagerly head back to the bar for refills.

“Ugh… I’d die for a piña coolada right about now.” She eyed the others enviously as they began giving Xander their drink requests. “It’d probably help take my mind off this stupid pain.” She added, wincing.

“I can go ask him to make you one without alcohol?” Tristan offered, smiling at his sister. “I mean, it’s basically a pineapple smoothie at that point, but…”

Emberlynn shook her head. “Nah, it’s fine. And knowing Xander, he’ll feel bad and bring me one anyway. He knows these stupid Braxton Hicks contractions are a bitch.” She added with a small laugh. “Why don’t you go grab a real one for yourself though?”

“Still finishing my first one.” He nodded toward the half-empty glass in front of him. “It’s half-melted now, but it’s too good to let it go to waste! Y’know, if this music stuff doesn’t work out, I think your husband has a future in bartending.”

My husband… And your brother. Emberlynn couldn’t help but think to herself. Even after all these years, it was hard to wrap her head around the fact that Tristan was Xander’s brother too… As far as she knew, the two of them had never even outwardly acknowledged it. It was just this strange unspoken thing hanging in the air any time they were together.

“Yes, my multi-talented husband.” Emberlynn replied at last with a teasing smile. “I can always count on him to keep things entertaining… Which comes in handy when I’m sitting at home bored out of my mind like I am now.”

“Ha! Getting a little stir-crazy, huh?”

She nodded. “More than a little.” Emberlynn confessed. “But better safe than sorry, right? Especially where my little peanut’s concerned.” She rubbed her belly lovingly for a moment. 

Emberlynn’s most recent check-up had revealed a sudden increase in her blood pressure, so her doctor had ordered her to start her maternity leave earlier than she’d planned, and limit her physical activity until little Asher decided to make his debut (which, if all went according to plan, would not be for another month or so).

“True… And at least you got all your costumes finished first, right?” Tristan asked.

“Yeah, the timing worked out, at least.” She replied, grateful that she’d managed to get all the design work for Among the Stars 2 completed before taking her leave. Now that filming had begun, Emberlynn was stuck at home, trusting the rest of her team to take care of wardrobing on set for her. “Finished all the big designs, and we still got to sneak in a Con this summer too!” She added happily.

Her brother laughed. “Man, now those costumes were epic! Hannah and I were dying laughing when we saw them.”

Emberlynn smiled gratefully. “Thanks! It was Xander’s idea, actually… Started out as a joke, but we ended up getting so many compliments.” She still couldn’t believe they’d actually gone through with it, but their appearance as Darth Vader and the Death Star had been an instant hit.

“Yeah, I can see why!” Her brother replied happily. There was a slight lull in the conversation for a few moments before Tristan finally broke the silence, speaking once more. “You know what’s funny?”

“What?”

“I just realized… Xander and Hannah are both all the way over there. We have no reason to be speaking English right now, right? But listen to us.”

Emberlynn laughed as she realized that he was right. “Wow… I don’t think either of us have spoken a word of German since you got here, have we?”

He shook his head. Zelda and Jace were still switching back to their native tongue any time they addressed each other directly… but not them. “Honestly, I even think in English most of the time these days.”

“Me too.” Emberlynn replied. In fact, that’s how it had been for her for years. “So does this mean we’re officially a Brit and an American now?” She asked, smiling playfully at him. “Well, you know what I mean. I guess it’s already official for me, technically.” She added. She’d officially become a US citizen just a few months before she’d gotten pregnant. 

“One more year and it can be official for me too!” Tristan replied. “Hannah’s got a literal countdown going on her phone. It’s adorable.”

“That’s so sweet.” She agreed. It still warmed her heart to know that her little brother had found someone who was so good for him. “Guess this means things are still going great for you guys? In it for the long haul?” Her voice was half-teasing. She knew Tristan was crazy for Hannah. Ever since they’d gotten married and he’d moved to England with her, he’d been happier than she’d ever seen him.

