Friday, 1 June 2012

Baby 24 - Silver Lining

"Achlys, can I talk to you?" She looked somewhat surprised, since it was early in the morning. And frankly, I almost never had a mother-daughter-chat with her. "Um... sure Mom, let me finish this first, ok?"
"What is it, mother?" Achlys asked me patiently. She was very soft-spoken, something that I found quite weird for her age. Every teenager I knew in Bridgeport used bad words.
"Well, you see..." I trailed off. It was more than awkward to talk about this to her, since I practically abandoned her days ago. But I cleared my throat and tried again. "I don't feel... good about this. About the whole thing. It was okay at first, but then your brother Zachary succeed in knocking some sense into me." Again I stopped. I didn't even know what to say, but her expression told me she already understood.
"Well then, my only suggestion for you is change!" She said it so clearly as if it was obvious in the first place. "Be yourself again--I meant, the old you, Mother. The Leah Sierra people knows."
I began to object in horror, realizing how horrific the whole thing was. "But--but I don't even know who I was! The Leah people love--I honestly can't relate to her. We're completely different, by looks, by personality..." The realization of it freaked me out, and my voice pitched high. Just how different I had changed?
But Achlys just smiled. "Mom, chill. It's going to be alright. You're just having some... how to say it? Identity crisis. Contact a therapist, and you'll be just fine." When I didn't answer, she continued, "And you know what will make you feel better? Move back to Sunset Valley!"
I didn't answer instantly. Actually, her words made sense. This apartment just gave me bad influence, drew me back to the days when Malvolio was here... and the second his name appeared in my head, I knew what to do. "Okay."
We had a lot of things to do, though, before moving out. We still had to clean the apartment...
I wanted to make this apartment as clean as we first moved in. After all the quarrels we caused, it just didn't feel right if we still left things messed up behind.
And the birthdays! To make things easier, I decided to age up the tots and the babies earlier, since it would be hard to bring a baby carrier back home.
Ginn grew up just like... how Malvolio must looked like when he was younger. Same brown hair, red eyes, lips shape, even the same pale skin.
Tequilla, however, had a lighter skin. She also resembled me in some way, with those eyes and hair color.
Talia got the most haunting eyes of a vampire I had ever seen, and her dark skin just made it stand out even more.
Zoey looked somewhat more conservative, yet soft like cotton. But both looked pretty, I have to admit.
We moved out that night. The trip to Sunset Valley would take hours, and I wanted all of us to get enough rest when we arrived.
When we finally arrived, I found myself quite taken aback by the wave of memories that struck my mind. It was like a tsunami, where suddenly every single word I said, every single thing I did here, came back to me in one big wave.
"This is such a cooool house, Mom! No wonder you really enjoyed it here!" The kids rushed into the house instantly, examining things and giving happy compliments.
But I was still astonished out there. I felt like... a zombie who just rose from the death, really. Even the tiniest detail of the memories, the happiness I used to feel here surprised me.
The school hadn't started officially, so I told Achlys to take Ginn and Tequilla to the town. For some reason, I just knew they'd love it here.
And I was right! Both of them just couldn't get enough of staring at paintings and objects at the museum. Guess they were quite fond of art.
Achlys also took them to the school those three would attend. She told me she had done some research about Sunset Valley, so I didn't need to worry about them getting lost.
The twins--for the first time--played in the playground. This excited them to no end, since in Bridgeport they even barely touched the toys in the apartment.
Just like normal kids, they also enjoyed sweets. We were not strapped for cash, so I let them buy some ice creams for afternoon treat.
It was then when Achlys realized where she stood. She had read enough of my challenge that she recognized the house right away. The door, the walls... and soon after, she called me screaming, "Momma!"
Unfortunately, I was visiting the house of my therapist. I know, it was weird. But he asked to see me after work hours, and I offered to visit his house. With such big wave of memories back at home, I felt the need for some walking around town, so I called a babysitter and went to the therapist's home.
