Monday, April 16, 2012

Chapter 29: Hung Up

"It's great to see you again, Rebecca," Heather says, greeting her former best friend at her door, "come in and meet Ulises." Get it over with, Heather thinks with a deep sigh.

If she had been just a few minutes later, Rebecca would have missed Ulises altogether. Instead her first sight of him is in his uniform just before he leaves for work.

"I'm happy to be finally meeting you," Ulises says politely. Heather has said much to him about their visitor, except to fret constantly since Rebecca told her she'd be coming out for their wedding. And anything that worries Heather is something Ulises wants to know more about, so he can take care of it. They look each other over suspiciously while Heather's attention is turned to Laurel. Then Ulises turns to his fiancee, kisses her goodbye and leaves for work.

As soon as he's gone, Rebecca starts in on her, "Okay, Heather, what's the deal with you and the pig?" she demands.

At least she waited for Ulises to leave, Heather thinks, trying to find some bright side to her best friend's return to L.A. "Don't call him that," she admonishes, "And the 'deal' is pretty simple, I love him and we're getting married."

"I'm not buying it, Heather," Rebecca insists, "What is he holding over you? Did he find your grow room? Is he forcing this on you?"

"Becca!" Heather gasps, "Where do you even get these ideas?" She considers for a moment telling her what happened with Esparza, but she doesn't even want to think about that, let alone tell others. So she just goes for a simpler version of what's been going on, "I'm not growing anymore. There's nothing for Ulises to hold over me. Not that he would, Becca. He's a good man. A good cop."

"Oh please, as if such a thing exists. I mean, come on, he's LAPD."

"Get over yourself, Rebecca," Heather says, her voice rising slightly, "Everything isn't as black and white as you make it out. Stop insulting the man I love in my own house."

"I just don't get what's happened to you, Heather," Rebecca says, "You loved your plants, you even named them. And I'm supposed to believe you just gave them up? You're sleeping with the enemy, and I'm supposed to believe you're in his bed willingly?"

"It's the truth," Heather says, "I love Ulises. Choosing between him and my plants was not a hard decision."

"You've changed," Rebecca surmises.

"Since I was seventeen? Yes, I suppose I have," Heather answers.

Rebecca gives up hassling Heather about her impending marriage and moves on to talking about her own activities in the Occupy movement  and other progressive causes. Her tone makes it clear that she disappointed that Heather hasn't kept up with all these things; their high school friendship formed around anti-war protests.
Coby drops by for a visit, and Heather leaves her step-brother to sit with Rebecca while she gets dinner started. Everything he knows about art, he learned from Stina, and he pulls that knowledge out now to impress his secret high school crush now.

"Let me guess, you had a girlfriend who was artist?" Rebecca says with a laugh.

"That obvious, huh?" Coby laughs with her.

"You're a lot bigger than I remember you," Rebecca says.

"I was sixteen the last time you saw me," he reminds her.

"Sixteen and you had half the school in love with you," Rebecca muses, "I remember. You haven't lost that charm, either, I see. How old are you now?"

"I'm still a year younger than you. San Francisco is still in the same time zone in L.A.," he says, then catches some flaw in his logic. Even if she did move to a different time zone, the age difference would stay the same, right?

"And I'm guessing you still keep a joint in your pocket for emergencies?" Rebecca says.

"Yeah," Coby answers, glancing toward the kitchen, "But Heather..."

"Let's go somewhere, then," Rebecca suggests, "I don't really want to be here for family dinner with the cop, anyway."

Coby takes Rebecca out to the beach. They smoke a joint under the pier, then head up for some games and rides.

Heather may have changed, but her little brother hasn't, Rebecca thinks.

"So tell me what is going on with Heather and the cop," Rebecca demands.

"I don't get what you're asking."

"How did they get together? Why is she with him? What is he holding over her?"

"Uh, well, I think she told me she met him at the farmer's market," Coby answers, "I was surprised she got with a cop too. And I never thought she'd stop growing, but she seems happy with him. He's a nice guy."

"It can't be that simple," Rebecca says, "Something's going on there. We have to figure it out before the wedding."

