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Pisces Posts : 4482
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This is story of the Broke family, and how Brandi Broke came to be a young, widowed mother.

The Soldier's Wife

Part 1

Dedicated to Those Who made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Freedom.

Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 UlzAfqW

Brandi Newbie grew up in the country town of Riverview, where in elementary school she met Skip broke and they became good friends. As they grew into teenagers, they fell head over heels in love with each other and then went steady. Brandi's parents, the Newbies - Bob, a journalist, and Betty, a music teacher, themselves fell in love as teens, so they understood when Brandi told them she was in love with Skip and wanted to marry him, however, Brandi's father had gotten a once in a lifetime opportunity as the assistant manager of the Sim City Times and they moved to Pleasantview. Brandi was heartbroken but Skip traveled an hour every weekend to visit her and slept on the Newbies' couch. 

Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 57TmFTn

Her parents liked Skip, but Bob made sure that Skip kept his intentions with his daughter honorable. Skip's parents, Flat and Flo Broke, were what some would call rednecks; they were poor, worked part time retail jobs, but had more than their share of heartbreak and hardship. As difficult as things were for them, they tried to live  the best they could and to lessen to pain of life, often throwing cookouts and parties at their home. Skip loved his parents, who raised him well despite of their shortcomings, but never liked growing up so poor in a trailer out in what he considered to be the boonies. He didn't like the stigma behind his name, and decided that he would work hard to change his destiny for the better - for both Brandi and himself.  Skip was a hard worker, daring, and brave, so it wasn't surprising that he decided he wanted to make a name for himself in the U.S. Army.


Bob Newbie and Betty Newbie, and their senior dog, Buddy.

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Flat and Flo Broke, and their old bloodhound, Roy.

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When Brandi turned seventeen, Skip asked her father for her hand in marriage and her parents gave their blessing, but they would have to wait until she was eighteen and out of high school. That year seemed like an eternity but her eighteenth birthday arrived and they had a small wedding at the park by the river and a weekend honeymoon in Sim City. Soon after, Skip enlisted in the Army and they found that Brandi had gotten pregnant on their honeymoon. Nine months later, their marriage produced a son, Dustin. When Dustin was just three months old, Skip was stationed to Germany, where Brandi was a stay at home mom and homemaker. It was hard for Brandi to be so far from her parents but she knew that it would be likely that Skip would be relocated eventually. Because she loved him so much, she would follow him to the ends of the earth. As Skip's career would be the military and there was no wartime, they decided to hold off from having any more children while he was stationed out of Simerica. The years rolled by and Skip worked hard to provide for his little family. Brandi really missed being back home in Simerica and wanted to have more children, so he finally put in a transfer request to Sims City back home after nearly ten years of being in Germany. He had saved some money and when they moved back home, he was hoping to  get into a little real estate on the side so he could one day buy a dream home for his family. Until then, they rented a little two bedroom house on the base and planned to go ahead and have another baby. A few months later, Brandi found out she was pregnant and they both were elated, well, make that three - Dustin, just turning ten years old, was beside himself at the prospect of getting a new sibling. Nine months later, Beau was born and their families couldn't be happier.

A few years rolled by and Skip began looking for some real estate opportunities. One day a fellow soldier approached him with an offer to start their own real estate business together. Skip and Brandi talked it over and and agreed that as long as he was cautious and everything was to be done equally and by the book, that it could be a good business venture for both parties. He checked and asked around about the soldier but couldn't find anything that would raise any red flags. So Skip put in a good chunk of his savings, 50,000 simoleons into the pot and his new business partner put in 20,000, promising the other 30,000 when his CD rolled over in the next six months. Skip told him, "Hold on, there's no way I'm going to wait that long for it, just give me the 50,000 back and when you actually do your end of the deal, we can talk." His new business partner said "Okay, I will go to the bank and get a cashier's check for you tomorrow." Skip reluctantly said okay but he was growing increasingly uneasy about the whole thing. He didn't want to think the guy would swindle him out of his money, after all he was a fellow soldier, but something was telling him he shouldn't have been so trusting of a guy he hardly knew.

The next afternoon, Skip kept calling his business partner but there was no answer. Skip grew increasingly nervous about it as he drove to the guy's house on the base. There was no one there and when he peered into the window, he saw that everything was gone except some trash on the floor and he realized he'd been duped. Skip angrily swore"Dammit!" as he punched the  door. He paced back and forth, trying to gather his thoughts to think what he should do next. He got into his car and drove to the military police and filed a theft report. The fact that Skip had his business partner and him both sign a business agreement helped his case, however, the police lifted the business partner's prints from the contract and ran it through the database and found that he had been a suspect in a forgery and theft case several years before he joined the military but the case was dropped for lack of evidence. The military police put out an APB for the suspect and discovered Skip's business partner had in fact, went AWOL. Meanwhile, Skip had the military drive Brandi and the kids to her parent's house for their safety. Brandi was worried, but Skip assured her that the military police were on it and looking for the deserter and that it would be alright.

