Saturday, June 29, 2013

Chapter 6-4: Carried Away

                “Miles, um, I know this wasn't arranged but, I’m pregnant.” She hadn't wanted to wait any longer to tell him the news. She knew it was his. It had to be. Her father’s words had really hurt her but they’d struck a chord as well. She’d known, all along, that what she was doing was wrong. If she really thought hard about it, and was honest to herself, the reason she didn't tell Neal wasn't to spare his feelings, it was to protect hers.

                “You are?” He reached a hand down and stroked it over her belly, barely swelling yet from the life they’d created together. “I, I think that’s, great.” She had wanted him to be the first to know. When she went home, she was planning on telling the rest of her family.

                He certainly looked rather proud of himself, that was for sure.

                “Emerson, are you sure you’re getting enough to eat?” She waited, listening to his response. “Your sister told me about your apartment. Are you sure it’s safe? Yes, yes I know that the neighborhood isn't dangerous but she said that it was rundown. You know, landlords are obligated to provide a clean space with working appliances. I’ll have to come take a look…ooh, what’s that? Honey, I have to go. Call you later. Love you.”

                Camille had begun to feel a tingling sensation starting in her legs, working up through the rest of her body. When she lifted, just slightly off the ground, she knew it could only be one thing. Grim had finally come to take her.

                “Please, no! What am I going to do without her?” Donovan couldn't believe that it was her time. She was healthy! She ate right; she worked out, even in her old age. Why now? Grim was unrelenting though and wouldn't be delayed. Death had come and death would take its prize.

                Though her father was officially the “adult” of the house, the grief of losing Camille left him absent minded. Evangeline knew that she’d need to get things taken care of around the house. Her first order of business was calling her brother. When he arrived, she fell into his arms, sobbing. “I can’t believe she’s gone!”

                He held her, letting her cry her tears and then went inside to look at his mother’s urn. “Why wasn't I here? Why did I have to leave home so soon?” He kicked the coffee table, spilling the radio onto the floor with a crash. Renata rushed in to see what had happened?
                “Em, she was so proud of you for living your own life.”
                “I should have been here. It sounded like something was wrong. I didn't even get to say that I loved her back. She just hung up.”

                “She knew you loved her.”
                “Is my stuff still in my room?” She nodded. They hadn't moved anything out yet in case he had wanted to come back for some of his belongings. “I’m going to stay here tonight,” he said with a shaky voice, heading up the stairs.

                Donovan too, had barricaded himself in his bedroom, taking the urn with him to have a final resting place on the fireplace. She could watch over him from there. Evangeline scrubbed the kitchen and even made some food to take the police department to break the news to them.

                That night, Renata was the last to bed. As she climbed the stairs, she listened outside the bedrooms, wondering how each of her adoptive family members were doing. All was quiet and she hoped that they were getting a little rest. She felt like an intruder to their grief and thought about pulling one of the old sleeping bags out from the garage and staying in the living room. Just as she turned to go down the stairs, she heard a muffled cry.  

                “Em, are you okay,” she whispered, pushing open the door to his bedroom. She knew it was a stupid question, of course he wasn't okay, but she wasn't sure what else to ask. He didn't look up so she wasn't even sure if he’d heard her. She stepped in, closing the door behind her and crossed the room to him.
                “Em?” As she stepped close, he finally looked up, his eyes red and face blotchy from crying, seeing her for the first time since she entered the room. “I was just, um, just making sure you didn't need anything. I’ll leave now.”

                He reached out, wrapping his arms around her waist and pulling her closer to him. “Stay.” His voice was scratchy and hoarse but she could tell it wasn't a command, it was a plea.

                She lay down beside him on the small twin mattress and pulled him close. He rested his head on her shoulder and let her hold him. She didn't ask him to talk. He didn't offer her any words. They just lay in silence, each remembering Camille and the special impacts she had made on each of their lives.

                The hours drifted by and Renata was sure that each of them had slipped in and out of sleep a half dozen times. She shifted, trying to ease the prickles in her arm from the dead weight of his head. She realized he was also awake when he looked up at her. Slower than she thought time could move, she saw him lean forward, coming closer and then time exploded, his lips crushed against hers. He rolled up, propping himself on his knees, cradling her head in his hand. Her arm circled around his waist and pulled him to her. Death had crept into their lives and both of them wanted to be reminded of life at that moment.

