Chapter Eight: Growing Up Girls

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Eight: Growing Up Girls


Fanchon and Coal had begun competing together. He was a great horse, and she couldn’t wait to see what they could do together.


Destry and Philippa were growing up, and soon they would be starting school. Destry was lovely, but she really liked to get dirty and run around. Fanchon didn’t care if she wanted to play in the mud and hunt for bugs or whatever, as long as she was happy.


Philippa was still feisty as ever, and she was very confident in herself. She loved to learn, pretty much everything that she could, so that she could impress everyone around her.


The girls got their own rooms. Destry’s was in what used to be the nursery.


Philippa moved into Jette’s old room.


Philippa had a captive audience in Destry. She loved playing chess against her.


Pemma was almost to the age that she didn’t need her momma too much, which was good, because Ophelia was going back to her owner soon.


The girls were pretty nervous for their first day of school. Philippa was worried that people would make fun of her hearing aid, and Destry assured her that if anyone was mean she would make them stop.


Fanchon was trying to train Pemma, who was a little crazy.


She tapped into that energy by running the jumping course with her. Pemma loved it, too.


Fanchon was pretty proud of her abilities in competitions. She was doing well, and had a massive amount of trophies.


Percy went to his final day at work. He no longer had the energy to handle work life, even if it was just an hour here and there. He wasn’t doing well.


The girls were both studious, luckily for Fanchon. She rarely had to coax them into doing their homework, and they were able to help each other out when one of them got stuck.


Percy was hospitalized after the heart palpitations and shortness of breath he’d been experiencing got to the point where he needed to be on oxygen. His doctors were very clear with Jan and Fanchon, he didn’t have much time. Fanchon put a rush on a project she’d planned on, using the lot beside the Thiago house as a family cemetery.


Percy passed away a few weeks after he was hospitalized. He was buried in the new cemetery, right next to his parents, who Fanchon had paid extra to have moved there.
Jan was of course devastated. She’d lost the love of her life. Fanchon was surprised at how well she was handling things, though. She knew her father had died happy and comfortable, and there was nothing to be gained by mourning him. She felt at peace with his passing, and her attitude helped her girls and her sisters pull through.



Chapter Seven: Raising the Twins

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Seven: Raising the Twins


Fanchon finally got a barn built on the back of the garage. She hired a construction company, and had them install a third stall, so that she could board a horse if she wanted to.


She found a local equestrian who was looking for a place to board his horse while he spent a year and a half teaching in Thailand. Fanchon was happy to have the extra income, and the best part was that he was allowing her to breed his horse, Ophelia, with Coal.


Ophelia and Coal were adorable when Fanchon let them meet, they hit it off right away and she could tell she would have no problems breeding them. She couldn’t wait to see their little baby.


Fanchon’s little babies were getting big fast, and already were so different. Destry was clever and absolutely fearless. She was independent, too, and had no problem amusing herself.


Little Philippa had a rough start. Her hearing had been tested when she was born, but she’d been uncooperative, and screamed through the whole thing, both times they tried. Fanchon brought her back the next week to try again, and the results showed hearing loss. Fanchon didn’t know how bad it was, as it seemed like Philippa was just as responsive to her voice as Destry was, but the audiologist revealed that her hearing was only about 75% of what it should be in her right ear, and 50% in her left. Now that she was a toddler, she was fitted with a hearing aid for her left ear, which left her with below average, but much better, hearing as long as she wore it. She didn’t seem to be bothered by the hearing aid, and pretty much left it alone when she was wearing it.


Fanchon felt guilty about Philippa’s troubles. It seemed like her condition was genetic, and it either came from her father, which was unlikely, because as a donor he had to be tested for most conditions that could be passed down, or it came from Fanchon. Percy didn’t think there was anything on his side, so it was probably from Valerie’s family. Fanchon hated to think she’d given this to her baby.
“It’s not my fault,” She said aloud, trying to convince herself. “Right, Di?”
Didi didn’t care one way or the other. She was happy to be competing again.


Jan had been a bit worried about having more kids around. She didn’t want to become the constant baby sitter again. But Fanchon was must more conscious about the amount of time Percy or Jan spent watching them than Thisbe had been, and Jan soon fell in love with her little grandkids. They weren’t biologically hers, but that had never mattered.


Percy was enamored as well. Recently he hadn’t been doing well health wise, but he did whatever he could to help Fanchon.


Jan joined Percy in old age. She’d always been gorgeous, and that didn’t change with age.