Later, the military police had contacted Skip to tell him the suspect was still on the run and that they didn't recommend he stay at his home until he was caught and had him come in to the barracks for the night. That evening, Skip was restless and decided to drive to the base's swimming pool for a swim to relax. Skip was a good swimmer and often went for a swim there in the evening before dark for exercise and relaxation. But what Skip thought was a typical evening swim, would turn into a tragedy. As Skip swam lap after lap, the darkness of evening fell upon him and so he got out of the pool and started drying off his head and chest under the dim floodlights. Unbeknownst to him, a dark shadow crept behind him stealthily and Skip was struck on the back of head with a heavy metal pipe. Skip let out low gasp as fell over unconscious into the pool. The attacker dropped the metal pipe with a loud bang and ran away into the night.
A nightwatchman a ways off heard the loud clang of metal echoing in the dim darkness and went to investigate. As he approached the direction of where he heard the noise, he looked around until he reached the pool area. He saw what looked to be a metal pipe lying on the ground near the pool.  As he shown his flashlight over the pool, he saw a mass floating at the pool's edge that appeared to be someone there. " Hey! You there - are you okay?" he shouted as he walked closer. Nobody answered and when he stood under the flood lights, he saw that it was a man facedown in the pool. He grabbed his radio and yelled, "Man down at the pool, repeat, man down at the pool!!! Send Emergency personnel, stat!!!" He dropped the radio and his weapon holster and jumped into the pool and turned the man over and recognized him as Skip Broke. He noticed what appeared to be blood streaming in the water and he felt around the back of Skip's head for the wound and tried to put pressure on it. A few minutes later, reinforcement arrived and helped the watchman pull Skip from the pool and they proceeded to perform CPR. A couple more minutes passed and the base's paramedics finally arrived, took over, and whisked Skip away in the ambulance.

Back in Pleasantview, at Brandi's parents, there was a loud knock on the door around midnight and their dog Buddy started barking. As Bob got up, grabbed his pistol, he told Betty and Brandi to stay upstairs. Bob cautiously stood behind the door and asked "Who is it?" "United States Army, sir. We need to talk to Mrs. Broke." Bob's heart sank as he cautiously cracked the door open to see two Army personnel dressed in uniform. Bob said "Just a minute." and walked over to place his pistol on the kitchen table and then opened the door to let them in.
"Sir, we have some bad news to deliver. Is Mrs. Broke here?" Bob softly called out to Brandi, and as she came down the stairs, she saw what no Military wife wants to see: Two uniformed soldiers standing in their living room. She softly gasped as she stepped off the last stair, she grabbed the rail. "What's going on? Where's Skip?" she cried out. As her legs began to buckle under her, her father rushed to steady her. "Mam, we're sorry that we have to tell you that there was an incident tonight and your husband is deceased." "What?!!" She gasped. "No, no, no!!!" she wailed. "It has to be a mistake!!!" "We're so sorry, Mam. There's no mistake. Your husband has been positively identified." Bob asked, "What happened?" as he held Brandi. Betty came down the stairs with her hand over her mouth and stood next to Brandi. "Sir, it appears that he was attacked at the pool and drowned. We are now searching for the perpetrator. We believe that it was your husband's business partner. We don't know how he got past security. We had the base on lockdown until it was clear he had escaped. We are actively engaged in a manhunt and we're confident we will catch him." Brandi wailed, "No, Creator no! This can't be happening!" Brandi collapsed in her father's arms and Dustin came down the stairs rubbing his eyes asking, "What's happening? Mom, where's Dad?" Betty turned around and ushered Dustin back up the stairs and put him back to bed, telling him, "Dustin, go back to sleep, we'll talk in the morning." He resisted at first, but Betty calmly talked her grandson to sleep.

Downstairs, Brandi appeared to have fainted and one of officers rushed to help Bob move her to the couch. The other officer called for an ambulance and Bob rode to the hospital with Brandi. When Betty came down, one of the officers explained that Brandi had fainted but she was okay but they sent her to the hospital as a precaution with Bob. Betty wanted to wake up from this nightmare, she wanted to fall into Bob's arms and bury her head into his shoulder, but she knew she had to be strong for her grandchildren. The officer led her to the couch to sit down and asked her if she was alright and she shook her head yes. He explained that an armed officer from the military would be there soon to guard and protect them until the assailant was caught and in custody. He told them that they would be heading to Riverview when he and his colleague left to break the bad news of Skip's death. Betty bit her lip and said "I wish one of us could be there when you break the news to them. They're going to need someone there for them. Would Bob be able go there with you?." The officer told her that they would go by the hospital and see if Bob would go with them. Betty thanked them and asked if they could take some street clothes and his cell phone to him and they agreed. The officers left for the hospital as soon as the guard arrived. Brandi was in shock but in stable condition and she insisted that she was okay and for Bob to go with them. Bob changed into the clothes Betty sent to him and he headed out with the officers to Riverview.

To be continued...

Last edited by CindaLove on Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:29 pm; edited 10 times in total

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The Soldier's Wife

Part 2

Dedicated to Those Who made the Ultimate Sacrifice for our Freedom.

Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 QW3cemt

Downstairs, Brandi appeared to have fainted and one of officers rushed to help Bob move her to the couch. The other officer called for an ambulance and Bob rode to the hospital with Brandi. When Betty came down, one of the officers explained that Brandi had fainted but she was okay but they sent her to the hospital as a precaution with Bob.

At the hospital, they took blood and urine samples, and gave her some magnesium to help her relax and sleep. She agreed, but she wanted to call her mother. Brandi called her mother and they talked for a few minutes. Betty felt bad that Brandi was there at the hospital by herself but Brandi reassured her that she would be fine. "Just take take of my babies for me, Mom. They said if I stayed calm and I got some rest tonight, I might get to come home tomorrow. They just took some blood and urine samples, so I'm sure they'll tell me if everything's alright." Betty assured Brandi that if she got released in the morning, to let her know and she would call someone to pick her up and bring her home. "I love you, honey," said Betty. "I love you, too, Mom." With that they both hung up. Brandi was tired but her body was so in shock that she couldn't sleep, but a few hours later, she finally fell asleep.

