Dire Decisions

Monday, December 13, 2010

At a time in everyone's life, a crossroads may be reached; the path we always thought was straight suddenly presents us with a confusing set of choices that try to tempt us towards differing uncertain futures. Do we take the safest path, or do we take the one less traveled by?

It may only be a simple choice, but we should always take care: the path to helping an old friend could turn into a ruinous nightmare; the path to saving a lover could turn into self destruction and obsession; the path of confession could lead to retribution; the path of curiousity could lead to unexpected consequences.

Still, there's always opportunities to turn back, or to take a different road...

... it just may be difficult to find the way out once we've finally realized that we've lost our way.

When Travis awoke, his eyes took their sweet time adjusting to his surroundings. His head ached, pounding harder each moment he regained conciousness; his muscles seemed to scream as he pushed himself to a seated position against the pillow behind him.

This would be all fine and dandy... if it happened to be a bed he recognized.

Once Travis finally felt a bit less like he was going to slump over onto the floor in a heap, he hobbled towards the window to try and get his bearings. 'Where am I?' he asked himself, slightly disturbed that he couldn't remember.

'It must've been quite a night,' he pondered. 'But it'd be really nice to know where it lead to...' But, to his chagrin, the scenery outside the window was not scenery he recognized. Well. He knew he was still in Twinbrook -- that much was obvious -- but other than that... Anyone's guess.

The room wasn't all that helpful, either. The place wasn't bad, but it wasn't an image of beauty either. Still, he knew he was on the top story off a house -- and he didn't know many people in Twinbrook that could afford a house that big.

And yet, what was more disturbing to him than that was not just the fact that the bed he'd laid upon was one he didn't recognize, but the fact that it looked as if he had not been the only one laying in it.

'This can't be happening,' he groaned.

He stumbled over towards the desk to try and get some more clues, but it proved unnecessary when the door opened, and Lolly Racket walked tiredly into the room -- apparently not even noticing that he still stood there, waiting for her.

Well... At least, that may be what it might look like to her.

Travis was at a loss; none of this made any sense. The last thing he remembered was the lake... watching Lolly run away... How did he get from there, to here?!

"W... What's going on?" Travis asked slowly, walking up to Lolly as she finally noticed that he'd been lurking behind her. "What happened last night?"

"You don't remember?" Lolly said, obviously amused with a lilt of a laugh on her tongue. "We had a fantastic night together, is what..."

"But, but that doesn't make sense," Travis moaned. "Once we got to the lake, I told you to go away--"

"And then shortly after, you came running up behind me, and... Let's just put it mildly, you pretty much threw yourself at me."

"What are you talking about, Lolly?!" Travis' voice grew loud as his temper began to flame. "I didn't want anything to do with you! There is absolutely nothing that would possess me to want to be with you! End of story!"

Lolly just rolled her eyes. "Man, are you seriously confused or what..."

"Yes Lolly, I am confused! Confused why after everything I insisted, you still managed to seduce me? To drag me here?"

As his anger grew, Lolly slowly backed away. "Look, I didn't mean to make you angry--"

"Angry?! Angry?! You think I'm just angry?!" Travis could feel the rage pushing his heart to beat faster, though he didn't care -- his pulse meant nothing more to him than a measure of his anger. "You're evil, Lolly! You're seductive, you're manipulative, you're--you're..."

Travis had run out of applicable insults; anything further and he might as well call her a girl from a street corner, but they both knew that's not what she was -- even if Travis felt like he'd been used. Or had. Or something to that effect.

Lolly, on the other hand, shook her head in disbelief. "You have no idea what you're doing, do you, Travis? You scream no, and yet you know that Jade isn't giving you what you want... And you know I can give it to you. So you took it. You didn't object last night... What gives you the right to suddenly call me the bad guy?"

As Lolly glared at him, awaiting an answer, Travis couldn't think of any; maybe he'd order far too many Spline Reticulators, but was that a suitable excuse? Had it really just opened up what he really wanted, and he was refusing to see it?

