Chapter 63 – Reconnecting

03-09-18_8-53-55 PM.pngEven though Ben had teased Sofia with the offer of some really good Tiramisu, they had already promised their friends they would meet at the Tavern after dinner.  Ben hugged Cole, said goodbye to Leroy and Kaitlin and the couple left the park to join their friends.

03-09-18_7-11-03 PM.pngThey arrived at the Tavern and joined the party already in progress. “We ordered a round for you,” called out Nick when he saw Ben heading for the bar. “Red wine, right?”

Ben nodded his affirmation. He gave Sofia’s hand a little squeeze for reassurance before they sat down. As soon as they were seated, Nick proposed a toast. “To my sister. Congratulations for making this former dick-hay-ud my soon to be brother-in-law!”

Everyone including Sofia laughed and clinked their glasses.

03-09-18_8-27-39 PM.pngBen shot a look at Emma. She gave him a warm smile, tears shimmering in her eyes. The two of them had a special bond. He could tell she was truly happy for him. They would be lifelong friends.

03-09-18_8-30-36 PM.pngNick bent over to a Ben. “You did notice I said former. Seriously dude, you have come a long way since you proclaimed you were going to buy a fishing boat and pick up chicks.” Nick looked over at Sofia and grimaced. “Sorry sis.”

03-09-18_8-32-49 PM.pngRachael chimed in, “Yes Ben. I almost like you now!”

03-09-18_8-39-29 PM.pngBen rolled his eyes, used to being the butt of everyone’s jokes. But Sofia didn’t appreciate it. She glared at her brother. “Nick, none of us are perfect. Even you. Ben wouldn’t say why, but I think I know the reason he started a grow room. A certain broke-ass college freshman needed a cheap source of weed.”

03-09-18_8-27-12 PM.pngOh shit, thought Ben. He was touched because she was defending him, but he didn’t want an all out war.  Ben put his hand on Sofia’s arm. “Pia,” he said gently, “It’s not his fault sweetheart. It’s on me – and it’s over. So let’s drop it and have a good time, okay?”

03-09-18_7-42-24 PM.pngRachael looked mortified and tried to help Ben diffuse the sister/brother argument. Probably because part of it was her fault. “Honey, let me see that ring,” she said to Sofia, then looked pointedly at Nick, “I wouldn’t know what one looks like.”

Sofia bit her bottom lip and giggled. Ben mouthed ‘thank you’ to Rachael as Sofia held her hand out to show her the engagement ring.

Nick, however, looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him whole. First Sofia and now Rachael we’re firing darts at him. Ben felt sorry for him, kinda. 

03-09-18_8-15-19 PM.pngPaybacks are hell, thought Ben unable to resist stirring the pot since he was no longer the target. “Nick, when are you and Rachael getting married?” he asked his friend.

Rachael cocked an eyebrow at Nick.  Nick looked up at Ben smirking. “Touché Ben,” he said, his tone mocking, “I apologize for making jokes at your expense. Here I am, still in school and you are already starting your life. You have a cute as hell kid, a great job and a gorgeous fiancé. Have you two set a date?”

03-09-18_8-00-49 PM.pngSofia’s frown had slowly turned ­into a smirk at her brother’s sarcastic speech. “Actually we did talk about it,” she said to Nick. “I think I only need about 6 months to get everything together. Mom is not going to let us do this small. You know how she is Nick.”

Emma spoke up. “Oh, I love weddings!”

03-09-18_8-05-54 PM.png“Emmaaaa,” gushed Sofia, “I would looove for you to be a bridesmaid.” Then she turned to Rachael, “And Rachael, would you be my maid of honor?”

“Oh yes, of course,” said both Rachael and Emma simultaneously.

Ben looked over at Casey, who hadn’t said a word all night as per usual. “Casey, sorry dude,” he said apologetically, “I have to ask my brother Reese to be a groomsman and I’ve already asked Nick to be my best man. If Reese tells me to take a flying leap, would you mind being a backup?”

“Well, hell,” deadpanned Casey, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride. Shit, not even a bridesmaid, a fucking backup bridesmaid.”

