Chapter 14 to 'Life of a Half-Roc Child'
|The days go on normally as Mima and Bella spend quality time on their free times, Mima with her friends talking a lot in school, and Leila having good contact with Bella after school or by calling. The principal has informed Mima that her aunt and uncle is planning to do a road trip here and will probably arrive next Saturday.
Mima is catching up with her friends from missing last week's hangout and walked to Terry's house, which is conveniently both walking distance from the school and Bella's home. She'll be home in the evening. This created the perfect chance for Bella and Leila at 5 pm. At this time, Bella heard a car slowing down in front of her house and checked to see that it was Leila being driven here by her mother.
"Ahhh, so this is the sweet Bella I've been hearing about from Leila! It's very nice to meet you," Leila's mother exclaimed as she puts out a hand for Bella to shake.
"Nice to meet you too, Mrs...?"
"Ah, just call me Vanessa dear. I'm surprised Leila has a friend like you. What are you two going to do that you two enjoy?" Vanessa asked.
Bella paused to take in what she meant before saying, "We're really not that different, Mrs Vanessa. I'm just a year older than Leila here."
"You're only 18? My daughter never told me that! You are very mature for such an age. Leila here needs help every week about school stuff!" Vanessa giggled.
"Hey! It's not every day you see a girl that's known for being the coolest, joins and organizes school affairs, going to competitions and lecturing a grade up about how to behave at school!" Leila shouted out before pouting and going next to Bella.
"It's also not every day in this era do you see an 18-year-old living independently and managing to take care of herself while also managing to get higher than average income," Vanessa replied, making Leila pout even more. "Anyways. I also heard from Leila that you were the one that beat up my husband a few nights ago, and I say he deserved it. Gary's a good man, but curiosity takes the best of him sometimes," Vanessa chuckled. Then a beep sounded to see a car stopped behind Vanessa's and a second one approaching.
"Nothing against you, Mrs Vanessa, but I think you should be going now before you stop the traffic," Bella suggested.
"That'll be a good idea. Have fun girls!" Vanessa said as she drives out of sight.
"You're mother's a chatterbox, ya know?" Bella joked.
"Yeah, an annoying one at that," Leila said. They both chuckled before Bella invited Leila in.
"So, shall we?" Bella says as she opens the front door.
"Thank you," Leila said, but as soon as she walks past Bella, she gets poked in the back. "AAH! MEDIC!" They both laughed at that.
"Such a cool game, Team Fortress 2," Bella commented.
"But very simple indeed," Leila added. "So, what have you got in plan?"
"Well, I have a PS4, a smart TV, a farm, barn, and greenhouse for you to explore. But the first thing we're about to do is something I've only ever done with Mima. A special picnic in a very special spot."
"You do know how boring that sounds, right?"
"But you haven't experienced it. Now come on," Bella says as she grabbed the typical picnic basket and head out the door again with Leila following this time. She went to the spot and set up the picnic as she invites Leila to sit to the opposite.
"What's that special about this?" Leila asked.
"Look to the right, my right."
"What's ther—" Leila stopped as she saw the sun nearing the almost flat horizon, almost touching the surface. "It's beautiful.."
"One view is that, one view is my windmill going around, and the other two views are two natural habitats," Bella said as she pointed from the sunset, to the windmilll next to the crops and finally to the forest and river.
"This can be a tourist destination. Anyone would pay to be able to have a picnic here..." Leila said, lost in a trance. Bella left her like this for a few moments before pulling out a whole pizza. The smell took Leila's focus on the now almost setting sun and looked at the pizzas while rubbing her eyes.
"What's wrong—Oh, looking at the sun for 2 minutes! I'm sorry I didn't stop you from doing that!" Bella said.
"It's ok, it'll pass in a few minutes. I've never had a picnic with pizza before!"
When they were halfway eating, Leila asked Bella why she kept herself hidden like that. She has been expecting this, but at least it was one of the least sensitive and easy to answer ones. "I don't want to show my looks to other people yet."
"Because I don't want to," Bella stated even firmer.
"Ok then, why did you take Mima in?"
"She makes good company."
"I'm sure there is another reason other than that," Leila pushed the subject of conversation.
"Yes, yes I do," Bella said. Leila stopped talking for a few seconds, waiting for Bella to continue, but then realized she wasn't going to.
"You're gonna make someone snap one day with cryptic answers like that," Leila said.
"Exactly what Daniel said too."
"Daniel? The village chief? He's a nice guy. You know him?"
"Business partner, ever wondered where your mints come from?"
"Wait, you're the one who is supplying that town with the mints?! No wonder the prices dropped last year!" Leila said in awe.
The sun was barely spitting out light anymore and Bella decides it's time to go inside. "Let's do something else. What do you want to do?" Bella asked.
Leila seemed to make an internal debate before saying, "I wanna check out on these mints, and maybe the animals too!"
"Are you one of those nature dudes? Environmentalist?" Bella asked while leading Leila to the greenhouses.
"Environmentalist in mind and opinions, but I don't do the actions," Leila answered.
"That, and I got so much shit to do. I thought you knew the endless work you get in the last grade of high school?" Leila clarified. Bella couldn't answer. "You've never gone to school? Wow. Can you tell me about that?"
Bella sighed in content that Leila asked if she would want to talk about it later, "No, maybe in the future. Ok, this is the greenhouse, or rather, these are the greenhouses!" Bella said in front of one greenhouse pointing at all the others. "Each are specially assigned to either tomatoes or mints. Go in and smell the strongest tomato-ish smell you will ever smell!"
"It's a bit unnerving how you said 'smell' three times in one sentence," Leila joked. She opens the door to see the tomatoes covering almost every space with light. "Woooah! This is like an indoor forest of tomatoes! I can't walk two steps without hitting one! And they're so big! Is this where the market gets the premium tomatoes from? Wow!"
Bella giggled at Leila's reaction and went out to the next greenhouse. After a few seconds, Leila followed. "This is one of the mint greenhouses. Feast your nose!"
Leila cringed and said, "Holy cow that statement went wrong in my brain."
"What do you mean?
"I know from social media that there are actually people who actually try to feast through their nose, in a literal sense. God, I'm about to barf thinking about that again," Mima said.
"That's disgusting! But this smell got rid of my nausea!" Leila shouted as she went into the minty greenhouse. After a few minutes in there, Leila asked, "How do you do this?"
"Greenhouses are the easy parts. Tomatoes and mints are very easy to grow compared to the other plants. The farms are the hard parts." Bella explained. Leila nodded, indicating that she understands.
They next went to the barn where nothing seemed too special other than the animals being healthy. Although Leila rarely goes to farms like this so it took a minute or two for her to be brave enough to pet any of them. Next, they went to the actual farming crops.
"Wow! This land is big! Wait, you grow four crops?" Leila asked enthusiastically.
"Yes, I do. Guess what they are."
"That's obviously corn and the other there is wheat. That plant... probably potatoes, and that wet plant over there... I think rice! How did I do?"
"That's a bona fide A+. Although how did you know that was rice?" Bella curiously asked.
"That's the only wet crops I know. It must be hard to grow them..."
"Not when there are storms like last time, but when it gets kind dry, getting that much water from the river is pain."
"I can imagine," Leila laughed.