Prom day was here.
There were no more streamers to hang in the school gym. The vote had been held for the theme song. (“Unforgettable.” Again.) The ballots for prom king and queen had been distributed.
Dylan was finally left with enough time to be nervous.
He was going stag. That was no big deal. Half his friends were too. But what were they going to do? Hang out by the punch bowl and talk about the newspaper? Should he try to ask someone to dance. What if someone asked HIM to dance? What should he do?
“She promised me she was going to call you!” Abby snapped at Dylan. She seemed genuinely frustrated.
“What, my secret admirer?” Dylan asked.
“Of course. She just checked with me yesterday to be sure you still didn’t have a date. If she thinks I’m going to all the work to get you two together, she has another thing coming. I can help. I’m a good friend, but friendship only goes so far. This is trying my patience.”
Sawyer looked both perplexed and disgusted. “Why do you have to keep this stuff a secret from each other?” he asked. “Isn’t that like lying?”
“You’ll understand when you’re older.”
“I have no intention of behaving like an idiot when I’m your age,” Sawyer replied.
“On second thought,” Abby said, “maybe you won’t.”
Dion came to pick up Abby. He brought flowers and wore his best duds. Abby bestowed on him a radiant smile to show how much she approved. Dylan averted his eyes. He’d seen her practice that smile dozens of times in front of the mirror. It wasn’t nearly as spontaneous as it looked.
Abby herself had gone shopping for her prom dress no fewer than ten times, and she had four runner-up dresses still in her closet. It had to be earth tones to warm up her severe silver complexion, green to set off her hair, show skin but not too much skin, and accent her figure to best advantage.
Dylan had been in charge of renting the limousine, of course. Abby had pressured him to borrow the Marmalade staff limo. He’d refused to bring anything like that up to his mum, but in the end his Stepmom Plum had offered to let him use it.
Dylan kept to a classic look for himself, though he hated having anything around his neck.
Sawyer was just as happy to have his older siblings out of the house. While they were gone, there was a 100% reduction in teen angst.
He spent most of the evening figuring out how to disassemble the family cow toy.
When it got to be about time to return, he he decided to be somewhere else. He expected Dylan and Abby to be just as emotional as they had been when they left, and dealing with drama was so exhausting.
Now that the weather was cold, Avalon Springs was his favorite place.
It was beautiful, and nobody wanted to swim there when it was cold. He could work on his scientific experiments in peace.
Abby and Dylan were back just exactly at curfew. Both of them were bursting with emotion, just as Sawyer had predicted.
“I told you! I told you that you had an admirer!” Abby crowed.
Dylan was still dazed. “I probably would never have known if you didn’t force her to ask me for a dance.”
The girl in question was Corrina Shepherd, who sat next to Dylan in math. Early in the semester, she’d asked Dylan to copy his math homework, and he told her in no uncertain terms that he would not be a party to cheating. Those were the last words they’d exchanged until prom night when, under Abby’s thread of revealing her secret crush, she’d asked Dylan to dance. Then, on the dance floor, she’d confessed her feelings to him. They’d been inseparable for the rest of the night.
They were both too excited to sleep, so they grabbed breakfast before heading to bed.
“I really shouldn’t have been so worried about being voted prom queen,” Abby chattered cheerfully. “I mean, when you look at the running, I didn’t have that much competition. A sophisticated sense of style will always show through. And do you know that Dion asked me to be his girlfriend? He even called it ‘going steady!’ So quaint! He’s adorable, really. Of course, I said yes, but I don’t know how long I really want to tie myself down… Dylan? Are you listening?”
“I was just wondering what to do now,” Dylan admitted. “You never seem to worry about these things. But I’m just not sure if Corinna is the right girl.”
“She doesn’t have to be the right girl!” Abby exclaimed. “How will you know if you don’t try her on for size? Do you really expect to marry the first girl you date? You need to get some dating experience.”
