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Friendship Fiction Happy

I gaze around the room and sigh. It’s full of old cardboard boxes, both big and little, that seem to make the tiny room even smaller.


Β I walk over to the mattress beside me and plop down on it, sending a cloud of dust up into the air. It’s lumpy and covered with an unsafe amount of dust. Probably a victim from Andrews’s college years, which he claims was not that long ago but we all know different.Β 


Andrew is my new stepfather, he’s… fine. He is a middle-aged man with a semi-large bald head and a tall body, six-foot-three to be exact. He’s obsessed with adult cartoons and even has the whole action figure set of the Simpsons, plus posters, clothing, and even three toilet paper holders, one for each of the bathrooms.Β 


There is something odd about Andrew, other than his weird obsession, something that I can't quite but my finger on. It might be the fact that he reminds me a bit of my dad, and maybe it's just a feeling of loss and sadness. I don't know for sure but there is definitely something up with him.


Andrew has three kids, Emma, Brinley, and Noah.Β 


Emma is a 6-year-old girl, with not much to say about her other than she loves unicorns, the color pink, and pretty much anything else a typical 6 year old would like.


Β She also has a way of being super persuasive by simply looking up at her parents (and any other adult in fact) and smiling her missing-tooth smile to get whatever she wants or get away with anything.Β 


She has extra long blonde hair and dark blue eyes, paired with whatever wild outfit she chooses to dress in that day.


Noah is a 16-year-old boy with a love for skateboarding and surfing.


Β He will be outside from dawn to dusk, just skating up and down the street if you would let him.Β 


We live only a mile away from the nearest beach, so on most weekends Noah will skate to the ocean with his closest friends and hang there for a few hours before riding back to our house, completely covered in sand.Β 


Brinley is 14, the closest out of all of Andrews’s kids to my age.Β 


She has short brown hair cut into a simple pixie cut and can be found wearing the trendiest and up-to-date clothing, and is the most popular girl in ninth grade.Β 


She has a snarky, sassy, and arrogant attitude, but only around people her age. To any adult, she seems like a princess, to any kids she seems like a queen, but to any of us, she is a monster.Β 


When she found out her dad was dating my mom, she told the entire school that my mom used adult diapers, which is definitely not true.Β 


She refused to go to any of the dinners with my family, gossiped about them behind my back, and continued to make my life worse and worse.Β 


When she got told that our parents were engaged, she waited until I was walking home from school to bring out a pair of scissors and cut off all of my hair, the hair I had grown out for 7 years, saving to donate to the cancer center my dad was in, the one he was in before he passed away.Β 


When I told my mom and we confronted Brinley about it, she broke down bawling and said that the β€˜mean’ girl in school, Lilian, actually did it and she β€˜tried to save me but it was too late’. My mom believed her, and instead of feeling sorry for me, felt bad for her.Β Β 


Luckily, she didn’t do anything when she found out our parents were getting married because she was away on a vacation with her mom, which she only sees a few times a year, and when she got back it was almost time for the wedding.


The wedding was fine also, but it was super weird to see my mom kissing, and being so happy, with someone that wasn’t my dad. Brinley and I were bridesmaids, along with Julia, Cristina, and Lou, my mom’s best friends, Reagan and Angela, Andrew’s two sisters, and Colette and Ariya, my mom’s closest cousins.Β 


Emma and Darcy, my 7-year-old sister, were flower girls. They were adorable walking down the aisle in matching fluffy white dresses and their hair piled up in little buns on top of their heads.Β 


Rylan, my 17-year-old brother, and Noah were part of Andrew’s groomsman. They wore long black tuxedos and their hair slicked over to the side, the proper groomsman attire according to my mom.


The wedding was huge, there were tons of people watching my mom and new stepfather getting married. It was so crowded and felt like hundreds of people were staring at me as I walked down the aisle in front of my mom. I wonder what my mom felt like, as she was the star of the show that day.Β 


β€œJade! Hurry up sweetheart, we’re just getting ready to do the Thanksgiving prayer!” My mom calls from downstairs, snapping me out of my daydream.


β€œAnd don’t forget to wear the dress my mother made for you,” Andrew shouts after her, his hoarse voice hurting my sensitive ears.


I wince, not just from his voice but from the thought of the hideous dress.


For my birthday, which was only a month ago, Andrew's parents gave me a dress, a homemade one. It is made of cloth and yarn, alternating red, pink and purple. It is tightly fitted around the upper part but flairs out into a poofy skirt around and past my hips.