He hung his head, ashamed; he'd made a terrible, terrible mistake... But he knew that he didn't feel nearly as bad about it as he should.

The drive home was miserable; he had to wait for a cab, which felt terrible when he knew that Lolly was watching from an inside window. Even worse, when he realized that the taxi cab driver was someone he knew -- obviously, since Twinbrook isn't that big of a town -- and he secretly prayed that it wasn't anyone that knew Jade. That was the last thing he wanted: Jade to find out. She had enough on her mind right now.

He changed into a fresh set of clothes, but it still couldn't clear his mind; nor could it get rid of that horrible hangover. Man, he had really screwed up this time.

His anxiety compounded when, only minutes after he returned home, a ring came at the door; when he looked outside, he saw it was Jade.

'Oh plumbob,' he thought to himself. 'The cab driver did know her, didn't she... She knows! Plumbob, plumbob, she knows!'

But, he decided he was going to play it cool. Duh; this is Travis Kane we're talking about, here. He's always cool! "Jade?" he asked slowly, his heart sinking when he saw the tears on her face. "Honey... what's wrong?"

When she moved closer to him to move into a hug, he breathed a sigh of relief; the Jade he knew would kill him if she knew about his night at Lolly's place.

"I don't know," she murmured, her voice solemn. "I just feel so lost lately, Travis... So confused. I don't know what to do anymore."

"That's fine, Jade," Travis said, trying to sound reassuring. "It really is. You know I don't care."

"That's... That's part of the problem," Jade stuttered, pulling herself away from his grasp. "You don't care. You keep me at such a distance, you act as if this all doesn't bug you, when I know it doesn't..."

"But I--"

"No, Travis, don't lie to me," Jade cut him off.

There was no use arguing with her, so Travis remained silent; in his stead, she continued.

"I know that the whole commitment thing scares you, Travis, but you don't understand anymore that what happened to Emerald haunts me. That I'm so scared of it happening to me, too. I need a reassurance that I just don't think you can give me, anymore. I thought, when things first happened, that you could. That after what happened, you would change... But you haven't, Travis. You haven't changed."


"No, Travis. It's... it's over."

Travis was utterly, and completely, confused.

"Look, Jade, just come inside, just calm down for a minute and think this through," Travis said, moving in to try to hold her. "You don't know what you're saying." His words only made her tears run faster, and she quickly pulled away from his advances.

"Please, Travis," she gasped, "Please don't make this harder than it already is."

Between the headache, the confusion, and the infuriation he'd felt that morning, Travis couldn't bottle it in anymore. "What do you want from me, Jade?! I've loved you, I've bought you everything you wanted, I've treated you right, I've always made you an important part of my life... So I don't want you to move in, yet? That's it? You're freaking out because of that?"

"No, Travis! It's not just that!" Jade's voice seemed to screech and crack as she spoke. "It's anytime I try to get closer, you push me away, and you find a way to try to drive a wedge between us. I try to take one step closer, and you take one step back. I can't handle it anymore, Travis... I just can't."

"Jade..." At this point, Travis wasn't even sure what to say. Was this really the end? Did she really want this to be through?

"I just... I just..." stuttered Jade, but once the tears started rolling again, there was nothing else she was able to speak.

She reach her hand out towards his arm, and he towards hers... Both knew what they wanted, but wasn't sure what the right thing was to do.

In times like these, almost nobody does.

Travis Kane and Jade Greenwood spent a good chunk of the rest of the morning trying to figure out what they were going to do after the culmination of recent events, but they were unable to do it with each other; Jade left, leaving Travis alone on his door stoop, baffled by both his incredible insensitivity and his incredible intolerance to Spline Reticulators.

Time rolled on, though, and at 6 P.M. on the dot, Travis' ride to sport's practice rolled up to his house, and he disappeared down the road with all his thoughts safely tucked away at home, where they belonged.