03-09-18_8-17-06 PMThe entire table started laughing, all of the earlier tension gone. Nick finally recovered enough to talk. “Just for that dumbass remark Casey, you get to host the bachelor party!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

03-11-18_8-17-32 PM.pngThree weeks later, Ben, Sofia and Cole made the trip to Twinbrook to meet with Sofia’s parents. Ben hadn’t been back in Twinbrook since he left for college more three years ago. Everything seemed so old compared to Willow Creek with all of the new construction.  Willow Creek, once a sleepy little town had become a prime suburb of San Myshuno and was growing like wildfire, hence the Newcrest development.

03-12-18_9-33-01 PM.pngWhen they entered the Hamlin’s home, both Ben and Sofia were engulfed in hugs from her parents. Ben was shocked at the age difference of Sofia’s parents and his. Sofia and Nick were late in life children, so her parents were already in their 60’s while his were in their 40’s.

03-12-18_9-48-07 PM.pngCole was clinging to Ben until Sofia’s mother gave him a toy to play with. “Ben, he’s adorable. Sofia told me about the dedication to his mother. That’s so touching.”

Ben smiled at Sofia. “It was Sofia’s idea. I’m very lucky to have her.”

03-12-18_9-55-58 PM.png“Let’s have a seat and catch up,” said Mr. Hamlin, “I know you must be tired from the long drive.”

03-12-18_10-20-38 PM“Well, I am glad you two found your way to each other,” said Mrs. Hamlin once they were settled. Ben could swear she was glowing. “When you two were in school, I always hoped you would wind up together. When Nick told me you had gotten married and had a baby, why, I was afraid she might wind up with Jesse. Oh…I’m so sorry Ben. I didn’t mean…”

03-12-18_10-23-19 PM.png“That’s okay,” said Ben to save her from further embarrassment.

She took that as her queue to continue her Jesse rant. “Anyway, I am so happy you two are together.  That Jesse, I never trusted him.”

03-12-18_10-24-16 PM.pngSofia’s father spoke up interrupting her. “Victoria!”

“Edmund, it’s true. He was too ‘nice’, if you know what I mean – a real Eddie Haskell.

03-12-18_10-35-18 PM.pngBen needed to change the subject. “Pia, show your mother your ring.”

She gave him a grateful look. “Mom, look. Isn’t it beautiful.”

“Oh, it is! Good job Ben. How long are you going to be here? I thought we could go dress shopping and start planning the wedding.  I’m so excited.”

“Right now?” asked Sofia giving Ben an apologetic look.

03-12-18_10-18-44 PM.png“No time like the present sweetie. So, yes. If you are getting married in 5 months we need to find a dress now, so they can alter it. And we can pick out your bridesmaid dresses while we are there. And check on photographers, flowers, food – oh and a cake and invitations. And the venue.  I know the perfect place. There is just SOOO much to be done. Oh, Sofia, let me show you what I found in one of the magazines.  I have it in the kitchen.”

Ben’s head was spinning listening to Sofia’s mother go on about the wedding. When he and Grace got married, he just put on tie and showed up. He didn’t even have to buy rings.

03-12-18_10-19-08 PM.pngWhen Sofia and her mother got up and walked into the other room, it was as if he had ceased to exist.  Mr. Hamlin noticed Ben’s panicked look and laughed.  “Well, it looks like this little affair is gonna cost me a pretty penny.  At least all I have to do is pay for it and we just show up!”

03-12-18_10-43-43 PMBen felt awful.  “Oh no, we can pay….”

03-12-18_10-47-22 PM.pngEdmund shook his head. “No son. It’s my little girl.” His voice was thick as he continued. “Her mother has dreamed of this day since the day she was born. I am doing this – for  Victoria – as much as I am for Sofia.”

03-12-18_10-46-03 PM.pngHe paused and and swallowed hard. Then he gave Ben a conspiratorial look, “Little secret.  When Sofia asks you for your opinion on something, and she will, you can give it. But when she disagrees, and she will, and says ‘Well, I kinda thought this might be better’ agree with her. And you better damn well make sure she believes you like it so much better than your idea.  Son, you have zero say in what happens in the next 5 months. Trust me. But she will ask and there is no right answer.”  Then he laughed a deep belly laugh.

Ben looked at his future father-in-law like he was crazy.  “But…”

“Trust me,” he repeated and then called out to his wife and daughter, “Go ahead you two. Have fun. Us boys will be fine.”

03-12-18_10-52-46 PMSofia ran in and kissed Ben on the cheek.  “Thanks Ben,” she said and turned to her father. She kissed him as well, “Bye Daddy.”

Mr. Hamlin looked at Ben. “And so it begins,” he said.

