10. Jumping Through The Hoops

It didn’t take much convincing to get Tristan to invite Ivy over as his guest for his party. As soon as Cassie mentioned that he was allowed a friend over on his birthday his immediate reaction had been to scream out Ivy’s name, followed by a lot of laughter and chatter.

‘Oh Mum, I’m so pleased you’ll be able to meet her!’

I genuinely cannot wait, son, Cassie replied silently. She barely slept the next few nights; she was so excited to finally see her daughter for the first time in so long that she was giddy with anticipation.

After laying eyes on Ivy for the first time, it was all Cassie could do to keep them off her. This was Tristan’s day, after all, it was his birthday and the focus should be on him, not his friend. Not his sister…

Still, as Tristan deliberated on what to wish for on his candles, both Cassie and Matt couldn’t help but steal sideways glances at this teenage girl, stood clapping politely, who had suddenly descended into their midst. She really did look like Cassie had at that age; Cassie had initially thought that she had opened the door to a mirror to the past! Giving Ivy a once over Cassie noted that they were wearing the same pair of black trainers. Her daughter clearly shared her taste!

As Tristan finally made a decision and blew out his candles, Cassie fixed her attention on him. She was sure now that Ivy was her daughter, all she could do now was wait until she could recitfy the situation and bring her home. For now it was Tristan’s time.

His candles extinguished, Cassie could hardly believe the transformation her now-teenage son had undertaken. He suddenly seemed older, wiser, yet his eyes still held a look of innocence. His once boyish scruff of hair now fell in a neat sweep just above the rim of his glasses. Tristan was definitely more of a mixture between his parents, unlike his sister. A rush of pride flowed through Cassie as she gazed at her maturing son, and she hoped she hadn’t been so distracted by Ivy’s presence that it had spoilt his birthday. After this was all sorted out she would be able to explain to him properly.

Ivy had had to leave shortly after they’d all had a slice of cake, mumbling something about having to be back at the home. Cassie’s heart had panged as Ivy inadvertently emphasised ‘the’, knowing that she did not feel she belonged there. Well, of course she doesn’t belong there. She belongs here. With us! Shortly after Ivy had gone back, having profusely thanked Cassie for inviting her in the first place (was it Cassie’s imagination or did she not look her in the eye? Did she perhaps sense the connection Cassie felt, and was confused?), a smart knock at the door signalled Eric’s arrival. Strolling in, his now grey hair shining under the lamp light, Mr. Stanislav handed Tristan’s inappropriately expensive gift of a laptop over to the birthday boy, who yelped in delight and set out doing something called ‘overclocking’ which neither of his parents really understood. Leaving the happy computer whiz to his machine, Eric took Cassie to one side.

‘Now then, my dear,’ he said with a sympathetic expression on his face. ‘My daughter tells me you need some legal aid? Something about your own daughter, is that right?’

Cassie retold the story of Tristan accidentally finding his sister to Eric in hushed tones so that her son didn’t overhear anything. Above anything she did not want to dash his hopes, so Matt and she had decided not to say anything until they knew for certain. Besides, it may have been too much for his young mind to take!

‘Oh, Cassie. Just imagine if it is her! I cannot believe I missed seeing her, too! My meeting overran. Oh, dear!’

‘So would you be able to put me in touch with a lawyer, Mr. Stanislav? I know it’s cheeky to ask, but -‘

‘Oh, be quiet, do not talk like that!’ Mr Stanislav gently chastised her. He hated the thought of Cassie being too proud to ask him for help. ‘I can of course put you in touch with my finest lawyer. I have already made provisions to make things easier, once what you know already is confirmed.’ His aging eyes twinkled.

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well! I have been in touch with my contacts at City Hall. I have asked them to collate the records of Ivy so that, when she chooses to access them, they will all be in order. There is only one girl of that name in the care system in the Valley, so I am certain I have the right girl!’

*       *       *

A few days passed, and Cassie found herself walking past the new park which had just opened in town, Ray of Sunshine. She had just been to see the lawyer Eric had recommended, and her head was too full of legal jargon for her to concentrate. The process was going to long and arduous, no matter how certain she and Matt were that Ivy was their child. There was a hell of a lot of red tape, numerous hoops to jump through, barriers left, right and centre. The lawyer basically admitted that the state did not like giving children back to their parents, fearing that any consequential cases of mental disturbance from the dramatic change in the child’s life would leave them financially responsible for therapy in the future. He had scathingly told Cassie that this had happened once fifty years ago, and the council were not willing to let it happen again.

