Those years together after we graduated from high school were some of my happiest with her by my side. I began to think that maybe this is was how it was supposed to be. She was there with me helping as I moved into my first apartment downtown. It was a one bedroom that I was able afford with a deal I set up with my mom and with my wages as an intern at city hall, basically running errands for the higher ups. It wasn’t what I had planned to do in the long run but it was something that paid the bills for now. But the apartment was great it had a balcony and every weekend I would have Shiraz and a few friends over to have some cold drinks and blow off some steam.
Which by Friday it was sorely needed, as my job was boring and revolved around answering phones and getting coffee. The most exciting thing that ever happened there was after the sudden death of our previous leader when the whole office was abuzz with the news. I hadn’t worked there while he was in office and had only met him and that had been one slightly awkward situation. I heard a few of secretaries gossiping over how he had started drinking a lot not too long into his first term and how it had gotten progressively worse over the years.
A weeks after we had celebrated my 21st birthday together, in style at one of the swankest clubs in Briocheporte I wanted to surprise Shiraz with something special her own birthday.
So I stopped by a jewelry store on to look for something for Shiraz’s present, something in a necklace but my eyes were soon drawn to the display of engagement rings. “Looking for anything in particular sir?” One of the jewelers asked “No, I uh came in here to buy my girlfriend a birthday present.” I said while continuing to eye the case of rings. “Yet here you are over by the engagement rings.” He said in a tone that told me that I wasn’t the first to come in here with other intentions and end up over at this case. Taking the plunge and a deep breath I found myself soon saying “I want to buy one of these rings.” After I had picked out a ring I stopped by my apartment to shower and change into something more appropriate for an evening at an upscale restaurant and I slipped the boxed ring into my pocket before I left to pick up Shiraz.
Who was not ready when she answered her door wearing a robe without her hair loose and undone looking extremely happy. “Just wait out here for a minute and I’ll be done.” Shiraz said after letting me in before hurrying back to her bedroom to finish getting ready. So I took up my usual place on her couch while I waited for her to finish up, which turned out to take a lot longer than the minute she had said. Looking around boredly as I rehearsed how I was going to ask her to marry me my eyes settled on something that I never thought to see in her apartment.
A manuscript, I had seen a countless amount of them growing up at my mother’s house. When I was younger they had usually meant that she was going to be going on a long trip that my brother and I probably wouldn’t be accompanying her, only to see her when we could visit on the weekends. They also usually represent a rise in paparazzi taking our pictures whenever we would leave our home. It was all something that I had never wanted any of my future children to experience and here it was right here in my possible soon to be fiancé’s apartment. If I was going to ask her to spend the rest of our lives together I had to know something first.
“What is this?” I asked impatiently when she finally emerged from her bedroom looking more beautiful than she ever looked before and I had to fight the urge to grab her into my arms and pull her into her bedroom where her bed was. “Oh I meant to put that away before you came over… I wanted to tell you about it but I didn’t know how Roux because I knew you wouldn’t be happy about it. I never expected it to happen but a few months ago I was contacted a producer that apparently saw us together and thought I would be perfect for a small role and after a few auditions I got it.” She said uncomfortably as she looked down at her feet.
“A few auditions? How the fudge could you keep this from me for a few months Shiraz?” I demanded as I threw the manuscript down at her feet. “I want… I want to make my mark on this world Roux, I want to be remembered whenever I do pass away instead of fading into obscurity like everyone else.” She said as she picked up the manuscript and clutched it close to her chest. “You know I don’t date actresses or girls that want to be them.” I said angrily as her eyes narrowed at my words. “Oh get off that. I know your past Roux and I know very well that you have.” She spat out defensively.
“That was the past and I thought you were different.” I replied suddenly feeling very aware of the tiny box in my pocket as I prepared myself for what I was going to ask her next knowing very well that our whole relationship depended on what her answers would be. “If I were to ask you to give it up and move far from here would you? Live a completely normal life with me away from this city and everything else? Would you give up your chance at being famous to be with me?”
