Chapter 6 – Bittersweet

Mei had managed to clamber downstairs when she heard her Mom yelling for her. She couldn’t ignore the desperation in Raelynn’s voice, and she had to go. However, she was astounded by what she found at the end of the stairs: her Mom laying crumpled on the ground. “Mom!” Mei screeched as she ran down the stairs to her Mom’s side. It was at about that time the Grim Reaper showed along with Seth. “No, please let her live!” Mei begged the Grim Reaper.

He laughed maniacally and swiped Raelynn off his list. “Sorry.” He grumbled as he continued laughing and then vanished.

“Oh, Seth.” Mei said as she fell into his arms. He held her close, rubbing her hair in an attempt to soothe her. She sobbed onto his shoulder until she was finally able to pull away a while later. “I’m going to miss her so much.” Mei told him, starting to cry again.

“Shhh, I know. We’ll both miss her.” Seth replied. Their embrace was interrupted by little Naomi’s cries.

“I’ll go get her.” Mei said, pulling away from him but pausing to look into his eyes for a few moments with their hands interlocked.

“Shhh.” Mei soothed Noami cuddling her to her shoulder. “It’ll be okay.” Mei told her daughter, saddened by the thought that she’d never really get to meet her Grandma. Naomi seemed to sense that something terrible had just happened because she wouldn’t stop crying. Mei tried feeding her, changing her, and cuddling her, but she wouldn’t stop.

It wasn’t until Seth came into the room and combined his efforts with Mei’s that they finally got her to fall asleep and stop crying. “It’s like she knows.” Mei observed.

The next night after work, Mei came home distraught. Seth took her over to the couch for a moment to help cheer her up. He hated seeing her so depressed, but he knew that there wasn’t much he could do under the given circumstances. Mei poured her heart out to Seth, telling him about all the good times she had with her Mom, but she stopped short of the fight they had before she passed. Mei hated that she couldn’t tell her Mom she loved her or that she understood her concerns. She felt terrible, disappointing both of her parents before they left the world.

For the next couple days, Seth tended to Naomi. Mei didn’t seem to want anything to do with her, and Seth was starting to become worried. Was Mei ready to become a Mom or had Raelynn’s passing taken that much of a toll on her? Mei would just sit there and let Naomi cry and cry until Seth finally gave in and went to care for his daughter. He was hoping that if he waited long enough, Mei’s maternal instincts would kick in, but they never did. He figured he would wait a while before he would bring this up to her. Seth rocked little Naomi hoping that Mei would come around and be the Mom that he knew Naomi deserved.

Even though Mei was acting differently than she had before, Seth still loved her. He knew he wanted to spend forever with her and marry her. Plus, he thought it would be a piece of good news when Raelynn’s death seemed to weigh so heavily on Mei. “I know we’re not really dressed for this,” Seth started, “but I can’t wait any longer. Mei Wynngarden, I love you. Will you marry me?”

For the first time in a few days, Mei managed to smile. “Of course!” She said, almost giddy. I can’t believe he just asked me to marry him, she gushed to herself. Mom would be so happy. 


Chapter 4 – The Winds of Change

With the news of their new baby, Mei and Seth quickly set to work on creating a nursery. Mei loved the color purple, and Seth loved the color green, so they brought the two together. Mei wanted a special little nook for her little one to read just as Belle had when she was younger. She also made sure her child would have the biggest dollhouse possible and a toychest.

When they were mostly done decorating, Seth helped Mei bring in a second crib. “Why are we getting two again?” He asked her.

“Just in case.” She told him, thinking about the surprise she had been to her parents. Mei knew twins could possibly run in the family, so she wanted to be prepared.

Seth had been living with Mei and Raelynn for a while now, and Raelynn was becoming irritated that she still didn’t know him too well. After finishing the nursery, Seth retired to the study to work on his art and bring in some extra funds for his growing family. Raelynn was becoming lonely in her old age, so she had been on the computer chatting with old friends. She saw an opportunity before her and decided to try to talk to Seth. After all, he was the father of her future grandchild.

“So Seth, do you like it here?” She asked him politely.

“Yeah, it was really nice of you and Mei to let me stay here.” He said warmly. Raelynn grumbled under her breath a little. I didn’t know about it until you had your stuff packed to move in! She thought, but kept quiet. He seems nice enough though, I suppose.

As they talked, Raelynn realized she wanted Mei and Seth to be married. She had a great relationship with Rey, and she wanted that for her little girl too even if she wasn’t so little anymore. Raelynn could see that Seth wasn’t a bad guy, they were just all under some plummy circumstances. She made a note to discuss the topic with Mei later on.