Rubbing her aching head, Cassie decided to wander into the park. Settling on a bench, she breathed in the fresh air and tried to just not think for a few minutes. She was only vaguely aware of a figure sitting next to her as she scanned the new surroundings. Turning to see if she knew who it was, Cassie nearly had a heart attack.

‘Hey, Mrs. Rivers. I, er, I wanted to say thanks again. For inviting me the other day.’

‘…That’s fine, really. I hope you enjoyed yourself?’

Ivy nodded shyly. ‘Yeah, I did. The cake was delicious, the nicest I’ve ever had!’

‘I’ll agree with you there! I had three more slices that night,’ Cassie laughed, remembering how cross Matt had been when he came home from work the next day to find only a small sliver remaining for his dessert that night. ‘I think Tristan had four!’

Ivy let out a small laugh, but clearly felt a little uncomfortable with the situation. Cassie decided to take the initiative. ‘Erm, I’d like to thank you, Ivy. For helping Tristan out with his scouting. He really appreciates it.’

Ivy’s face lit up. ‘Thank you! I enjoyed helping him. I like all that outdoorsy stuff, so it wasn’t any bother.’

‘Well, you were a better help to him than I could have been! Aside from gardening I’ve never really done any of that stuff. I’ve never even held a fishing rod, let alone caught anything!’

‘What? How is that even possible?’ Ivy’s jaw fell open in shock. ‘Maybe I’ll have to give you lessons too!’

Cassie laughed, before a thought suddenly came to her. ‘Um, Ivy? If you don’t mind me asking -‘

‘Yes. I should be at school.’

‘Right. Um -‘

‘And I’m not there because I don’t want to be. I’ve got English today, and I can’t stand my teacher. And he doesn’t really like me, either.’ Ivy’s face glowed red as she scowled; Cassie tried to resist the urge to pull her into a hug.

‘Why doesn’t he like you, Ivy?’

‘He made fun of a story I wrote in class once, a little while ago. And I mean, he really tore into it. He just didn’t get what I was trying to write at all. So I kind of egged his house a little bit. And I got caught. And he’s hated me ever since.’

‘You egged his house?’ Cassie tried and failed to stifle a laugh. ‘That’s pretty brave of you!’

A small smile grew on Ivy’s face. ‘Yeah, I guess. Makes a change. I’m usually pretty shy. I just snapped, you know? I’ve not exactly had the best life. That was just the final straw, I suppose.’

‘You’re in care, aren’t you?’ Cassie asked tentatively. She knew she was treading dangerous ground. Ivy nodded.

‘Yep. I have been all my life, since I was a baby. Been shipped around everywhere.’

‘So where are you from originally?’

‘Oh, I know that for sure. Here, in the Valley. But I grew up mostly in Pleasantview, then was shipped over to Bridgeport, then I came back here. It’s all to do with spacing in the homes,’ Ivy explained before she realised how easily she was sharing her life’s details with this woman she’d met only once before. Why was she doing that? Why were her words coming so easily? Usually she’d be stumbling and stuttering, unable to form coherent sentences… She decided to change the subject. ‘So, um, what have you been up to today?’

‘Not a lot. I saw a lawyer this morning.’

‘How come?’

Cassie stalled. She couldn’t tell Ivy the truth… Could she?

‘Family stuff. I needed some help.’

‘What kind of family stuff?’ Ivy didn’t know why she was enquiring; usually she would be scared of being too forward, of being perceived as rude. What was this newfound confidence?

‘…It’s complicated… Something to do with Tristan’s sister.’

‘Tristan’s sister? I didn’t know he…’ Ivy trailed off as she recalled Tristan’s words just before she cut him off on the day they met.

‘Ivy? Cool! That’s my sis-‘

His sister. His sister’s name. They shared the same name?

‘Where was she, on his birthday?’

‘…She… She doesn’t live with us. Not yet, anyway.’ It was as if a million lightbulbs went off in Ivy’s head. No… It wasn’t possible, surely?

Biting her lip, Ivy decided to keep pressing this thread. ‘Mrs. Rivers… Have you noticed, we look an awful lot like each other?’

