The week after Malcolm’s announcement went by very slowly. Milan assured me that I had done the right thing, and Alisha – even though I had told her far from the whole story – comforted me, convinced that I was jealous that he had a new woman. Nothing I told her convinced her otherwise.
On Lilliana’s birthday, only Milan could make it. Alisha had tried to take the day off but her boss hadn’t approved her request, so we had decided to hold another small get-together at the weekend, when she had some time off.
I spent all morning making the most perfect cake I could create with what little cooking knowledge I had, and was very surprised with the result. Proud, I looked down at the cake, thinking that all those years of having cooked for myself must have made me into a more capable cook than I was giving myself credit for.
When it was time, Milan and I went upstairs to Lilliana’s bassinet, who looked more than ready to grow up into a child. I couldn’t help but sniffle a little. Just where had those first few years with her gone? How was my baby growing up already?
Milan and I sang happy birthday, and watched as my baby was slowly engulfed in sparkles and in a bright light, and both of us gasped when a beautiful young lady stood before us. Her eye colour really had changed after all. She was the perfect mixture of me and Malcolm.
With Milan’s and Alisha’s help we redecorated her bedroom. Alisha, who still felt bad that she hadn’t been able to attend her birthday, bought her a huge doll house, which I insisted was too much but which she insisted was just right. In the end, I gave in. Alisha was her godmother after all.
And I couldn’t argue with the fact that Lilliana loved to play with it. She didn’t love me watching her play, though, so I often left her to herself while I went into my office to write my book. Now that my baby was old enough to look after herself to some extent, I had begun to write my most important book to date. It was the story of me, in another universe, where I had died only to be brought back in this one for some grand purpose. The book was officially going to be a work of complete fiction, all names and resemblances made up and coincidental, but I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders every time I wrote on it, and I seemed to remember a little more each time, too.
Lilliana and I were close. Despite my having to work a lot, and her starting school, we made sure to spend a lot of time together whenever possible. I helped her with her homework, and best of all, she loved being read to and adored the early children’s books I had written.
She had grown into a beautiful young girl, and I found myself dreading her teenage years already. It wasn’t going to be long before the boys started queuing outside our house, and I was in no rush to get to that point.
My daughter developed a lot of hobbies very quickly. She loved PE, and when she asked me to buy her monkey bars I was happy to oblige. It was good to be active at any age, so how could I say no? If my daughter fancied a healthy lifestyle than I could hardly forbid her that! She spent a lot of time on that thing, so I wasn’t exactly wasting money, either.
I wasn’t too happy with her interest in boys. She spent more time than I liked chatting to them on the computer, and when I restricted her computer rights to one hour a day (I did need it myself after all) she’d just talk to them on our phone instead. I knew they were all boys from her class, some of them I had met, but I was worried that my baby was growing up too quickly.
And yet, most evenings, we’d watch TV together. I didn’t mind that they were all kid’s programs, I loved spending time with her and knowing that my little girl was still interested in her mummy, despite all her other interests. Us watching cartoons together reminded me that she was definitely too young for boys, and that she had no interest in them in that way. It also threw me back to when I had been her age, when me and my sister had watched some of the same cartoons, and I marvelled at how some of them were still around after all this time. Even if they were all repeats.
My boss had agreed to change my working hours to match Lilliana’s school schedule. I wasn’t advancing quite as quickly any more, but I wasn’t far off my final promotion and knew that very soon Lilliana would take over the reigns from me.
Note: Morrigan is lvl9 in her writing skill now, and only needs to get to lvl 10 to advance to the final lvl of her lifetime achievement goals. In her career she’s lvl8 but will get promoted next time she goes to work. So far her career (author branch) hasn’t been too tough in terms of promotions. She usually just needs a good mood and to have earned a certain amount of money from books, which is very easy to reach due to the amount being low (it says 0 at first but once it’s ticked it’ll say something around 2500 and she earns over 3000 (or 5000?) a day now, so it’s easy enough) It’s very nearly time to move on to Lilliana!!!