**Dear reader: the last Origin update corrupted my game and so I had to make some decisions. One thing I did was to delete my store content, and only install the store content I absolutely needed. Therefore some of the pics will look different from previous chapters and as I had played ahead in the story, things will look different per pic at times. Sorry for any confusion but it couldn’t be helped. ThanX.
The last week of Fall, we experienced a warm spell that almost had us back in summer clothing.
Jin worked on his martial arts, although with slightly disastrous results and a bit of a headache at the end.
I played outside with Sophie and Jade.The first day of winter arrived to a clear blue sky that brought hope to my heart and I began to wonder, if last winter was just a bad season for the region. But by noon, the grey clouds rolled in and hail began pounding the ground. It lasted an hour, then cleared up and we were back to clear blue skies.
So here I was working in the garden house, warm as can be with outside temps of 5 C. Yet if you looked outside, you would have thought it was a beautiful summer day. It was odd, like I had dreamed up last winter and it never happened at all.
Jin and I put up the Christmas tree, decorated the outside and discussed gifts for Jade. I wanted to keep it simple, but Jin wanted to go all out and make her first Christmas this big event.
“She is just a toddler Jin. She won’t remember if she got ten gifts or just one really good one. I don’t see why we have to make such a fuss.”
“But you don’t know that Sun. You don’t know the things she will remember and no one knows that better than I do. It’s important to me. I want to give her a memorable Christmas.”
Sun sighed, “Then maybe we can compromise? How about three gifts. Ah-” she rose her finger to stop me from interrupting. “Three really good gifts. Deal?”
He nodded his head at me, but I knew Jin. If he could find a way he was would try even if that meant sneaking something behind my back.. I was just going to have to stay strong and continue to put my foot down. That man would buy Jade a pony if I didn’t keep an eye on him. Last thing we needed was more work around here. I ordered the gifts we agreed upon and crossed my fingers he didn’t try anything sneaky after all.
Later that night I decided to check the weather on the news and once seen, my hope of last winter somehow being a dream was properly stomped upon. Winter was coming and not at all in a pleasant manner. Monday was Christmas day and my only hope was the gifts arrived in time.
Even though snow was predicted to start on Saturday, we had another beautiful sunny day and I was relieved, hoping that the weather report didn’t actually cover our area since we were so far out from the main land.
In the middle of Saturday night while we slept, we were woken to the shrill of the fire alarm and by the time we ran downstairs, the fire had already burned to the tree and up the wall behind the fireplace. Jin and I worked together struggling to get the fire under control, but just when we thought the fire was out, within a minute it would start-up again. An hour later though, we had won the battle, but suffered quite a bit of damaged in the family room area, losing the fireplace, TV and the Christmas tree. Luckily there were no gifts under it yet! The carpet only needed to be scrubbed, but the wall around the fireplace was quite the mess. Jin worked hard the next day to repair all the damage, motivated by his desire to provide Jade with her “perfect” first Christmas. He replaced the fireplace with one that was highly rated and guaranteed not to start fires, but I was not happy at all. It was too modern for my tastes. Sunday afternoon, it too caught fire although the fire remained contained to the fireplace area and Jin was able to get it out on his own. After a a very loud conversation with the fireplace company,in which Jin told them how he felt about their guarantee, they fully refunded us for the unit. Then, he installed a”monstrosity” of a fireplace which I also hated, but I hated the thought of being cold more, so I said nothing else.
Later that evening, a chilling whistle of a wind began to blow through the island. I dressed warm and headed to the top of the hill.
Lifting my face to the sky and breathing in deep, the smell of impending snow was strong. Moments later, flakes began to fall.
Jin met me on the hill and seeing my distress, pulled me into his arms.
Jin will never give up. The snow fell quite heavily that night and before we went to bed, we lost the tv reception, which meant the satellite was covered with snow. Jin had this insane idea to climb the roof in the dark and in the middle of a snow storm to clear if off! I made it clear to him where he could put that idea and told him to go to bed instead. And, even though I was determined to stand my ground in the bedroom area, Jin was right about one thing. Cuddling was quite a bit warmer for sleeping. Not that I would admit that to him and hopefully he would never know, as Jin is the deepest sleeper I have ever known!
Christmas morning, Jin was as excited as a little kid. I made egg omelets for breakfast as he fed Jade. He couldn’t wait to get Jade to gifts under the tree! Jin had already bought a washer and dryer, which he stated were not gifts for me, but something we would both use. He said he was tired of watching me wash clothes in the tub. I was more grateful than he would ever know. Especially the part where he would also be washing clothes.
