27. The Solution…?

Bang! Bang!! Bang!!!

‘Stupid… Bloody… Cannot believe it…’ Dylan muttered angrily to himself as he worked on the fire appliance, the delicate touch he’d once used with maintaining the important machinery gone as he hammered out his anger.

It had been a week since the major fire at the hospital, a week since he’d received such glowing praise from the chief. A week since Puzzle had floated back into his life, his irritating face appearing when Dylan least expected it, his annoying grin haunting him at nearly every turn.

‘Why… For gnomes’ sake… What the hell…’ Dylan was hardly focusing on the dent he’d been hammering out, his mind totally consumed with his rage. He was an adult now, a grown man! Surely he should’ve grown out of his imaginary friend stage years ago. What the hell was wrong with him!

‘Argh!’ Cursing, Dylan dropped the hammer on the floor; as was inevitable given his state of mind he’d missed his target and hit his hand. Rubbing the already bruising skin, Dylan kicked the side of the fire appliance. ‘Stupid thing!’

‘Dylan!’ Alan’s curious face appeared at the door of the garage, his expression softening as he realised what had happened. ‘Would you come out here for a minute, son?’

Rolling his eyes, Dylan trailed out after the chief. Alan studied him for a minute through his shades, a little worried.

‘What’s on your mind, Dylan?’

‘What’s on my mind? Nothing!’

‘Come off it, son! You’ve been a total mess all week, entirely distracted, unfocused, and now you’ve managed to hammer your hand into the side of the truck. What’s going on?’

A little nervous about where the conversation may be heading, Dylan fidgeted with his braces. ‘Sorry, chief. I just… I…’ How can I tell him?!

‘Was it the hospital? Was it too much for you to handle? I know you did a fine job, Dylan, but that was the first major incident you attended. I realise such things can be a little shocking if you’re not -‘

‘No! No, no, I was fine with that, honestly. I don’t know what’s the matter with me, chief. I’ll try and-‘

‘Dylan! Dylan!’

Dylan gritted his teeth.’I’ll try and get focused again. I know I can do this, chief.’

Alan nodded. ‘I know you can too, son. But don’t try and push yourself too hard! Neither you nor young William have had any real time off since you started here, have you? Look, here’s what we’ll do. You boys can take the weekend off, you’re due a couple of days rest anyway. You can go away, relax, have some fun, get whatever’s on your mind off it then start afresh on Monday with a clear head. Best thing all round. Do you agree?’

Hanging his head, Dylan nodded reluctantly. He hoped the chief didn’t think he was being weak. ‘Yes sir.’

‘Honestly lad, you’d think I’d just fired you given that reaction!’

*       *       *

‘I can’t believe you’ve never been here, Robbie!’

‘Of course I haven’t. What kind of little sister wants to go and hang out where her dorky big brother does?’

Dylan gave his sister a look. ‘Did you just call me a dork?’

‘Well I used to think that! Come on Dyl, you’re my big brother! I don’t think it any more, if that’s any consolation.’ Robyn flashed Dylan a cheeky grin as the pair walked into the arcade.

‘I suppose it’ll have to do, for now, but when I thrash any score you get on Syndication it’ll make me feel even better! Oh wow, this place hasn’t changed a bit!’ Stopping in his tracks, Dylan gazed around the familiar haunt. ‘Come on, let’s get on the games!’

‘Right, okay… So this button does…’

‘Yeah, that does that, then if you press that one that happens,’ Dylan demonstrated on his own machine.

‘Right… Okay, I’ve got it!’ Enthusiastically, Robyn pressed the start button and began pressing the buttons feverishly. ‘Oh wow! This is brilliant!’

‘Mmm,’ Dylan half replied a little absent-mindedly as he concentrated on his own game. I’m so out of practice! Still, at least I’ll beat –

‘Oh, cool! Thirty thousand points!’

Ripping his eyes away from his screen, Dylan glanced over at his sister’s. ‘How the hell did you do that! How did you get that?! I’ve never got that!’