A tear trickled down Cassie’s cheek. ‘I think I’ve got a few more lines on my face than you do,’ she laughed hollowly. Ivy was stunned.

‘Was… Was your daughter taken into care, Mrs. Rivers?’ Cassie paused, before nodding her head slowly. Ivy struggled to take everything in.

‘How will we know for sure,’ she whispered. She knew that Cassie knew what she was thinking.

‘You can go and check your birth certificate at City Hall. All your files will be in order.’ Ivy didn’t ask how Cassie would know this. She didn’t care. She just needed to know. Standing up, she felt suddenly light headed, a little woozy, the shock of the conversation sapping her of her strength. Finding her feet, she turned to face Cassie.

‘Would you come with me?

*       *       *

‘What’s that my dear? You want to check your records? Just one moment, I’ll get your file… My, this is well organised! Now then, let me see… Ivy Biron? Yes… Aha… That’s not the name on your birth certificate… Ah yes, here’s the certification of the name change. You were very young when that happened, weren’t you! Now then, let’s see… Yup, clearly recorded here. Mother, Cassie Rivers. Father, Matthew Forest. …Are you feeling all right, my dear?’

Cassie and Ivy walked out of City Hall together in perfect silence, barely able to process the information they had just been given. Everything outside was just as before, it was a normal day… How was that possible? Something monumental had just happened, yet everyone else was just going about their day. They paused awkwardly at the top of the stairs.

‘So…’

‘So.’

They smiled at each other, a little unsure of how to act next, each a bundle of raw emotion.

‘I can’t wait to tell Matt and Tristan,’ Cassie broke the deadlock. ‘Trist’ll be over the moon!’

Ivy grinned. ‘I can’t believe it. All this time, I was helping my little brother?! I mean, what are the chances! Oh my god, I have a little brother!’ She let out a delighted squeal, making Cassie chuckle.

‘Not only that, you’ve got a big sister too! Oh, it’s a long story,’ she said in response to Ivy’s confused look.

‘Oh, okay… Well, I guess we’ve got a lot to catch up on.’

‘Yeah, I guess we do. How… How about we get you home?’ Cassie asked cautiously.

Ivy nodded. ‘I’d like that… Mum…’ Her lip trembling, she walked forward and flung her arms around Cassie.

Around her mother.

33 thoughts on “10. Jumping Through The Hoops

  1. I’m so happy that they found Ivy, and that she isn’t mad or jumping to conclusions about the fact that she was “abandoned”. and I knew that Cassie and Ivy looked similar, but it was like “woah” when I saw them side by side on the park bench! did you change her at all to make her looks exactly like her mom? or did she just grow up that way? Can’t wait for more!

    • I didn’t alter Ivy at all. I loved that picture so much, where they’re mirroring each other! It really does show how similar they are. Thanks for reading, I’m pleased that you enjoyed the chapter 🙂 Do you know yet when you’re planning on starting your own, yet? I’m excited!

      • To be honest, I definitely want to, and I’m hoping soon, but life has been slightly crazy for me. I was busy with my grad ceremony and party, I went on a missions trip with my church youth group to Belize, Central America from the 1st of august until the 10th, & I start “college” on Tuesday. Add that to the fact that I find it rude to play or write Sims when my girlfriend is around, and the many hours of sitting and staring at my laptop knowing point A and B of my story, but am stuck on the in between, and you may understand where I’m at… Sort of…

      • Ah real life, it always robs us of our Sims! I totally understand, on everything. Take your time, it’s never a good idea to rush things just to get something out. If you’re struggling with the inbetweeny bits I find that sometimes it helps to write the beginning and the end first, then just fill in the gaps at random until I’ve got a whole chapter. Dunno if it’ll help you, but it’s a suggestion 🙂 Might kickstart the writer’s block! Good luck 🙂

      • Ps. It gets me super excited knowing that two of my favorite legacy writers (you and Chellekaz) are interested in reading my little legacy. It sorta adds a tad bit of pressure though because I want you guys to like it.

      • Haha, well, Chellekaz and I are very tough critics to please! 😉 No, in all seriousness I am genuinely excited to see what you write. Don’t think of it as pressure, just think of it as an incentive to be amazing!

  2. I absolutely am enjoying this family’s story; this part really touched my heart. I’m normally not an emotional person, but I will admit I wiped away a couple of tears.