The house was small and pretty, almost like a cottage. The therapist's name was Heimdall Quinn. The name kinda rang a bell, but I was so focused on my situation that I didn't really think about it.
"Well, well, who do we have here?" When he invited me inside and I saw his face, I couldn't help but squeak. Of course! How could I forget him. He was Christy's 41st child, Heimdall. Still, it was quite a surprise seeing him as a therapist, since if I remembered correctly, he wanted to be a private eye once.
"Heimdall! I can't believe it's you! I'm--" He laughed, cutting me off. "Leah Sierra, I know. Why don't you take a seat, Leah?"
And there we were, cracking some jokes until the night fell. I felt like I knew him, since I read Christy's updates constantly before going to Bridgeport. She made it so warm I felt like reading a diary, and thus made me feel like I had known her children all along.
After hours of constant laughing, Heimdall finally asked, "I've heard everything about your problem, Leah. Now tell me, what kind of help do you need?"
"Oh... that." The sentence sealed my lips for a while. The sudden change of topic made me feel somehow uncomfortable, but if I wanted to be "cured", I had to go through this first. "It's just... I don't know, Heimdall. I don't know who I am anymore. I know people love the old me, but... no matter how hard I try, I still can't go back to who I used to be."
"Mm-hmm? And who were you before the whole vampire thingy?" He asked it so politely that I couldn't help but laugh. Awkwardly. "I don't know! It's like... he took my old self and tossed it into a garbage bin somewhere. Is that even possible? Can a vampire do that?" Because, honestly, the possibility gave me the creep.
"Nah, no, he can't." Heimdall responded with such a soft tone. "He might have changed you with whatever venom he has inside his body, but your old self is still there. Buried deep, deep down under your vampire side. He didn't change you completely, Leah. He just put a new personality into you, forcing it to sink in. But he had no idea that if he left you like that, his influence would fade away just as easily."
It took minutes before I muttered weakly, "But... but now what should I do? Everything Zachary said, it broke me inside, Heimdall. I don't know who I was, who I am, and I don't know how to... change to a 'better me'. Everything is just so vague right now..."
He gave me a sweet smile. "Then don't try too hard. Take it easy; go with the flow. I suggest you to reread everything you've been through, and feel it. No need for such hurry, Leah. Just do everything you used to do, and let the rest follow."
When it was time for me to go home, I asked him the question that had made me tick for days. "What about the vampire cure? Should I drink it to, you know, speed up the 'process' of changing to myself again?" Heimdall actually chuckled at my question. "No, no, not now! It will only mess things up. You'll get even more confused with your identity. No, you better drink it after you control the situation."
It felt weird, talking to someone else about this, but Heimdall gave me such comfort that words just escaped my lips smoothly. Maybe because he was a therapist, but I don't think so. "Well then, thank you, Heimdall! Give my love to Christy, okay?"
At this point, suddenly his face darkened and I caught a weird expression in his eyes. He refused to explain it any further, though, and I had children to take care of, so I went home.
The first thing I did was change my hairdo and my clothes... to everything I used to wear. Yes, Heimdall told me to wait, but I knew this thing would be just perfect to help me go through the process.
In the earlier days, it was more than hard. Almost insufferable, in fact. I literally had to learn how to treat toddlers. Both Talia and Zoey curled up with me reflexively, but it took a while for myself to snuggle them without hesitation.
As a vampire, I never needed to cook. All I needed was blood, and I could get that easily by hunting or buying plasma juice in the supermarket. And I usually just ordered food for my kids, anyway.
But after going back 'home', I decided to wander to the kitchen and try to cook again. Needless to say it didn't go very well at first.
I cooked spaghetti for the four of us, and yeah--I choked a few times during the dinner, but both Ginn and Tequilla found human food surprisingly good. So I guess the meal wasn't really that bad.