Her brother nodded eagerly. “We’re kinda in-between our old house and the new one, but so far so good. Once we get more settled and you’ve had the baby and stuff, you and Xander totally need to come visit!” 

“We’d love that!” Emberlynn replied seriously, trying to smile, despite the next painful contraction that had begun. She and Xander still hadn’t made it over there to visit Tristan and Hannah yet, and she hadn’t seen Mason in years either. Her smile widened for a moment at the thought of visiting her old friend and introducing him to her husband and son. “And you guys can come back to visit any time. We don’t do this enough.”

Tristan shrugged. “We don’t, but it’s not easy to plan these kinds of big trips, y’know?”

Emberlynn nodded. “And those long flights suck ass.” She added with a laugh. Emberlynn still remembered back when she was little, and had complained that an eight hour flight had lasted a ‘trillion-jillion years’… though to be honest, even twenty years later, she found transatlantic flights to be just as unbearable… Especially having to go all the way to Europe from the West Coast. “I’m so glad you guys still decided to come… I know the timing wasn’t great.”

“Well, back when we planned this thing, we had no idea you were gonna be pregnant!”

“I know… It just sucks… If it was just a month or two later, you could’ve gotten to meet the baby! And I’d have plenty of people to pass him off to to give myself a break.” She added with a laugh.

“It’s alright. Just an excuse for us to come back and visit sooner.” Her brother assured her. “And Mama and Papa are coming in a couple months, right? You can hand Asher off to them then!”

Emberlynn took in a sharp breath as the intensity of her current contraction grew. It did nothing to help make the reminder of her mother’s impending visit any easier.

Her brother eyed her face uncertainly for a moment. “Okay, is that because of me mentioning our parents? Or another contraction?”

“Both.” She confessed, still grimacing.

“Are they supposed to be this close together?” The nervousness was apparent in Tristan’s voice. 

Emberlynn shook her head. “It’s fine. This is normal for me lately. Don’t worry about it.” She assured him, though she had to admit that these contractions were much more painful than the ones she’d grown accustomed to. “And yes, Mama and Papa are coming in October… Papa might even bring Marie with him. I’ve been dying to meet her, so that’ll be good.” She forced a small smile through her pain. 

“Yeah, she’s pretty cool.” Her brother replied softly. “I think you’ll like her… But come on, Ember. Why don’t you just say what you really wanna say?” Tristan sighed in annoyance as he spoke.

“What?”

“That you’re dreading having to see Mama again. You are, aren’t you? I know you haven’t seen her since me and Hannah’s wedding… And that was like two years ago.”

It was Emberlynn’s turn to let out a sigh. “You’re right.” She admitted. “I’m dreading it. Why wouldn’t I be? You know how things are between me and Mama.”

“Yeah, but Ember, c’mon… It’s been like eight years!” Tristan’s voice was pained.

“Seven.” She corrected him.

“Seven, whatever. That’s a long time to hold a grudge…” He appeared almost guilty as he spoke.

As Emberlynn felt the pain from her contraction finally dying away, she also felt her temper beginning to rise. It had been such a long time since she’d been so directly reminded of her anger toward her mother. “Yeah? Well twenty years is a pretty long time to lie to your entire family too, so…”

“Look, I get it, okay? You know I do. You remember how mad I was at her too…”

“It wasn’t the same.” Emberlynn insisted. “You’re not the one who found out your whole life was one huge lie.”

Her brother shrugged. “Maybe not, but her lie fucked up my entire family, Ember. Mama and Papa split up, you ran halfway across the fucking world, and I’m the one who got stuck there in the middle of it all. I’m the one who had to deal with the fallout, not you. And trust me, it wasn’t pretty.” Tristan’s voice had grown more and more angry with each word he spoke. 

