Sunday, October 9, 2011

2.8--Here Comes Death

For the next couple of days following her reunion with Randy, Adamaris had been putting on her "brave" face; pretending that everything was all right.  Harper had promised the night before their parents and grandparents returned from their trip not to say a word.  Even she knew the news would be better coming from Adamaris, if she decided to tell them at all.

She had been spending the brunt of her time with her grandparents and avoiding her mother at all costs, lest she give something away too soon.  Olive and Feng knew something was up, but decided that pressing Ada for details would only make the situation worse.  So they waited for a truth that would never come.

Despite her exceptional acting abilities though, her grandparents knew that Adamaris was hiding something big.

"Do you think it's drugs?" Mya blurted.  She couldn't help but be worried for her granddaughter.  After all, Adamaris was a sensitive child and often seemed more withdrawn than Mya would like.  She knew exactly how she felt, feeling alone and ostracized even when in a room full of people, but she was among family and no child should ever feel like they don't belong in their own family.

Rob shook his head vehemently. "Adamaris knows better than that.  Olive has taught her well, so I don't think that's the issue.  I'm worried it's something deeper.  Have you noticed how vacant she looks lately? Like she doesn't feel comfortable in her surroundings?"

Mya nodded. "Do you think we should talk to her?"

"I wish we could, but I don't think it's us she wants to talk to.  She's been avoiding Olive and Feng like the plague; as if she wants to tell them something, but doesn't know how."

"I guess we'll have to let our little Olive take care of this one, huh?"

"She hasn't been little in ages."

"Well you don't have to say it like that! You're making me feel old!" Mya retorted, looking at her aged hands placed on her lap. "Do you ever wish we could go back, and start all over again?"

Rob scooted over to his wife and hugged her tight on the couch. "Never in a million years.  We did everything right, we spent our time wisely, but now it's our turn to fade out and let the next generation take over."

Mya winked. "Well I know I'm not ready to go out of this world quite yet."

Rob laughed. "I have a feeling you won't be doing any graceful fading anytime soon, dear. After all, you and graceful have always been a contradiction."

And for that, Rob received his last playful slap on the shoulder... the next day was to be his last.

Despite Rob's words of being ready to leave this world he still begged for a little more time, but his only response was silence from the Reaper.  

Mya saw the whole thing.

When the girls returned home from school, the family gathered to formally bury Robert out in the backyard. Feng was distraught over Robert's death, and openly mourned the man who he had learned to regard as both a close friend and second father.  Admaris also didn't take the news well, but remained withdrawn and didn't express her feelings publicly (much to the dismay of Olive who was hoping that in the face of such grim circumstances, Mar might open up to her).  Robert's death didn't quite hit Harper yet as she was still coming to terms with the fact that people do die and eventually leave this world.  Olive decided to be the strong one in the family and provide the shoulder for everyone to cry on.  She was hoping it would serve as a distraction from her own grief.

Mya was the hardest hit.  After a few words were spoken the family retreated inside, but Mya stayed by Rob's grave.  She remained by his grave's side for the rest of the day; Olive had to come outside to make sure she ate dinner.  Only at night when everyone had fallen asleep did Mya finally return to her empty bedroom. It was solitary and without Robert, but she crawled into her spacious bed anyway pretending that her husband was still alive and there with her. 

Olive promised herself that she would be the "strong" one, but once she let the realization sink in that she wouldn't be seeing her father around the house any longer, she finally let her facade falter.  Feng was there to help her cope.

She makes a short trip to the tattoo parlor the following afternoon to get a set of angel wings on her ankle. She and her family had never been particularly religious, but it helps her to think that her father is somewhere nicer than here... somewhere happier.

Olive also vowed to take some time that night to talk to her mother, who had been holed up in her room for the past 30 hours.  Mya had only left to take a shower or to get food; otherwise, she stayed in her bed watching TV.  This isn't the Mya that Olive knew.  This isn't what her mother would ever allow her do if their roles were reversed, so she was going to pry her mother out of this funk any way she could.

When Olive first joined Mya on her bed, no words were spoken.  They let the silence drift between them before Mya finally broke it.

"I know everyone is worried, but I'm fine. Truly."

"No you're not, mom."

Mya let her smile slip. "You're right, I'm not."

"You have to get out this room for a bit, ma. Get some fresh air, talk to people.  Dad would definitely be unhappy to see you rotting in here alone."

Mya laughed. "He most certainly would.  I just wanted to be by myself for a bit and reminisce before letting go. I guess I just got caught up in the past and forgot that I still have the present."

"Just promise me you won't be leaving me as well... at least not anytime soon.  I was afraid you had given up and were waiting for your turn."