    • Aww, I’m really pleased you’re enjoying the story! Thank you so much for reading, and I’m glad it touched you although I’m sorry for the tears! 🙂

  3. The Rivers have such an original family story between them all. I’m so happy that Ivy was reunited with her family, and she was okay with it. Cassie and Ivy do look so much alike! I loved this chapter and all the dialogues between the characters! You’re great at writing diaogues!

    Can’t wait to see what happens next! 😀
    New chapter up on my blog

    • Thank you so much! I’m really pleased especially that you like the dialogues, I always struggle a bit with them. Means a lot! 🙂 Thanks for reading 🙂 And I’ve read your chapter, great as always!! 😀

  4. I just had to catch up with this, and I love this so far. The story with Cassie and Ivy and everything was just brilliant. I’m a bit surprised that Ivy didn’t go into accusation mode, wondering why Cassie could possibly leave her, even though Cassie couldn’t help it, but I guess Ivy is just a really good kid, and just happy to have a family.

    • Thank you so much, I’m really pleased you’re enjoying the story 🙂 Remember that this was only Ivy’s initial reaction to finding her parents, there is more to come on that note.

  5. Im truly loving it!!! ❤
    Have been waiting for the nest part very eagerly… i swear im going to brek this computer if i keep on checking the website everyday!
    And it didnt help when i read that Ivy's reaction will take a turn for the worse!! AAHH!!! keep up the good work, and stay safe!!

    • Hahah, no need to break your computer! The next part will be uploaded some time on Monday, so save your checking until then 😉 And I never said that Ivy’s reaction was going to change for the worse! Just that more is to come. May be positive, may be negative. Wait and see 🙂

      Thanks for reading! I really appreciate your support 🙂

  6. Whew! Stayed up all night reading this legacy but it was definitely worth it! A fantastic read with tonnes of drama (just what us hungry Simmers crave!). I love that Ivy’s finally been reunited with her proper family, but I’m sure she’s going to have a tough time adjusting to such a huge lifestyle change after so many years in group homes.

    This makes me really eager to get moving with the second installment of my new legacy, though it pales in comparison to yours!

    • Thanks so much for taking the time to read all of my legacy! I’m really pleased you enjoyed it 🙂 And I’m really looking forward to your next chapter! I want to see Cyclone’s reaction to Azure’s apparent ignorance of human relationships, haha.

  7. This was… a totally amazing chapter! 😀 😀 😀 It amazing that Ivy now knows the truth and that they’re ready to begin their lives again! I hope that everything will go swimmingly for the family from here on.

    I’m really loving the story, it’s brilliant and very enjoyable to read. Not like any other legacy I’ve seen out there! You’re doing a brilliant job at it, keep it up! 😀 Off to read the next chapter!

    • You’re at the end of the current lot of chapters now! Just want to say thank you so much for all your comments, they’ve really made my day! They were so detailed and so lovely, thank you so very much! I’m really pleased that you’re enjoying the legacy so much 🙂 Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to write such lovely, lovely things!! It means a lot 🙂 Thankssss!!! 😀

  8. I know this isn’t Rivers related, but I was wondering if I could use Sophia Emmett for the Lee Legacy, and I was also wondering if you still had Thomas Emmett II, because I wanted to use them both. But if you didn’t have Thomas, I’ll survive.

    • Yeah of course you can use Sophia! Annoyingly EA took down Thomas (and Dan, pffft) from my studio and I’ve since changed computers so I don’t have Thomas to hand, I’m afraid. But of course you can use Sophia! 🙂

      • Mwahaha! I just figured it out! I had downloaded the household that had Chloe, Oliver, James, and Daniel as a teenager, so since Daniel and Thomas look almost the same (at least in the family tree pictures) i can just make Daniel into Thomas!

      • Hahah, good plan! He did look quite similar to Dan actually, now you mention it! The short hair meant that he looked more different than he did. I’m excited to see what you’re doing with them both! 😀

  9. Need… next… chapter…. 😀
    J/k I love the story but I can wait. I know how busy life can get and sometimes we just need to relax without worrying about deadlines. That why I am writing a novel and not a legacy! I dont think I could handle making the deadlines for everyone!
    Michelle

  10. I don’t know if anyone still looks at this…
    Just wanted to say I love the story! I’m hooked since the first chapter. And the little fun facts at the end of the chapters are soo cool. Princess Tristan is totally cute 😀

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