31. Sandcastles in the Sky

Looking over as the front door opened, Louise’s face burst into a smile of her own as Dylan strolled through. ‘Thank goodness you’re home, Dyl! Those girls, honestly!’

‘Not scrapping again?’

‘Oh, I don’t know. Lily’s said something to Freya and now Freya’s upset. I think I fixed it.’

‘Of course you did! You’re a wonderful mother, my sweet,’ Dylan smiled warmly as he squeezed Louise’s hand.

‘So, Dylan… Where’ve you been all day?’ Louise bit her lip as she tried to make the question seem as light as possible. Truth was, something had been bothering Dylan lately, not that he would admit it.

‘Oh, you know, here and there. Went to see Robbie earlier, got a bite to eat…’ Dylan trailed off as he felt his face grow warm. Oh, what was the use. She knew.

Louise always knew.

Taking a deep breath, Dylan blurted out the sentence he’d been hoping to keep from his future wife. ‘I saw a psychiatrist today.’

‘You… What… Psychiatrist?!’ Louise tried to make sense of Dylan’s admission. ‘But… Why?’

Shaking his head, Dylan could hardly believe what he was about to say. ‘Look, I know this is all going to sound a bit strange… I can’t really… Well… I’m not entirely sure how to put this into words…’

Seeing her fiance struggling, Louise reached out and took Dylan’s hands in her own. ‘Just start at the beginning, Dyl. I’m here for you,’ she said softly.

Nodding, Dylan took another deep breath. ‘I know, Lou. I know. Right… When I was four, I had an imaginary friend. Only… He became more than that… It was… It was almost like he was real…’

*       *       *

Picking his path carefully through the cemetery, Dylan carefully unlocked the iron gate embedded into the privet hedge and let himself into his family’s plot.

His father’s plot…

‘Hi, Dad,’ he said in a low voice. ‘I’m here.’

Roughly, he brushed aside a tear that was threatening to spill down his cheek. ‘I can’t believe you’re not here, Dad,’ he moaned. ‘I’m getting married in two days. You should be here!’

‘He will be, love.’

Dylan didn’t need to turn and look at his Mother to know what she would be doing. He could picture her in his mind’s eye, standing a careful distance smiling in sympathy, always there if he needed her, ready to step in at any given time.

‘Not properly he won’t be,’ he replied grouchily, his tone reminiscent of his teenage mood swings.

‘You know what I mean! He won’t be there physically, though my goodness, how I wish he would be… But you know as well as I do that he will be there Dylan.’

Dylan sniffed back his tears. ‘What’re you doing here?’

‘Me? Oh, I always stop by for a chat. I think your father sees more of me now than he did while we were alive, and we spent nearly every waking moment together!’ Ivy brushed away a tear of her own, gazing affectionately at the tombstone. ‘I miss him so much, Dyl.’

Turning to look at his mother, Dylan smiled. ‘I know, Mum. But you know that I’m always here for you, anytime you need me. Robbie is too, and Louise. I know it’s not the same, but  -‘

‘I know, Dylan, I know. I just keep thinking of everything he’s missing… The girls growing up, your wedding…’

‘Ah, but he’ll be at the wedding!’ Dylan winked, and in spite of her tears Ivy laughed.

‘Very true! Shows you were listening too, young man!’

Dylan’s laughter joined with his mother’s before a thought came into his mind. Well, he’d already approached the subject with Louise… Maybe his mother would have some answers…

‘Mum… Can I ask you something? I know this is going to sound a bit strange, but -‘

‘Dylan, are you going to ask me to be your best man?’

‘Mother! I’m being serious here! Look, this’ll sound a bit odd, but… Well, when I was little, did I ever say anything about… an imaginary friend?’

Dylan’s mouth dropped at Ivy’s exasperated response. ‘Of course you did, you daft boy! How could you not remember? You were obsessed with that bloody doll weren’t you! What was it’s name again? Puzzle! You were inseparable for years, boy! Look, I think I even have a picture here…’

Ivy rooted around in her bag for her purse, and proceeded to pull out a whole strip of family photographs. ‘Mum, what on earth do you carry those around for?!’

‘Oh, you never know who you’re going to bump into who’ll ask about the family. Now then… Yes, here we are!’ Pointing, Ivy singled out a picture of Dylan as child sat in the sandpit, a peculiarly shaped doll sat opposite him positioned as if it were building a sandcastle of it’s own. ‘You used to sit there for hours pretending it was building too. Of course it was always you making the castles first then calling me and your dad out to see what “Puzzle” had made, but I think you even convinced yourself that that thing was real. It was a bloody nightmare, that doll!’