                With his wife gone, Donovan found it hard to sleep. Their bedroom felt so empty and the bed was cold without her there. He kept a picture of them, from so long ago, up on the wall. It didn't feel that long ago that they had been so young but now she was gone. He only hoped it wouldn't be long before he was able to join her.

                “Renata, I know you planned on moving out and finding your own place but please, stay with me here? With mom gone, daddy is in a practically  zombie state and I’m going to need your help.” Renata looked at her curiously. “I’m pregnant Ren.”

                “You are! When? Why haven’t you said anything before? Who’s is it?”
                “One question at a time.” She smiled at her friend’s excitement. “I was planning on telling all of you but then…” Her voice trailed off. “It’s Miles’.”
                “Of course I’ll stay.”

                Donovan began spending much of his time at the public library in Kensington instead of home in his office. The library computers had a lovely view of the bay and there weren't any painful reminders that Camille had left him. He knew that his anger was irrational and that she hadn't chosen to go but he was mad nonetheless.

                When Evangeline heard that Neal’s parents had both been visited by the Grim, she decided to go over and check on him. Being an only child, he’d be going through all of this alone whereas she had her father and brother and Renata. She couldn't let him grieve by himself. His parents had been wonderful people and she’d cared about them too.

                “Neal, I’m so sorry. Can I do anything for you?”

                “No, I’m okay. I’ll be fine.” He glanced down, seeing her stomach for the first time. “You’re pregnant?” She winced, knowing that it must hurt him that she was having a baby with someone else.

                “Is there any chance it could be mine?” She shook her head. “It’s his isn’t it? The guy from graduation, that’s whose baby you’re having.”
                “Neal, that’s not fair! This baby is after us!”
                “It could have been us Evey! You never even gave us a chance. You ran off to school and started seeing someone else and then came home to me and acted like everything was fine. I still don’t understand.”

                “I told you, I wanted to figure out who I was.”
                “That’s a bullshit excuse and you know it.
                “Does it even matter anymore?” Her sympathy for his grief evaporated as the conversation continued. Why did he have to push her about it? “We were divorced, what were you even doing there?”

                He paused and stopped, the angry lines on his face crinkling into sad ones. “I came to win you back Evey. I still love you. I wanted to make it work.” He handed her red roses, leaving her speechless. “I still do, if you ever change your mind.”

                “Honey, are you sure you want to be working out right now?” Donovan smiled, thinking that his daughter was a lot like her mother. The past months had been hard but he’d slowly come to accept Camille’s absence. He only wished she’d stayed around long enough to meet their first grandchild.

                Renata had been on her way to get the paper that morning when the overwhelming feeling of nausea had washed over her. Unable to keep her breakfast down any longer, she hunched over on the porch. Embarrassed, she quickly grabbed the hose and sprayed down the steps.

                “Oh my Watcher! My baby is having a baby! What do I do?”
                “Get. The. Car.”
                “We don’t have a car! Just my motorcycle. I can’t take you to the hospital on a motorcycle.”
                “Dad! Call a cab! We have to go!”

                Finally they made to the hospital and got Evangeline checked into the maternity ward. Donovan, unable to sit still, paced outside, waiting. Miles finally showed up. “It took you long enough.” Though he hadn't been most welcoming of Miles into their family, in his heart, Donovan just wanted his daughter to be happy so he’d accepted their relationship. Miles smiled at Donovan and went inside. He knew the old man was just being gruff, as a father does.

                Flynn Avendale was finally brought home in the wee hours of the morning. The small, empty room attached to the master bedroom had been turned into a nursery. Donovan had offered to move into Emerson’s old room and let Evangeline have the master so she could be closer to her son. She had insisted though that her room was right across the hall and hadn't even considered taking him up on his offer.

                Evangeline decided to throw a small party with some friends to welcome Flynn to the world. Miles and Kieran arrived early to help set up and, later, Emerson, Lowell, Genevieve, and even Neal would be along to meet the small bundle. Evangeline had been hoping that inviting Neal would show him that she was happy and let him move on.

