Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Generation 1 - Snow: Chapter 3

6 months.

26 weeks. 

180 days.

It took me that amount of time to realize that Sugar Valley was going to be my new Michigan. Logan and I had spent month after month researching but came up empty handed. I realized that it wasn't in my best interest to bring up the United States, or America at all for that matter. Not that believed anyone actually knew anything about it. Sugar Valley was more than just some far away place. It was a different universe entirely.

As much as I missed my family, it had become too painful for me to put all my energy into returning to them. There was no other choice but to start over. My life depended on it. My heart wouldn't be able to ever heal if all I ever did was remind it of the people it had lost. They were still in my mind all day, and I would always have the hope of being reunited one day. Until that day came, however, I needed to live my life as close to the way I had intended pre-Sugar Valley.

Things with Logan hadn't changed. We had obviously grown closer, and I really considered him my best friend, but in terms of romance, we hadn't come anywhere close. It was a battle for me. One part deeply wanted to have him as something more than just a friend. To love him. But another part - the part that had been me entirely in the beginning - constantly reminded me how abnormal everything was. How I couldn't possibly make a life with someone who was so different from me, from my life.

I couldn't decide which part to believe, so for the most part I ignored them both.

"Snow....wake up." Logan grumbled from next to me. We'd invested in some new furniture and now each had our own bed, which probably did wonders for his back after months on the couch. I switched off the alarm clock beside my bed and grabbed some clothes from the dresser before heading into the bathroom to get ready for work.

Yes, work. I began working at the local art gallery in April, and so far things as a tour guide were pretty good. Sometimes, it was even fun. I especially loved it when the school groups came on field trips. Seeing the wonder in the children's eyes as they gazed up at the pictures was so rewarding. Of course, the high school kids were never too interested in what I had to say, but I couldn't really blame them. Being only a little over 3 years older than most of them, I knew what it was like to be dragged around an art gallery when all you really wanted to do was hang out with your friends.

After breakfast, I was ready to leave when I noticed that Logan was still sitting on the couch.

"Aren't you coming?" I asked.

He shook his head. "I'm taking the day off."

"Oh, really? What are you doing to do?"

He shrugged. "It's really nice out. Maybe I'll go for a swim in the ocean."

"Well, have fun then!" I smiled and tried to hide the jealousy from my voice. Hanging out at the beach, especially one right in front of your house, sure beats walking around the same art gallery and repeating the same speech five times.

When I walked into the gallery that morning, Bibiane was at the front desk looking like she was about to burst with excitement. "Snow!!! How are you today, love?"

"Good, I guess. How about you?"

"Oh, I'm perfect!" She squealed.

"You won't believe what happened last night! Bran totally surprised me and took me out to dinner! OMB it was so sweet. He even got all dressed up! At first I was really tired but then as soon as he took my hands and started telling me how much he loved me and wanted to be with me, I couldn't sit still!"

I tried to imagine a time where I had ever seen Bibiane sit still, but drew a blank. She had the energy of a Golden Retriever and the pep of twelve cheerleaders.

"It was just after the waiter brought dessert that he took my hands. Do you know what he said, Snowy?" her voice reached an unbelievably high octave as she thrust her hand out in front of me. "He said he wanted me to be his wife!"

"That's great! Congratulations!" I pulled her into a hug, and laughed. If she was this ecstatic just retelling the event, I couldn't have imagined her during the proposal. It may have been the one time in Bibiane's life that she was speechless.

"Soooo....what's happening with you and that cute roommate of yours?"

"Logan?" I immediately felt my face heat up and turned my back to her. "Nothing."

"Liar." she giggled. "You two so like each other."

"We're just friends, Bibi. That's all. Now I have to go upstairs and put my lunch order in before the first tour group gets here."

She followed me to the stairs. "Fine, okay. Just friends. In that case, why don't you both come over to our house around 5:30? Bran and I wanted to have a little get together to celebrate our --" she smiled widely and glanced down at her ring finger "-- engagement and I'd love for you to be there.

"All right." I nodded and smiled. "See you then."
As I headed up the stairs, Bibi called after me. "Oh, and don't forget to bring a bathing suit!"


I called Logan just after the last tour group had left. They were a rowdy bunch of 1st graders, who wanted to know if there were any sculptures made of Play Doh. Cute as they may have been, the tour seemed to drag on forever and I was relieved when the chaperons began to lead them toward their buses. 


"Hey, it's me. Bibiane, the girl I work with, is having a little party tonight and invited us."


"Yeah. We don't have to if you don't want, but she was just engaged and it's sort of a mini celebration. I think it might be fun."

"I'll go. What time?"

"5:30. I'll be home soon to pick you up. Oh, and she said to bring your bathing suit."

"All right."

I frowned. He didn't sound too excited. Maybe he was just preoccupied with something. Or maybe he just didn't like parties. I knew lots of people who felt nervous in those types of situations. I had been one of them when I was younger. 