Bob and the officers pulled up to the Broke's trailer in the countryside around two in the morning. Not even before they reached the door, their old bloodhound, Roy, started his braying from inside. They knocked on the door and heard Flat shushing Roy and Flo's soft voice as she called Roy into the other room.  Flat appeared, looking out the window by the door to see who it was and demanded, "Who are you and what do you want at this hour?" Bob replied, "Flat, it's me, Bob, with Army officers. Don't shoot us, okay?" Flat cracked the door and peered out, then unchained and opened the door when he saw Bob standing there. Flat stood in the doorway with his shotgun by his side and asked "Bob, what's going on, is everyone okay?" he said worriedly. The officer replied, "Sir will you let us come inside?" Flat stepped aside with an ever growing fear rising up in him. As they stepped inside, Flo came down the hallway and gasped when she saw Bob and the officers standing there. "What is it? Is Skip hurt?" she said in a rising voice of fear. "Mam, can we sit down?" Flat motioned them to the sofa and put his arm around Flo's waist to lead her to the loveseat. When they sat down, Flat said, "Something's happened." The officer replied, "Yes, sir. I hate to inform you that your son passed away yesterday evening. It appears that he was struck in the back of the head by an attacker at the swimming area and drowned in the pool. We're so sorry that we were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at the hospital", he said as Flo began wailing. Flat grabbed Flo and held her as they both wept for their lost son.  Bob said softly, "I'm so sorry", choking back the tears. After a few moments, Flo began hyperventilating and the officers rushed to her side to calm her down. One of the officers asked Flat for a paper bag and then held it over Flo's mouth and instructed her to take deep breaths. After a few minutes of Flat and Bob soothing her, she began to calm down and breathe normally. Over the next thirty minutes, the officer explained what had happened, letting them know they were searching for Skip's killer and once again, giving his condolences. "Are Brandi and the kids okay?" Flat asked Bob. Bob replied, "Brandi's in the hospital after she fainted but she's okay and the kids are with Betty." Flat nodded his head and said, "Good, good." Bob said, "Flat, Flo, we think it's best you two come home with us while we take take of the funeral arrangements. We have a sleeper sofa that you can sleep on. We can take whatever you two need with us." Flat agreed and then he and Flo began packing their bags. Flo stopped and asked Bob, "What about Roy? We could always put out extra food and water but how do we know when we'll be back to check on him?" Bob said "We can take him with us, it will be fine." So they gathered up food and supplies for the dog, and with their bags packed, they left for Pleasantview around five in the morning.

Around six o'clock the next morning, a nurse came in to check on Brandi and asked how she was feeling and if she got any sleep. Brandi told her that she slept a few hours and that she wanted to get home to her kids. The nurse replied, "We'll have to see what the doctor says, he'll be making his rounds shortly." Brandi, getting slightly agitated, replied "What's the big deal? I just fainted, that's all. I'm okay now. When are you going to let me go home? My children need me." The nurse replied, "It's important that you stay calm, Mrs. Broke. You've just been through a big shock and the doctor wanted to keep you over night for observation. The doctor wants to go over your labs results with you." Brandi asked "Is everything okay?" and the nurse replied, "I'm not aware of anything serious. The doctor just thinks it's important to talk to you about your results." Brandi calmly said okay and the nurse left. Ten minutes later, breakfast arrived and Brandi was able to eat most of it. She just wanted to get out of there and get back to her children so she was willing to do whatever it took. Not long after she ate, the doctor arrived. "Is everything alright, Dr.?" Brandi asked. "Yes, Mrs. Broke, all your tests came out fine, but I need to inform you that you are pregnant. We need to set up an appointment for an exam to see how far along you are but you are free to go, provided that you have someone to take you home and that you stay calm and get some rest." "I'm pregnant?" Brandi asked incredulously. "Yes. I take it that you and your late husband weren't trying for a baby?" "Well, yes, I mean not really. We just figured if it happened, it would happen." "Well, congratulations, Mrs. Broke, and my condolences for your loss. If you need anything, just let me know." With that, the doctor left, leaving  Brandi stunned and overwhelmed. Brandi gathered her thoughts and reached for the phone. She dialed her mother's number and when Betty answered, Brandi blurted out "Mom, I'm pregnant."

As Bob and the Brokes arrived back into Pleasantview city limits,  Bob called Betty to check on everything and to let her know that they were almost home. Betty informed him that everyone was doing fine and that Brandi was ready to be discharged from the hospital.  Betty said "Bob, Brandi's pregnant." Bob exclaimed surprisingly, "What? Pregnant?" "She's fine, but her doctor told her this morning that she needed to stay calm to prevent any complications." Bob said "Oh my, she's going to have a difficult road ahead of her, but we'll be there for her and the kids." Betty agreed and asked how the Brokes were doing. Bob answered that they were in shock but they were holding together for now and that he would pick up Brandi from the hospital when he got home.. He said to Betty "We'll be home in about five minutes, Honey", and they said goodbye and hung up.
As they pulled into the driveway, Dustin came bursting out the front door with Betty following him. As they all got out of the car, Dustin ran to his Pop Pop Broke and hugged him tight, bawling. Betty walked up to Flo and embraced her as Flo broke down in tears. Bob took Roy's leash as Roy scrambled out of the car and the first officer began taking the Broke's and Bob's bags into the house, as a soldier was keeping watch at the front door. Bob leaned down to Dustin and said "Dustin, will you take Roy out back so he can do his business?" Dustin nodded, wiping away the tears from his face. "Wrap it around your arm like this, and hang on tight; he's a big dog", Bob instructed Dustin as he handed him the leash. Dustin did as his grandfather instructed but Roy nearly drug him off his feet. He dug his feet into the ground though, and was able to pull Roy into the back yard. Bob turned to thank the now tired officers who had so graciously were their chauffeur for the last 8 hours. "Thank you so much, officers, for all your help. We are so grateful."  "No problem, Sir. Again, we would like to extend our condolences to your family. Expect a call from the Commander with any new developments", said the second officer. Flat nodded and tearfully said thank you to the officers and Betty nodded to the officers as well while she held a weeping Flo. With that, the officers got into their vehicle and drove away. Betty soothingly led Flo into the house with Flat and Bob following behind. Bob grabbed his keys and turned to Betty. "Well, I'm off to bring home Brandi." Betty hugged Bob and gave him a quick kiss and said softly,"Okay honey, be careful. I love you." "l love you, too hon." Flat spoke up and asked "Do you need me to go with you?" Bob said, "No, Flat, why don't you stay here with Flo? We'll be back home soon and we need to try and keep Brandi calm in her delicate condition." Flat nodded and Bob headed out the door and left for the hospital.