Staring intently at the picture, Dylan noted the resemblance between the doll and the one Freya had found buried underneath her bed. This must have been an earlier model of it! What were the chances? No wonder it brought up all those memories!

So that was that, then. Just a doll. Just a doll and an overactive imagination. Nothing more to it!

‘…Dylan?’ Dylan snapped out of his reverie to see his mother staring at him questioningly. ‘Why were you asking about this wretched thing, anyway?’

‘Oh, no reason! Oh, come here mum…’

Pulling his mum into a tight hug, Dylan beamed. ‘I’m so glad I bumped into you tonight, mum.’

‘Well, you’ve got your father to thank for that, my boy. You’ve got your father to thank for that…’

*       *       *

Surrounded by their friends, family, soft music and sweet scented rose bushes, Dylan gently clasped Louise’s hands in his own. He could hardly believe it. After all this time, he was finally stood face to face with the woman he loved, about to make her his wife.

‘I can’t believe it, Dylan. I’m so happy!’ Louise giggled, trying not to let her tears of joy spill down her cheeks.

‘Me too!’ was all the blushing groom could stutter out, nearly overcome with the enormity of the occasion. Clearing his throat, the registrar took his place at the head of the ceremony. ‘Ready to begin?’

As both Dylan and Louise nodded, the registrar smiled and began. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, we are gathered here today to join Dylan and Louise in matrimony…’

The service continued with all eyes on the ecstatic couple. No-one noticed the strange figure stood at the end of the aisle. Well, no-one would. No-one could see it.

Not even Dylan noticed the solitary puppet stood weeping his eyes out noisily as his best friend was lost forever.

‘Dylan! Dylan!’ Puzzle clutched his fabric heart as the bitter truth finally began to sink in. He was gone. Dylan was gone for good.

He’d known that this day would come. It happens to every imaginary friend one day. But when Dylan carried on seeing him, for such a long time… He’d hoped it would last forever.

Still, he’d been lucky. He knew that some of his kind only kept their friends for a few years. He tried to hold onto that thought, but it was so difficult. As Louise and Dylan exchanged rings, he knew that he would have to give him up now. He’d done his job.

Dylan was happy. Dylan had a new friend now, the lovely Louise. He didn’t need Puzzle any more…

And, even though the mere thought of doing so broke his heart, Puzzle knew it was time for him to leave. Taking one last look at the best friend he’d ever have, Puzzle turned and walked from the park, not looking back.

‘You may now kiss the bride!’ Everyone cheered as Dylan grinned and pulled the new Mrs. Rivers to him, placing a delicate kiss upon her lips.

‘I love you, Louise. More than I can say.’

24 thoughts on “31. Sandcastles in the Sky

  1. Yay! Welcome back! It’s so great to finally see the lovely Rivers again 😀

    Poor Lily… Freya has such an attitude on her. Hopefully she’ll grow out of it. I’m so so so happy to see Dylan and Louise finally get married. It seems like just yesterday that we were first getting to know her “in the middle of nowhere”. After all the ups and downs they went through, it’s wonderful to see their “happily ever after” moments. I have to admit, I was a little sad to see Puzzle go… but like you said, his job is over, so it’s fitting that he leave on their wedding day. Sorry for such a long post… just so excited for more!

    Would you mind to check out my new story and put it on your blog roll?

  2. Freya is a little schemer isn’t she? When I first saw the twins I sort of liked Freya better, she was the imperfect twin. Now that I know them a bit more, sheesh! But siblings will be siblings…

    The wedding was cute! and I feel bad for Puzzle. He was a pretty big nuisance, but its kind of sad… I wonder what he’s going to do now..?

    Welcome back! Nice to see the Rivers again.

    • I don’t know what Puzzle’s going to do, really. Now that he’s left Dylan’s story I don’t think I’ll write any more about him unless I get a really good idea, haha! Thanks for reading 🙂

      • Hey Sian, I know you probably have a bunch of stuff on your plate, but I (finally) posted a new chapter in my Lee legacy, and I have another little poll. Maybe you could check them out and vote?