Fanchon successfully bred Coal and Ophelia, and was so glad she did. Baby Pemma was adorable.


Philippa was surprisingly easy to potty train. She wanted to be a big girl.


She wasn’t as good at walking. Her balance wasn’t great, probably because of her hearing. It took her a while, but she got it eventually.

Screenshot-132Destry walked much sooner then her sister. She had no fear of falling over, and threw herself into walking head on.


Didi was getting older, and Fanchon decided it was time to retire her. She’d done so well for her, and now it was time for her to graze and live out her days relaxing.


“Night Mama,” Destry was such a good sleeper. She didn’t fight it when Fanchon put her down at night.
“Goodnight, sweetie.”
Philippa on the other hand required a ton of coaxing. Fanchon had taken to putting Destry to bed early, and then spending the next hour rocking and trying to convince Philippa to fall asleep.


Philippa had a big personality that demanded attention from the people around her. Now that she was walking and talking, there was no stopping the little spit fire. Before she’d been timid and followed Destry’s lead, but now she was bossing her sister around like nobody’s business.


Fanchon knew that every parent thought this, but she knew her girls would do great things someday.

Chapter Six: Finally

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Six: Finally


Percy was getting older, and he was finally starting to look like a grandpa.


Fanchon was feeling the effects of her pregnancy, but the discomfort was welcome. She was still paranoid that she would lose the baby again, and she found morning sickness almost comforting, as it assured her the baby was still there.


Fanchon had completely stopped riding her horses, and wouldn’t be until the baby was born. She wasn’t taking any chances. She hired her old riding instructor to continue Coal’s training, as he couldn’t afford to go eight months without being ridden. He was still too young to stop his consistent routine. Not riding didn’t ease up on the chores at all, though.


Fanchon reached two months along, and she was starting to let herself calm down some, and worry a little less about miscarrying.  Percy was getting excited, too.


Fanchon managed to get down to visit Greer’s little daughter, Aspen. There was none of the jealousy that Fanchon had experience before her pregnancy. It was so much nicer to just be able to enjoy her niece without feeling like she was a reminder of what Fanchon was missing.


Greer and Jette still lived near by each other, and so Fanchon stopped off at Jette’s before heading home. When she showed up, the two of them looked each other up and down, before laughing out loud.
“I like your coat,” Jette teased.
“Is there a reason you would be shopping in the maternity section?” Fanchon asked, curiously.
“I wasn’t going to tell anyone until everything got finalized with Duncan’s adoption,” Jette explained. “But yeah, I’m about three months.”
It was a season of pregnancy for the sisters who’d always done everything together.


Fanchon was doing everything she could think of to prepare herself for motherhood. She was taking a parenting class that was designed for single parents, was reading anything and everything, and spent hours planning the nursery. She had a plan drawn out for a boy and a girl. She wanted to be surprised, and so she needed to go for a neutral color scheme that could be changed up pretty easily based on who would be living in it.


Her most recent trip to the OBGYN shattered those plans, though. She was having twins. She had to double pretty much everything, including the names. She’d already chosen the name for one baby, and now she needed another. It didn’t take her long to make her mind up, though. She decided on Destry for baby A, a unisex name meaning war horse, and either Philip or Philippa for baby B, which meant lover of horses.


Jan was happy for Fanchon, of course, but she was a bit stressed out by the idea of having two infants about, as well as Owen, who was at the age where he got into everything. Thisbe was working more and more hours, trying to save up for her own apartment, which left Jan taking care of her grandson far more often then she had thought she would when she agreed to provide free childcare.


Owen luckily wasn’t little for too much longer. He was still a handful, but at least he could do more for himself.


Fanchon felt bad that she couldn’t ride Didi or Coal, but it wasn’t for much longer, and she thought that Didi understood somehow.


The last few weeks of her pregnancy were really tough. Fanchon was unbelievably large, or at least she felt like it, and just getting around was a challenge. Her OBGYN said the babies seemed to be in position to come out at any time, and put her on bed rest to try and keep them in as long as she could.


Owen really liked living with his grandparents. There was always someone to play with him.


Thisbe was of a different mind. She was sick of living at home, and needed to get her own space. Finally she found an apartment in her price range, and she and Owen moved out of the Thiago house and into the apartment as quickly as they could.


The house wasn’t going to be quiet for long, though. Just two days after Thisbe left, Fanchon went into full blow labor. She’d managed to make it until 37 weeks, which was pretty good for twins.


The babies were perfectly healthy, just a little small. Both were over five pounds, and were eating just fine, so they were able to come home after just two days. Baby A was a little girl, Destry Judith.