I'm not gonna lie, my night was still full of nightmares. But they were different ones. In the days of my depression state, I usually found myself screaming for Malvolio. After I... sort of 'got over' him, my nightmares were full of myself, stranded on an island, all alone, without knowing who I was. Was it better? No, nightmares are still nightmares.
By morning, Achlys gave me a picture of the house she visited with Ginn and Tequilla the other day. Yes, my fingers immediately trembled when I touched the picture, because noone could know about it better than I did... it was my old house.
Once the older kids went to school and a babysitter took care of the younger ones, I made my way to the house. It might be a wrong step to do, since another wave of memories hit me right in the head.
But I simply couldn't help it! When I peeked into the main bedroom, I almost fell by the sight of my first crib. The one Primera used. It might meant nothing to everyone, but it seriously broke my heart... reminded me of the good old days, when I started out as nobody, with nothing to worry about. Just how good life was.
I stood there in silence for God knows how long. But then the smell of smoke jerked me back to reality, and I realized that as a vampire, I couldn't stay too long outside or I might be burned by the sun. Before going home, I heaved a big sigh of... what? Sadness? Relief? Maybe a bit of both, but that clearly helped.
Back to our house, I decided to do some gardening. The garden in my old house inspired me, made me remember how relaxing the activity was. And some trees were just all we need, anyway.
Achlys was such a good sister that I practically envied her. I don't know where she got all those teaching techniques, but Zoey seemed okay in her hands.
It's not like I didn't try. After days of watching Achlys, I finally had the guts to teach Talia how to talk. Again, she was sweet towards me. I was the one who was too afraid to approach her.
Come to think of it, Achlys might be a fan of my 100 baby challenge. Seriously, where did she get the technique if not from there? When it came to teaching Zoey how to walk, she did it outside, at the balcony, without hesitating for a single second.
I did it myself, years ago, before I moved to Bridgeport. And seeing from how it worked for Zoey, I decided to try it to Talia, as well. Only after she got really tired that we both stopped.
And Talia wasn't the only one. I was exhausted too, after hours of doing house chores and taking care of kids... I felt like a newbie again, to be honest.
Sometimes I even had to tell myself to give up and sleep. But even that took me a while to agree with myself, since sleeps only brought more and more nightmares.
For the first time, my kids really got to enjoy the feeling of being 'normal' kids. I'd say the twins were lucky, though, since Achlys didn't get the chance to feel it.
They would stay awake for hours, just playing and teasing each other.
Ginn and Tequilla were nearly inseparable. They'd spend weekends outside, at the park, having picnics. The view of the town without the glaring lights were beautiful indeed.
"WHOOO! Push me, Ginn! Push me!" Tequilla screamed happily as they played in the playground. Being a good brother as always, Ginn was always there to help her.
At nights, just like normal siblings though, they liked to fight when it came to TV shows. Ginn really enjoyed Survivor since the first time he watched it, while Tequilla was more hooked by Once Upon A Time. At this point, usually Achlys forced them to compromise.
When I checked on my e-mail account, I found something quite surprising there. Yes, a man actually asked to be a part of my challenge. He introduced himself as Gunter Goth, and that he lived in Sunset Valley too.
It took me hours to finally say yes. Frankly, I wasn't sure about this. I wasn't good enough--yet--to take care of my current kids, let alone more babies. But I knew what Heimdall would say--he would definitely encourage me to do so, since that was what 'Leah Sierra' would do.
So it's settled. Gunter suggested me to meet up with him at the park, and I agreed. It had been a while since the last time I jogged, after all.
"Ohh, you must be Leah Sierra! It's very, very nice to meet you!" A man seemed thrilled by the sight of me, and I gave a somewhat awkward grin. "Oh, hey. Yeah, um, I'm Leah Sierra. And you must be Gunter Goth."
Gunter seemed love to have a longer conversation, but I began to feel uncomfortable about what we were about to do, so I quickly invited him to my house.
We cracked up some lame jokes back home, which yes, lightened my mood for a bit...