  3. Welcome back Sian!:) It’s so good to see an update for the Rivers!
    I really enjoyed this chapter, Freya is such a handful. Poor Lily having to put up with that from her twin sister.
    Louise and Dylan looked lovely on their wedding day:) It was quite sad seeing Puzzle leave him because his job is over. You did that so well.
    It’s great to see you back:)

  4. Welcome back Siany!

    Great chapter! I love the dialogue between the twins. It’s so realistic and really does show how twins react in RL. However, Freya is a bit nasty towards her sister. I do hope it’s just a phase, and she’ll eventually grow out of it. The scene at the cemetery was heartbreaking! It’s still good to be reminded that Dylan misses his father, and Ivy misses her husband.

    The wedding scene was beautiful, and a perfect ending to the imaginary friend story line! Great job!

    Can’t wait to see what happens next! 😀

  5. Hiiiii 🙂 so happy to see another chapter from the Rivers, welcome back 🙂

    What a great chapter to come back with, I loved it! Freya’s so mean, hopefully she’ll realize how mean she is to Lily. How cute would it be if Lily and Finlay ended up together!!

    I have to say Dylan going to the graveyard to visit his dad’s grave did bring a wee tear to me eye!ha. And their wedding as well, glad they finally got there, I loved Louise’s dress. I cried a bit for Puzzle too, the way you wrote it was fantastic I feel so bad for him!

    Looking forward to another update!!xx

    • Thanks, good to be back! Hoping that I won’t be awol forever again, haha!

      Haha, I already have amazing (hopefully…) plans for the four kiddies you see in this chapter. Hoping that I’ll throw a curveball or eight in the fourth generation!!

      So pleased you enjoyed Puzzle’s ending, I struggled a bit with it. It was time for him to go, but it’s hard writing out characters! Glad you thought it came off okay 🙂

      Hope you’re well!

  6. Only started reading this a few days ago. Loving it !! Was a bit say when Ethan died !!! Looking forward to the next chapter x

  7. Finally caught up with all your previous chapters!
    I love both twins equally however I’m starting to get concerned with Freya! I know they’re just kids but maybe this is a glimpse of her future self?

  8. Wow… Freya is an evil little girl, what are her traits? Anyway she\’s horrible, but I can\’t wait to see her as a teenager >:) I\’m really, really happy that Dylan and Louise are finally married. Ive wanted it ever since we met her in the middle of nowhere. Sad about Puzzle… I l liked him! But the wedding was so sweet!
    You don’t know me but Ive been following your blog for a while. I only recently got my own blog. Would you have a look at it and add it to your blog roll? Please. Here’s the link:

    oh, and I’m really happy you’re back!

  9. Hello! So pleased to see you back!
    I’m going to start off by saying that I loved the ending with Puzzle. It was so sad, but so fitting. All Puzzle wanted was to be Dylan’s best friend forever, but it was lovely to see him realize that it was time for Dylan to move on 🙂
    Regarding matters with the twins, I completely understand how Freya feels! Her “nicer” sister overshadows her and the only way she knows how to react is through fibs and hurtful words. I hope she’ll grow out of it, as they are only eight. I just wish Louise could see through her lies.
    Lovely chapter, as always 🙂

  10. Aww, poor puzzle! That made me so sad, and my heart lurched for Ivy and Dylan in the cemetery 😦 I have a nasty feeling that IVy is going to pass next chapter; I really hate it when your characters pass on, so I can only imagine how you feel!
    Actually, speaking of characters, I was wondering what’s up with Tristan and his wife? We didn’t seem them after his wedding, right? I guess I just figured he would’ve wanted to be there for his nephew! I miss him, lol. And I’m guessing the band members died?? I feel so bad for them; they had all that mishap with awful Amelia and ended up dying alone 😦 😦
    Anyway, great emotional chapter! So glad they finally got together; I absolutely love Dylan and Louise’s story and your weddings are always phenomenal 🙂 The twins are the spitting image of their parents and can’t wait to see what happens with them! Poor Lily…

  11. Oh Puzzle! ;n; I loved him and I’m going to miss him and his mischief. I do hope you’ll make a side chapter about what happened to him after this. He was such a huge part of Dylan’s life for so long, it’d be sad to just have him disappear like that.

    Freya is such a little brat! I can’t believe Louise fell for her lie! Hopefully she’ll get better as she gets older. I’ve had some heirs/heiresses do some really awful stuff in their younger years and then do a complete turnaround and so have a few of yours in past legacies, so I’m interested to see where you take that.

    As always, a lovely chapter, my dear! Keep writing, I love your updates. The Rivers are as close to my heart as my own Sims!

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