Emberlynn felt her heart sink at his words. After all these years, this was the most honest and open her brother had ever been about what had happened. She’d never realized that he’d harbored so much anger toward her. But looking back now, he had a point, didn’t he? She’d been able to run away, to escape it all… but he hadn’t. Not until just a few years ago.

“Tristan, I’m sorry.” At last, she broke her silence. “I never realized…”

Tristan shook his head. “Don’t be. I didn’t mean to let myself get carried away. Because you know what? Yeah, I was mad at you for a while. But holding on to all that, after all these years… What good would it do? What difference would it make if I let myself stay angry?”

Emberlynn rolled her eyes. “I know what you’re getting at… You sound exactly like Papa. And you’re right — me staying mad at Mama won’t change anything. But neither will forgiving her! Nothing will ever change the fact that she lied to me and Papa.”

“Yeah, you’re right. Nothing can change that. But you know what else won’t ever change?”

“What?” Emberlynn snapped back, not even bothering to hide her annoyance.

“How much Mama loves you. All the good things she’s done for you. Have you seriously forgotten about all of that?”

Emberlynn said nothing. She was too taken aback by his words to respond.

“Remember all those nights she stayed up late helping you finish your costumes the night before a Con? Or all those cheesy little notes she used to hide in our bags on the first day of school? Or how she never judged us or said ‘I told you so’ whenever one of us did something stupid or got our heart broken? She always just listened. She supported us no matter what. Didn’t she?”

“I… I guess.” Emberlynn replied weakly, her mouth feeling very dry. “But…”

“And… Okay, I promised I’d never say anything.” Tristan hesitated for just a moment. “But back when you and Xander were first gonna move out here, money was really tight, right? And remember how — ”

“Fuck!” Emberlynn’s eyes went wide for a moment before snapping tightly shut against an intense wave of pain that flowed through her abdomen. But what had caught her off guard this time was not just the pain, but the sudden wetness that she now felt between her legs.

Oh shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.

Tristan’s brow furrowed instantly in concern. “Ember…?”

“Can you get Xander, please?” She asked weakly, trying to keep her breathing calm. 

A frantic call to Dr. Gates confirmed Emberlynn’s worst fears — she had to go to the hospital immediately. 

The doctor tried her best to calm Emberlynn and Xander’s nerves, telling them that everything would be fine — That Emberlynn was far enough along that, if this was really it, little Asher shouldn’t have any ‘major difficulties’…

But how could she possibly be sure? And what about minor difficulties? Weren’t those bad too? What if he couldn’t breathe right or something? Would he have to stay in the NICU? Was her son really going to be okay?

He’s too little! Emberlynn thought desperately. He’s not ready!

And neither was she. The nursery wasn’t even done yet. She and Xander still had two more childbirth classes to attend. They weren’t ready to be parents yet, were they? They were supposed to have another month to prepare for this…

What if there was something wrong with little Asher? What if she was a terrible mother? Every tiny fear and worry that had been floating in the back of her mind suddenly came rushing to the surface. A moment that she’d always imagined would bring her joy and excitement was instead bringing nothing but anxiety and dread. 

She felt so helpless and terrified… It was like she was a little girl again.

And maybe it was the hormones, or the fear, or the conversation she’d just had with Tristan, but as she and Xander rushed nervously to the car, one single thought flooded Emberlynn’s mind for the first time in many years…

I wish Mama was here.

29 thoughts on “8.59: Not Ready

    1. Yeah, sometimes you just… need your mom 😭 And Ember is 100% feeling that right now! She is about 33-34 weeks right now, so little Asher’s long term outlook is very very good, but it probably won’t be easy for the first few weeks or so. Poor thing (and poor parents!)