                When a delicate, attractive brunette arrived with the majority of the guests, Renata showed her into the house. “I’m Renata. How do you know Evangeline?”
                “I haven’t met her yet. I’m here with Emerson.” Her smile was dazzling. Renata hated her instantly.

                As soon as she got a hold of him, she dragged Emerson out onto the porch.
                “Renata, can’t we talk later?” He looked eager to get back to his date.
                “I’m pregnant.”

Chapter 6.3                                                                                                                                                     Chapter 6.5

And generation 7 has finally been born! If it's not obvious yet, Evangeline's roll is Single With Help. Renata is that help. In their final semester of Uni, I started regretting that choice though and wanted to keep Emerson around. I couldn't kick him out of the story like I usually do with the spares. I like him too much. So I've been doing my best to keep him involved and there's still a lot of autonomous flirting going on with him and Renata. I used it to my advantage.

I did not, however, force Neal to flirt with Evangeline or her to accept said advances. She did that all on her own. Stupid sims. I swear, they all have a mind of their own.

Donovan is the last surviving old person that started in St Claire when I first began Camille's generation. After Pearl, both Ian and Jane went, then Sylie and Joshua in quick succession. Last to go was Angie who left her money and things to her only son and her cats. Donovan is now 3 days past the life span and I know his time is coming soon. I won't lie, I tried to cheat Camille into more time. When the Grim Reaper first showed up, I exited without saving hoping that starting my save new might reroll. Unfortunately, that was not the case. It was just her time.

Evangeline has mastered the Tinkering career and has completed 2 of the 3 challenges in the journal. I still need her to complete the 10 electronics repair but those items don't seem to break nearly as often as the sinks and toilets. The dishwasher, luckily, counts for that though and it breaks down every now and again so I hope we can get there. I'm also attempting to have Renata do this goal as well, but for Charisma. She's also mastered that skill. She's got a few more challenges to go on it but we're working on it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Chapter 6-3: Panic Station

                Neal couldn't put his finger on it, but his wife seemed different lately. He’d learned to accept her grumpy days and mood swings but, recently, she’d seemed more withdrawn. Trying to talk to her about it got him nowhere and she insisted that everything was fine.

                “Alright baby, I’m heading to work.” He was disappointed but not surprised when she barely looked up from her book and waved him off with a little air kiss. He sighed and left.

                Snowflake Day arrived and the Carlyle’s headed over the Evangeline’s parents’ house for a gift exchange. She couldn't believe just how many people her mother had invited for the party. It was standing room only.

                All of her mother’s old friends arrived: the Panems, Neal’s family, the Malones. Camille noticed Danny not in attendance and, when she asked Sylie about it, she found out that he had passed away peacefully in his sleep just the night before. She pulled her friend close, trying to comfort her as best she could. Danny was the first of them to go and losing him was like a reminder that soon, their time would all come as well.
                As the party wound down, Neal took his wife’s hand and led her out to the porch. The Snowflake spirit had gotten to her and, as such, she was in a much mellower mood. When he put his arm around her and pulled her close, she snuggled in, seemingly content. He had no idea that he was about to ruin the mood.

                “So, I've been thinking,” he leaned in, whispering in her ear. “Let’s have a baby.” She tried to keep the look of shock and fear from her eyes. It wasn't that she didn't want a child, just not right now. It wouldn't be right to knowingly bring a baby into the mess she had created and was still trying to figure out how to fix.

                “I think I should finish school first.” It was as good of an excuse as any and maybe he’d drop it for now.
                “You've only got one semester left. We don’t know that you’d get pregnant right away. We could just start trying now. And if you did, well, you’d be finished before the baby was born anyway.”

                Evangeline stood, trying to take just a moment to organize her thoughts and feelings. “Neal, I’m sorry. This is…it’s just not the right time. I need some space right now and time to think. I’m going to stay here tonight. My old bed is still unused.” He looked at her, confused, unsure of what had just happened but agreed, trying to give his wife what she needed.

                As she settled into her old bed, surrounded by mementos of her childhood and pictures of her and Neal as teens, she wondered if she was doing the right thing. Yes, she decided. I've been doing the wrong thing for so long, I can barely tell anymore. She made up her mind that she would talk to Neal in the morning, even though it meant hurting him.

