Saturday, August 10, 2013

Hi Mum, It's Sammy (The Return of Clone 63 - Part 3)

"Monica, can you talk to me now and tell me what's wrong?" I asked her as gently as I could. Monica had finally stopped hiccuping and I was hoping to get to the bottom of her troubles. "Who doesn't like you? Is your brother bothering you?"

Monica sniffed. "Pop, it's Dad. Ever since we've moved, it's like I don't even exist. After school, he and Goby swim off going deep in the water and he doesn't even notice me." She stopped to wipe another tear away.

My heart ached for Monica. "Sweetheart, you and I are going to have to make some allowances sometimes because your dad and siblings were born to live in water. Your dad spent a long time living too far away from the ocean. He missed it and right now, he wants to show Goby everything. He never neglected you back on the Plains, did he?"

Monica shook her head. "No, he spent lots of time with both of us."

"I'll talk to him, sweetheart. I'm sure that he loves you just as much as Goby." Goddess, I hope that's true or we are going to have words; serious and angry words.

"Will you Pop?" she sniffed a few more times. "I've been afraid to ask. What if he really says that I'm just not as important as Goby? I'll never swim nearly as well as he can. I'm not a strider, I'm" The tears started flowing again.

I hugged her again. "Monica, you are always you. That's really all any of us can say. But if it makes you feel better, we can find something you can do really well. Drawing, music, science, dancing, there's a lot of things out that you can try." I crouched down so I could look her in the eyes. "Everyone in this family is very important. Don't forget that."

I went downstairs looking for Jericho. What I found wasn't a surprise, given the conversation that I'd just had. He was talking to Goby.

"So, what was your favourite part of today's swim?"

"The sunken ship! Do you think it has treasure?" Goby clapped his hands in enthusiasm.

Jer laughed, "Unlikely this close to the islands. But if we get a bit further out, we probably will find some ships with treasure chests that still have stuff in them."

"Thanks, Dad." Goby gave Jer a hug.

"Jericho? Can I talk to you outside?" We didn't need to have this chat in front of Goby. The toddlers were out there but they were still a bit small to understand too much.

"Sure Sam, Goby and I were done. It was a good day for some serious exploring."

I led the way out to the deck. When I stopped, Jericho asked, "So, what's up, Sam? You seem a bit upset."

"It's probably nothing, Jer. I am curious, about how much time are you spending with Goby in the afternoons?"

He grinned. "We've been swimming every afternoon for at least an hour, sometimes up to two hours before the light fades." He paused. "It's so fantastic to finally be able to teach Goby what he'll need to know if he ever wants to live in the Depths."

"That's good to hear, Jericho. Now how much time do you spend with Monica this week?"

He stopped smiling and put a finger to his temple. "Monica..."

"You do remember her? Our oldest daughter? The one who takes after me?"

Jericho looked at me, horror dawning in his eyes. "I can't remember. I mean surely..." he shook his head. "No, I just don't remember when I last said anything directly to Monica."

"Love, I found Monica upstairs crying her eyes out. She thinks that you don't like her because she's not a Strider like the rest of her siblings. She told me that you haven't even looked at her lately."

Jer momentarily covered his face with his hands. "Sammy, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to neglect her."

"You do know that I'm not the one that you have to apologise to, right?" Jericho nodded. "I didn't think that you were deliberately ignoring our oldest daughter, but I did have to check."

"It's just that I got so involved with teaching Goby. I didn't even think what Monica might be feeling if I spent a lot of time with Goby."

"Just remember, love. There's plenty of time to teach Goby. I don't know what age a young Strider usually leaves home but I'll bet that it will be at least a decade before it happens. And I do promise, we will never live from far the sea again." I pulled him closer. "You do promise not to ignore any of your land-based family, don't you?"

"By the goddess, I swear I won't. I'm horrified that Monica thinks I don't like her." Jericho shuddered slightly in my arms.

"That's a good thing, love," I said softly. "Last time we talked about how many kids we should have, you wanted a lot. And if we have a lot of children, they won't all be Striders. I wouldn't want more children if they aren't loved by both of us."

"They will be. Whether none of them are Striders, all of them are Striders or somewhere between the two; they will all be loved," Jericho replied softly. "I'll take time for each and every one of them."

I could resist no longer. I pulled him just that little bit closer for a big smooch. "I'm glad.  Just don't forget to spend some extra time with Monica over the next few days." I pulled back and looked him those beautiful blue eyes. "You make Monica happy and I know this cute little resort with some very affordable accommodation."