      And yes, Xander is a delicious snack 😋

      Liked by 2 people

    2. So sweet, she wants her mommy. I am a daddy’s girl myself. I hurt my knee my dad better be there to bandage it for me. Definitely spoiled rotten by my daddy. Lol

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Aww I love that you have such a great relationship with your dad! That’s sweet ❤️ Ember is usually a daddy’s girl too, but right on the verge of becoming a mom herself, she’s finding herself missing hers

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    1. It’s so true! This is one of those times when the “I need my mom” feeling kicks in bigtime… and I think maybe that was something Emberlynn needed!

      And yes, we do need the next gen! Hehe It’s very very soon! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  1. The heir is about to make his debut! Hooray! And one month early isn’t too bad. The hospitals are good with premies. Actually it’s like he’s born two weeks early because a baby can be born between 38 and 42 weeks. 40 weeks is average.

    SO…glad Emberlynn is missing her mother. Their reconciliation will be soon. Just in time for Asher. And I can’t wait to meet Phee’s new lady! Wife or girlfriend?

    Gen 9 is almost upon us! Cannot wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Asher is ready to appear (even if Emberlynn isn’t 100% ready for it herself!) And yes, luckily he’s not super early like Harper was! Ember’s at 33-34 weeks right now (a little over a month early) and it’s not so bad. We’ll see more next chapter, but basically he’ll need a longer hospital stay before they can take him home, but he’ll be ok in the long run ❤️ It’s gonna be a very stressful next few weeks for Xander and Ember though 😭 Seeing their baby in the hospital will be tough, even knowing that he’ll be ok!

      And yes, she’s totally missing her mama ❤️ So maybe this whole thing will actually be a blessing in disguise 🤔

      We actually won’t meet Phee’s new lady in person until Gen 9 😱 But Marie is his girlfriend, yes 😁 A pretty serious one 😉 He is doing well ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehe I had to do it! 😂 Phoenix, Ember, Asher… my last three “real” gens (since gen 10 will be quite short) Though, looking back, “Phoenix” would have been the best name for gen 10 😂 (but Gen 10 will be a girl and I prefer Phoenix as a guy’s name 😛 )

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  2. Awww little Asher is gonna be a cutie, I already know it! And yes, Ember, it’s time you feed up to how much you actually *do* love and miss your mama instead of hanging onto that Rosebrook grudge of yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hehehehe I’m biased, but I definitely think he’s cute!!!! He is a decent mix of both parents, meaning (in my opinion!) you can actually see a bit of Gigi, Phoenix, AND Lola in his face. And I think all three of them are good looking sims, so… 😁 Hehe You’ll see when he’s older (since child sims unfortunately tend to be a little generic haha)

      And you’re right — she needs to let go. She had a right to be angry, but it’s been too long. She still loves her mom ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow she very pregnant. I don’t know much about pregnancy but I think the baby will be fine. Unless you have something up your sleeves. I know Harper was premature but I don’t know how much.
    I hope we get to see Tristan around more. I know he lives in a different country but I like him.
    I think Emberlynn might be ready for reconciliation with her mother. I don’t agree that she should have to forgive her or include her in their lives, but this is A2A and they need closure and to move on. Ooooooooooooo Phoenix has a new lady friend???????
    And I think I know what Tristan was trying to say but who knows if we’ll find out.
    Great chapter!! 🙂

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    1. Haha yes she’s got a big belly going 😂 And you’re right, he will probably be okay! He is not coming as early as Harper did, but early enough that he’ll probably need to spend a few weeks in the hospital before he can come home, which won’t be fun for his poor parents 😭

      I like Tristan too! I’m sad we didn’t get to see more of him. He might pop up in the future! ❤️ And as for Emberlynn, you’re right that she doesn’t *have* to forgive her. In real life, sometimes people never do, and that’s ok! I think in Emberlynn’s case, she and everyone else around her are able to see that she still loves her mom deep down, and that part of her does want her back in her life. But she’s being very stubborn about it 😂

      Phoenix does indeed have a new lady friend ❤️ we will get a glimpse of her eventually!!!!!