As Bob was backing out of the driveway, Betty went the kitchen and reached for the phone to call Brandi. "Hi, sweetie. Your father is home now and is on his way to get you, so be ready, honey." "Hi, Mom, I'm ready. How are the kids?" "I just fed Beau and Dustin is out back with Roy. He's been upset of course, but I've been trying to keep him busy." "Roy? How are Flat and Flo?" "Their dog. They thought it best to bring him along instead of leaving him there by himself for who knows how long. They're in shock too, honey. Flat is trying to be strong but Flo is beside herself with grief. Brandi, you've got to be strong for your unborn baby's sake, as well as for Dustin and Beau." "I know Mom, but I feel so alone. I need Skip now so much. I don't know how I'm going to do this without him," Brandi sobbed. "Oh, honey, I'm so sorry that Skip is gone, but we're all here for you and you will never have to do this by yourself. Now, pull yourself together, baby girl, because your father will be there soon and you need to be strong for your babies." "I know, I know Mama, you're right." "I love you, sweetie, I'll see you when you get here." They both said their goodbyes and Brandi rang the nurse to let her know she would be going home soon.
Bob arrived at the hospital and headed to Brandi's room, where Brandi was waiting in a wheelchair with a nurse, ready to be wheeled out. Bob reached down and wrapped his arms around Brandi and hugged her tightly. Brandi buried her face in his shoulder and sobbed "Dad!" Bob said softly, "I know, baby, I know," as he soothed her. The nurse gave instructions on the doctor's orders, to keep her quiet and rested and then wheeled Brandi to the entrance, Bob helped her into the car. "My condolences, Mrs. Broke," said the nurse. "Take care." Bob and Brandi thanked the nurse and then they drove home.
Back at home, Betty explained to Dustin about Brandi's pregnancy and that they all needed to be strong around her to keep her stress levels down. She told him that it's okay to cry for his father and that he should grieve but to try and be strong around his Mom. Dustin nodded that he understood and his Grandma Betty hugged him tight. "Well, I think I need to get some breakfast on, I'm sure everyone is getting hungry about now," she said as she walked to the kitchen.

When Bob and Brandi arrived home, Dustin raced out the front door, which slightly startled the soldier standing guard, to the car.  After Bob helped Brandi out of the car, Dustin hugged his mother and said "I love you, Mom. I'm glad you're home," as he buried his face into her arm. "I love you, too, honey. Let's go in the house."
After they went into the house and everyone hugged, they sat down to a big breakfast Betty prepared. Afterwards, Betty led Brandi upstairs where she ran a warm bath with lavender for Brandi to relax in. After the bath, Betty had her get in the bed to get some rest. When Brandi finally rested her head upon the pillow, the pain and heartache began to flow into a river of tears. Betty held her daughter and begin to soothe her. She had Brandi lay her head back down and lay down next to her, cradling her head and softly singing one of Brandi's favorite songs that Betty used to sing her to sleep with when she was a child. Soon Brandi relaxed and fell into a much needed sleep. Betty carefully got up from the bed and went downstairs to tend to Beau.
When Betty got downstairs, the phone rang and Bob answered it. It was the commanding officer in charge of the manhunt for Skip's murderer. "Sir, Cdr Jones speaking. Are Skip's parents there with you? We have been trying to contact them since this morning but we have not been able to." "Yes, they're here. I'll put it on speaker phone" The commander continued, "We finally discovered how the assailant was able to get past security onto the base. It appears that he fashioned a harness of sorts and attached it under Skip's truck and rode under it onto the base. There he waited until it was getting dark to come out and attack Skip." He continued, "We also found a place in the fencing behind some storage buildings where he cut his way out. It looks like he planned it well, cutting the fence in a blind spot where the patrol passing by could easily miss someone hiding in the shadows at night. We put our best canines on his trail for several miles until they led us into the forest where midway through they lost the scent. Our K-9 handler believes that he used some kind of game scent to throw the dogs off his trail. We've tried to get them back on the scent but they keep circling around the perimeter, so we've upped our manpower and helicopter to try to find him. We're sorry that we don't have better news, now." Flat, who had been listening intently, got up and walked to the speakerphone. "May I ask what breed of dogs you are using in the search?" The Commander replied, "Our best Military Working Dogs, Belgian Malinois." Flat replied, "Cdr Jones, I think I can help. I have a purebred bloodhound that is a keen scenter. He once found a little girl that got lost in the woods back in Riverview as well as some hikers on the mountains. Will you let us put Roy in the hunt to find that b*****d that killed our son? I know he can do it!" "Mr. Broke, that sounds like a good proposition but let me check in with our K-9 handler and see what he says first." Flat replied, "Please, just let me bring him to the base. We're wasting precious time! He's going to get away!" The Commander paused, "I don't see why that would hurt anything. Go ahead and bring him to the base and if our K-9 handler agrees, we'll put him on the trail." Flat thanked him and they ended the call and Flat turned to Bob and said "Let's go catch that b*****d!" Bob nodded and grabbed his keys as Flat headed to the back yard where Flat was tied up. "Come on, boy, we're going huntin"!" Roy started getting really excited at the prospect of a hunt and it took Flat digging his feet into the ground as he walked them to the car to keep from being dragged away. Inside, Flo, overwhelmed with emotion, began breaking down in tears. Betty sat down beside her and hugged her, saying "They're going to catch him, Flo. Let's pray." Flo nodded and Dustin, began to cry. Betty motioned for Dustin to sit beside her. Betty, with her arms around Dustin and Flo, began to pray.

