Sunday, September 11, 2011

Chapter 6: Letting Go

Hawke woke alone in bed, and rushed down to the nursery, trying to convince himself that everything was all right, that he'd find Sun with Li Feng. But he knew what he'd find before he opened the door, he knew as soon as his eyes opened that Sun was gone.

Eleanor woke to the cries of her brother, and rushed down to the nursery to give what comfort she could, knowing there was nothing she could do or say to mend Hawke's broken heart.

They buried Sun beneath the cherry tree in their backyard. Hawke couldn't bear to have her any further away than that.

Sun had been with for so short a time, but the impact on his life was permanent. She taught him the meaning of love, and she left him with a child to raise.

He'd come to Brooklyn Heights to pursue a dream, to devote himself to his music, but that had fallen by the wayside while he engaged in the more frivolous pursuits of parties and women. Frivolity was gone now, and his music is all Hawke has now to keep him going.

Ho Sung had to be told about his sister's death.

Grieving together, the two men find themselves connecting as brothers.

"Hui and I have decided to stay in Brooklyn Heights," Ho announces. "Our parents are long gone, and we feel it's more important to stay with Li Feng than to return to Shang Simla." BeforeHawke leaves, Ho gives him an old doll he says belonged to Sun. "She always called her Zhenzhen, it means 'precious'," Ho tells him, "She'd want Li Feng to have her."

Li Feng will never know her mother, Hawke thinks sadly as he puts the doll in the crib with her, but she will at least have her uncle to tell her stories about Sun's childhood, the stories Sun never had time to tell Hawke.

"Is that your daughter?" Thornton asks, barely glancing over his shoulder at Amelia, "Talking to Kvornan's boy?"

"Yes, that's Amelia," Eleanor answers, "Don't worry, she's not interested in bothering us while we play chess."

"I'm not worried," Thornton says, his brow furrowing, "But perhaps you should be. The Tricous are more than a little odd."

Eleanor laughs, "I work with Kvornan, remember? He does weird the office up a bit, but my own family has produced stranger people than that. Amelia will be fine."

Thornton is quiet for a moment, considering his next move. "Tell me about them. Your family."

"Why?" Eleanor asks. Now that she's reached the top of her career, it no longer matters who knows who her parents are, but the secret has been kept so long, she sees no reason to tell it now.

"Because I want to know," Thornton says, looking down at the board, avoiding her gaze. "I've told you about my family."

That he did, told her all about his successful father and his neurotic mother and their failed marriage, and the whole sad story revealed a lot about Thornton's own issues with family and children. "The past isn't important," Eleanor says. Thornton doesn't look up, doesn't say anything, and Eleanor senses in his silence that this isn't some trivial conversation he's making. This matters to him, and her answer will make or break the relationship. "My real name is Raven," she says, choosing trust, "Raven Enmity."

He looks up at her. "Enmity? As in Trent Enmity? The artist?"

"He's my father," Eleanor says, somewhat surprised that he's the parent Thornton finds most memorable. Her mother, Aislin, is a celebrated movie star, and a household name. But of course, Eleanor realizes, Thornton's ex-wife is a collector, and has several of her father's pieces. "My brother and I didn't want our family name to give us any advantages, so we changed it when we moved here. Is there anything else you want to know?"

Thornton gets up from the chess table, "Yes, I want to know everything. Everything about you. I want you to invite me to your place."

"You know the deal," Eleanor says, "I don't want my daughter to be involved with my outside life."

Thornton pulls her into his arms, "That's just it, Eleanor, I don't want to be outside of your life. I want in."

After some negotiating, Eleanor invites him back to her place that night, but only after she's put Amelia to bed. The time hasn't come for her daughter to be involved in this yet.

"I love you," he says to her when she she takes him to her bed. It takes her by surprise, as neither of them have said the word before. "Say something," he says when she doesn't answer, "Don't just leave that hanging out there."

"I don't know what to say," she answers. He groans. "Don't take it that way. I'm just not the romantic type. I didn't think you were, either."

"We aren't 'types', we're people," Thornton answers, "You must feel something. If not love, then what?"

What does she feel? she wonders. She went after him because he represented what she wanted most from life, success, wealth, power. But those are all things she can get for herself, that isn't ultimately why she stays with him. Why then? "I do enjoy being with you. You understand me, even better than my brother...he tends to project his own feelings onto me. And the sex is amazing, I can't imagine being with anyone else. Is that love? I wish I knew..."

Thornton laughs, "All right, I'll take that, for now. Let's get back to the amazing sex and save the awkward conversation for another day."

Hawke remains broken hearted and grieving.

Time passes and Li Feng grows into a toddler, but Hawke's wound has not healed.

Their daughter is both a constant reminder of what he's lost, and the last link between them, their love brought to life.

Li Feng isn't startled to see Zhenzhen come to life late at night.

She recognizes the spirit that haunts her doll, even though she has no memories of her living mother.

Coming down to the nursery to put Li Feng in her crib, Hawke is surprised by Sun's ghost. "Oh, Sun," he sighs, trying to hold onto her.

"You have to let me go, Hawke, " she says in her ghostly whisper ,"You have to move on with your life. For Li Feng's sake, if not your own."

"I'll never let you go," Hawke vows.

Sun haunts his dreams that night, even as she haunts his bed.

Challenge Notes:
I use a mod by claudiasharon that makes it much less likely for my Sims to get IF dolls. I haven't gotten one since I started using the mod. And how fitting is it to finally get one for a baby that just lost her mother? And how cool was it that Sun should pick that object to haunt?


  1. Goatta love those mods, eh? I swear they have a mind of their own sometimes. (SP especially)

    I love how Thornton is becoming more of a rounded character. He really is quite fascinating, and I love that he recognized Raven's father first. That made me giggle. (Also now I miss Trent and Aislin.)

    Hawke's story arc is breaking my heart, man. But I love how Li Feng looks so far. Absolutely adorable! And I bet she's just going to get cuter from now on. Can't wait!

  2. Oh wow. I really loved this chapter. All of the characters seem more complex and rounded out as people.

  3. Poor Hawke :(

    Will be interesting to see where Eleanor & Thornton's relationship goes from here

  4. I've never seen a ghost look like Sun before. Way cool.

    Your photographs always amaze me. I love the picture of Hawke holding Li Feng. I couldn't stop staring at it. Hawke just looks so... heartbroken.

    Really, really awesome chapter.

  5. Thanks, guy! I really wanted to do more with Thornton.
    The mummy's curse death ghost is definitely very cool looking.

  6. Catching up! This was a great chapter! Amazing writing and great story progression with the characters. They really come to life!