"This old gal won't be kicking the bucket for a while dear, I promise you that."

Olive smiled. "I called Snuffle and Sybil this morning, to give them the news. And I also called a few friends and Feng's family to organize for a funeral tomorrow evening.  Corri can't make it from France in time, but Syb will be here."

Mya nodded. "Thank you, sweetheart.  For everything. I know this was hard on you as well."

"It was, but you and dad always taught me to push through life's speed bumps.  I'm going to miss him."

Mya patted her hand. "Me too."

The Funeral...
Sybil was the first to arrive, but avoided talking to any family until she could get her emotions in-check. Instead, she wandered aimlessly around the room greeting Feng's family and any of her father's friends that were able to attend.

When she saw Olive sit down to eat by herself, Sybil made her way over knowing that she too was attempting to avoid as many people (and condolences) as possible.

"You okay, Ollie?"

"Not really; but we've had more things going on here than just dad's passing. You?"

Sybil shook her head silently. "What other things?"

Olive sighed deeply and regained some composure before giving her sister the details. "Well, Adamaris has been acting more reclusive than usual.  Usually she talks to me about everything, but we haven't sat down and had a real conversation since we returned from our trip.  She's been avoiding me and Feng and I have a feeling Harper knows why as well, but they both just won't... talk. It's killing me.  And mom, despite saying that she's fine, is still mourning dad heavily and not really saying much either."

Sybil patted her sister on the shoulder, letting her hand rest there reassuringly. "Everything will be fine Olive... I hope."

Olive smiled sarcastically. "Well the 'I hope' sure sells it, Syb."

Adamaris reached out to her cousin, Tanya.  They hadn't been particularly close and only really talked at school; but Adamaris needed someone outside of her immediate family right now.  Someone who wasn't harboring any suspicions that something else was bothering her.

"Tanya, do you want to go somewhere else with me? I really can't be here right now."

Tanya looked around the room at all the sad faces and quickly agreed. "Me neither.  Where would you like to go?"

Adamaris inched in closer, whispering. "Somewhere where I can make a few changes... aesthetic changes.  I don't feel like myself in this hair and these clothes... and I just..." Adamaris couldn't finish the words. There was no way to accurately describe her feelings to someone who had a family she felt she belonged in.  Hell, she could barely comprehend these feelings herself. She just wanted to change into something different, be someone different. How could she possibly explain that clearly?

Tanya nodded, as if she understood. "I have a friend that lives near central park that does hair and stuff. She never sleeps and she owes me a favor, so don't worry about paying."

Adamaris smiled. "That's perfect. Thanks Tanya."

After they both managed to sneak out of the house (supposedly unnoticed, but Sybil saw them and relayed the message to Olive), Tanya took Ada to her friends house.  Once the makeover was finished, they made their way back to central park to hang out.  Mar was avoiding going back home at all costs.

However, the girls were only there for 30 minutes before a cop saw them and wrangled them up to take them home.  The whole way back to the Dennis house the cop lectured Ada on being more responsible, but she didn't care anymore. If she was being honest with herself, Mar was beginning to feel hollow inside, emotionless. 

When Adamaris returned home, she received another wasteful lecture from Feng.  She simply gave a weak smile, promised to be better next time, and then made her way silently to her room not even sparing a second glance at her mother who was waiting to talk with her in the background.

"We need to talk Ada. What have you done with your hair? And what is going on with you, sweetheart?" Olive asked, catching Mar before she made it to the stairs.

Adamaris gave her pseudo smile in response. "I changed it.  And can we talk tomorrow? I'm really tired."

Olive nodded. "Sure, but we are going to sit down and talk first thing tomorrow morning."

Adamaris gave her mother a weak hug before retiring to her room.  All the while, Olive and Feng watched her ascend the stairs worriedly.

Later that night...
Adamaris waited anxiously for the family to fall asleep.  Once the house had fallen completely silent, she gathered what little she packed and then inched slowly out of her room to make sure no one was milling around upstairs.  When she was convinced that she was in the clear, she slipped a sloppy goodbye letter under Harper's bedroom door and then made her way to the front door.  

She had been planning this for a couple of days now and was convinced that running away and finding a place she truly belonged was the best option, but she still had her reservations.  Adamaris took one last look around the entryway, for memories sake, and then swallowed back her emotions.

"This is for the best." She whispered to herself. 

And then she turned the knob of the front door and made her way outside to get into the taxi that she called for 30 minutes prior. 

"Where are you going?" The taxi driver asked, silently questioning the age of his passenger.  She had told him she was 18, but she only looked about 15.

"The nearest train stop, please."  Adamaris gave him a thirty dollar bill accompanied by a look that told him to mind his curiosities.