There is a reason that it has been stashed in my closet for the entire time I’ve owned it, it looks absolutely revolting on me. It is bunched up in certain places and ultra-tight in others, it simply does not fit me. Yet, I am forced to wear it to dinner the makers of the dress aren't even attending.Β 


It doesn't make any sense, yet I shove it over my head in order to keep my mom from yelling at me. I look into the mirror and sigh, for the tenth time today.Β 


It looks as bad as I imagine it, wrinkly, clumpy, and horrible.Β 


β€œJade! Hurry up,” My mother yells from the dining room, β€œAndrew is about to say the prayer!”


β€œI’m coming,” I reply grudgingly, walking out of my room and down the long unfamiliar hallway of the new house.Β 


After my mom married Andrew, we all moved into his house, located a few miles away from my house, or my old house now.Β 


I begged my mom to not make us move but she claimed that our house was too small for 4 extra people. I guess that's true, our previous house was a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom place. Each of us kids got our own room while my mom took the pull out couch in the living room.Β 


Andrew’s house or I guess my house now, is a 6 bedroom, 3 bathroom house, with a huge backyard. Other than Emma and Darcy, who wanted to share, we all got our own rooms, which I am definitely thankful for. Sharing a room with Brinley? That would be a complete nightmare.


Even though I have been in the house for a few weeks now, it still doesn't feel like home.Β 


As I walk down the unfamiliar curving stairs and into the large dining room, I smell a strong whiff of pumpkin pie.


Pumpkin pie was my dad’s favorite Thanksgiving food. He loved the rich spices, crispy crust and the overall delicious pumpkin taste of the desert. He always made a homemade pie and added special ingredients that nobody knew about, he called it his secret recipe. He claimed he would never share it with anybody and take it to his deathbed. I didn't know it would be so soon that he would be laying there.


I choke down a tear and continue my way over to the dining room table.


Everybody is sitting there, talking loudly with one another and staring hungrily at the feast laid out in front of them. I silently slip into the only empty spot, in between Emma and Rylan, and start to unfold the napkin and carefully set it on my lap.


β€œAlright everybody,” Andrew booms over the noisy chatter in the room, β€œLet’s pray before we eat this amazing feast!”


We all grab our glasses, champagne for the adults, and water for the kids, and hold them up towards the middle of the table.


As the noise settles down Andrew clears his throat and begins, β€œDear Lord, thank you for this amazing feast in front of us. Thank you for blessing me with my beautiful new wife” - he opens his eyes and looks over at mom, smiling broadly - β€œand the amazing new family that comes with her. I wish that we can combine families well, which we seem to be doing great already, and hopefully continue to live the amazing life we are graced with. Thank you, Lord, for all you have given us, Amen.”


We all murmur an β€˜amen’ and start to dig into the food. I get my share of mashed potatoes, gravy, bread rolls, cranberry sauce, and my personal favorite, the turkey.Β 


We eat and talk for a while until each and every one of us is stuffed full, like the turkey that was devoured within minutes of being brought onto the table.Β 


β€œOkay, guys! It's time for the annual binge-watching of the Simpsons!” Andrew declares, getting up from his seat and taking his plate over to the dishwasher.Β 


β€œAnnual binge-watching of the Simpsons?” I repeat after him, confused.Β 


The tradition for my family is to eat dinner and then head over to the local apple orchard and pick apples for pies. We would stay out there way past dark, picking apples, laughing, and having the time of our lives.Β 


β€œYes!” He replies, looking back at me, β€œThat is the annual tradition in this household. Didn't your mother tell you?”


β€œNo,” I respond looking at my mom who was purposefully looking away from me, β€œWe always go apple picking, that’s our tradition.”


β€œWell, I don’t like apples.”


Well, not everything is about you, I hold back my tongue in order to not shout back.Β 


β€œWell, I-”


β€œPlus,” he interrupts me, β€œit’s our family tradition.”


The anger bubbles up inside of me, I feel it boiling over, over like an active volcano. A volcano about to erup-


β€œNo, it’s not!” I yell at him with full rage, β€œOur family tradition is to go apple picking. We have done that for 10 years and are not stopping now. I am so sick and tired of you intruding-”


β€œJade Marissa Lemington,” My mom yells, even louder than I did. Her face is a fire hydrant, bright red. And her eyes are no different, blazing into mine, anger fully showing, β€œYou are being so disrespectful to Andrew who has done nothing but being kind and caring to you. This is not okay behavior.”


I look around the room and see every single person with their heads looking down at their plates, either that or up at us, and their faces flushed as well.Β 


I look over at Andrew, he’s looking down as well. He was embarrassed at my outburst, and Moms.