Bob and Flat arrived at the base entrance, where a guard motioned for them to go on in.  As they drove through the gate, they saw a vehicle parked in the road with an two officers standing in front of it, waiting for them.  Bob eased the car to a stop and one of the officers approached them. Bob rolled the window down and the officer said, "Mr. Broke?" Bob motioned to Flat, who was holding big ol' Roy in his lap. "Mr. Broke, Cdr Jones. I spoke to the K-9 handler and he has agreed to take your dog out to search." He motioned to the K-9 officer to approach the car. "K-9 Sgt Breckner," the officer said, as he approached the passenger window. "So this is Roy." Flat said "Yes, we're ready to go!" The officer motioned for them to get out. "Mr. Broke, for your safety you will have to stay here." The officer had Flat instruct him on all Roy's commands and signals and they put a vest and harness on Roy and loaded him into the back seat of the military vehicle with the K-9 officer. As the commander got behind the wheel, he told Flat "Thank you for your help, we'll take care of him. You should go home and wait for our call." With that, the K-9 Unit pulled around Bob's car and exited the base to get back into the hunt. Bob and Flat got back into the car and exited after them to head home.

Cdr Jones and Sgt Breckner arrived at the forest entrance, where ATVs waited for them to take Roy to the area where the military dogs lost the scent. Sgt Breckner took the harness that the killer had used to hitch a ride under Skip's truck and instructed Roy to catch the scent. Roy sniffed the harness and to their surprise, took off west, with his nose planted on the ground, picking up the scent. He paused for a few seconds and took off into the Northwest. Roy led them mile after mile, until they came upon what appeared to be an empty gas can and the tire tracks of a motorcycle. Roy kept going, now following the motorcycle tracks. They stopped, strapped Roy on the back of the ATV again and took off after the tracks, radioing their location and change of direction to the choppers above and to reinforcements. An hour later, the track led out of the woods onto an old dirt road, where reinforcement met them and took over the hunt. They stopped, gave Roy some water to drink and a small bowl of food from back of the K-9 vehicle that reinforcements brought to back them. They got back in and got back into the chase. Picking up speed, the military police flew down the dirt road, never losing sight of the motorcycle tracks, until after about fifteen miles, the tracks led them to a small path. Trailing up behind the kicked up dust, the K-9 vehicle stopped behind the convoy and they jumped out with Roy in the lead, pulling the K-9 Sgt down the foot path. A few miles down the overgrown trail, there were thickets that appeared to be hacked down. Roy stopped dead just on the other side of the thicket, nose to ground. "What is it, boy?" said the K-9 Sgt as he looked down at the ground. One of the other officers examining the ground said "Blood droplets," just as Roy took off again, nearly pulling the handler off of his feet. Three more miles down the trail, they reached a clearing and what appeared to be an old shack in shambles. Roy led them faster and faster, pulling harder and harder until they broke in a jog, past the shack into the grown up back field to an old tin shed, where Roy began braying as he had led them to the target. Before they could even approach the shed, shots rang out and the soldiers hit the ground and fired their weapons in response. The K-9 Sgt used the command that Flat instructed him to call off Roy and held him to the ground as the bullets began flying back and forth. Thirty-five military police emptied their weapons into the shed, reloaded, and Cdr Jones signaled for cease fire. Cautiously, he signaled the other soldiers into position and he yelled out "U.S. Military Police! Come out with your hands up!" A few minutes passed, and the commander signaled for back up as he cautiously opened the door, where the body of the renegade lay in a heap in the back of the shed. Cautiously, he approached the body and kicked the weapon away from the dead assailant. The hunt for Skip Broke's killer was over.