Before Raelynn could get much further in her conversation, she heard Mei scream. “Mom! Seth! The baby’s coming!” She rushed from the computer immediately to her daughter who was already in the nursery. “Ow.” Mei groaned in obvious pain. Raelynn helped her daughter through the labor process as best she could.

Soon, Mei gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. As Raelynn cleaned her granddaughter off and handed her to Mei, she asked “What would you like to call our sweet little one?”

“Naomi.” Mei said. “Yeah, I want to call her Naomi.”

“That’s a beautiful name.” Seth told Mei, wrapping one arm around her and gazing at his new baby girl. “Hi sweetie.”

Mei was exhausted though, so Naomi was handed off to Grandma Raelynn. “Shhh, little one.” Raelynn soothed her granddaughter. “Grandma loves you so much.” She told her, holding Naomi’s tiny head. Raelynn felt her heart swell with love as she rocked her granddaughter back and forth. She loved her just as much as she loved Belle and Mei. Raelynn couldn’t wait to see her grow and do well in school just as she had with her own two daughters.

Once Naomi had fallen asleep and Mei had woken up from a nap, Raelynn met with her downstairs. “Mei, we really need to discuss your relationship with Seth.”

Mei was instantly defensive. “It’s none of your business, Mom.”

“It wasn’t before you brought him into this house with us and Naomi.” Raelynn said cooly. “But now you have a daughter to think about. I think it’s time you and Seth got a little more serious. I mean you like him, and he likes you. I just want Naomi to have what you and Belle had with Rey.” Raelynn explained.

“What? So Naomi can grow up and disappoint her Dad like I did?” Mei snapped.

“What do you mean? You didn’t disappoint Dad.” Raelynn replied taken aback.

Mei was already done with their conversation though, tears forming at the corners of her eyes. She stomped her way back up to her room to hopefully calm herself down. It’s my relationship not hers. Mei thought as she laid down and closed her eyes. She was no where near tired enough to fall asleep again, but she hoped that laying down would be enough to calm her.

After waiting a little bit, Raelynn decided it was best to follow Mei and try to resolve the situation with her daughter. But as she slowly made her way to the stairs she felt a pain in her chest. Her eyes widened in shock as she fell to the ground knowing that the Grim Reaper was knocking on her door. “Mei!” Raelynn screamed as she scrambled to get up. She had to make things right with Mei. “Mei!” Raelynn screamed again.

Chapter 3 – A Good Feeling

Sure enough, Mei started having morning sickness soon after woohooing with Seth. “Oh no.” She said, thinking about how she would tell him. She was scared it would mess up the relationship they had started with each other. “I like him so much though.” She whined, her stomach twisting from worries rather than morning sickness this time. She knew they hadn’t used protection, but she still held hope that nothing would come of it, and she had swore to herself they would use protection in the future so that she wouldn’t have to worry like this again. Mei wasn’t terribly excited about being pregnant.

Mei invited Seth over to hangout, not informing him that she had something important to share with him. It was only when he arrived at the house that she let him in and said, “We need to talk.” The two sat down at the dining table, Mei with her hands in her lap. Looking down nervously, her eyes fluttered up to Seth. “I’m pregnant.”

She saw the range of emotions flicker across Seth’s face, but the predominant one was shock. “What?!” He screamed. “How did this happen?!”

Mei’s heart sank as she witnessed her worst fear coming true: Seth not taking the news well. As Mei waited, Seth stood up and started to walk away. “I need time to think about this.” He called over his shoulder.

Mei understood he needed some time to process the news, but she couldn’t keep herself from following him. “Seth! Wait!” She called, stopping him in his tracks. “I want you to move in with me.”

Seth gazed into her eyes, feeling his heart starting to melt. Mei continued, “Move in with me. We don’t have to be together if you don’t want, but we can see how things work out.” She pleaded.

Seth continued to stare at her. He did like Mei an awful lot, and they would soon be bringing a baby into the world. After a little more hesitation, Seth finally said, “Alright.” Mei jumped up and down a little at the news, pulling him in for a hug.

That night when Raelynn came home from work, Mei sat her Mom down on the couch. “Mom, I have something to tell you.” She told her.

Raelynn smiled at her daughter sensing that the news was good. “Okay.” She replied waiting for Mei to go on.

“I’m pregnant.” Mei told her, watching carefully to see how Raelynn would react.

“That’s fantastic!” Raelynn squealed, tears forming in her eyes. “I’m so happy for you, sweetie.” She pulled Mei into a tight hug.