At exactly 6:10 P.M. Bradley Kane emerged from the bushes next to his brother's abode.

Now, it is first important to articulate a little better why Bradley felt the need to waste a perfectly good afternoon crouched in his brother's front lawn, and it begins with his Quest to save Emerald.

Bradley, now, had not just gone back in time four times to try to save Emerald. Not five. Not six. In total, twenty trips had Brad taken to Twinbrook B.E.D., and, obviously, none had been successful. Time and time again, Emerald found ways to twist his words, to outwit his foils to stop her, for Jade to continue getting involved -- you name it, Bradley tried.

In the end, Bradley's tired, twisted mind had come to one singular conclusion: Travis Kane must die.

Yes, Bradley had not slept in almost six days, and yes, he hadn't quite thought everything through, but it seemed perfectly logical to him. According to some rough napkin calculations, if Travis was removed from the equation before it even became a problem, then Emerald would be fine. Now, things in the past didn't seem to be effected unless they were things that had also come true in the present, so...

... Well. You can see where this is leading. Is it complete nonsense? Obviously. Unfortunately, inside Bradley all the strings had snapped; one by one, his hopes and dreams had been crushed dismally, and it was all his terrible, horrible brother's fault.

All it'd take is a few handy tweaks to The Beast, and Travis Kane would be no more. 'I'm brrilliiiannt,' Bradley cackled evilly to himself, tiredly delusional.

"... Brad? What are you doing?"

The voice -- that voice -- it came behind him once again, but this time, Bradley was no where near as thrilled to hear it.

Bradley groaned. "It's you again, isn't it?" he growled at her, hunching his shoulders under the weight of his frustration.

"Yeah, it's me," Alesha said with a begrudged sigh.

The anger boiled inside Bradley. His time-majjiger wasn't working as intended. His brother was an arse. The rest of his family was nosy. His soulmate was dead. And now, this crazy person was stalking him.

"Why. Is it. That every. Where. I go. YOU. ARE. Following me?!"

After Bradley has sufficiently released his rage in small yell, he realized how horrible he sounded. 'What is wrong with you, Brad?' his conscience seemed to ask. 'Are you even listening to yourself?'

Bradley wheeled around to face Alesha, but his head hung slightly in shame. "I'm sorry, that came out wrong, I just-- I don't know."

"Bradley, are you okay?" Alesha stared into Bradley's eyes, but what she saw shocked her. His eyelids sagged with darkened skin, his lips were dry and cracked, and worry lines seemed to burrow in every inch left of his youth.

The rain around them began to fall harder, but neither teen seemed to care; as water soaked their clothes and hair, the layers of protection seemed to wash away from both their skin and their souls.

Their eyes met, and for a moment, they saw each other in a way they never had -- but it was smoldered the second that Alesha finally spoke.

"Brad, I'm really worried about you. This isn't you... This is wrong. You need to fight it."

"What are you talking about?" Brad murmured in response. "I'm fine."

"I'm not an idiot, Brad. Fine. I'll admit it. I've been following you -- just because everyone's worried, and I was afraid you were going to do something stupid. And I think you've finally reached that point -- and seriously Brad, it's time to snap out of it."

"I'm. Just. FINE," Bradley growled  back. "I have everything under control. Once he's gone, everything will work! It has to! You're just trying to stop me, because you're jealous! Jealous of Emerald!"

"Bradley?" Alesha's voice was quiet, disturbed. "What do you mean, 'once he's gone'?"

"It's not important!" Brad's voice was hoarse and dry. He didn't even sound like himself, anymore. "You wouldn't understand!"

"You're-- You're thinking of trying to hurt your brother, aren't you?" Alesha yelled. "Aren't you?!"

"So what if I am!" Bradley yelled back. "It's the only way it will work!"

"That has nothing to do with it, Brad! You just want him to pay! This is for revenge-- not for some stupid experiment!"

