Sunday, May 13, 2012

Chapter 50: Shove It in a Box

Pablo and Jennifer wanted Heather and Laurel to stay with them until Ulises was released from the hospital, but Heather insisted she wanted to go home. Not wanting to leave her friend alone, Rebecca volunteered to stay with Heather, and spent the morning before she came home giving the house a thorough cleaning, as though she could scrub away the memory of what happened to her in this house.

As soon as she gets home, Heather settles Laurel back into her nursery.

Then she tends to her neglected garden. Life will only feel normal again if she lives it as normal, Heather thinks, determined to get past he fear she feels just from being in this house again.

"It was only supposed to be for a few days, anyway," Coby reminds Rebecca when she drops by his place to pick up her things. Though they'd shared a bed the whole time she stayed with him, they were never truly a couple, and have no need to break up now that he's got Stina back in his life. They just simply go back to being friends, with no more benefits.

"I thought I would have moved on by now," Rebecca says with a sigh, "I mean, out of L.A., maybe even out of California. But Heather needs me, at least until her husband gets home. And I'm getting kind of used to being here."

"You were born here," Coby says, "Like me." Native born Angelenos are a rare creature, most everyone he knows came here from somewhere else, and the people he grew up with have all gone away.

"Don't remind me," Rebecca laughs.

"Are you sure you're okay here?" Rebecca asks while Heather makes them some breakfast after their first night alone in the house. Rebecca slept in the guest room, or tried to sleep, anyway, listening to Heather sobbing alone in her room. Rebecca knocked on her door, but Heather had locked it and refused to let her friend in.

"I'm fine," Heather insists, concentrating on her pancakes. "Did you take care of your business with SFPD?" 

"Yeah," Rebecca sighs. That was a mess, going into the LAPD station to report herself as not missing, and being interrogated about why she left town without telling anyone she was going, why she replaced her cell phone so no one could reach her. To the police, it looked suspicious, and it was hard to convince them she just wanted a clean slate. No one understands that, not even Heather.

"Who are you?" Heather demands, gun aimed and ready to fire. As soon as she saw the stranger skulking around her driveway, Heather prepared to defend herself. It was never going to happen again. "You work for the Esparazas?"

"My name is Shannon Daughtry," the stranger says, holding his hands up defensively, "I'm looking for Rebecca Gold."

Hearing the commotion, Rebecca comes out. "Heather, it's Shannon," she says, "My...I know him, he's okay."

"Don't sneak up on me like that," Heather says, standing down.

Shannon didn't realize he was sneaking, he was checking that he had the right address before ringing the bell, but he decides against pointing that out while Heather is till holding her gun.

"I didn't expect you to come after me," Rebecca says.

"I didn't expect you to walk out on me," he answers.

Heather decides she doesn't need to be part of this conversation, and goes inside to put away her gun.

"You weren't kidding; this place is really as trigger happy as you said," Shannon comments when Heather is out of earshot, "I thought she was going to kill me."

"That's not normal for her," Rebecca says, and explains the situation.

"I can't believe you called the police on me," Rebecca says.

"You left for work one Thursday and you never came home. I called everyone we know, and it turns out you never showed up to work at all. All your shit is still in the apartment and you didn't answer my or anyone else's calls. Of course I called the police, Rebecca! I was worried sick about you!'

When he puts it that way, it makes sense, Rebecca thinks. Why she thought he'd just let her disappearance slide, she can't even explain that to herself, though at the time it seemed like it would work out. "I didn't meant to frighten you," she says softly.

"Bec, what's going on here?" he asks, "Why did you leave like that?"

"I just felt, I don't know, suffocated, stagnant. I'd been in the same place too long. I needed to move," Rebecca tries to explain. The inability to put this feeling into words is why she left without saying them.

"So you just walked out on me," Shannon says, "I'm not buying it. Tell me what's really going on with you. Is it some one else?"

"No!" Rebecca protests, "Let's talk about this inside."

"Is she going to be okay with that?" Shannon asks nervously, not looking forward to having a gun pointed at him again.

"She'll be fine," Rebecca says, "She's afraid of strangers, but I've told her about you."

"Did you tell her why you left me?" he asks, following her into the house.

"Rebecca, help me understand this. Because, as far as I knew, everything was great with us. We've been together two years, and I thought we were happy. I was happy, Bec. I love you. If you weren't happy, if I was doing something wrong, you could have told me..."

"It's not that I wasn't happy with you," Rebecca says, "I was too happy, maybe. Too settled. I needed change."

"And you couldn't have told me this in person? After two years you don't think I deserved to be broken up with face to face?"

"I couldn't do it," Rebecca sighs, "I  couldn't look at you and say goodbye."

"I'm sorry, Rebecca, but everything I'm hearing from you is bullshit. There's no such thing as too happy."

"I knew you wouldn't understand," Rebecca says, "No one does."