"So it's already your turn to make me work for a bit of fun? But you haven't done your stint yet," protested Jer.

"We can combine the two and spend the whole weekend. I'll tend bar to earn one night and if Monica feels loved by then we'll spend two nights."

"That sounds very fair, Sam. You know, I don't remember us ever spending an entire weekend by ourselves. Having a little break for just us should be heavenly."

"True. We never even had a honeymoon, since we already had babies and I had a job. We've been very busy ever since."

The next day at work was a good day. Mostly because I found that they’d decided to promote me and assign me a permanent car. The day itself was stinking hot, over 32C and I had the AC maxed out on the car all day.

Driving around gave me time to think. I know that Jericho thinks we should concentrate on the resort. Even with the promotion, I'm not going to be earning that much in a day. But being a cop is important and I do get to meet lots of people this way.

Of course, the resort would have guests and so I'd be meeting people there too. It's a difficult decision when you love your job.

Now how does a Strider beat the heat when it's 30+ C out?

He takes his toddlers for a play in the ocean.

Jericho had to do something for the babies, the houseboat has no AC and there wasn't even a whisper of a breeze. Getting wet was about the only way to beat the heat for them.

 I got home to find that Jericho was sporting a different look.

"Oh, love, you cut off all that lovely hair."

"Sammy, you know how beautifully hair floats around you in water in movies?"


"That's faked. In reality, it tries to tie itself into one big knot or floats in your face so you can't see. It had to go." He paused. "I hope you don't mind too much."

"Goddess no. You're still hot. I did like the long hair but I love this too."

"I'm glad." He looked a bit more serious. "Can you watch the little ones for a couple of hours?"

"Sure, Jer, why?"

"I promised Monica I'd take her to whatever movie she wants."

I laughed, "And so what are you in for?"

He grinned back, "Apparently, the Adventures of the Very Berry Bearys. It sounds sort of dreadful from the online descriptions."

"Serves you right for neglecting Monica," I snickered at him.

"I know. Then we are going for ice cream after."

"I hope the two of you have fun." I was looking forward to some quality time with the toddlers.


Bonus pics


  1. Awwww poor Monica, I'm glad Jer is fixing it by spending time with her.
    And I LOVE that hair on him :D

    1. Jer would never have meant to neglect his non-strider child but I can imagine that it would happen in his enthusiasm for suddenly being near the sea.

      And he looks damned cute in almost any hair.

  2. Poor Monica! Though seems like it just needed to be brought to Jer's attention to fix things up :)

    1. Yes, the only non-Strider child in a mostly Strider household would feel a bit left out. But Jer is a good dad, he wouldn't deliberately neglect any of his children.

  3. Hello. I recently started reading your blog and I've gone through most of the clones (I skipped about two or three because I've been here all day). I am really enjoying it so far and I hope it continues for much longer! ;)

    1. Hello and welcome. So nice of you to stop by and leave a note.

      And yes, Sammy will be here for some time yet. Glad you are enjoying it.

  4. Aw man I knew that's what it was, poor thing. Jericho's so excited about living near water that the poor non-strider kid gets left out. He's such a good dad though (they both are) that I bet he'll be quite upset when he realizes it. (And having read further, I see he is! Poor Jer.)

    I was wondering if Sam would decide to quit and focus on the resort. It'll be interesting to see what he decides!

    Oooo, I really like Jericho's new look too! ;) The short hair does suit him quite well. I liked the long hair, but I'm a sucker for shorter hair myself.

    It's good to see him focusing on making things better with Monica! A few dreadful kiddy movies should set things right.

    Great post as always! I love all the cute pics of them playing with the toddlers, it's one of my favorite parts of the game. I'm glad to see you put it to good use in your stories!

    1. Monica will now get some quality time with Jer. He didn't like the fact that Monica was upset.

      I haven't decided if Sam will quit or not yet.

      Everyone loves Jericho's new look.

      Sammy loves any babies. And Jer is family oriented so he loves family time.

  5. Aww, i so loved this post.
    The deepness of their relationship which you explored here was so awesome.

    Poor Monica, I thought when I started reading, but then I was so happy later.

    I was going to say... I really love Jer's Legalos look, then you cut it off... LOL

    But.. sigh, this is my current inspiration for finding true love for myself eventually.


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