Ben laughed this time. He could tell Sofia was in a whole other world with her mother. “Your wedding was like this?” he asked.

“Oh yes. I had to learn the hard way. But once I figured it out, it was whole lot easier.”

03-12-18_10-56-48 PM.pngBen picked up Cole. “Thanks so much for the advice. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go visit my brother. I haven’t seen him in a while. I won’t be gone too long. I can bring back take out for lunch if you like. My treat. I think I owe you big time.”

“Sure son. You know, your brother is a hard worker, just like you. I’m proud the Murdock’s and the Hamlin’s will be related. Reese’s little girl is about the same age as Cole isn’t she?”

“Yes, they are only about a year apart. I feel terrible I haven’t met her yet.”

“Well, you best get going then!”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

03-13-18_8-19-31 PM“Ben?!” said Brooke when she answered the door, “Oh! And this must be Cole. He is so big!  Please come in. Reese will be here any minute. He ran to the store to pick up a six pack since you were coming.”

03-13-18_8-30-35 PM“Ben?” said a deep voice behind him that sounded just like his father.  Ben turned around and sure enough it was his older brother. He was surprised at how much Reese had changed since he had last seen him. But then, so had Brooke.  They looked like responsible adults. They had gone through a lot. It was a miracle they were still together and had even added another child to their family. He fleetingly wondered if he had also changed, looked older maybe.

Reese sat down his grocery bag and walked over to Ben. “It’s really you.”

03-13-18_8-36-23 PM.png“Yeah. About damn time huh?” replied Ben.

03-13-18_8-43-35 PM.png“Daddy!” squealed a mini Brooke running towards Reese. She stopped in her tracks when she saw Cole. “Who’s that? Can he play?”

03-13-18_8-50-42 PMReese picked up Robyn, his 4-year-old daughter, and introduced the cousins. Then they walked inside to let the kids play and talk.

03-13-18_9-21-35 PM.png“Beer?” offered Reese once they were seated.

“No thanks. I’m driving, you go ahead.”

03-13-18_9-32-16 PM.pngReese opened a beer and took a long drink. “So how have you been? I understand you and Sofia Hamlin are getting married. Damn. I remember your graduation party.” Reese chuckled before continuing. “She rode back with me and Brooke. She didn’t say a word all the way home. And now…look at her. Who would have ever dreamed.”

“Mom tell you?”

“Oh yes. Mom and Sofia’s Dad. I work for him. You knew that, right? As for Mom, I have to talk to her once a week or I’m in trouble,” said Reese with a laugh.

03-13-18_9-34-11 PM.pngBen chuckled, “Yes, Mom’s a little crazy.  I get to see her nearly every day so I feel your pain. She can be a bit…much….”  Ben thought about how much she had done for him lately and amended his statement. “But she always means well and sometimes, she really does have good ideas.”

03-13-18_10-16-11 PM.png“Mom always tries too hard. I’m glad she has the girls to keep her busy and Leroy to help her manage it all.”

Ben was thankful Reese had no idea what happened with Sofia and Jesse. “Yes, she has her hands full.  I just left the Hamlin’s. I really like Sofia’s dad. He said good things about you too. When Sofia and her mother took off on a shopping spree for the wedding, Mr. Hamlin just laughed it off. He’s totally prepared to spend a fortune on this wedding.  And…” Ben sighed…

03-13-18_10-11-59 PM.png“Speaking of my wedding …. I sorta asked Nick to be my best man. I’m sorry I….”

03-13-18_10-19-41 PM.pngReese held up his hand. “Ben stop. We haven’t been close for a long time. I am sure you and Nick are more like brothers than we are.”

“I’m sorry Reese. You tried to tell me about Dad. I just didn’t want to hear it. And frankly, I was jealous.” Ben grimaced and glanced at Brooke. “Sorry Brooke,” he said before readdressing his brother. “I was jealous of Brooke and your kids. They took you away from me.”

“I’m sorry too Ben.”

03-13-18_10-32-11 PM.png“Why?” asked Ben confused. As far as he was concerned, Reese had done nothing to be sorry about. He knew exactly how hard raising a baby could be. He was the selfish one.

“Because I just got mad and didn’t try,” said Reese, the sadness evident in his voice, “I should have helped you more.”

“You know what Reese,” replied Ben, “let’s just forget it. I am over it. It was an awful time in our lives. And it’s over. I’m getting a new beginning with Sofia. I don’t want to relive the past anymore. It seems like that’s all I’ve done for the last couple of years.”