Robyn laughed gleefully. ‘Seriously?! Wow! Looks like I’ve finally found the one thing I’m better at than you! Hah, now you’re dead!’

‘Oh, what?!’

Aghast, Dylan looked back to his game just in time to see his avatar keel over. This was not how this was supposed to have gone!

‘Oh, cheer up Dylan! Look, I’ll buy you some gum.’ Robyn started rooting around in her pockets for some change as Dylan watched in horror.

‘Robbie! Your game!’

‘What? Oh! Ah well. Come on, bro.’ Robyn skipped away from the gaming machines as her own avatar died, entirely unfazed. As he went to follow her, Dylan noted that she’d at least doubled any score he’d ever had.

She didn’t need to know that.

‘Catch, Dyl!’ Robyn tossed a silver coin at her brother before popping her own into the gumball machine. ‘You know, I’ve not had any gum in ages. Mum doesn’t like me chewing it, she says it’ll rot my teeth.’

‘She’s got a point, to be fair! Though I think she’d be more worried about your dress sense than chewing gum at the minute, what the hell is this that you’re wearing? You look like a right rebel!’ Dylan laughed a little sarcastically.

‘Oh, quiet you! This is the height of fashion, I can assure you. Besides, I may as well give up everything and start rebelling after the example you set me!’

‘Eh?’ Dylan wheeled round to face his sister. ‘What d’ya mean?’

‘Hm? Oh! Well you kind of set an unreachable example for me, didn’t you! You got ridiculously high grades in your final exams at school then decided to become a superhero! You should hear Mum when she’s with her friends, she hardly shuts up about you. You know your name was in the paper after that thing at the hospital? I thought she was going to explode with joy and pride!’

‘Seriously?’ Dylan’s face lit up. ‘So she’s not worried any more?’

‘Course she’s still worried you pillock, but you’re doing pretty well in convincing her not to be. Hey, do you think she’ll worry about me when I stroll in saying that I’m going to become a professional arcade game player when I leave school?’

‘Oh, don’t be daft! Robbie, no matter what you do Mum and Dad’ll be proud of you, and I will be too. I’ve hardly set the perfect example! Did I ever tell you about how I got kicked out of here once?’

*       *       *

‘Mate, we should’ve done this aaaages ago, and not on a Sunday night! I can’t believe how dead it is,’ Will said as he took a deep sip of his drink. The two trainee firemen had decided to make the most of their final night off and had headed out to a bar near the station, the Bridgeport Sports Zone.

Dylan grinned as he knocked back his own beverage. ‘I doubt we’d be allowed! Can you imagine us getting an emergency call from here and having to stumble off to a fire? The alcohol fumes would probably make us go up in flames too!’

‘True, true! Still, we should’ve done this before now. I can’t believe we’ve known each other for so long and not had a night out! Sacrilege in this town, really,’ Will grinned at his friend, who laughed back.

‘You make a fair point! Still, better late than never. Let’s make this a night to remember, hey!’ Dylan downed his drink and determinedly slammed the glass down on the nearest table.

Looking around the fairly empty bar, Will chuckled. ‘Might be a bit difficult here, hey! Not really lively enough for fun and games!’

‘There’s a few more people in the other room, pal,’ the bartender called through. ‘But what do you expect, coming out on a Sunday? School night!’

Laughing, Dylan and Will thanked the barman before heading through the double doors. ‘I’m going to get another drink, d’ya want anything Will?’ Dylan asked as he eyed up the bottles of spirits behind the bar.

‘I’ve just seen what I want, and it’s not a drink! Meet me in a sec Dyl, fit girl at two o’clock!’ Will seemed to vanish from Dylan’s side as he hot footed it over to the shuffleboard table, leaving Dylan gazing at the drinks menu.

‘What’ll it be, then?’

‘Erm… Think I’ll go for a Winning Streak.’

‘Coming up!’ The bartender flashed a friendly smile as he started mixing Dylan’s drink together. ‘Bloody hell, your friend’s a quick worker! He’s practically got her eating out of his hand?’