Arriving back at home, Bob and Flat were met by Betty and Dustin as they pulled in the drive. They went into the house, where they continued to talk, pray, and wait for the phone call that would tell them Skip's murderer had been captured. After six hours had passed, Brandi awoke from upstairs. Betty, standing in the kitchen cooking dinner for them all, heard her open the bedroom door and walk down the stairs. Betty walked over to her and Brandi said "Mom, tell me this is all a nightmare, that Skip isn't dead and that he will walk through that door any minute." Betty embraced her and said "I'm so sorry, honey, he's gone. Why don't you come and sit down at the table; I'm almost done with dinner." Brandi nodded and sat at the table as her mother continued to cook. "How are the kids?" Dustin heard his mother's voice from the living room and came into the kitchen and said "We're doing okay, Mom. I've been playing with Beau in the living room," as he hugged his mother. "Are you feeling better?" he asked. Brandi nodded and said "Yes, honey," as she kissed his cheek. Betty turned to Dustin and said "Dustin, go wash up and put Beau in his highchair, supper's almost ready." Dustin said "Okay" and left the kitchen to do as his grandmother instructed him.
As they ate dinner, they filled Brandi in about had transpired that day. "We're still waiting on their call but Roy won't let us down, I know it," Flat said. Brandi prayed silently that Roy would find Skip's killer. She wanted to face the man who took her husband's life and make sure that he was prosecuted to the fullest extent of military law. But Brandi would not see Skip's killer face justice, as justice had been served in a hail of gunfire just an hour earlier. After finishing dinner, they moved into the living room to talk and as Betty was cleaning up the kitchen, there was a knock on the door. Buddy barked and Bob commanded him to silence as he answered the door. It was the soldier standing guard. He said "Sir, I just received word that the suspect was found. Cdr Jones will be calling you soon with the details."  Bob sighed a sigh of relief as Betty came up behind him. "Thank God!" Betty said. "Flat, Flo," Betty called, " They got him!" The soldier said, " Well, my job here is finished. Again, my condolences to your family. Um, Mam, will it be alright if I use your bathroom before I go" "Why, yes, young man, you may. Would you like something to eat? We've got leftovers. You've been standing guard out there all day, you've got to be starving!" "Yes, Mam, I would like that but I got to eat fast if you don't mind." Betty nodded and the soldier went to the restroom and Betty fixed his plate. Betty the nurturer, she was the rock of the family and to all those around her.

A few minutes later the phone rang, Bob answered and it was Cdr Jones. Bob quickly put it on speaker phone. "Good evening, sir, I'm calling with good news; we located the suspect thanks to Roy and he has been neutralized." There were cries of joy and relief from all those seated in the living room. Flat approached the phone and asked "How did Roy do? How long did it take for him to find him?" "He did an amazing job. Led us right to the suspect in about three hours. The suspect opened fire on our men and they were forced to take him out. We would have preferred to take him into custody but he left us with no choice." "Thank the Creator! Is Roy alright?" "He's fine, sir. Our K-9 Sgt protected Roy and made sure he was safe. He was understandably shaken, but the handler was able to calm him down by giving him the toy you sent with him. He was then taken back to the base where he was looked over by the vet and given the all clear." "That's good. Can I come and get him now?" "He's en route with the K-9 Unit to you as we speak. We apologize for the delay but all the officers insisted on playing with him after he was looked over by the vet. He's a hero in their eyes."
Thirty minutes later, as dusk fell, the K-9 Unit pulled up with Roy and let him out. Roy wagged his tail with excitement at seeing his master. Flat bent down to pat and rub Roy's belly. "That's a good boy! You did it, boy!" The K-9 handler, very much impressed with Roy, thanked Flat for bringing Roy in to search for the suspect. He told Flat that he was interested in bringing a bloodhound into his K-9 Unit and asked if he knew of a reputable breeder. Flat went back in the house, wrote down the number of a breeder he knew and gave it to the handler. The handler thanked him and squatted down to give Roy a good pat on his side and rub his belly. With that, the K-9 Sgt bid Flat good night and left for the base.

The next day, Bob took Flat and Flo into Sim City to arrange Skip's funeral. They picked out the casket, flowers, and planned the details of the service. The director told them he would contact the military and let them know where to bring the body.
That afternoon, Cdr Jones and Sgt Breckner arrived on their doorstep with a black jewelry case and informed them that Roy had received the Medal of Honor for his bravery and work in finding Skip's killer. It was a little bit of a silver lining in their overall time of sorrow. But when the funeral home called the next day, the family would again be dealt another blow. The director was confused as to what he was supposed to do, as the military had sent him Skip's cremated remains, rather than his body. Shocked, the Brokes and the Newbies asked the director how this could have happened, as Skip had always made his wishes known that he wanted to be buried at the National Memorial Cemetery in Sim City. The director assured them that he did indeed tell the military he was to give Skip an opened casket funeral, faxed them the details, and they responded saying they would send his body ASAP. The director told them that in his 30+ years of overseeing and performing funerals, he had never seen or heard of anything like this and recommended that they contact their attorney. The director credited them 50% of the funeral fee after deducting the cost of the casket and embalming as a consolation effort and arranged a beautiful service for Skip. The next few days were a blur, and the stress from not being able to see Skip's body for closure landed Brandi, Flo, and Flat in the doctor's office. The doctor prescribed a mild sedative to Brandi that would be safe for her baby and sedatives for Flat and Flo as well. The day of the memorial service came, and Skip's ashes were buried at the Memorial Cemetery. They were all so devastated and Flat and Flo's health took a turn for the worst; Flat ended up in the emergency room with chest pains and Flo had to be tranquilized from the panic attacks she was having. It was just all too much for them, as their hearts were now completely broken in two. You see, their daughter, their beloved Ruby Ann, died when she was just seventeen from Leukemia. They were devastated and their lives were totally torn apart but they knew they had to go on and be strong for Skip, then twelve years old. Skip was their pride and joy, their rock, and now he was gone.