Finally, Alesha cracked: the years of her parents cheating and fighting, the years of third-hand clothes and birthday-gift socks, friends' betrayals, classmates putting her down, and the boy she adored ignoring her existence finally exploded from the thickly wrapped shell of sweetness and goodness that is Alesha Drudge.

She couldn't stand for this -- not for someone she cared for to turn into something he shouldn't become.

"What has happened to you, Bradley? What happened to the sweet boy I knew who helped his friends with their homework? That built his sister toys? That took hikes in the wild, and fished, and gardened, and used to watch the stars at night for the right reasons? You've become obsessed, and broken, and insane!"

"I know what you're trying to do, Brad!" Alesha continued, her fury only dimming in the volume of her voice. "I know you've been trying to save Emerald! I know about the time machine!"

"H-H... How?" Bradly stuttered, utterly confused. He hadn't told anyone -- even though he'd had it in the yard, he'd told his family that it was a waterless shower. Or... something. They'd bought the story, at least.

"It took me a while, but I figured it out! How? Because I was there, Brad!!"

"You were... where?"

"At your house, all those months ago! I was there the night you came back! At least... I assume, one of them."

"But... But-- how?"

"I was in your parents' room, using their mirror... I moved away just for a second, and saw you outside the window. I couldn't understand what was going on, why you suddenly materialized out of thin air -- I couldn't understand, because I was too young, because I didn't know anything existed that could do something like that."

Alesha continued, "But now I do. Now I know why you came back that night, what you were trying to do when you argued with Emerald, when you fumbled with the car's engine, when you tried to stop her. You were trying to save her life."

"But you have to understand, Brad," Alesha pleaded. "I know these things because I saw them, all that time ago. I remember them because the past is concrete. It can't be changed. You need to stop trying, Brad. There's nothing you can do to save her...'

'It's time to stop before you ruin yourself."

Alesha's face fell, horrified, when he responded, "But I can't, Alesha. I have to keep trying! You don't understand that I can't! She's the girl I loved, Alesha. If I give up now... I've failed her."

"But Brad... Don't you realize that she's not the only person that will ever love you?"

"Alesha," he said, looking upwards towards the slowly appearing stars. "No one could ever love someone like me. Not the way that she did."

"You don't get it, Brad!" Alesha tears melted into the rain streaking across her face as her despair overtook her. "You're dwelling so much in the past that you can't see the present anymore! You can't see that there is a future, one where you're loved by someone far more than you ever thought you could be."

"Yeah, who would ever love me that much?" Bradley scoffed, disbelieving. "Who would ever love what I've become?"

"I would, Brad," Alesha choked, a piece of soaked wet hair falling into her eyes. "Because I already do."

"Y-y-y, you what?" As much as Alesha was choked up to say it, Bradley was equally so in surprise.

"Look," Alesha quickly said, trying to avert the course of the conversation back on track. "I don't care how you feel about me, right now, or about how you feel about Emerald, or about how you feel about your future -- but you have to understand, that what you're doing is a mistake."

"It has to stop," she continued. "Your time machine, your plan for Travis -- it's not going to work, and all you're doing is destroying yourself. I can't see you do that to yourself, anymore."

"So, what if you're right. What if there's nothing I can do, and all my work has been for nothing. I just move on, huh? Start acting like she never existed? Date you? Get married? Have kids? Grandkids? Forget that the girl I loved even existed?!"

"I... I don't know, Brad," Alesha said, muffled under the palm of her hand. She was afraid if she moved it, she would burst into sobs. "I can't make your decisions for you."

"Well, I'll tell you one thing," Bradley said, his face pale and cold. "I could never love anyone as much as I love Emerald."

"N-no one?"

"No one. Especially not you."

The pitter patter of rain hitting wet asphalt was the only sound that could be heard along that street, now. There were no words that Alesha could say without her salt-streaked lips starting to weep, so she only raised her hand from her mouth to her eye, trying to hold away the tears -- as if, somehow, it would also hold back the pain.