"I don't think you understand it, either," Shannon says, "You're running away and you don't even know why. If I had any sense, I'd let you go and take your crazy with you."

"But I'm as foolish and stubborn as you are, Rebecca," he continues, leaning close to plant a soft kiss on her lips, "And I'm not giving up. If you can't make yourself break up with me in person, then I'm not letting you go."

"We're going to pick up your father now," Heather tells Laurel.

"Da da," the toddler answers, and Heather smiles. Trace has agreed to the adoption, and soon enough Ulises will be Laurel's father legally.

"It's good to be home," Ulises sighs when he's back in his house with his family again.

"But are you okay here?" he asks, "Really okay?" He took a bullet to the stomach and barely survived it; he'll bear the scare for the rest of his life. But what happened to her's not something doctors can sew up and make better.

"I'm fine," Heather insists.

"You've refused therapy..."

"I don't need it. I can't talk about what happened without talking about why Esparza had it out for you. Because of my plants."

"Mariposa, therapy is confidential, you can talk about it without worrying about it coming out..."

Heather shakes her head, "I don't want to talk about it," she says, "I just want to put it behind us and move on."

Ulises is still overwhelmed with joy of being alive and being at home again with Heather and Laurel, and in his happiness he embraces his wife while she's making pancakes.

Arms come around her from behind. Heather turns, pushes her attacker away, preparing to strike.

"Heather, it's me," he says softly, taking her arm before her hand can slap him, "It's just me."

Heather collapses to the floor in tears. "I'm sorry," Ulises soothes her, "I should know better than to surprise you like that."

She sobs and shakes her head, "I shouldn't be this jumpy. I pulled my gun on Rebecca's friend yesterday. And now this, I almost hit you..."

Ulises helps her to her feet, "It's normal for you to be nervous after what you've been through. This is why you need therapy."

"I just want to be done with it," Heather cries, falling into his arms.

"You can't just shove it in a box," he says, "You have to deal with it before it will go away. You need counseling."


  1. If Heather does get counseling I'm worried the secret of her plants will come out. I see their situation getting worse before it gets better. But maybe having a baby will be good for her. Something to focus on.

    I was sooooo sure Shannon would be a girl. But nope. Just a very sexy man. I like him. ^^

  2. Poor Shannon.

    If someone pointed a gun at me, I'd probably be curled up on the ground crying.

  3. I love Shannon as a guy name too much to waste it on a girl, lol. It's true, I have thing for male names that used to be exclusively male but have since become more used for females, like Tracey, Stacey, Shannon, the many -ley/-leigh names.

    And yeah, poor Shannon was not expecting that particular welcome, to say the least.

  4. I'm so glad Ulises is back home, I really think they need to go for therapy, to help them deal with everything, it isn't healthy for Heather to keep things bottled up like that. She sure seems like she's suffering from post traumatic stress, she needs to talk to someone.

    And how the hell do you do it, I swear you have such an amazing knack of creating male characters, they are all so different, but I love them all, and I'm referring to Shannon now, he's such a sweetheart, or the little I've seen of him in this update. And I like what he said to Rebecca, about not giving up on her!


    1. Thank you Val!
      I get a lot of comments about my male characters. I remember when I was doing this story for Sims 1, someone told me that the stories seem to focus more on the men than the women. I do seem to have some kind of affinity for men, I feel them and know them and write them more fully more than my female characters. I don't know why that is.

      I'm happy you like Shannon.

  5. Reading this was very difficult; it's hard to watch Heather be in so much pain and feel so vulnerable. You did a fabulous job writing; it must be at least as hard for you to write as it is for us to read.

    On a lighter note, Shannon is gorgeous! I'm a sucker for the Aymeri braid. Your Sims are always so gorgeous, I don't have the patience to make unique looking Sims.

    1. Yes, this has been very difficult for me to write. I just want to make everything better for Heather, but I know that's not how it works.

      And thanks on Shannon. I love that the braid is now officially Aymeri's. It's actually hard for me to use it without thinking I'm encroaching on Aymeri. And no doubt Shannon will take on something of Aymeri's personality because of that connection. Except for the part about being a dragon...

  6. Great update. I like Shannon ^_^ I look forward to seeing what quirks he brings to this lively group :)

    Ulises and Heather have a lot of emotional repairing to do. I hope it doesn't tear them apart.

  7. Yes make her go talk to someone! She needs it because she is falling apart. :(

  8. Thanks, Zhippidy, I like Shannon, too.

    I feel bad just thinking about what I put Ulises and Heather through. =(

  9. Yes she definitely needs to talk to someone! Heather is going to lose her mind being paranoid and scared all the time! That's not living! I hope Ulises can convince her to seek help.

    I like Shannon. He seems like a really sweet guy and really does love Rebecca. I hope he can figure out what her issues are and help her through them!