Dylan thought of his mama, who had plenty of dating experience. Too much. All that experience certainly hadn’t helped Sky make good decisions. He saw his mum crying every night while his parents’ marriage fell apart, and he swore then he would never play games with someone else’s heart. When he made a commitment to a woman, he was going to abide by it. When he fell in love, it would be forever.
After she heard that all three children were safely in bed, Sky got up and headed downstairs to wait for Forest to come home. He was even more nocturnal now than he used to be. If she didn’t try hard, she never saw him at all.
“I wanted you to know that our house was broken into again,” she said. “You told me that we wouldn’t have to worry about that anymore.”
“I’m well aware of the problem,” Forest admitted. “I thought that I had my nemesis… under control… but it appears that he is more determined than I gave him credit for. It’s most impressive.”
“Impressive to you, maybe,” Sky retorted. “My children live here. I’m not going to let them be pawns in your power games.”
“I know, I know,” Forest said. “It may not look like it, but I do take my niece and nephews welfare very seriously. I have been thinking hard on this, and I believe I’ve devised a plan that will take my problems out of your life completely.”
“You’re kidding me,” Sky said.
Forest smiled wickedly, though he kept his lips pressed together. Sky never saw him grin openly anymore. There was something about him these days that gave her the chills, and that was saying a lot for a ghost woman.
“Yes,” Forest said. “I’ve been working under the belief for years that you would be safest with me here to protect you. I think the rules of the game have changed now, however. Now it’s time for the mountain to go to Mohammed.”
He seemed almost luminous when he said it. Sky’s blood ran cold. She didn’t know if she was sad or eager when she said, “Are you trying to say that you’re moving out?”
“Yes,” Forest agreed. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. I think I you’ll be safer now if I see personally to the containment of my nemesis.”
“You’re going to live with him?”
“As a manner of speaking. I think it’s going to be very entertaining for both of us.”
“I don’t even trying to understand you anymore, brother,” Sky said, shaking her head. “If moving in with your enemy will be fun for you and keep your scary business out of our lives, then don’t let me stand in your way.”
Forest chuckled. “It’s all arranged. I’ll be away by dawn.”
“That fast?” Sky said. “Is this goodbye?”
“I’m not going to vanish,” he said. “But I imagine we’ll be seeing a good deal less of each other.”
They stared at each other awkwardly. Then Sky opened her arms, and Forest’s face softened. They folded together in the first hug they’d shared since they were teenagers. “Good luck,” Sky said.
“Thank you for putting up with me all these years,” Forest said. “And most of all, thanks for not asking questions.”
In no more than an hour, Forest left the Sample estate. It was the last day he would call that place home.
But not before he made a few… alterations… to his uniform. The new version suited his sense of style much better.
The black limousine that had once been Sean Flynn’s drove him to the Flynn home. He didn’t warn Sean and Cynthia Flynn that he was coming. That would have spoiled all the fun.
The Flynn home just happened to be the very house that Veronica Sample had built for them with Forest was a teenager. Flynn had bought it a long time ago, and it was hard to believe that he hadn’t done it with Forest in mind.
So Forest’s life came full circle.
Sorry I wrapped Forest’s departure into the prom post. There wasn’t enough of it to really make it its own post.
So we give fond farewell to Forest. This is very close to the state of gameplay, so he hasn’t had much chance to do much in story progression. I left him and Flynn as love interests just to see what would happen. It appears that Forest and Flynn can carry on their affair right under Flynn’s wife’s nose without any problems. Story Progression is not terribly savvy about these things. Forest also started an on-again-off-again thing with the elderly Jeannette Crumplebottom, who is Shanni’s eldest kid…. Forest’s first cousin once removed, I think. Icky. Jeannette’s a playgirl, though, and nothing will come of it. Plus I think she’s older than Cynthia Winter Flynn.
I lost my notification shots of prom, but it was pretty nondescript. The notable events were the ones I wrote about — Dion asking Abby to go steady and Dylan picking up a love interest. Corrina Shepherd is a babysitter service sim.