β€œGo up to your room right now.” She says, her eyes still blazing.Β 


β€œFine, it’s not like I wanted to be with you anyways,” I spat, turning and running upstairs.Β 


I try to get to my room before my eyes burst but I’m not so lucky. Halfway up the stairs, the waterworks turn on and I am bawling before I even reach my room.


This is so unfair, I think, I didn't do anything wrong. He started it all, it's all his fault, if he went along with our family tradition then we would be fine.Β 


But then the good side, the more logical side of my brain starts thinking, Well it kinda was my fault. I did get mad at him instead of just calmly asking. And if we combine families we have to combine traditions, take some and leave some.Β 


I sit there for a few minutes, too embarrassed to go downstairs, before finally grabbing a blanket from one of the boxes and lying down on the lumpy mattress.


Within minutes I’m dead asleep.


******


A few hours later I hear a small knock on the door. I ignore it, turning over on the bed and trying to go back to sleep. But the sound doesn’t go away, instead, it grows louder.Β 


β€œCan I come in?


It’s Andrew. As much as I don’t want him to come in… well it is his house.


β€œI guess,” I reply propping myself up on the bed.


He walks in slowly, as if he is not wanted, which I guess is kind of true, and makes his way over to one of the larger cardboard boxes. He carefully sits down and turns to look at me, with a hint of guilt, sorrow, and anger in his eyes.Β 


β€œHi.”


Hi? He came all the way up here to say one word?


β€œHello?” I respond, a questioning touch in my voice.Β 


He takes a deep breath, β€œI just wanted to say I’m sorry, I should’ve checked with all of you, not just your mother, to see if it was okay changing your traditions. I know it is hard,” - he stops for a moment, looking at the ground before taking another deep breath and continuing - β€œMy parents got divorced when I was around your age, they only had one kid, me, and I had no other siblings until my mom married another person, then bam! I went from being an only child to being the second oldest of six. It sure was hard, getting used to all their family traditions and trying to fit in, but I did it and now I love them all like they’re my own blood siblings. I had to learn to let some things go, the ones that really didn't matter, and stand by the ones that did”


He looks at me, β€œAnd I think that is something you need to learn as well. Something all the kids here need to learn.”


I nod and look down at the faded blanket on my lap, my cheeks and ears both red.


β€œBut it's okay,” he says softly, β€œI know it's hard,” - he sits there for a minute before beginning once again - β€œespecially since you lost your dad so soon.”


I look up at him and smile, maybe he won't be so bad. Maybe I will learn to like him, β€œThank you Andrew. Thank you for giving me another chance.”


β€œOf course. I know I won’t be like your re-”


β€œMy real dad?” I say, β€œI know, and thank you for not trying to replace him.”


β€œWell actually-” He starts, taking a deep breath.Β 


He reaches up to his head, probably going to scratch it but instead rips his hair off to reveal a longer cut.


I gasp.


He extends his hand over to his pocket and pulls out a pair of wire-rimmed glasses and sets them on his face.Β 


I know those glasses and haircut. Suddenly everything slides into place, like a puzzle, I begin to understand.


He turns and looks at me, β€œI am your real father.”

November 27, 2020 19:45

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179 comments

Hi! As usual a few things… 1. So… after I wrote the story I realized that Thanksgiving is an America-only holiday (I think). So, sorry if some people don't understand, it is basically a day where we have a feast (with family) and give thanks for the things we are grateful for. 2. Hehe, was the plot twist good? I tried to give a few hints but I don't know if it was that predictable. 3. I had a super clear vision for where I wanted this story to go… and then I tried to write it out and it did NOT turn out like I had originally planned...

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Hello, Blair! 1. Yeah, I looked it up and it's only for the U.S.A. and Canada. 2. It was so good! I don't think it was predictable, which is good in my book. 3. Hey, as long as you like the end product, that's all that matters. And it was still great! 4. You should definitely make a sequel! I loved this one! 5. Well, I think that the only critique I have is to watch your grammar. It's a struggle that all writers have, but practice makes progress! 6. I think (if you can still change it) that a more fitting title would be Forgiving, No...