The taxi driver sighed and took the money.  "The train station it is then."

And everyone lived happily ever after. *headdesk*

If that doesn't suit you, then here is the real ending for Generation Two and lead into Generation Three (or at least the plot I had cooked up before my computer and legacy went kablooey).

--After Ada runs away, the Dennis clan try desperately to find her, but with no luck.  Some of her belongings are recovered a while later from a park in Bridgeport, but they are bloodied and in shambles so the police chalk it up to a possible homicide.  After a search was conducted with no further evidence found, she is officially declared dead and the case is closed. (Since you can't really do much in the Simverse when it comes to murder, and because my game imploded before I could fully develop the plot, the concise version is all I can offer).

--The rest of what happens will be cataloged in the introduction of the Harris Legacy.

I apologize for the wordiness of this chapter; I didn't get enough pictures to fully develop what was originally planned so I had to explain them as best I could.  Well, here is the end folks. I hope that everyone makes their way over to the Harris blog for the official introduction and to continue the story. Onwards, I say! ; )

Friday, October 7, 2011

2.7--Young Face Gone Wrong

Just to break the trend of starting every chapter with a birthday; I'm going to throw some random pictures in... and then get to the birthdays. 

Here is Michelle Dennis; Sybil and Hayley's first daughter. She definitely looks like Sybil facially, but has all of Lee's aesthetics (skin and hair color).  Certainly an intriguing mix. *twiddles thumbs*

This is Kizzy Dennis, their second daughter (which Sybil actually doesn't pop out until the end of this chapter; an early sneak peek).  And yes, Twallan's SP totally gave her that name autonomously. I'm sort of in love with it.  I didn't really get to see how Kizzy progressed before my game a-sploded, but she looks like Hayley in this picture (with Syb's hair color)... but with random eyes.  Srsly; blue eyes? The only person in their family that has blue eyes is Rob... and Sybil was ADOPTED garb-nobbit. *headdesk* 

Some random snapshots of Adamaris's newly redecorated room... because I'm damn proud of it (and because it took me for flippin' ever to get her wall color right).

Aaaaand, back to the regularly scheduled shenanigans.

The Dennis clan was in for quite the busy weekend as both Adamaris and Harper had birthdays within a day of each other.

Here she goes...

I'm seriously starting to wonder if the Dennis family is even capable of producing an ugly child.  If so, I feel terrible for whatever kid that ends up being because they will be OSTRACIZED!

Next up was Harper, who had her birthday party at central park the following night.

The sparkle attack!
While grandma Dennis apparently turns her back on her grandchild... 0_o

And there she is in all her surly glory.

Proof that Sybil is NEVER a happy, pregnant lady.

After Harper aged up and was adequately occupied with the local children that showed up for her birthday party, Olive made her way over to her extremely pregnant sister.

"Do you still think it's a tumor?" Olive asked sarcastically.

Sybil scoffed. "Technically it is a tumor; or rather, a parasite that's feeding off of my nourishment."

Hayley laughed. "But it's our parasite."

"Is my stomach supposed to get this big?  What if it is twins? Or triplets?!"

Hayley put her hands on Sybil's shoulders, forcing her to relax. "If it is, we'll deal with it.  The more the merrier, right?"

Sybil released a long sigh, before nodding slowly in assent. "If we have quadruplets though, I'm pawning them all off on you Olive."

Olive laughed. "You can certainly try.  I think I've sufficiently mastered pawning off my kids on other people, to catch on to your tricks though."

After a few more moments of calming Sybil; she was finally persuaded to eat some cake and relax, leaving Olive alone with her sister-in-law.

"You're glad it's not you that is pregnant this time, huh?"

Hayley gave her side glance with a mischievous smile. "Damn straight."

On Sunday, Olive visited the tattoo parlor.  She got a flower for Adamaris who was just budding into the world as an "almost" adult and a moon for Harper because it reminded her of Harper's solitary and introspective attitude; she was always surrounded by people, but preferred to be alone and in thought.

Sunday night, Robert surprised Mya, Olive, and Feng with two day passes to a resort in celebration of his retirement.  When Olive brought up reservations about leaving the girls home alone so soon after their birthdays, Robert jumped to their defense.

"They are both responsible girls, Olive.  Plus, I've already discussed it with Mar and she happily agreed to take care of Harper while we are gone."

Adamaris nodded in the background, knowing full-well that she was going to be doing something that would betray all of their trust while they were gone. "Yeah, mom. Don't worry... I have it under control.  And no parties, I promise."

And with that, Olive and Feng packed their things and joined their parents for a little getaway...

...while Adamaris gathered the last information that she needed to track down her father.