Bibi was already gone when I reached the front doors, so I just caught the local bus and walked the remaining distance to the house. Logan was ready in a few minutes, and an hour later we were standing in Bibi's backyard.
"Snow!! I'm so glad you're here!" she ran forward and pulled me into a hug.

Logan was quiet, and only gave her a small smile when she greeted him.
"Do you see that guy over there?" she leaned close with a giggle. I glanced over her shoulder and nodded.

 "That's Bran's cousin. He's a medical resident and staying with us for a week to decide if he wants to transfer to Sugar Valley."

"Wow. That's....nice. Isn't it, Logan?"

He opened his mouth to reply but Bibi cut him off. "Oh, it's berry nice. You know what else? Bran told me that he's single!"

"Oh, Bibi, I appreciate the thought but I'm not --"

"Come on! He's dying to meet you. Logan, help yourself to anything! Bran's fixing up some drinks right now, they'll be ready in a few."

Without a second to waste, she grabbed my hand and tugged me over to the bar. Bran gave me a quick nod and smile before returning to his mix, and the man sitting in front of him looked at me. I took in a sharp breath. Wow, he really was cute. I can see why she wanted to introduce us.

He immediately stood and flashed me a smile. Bibiane ran behind the bar and started to flirt with Bran.

"Hello, I'm Shale." he had a smooth, soft voice with an accent that sounded Irish, though I knew it couldn't have been.

"Snow. Nice to meet you."

"I hope Bibiane wasn't too forward. She tends to get over excited and take things a little out of context."

I smiled. "You mean like the fact you were 'dying to meet me'?"

"Yes," he laughed. "I actually didn't even realize she was trying to play matchmaker until a short while ago, so I apologize in advanced for any preconceived notions about me she may have caused."

"Don't worry," I smiled, impressed by the fact he was so charming without even trying. "I've learned how to interpret Bibi's enthusiasm."

"I think that's a must." he laughed. "Now, would you care for  a drink?"

As we talked, he told me about his job as a resident and his family that lived far away. "I miss them terribly," he said. "But I'm doing something that makes them proud, so it's worth it in the end. How about you? Do you enjoy the art gallery?"

I barely heard his question, because I was staring at Logan. He hadn't moved since we'd arrived and between Bibi and Bran's lovefest behind the bar and my conversation with Shale, it was as if he wasn't there at all.

"Do you want a drink, Logan?" I asked.

He shook his head and sighed. "I'm fine."

"Are you sure? Bran is quite the mixologist. These drinks are wonderful." Shale said before finishing off the rest of his glass and reaching for another.

"No. I'm good, really."

When Shale turned around to add some extra fruit punch into his drink, I mouthed 'What's wrong?' to Logan, hoping he would respond differently without someone else looking at him. He just gave me a small smile and shook his head.

"Hot tub time!" Bibiane chanted as she cut in front of Shale and me, her hand interlaced with Bran's. She glanced over her shoulder after she put one foot in the water. "Aren't you guys coming?"

Shale and I looked at one another. "Perhaps later, Bibiane. Snow and I are going to continue talking."

"Ooh, wonderful." she smiled and shifted her gaze to Logan. "What about you, Loganberry?"

"Sure." he said, and pulled his shirt over his head and tugged off his jeans. He was wearing his swim trunks underneath.

With the three of them in the hot tub, (though I really think Bibi and Bran where in their own little heart-shaped world) Shale and I went back to talking.

"You're not from here?" he asked.

"It's that obvious?"

"No, no. Please don't be offended. I only meant that you seem different than most of the people I've come in contact with during my stay here. There's something worldly about you, Snow."

"Thank you." I could feel myself blushing and averted my eyes to the ground. "And to answer your question, no, I'm not from Sugar Valley."

"Ah, well then it looks like I'm in for a story."


"Yes, about you. Your life. I'd be delighted if you would tell me."

I laughed to myself in disbelief. "You want to hear all about my story?" In that moment, I wished Logan was beside me instead of a few feet away in the hot tub. He would have been able to swoop in and give me nice, Berry Sweet friendly alternatives to the truth. I'd just have to come up with them on my own.

"All right. My story. I'm from --"

Shale held up his hand and gestured toward the gate. "Why don't we go and sit somewhere more private? You saw the bench out front when you arrived, yes?"

"Of course, let's go."

The canopy bench in front of Bibi and Bran's house was beautiful. With a candle on either side and a majestic Cherry Blossom tree overhead, it was the epitome of romance.

But it was also the perfect spot for a conversation.  Shale and I spent a good two hours together that night, exchanging life stories and secrets that we were both surprised we admitted. Things with him were easy. I didn't feel like I had to watch what I said, or pretend to be someone I wasn't. I was just Snow, and whether or not he knew I was a Berry Sweet didn't matter. Something with us just clicked, and the conversation went on effortlessly. 

"You know, I really like talking to you, Shale." I said to him as it neared midnight.

His eyes lit up. "Well then, I'm happy to know my feelings are mutual. I wasn't expecting to find someone like you here, especially tonight at this party. You're exactly the type of person I try to spend time with. I really think we're a match."