                He was waiting for her when she opened the door and she looked at him, still without the words to her thoughts. She knew she had to, she couldn't continue this roller coaster any more. He was a good guy and deserved better than what she’d been doing to him.

                Before she could stop him, he pulled her into a kiss. It was like he knew what she was there to say or at least knew that something was wrong. His kisses were almost angry, filled with need and desperation to make her forget everything she was about to do. Everything that she’d just been about to say melted from her brain as Neal urgently kissed her.

                His hands removed her clothing and, lost in the need, she let him. Unlike previous love-making, he didn’t take her to the bedroom and lay her gently down. Instead, her pushed her back against the nearest surface, in this case the bookshelf, and hoisted her up to him. It had never been like this with him before and she soon was gasping, shaking as an orgasm washed over her.

                As he set her back down, all the things she’d been planning on saying rushed back to her and she groaned, realizing that she’d just made things that much harder by allowing this to happen.

                “What do you mean, you want a divorce” Neal said, completely confused at where this was coming from. Even though he’d known she was upset, this hadn’t been even on his list of things that might be going on. “I’m sorry I brought up the baby thing. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready. I’m okay with that. We can wait.”

                “Neal, it’s not just the baby thing. We got married too young. I don’t seem to know what I want anymore. I don’t know who I am and I don’t know how to figure that out and still be Evangeline Carlyle. I need to figure me out before I figure us out, okay?”

                “Evey, are you sure? Please don’t do this. I know it’s been tough but I love you. We can still make this work. You know I support you and, even though I wasn't happy at first, we've made you going far away to school work.” She couldn't look him in the eye. She knew it was underhanded not to bring up Miles. Did it really matter now? She was breaking his heart anyway, no need to add insult to injury.

                “Please, Evey.” She could hear the wavering in his voice, a sure sign that he was close to tears which was something she’d never seen. She couldn't bear it. As her muscles tensed, ready to move, it seemed that time froze for just a second. She could see the possible outcomes of this situation. If she put her arms around him now, cried with him and promised to make it work, she would never be able to clean up the mess she had created. It hurt now, but this was something she had to do. She tilted her head and looked at him sadly, a tear escaping her own eye before she grabbed her clothes, got dressed, and left without another word.

                “Do you want to talk about it?” The divorce papers had arrived before the next term had started and Evangeline had sat down and told her family much of the same thing that she had told Neal. She didn't mention Miles to any of them. Though both her parents were sad that things hadn't worked out, their daughter’s happiness was more important and they supported her, regardless.
                “No, thanks Renata.”
                “Are you sure?”
                “I’m positive. What’s done is done, let’s just drop it.”

                When they had come back to campus, the home they had been renting before had been sold so they’d had to find a new place to stay. They had all agreed that renting had been much better than staying in the dorms. Luckily, they were able to find a house right across from the quad. The previous tenant had graduated and moved out of town.

                “I missed you.” Evangeline snuggled closer into Miles’ arms as they sat in front of a fire at the fraternity house. He smiled down at her, content to have her back. He didn't know about her divorce yet but she was about to change that.

                “Miles, I have to tell you something.” He looked down at her. She had a way of putting him on his toes, never knowing whether she was about to break bad news to him or delight him with good. “Neal and I got divorced. Over break. He doesn't know about us, it wasn't important.” A grin spread from ear to ear as he heard the news.

                The semester sped by quickly. With much less worrying and appearances to keep up, Evangeline felt freer than ever. Kieran became a regular at the house. His dorm was loud and messy so he often came over to get work done or study though the two took time out for fun every once in a while. She also tried to spend as much time with Miles as she could though her free time was rather sparse.

                With graduation coming up, Evangeline spent most of her time studying and playing catch up. She was still exhausting herself with classes, trying to graduate on time. She would dash from class to class, barely time to eat between them. As soon as her last class of the evening let out, she race home, eat whatever leftovers were in the fridge and barricade herself in her room to study and do her homework. The constant struggle to maintain her grades and keep up with her classmates left her feeling ill and tired all the time.