      And bad timing, Asher. Who knows what Tristan was gonna say 😉 😇 Hehe

      Glad you enjoyed ❤️ Thanks so much for reading!

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  4. Little Asher! I like this fire theme you have with these names. So close to Gen 9. I get how Ember feels but she also needs to move past it. Marie? 👀 Has our Phoenix found someone

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    1. Hehehe yes, having fun with the names these last few gens 😉 And you’re right — it’s time for Emberlynn to move on. I think she’ll feel so much better if she does!

      As for Marie… we won’t meet her in person until gen 9 (sorry!) but yes, Phoenix has a girlfriend that he’s very happy with ❤ He deserves it!

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  5. Aww, I hope Ember’s able to reconcile with Gigi before it’s too late to do so (throwback to Joce and Lucas 😦 ). Also, a NEW BABY on the way! I can’t believe that this legacy is already on it’s ninth generation :O . Are you planning on doing anything else after the legacy is over?

    I hope Ember and Xander are ready to be parents! It’ll probably be pretty chaotic for a while. AND THEIR COSTUMES (they’re awesome)! I’m glad they’re happy together 🙂 . (DnD, Star Wars, hmm… are you a little bit of a nerd too? xD )

    As always, have a nice day 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found the connection between Ember/Gigi and Joce/Luc! I was hoping people would 🙂 Both run off to the US after a big falling out with a family member… but we saw how things turned out for Jocelyne. Hopefully Ember will fare better 😱😬

      I can’t believe the end is in sight either! It’s insane! I’m still not 100% sure what I’ll do when A2A is over… I guess we’ll see!

      And LOL yes, I am a pretty big nerd myself (and so is my husband!) We both do tabletop roleplaying with our friends every week (not dnd, but same idea!), we are big into Harry Potter and Star Wars, we have over 100 Funkopop collectible figurines, we both have geeky tattoos… You get the idea 😂 It’s fun to make some of my heirs a little geeky too! 😉

      Hope you have a great day too! ❤️

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  6. awww baby on the way my first one was three weeks early and we had a few minor problems but she’s a healthy 20 yr old young lady now ;D and yes a lady always needs her mom when it comes to things like this. I can’t wait to see the nooboo…..I hope maybe Ember and her mom can patch things up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw yay! Glad all was well with the little one way back when! Asher will be okay too, but yes, a few minor issues that will mean a longer hospital stay and lots of stress for Poor Ember and Xander!

      But maybe a reconciliation with her mom could be a silver lining to all this… 🤔🤷🏻‍♀️ We shall see!

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  7. Hooboye. Things are still messy.

    And I bet that before Trixtan was interrupted by the baby, he was about to tell Ember that the Money they got was from her mother, but Gigi never told them.

    I guess Tristan forgave his mother, or at least came to terms with her enought to not hate her as much as Ember does.And Ember should think about doing the same, I mean, heck the last part of the chapter showed us that Ember still misses her mother, so why the hate? Emotions are something you can’t control, but, that’s 7 years of solitude, and, as I said before, karma was real and Gigi payed her price in all this.

    Ohhh, so his name is Asher. Phoenix, Asher, Emberlynn, where do you get this names from, girl? :thinking:

    Still wondering how this next gen will go. I mean, we ain’t in Windernburg no more boyes, we in AMERICA, wonder if Ember’s kids will want to go back to Germany to visit their relatives, or just to see the place where their mother came from.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When your last name is Rosebrook, the messes are never fully cleaned up 😈 Hehehehe

      Good theory about what Tristan was gonna say 😉 You’ll see in the next chapter! And you’re also right — Ember needs to do what Tristan did and stop letting herself hold on to that hate. Gigi totally paid the price for her past mistakes. It’s been long enough!

      And I know, those names 😂 It’s kind of a half-joke at this point, even though I do like all those names LOL Since we are nearing the end of the legacy it’s been fun to give everybody ash-themed names hehehehe

      Liked by 1 person

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