"As friends, of course."

"Yes, of course. I just got out of a long relationship. Regardless of what she may have told you, Bibiane is quite far off when it comes to my wants. Right now I'm just focused on finishing my residency and working on my career." he was quiet for a moment before adding, "And I'm sure you're more than happy with your boyfriend."

"Boyfriend? Oh, you mean Logan? We're not dating."

"You aren't?" he looked surprised. "I could have sworn by the looks he was giving you earlier that you were his girl. Perhaps you should talk to him later. I have a feeling you like him too."

"I don't --"

"Ah, ah, ah. No worries, Snow. Your secret is safe with me."

"Well...thanks. I think."

He laughed and patted my knee. "It was an absolute pleasure meeting you tonight, but I'm afraid I must go. My first shift at the hospital starts at six and it's almost half past midnight. I hope we meet again soon."

"Wait! Why don't we exchange numbers? Maybe we can talk again sometime."

A slow smile crept onto his face. "I think that's an excellent idea."

After we said one final goodnight, I returned to the backyard and found Logan sitting at the bar. 
"Hey!" I smiled. "Are you ready to head home?"

"I am. Are you?"

"Why wouldn't I be?"

He shook his head and stood to pull his shirt back over his head. "Never mind."
Before I could say anything, he was already halfway down the block. I called for him to wait up, but he kept going. 

When one of the all night buses pulled up at the nearest stop, he kept going straight. He obviously didn't want to talk, so I figured I'd let him be and ask about it in the morning. 

There was a dim glow coming from the beach as I walked down the hill toward home. As I rounded the corner, I was shocked to find Logan standing in front of the pit, staring down into the flames. 

"How'd you get here so fast?" I asked him.
He looked up and his expression made something inside of me break. 


"Logan, what's wrong?" I gasped. The pain I felt at seeing him so evidently upset was surreal. I'd never experienced anything like it in my life.  It was overpowering, so much so that I could barely get my voice above a whisper. It was maddening, because all I wanted to do was find out what I could do to make him feel better. 


"Tell me." I pleaded, and the desperation in my voice seemed to surprise him.

"It's about tonight. The and that guy."

"Shale? Logan, nothing happened between us. We're just friends."

"You don't have to lie to me, Snow. I'm not jealous. Okay, yes, I am. Look, I need to tell you something. Only once, and you won't have to hear it again. I'm so sorry for this, because after all you've gone through what I'm about to say is extremely selfish but I have to."

He flew off into a long speech after that, using his hands to express major points and stopping at some points to get his confused thoughts out into words.

"What I'm saying is that Snow, I know I shouldn't have let myself get feelings for you over the past few months because I know they could never be reciprocated, but I did, and they're there and....all I know is that when I saw you leave with Shale tonight it killed me. It hurt more than anything I've ever felt in my entire life. I wanted to be him, and I wanted you to look at me the way you were at him. I'm trying to say that...that I'm in love with you, Snow Créme. I'm in love with you and it's wrong but I can't help it."

My heart fluttered, and for a few minutes I couldn't think. All I could hear was Logan telling me he loved me. I watched as he walked over toward the water and stared off at the waves. He loved me. Loved. I'd never been told that by a boy before in my entire life.

I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. 

I tried to put on my best sexy face, but was sure it completely failed since I couldn't stop myself from grinning ear-to-ear like an idiot. This rush, this lightness in my chest and the flutters in my stomach. This must be what Bibiane had been talking about when she told me how much she loved Bran. It was amazing. 

"Logan, I --"

"Don't do it, Snow. You don't have to tell me anything. It's okay if you don't feel the same way back. We're too different, I get that."

I reached out and placed my hand on his chest. He took in a sharp breath and froze. I ignored it and closed my eyes, and counted his heartbeats beneath my fingertips.

"Snow, what are you doing?"

"Shh." I smiled. His skin was warm beneath his shirt, and his heart thudded against my palm. "Do you know what this feels like?" I asked, opening my eyes to meet his but not moving my hand.

He shook his head.

"Normal. You're normal to me, Logan. It doesn't matter what we look different, or we come from two different places. You're just as human as anyone to me."

I  could have sworn I saw tears in his eyes. He reached out and tentatively took my hand, giving my fingers a light squeeze. "You feel like my kind of normal."


  1. Aww that was a lovely chapter i'm so glad they finally got together - next please ;)

  2. You got me! That other pic made Shale look blue. Love the chapter, keep em' coming!

  3. Thanks to all three of you! =)

    Did he look blue in that pic, Marirae? haha it must have been the lighting. That was taken when I moved him onto an empty lot, so all he had was the night sky and a little spotlight shining on his face. But he is definitely green.

    I'm glad you all liked it!! I've already started chapter 4. I have a quarter of the chapter done and built one of the scenes, so keep an eye out! Should be done by this time next week.

  4. Glad to hear! =D Working on chapter 4 this week, should be about by Friday, Sunday at the latest.

    Just read the recent installment of Splash. I'll comment soon. :D


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