“And I’ve asked the father to move in with us.” Mei added.

Raelynn quieted a little at that news. “Oh, okay. I don’t know Seth that well, but I know you’ve mentioned him. It’s good that you two will be doing this together.” Raelynn squared her shoulders. She thought that Mei should be in a committed relationship at least, but she was satisfied for the moment that the pair were moving in together to raise the baby.

The next day, Mei called Belle to invite her over.

Frowning, Mei listened in disappointment to Belle’s news. “I’m sorry, twin. I’m in France right now. What do you need to tell me?”

Mei sighed a little, but she couldn’t wait to tell her sister anyway. “I’m pregnant!” She said, growing more excited about her new baby now that Seth and her Mom had taken the news well.

“Oh my gosh! Awesome!” Belle said happily. “Congrats, sis!”

The twins talked to each other for a while longer, finally having a moment to catch up with each other. Mei missed having her twin at her side, but she was happy living with her Mom and now, Seth.

While Mei was in the kitchen telling Belle her good news, Seth started painting. He didn’t have a career in painting, instead he wanted to be a freelance artist. Over the recent years, he had developed a decent amount of skill, and he wanted to start saving up for his new baby. After all, the house couldn’t be cheap, and baby supplies couldn’t be too cheap either.

Seth enjoyed the atmosphere of the study. It was cozy and the most uniquely shaped room in the house, perfect for getting his creative energy to flow. Plus, Mei’s computer was on the other side, close enough for them to talk to each other while they worked. Seth smiled at the thought of them teasing each other and laughing as they worked side by side. “I think I’ll like it here.” He told himself quietly.

Seth had finished a painting around the time that Mei got off the phone with Belle. The couple retired to the couch together. “So how did it go with Belle?” Seth asked, expecting a great reaction.

“She’s so happy.” Mei told him, a smile on her face. “I am too.” She added.

“Yeah?” Seth replied, a smile growing on his face as well. “Me too.” He pulled her close and the two cuddled on the couch for a while, both lost in their own thoughts before heading to bed for the night.

Chapter 2 – Exhausted

The next morning, Mei ran to work because she was so excited to start her first day. Her stomach was in knots, but she felt a little calmer knowing she had already gotten off to a good start with her boss. As she opened the door to the carpool, her mind drifted to thoughts of Seth. I wonder what he’s doing right now, she wondered. Various scenarios flashed behind her eyes during the short trip to the business where she worked. When the car pulled up, Mei squared her shoulders. Alright, I need to focus now, she told herself.

As Mei left for work, Raelynn greeted Dayna at the door. She invited her sister in. “Long time no see!” She teased Dayna. The two sisters walked over to sit on the couch together. “What’s been new?” Raelynn asked with the biggest smile on her face. She hadn’t realized how much she had msised Dayna until now.

“Well, Ian and Oma just started school. You should’ve seen them, they were so cute!” Dayna gushed, pulling out a few pictures to show Raelynn.

As Raelynn looked at the pictures, she cooed: “Awh, how adorable!”

The two sisters became caught up in their stories of their children, and before Dayna realized it, she was already an hour late for work. “I’m sorry, Raelynn, but I’ve gotta go. Call you soon!” Dayna promised, pulling her sister in for a hug.

“Bye, Dayna!” Raelynn walked her out the door, sad to see her sister go.

After Dayna left, Raelynn finally had time to get to her list of household chores. First, the toilet needed to be repaired. Luckily, the numerous times Wynngarden household appliances break helped Raelynn fix it. She had a good amount of mechanical skill up her sleeve. She even upgraded the toilet for good measure. “There, that should do it.” She said, satisfied, as she tightened the last bolt.

Later that afternoon, Mei came home from work. Raelynn already had a meal prepared for her: garden salad. The girls ate and talked about their days. “My day was pretty good. It was a little hectic trying to find everything, but I’m sure once I’m accustomed to the place, it won’t be so hard.” Mei told her Mom.

“I’m glad you had a good first day.” Raelynn smiled at Mei.

The girls moved to the couch to watch some TV together, but soon after, the show was interrupted by a doorbell. “I’ll get it.” Mei told Raelynn as she saw her Mom start to get up.

To her surprise, Seth was standing on the other side of the door. “Oh, Seth!” Mei said, shocked.

“Hi.” He said a little shyly. “I was wondering if you wanted to hang out for a bit?”

Mei felt like she could fly to the clouds she was so happy. “Of course!” I never thought he’d ask me to hang out, Mei thought happily to herself.