And Baby B was also a girl, Philippa Greer. She’d decided to keep the trend and use family names for the middles. Both girls were absolutely perfect as far as Fanchon was concerned. Having them home, her babies, was the best thing that had ever happened to her. She was almost afraid that she was going to wake up and find it was a dream. But looking at tiny little Philippa, and have her look right back at her, was so wonderfully real.

Chapter Five: In Her Own Hands

Generation Three: Fanchon


Chapter Five: In Her Own Hands


Little Owen was a gem. Fanchon adored him, but it was a bit awkward. Thisbe was clearly uncomfortable with Fanchon spending too much time with her son. Of course Fanchon had no hard feelings that Thisbe hadn’t gone through with putting up for adoption, but Thisbe still worried that Fanchon wanted her baby.


Thisbe did her best to help out around the house, complete her online courses, and take care of Owen, but it was difficult. She needed help from Fanchon and Jan, who were home all day anyway. She didn’t want to accept that she wasn’t the perfect mother, and felt like it was a failure to ask Jan to watch Owen for an hour while she finished up an exam. She thought she knew what she was getting herself into, but motherhood turned out to be a lot harder then she had expected.


Meanwhile, Fanchon was mothering Coal. She loved the little guy, and their relationship was something truly special. She had high hopes for their team work once he was old enough to be trained.


Thisbe’s eighteenth birthday came with little celebration. She was already as much of as adult as she could be, except now she had a diploma.


She got a job at the police station, filing paperwork and making copies. It wasn’t what she wanted to do, in truth she wanted to just stay home with Owen, but she needed to stop mooching. Her part time job just wasn’t cutting it.


Jette’s boyfriend had a baby from a previous relationship who Jette was in the process of officially adopting. Fanchon went to visit, and instantly fell in love with her soon to be nephew. Duncan was such a happy little boy, who giggled and cooed the whole time Fanchon was there.


Greer’s baby was due in less then a month. She and Geoffrey declined to find out the sex of their baby. Fanchon thought he was going to be a boy, but Greer said she changed her mind pretty much daily about what she thought it was.


Owen was getting so big. He looked nothing like Thisbe. His dad still wasn’t doing anything more than paying child support when he was forced to. Thisbe was heartbroken. If he would just look at his son, she knew he would fall in love.


Fanchon was through waiting. She made an appointment with a fertility specialist to discuss invitro-fertilization. The doctor confirmed she was a good candidate, and in a few weeks Fanchon began the process. It was painful and the side effects weren’t pleasant, but the first attempt worked. She’d chosen an African-American donor who was six feet tall and had no family history of heart disease or cancer. That was pretty much all she knew. She was so happy, though, and couldn’t wait to meet the baby she’d longed for for so long.


Rather than their usual outing, Fanchon asked Galen to come over.
“How are you doing?” He asked. “Starting to have weird cravings?”
“I lost it,” Fanchon teared up.
Galen sighed, and said nothing. He just sat her down and held her as she sobbed.


Fanchon’s tragedy overshadowed Owen’s first steps a bit. Everyone but the toddler was walking on eggshells around the house, trying everything they could to comfort Fanchon and avoid making her feel worse.


The sorrow was soon replaced by joy. Fanchon had tried again, and yet again was successful. She was wary to get too excited, but she had to celebrate. She arraigned with Greer to visit, and meet her little niece, Aspen.
“You don’t want to get your hopes up, Fanchon. I know that sounds bad, but you know what I mean,” Greer advised.
“Yeah,” Fanchon agreed, but in her heart there was no way she could keep down her hope.


Coal was finally old enough to be sat on. She couldn’t do anything else, and she was a bit nervous to even do that, in case anything would go wrong. She didn’t want to fall and risk hurting her baby.

Chapter Four: Indescretion

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Four: Indiscretion

Screenshot-55Fanchon was walking up to bed when Thisbe called her into her room.
“I need help,” Thisbe admitted, a desperate look in her eyes. Fanchon had been noticing a difference in Thisbe for a while now, but she didn’t want to make assumptions, and had been waiting for Thisbe to come to her. And now that she finally had, Fanchon couldn’t keep the anxiety for building up in her heart.