03-13-18_10-06-36 PM.pngReese suddenly got serious. “You had therapy? Mom didn’t tell me.”

Ben laughed him off. “No. Feels like it though. But finally, things are good.  Really, really good. So Reese, even though you aren’t my best man, will you mind being a groomsman for me?”

03-13-18_9-46-56 PM.pngReese looked at him and swallowed hard. When he spoke his voice was thick with emotion. “Sure Ben. I’d be honored.”

Ben was so relieved. He didn’t realize how much it meant to him that Reese would say yes. He looked at Brooke, and she was smiling too. “Thanks man,” he said, “We should try to get together more. Get to know each other all over again. Since Sofia’s parents live here, I am sure we will probably be down more. Hell, Dad and Uncle Reid are here too.” He knew he was rambling.

03-13-18_10-23-10 PM.png“That would be nice Ben,” said Brooke.

03-13-18_10-18-47 PM.png“Yes, we should get to Willow Creek too,” said Reese, “I mean, Mom, Leroy and the girls are there and now you too. You’re right, we have a lot of catching up to do.”

Ben stood up. “We do. But right now, I need to go pick up Sofia. We have a long drive back. Thanks Reese, Brooke.”

Brooke hugged him then went to fetch the toddlers from the playroom.

03-13-18_10-34-05 PMReese hugged him too. “I’m glad you came by. Thanks. You didn’t deserve all the shit that happened to you.”

Ben tensed up. “You mean Grace?”

03-13-18_10-34-58 PM“Grace and Dad. Why? Is there more?”

He breathed a sigh of relief. “One day, we should talk over a beer – or ten. But for now, thank you for understanding. Oh, I almost forgot, we need a flower girl and Sofia suggested Robyn. Do you think she will be okay to do it?”

“Sure,” said Brooke answering for her husband. She laughed and said, “Look at them…they will be so cute.”

03-13-18_10-39-22 PM.png

Go to Chapter 64>>>>>>>

Go Back to Chapter 62

40 thoughts on “Chapter 63 – Reconnecting

    • Things are winding down for this gen. They did get over those last couple of bumps fairly unscathed. I think at this point they are ready to take on anything together. Sofia trusts Ben completely and he is so much in love with her. Together they can get through anything. ❤️ A fairy tale I suppose. 😊 It’s so sweet. Be happy for them…because Cole’s generation is coming…. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Chapter 62 – The Dedication | New Beginnings

    • Thank you. Tying up a lot of loose ends. 🙂 The wedding is next chapter….I hope to have it finished for Saturday….it may not be Sat morning though. Headed out of town tomorrow through Friday so if I don’t finish today after work….and I was out of town Friday and Saturday. Weddings are cray cray! I have 36 sims on the lot where I control them….yikes… Nick was right, Ben has a big ass family plus a few friends!

      Like

    • I love Casey! He tries so hard. When Ben is around Nick he feels out of place. But he adores little miss Emma and she him so that’s good. They might just have a nooboo in an upcoming chapter! Best beer for sure, not sure about boobies…Emma may not approve and he will do whatever she says.

      And MIA brother. Reese reminded me a lot of their Dad in this chapter except he has his mom’s nose.

      And the toddlers ALWAYS steal the show! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 2 people

  2. WED-DING! WED-DING! WED-DING!

    I loved how Sofia gave it to Nick. He deserved it!

    And your male characters all have this Texas accent in my head. It’s weird. LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oops, my Texan is coming through in speech patterns no doubt! 😂
      And yes, Sofia was still mad at Nick a little and was standing up for her man. ❤️
      And the wedding is indeed coming if it doesn’t kill me first! 36 sims on a lot is a lot…lol.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I know. I wanted Rachael to be from the Northeast and of course it was easy to make Emma’s southern drawl more pronounced. After looking back through it I could totally see Casey having just as much of a drawl as Emma!