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1. Okay, thanks for looking it up! 2. Thanks! I'm glad the ending wasn't too prediciable. 3. Thank you! I do like it. 4. Okay, hopefully, it will come out in a few weeks. 5. Okay, do you have any specific spots you can point out? So I can change them? 6. Hmm, that is a good one! I will check and see it I can change it. Thanks again! :)

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1. No problem! 2. You're welcome! 3. My pleasure! 4. Yay! 5. "He is a middle-aged man with a semi-large bald and a tall body, Six-foot three to be exact." I believe that it would be "He is a middle-aged man with a semi-large bald head and a tall body, six-foot-three to be exact." Also, "He’s probably embarrassed at my outburst, and moms." = "He was embarrassed at my outburst, and Mom's." I hope that helped! 6. Thanks! It's my pleasure! :)

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5. Okay thank you! I will go change those things.

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5. No problem!

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17:53 Jun 15, 2021

Hahaha us canadians also have thanksgiving thank you very much! We just celebrate in October instead of November.

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I'm pretty good, I'm thinking of getting a new story out this week, but I'm not sure what it would be about, can you help me?

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Sure, what genera are you thinking?

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Romance and maybe some adventure as well!

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Or maybe a sequel to my spy story!

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Great story, the twist was so unexpected! Now that I look back I can kinda see how you hinted at it but definitely not when I read the story. Also, I would love a part 2. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

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Thank you! Yep, I tried to hint it a bit but I don't know how well it turned out. I hope you had a great thanksgiving too!

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Wow...I loved the plot twist! I kind of figured your hints that you gave a bit later, but it was amazing! Thank you so much for telling me about you awesome story, because I am so glad I read it! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well! Also, have a great Black Friday! =)

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Thank you! Okay, I am glad the hints weren't too obvious but still sorta there. Of course! Thank you for checking it out. Thanks! I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving and have an amazing Black Friday!

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Hi Blair!!!!!!!!!! This was posted a pretty long time ago but since I didn't read it before, I wanted to say this is a GORGEOUS story!!! The plot twist was the best, and I suspect the morale of the story is "adapt to change", I don't know. I think many young kids and teenagers can relate to the story, maybe not the plot twist but divorce, remarriage, death of a parent and basically adapting to a different environment. My parents aren't divorced so I can't fully measure my understanding with most teens, kids and a few adults, but I can defini...

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Magdalene Lam
00:25 Dec 03, 2020

So the mom remarried her own husband? I don't really understand. Can you please explain a little?

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Sure! It is kinda confusing, so her mom remarried this guy named Andrew after her previous husband (Jade's real dad) died from cancer. I can't give too much away (because I am going to explain it all in the sequel) but Jade's dad doesn't actually die from cancer and he escapes, turning himself into a 'new person' and remarrying Jade's mom. Why? Well you will just have to wait for the sequel :) I hope this helps! It was quite a confusing writing.

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Akshaya Sutrave
07:44 Nov 28, 2020

Hi Blair! Wow, I did not expect that twist in the end, but I loved it! I didn't spot the hints at first, but when I went back, I definitely got them. And yes, a sequel would be fantastic! Great job! I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

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Thank you so much! I am glad the twist was unexpected, honestly I just randomly thought of it halfway through the story and tried to incorporate it! I am glad it worked Thanks! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving also!

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Akshaya Sutrave
03:51 Nov 29, 2020

It really was well-written! I don't celebrate Thanksgiving but thanks! :)

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Oh, I’m sorry! I hope you have a good whatever-holidays-you-celebrate! :)

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Akshaya Sutrave
02:27 Nov 30, 2020

Thank you! :) And Merry Christmas in advance!

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23:14 Nov 27, 2020

This is an amazing story! Loved the plot twist!

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Hi Blair, do check out my latest stories and tell me what u think!

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A. S.
19:42 Nov 30, 2020

This was such a great story. I liked how you went through and described each of the new siblings how she sees them. I wish you would’ve developed her character a little bit more, but it was still great Would you be up for an upvoting spree? I will upvote you if you will me. (Haha didn’t even mean for that to rhyme)

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Thank you! In the sequel, I will definitely try to show her and her life better. :) Sure! How many would you like to do? (Haha, it's okay. I randomly rhyme sometimes also)

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A. S.
22:28 Nov 30, 2020

Hmmm... I don’t really know! However many you feel like?

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I don't really care. :) I am good with whatever. Would you like to do 25? 50? 100?

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A. S.
23:08 Nov 30, 2020

50 sounds good :)

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A. S.
23:14 Nov 30, 2020

Ok. I just did yours!

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18:43 Nov 29, 2020

Oh wow!! I sooo did not expect that twist! Loved the character descriptions! Is there going to be a sequel? Because I'm brimming with questions! Like, why did he lie? Did he live a double life? And mannyyy more. Once I read your comments, I realized that yes, you did give a few hints, but I didn't connect the dots as I thought it might have just been a memory, and her mind conjured those smells when she was feeling nostalgic. P.S. You had mentioned that Andrew has four kids. I think you made a typo there.