...but not for long. His constant caresses made me more and more uncomfortable. I couldn't quite understand why... was it really this hard back then? To embrace, hug, kiss someone you don't love?
The reason was, of course, Malvolio. I knew I hadn't really got over him, and all these kisses with Gunter only made it worse. It took everything in me not to push him away, so I forcefully ended the kiss and asked him to go upstairs.
He didn't look very happy about it, so I leaped into his arms and tried to get him in the mood again. Really, I'd love this to end as soon as possible. I was so distraught that all I wanted was to try for baby and have a solitary moment. Fortunately, after that everything went smooth. ;)
The following evening was another session with Heimdall. I felt so relieved by his arrival to my house that I actually prepared a little gift for him.
"Wait, is it a book?" He frowned when he looked at the box. "Because I don't need more books right now, really."
I cringed. Yes, that was a book--a novel, in fact. I thought he would like it, and the fact that he didn't actually made me... well, sad. For a reason I didn't know. "I'm sorry, Heimdall! I don't know that and--"
But he cut me off and burst out laughing. "Stop it, you! I'm just kidding. Really, Leah, you really need to chill out sometimes!" I shook my head in disbelief, but eventually joined laughing. He was right. I was way too serious these days.
We took a seat at the living room, and he asked if I was making any progress. I told him about everything I did and tried to do, and--of course--about Gunter Goth.
"Whoa! So you're pregnant already?" Heimdall chuckled, and I rolled my eyes. "I guess so. I began to be all nauseous this morning."
"So... you're going to continue the challenge?" Heimdall asked, and my mouth immediately closed. After minutes of silence, I mumbled, "I'm... not sure, actually, seeing from what a bad person I am. How I've abandoned my children like that..."
"But you'd like to continue it?" Heimdall insisted, and I gave him a weak smile. "To be honest, yeah. I've missed the feeling of a baby in my tummy and... pretty much everything that I forgot when I was in Bridgeport."
"Then I think you should continue it, Leah. It's not like what you've done is an unforgivable sin--you're getting better right now already." I laughed, for the first time really considering to continue my challenge. The idea of it had been haunting me ever since I moved to Sunset Valley, but it sounded so creepy back then, before Heimdall pointed that out.
Heimdall's session lasted longer that night. And it was there, when we watched the stars, I completely understood why he made this all so easy: because all along, he never acted like a therapist to me. He was more than it--he was a friend. A friend, which was all I needed at the time.
"Leah, you need to sleep! It's not good for your baby too, if you keep staying up this late..." He commented when I yawned like a cat. "Hmm? Yeah, you're right. I'll sleep right after this."
"Take care of yourself, okay? Don't work too hard." I laughed as he said those things... I wonder if he said the same things to Christy back then. Which only made me think about his changing of expression days ago. What happened to Christy?
I was about to ask him about it when he said he had to go home. He had work to do, and I was already grateful that he stayed there long enough for me. Oh well, I can always check up on Christy myself anyway.
Gardening was indeed a very relaxing activity! And it didn't need so much effort, so it was overall safe for a pregnant woman.
Have I told you about how dramatic the twins were? Despite their high logic skills, they really loved to tell ghost stories at night.
Tequilla was a better story teller between them. Ginn actually shrieked when it came to the most scary part!
And who wouldn't, really? With only a flashlight, my little Tequilla could easily turn the living room to some kind of theater.
As the days passed, it got less awkward for me to hold Talia and Zoey. I snuggled them easier, and I just liked how they smell. Not in term of... you know, delicious blood smell, but they really smelt nice.
It also made me frustrated how, after all the time I spent in Bridgeport, the things in my house seemed to be in a worse condition.
To make them functional again, I had to upgrade them all, one by one. Thank God I had ever done this before, otherwise I wouldn't know what to do at all.
At my spare time I read pregnancy books. So funny, how I suddenly forgot everything after becoming a vampire...
"Mom, can I talk to you?" I looked up and saw Achlys standing in front of me. I gave her a sincere smile. "Of course, Achlys. Sit down."