          Like

  3. I love that todd hug at the end! Sooo cute! ❤ I loved all of it, actually. Things are looking up and Ben just might get his happily ever after. I laughed at the Eddie Haskell remark. I called someone that just the other day and my kids were like, "Who? What?" LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha! Eddie Haskell 😂😂😂. Aging ourselves with that…that’s why I linked it. I felt like it was something an older person would say. And the todd hug…who doesn’t think that is adorable. ❤️ Seeing Reese again was great and the two of them have grown up so much. They are in similar places in their lives now and it’s time they reconciled. Ben needed to grow up first and he really has matured a lot. Ironically, the same thing happened to Reese but at a much earlier age. He was trying to pick up the slack and be a father to Ben and Maddie and wound up with his own babies….so he grew up too way too early while it took Ben a long time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I cracked up when I saw the Eddie Haskell thing linked but I understood exactly why you did. I think that was a good idea. LOL

        I enjoyed seeing Reese, too, and was really glad to see he and Ben getting along and making amends.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so happy that Ben life is finally coming together! ❤ And those toddlers at the end… could this chapter be any cuter? ❤ ❤
    I loved how Sofia stood up for her man! We remember your part in this, Nick! He had it coming, lol!
    Sofia's dad cracked me up! He must have really suffered during the preparations of his own wedding to give Ben an advice like that, lmao!
    I can't wait to see their wedding!! I'm sure it will be amazing (and Sofia a gorgeous bride)! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nick finally got what was coming to him! Sofia wasn’t letting anybody beat up on her man, especially her brother! Sofia’s Dad is so sweet! I am sure he must have suffered. His wife is a bit opinionated. Be prepared for picture overload of their wedding!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Another excellent Chapter, I was glad to see Reese, I missed him, It was also cool to meet Sophia’s parents. I didn’t realize that Willow Creek was suburb of San Myshuno in your world 😉 Love to see the different “towns/worlds” connect. I have said it once but I will say it again how bitter sweet this is. I think I mentioned how I feel connected to Ben in certain ways, and I will definitely miss him as the new new Generation begins. I do have a feeling though I will connect well with an adult Cole, especially if there is a a closeness between he and his father, which it looks to me there will be. I can’t see how there won’t be, not with this generation ending with union of a happy family. Although I have a feeling Cole will be a bit of trouble with ladies 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks once again! ❤️. Reese was outta sight outta mind sadly. Their rift went back to when Ben was only 11 or 12. Glad to see them both in similar places in their lives and attempting to reconcile. Reese felt bad too, but he has two babies and a new marriage to try to work through.

      I made Willow Creek a suburb and Newcrest a subdivision within Willow Creek. Twinbrook is 300 miles away. That is part of the reason for less contact.

      I am glad you could connect with Ben. He and Cole are very close. Maybe more so than a lot of fathers and sons due to unusual circumstances. So they will remain close as he grows up.

      Cole may well have some lady troubles. 😂😂😂

      Like

  6. I am LOVING this story! I am so happy for Ben and Sofia. They’ve both been through a lot, and deserve their happily ever after. I can’t help but think there’s going to be something else that pops up for them before their generation winds down. Cole is SO adorable and I am looking forward to see what shenanigans he gets into as he gets older! Looking forward to the next chapter! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and the kind words! ❤️ Not much trelling what else might happen! The next chapter was supposed to be Saturday byput it may not happen until Sunday. I am out of town and unable to finish it up by then.

      I a, very excited about Cole’s generation too! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes.. Reese sort of faded into the background. It was nice to se them come to terms with each other and begin to bond with each other again. And toddler love. Toddlers are soooo cute! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Awww I loved this one! Seeing all those loose ends (including Reese!) getting tied up before the big day is really satisfying! (But it totally hits home that we are almost at the end of Ben’s gen. Eek!) I especially loved seeing the old gang back together at the start ❤ I can't wait for the wedding!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I loved getting the gang back together! ❤ It was really satisfying to see him actually talking to Reese and offering an olive branch. Reese took it no questions asked. And sooo close to the end of Ben's gen! Wedding NEXT!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Chapter 64 – We’re Getting Married Today | New Beginnings

  9. Hooooyahhh! A wedding is coming! A wedding is coming! I’m so glad everything is working out for everyone! Including Ben that is finally talking and being social with his own family! he has come a long way…Hum…Reid and Newt at the wedding…?Gosh, for some reason, I don’t like that at all…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “Honey, let me see that ring,” she said to Sofia, then looked pointedly at Nick, “I wouldn’t know what one looks like.”
    Rachael is my hero ❤️

    Wow, the healthy closure just keeps on coming! Pulling zero punches, making errybody happy and grown up and blissful!

    /Trying really hard not to ship Cole with Robyn
    (I know, I know! Sorry 😭)

    Liked by 1 person

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