Mei and Seth both wanted to find out everything about the other. They didn’t stop asking each other questions and telling funny stories about their childhoods. Mei finally asked, “Can we take a picture?” Seth nodded, so Mei pulled out her phone and snapped, the flash almost blinding her.

However, the picture taking didn’t stop there. “Let’s make funny faces now.” Seth suggested, so Mei snapped away until she had about one hundred more photos in her phone.

When Seth saw how many there were, he frowned slightly, “Sorry about that.”

“It’s no problem!” Mei reassured him, excited to have so many pictures of them together in her phone.

It was dark out when Seth told Mei he had to leave. Shocking her, he leaned in and kissed her before she had time to react. Mei stared into his eyes when he pulled away, and then she wrapped her arms around him. “Don’t go.” She pleaded, not wanting him to leave especially after he kissed her.

“What’s in it for me if I stay?” He asked, winking at her. Mei smiled a little, feeling flirtatious herself.

“I don’t know, you’ll have to find out.” She told him coyly.

She took him by the hand and led him back into the house.

Mei and Seth had a little fun in the bedroom. Mei didn’t care that they weren’t officially together, she was enjoying the moment with him. However, when they were done, Mei felt a wave of horror wash over her. She realized they hadn’t used any sort of protection in the heat of the moment. Instead of saying anything, she decided to just relax and only think about the present.

Finally, Seth stood up. “I’m sorry, Mei, but I do really have to go. I’ll call you soon though.” He promised, kissing her.

“Alright.” She said, and stood up. Mei had planned on walking him to the door, but she trudged slowly behind him. She barely made it from the bed before she collapsed in exhaustion.

Chapter 1 – Remodel

After Mei had aged up, she felt it was time to redo the house. Since Rey had passed away, Mei figured that changing the house would help her stop thinking of him wherever she went. Mei dreamed of a large house to have a large family in. She told Raelynn what she wished for, and they sat together all night planning the new house.

Raelynn was thrilled, “I can’t wait to redecorate!”

“Me neither.” Mei agreed, excited herself.

Finally, the girls finalized the plans and paid for them to become reality. When the house was done, they both were thrilled with the outcome. Now, Raelynn had a little area all to herself to play her music, and they even decorated a nursery for Mei’s future children!

Happy with the remodel, Mei invited Belle over to see the new house. Belle was thrilled, “It looks great!”

After giving Belle the grand tour, the girls had lunch and caught up with each other. Belle had moved in with Dayna and her family for the time being, but she was planning on getting her own place soon.

All good times must come to an end, and unfortunately, Belle had to leave for work. “I’ll miss you, twin.” She told Mei as she pulled her in for a hug.

“I’ll miss you, too. You’ll need to come over soon!” Mei told Belle.

Mei was sad as she watched her sister leave, and sighed. I wish she would stay, Mei thought to herself. Looking for something to do, Mei grabbed a book and sat on the couch. However, her mind was racing, and she couldn’t stay focused on the book, so she set it down. Pacing back and forth, she looked for something else to do, but she couldn’t find anything. Finally, she decided to go out and explore Willow Creek.

Wanting a good workout, Mei headed to the gym. While she was on the weight lifting machine, a woman named Greta approached her. “Hi!” Greta said cheerily.

“Hi.” Mei smiled at her. Greta started talking to Mei and didn’t stop until Mei was done lifting weights. The two became friends. She found that Greta was a nice distraction from her constant thoughts of her twin, so she welcomed her.

“It was nice meeting you, but I need to go now.” Mei told Greta. Mei was saddened, but she had to go home to practice her programming skills for her next day at work.

As Mei was leaving the gym, her phone started ringing. She pulled out her phone and answered: “Hello?”

“Hey, Mei. It’s Greg.” Her boss responded. “I would like you to come to dinner at my house if you’re available. We need to discuss some details about your job.”

“Alright.” Mei said, becoming more nervous. “What time?”

“Around 6, see you later!” Greg said and hung up the phone.

“Well that’s odd…” Mei said to herself.

A little before 6, Mei walked up the stairs and tentatively knocked on the door. What is the proper etiquette for eating at your boss’s house? Mei asked herself.

“Hi, Mei.” Greg answered the door. “Come on in.” He stepped away from the door, so Mei could come inside.

Greg gestured for Mei to have a seat on the couch. “So, are you excited for your first day?” He asked her.

“Yeah, I am.” She responded with a smile.

“Do you have any questions?” Greg continued.

As the two were talking about Mei’s new job, a handsome man entered the room. His hair is cute, and he has a nice smile, Mei thought.