                When the flu persisted for a couple of weeks, Evangeline finally went to see the school nurse. Her vitals were checked and all seemed to be fine. She described her schedule and her diet, both needing a bit more regulation. “And when was your last menstrual cycle dear?” Evangeline was dismayed to realize she couldn't even remember. She’d been so busy with everything, she hadn't taken the time to mark her calendar. The nurse gave her a crooked, sad smile, all too familiar with young college girls getting knocked up away from home for the first time.

                She didn't think it could be. Wouldn't I know, if I was pregnant? Surreptitiously, she went to the corner store to buy a test. She looked around, hoping no one she knew would catch her buying the small box. As soon as she got home, she locked herself in the bathroom and waited a very long two minutes. When the test showed a faint pink positive mark, Evangeline could barely believe her eyes. She knew she should have known better. A scare in high school should have taught her to be careful. She had been though. She had birth control, she’d been taking it!

                Fuck. She groaned. She realized that she’d run out of pills and had never gone to her doctor to get more over break. She’d been so distracted with everything going on with Neal that she had plumb-bob forgotten. How could I be so stupid? First things first. I need to graduate. Then I can deal with this.

                Between the Neal and Miles triangle, and now this, Evangeline had become quite the accomplished liar. She kept her pregnancy to herself and let people believe she had the flu. Her morning sickness wasn't too awful and since she spent most of her time alone, no one was any the wiser.

                Soon, the snow on the hills began to melt as summer slowly made its way to the campus. Graduation was upon them and Evangeline was sure that she had managed to make it.

                “My parents will be here tomorrow for the ceremony. They don’t know about you yet but I’d like to introduce you to them, without telling them too much.” She was nestled in the crook of his arm as he walked her back to her house after her first exam of the day.

                As they neared the street, she saw the last thing she expected: her parents, with Neal, sitting on the steps to her house. Shit. Maybe they didn't see me yet. She saw them stand and her mother cross her arms. Yep, they’d seen her.

                She turned to Miles. “Just stay here, okay?”
                “Is that him?” She didn't have to ask which him he meant so she just nodded. “I thought you said it was over?”
                “It is! I don’t know what he’s doing here. I haven’t answered his calls lately.” Miles looked ready to march over with her and prove his dominance, like a wild animal. “Miles! Stop. I can handle this. Just, go home. I’ll see you tomorrow.” She glared at him, angry that he was making this about him instead of realizing the mess that she was now in. He turned and stalked off, without another word. Great. Now I have to fix things with him too later.

                She crossed the street and unlocked the door, letting everyone in. No one said anything. She hated seeing the look of disappointment on her father’s face. She waited for someone to say something, most likely her mother with the ‘I told you so’.

                “Is this why you asked for a divorce?” Neal exploded first. Her parents went to the kitchen to give them a little privacy even though there were no doors to close. The house was too small for that. “How long have you been seeing him?”
                “Sinsectmester,” she mumbled, hoping he’d just let it go.
                “Since second semester! I’m sorry! I didn't know how to tell you!” He opened his mouth to say something and then quickly snapped it shut again. She saw him take a deep breath, most likely to calm himself and, before she could say another word, he turned and left, slamming the door behind him.

                As she heard him stomp down the stairs, she turned, preparing herself for the lecture sure to come from her parents. She expected the lecture and, in fact, almost welcomed it. All the guilt that she had carried around so long finally was going to be lifted from her shoulders.

                She finds that she isn't prepared for her father’s reaction. “We raised you better than that. How could you do that? You've been taught, from day one, that honesty is the most important thing in this world! Not only were you disloyal to a man you promised to cherish and love forever, you LIED about it! For months. To all of us.” She turns and runs from the room, tears streaming down her face, her pregnancy hormones making her more emotional than normal.

                She never wanted to upset anyone. Yes, she’d royally fucked up but hearing her father’s disappointment and anger was almost too much to bear. He’d never raised his voice to her before and it hurt so much to hear it now.

                “He’ll get it over.” Her mother’s voice from behind startled her.
                “Oh mom. I never meant to hurt anyone!”

                “I know baby. We all have to make our own path in life. Part of making that path sometimes means cutting through the bushes in the way. Sometimes, when you get where you’re going, you realize there was an easier path but you can’t go back and put the bushes back together. You've just got to keep going.”