“What’s wrong?” Fanchon asked, trying not to sound as worried as she felt.
“Can you drive me to the hospital?” Thisbe said softly, trying not to look her sister in the eyes. “I need to get a test done.”
“What kind of test?” Fanchon’s voice was shaking. This is what she was dreading.
“Um, for STI’s,” Thisbe’s voice broke, and her eyes starting to fill with tears.
“Oh, honey,” Fanchon pulled her sister to her just as Thisbe started to sob.
“We used protection, but it didn’t work,” She said.
“Do you need another type of test, too?” Fanchon asked.
“No,” Thisbe started to shake.
“Are you sure?”
“I already took one.”
Fanchon didn’t have to ask what the results were. Thisbe’s face said it all.
“You need to tell Mom and Dad.”


Thisbe didn’t put off coming clean. She didn’t want them finding out from Fanchon.
“I’m so sorry, Mom,” She said.
“For what?” Jan eyed her suspiciously.
“I screwed up.”
“Tizzy, are you pregnant?” Jan asked bluntly. Thisbe was taken aback.
“You knew?”
“Oh God,” Jan whispered. “Okay. No, I didn’t know. How far along are you?” She tried to shove her emotions down. Freaking out wouldn’t help anyone.
“I don’t know. Like two or three months, maybe a bit more” Thisbe admitted.
“So… this wasn’t a one time encounter, then.”
“I’m sorry,” Thisbe repeated.
“Have you thought about what you’re going to do?” Jan moved on. She didn’t want to think about how this had happened.
“I don’t know. I think maybe adoption.”


Jan filled Percy in when he got home from work. He found Thisbe sitting on her bed, staring into space.
“Mom told me,” He said. Thisbe shot up.
“Dad, I’m sorry. I should have been more responsible.”
“Well, we can’t change that now,” He went to hug her, but she stopped him.
“You aren’t mad?”
“Of course I’m mad. But we just have to get through this. It’s better for everyone if we skip the yelling, don’t you think?”
“Yeah,” Thisbe said warily.
“I love you, Thisbe. There’s literally nothing you can do to change that.”
“I love you too,” Thisbe bit her lip, confused. She’d expected to be screamed at, and maybe even kicked out. She certainly hadn’t expected a hug.


The sonogram confirmed Thisbe was ten weeks pregnant. School was almost out for the summer, and she decided to finish out the year, and then see what she would do about next year when it got closer. Thisbe was still planning to put the baby up for adoption, but every now and then she had some serious doubts.


Fanchon got together with Galen pretty much once a month.
“How are you holding up?” He asked.
“I don’t know. It’s stupid, I know, but I’m so jealous of her. I hate that I feel that way.”
“She’s putting the baby up for adoption, right? Did you guys talk about maybe you raising it?” “I haven’t brought it up, but I’ve been thinking about it. I don’t know how to say it, though. Do I just walk up to her and say can I have your baby?” Fanchon laughed uncomfortably.
“Why not?” Galen grinned. “It would be a win win.”
“It’s not that simple, though,” Fanchon pointed out. “It’s a baby, I can’t just take her.”


Fanchon brought up adopting Thisbe’s baby. Thisbe said she’d think about it, but the thought of letting anyone, especially her sister, raise the baby was too much.
The more she thought about it, the more she felt like she was making the wrong decision.


After finding out her baby’s gender, Thisbe changed her mind. She would be keeping her son. Percy and Jan were a bit saddened, as this would make life so much harder for Thisbe, but they could see she was sure, and at the end of the day they were glad that they would be able to be a part of their grandson’s life.


Geoffrey Ruiz, Greer’s long time boy friend, had proposed. Fanchon and Thisbe really liked him, and thought he would make a great brother in law. Greer announced that she was also expecting, which was both exciting and painful for Fanchon. She wished she could stop being so jealous, but her desire for a baby overshadowed her ability to be excited for her sisters.


Thisbe decided not to go back to school in the fall. She enrolled in an online high school, and would be doing it from home. She still had tons of work, and would need to be incredibly disciplined in getting everything in on time. She liked that you could go at your own pace, and so she sped through as much course work as possible before the baby was born.


Thisbe wasn’t sure she wanted to draw attention to her pregnancy, but Percy insisted he take some pictures of her belly. If not for her sake, then for the baby’s when he got older. He hung one of them over the crib, reasoning that he didn’t want his grandson to think for a second that his existence was shameful.


It was snowing when Thisbe went into labor. It was an unusual snow, much earlier then expected. Thisbe couldn’t help by wax poetic about it on the car ride to the hospital, even through the pain.


Thisbe brought home a healthy, large baby boy. She named him Owen. His father had wanted nothing to do with the pregnancy, and even though she called him from the hospital he declined to come see his son.