“I…I want to at least try this Roux. You don’t understand it at all. You’ve always been famous; people will always remember you or know your name. I come from a family that has never once even made the papers. You say the name Tannin and no one’s ever hear of it. I want to at least try this for me.” She said as she reached out to hold my hand but I turned away.
“Well then I guess you are free to try it out for yourself without me holding you back now.” I said over my shoulder as I left her apartment. As I drove back to my own apartment I opened my window and I chucked the engagement ring right out as I cursed her name in my mind.
For a week I waited for her to call me hoping that she would change her mind and tell me that her not choosing me was a mistake. The first day slipped by almost effortlessly as I was more than sure that at any moment she would call. After around the third day I began to lose hope as I felt myself drift away in the confines of my bed. By the time a week’s mark had past I was considering life as a hermit was better than the one I had been living before when there was a knock at my apartment door.
Opening the door I saw that there was a middle aged man who didn’t appear too pleased to see me as he eyed me up suspiciously. As I wondered how he got up here past the door man he turned and asked “ Are you uhh… Razzleberry Roux Meringue? First born son of Hypnotiq Sangria Meringue daughter of a SaltWater Taffy Meringue who was begotten from a Crème Meringue?”
Eyeing him warily I replied suspiciously “Yes, I am and that is my family. What do you want?” With a sigh he handed me a large manila sealed envelope along with another paper and pen. “I’m your father’s lawyer, even still that he has passed away. Please sign here acknowledging that you were served these papers after your 21st birthday and I will be on my way so you can look over those in privacy.” The man said as he waited for me to sign. At this point I didn’t care what might have been in that envelope, I just wanted to be left alone so I just signed the paper quickly and briskly handed it back over to him while plucking the envelope out of his hand. I didn’t wait around for him to say another word before unlocking the door to my apartment and closing the door behind me.
Holding the envelope in my hand there was a neatly printed address on the front of it indicating that it was from the law offices of Ale & Stout one of the most well-known law firms, even my mother and Fade had a lawyer there. Figuring it was nothing I tore open the envelope calmly while grabbing a drink from the fridge. As I skimmed the first page after taking a sip I read that it was something more than the nothing I had thought of it previously.
“In the untimely event of my death after the 21st birthday of my only son Razzleberry Roux Meringue, he shall be rewarded the majority of my estate as seen on page 3.” Followed by more legal mumbo jumbo and stapled to the very last page of it all was a hand written letter dated 4 years ago. “It is with greatest regret that I never got to know you past your first birthday. I could place the blame completely on your mother in not letting you around me but that would not be entirely true. For all those years I was absent from your life I could have easily petitioned for my share of custody and been granted it. Though I might not have been physically present as your stepfather has, I have had my ways of being an indirect part of your life. During your trials and tribulations as a teen I’ve used my influences to keep you out of trouble on more than one occasion in and out of our country. I know I could have done more but the fact is that I didn’t and for that I am sorry that you never got to know me as your father.
Blue Hawaiian III
Blue Hawaiian?... Blue Hawaiian? The…? As the paper slipped out of my hand along with my drink it clicked in my head who he was, and memories started flooding back of a school field trip taking years ago. With a shaking hand I took my cell phone out of my pocket and dialed my mother’s number. On the third ring she picked up and I didn’t even wait for her to finish saying hello before I said unevenly “I know who he is.”
“You know who, who is Roux?” I heard my mother say confusedly “I know who he is!” I shouted into the phone “I know who the fudge my father is mom or should I say was. Didn’t even tell me after he died had to let me find out from some lawyer that served me his will papers.” I continued to yell into the phone not caring who might hear me. “Roux calm down I’ll be there in a few minutes and I’ll explain… I’ll explain everything.” I could hear her say as I felt myself collapse on the floor putting my head in hands for a moment before I kicked over the end table next to me.