"Dude, you are way more paranoid than necessary," Coby laughs, "She just loves him. It happens."

As the sun starts to set, the carnival neon comes on, bathing them in green light. "The bar's open," Coby says, "You want to get a drink?"

Rebecca would have been stupid to have not seen the crush he had on her when they were kids. He was cute then, at sixteen, but he was her best friend's brother and he had a new girlfriend every week, sometimes two or three at the same time. Back then, he was the last thing she wanted. But now? She left some very loose ends behind in San Francisco,  unresolved issues, a relationship that went off track. It's been too long since she'd been with anyone else. Maybe it's time to get her feet wet again.

After a couple of drinks they go back out to the neon lit pier. "So, how many girlfriends are you juggling right now?" Rebecca asks, getting right to it.

"None," Coby says. He hasn't even flirted with anyone since Nina, "How long are you going to be in L.A.?"

"I don't know," she says, "I haven't decided if I have a reason to go back to San Francisco yet."

Rebecca leans close to him. He pulls back, oddly shy for someone with his level of experience. Then her lips meet his for a short, soft kiss.

Coby doesn't open his eyes right away. Finally getting that kiss from the one girl who wouldn't even look at you, it should be something to remember. "That was nice, Becky," he says in whisper as he opens his eyes.

"It's getting late," he says, "Let me take you back to Heather's."

"Really?" she asks, disappointed, "I thought we could go to your place..." It's not like they have to go through the whole getting to know each other phase. 

"Things are kind of messed up with me," Coby says, taking her hands, "I've been hung up on this girl who dumped me. And everything since her, has just been fucked up. You know I like you, Becky, I always have. But I need some time to work my shit out."


  1. *Glares* I do not like Rebecca. Mostly because I will ship Coby/Stina until the end of time!

    And I really hope Rebecca doesn't try coming between Heather and Ulises. They're the best couple in your story.

    1. When I started this whole thing in Sims 1, I actually meant for Gavin and Stina to be OTP, and to have continue breaking up with him and coming back to him. But Coby and Stina actually built up this relationship on their own. Whenever I played their lot (A house I divided up into units and pretended was an apartment), I'd always find them together. Without any prodding from me they got their rel scores up to 100/100. I just had to make them kiss, and go from there. The Sims 3 versions behaved the same way.
      So, I get what you are saying, I ship Coby and Stina to the end of time as well. Despite the hurdles that get in their way.

  2. I'm not making any such judgements on Rebecca. We don't know too much about her.

    I'm sure she has a good reason to dislike cops.

    Her name is spelled the same as mine; useless trivia. Spell check seems to think I should be named "Rebekah" instead of Rebecca. Pretty annoying, since it's such a common name.

    1. That's an interesting spelling. I've seen it before, but all Rebeccas I have known spell it this way.

      I'm thinking I should probably elaborate more on the cop thing. I come from a similar activist background as Rebecca, where anti-cop sentiment is actually very common and very strong. I tend to forget that the whole world doesn't have this prejudice against police. And it's a big part of why I wrote the Ulises character the way I did. I don't like having prejudices, so I thought to work on this one I had by writing this cop character who doesn't fit into that stereotype that LAPD officers especially have to contend with, and try to see things from his point of view.
      I never felt much reason to explain Rebecca, as to me, she's like everyone I know, lol. But I'm thinking maybe she does need more explanation.

  3. I've never understood the whole anti-cop thing (I'm pretty sheltered) so I'll be interested to see if we get to learn where Rebecca's anti-cop feelings come from. Hopefully she'll figure out Ulises is a stand up guy.

    Also, may I just say I think Coby grew up a bit in this episode? Just a tiny bit. Enough to realize that maybe jumping into this with loads of unsorted baggage is a bad idea. Good call!

    PS, I LOVE the lighting effects in the last few shots. They are really cool!

    1. All right, I'll definitely have to work on explaining where the anti-cop sentiment comes from as I write Rebecca more.

      And poor Coby, he does have a lot of baggage to sort through. And we don't even know yet what kind of baggage Rebecca is carrying around with her. But I'm betting she's got at least a couple of carry ons, lol.