Jade loved her Christmas gifts and it was cute to see the look of love on Jin’s face every time he watched his sister with her new gifts. All I could look at was that very…large…fireplace. Geez did I hate that thing. The doll was a good choice and I hoped it would help to break her attachment to Wiggles. She loved the people in the dollhouse but not the taste apparently! LOL
For Christmas, I gave Jin a hot chocolate maker and a special blend of cocoa I had grown myself in the garden house. It took me a while to grow the perfect bean, and find the correct recipe I thought he would love. I decorated the tin can, giving it the name Jin’s Java and he was so excited to try it. He gave me my gift, and then headed for the kitchen to brew up a cup.
I opened the box and read the card.
It was a beautiful silver locket by the famous designer Severinka, and I just loved it. I was so overwhelmed with emotion, that hot tear drops fell quickly down my cheeks.
I stood there, while my reflection stared back at me wondering what was wrong with me. I loved Jin, I knew I did so why couldn’t I fully trust him? I needed to try. I was going to try.
I opened the bathroom door to see Jin standing by the fireplace watching Jade play with her doll. I ran to him and threw myself into his arms, kissing him soundly.
“I love my gift Jin! Thank you so much!”
This would have been a beautiful beginning to something new…..except shortly after this moment, I ran to the toilet and threw up. I was mortified, worried he might think the kiss had made me sick. But then, seconds later, he ran in and promptly threw up! There we were, the two of us sprawled out on the bathroom floor, while Jade happily played with Wiggles, as we discussed what could have made us ill. It felt an awful lot like the last time we had been sick, except we hadn’t eaten anything from the baking stove in about a week.
“The eggs Jin! It had to be the eggs. Eggs go into the bread too. But I fully cooked those egg omelets this morning.Do you think maybe the chickens are sick?”
“They aren’t acting sick, nor do they look sick. Maybe it’s their age? I dunno. But I guess we won’t be eating any more for a while. Good thing Jade is too young for eggs!” Then he groaned, held his stomach and laid his head down against the cold floor.
Keeping Jade away from the chickens was a real problem, as she loved to watch the chickens and try to pet the baby chicks! We continued to redirect her, until we could make up our minds or find out what we were doing wrong.
The rest of Winter was entirely depressing, with the light of day seemingly the same as night. The sun was hidden behind thick clouds and the constant haze of a snow storm. What little we could see literally gave me the creeps. Peering through the fogged up windows, to see the dark grey sky and the frosted trees, made the hairs on the back of my neck rise. I stayed away from looking out the windows as much as possible.
A few days later, Jin went out to get the mail and when he came in he stood in the kitchen opening this particular letter while I was washing the dishes. Jade was happily playing on the floor with her doll. Next thing I knew, Jin was yelling, “Hell ya!”
“Jin,” I yelled. “Language!”
“Whoops, sorry Jade. Jin didn’t say hell!”
“Jin!” (I threw my hands up in the air)
“We just got the best news Sun! Uh, maybe you should sit down.”
“Okay, so I hired a lawyer to look into a few things for me. Specifically, the bank taking away the boat the way they did. What the lawyer determined was the bank illegally took the boat. You see, you didn’t have authority to sign the paperwork you were given by the men who repossessed the boat. AND, when you informed them that both the owners of the boat were dead, they should have called the bank, who in turn should have tried to find me, the legal owner of the boat in the event of my parents’ death. So essentially, they stole the boat from me. They have reimbursed me in full for the value of the boat at the time it was taken away, including all the personal possessions left on the boat. Isn’t that great news?………….Sun?”
“Soooo, I committed…… fraud?”
“No, not at all. They were wrong not you. On the advice of counsel, I did something else and I hope you will be okay with it. I sued them on your behalf, and Jade’s, for the ordeal you went through as a result of losing your home and having to survive the winter conditions. You won! We won I guess. Take a look at the amount on this cheque!”
I think I was in shock. I felt frozen to the spot and even though I knew I should be reacting to all the zeros on the cheque, all I could think about, was it didn’t need to happen. Everything we survived, endured, was some cruel cosmic joke? Jade could have died! I could have died, leaving Jade alone! It felt like some grand karma, or payment for something bad I had done in my life, even though I had no idea what that could be.
I couldn’t sit there anymore. I felt this intense pressure building inside my chest rising up and the urge to scream was growing in my mind. I bolted from my chair, but only got three steps before Jin grabbed me and held me tight. I cried like I had never cried before never knowing the true depths of the traumatic emotions I had been holding back all this time. Trying to be strong for us all.
Jin just held me, never saying a word. Jade however, walked over and clung to my legs. “Mama Sun?”
I laughed, through my tears. “I’m fine Jade. I really am, then picked her up to give her a big hug.
Looking up at Jin through teary eyes I asked, “It’s all going to be okay now, right Jin?”
“Yes it is,” he said. “We are finally going to be a family and we will be safe.”
If we only knew what was coming around the bend.
Worse than any winter could be……………