"I'm just thinking... what if I age up early?"
My eyes widened in shock. "But, why? I meant--" Okay, Leah Sierra, hold up. Don't judge. It really made me shudder, how even the smallest shocking things could make me hard to breathe. She waited for me to calm down, then I continued. "You... you will miss a lot of things, Achlys. And prom is just around the corner. Are you sure about this?"
She gave me a reassuring smile. Oh, how I wished I could be that confident and optimistic! "Yeah, Mom, I'm 100% sure. Honestly, even being a teenager doesn't fit me. I'm such an outsider at school! I can't wait to be an adult, to finally get a job and all..."
I wanted to say no to her, but she was right. High school didn't fit her pretty well. So I gulped and said, "Well, as long as you're happy with it... it's a yes."
"Yay!" My Asian baby grinned and gave me a hug. Then she started talking to my tummy. "Well then, little brother, take care! Go visit me sometimes in the future, okaaay?"
"Little brother?" I laughed, and she laughed with me. "This house is full of girls already! We need some boys to keep Ginn company."
When she left the room, I had to admit--I regretted it. I regretted my words. Achlys seemed so mature, so gentle for her age, that she actually reminded me of Primera. How she took care of her younger siblings... and not only that. Let's face it, I also felt guilty of practically abandoning her in her childhood. I was never there for her, yet she was always there for me.
The day of the birthday bash was perfect--a little windy, maybe, but just a perfect weather. I hoped the next day would be just perfect, when the baby was due.
Achlys grew up to a beautiful young lady with the same Asian face. Really, with that look, I wonder how people could ignore her.
Ginn grew up so much like Malvolio it was almost needless to mention so. He had this beret he was really proud of, since it was a birthday gift from his friend in Champs Les Sims.
On the contrary, I wasn't sure about Tequilla--she got my hair, my skin, my eyes. Yet her face resembled Malvolio in some way... guess his genes were really strong, then.
All three of them ate the birthday cake before Achlys had to move out... they talked a lot that morning.
I could hear Ginn calling me from inside, but I was busy harvesting my apple tree. The fruits looked so fresh, I couldn't help it!
But right after that, my contraction started. The baby couldn't wait to see the world, I think, since he was one day early. And the smoke scent just doubled my fear... what if I got burned there, while giving birth?
I ran back inside. Achlys offered to take me to the hospital, but I refused. I just couldn't leave this house... I missed it so much that I wanted my 24th baby to be born in the house.
After hours of agony and hope, he finally came out--the first baby I gave birth to in my own house.
Please welcome my 24th baby, Vincent Sierra, and thus confirmed my comeback to this 100 baby challenge! :)

{A Little Note}
Okay, I have a problem in the past weeks. A while ago I installed TS3 Pets, and since then my game just kept crashing. I think a bad CC might have caused this, but I can't remember what I installed back then. So I did these, in the hope that my game would stop crashing:
-install Generations and TSR RigFix
-use Delphy's Dashboard and Custard. Yes, I found the bad CCs and removed them all. But it didn't change a thing--my game still crashed after an hour or so
-uninstall Pets and delete the caches. I don't know, this all started out after I installed that EP. BUT even though I've done it, my game still crashes. Until now.
I'm seriously desperate, since the game just keeps crashing before I have time to save everything. Especially when the kids have their birthdays--I have to repeat it from the beginning. It's just so FRUSTRATING! :< Please, if you have any idea what causes my game to act like this, tell me. And thanks in advance!
Plus, thank you to Ashley (the girl behind Christy Quinn) for the name Vincent. And a big, big, big thanks to you guys for reading this <3

1 comments:

ForeverHailey said...

Awe. :( I wonder whats making your game crash. :/
I hope you can get that problem fixed soon. I'm glad to see that you made the final decision to continue your challenge. It's gonna be great to see how Leah over comes her identity crisis. I can't wait to read more cause this was great.

~Dawn Turner

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