  4. I personally don't have any trouble imagining why she'd dislike cops.

    As much as I want to think of them as good people who are protecting me, most of the cops I meet are egotistical nutjobs. They're literally trained to be that way, because the job puts pressure on them to be able to handle anything. They have to have a mentality that reads: "not only can I take you... I can take ALL of you."

    Otherwise, they'd lose control of the situation.

    And there's constant media stories where a cop uses deadly force when they did not have to. Each one just as tragic as the last.

    Once I had to speak to a policeman on the phone (long story), and, unprovoked, he launched into a tirade about how he was not afraid to shoot and kill. It was creepy.

    1. LAPD in particular has had some pretty terrible problems with corruption and unnecessary use of force, and of course, racism. I don't mean in anyway to cover over that with my portrayal of this one cop. But at the same time, my own experiences with LAPD as individuals has always been mostly positive. They've always been polite and professional when I've had to deal with them.

  5. I'm afraid I support cops 100%. The way I see it if a good cop catches a thief or saves someone from being killed they won't make the news, but the cop who uses unnecessary force will be all over the news in hours. Then again I've never been a supporter of protests after my family got trapped in our hotel during the anti Iraqi war protests in LA back in... I have no idea. The early 2000's. Before my youngest sister was born. Even here in Vancouver during the playoff riot last year the officers used force, yes, but the rioters were destroying stores and lighting cars on fire. If you were "just watching" you should have gotten the fuck out of there a long time ago. Their jobs are dangerous and I can understand how the stress gets to them.

    Dammit Melissa. Stop giving us reason to have in depth discussions in your comments!

  6. *shrug* I don't think anybody can say "all cops are great" or "all cops are terrible" with a straight face. Police are a necessary part of our society, because vigilante justice works out badly. Police have rules. Even if they're not always followed, at least they're there.

    There are cops who use unnecessary force who aren't on the news, either. People die every day and the media picks the one it thinks will sell to focus on.

    Sports protesting is stupid and I'd say those people deserve to be beaten within an inch of their life, but war protesting is... well... you should be sad it didn't stop anything. Military spending is ruining the United States. "Eat the rich" might be literal soon.

  7. Being against protesters because your family was inconvenienced by an anti-war protest is pretty short-sighted. Wars do a lot more than trap people in hotels, people die in them by the thousands. When the war is unnecessary, it's the duty of citizens who are against it to protest it. I am sad that the protesting did not stop the war, but I'll never be sorry about engaging in protest.

    1. Well said. I was far too young (11 I think) when they started the Iraq war protest, but I also come from an activist family and when I was old enough to understand what it was I was fighting against or for (with words, of course) - I did. *shrug*

      Anyways - great chapter!

  8. I don't really have anything to add to the previous comments, so I'm just going to comment on the chapter. Hope you don't mind! =)

    Something about Rebecca rubs me the wrong way. Perhaps because she was invited into Heather's house and immediately started attacking her friend's fiancee. That's just plain rude, imo. I mean, I understand that she's worried about Heather and wants to discuss the relationship, but the way she handled it really irks me. I loved (!) Heather's response to her criticism though...

    "You've changed."

    "Since I was seventeen? Yes, I suppose I have..."

    That line was awesome, and just the right thing to say. Go Heather! =) (Also, my dislike for Rebecca has nothing to do with the fact that I desperately want Coby and Ti to end up together, and I'm worried that she is going to get in the way... No, nothing at all. ;D)

  9. Good for Coby not jumping on her when he had the chance, he made the right move telling her what he is going through right now and I hope Rebecca can respect that.

    On the other hand she'd better not do anything to fuck up Heather's happiness because she hates cops!

  10. Coby finally realized he wasn't helping himself by screwing everyone around him. At least for now, anyway. He's still Coby, after all.

  11. I laughed so hard on the time-zone / age thought. Oh he is such a blonde!
    (And I Can say that because I am blonde ^_^)

  12. LOL, yeah all that pot smoking does have its effect on Coby.

  13. Good for Heather sticking up for her man.

    COBY NO!!!! Coby why, don't do it.

    1. Coby really has the worst time with girls, doesn't he?