The Next Day...
Adamaris woke up nervous, but content.  Her father's schedule in the police force meant that he got off work roughly the same time that she got out of school and fearing that she would miss her opportunity, Adamaris decided to skip her first day of school so she would have the day to prepare herself for their meeting without obstruction.

So after making Harper breakfast and dropping her off at school, Adamaris wandered around town; spending the brunt of the afternoon in the park thinking of what she would say to her father.

As soon as it was two o'clock, she rushed over to his house and found him already outside.  He looked slightly shocked, but recognized her appearance right away and invited her inside.

The conversation started out civil enough, with him asking about how she was doing in school; but as soon as the topic of her mother came up he quickly changed tune. 

"So what, did your mother send you over to collect child support?" The way he said mother made Adamaris cringe.

"No. She hasn't told me anything about you. In fact, I had to research everything about you on my own."

Randolph scoffed. "Right. I cannot possibly fathom Olive not badmouthing me around town... especially to my estranged daughter." Again, the way Randy enunciated daughter made Adamaris feel sick to her stomach.  She shouldn't have come here and now she was regretting it.

"Listen. I just wanted to come here and find out who my dad is.  Mom had absolutely nothing to do with me taking the initiative, nor is she even aware that I'm here." Ada sighed, letting her anger calm a bit before continuing.  "I'm starting to realize that coming here unannounced was a mistake though."

Randolph scrunched his shoulders, letting his expression waver a bit toward compassion before donning the apathetic mask he wore so well. "Look, me and your mother decided long ago that it was best that we stayed out of each other's lives; and by extension, that means you too.  I am glad to meet you and you seem to have turned out well enough without me, but I don't care to go any further with this.  I'm sorry Adamaris, but I'm not your father and I don't want to be."

Adamaris sucked back the tears that were beginning to well.  She had built up her defenses and lowered her expectations in preparation for this, but it still hurt. "Then why spread those rumors about my mom holding you back from meeting me? What purpose did that serve?"

Randolph shrugged. "Everyone knew about what happened with us and I was confronted about it at work; so I lied to save what little reputation I still had.  Things got out of hand from there.  I'm sorry if it misled you, but I stand by my opinion.  Go back to your real parents, Adamaris; you won't find any here."

Adamaris looked back once at her father, the father that she hoped would want to be there as Feng was there for Harper, before leaving.  Feelings of disappointment, abandonment, and not fitting in neatly with her family began to rise as she rode her bike home.  These emotions were new and raw, but felt oddly familiar as if she had been harboring them for a million lifetimes... and she didn't like it.

Once home, Adamaris went through the motions.  She watched cartoons with Harper, who despite being so young, had always been particularly intuitive when it came to other people's feelings.  She knew that her sister had caught on to her plans to meet her father, and she knew that Harper was staying silent out of compassion for her obviously troubled sister.  Adamaris had never cherished silence more.

Harper asked Ada for a bedtime story, and she stoically obliged; hoping that it would distract her... but it didn't.

When Adamaris faltered a few times, turning her face quickly to wipe away a few tears that escaped; Harper interrupted.

"Are you okay, sissy?"

Adamaris nodded, knowing that any words she let out would betray her.

"I know what you did today... I mean, I saw the stuff on the computer last night.  I'm sorry if he wasn't nice, but I love you and I think it was really brave what you did."

Again, Adamaris nodded mutely.  Harper let the silence go on for a bit, before continuing the conversation. "Will you sleep with me tonight? I'm scared to be alone in grandma and grandpa's room."

Adamaris smiled, knowing that Harper was offering out of compassion rather than fear.  Harper was notoriously unfazed by anything that allowed her to be alone; sleeping included.  "Yes."

They went to sleep that night knowing that even in the most unforgivable circumstances, they still had each other.  Even this wouldn't comfort Adamaris though; she had let those new emotions fester and be held in for too long.  She was an outcast in her own family, a daughter without a true father that didn't fit in with the new family her mother had built, and there was nothing that could fix that.

Another Chapter with a song-title.  I think it *somewhat* captures Adamaris' feeling of helplessness and abandonment. (Ta-ta-ta-teen angst... wicka wicka).

Mogwai- Young Face Gone Wrong

'Ze Close-Ups
Ada-Mar-Mar; all grown up (sort of).



*Adamaris gained the Genius trait when she aged up.  She's sure putting that to use, ain't she?
*Feng is at level 4: Fertilizer Analyst
*Mya and Rob are still going strong.  Mya is at 106 days (it's capped so I have to guess how old she actually is... which I believe is around 115 days or so) and Robert is at 113.

We're inching closer to the end here folks. : ( 
And by "inching" I mean, one more Chapter.
Well, there's nowhere left to go but forward... to the bat mobile!