With the Brokes heartbreak affecting their health, the Newbies insisted that they stay with them for as long as they needed. Being near Brandi, the kids and their new friends, the Newbies, gave them strength and support that they needed, so they agreed. They went back home long enough to bring back what they needed and continued staying with Newbies. Brandi tried going back to the home that she had shared with Skip, but the memories were just too much and she decided move out and find another place of her own. She held a yard sale to get rid of many things she didn't need, sold Skip's truck, and was able to get some much needed money for the move.  Though her parents insisted she and the kids stay with them, Brandi declined, telling them "Mom, Dad, you only have two bedrooms. Dustin will be turning thirteen next month. I don't think it's a good idea for a teenager to be still sleeping in the same bed as his mother. Besides, Flat and Flo need to get off of that sleeper sofa, it can't be that comfortable. And they need some privacy." Betty agreed and Brandi began a search to find a new place around Pleasantview, where she and the kids at least would be close to their family. A few weeks later, and she found a two bedroom trailer that she could afford on the more poor side of town, but it had a large backyard with a small swimming pool. The Brokes and Newbies helped her and the kids move in that weekend. A few weeks later, just before Dustin's  thirteenth birthday, she received a card in the mail with check for a little over a thousand dollars, collected by Skip's former comrades. She was touched, and the money was much needed, as she had yet to start receiving benefits from Skip's social security. Even though they had retained a lawyer to inquire about the grave error on the part of the military with the handling of Skip's body for the funeral, they had yet began to make any headway with it. It was like every lead led to a wall. It was confusing and disturbing, even to their attorney and it seemed like that they never would get any answers.

Time began to roll by; Flat and Flo settled into their new life in Pleasantview with the Newbies. They found jobs; Flat as a mechanic, Flo as a receptionist. Though they had lived in Riverview their whole lives, they just couldn't go back to a place where the memories had become painful and unbearable from the loss of both of their children. They had to begun to grow fond of Pleasantview and being close to Brandi and the grandkids brought them joy through their pain and they were the only reason they kept on living. Brandi and the kids were getting adjusted to living in their new home but things were starting to get tight financially again. Though the Newbies weren't made of money, they helped out their daughter any way they could. They bought a much needed toddler bed for Beau, who was getting too big for the crib that would soon be needed for the arrival of the new baby. Brandi, who was fast approaching the end of her first trimester, oddly was still receiving Skip's insurance benefits but had yet began to receive his social security benefits. In an attempt to get things straightened out with the ordeal, Betty picked up Brandi and the kids after school let out, dropped the kids off at her house where Bob would watch them, and then took Brandi to the Pleasantview Social Security office.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 LrNvguw

Brandi explained her situation to the administrator, who then began checking out the issue on the computer. After a few minutes, the administrator said "That's strange, though you are set to began receiving your late husband's benefits the first of next month with back pay, it is listed as child support, not as widow's benefits. Very odd." Brandi, astounded at such a mistake, replied "I have had nothing but discrepancy from the military. First, they cremating my husband's body against his wishes, now they are messing around with Skip's benefits! I hired an attorney to get to the bottom of why they did what they did but so far, nothing but dead ends." Surprised at Brandi's explanation, the administrator told Brandi, "I'm so sorry that you are dealing with all of this, Mrs. Broke. I am going to do my best to get this straightened out for you. In the meantime, you are qualified for assisted living benefits and supplemental nutrition benefits. These benefits will be available in your account after forty-eight hours and you will receive your EBT card within six to ten days.  If you have problems with anything, please contact us." Brandi thanked her and then Betty drove them to her house, where Brandi and the kids would have dinner and spend time with them and the Brokes.

The remainder of the month passed by and at the beginning of the next month, Brandi did not, once again, receive Skip's benefits. Distressed from the entire situation, Brandi's health began to decline and she quickly found herself in the emergency room one evening when she began to cramp and spot blood. Fortunately, the doctor was able to stop the spotting and cramps but ordered bed rest for Brandi and de-stressing techniques until she at least reached the end of her second trimester. One of her good friends from high school, who was a professional dancer and part-time fitness instructor, came over and showed her some breathing and relaxation techniques that seemed to help. Though the government assistance also helped, she grew increasingly concerned over the medical bills and credit card debt that seemed to be ever growing. Dustin's birthday came and they decided to throw him a party to try to lift his spirits. He had been growing increasingly depressed, grieving deeply over the loss of his father. He was desperately trying to find some way to ease his pain and he began to think that maybe having a girlfriend would be the answer. The girl in his class that he had been crushing on the past year, started talking to him so he asked her out to the ball game and she accepted. It didn't take long for them to fall into puppy love and they had their first kiss under the bleachers after school one day. He was hooked. But the stress of financial difficulties and seeing the stress that his pregnant mother was going through was pulling him in another direction. He told his mother that he had gotten a job after school to help his mom out. Though she wanted to object at first, she thought about it decided that maybe him getting out of the house would help him feel better, so she agreed.
But what she didn't know is that someone had been lurking in the shadows, for months, watching Dustin's every move. The few weeks before Dustin were to ask his mother if he could get a job, someone was waiting for Dustin late one Saturday afternoon down by the bus stop corner as Dustin made his way home from the skate park, where he often met his girlfriend, Angela and his friends, every Saturday to skateboard."Hey, kid!" Dustin heard say, as he walked down the sidewalk, skateboard in hand. Dustin walked closer and said "Me? What do you want?" The man leaning against the lamppost, uncrossed his arms and said "Name's Gordon. How would you like to make some quick cash selling stuff?" "Sorry, man, I ain't fallin' for that c**p, I don't mess with drugs, " said Dustin, as he waved his arm in dismissal and proceeded to walk down the sidewalk." "No, no, kid, it ain't nothin' like that. I'm talking about jewelry, like watches and rings and s***, and maybe some ticket scalping, that's all," the man quickly replied. Dustin stopped and stepped back, "What would I have to do to sell this stuff? And where would I have to sell it?" "You just stand outside the malls, venues, and sell it. You will basically be a salesman. Sixty/forty will be the payout. You will have the opportunity to make twice, three times what an ordinary part time job would pay you. What do you say? You in?" Dustin thought for a moment. 'This could be an opportunity to help Mom out and maybe even save something up for community college', he thought. "Okay, I'm in." "Alrightttttt! My man!", Gordon exclaimed, grasping Dustin's hand in a tough handshake,  proceeding to tell him where the "office" was and what to do. It all seemed harmless enough to Dustin, but little did he know, he would soon be sucked into the world of organized crime.