Percy couldn’t believe he was a grandpa. He might not have expected it so early in life, but now that he had a grandbaby, and another on the way, he embraced the title wholeheartedly. He feared for Owen and Thisbe’s future, but he was certainly glad that Owen existed.


“I’m so sorry, Owen,” Thisbe whispered, the first night he was home. “I’m sorry you didn’t get a better mommy. But I’m going to do the best I can, okay? And you’ve got a grandma who’s going to help out. And a grandpa who’s going to spoil you like crazy. We’re going to do okay, you and me. I wish I could offer you better, but right now all I’ve got is okay.”

Chapter Three: Don’t Be Mad

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Three: Don’t Be Mad

Screenshot-39Thisbe got permission to go to Jake’s house after school, as long as his parents were home. The two of them weren’t really dating, but they were fooling around a bit, which Thisbe had managed to keep from Percy and Jan. Fanchon new that something was up, and that it probably wasn’t the best first relationship, but she didn’t want to ruin the trust between she and Thisbe by telling their parents something she’d clearly been supposed to keep to herself. Fanchon promised herself that she wouldn’t let Thisbe do anything dangerous, but it didn’t seem like a line had been crossed, yet.


Thanksgiving had never been a big holiday in the Thiago house, but Jan decided to have a full blown feast with all the traditional favorites. She and Percy tag teamed the preparation of the massive meal. Fanchon was an awful cook, but she bought some flowers to decorate the table as her contribution.


Jette and Greer came, and brought even more food. Living on their own had pushed them to pick up some life skills, but they still weren’t all that great at cooking for themselves. Jette had figured out how to make casseroles, but that was about it. They mostly ate microwave meals and sandwiches.


Greer brought hot dogs, as she wanted to contribute but didn’t have time to actually make something.


Thanksgiving was wonderful, and it was great to have the family together. That night, though, Thisbe skipped the board games that Percy wanted to play in favor of black friday shopping with a few friends.
Fanchon stopped her before she left. “Who’s really going to be there?”
“Just some people. And yeah, Jake’s going, if that’s what your asking.”
“Be smart,” Fanchon reiterated.

Screenshot-45Thisbe didn’t end up going shopping.


The group of teens hit up a pretty quiet bar. One of the guys knew the bartender, so they didn’t have to worry about being carded.


Thisbe ended up having a bit too much, and pretty quickly she was the one trying to get the party going, to the embarrassment of a couple of her friends.

Screenshot-49Thisbe got away with her shenanigans, but she felt horrible. Not just from the hangover, but the guilt was giving her so much anxiety that she couldn’t sleep, and her stomach was constantly in knots. Every time she was alone with Percy or Jan she wondered if they had found out she lied to them and were about to confront her.


Percy and Jan were sleeping just fine. They had no idea that Thisbe was in over her head. They did notice that she was a bit off, but they didn’t know why.


Thisbe couldn’t take it any more. Almost a full month later she came clean.
“Don’t get mad,” She prefaced, after pulling Percy aside. She figured he would be easier to tell. He would get upset, and Jan would just be heartbroken. She’d rather be yelled at then see how disappointed her mother was.
“What is it?” Percy dreaded what she was going to say.
“I lied to you guys. When I said I went Black Friday shopping, I actually went to a bar, and I got drunk with some friends. I know I should have told you. I’m so sorry, Daddy.”
Percy sighed. It could be worse, he thought. “I can’t trust you, can I?”
Thisbe looked at her feet in shame. “Not really.”
“I just don’t know what to do, Thisbe. I don’t want to smother you, but we have rules for a reason.”
“I know.”
“Lets go talk to Mom, okay?” Percy put his arm around her and lead her into the living room. Screenshot-53

Fanchon saw the look on Percy’s face, and quickly headed outside to give them some space.
“Do you think I should have said something about Tizzy?” She asked Coal, who responded by trying to nibble her tank top.
“Yeah, I don’t know either.”


Thisbe was grounded, and had her phone taken away for a month.
“Is that actually going to stop you from doing it again?” Fanchon asked.
“I’m going to stop.”
“I need to be more responsible,” Thisbe said, a bit reluctantly.
“Yeah, that would be good. Maybe you could get your grades back up.”
“Probably not,” Thisbe sighed sadly. Fanchon gave her a weird look, trying to figure out what was up. Thisbe turned away, but then looked back. “Um, what’s more important, family or grades?”
“Family or grades? Tizzy, you don’t need to spend so much time with me and mom and dad that your grades slip. You can have both, pretty easily.”
“Yeah, I guess your right,” Thisbe shrugged and went back to her chores. Fanchon walked away confused. She just didn’t understand what went through Thisbe’s mind.