“Seth, meet Mei.” Greg motioned toward Mei.

Seth smiled, pleased as he looked at Mei. “I’m Seth, nice to meet you.” He held out his hand, and she shook it.

“Nice to meet you too.”

The three sat down, but this time the topic wasn’t Mei’s first day at work. They talked about more general things. Well, mostly Greg talked while Mei and Seth glanced at each other when they thought the other wasn’t looking.

As it got later, Mei told Greg, “I’m sorry, but I need to go. I can’t be tired tomorrow.”

Greg laughed a little. “Of course not! Feel welcome to come over in the future.” He told her, walking her out.

They’re both very friendly, she thought as she left the house, getting in one more glance at Seth.

That night when Mei crawled into bed, she was both happy and exhausted. Her mind was swirling with thoughts of Seth, and she wished she had gotten more time to get to know him. Maybe I’ll ask him on a date, she thought to herself. She fell asleep thinking about what their first date would be like.

Chapter 17 – An Unwishful Birthday

The next morning was the twins’ birthday. Mei woke up earlier than usual, and she was unable to do anything. So, she settled for cleaning because it was busywork and would help to take her mind off the recent passing of her Dad. She still felt a horrible guilt for not telling him she loved him, for letting it end on a sour note, but she didn’t want to dwell on that fact for her birthday. She wanted to be able to be semi-decent for the day.

Raelynn still carried through with her party plans for the girls. She figured it would help ease the sadness a bit for everyone. For Raelynn, it helped to see her sister with her new figure after giving birth. “Twins!” Raelynn was ecstatic at the news. Dayna gave birth to a boy and girl named Ian and Oma.

“They’re a handful!” Dayna commented as everyone sat down for cake. Belle had her turn to age up, but as everyone gathered for cake, Mei still had to wait to become an adult.

Finally, her turn arrived and she made a wish and blew out her candles. I hope my Dad is happy wherever he is, she wished.

After the party, the girls stayed at the table. “I have something important I need to discuss with both of you.” Raelynn told them.

Mei looked down at the table, half-listening, and Belle stared intently at her Mom, already guessing what she wanted to talk about.

“I had to make a decision about who would be heir for the legacy…” Raelynn started. She looked back and forth between both of her girls. “It was tough because I love both of you so much. So I came to the decision that I would go with the oldest…”

Perking up at the news, Mei looked at her twin along with Raelynn. Belle stared at both of them in complete shock. “M-me?” She said.

Raelynn nodded.

“But…” Belle looked down at her hands, twiddling her thumbs nervously. “I don’t want to be heir. I mean, I appreciate you choosing me, Mom, but I want to have my freedom and not be tied down to the house.”

Raelynn thought carefully. “I understand. Mei?” She turned to her younger daughter by only a couple minutes.

“Yes, Mom. Thank you.” Mei originally hadn’t wanted to be heir either, but she knew someone had to carry on the legacy. It was her duty to carry the tradition even if she didn’t want to.

“I’m glad that’s settled.” Raelynn sighed in relief.

Later that night, Belle changed her wardrobe completely and sat down at the computer to work on her writing. However, Belle couldn’t escape the grief over her Dad passing and broke down in tears in the middle of writing. Also, she felt guilty for turning Raelynn down, but she knew she wouldn’t make a good heir and that Mei was better suited for the position. Belle also knew that Mei would want to honor Rey and not live his memory down.

The next morning, Belle knew it was time for her to pack her bags. Raelynn grabbed her in a tight hug. “I’m going to miss you terribly.” She told Belle.

“I’ll miss you too, Mom.” Belle hugged her back.

“Keep in touch?” Raelynn asked, pulling away slightly.

“I promise.” Belle smiled and kissed her Mom on the cheek.

After saying goodbye to Mei, they had stayed up the previous night after Belle’s breakdown watching movies, Belle grabbed her bags and walked out the door. Raelynn pulled Mei close to her as they watched their loved one leave them to explore the world on her own. “I’m going to miss her.” Mei said, and started to cry into her Mom’s shoulder.

“Everything will be okay.” Raelynn said, attempting to comfort Mei. “You’ll see her soon.” She promised Mei.

“I know, it’ll just be hard not having her by my side all the time…” Mei confessed.

“Dayna and I still make time for each other, so I know you two will. You two are closer than we were, so I have no doubt you’ll find a way to make it work.” Raelynn told Mei, reassuring her. “Now, would you like some ice cream?”

Mei smiled slightly at the thought of cold, delicious ice cream, “Yes.”