True to her word finally my mother showed up shortly later at my door and over the next hour or so she finally told me everything that happened between her and my father. Even down to the night he came over drunk to our house after the school trip ending in my step father punching him. “I wish I could make you understand why I decided things should be the way they are. I didn’t want you growing up as a secret so I made him the secret instead. When Blue… er um your father died Fade and I discussed telling you but in the end I decided against it because we didn’t think you would take it well finding all of this out at once along with him dying.” She said ending it on that note and for a while I was quiet as I tried to absorb everything she had told me.
My father was Blue Hawaiian, a man that I had only met once that I could remember. I was his only child and his biggest secret. “I want you to leave now.” I said quietly to her, out of the corner of my eye I could barely see her nod before she left. Because in the end it didn’t matter that I had only met my father once and now that I knew who he was it didn’t change anything, everything was still the same.
As the next few years passed away I didn’t talk to anyone in my family nor did I even try to reach out to anyone in my father’s. I had no need to work since I was living off of the very sizeable trust fund that my father had left, not needing to even touch any of the money that was from his condensed estate that I inherited. I spent my time in a drunken blur of club hopping and random girls as I left behind a string of broken hearts and disappointment. The guy that I had tried so hard to show Shiraz that I wasn’t, I became and I didn’t care. I was toxic and I didn’t care who I hurt by my actions. Waking up in a random apartment or with a girl who’s name I couldn’t remember became as about of a regular thing as the glass of hard nectar in my hand.
Eventually I found myself waking up in a home that I didn’t recognize next to a girl that I barely remembered from the night before. A quick glance to the clock next to her bed told me that it was well into the late afternoon. As my eyes settled on her I wondered exactly what happened the night before and where I was. Picking up my pants I found that they were void of my keys and wallet but contained two twenty simoleans and my cellphone. This could not be a good sign as I saw the landscape outside her window was not that urban sprawl of building I had known so well in Briocheporte. But instead it was marshy almost like I was in Black Tea Hollows. How the fudge did I get here. I wondered as the girl finally began to stir and waken. Not wait for her to fully wake I nudged her while asking her “Where am I?”
“In my house?” she replied muffled through her pillow as she appeared to be trying to go back to sleep. “And where exactly is that?” I prodded, not liking this one bit. “Black Tea Hollows.” She answered as she looked sleepily at me. “Do you know where my wallet or keys are?” I asked her as she laughed tiredly and said “Yeah you threw them at the bartender that wouldn’t serve you anymore so we had to leave and my roommate drove us back to our house.”
Not good, not good at all. “Yea umm I need to go. I need to get back to Briocheporte.” I stated flatly. “What do you mean you need to go? You’re just going to leave after last night?” She asked me fully awake as her voice began to rise. “Uhh yea that’s the idea.” I replied as I put my shirt on. “Fine go. You know what? I want you to leave so get out of my house right now you berryhole.” She said angrily as I said back to her while putting my shoes on “That’s what I am trying to do.”
With that she decided yell a few colorful words directed towards me while she also threw her pillows at me as I walked out of her room. Briskly I walked through the rest of the house until I got outside and dialed information for a local cab company name. As it turned out the fare for a cab ride back was more than what I had in my pockets, so I decided to stop at the bar that I had seen while I had walked into town during my conversation with the cab company and figure out what I was going to do while getting something to eat with a drink or two.
But that drink or two turned into a few more as I talked to the cute bartender until I eventually found out that she had a boyfriend when he came in. How I came to the conclusion that walking back to Briocheporte was beyond me. I didn’t even know what direction I was going as I kept walking making my way out of the marshy town. But hey that seemed like a common reoccurrence in my life. Taking long and somewhat wobbly strides I continued on as the landscape changed into something that was a little more farm like while thinking once again about everything that happened before my little downward spiral.The whole time I walked through the field not knowing or caring where I was going, the only thing I did do was curse her name along with my mother’s and father’s. I was such a fool to think that for one moment she might have been that mythological “one” I was also a fool to even care about who my father was. Tiredly I sat down underneath a tree and the last thought on my mind before I feel asleep was that my whole life was like some bad joke that was missing a punch line.