Chapter Two: Be Smart

Generation Three: Fanchon Thiago


Chapter Two: Be Smart


Fanchon chose to breed Didi while she was still young enough. It was rather expensive, and it took a few tries, but eventually it took. The stallion Fanchon had chosen was a gorgeous light bay, and had done well for himself in shows. She was very hopeful that the foal would be not only pretty to look at, but good at jumping and dressage once he was trained.


Percy was still working on his portraits of the girls. He wanted them to reflect their personalities as best as he could.


After he finished the girls, he moved on to Jan. She was reluctant, but eventually he convinced her to let him do a little photo shoot.


Percy was so happy with the way they all came out. He managed to capture the look that Jan gave him whenever he was caught up in his artwork, a sort of bemused and admiring little smile.


Thisbe was a good kid, in many ways. She was loving and intelligent, but at the same time, Percy and Jan got the feeling that she often didn’t tell them the truth about her whereabouts. Their suspicions were confirmed one night while she was on a sleepover with one of her friends. Jan called to ask her what time they needed to pick her up the next morning, but Thisbe didn’t pick up her cellphone. When Jan called the other girl’s parents, they said they thought the girls were at the Thiago’s house. It turned out they had gone to hang out with some older guys that Thisbe knew her parents would disapprove of. This got her grounded for a few weeks, which was boring and awful for Thisbe, but awesome for Domingo. Jan and Percy crossed their fingers that she would outgrow the rebellious phase.


Fanchon’s friendship with the guy she had met at the cafe, Galen, was one of the few things that Fanchon felt really adult about. She and Galen would often go out for drinks together. They really enjoyed each other’s company.
“My mother thinks we should get together,” Galen laughed.
“She knows I’m not your type, right?”
“I think she’s still holding out hope that I’ll change my mind. She wants grandkids,” Galen shook his head. “That wouldn’t be happening even if I did like women, though.”
“Not a fan of kids?”
“Not if I’m the one who has to take care of them!”


Fanchon didn’t share Galen’s sentiment. She wanted a baby so badly, but at this point she was worried it would never happen. She just hadn’t met anyone who she could see herself dating, let alone having kids with. She found herself jealous of her horse, as ridiculous as it sounded. As the vet came and made sure everything was going well with the pregnancy, Fanchon couldn’t help but feel like she was missing something.


Domingo needed to be put down. He was even older than Fanchon, and he just couldn’t get around anymore. The vet advised them that he was living in too much pain, and it would be more humane to have him put to sleep. Percy understood, but it was still a difficult decision. After the fact he started a portrait of his little buddy, who’d been a great friend through all of his toughest times.


Didi’s foal was due any day, and Fanchon had to keep a watchful eye on her to make sure she didn’t try and do anything too strenuous. Didi seemed to understand the situation, and her maternal instinct was good enough to tell her to lay low until the baby arrived.


Thisbe hadn’t exactly learned her lesson. The older kids she had been hanging out with thought she was really cool, and wanted her to come to their parties. So far she had said no, but she was really tempted, and once she got the chance she knew she would go for it. She wasn’t stupid, and she knew what she was doing. One of the guys, Jake, was really totally into her. He texted her all the time, and he was so sweet. He wouldn’t let anything happen to her if she went to one of the parties.


Didi’s little colt arrived safely, with little difficulty. Fanchon named him Coal, and as soon as she saw him she fell in love. She could tell he would be a great horse.


Didi was a really good mom. She never let Coal out of her sight, and was always keeping a watchful eye over everything he did.


Fanchon often tried to help Thisbe out with her homework. She found it was a good time to get her to talk about what was going on in her life.
“Wait, which one is a sign function?” Thisbe asked.
“That one,” Fanchon pointed to a graph on Thisbe’s worksheet.
“And that’s a cosign?”
Thisbe didn’t say anything for a second, but Fanchon could tell she wanted to tell her something. “Um, you can’t tell dad this,” Thisbe said finally.
“I had my first kiss today. Well, like, proper kiss.”
“Really? Who did you kiss?”
“Just this guy, we’re not dating or anything.”
“But you kiss?”
“It wasn’t ever a real kiss, until today. I think he wants me to be his girlfriend.”
“Be smart, Tizzy. That’s all I’m going to say,” Fanchon put her arm around her sister shoulders and squeezed her tight. “Just be smart.”