Dustin started selling knockoff jewelry, shoes, bags, and scalped tickets. Within a week he had made over five hundred dollars and he was hooked. Even though he was still hurting over the loss of his father, he still had dreams and now he was convinced that this new job was the way to fulfill them. He lied and told his mother that he selling vacuum cleaners and household cleaners door to door and she never questioned it. But soon, this "job" and his daydreaming would begin to affect his school performance and his relationships. He went from a straight A student to an average C. His new girlfriend began complaining that he worked all the time and that she never got to see him. And even his relationship with his mother began to suffer, as he tried to keep what he was doing to make money a secret. Brandi and the kids finally began to receive Skip's benefits, but oddly, they were from a trust fund. Tired of fighting it, she accepted it and stopped thinking about it. Eventually, Dustin's decreased school performance and his nonchalant, aloof attitude, led to a phone call from his principal. Brandi had enough; she was ready to lower the boom on him, and that afternoon, when he got home, she let him have it.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 M9y9jfN

Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 XF9U7eo

"What did I tell you about keeping your grades up when you started that job? I just got off the phone earlier with your principal and he said you haven't been doing your homework or applying yourself in class. Now, I let you take that job and on the condition that you kept your grades up. I'm so disappointed in you because I know you're smarter than that. You broke our agreement, so your job is history now." "Aw, Mom! Don't make me quit! I promise I'll do better! Please!" Dustin pleaded. "I'm sorry, Dustin. Your job is interfering with your school work and that's a deal breaker," said Brandi firmly. Tears welling up in Dustin's eyes, he begged "Please Mom, this is the only way I'm going to get to go to college! I promise I'll try harder. It's just been so hard since Dad died." Brandi, feeling sad for Dustin, lowered her head and closed her eyes for a few seconds. She sighed loudly and said, "Okay. You have one more chance, if you don't get your grades up by next quarter, you're quitting your job, and on one condition; you can't go to work until you've done your homework and you've eaten dinner. " "Aw, Mom, that means I'll have to work over." "Um, no. You are not working past six. If you are not home by six-thirty every night, I will send your grandfather to look for you and then you're grounded. Do you understand?" Dustin hung his head and said "Yes, Mom." Brandi said firmly, " Now go get your homework done while I get supper on." Dustin complied did his homework, ate dinner, and then headed out to his job, explaining to Gordon why he was late. "That's okay, kid. You do what you gotta do to keep your mom off your back. But I've been talking to headquarters about how well you've been doing and they've been thinking about promoting you to running numbers. You only get twenty/sixty of the cut but you do get to keep any tips. You have an opportunity to make over a thousand a week if you do the job right. What do you think, kid? " "A thousand a week? Wow. I'm in. But I have to be home by six-thirty." Gordon laughed and said "We can arrange that. I'll make sure you get home on time." Dustin smiled a big smile as Gordon slapped him on the back. Dustin didn't realize that he had just been commissioned to do criminal activity in the most dangerous parts of Sim City.

The months rolled by and the Brokes were able to save enough to move out of the Newbie's home  into a small apartment. Then, out of no where, Brandi began receiving boxes of diapers and baby clothes along with hundreds of dollars worth of gift certificates in the mail with no indication of who they were from. It puzzled Brandi, but she just figured it was once again Skip's former comrades who were sending her all those things and she was grateful. Finally, with the aid of bedrest and relaxation techniques from her friend early in her pregnancy, Brandi successfully made it to the end of her third trimester without any more threatening issues.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 BjMr7PL
Brandi feeling the baby kick for the first time.

She began labor on a Wednesday afternoon, right before Dustin was to leave for his job. As her water broke on the kitchen floor, she shouted to Dustin, who was in his bedroom doing his homework. He ran out and shouted, " What happened, Mom?" "My water just broke. Call the Midwife."


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 GRrjAH3

Panicked, Dustin looked at the floor where his mother's water had just broken and nearly jumped out of his skin when Brandi yelled out in pain from a contraction.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 EJ6WnTF

"Dustin, now!", Brandi said through gritted teeth. "What about Grandma and Grandpa Newbie and MaMaw and Pop Pop Broke?" "You can call them after you call the Midwife. Now hurry, Dustin, I feel this baby coming fast!" Dustin hurriedly picked up the phone and dialed the midwife, who then arrived five minutes later, instructing Dustin on what to do to assist her in the delivery. Brandi's instincts were right on, as the contractions began coming closer very quickly and within the hour, a healthy little baby boy whom she named Derrick Landon Broke, entered the world. Little Derrick was so eager to be born that none of his grandparents, who were all at work at the time, made it in time to witness his birth. There were no complications and Dustin, who was happy that his mom was okay and for the arrival of his new little brother, in his excitement had forgotten about everything else.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 4smSiX2

Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 DdyUTVX

As Brandi held her precious little son, a wave of sadness came over her as she thought about her late husband, who would never know his new son or see any of his children grow up. 'Oh, Skip, why did you have to leave us? I can't do this without you. Oh, Creator, I don't know how I'm going to do this without him!', she cried inside.


Welcome to Pleasantview - The Broke Family - The Soldier's Wife - Part 1 & 2 RLdd8hm

Dearest Brandi, the Creator has seen your tears and heard your cries...

Last edited by CindaLove on Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:46 am; edited 18 times in total
Part 2 of The Soldier's Wife has been posted.

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on Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:37 pmBBdoll3
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Oh yeah, I remember this family.  Enjoyed playing them.   Love your pics!  thumbsup
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