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Hehe, thanks! Thank you! There is probably going to be a sequel, and you will just have to wait for that to get an answer to all those questions *evil laugh* Yeah, I tried to give a little super stuble hints but I don't think they showed very well. Ahh, okay, Thank you for catching that mistake! I just changed it :)

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13:44 Nov 30, 2020

Ooh! Can't wait to read your next story, then! Please let me know once you've posted it! :D That just adds more to the surprise factor, so great job with the slight hints though! You are welcome! :)

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Okay! I will :) Yep, Thanks!

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07:27 Dec 07, 2020

:D

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Great job Blair!!! I would have been surprised if I didn't scroll all the way down and read the ending by accidentπŸ˜₯ but yes it was reallyyy nice how you wrote this! It was really intriguing how you added little details into it to build up the story! I really just enjoyed it! It was beautiful but I could also feel the frustration in the character! Now if some girl cut my hairrrr we would have to fight.πŸ˜‚ No seriously. But I like how you made her keep her composure and you know tell her mother. It was a really nice story! I would looovvvvve...

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Thank you so muchhh!! I’m glad you liked it and the story came together nicely! Lol, it’s okay. I do it sometimes as well (especially in real books when I HAVE to know what happens) Haha, I know right. I would either do that or grab my phone and take a picture for evidence, then go report them. Thank youuu! It wasn’t very realistic (with her mom comforting Brinley instead of her but I wanted to show how much of an angel she seems like to adults) Weeeeeeell... you will just have to find out how/why/who knew in the sequaaaal! Tha...

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Of course! AHhh tell me when it comes ouuutt!

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Oh, right I put out a new story, if you have time can you check it out?

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Sure! I will check it out in a few minutes.

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Avery G.
19:50 Nov 28, 2020

Whoa, this was good!!! I really did like the plot twist; it was really good!! Yes, please make a sequel!!! I have one critique, however, but I always mess up on it too. I learned it from my English teacher, lol. It's when you put two different sentences together with a comma, and it's called a comma splice. For example, the very first sentence: I gaze around the room and sigh, it’s full of old cardboard boxes, both big and little, that seem to make the tiny room even smaller. When you say, "I gaze around the room and sigh, it's full of...

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Thank you so much! I will hopefully have a sequel out soon(ish)! Thanks for catching that! Oh, okay. I understand now, that does make sense and make the sentence sound better. I will go change that now! Thanks again (Nope! You are good! You said to nicely :)

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Avery G.
05:33 Nov 30, 2020

Yay, cool! No problem!! I had so many problems with that, until my English teacher pointed it out. You're welcome!!! Aww, thanks!

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:) Yeah, I understand lol. Of course! :)

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Hieeeeeee 1. WONDERFUL TWISTTTTT Lovely plot, amazing storyline, and the story flowed! As always, wonderfullll Suggestions My real dad Surprise? New traditions Knowing you

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Hiii! Thank you so much!! Are those suggestions for a new title? Those are good, I like New traditions and Knowing you the best :)

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Ooh! Okay, I might change that to them soon.

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Good job! The twist was very unexpected!

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Hi Blair, loved it so much, I was still shocked by the ending in a good way:) Super nice! Only one correction. "Andrew has four kids, Emma, Brinley, and Noah. " I think you meant three kids? Yes, I would love a sequel! Great work again!

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Thank you! Thanks for catching that mistake! I will go change it right now. Okay! I will work on that and have it out hopefully soon. Thanks again :)

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. . .
21:26 Nov 27, 2020

This is fantastic! Jade seems like a very sweet and lonely girl, who you portrayed quite nicely. The twist at the end was also very unpredicted and a shock.

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Lulu Lemon
21:17 Nov 27, 2020

Nice job!!! I really like this story, even though it didn't have a big plot ( Other than the twist ). I really like the characters and how you described them so nicely. One thing, maybe next time more of an adventure plot? I love this kind of stuff but I would also enjoy more of that.

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Thank you! I agree, I have been writing a lot of adventure-less stories and I definitely want to write some more with some adventure.

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Lulu Lemon
01:15 Nov 28, 2020

No problem. Are you writing another story?

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Lulu Lemon
01:19 Nov 28, 2020

Oh okay. If you did what would it be about.

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Maybe a new story or a sequel for one of my older ones.

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17:54 Jun 15, 2021

Oooooo you read KOTLC? That's like my most favourite book series of all time. Who your fav character? And who do you ship?

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