Saturday, January 23, 2016
Gen 2 Ch 13: Purple
Bloom couldn't help feeling a little worried on the kids' first day of school. He remembered his own early experiences of being teased mercilessly for being different. Due to Bloom's fame, his children had been born with somewhat of a celebrity status, so at least they were known around town and would be spared the questions he had had to endure.
But when the three of them were seen together, all attention was usually on them. Was it their fame or their unusual appearance?
Cypress, Clover and Citrus were very excited for their first day of school however.
Later they told him about what a great time they had had and how much they liked all their new schoolmates.
There even was a boy so impressed with Cypress and Citrus, that he styled his own hair like their leafy heads.
After school the kids would spend time with their new friends, helping each other out with their homework. Citrus reminded Bloom so much of his brother Broccoli when they had been young.
They usually spent their afternoons in the park across the street from their school, playing long until after it got dark. Darwin Smyth quickly became Clover's best friend and was never far.
Bloom felt guilty for not being able to spend more time with his children, but due to some unforeseen changes in management, he had become one of the heads of the company and was required to work even more than before, promoting new games and having business meetings.
This unexpected promotion did not only come with more responsibility however. The larger paycheck as well as the new level of freedom of not having to answer to a boss anymore, allowed Bloom to plan a little surprise for his children.
A camping trip to Al Simhara in Egypt! The children could not believe their eyes - the warm sun and sand beneath their feet was so different from everything they knew from Bridgeport.
Even though they would be sleeping in tents, Bloom's agent had insisted on hiring a private limousine to 'present the right image'. Bloom and the kids were a little less excited about that, but they wouldn't let their holiday be spoiled by it.
Their first stop was the local market.
Cypress and Clover immediately ran off and chatted excitedly with the locals, while Citrus snapped photos with the camera he had gotten for his birthday.
Making sure he didn't leave his children out of his sight for too long, Bloom quickly bought some souvenirs and gifts.
When Bloom emerged from the shop, he found the kids swimming in the fountain in the middle of the market. The Egyptians only watched them, stunned.
But Bloom couldn't stop his children from getting the water they needed to sustain them, so he ignored the curious stares of the onlookers. He had just bought a very high-quality camera and wanted to give it to Citrus, who jumped in the air with excitement. He absolutely loved taking pictures!
He then joined the three kids for a quick, refreshing dip in the surprisingly cool water.
Afterwards, they were off to a campsite by the river and spent the afternoon fishing and playing. The children seemed to love it - especially Cypress, who couldn't wait to roast the large fish he'd caught over the fire. Bloom didn't have the heart to tell him that it probably would not taste good to him at all.
It was a beautiful family holiday, which made Bloom notice the one missing family member even more. How he would have loved to share this amazing view with Matilda!
After the sun had sunken below the horizon, they all sat around the fire and the children tried cooking themselves meals. Cypress tried especially hard to roast his fish and vegetables to perfection.
Unfortunately, as Bloom had already dreaded, the meals turned out very disappointing for the children. But they would get used to it, and the fact that all they would ever need to consume was water, just as Bloom had himself.
To get their minds off of the disappointment, Bloom told them a ghost story, which he made up on the spot. It seemed to work - maybe too well, judging by the kids' terrified gasps.
Luckily they didn't get too scared, though, and all of them quickly fell asleep as soon as they laid down in their tents.
The next morning, Bloom went for a quick swim in the river and admired the magnificent Sphinx once more.
When he got back to the shore, the boys were waiting for him already, bombarding him with questions about what they were going to do today. Clover was preoccupied, however, talking excitedly on the phone.
"She's talking to Darwin.", Citrus explained, pointing his finger at Clover who had just walked off, still on the phone.
"Oh, I see.", muttered Bloom.
"Yeah, she totally has a crush on him!", Cypress grinned and the two boys started to chuckle.
"Gross!", they exclaimed in unison, laughing.
Not knowing what to say to this, Bloom packed up the kids and all their things and took them to the market again to get some fresh water. Swimming in the river was fine for him, but he current was strong and too dangerous for young children.
They discovered a great invention for sale at the local merchant. A shower in a can! It really was like portable food to a PlantSim, so Bloom purchased several for himself and the children. It took Clover a while to finish up her phone call though.
Bloom made a quick sketch of the interesting architecture.
They visited all of the famous sights and had a great time - especially Citrus, who was snapping away happily with his camera. But even though they were having so much fun - or maybe because of it - Bloom couldn't stop looking at his wedding ring, which he still wore every day. What would things be like if Matilda was with them now?
They spent another night at a different campsite. Clover and Cypress tried their hand at cooking yet again. Citrus had given up on it and preferred to take photos of everything and everyone instead.
And so the few days went by until it was time to take the limousine back to the airport.
Life in Bridgeport was soon back to the normal routine. Over time, Bloom noticed that the leaves on Clover's head began to change color. Cypress' and Citrus' leaves were still in varying shades of green just as Bloom's and Broccoli's had always been, but Clover's started to get hints of pinks and purples. Bloom's mother Kaitlin would have been so excited to record this development in her research notes! It must be because she is a girl, Bloom thought.
But in the back of his mind Bloom wondered whether it had something to do with Matilda, who had always worn shades of purple. He knew this was quite irrational, of course, but he still had a strange feeling. Clover did show an ever increasing interest in anything to do with her mother. Bloom often found her staring at the wedding picture in the home office (which had now become his bedroom), but she never asked many questions.
Clover's fascination with Matilda's old guitar had persisted since she was a toddler. Bloom had never mentioned that the guitar had belonged to her mother, but somehow Clover seemed to sense it.
When it was time for the children's teen birthday party, Bismuth and Beryllium came all the way from Twinbrook with their own children in tow. Bloom was glad to finally meet their teenage daughter Ginny and the little Tyree, who had inherited his grandfather Arthur's red hair!
Broccoli didn't come to the party this time though and sent Sedrick alone instead. Broccoli was too beaten up about the recent passing of his wife Aria, while Sedrick thought it would be better to distract himself a bit.
The cousins all got along famously with each other and played video games, true to the family tradition.
But when Darwin, who had already grown into a teen, walked through the door, Clover dropped her controller and seemed to only have eyes for him.
Everyone cheered when it was time for the children to blow out their candles.
Clover was first and as she aged up, the purple in the leaves on her head only intensified.
Cypress looked like a much younger mirror image of Bloom.
And Citrus, just like Clover, looked exactly like Matilda.
Bloom wondered if, as a father, he was supposed do something when Clover went straight up to Darwin, ignoring the other guests completely. But why would Bloom want to interfere with Clover's happiness? Darwin seemed like a good kid, after all.
Bloom just did his best to overlook what the two of them were up to while he chatted with his siblings.
It was probably for the best.