                With her mother’s advice tucked away, Evangeline wiped away her tears and promised herself that she would get through graduation without any more hiccups.

                “We did it!” Evangeline hugged Kieran the next night as they were finally released as new graduates. “What are you going to do now?”
                “I haven’t decided yet.”
                “You’ll have to come visit soon!”
                “Of course. I hope to be there when the little when is born.” He smiled down at her stomach for a moment. Kieran, of course, was the only one that knew about her pregnancy and had been supportive since she’d told him.

                Neal had left the day before, not staying for the ceremony and her parents had a flight out shortly after. She and Kieran took a quick picture together to document the day before she rushed home to finish last minute packing for the drive back to St. Claire.

                In the middle of the night, the three had finally managed to get everything loaded back in the moving truck and were on their way home for the final time.

                Emerson moved out not long after they arrived back in town. He’d found a decent priced apartment near downtown and wanted to be closer to the music studios. “Are you sure this is it?” Renata had imagined something a little more warehouse-y, rather than townhouse-y.
                “Yeah, I’m sure. I’ve got the address right here.”

                “Em, you got a dog!”
                “And it stinks. So does that laundry! Do you ever clean?” Since finding out she was pregnant, she’d noticed her senses, especially her sense of smell, were much more sensitive now.

                “Nah, I usually do most of the cleaning,” a familiar voice said from the back of the apartment.
                “Kieran! What are you doing here?”

                “Remember when I told you about Lila?” Evangeline nodded, remembering the girl Kieran was in love with.
                “I found out she got a record deal from a label here in the city and moved here. I hadn't decided where to go yet so St. Claire is as good a place as any. Your brother was kind enough to offer me a place to stay.”
                “Are you two…?”
                “No. Just friends right now. Like I said, she’ll come if, when, she’s ready.”

                Kieran wasn't the only new arrival to St. Claire. Evangeline got a call from Miles asking if he could see her. She hadn't known he was in town but readily agreed to meet him in central park. They’d barely talked since graduation and, when he did answer the phone, he was always curt and to the point. She was hoping they’d be able to smooth things over now.

                “I’m glad to see you.” She smiled. “What are you doing in St. Claire?” Abruptly, the sky flashed as a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and the clouds burst with a torrential downpour.
                “Let’s go back to my place and I’ll explain.” His place?

                They arrived at a small loft studio in the heart of the downtown district. He walked in, then turned, welcoming her as a small, bundle of white fur barked her own welcome.

                “I’m sorry I've been aloof lately. It…hurt when you picked Neal over me. Let me finish,” he admonished, seeing her about to interrupt. “I know that wasn't it now but it felt like it. You didn't even want to introduce me to your family.”
                “I’m so sorry. There was so much…”
                “You didn't let me finish,” he scolded, but with the slightest upturn of the corners of his mouth, trying not to smile. “Anyway, I want to try to work things out. I was offered a spot on a couple different sports teams. When the St. Claire Stallions made an offer, I decided to take it, so I’ll be close.”

                Touched that he would move close, hoping to have the chance to make things work, she crossed the room and folded herself into his arms. “I’d like that.”
                “Very much.”

Chapter 6.2, Part 2                                                                                                                                            Chapter 6.4

Sorry it's been so long since I last updated. I had a contest due then I got distracted with CAW. Finally, I realized how long it had been and I got to it.

Uni is finally over. I doubt I'm going to do that again. Unless my sim gets super high scholarship marks and can finish the degree part in one term. I'm happy to have it over and will be getting on with the rest of the generation shortly. I'm especially excited that Generation 7 is finally on the way!

I'm quite sad though that my generation 5 sims are starting to die off. First it was Danny, then Pearl. Camille got to spend some time with Pearl beforehand. Apparently, according to Story Progression, Joshua and Sylie are now spending time together, which I find rather adorable. As long as Sylie can't have any more children. Her progeny are already starting to crowd out the rest of the town! Camille and Donovan have both hit 110 days (the length of my lifespan) and I'm scared to start the actual game again. I might need to take another break, just to prepare myself for the eventual emotional distress their deaths will cause me.

And yes, you read right. Delilah is moving to St. Claire. Perhaps, in an alternate reality, they can finally have happiness. *Glares at Buckley*