‘Hm?’ Dylan glanced over his shoulder as he started straining his ears to hear what Will was saying.

‘…So yeah, I’m a firefighter, actually…’

‘You’re a firefighter?! That’s so cool!’

Dylan froze. He recognised that voice.

‘So like, you’re a hero? You save lives?’ Melody gushed, gazing deep into Will’s blue eyes. Dylan knew that look well.

Will preened a little, sweeping his hair back from his face. ‘Well, not that I like to brag…’

‘Wow…’

‘Hey! Get away from him!’ Before he knew what he was doing, Dylan had grabbed his drink from the startled barman and was marching across the bar to confront his old classmate. The girl who’d humiliated him.

‘Dylan! What are you doing here?!’

‘I’m on a night out with my friend and colleague, who you are going to stop talking to right this second!’

‘Dyl, what’s going on?’

‘Er, Dylan? He came over to talk to me! I can’t help it if I’m irresistable, can I?’

‘Yeah, well, after he hears about what you’re really like I can’t help thinking he’ll run a mile! How is Brad, by the way?’

Melody scoffed. ‘Brad? Long gone! Not that it’s any of your business, Dylan Rivers. Get out of my face! Just because you’re so bitter -‘

‘Bitter? Me?!’

‘Yes, you!’

‘You just can’t get over the fact that I broke up with you! Let’s face it Dylan, you were in love with me, I broke your heart. It’s understandable, but you’ve got to move on! High school was a long time ago now, sweetheart, it’s time to leave those feelings in the past,’ Melody said, her tone melting from angry to patronising.

‘Dylan, what the hell is going on?! Were you two at school or something?’ Will asked confusedly. Dylan tore his livid eyes from Melody to his friend.

‘William, meet Melody. We dated in high school. Well, I say dated… She used me for a few months before cheating on me and breaking up with me in front of the whole school.’

‘What? You bitch!’ Will’s expression turned to one of disgust. Melody rolled her eyes and adjusted her top.

‘Your loss, mate. Don’t know what you’re thinking, hanging around with a loser like Rivers anyway. Clearly you’re not worth it! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’d like to get back to having a good night out with my friend.’

A sudden swish of black hair caught Dylan’s eye. His heart leaping, he turned around to see…

‘Mels? What’s going on?’ Melody’s friend smiled curiously. ‘Can I help you?’

Dylan realised he was staring as a weight seemed to fall on his shoulders. His vision blurred a little as tears began to well in his eyes.

Not Louise. Of course not.

32 thoughts on “27. The Solution…?

  1. I’m in a bit of rush, and can’t do this chapter a truly justified comment at the moment, but I did need to get my reaction down.

    O.o *gasp* NOOOOOOOO!!!!

    • To be honest, I am too. A bit of me regrets it tbh, but I’m hoping it’ll all be worth it in the coming chapters!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Oh, and sorry, but could you check out my legacy? ^_^ I haven’t posted in a while, and it’s more of a comedy than a drama, but if you *want* to.. I mean, not to be asking for readers or anything… Oh, gnomes…

  3. AHHHH noo Dylan! Hopefully Puzzle saves him!
    I knew something was going to go wrong when Puzzle predicted it!
    And awwww sadness about Louise </3
    This was a great chap! Really intense!
    Btw- happy valentine's day! 🙂

    • Yay, I’m so pleased you enjoyed the chapter! 😀 I couldn’t believe it when Melody was at the Sports Zone with that Sim, she did look quite a bit like Louise so I decided to pop it into the chapter. Yay for my Simmies writing their own material! Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Great Chapter!!!! As always!! I’m sure Dylan will survive, even if he’s sick for a bit, because he is the Heir! Unless Robyn could succeed him……….

    Is it bad that i hope Puzzle burns? He’s distracting Dylan from his life. I’m sure Dylan would miss him though, deep down. Happy Valentines day for yesterday!!!!

    • It’s not bad that you want Puzzle to burn, the only thing is can something imaginary actually go up in flames? Ooo!! 😉 You’ll have to wait and see if Dylan survives. Maybe I do really want Robyn as the heir! 😉
      Thanks for reading, I’m really pleased you enjoyed the chapter!

  5. Oh my.

    I’m kinda speechless, if you can’t tell. 🙂 The last part was completely unexpected, and as sad as it is, I can’t help but be excited by this turn of events. AWESOME chapter! Loved every bit of it.

    BTW, Thank you so so so much for the bookshelf! 🙂 I love surprises. Kinda makes me want to go build a new house to put it in. Haha!

    • So glad you enjoyed the chapter! And I’m pleased you didn’t see the ending coming too. You’ll just have to wait and see what happens next!
      And you’re very welcome! I wanted to pay you back for the lovely gift you sent me 🙂 Finally got round to buying simpoints, haha!
      Thanks for reading 🙂

  6. :O Nooooooooo!! Please let Dylan be ok!:'(
    It was so nice to see Robyn she’s so pretty. Ugh as if he saw Melody of all people! It broke my heart that he thought that was Louise and it wasn’t! His little face:( I really hope she comes back, they’re perfect for each other:)
    Fantastic chapter, what a cliffhanger! Can’t wait for the next part.

    • Thanks so much for reading, I’m really pleased you enjoyed the chapter! 🙂 If you see this (and I hope you do), what was the link to your story, please? You put it in a comment on my Mypage, then Mypage became rubbish and it’s not there any more! Really wanted to read it (:

      • Hurrah, thank you! Will get reading your story tonight 🙂
        I agree, the MyPage is horrid! Who wants SimFacebook? Bleurgh 😦
        New job is going okay, thank you. Bit tired of working life now, but hey ho!
        Thanks for giving me the link again, so pleased you saw my post! x

      • You’re welcome:) Sorry about the double post!
        I hope you like my story and I’m glad things are going well, I know how you feel about working life! But sadly it has to be done, I keep hoping I win the lottery!lol!

      • Don’t worry about it, haha! Yeah, I wouldn’t mind becoming a professional lottery winner 😉 If only!
        Read your story and lorved it lots, have left comments! 🙂

  7. Great legacy, just finished it. Definitively one of the best I have ever red. I especially like the Puzzle character and his relationship with Dylan. Can’t wait for next update 🙂

    • Wow, thank you so much! Really pleased you’ve enjoyed my little story so much 🙂 It means a lot! Thanks for reading, and for commenting. I hope I can keep writing stuff you like!

  8. Ahh Just got round to reading this now, what an awesome chapter, Dylan’s wee face in that picture after he thought it was Louise broke my heart! I hope everyone makes it out ok (even Puzzle) :/ Can’t wait for the next installement, proper cheered me up finally reading this ha xx

    • Aw, so pleased this cheered you up. Hope you’re okay? Thanks, as always, for reading and for commenting. It means a lot 🙂 x

      • It always does! Yea i’m ok (mostly), just final year stresses/life stresses and seriously considering becoming a cat lady as it is obviously the easier option in life!ha. How are you? Job still going good?xx

      • Hahaha, becoming cat lady does seem like a pretty good option 😉 with you on that one! The job’s okay. Just a job, really! Not hating it yet, but I’m already fed up of *having* to work if that makes sense. Such is life!
        Glad you’re okay (mostly) 🙂 x

      • It won’t let me reply under your last comment so sorry if this is confusing!ha. Lol yup a cat lady is deffo the better option, who needs boys when you can have cats!ha. What kind of job is it if you don’t mind me asking? I totally get what you mean, i’m doing my dissertation and applying for Postgraduate courses I have never been so scared of things not working out in my life!ha. I get what you mean about the having to work, its such a pain, its so different when you get a part time job cause you do it because you want to, now its like we have to!ha. And awh thanks 🙂 I am mostly, or at least getting there!ha. xx

      • I’m an assistant manager at a bookmakers, it’s not a graduate job or anything like that but it’s *a* job which is the important thing at the moment! Everything will be fine, you’ve got a lifetime to sort everything out 🙂

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