As Bradley watched this, a sick feeling of remorse caught him by the throat. The Brad he used to be would never make anyone feel like this. The Brad he used to be would never have stood there and watched.

It hit him so fast that he didn't truly understand what had happened until much later: he suddenly realized, the 'Brad he was' hadn't gone anywhere. He was still Brad. He was still that Brad. And there was still time to stop what he was doing before that Brad was gone forever.

But it was too late -- too late to stop Alesha. As his mouth opened to try to suck back in the horrible things he'd said, his eyes watched her turn from him and run, running through the rain as if the clouds were waging war against her for her very life.

His words died in his throat, knowing that there was no way to stop her, now...

... but it didn't matter, because above all, she had stopped him, and he was more thankful for that than he'd ever been.

It was as if the rain had washed away many layers in Twinbrook; layers of protection, layers of fear. As the world grew anew and all the plants felt replenished, more souls finally chose more paths to go down -- and one of these was Naomi Leman.

The next day, while the sun shone so bright than no one would ever have guessed that there was a storm the night before, Naomi Leman finally found the girl she'd been looking for, but that didn't make this any easier. She was a brave girl, but some things you need to say take more than just bravery.

Maybe that "more" is what the rain finally gave her... but, maybe it was just the impending timeline.

Because, it was either now or never for Naomi Leman.

Something Amelia Kane was distinctly unaware of. "Hey Nammers," Amelia said cutely between a few chords of her current song. "Check this out! I totally learned a new piece, it's so cool! You'll love it!"

"Yeah, sure Amelia, I bet I will... But, there's something else I need to talk to you about. Like, right now. Can you stop for a minute?"

Amelia groaned, but she put away her guitar and turned towards her friend. "Well, this better be important, because I was totally in the groove, there." With a dramatic toss of her hair, she asked, "So, what is it?"

"Oh, it's important," Naomi said through gritted teeth, her usually calm face lined with the pain of what she knew she was about to admit. "There's something I need you to know... Before it's too late."

Several minutes later, after Naomi had told Amelia all she thought she needed to know, the two stood quietly as Amelia listening patiently to the sound of ringing on the other end of her phone, with her hand resting gently on her friend's shoulder.

As she heard the phone pick up on the other end of the line, her hand dropped.

"Hey, Daddy," Amelia said carefully, more seriously than she'd said anything in her entire life. "Listen... We need to talk."

Not too far across town, Amelia's mother was knocking back a drink whilst telling a joke to her friend, Marta Tomasi. The two laughed, but it wasn't long until Meredith realized that Marta wasn't laughing as enthusiastically as she normally was -- and paranoid Meredith wasn't one to ignore subtle details like that.

"Marta? Is everything okay?" Meredith asked softly, cautiously looking into her friend's somber eyes.

"No, not really," Marta said with a sigh, her voice honest and morose. "It's just... You've been such a great friend to me, and I've just been so... not, lately."

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, I totally hit on Jeb and tried to get into his pants. It was stupid, but after the whole breakup with Abel, I just wasn't thinking and seemed to forget that not only is he my boss, he's my best friend's husband, and... Yeah. It was really stupid of me."

"And... he turned you down?"

"Yeah. Not sure why I didn't think he would."

Meredith did her best to hide her surprise -- thank the plumbob, she could actually trust her husband! -- as she reached over to grab her friend's arm in reassurance.

"Honey, I honestly don't care. As long as nothing happened, I really couldn't care less. You've always been a great gal, a strong gal, too... There's nothing wrong with having a few moments of weakness here and there. Plumbob knows I've had more than my fair share."

"Yeah, you're right," Marta said with a smile. "I don't know what I was thinking. It's all that Abel's fault, anyways, right?"

"Duh," Meredith responded with a laugh. "It's always the man's fault."

After the two laughed, Marta shrugged slightly and said, "Honestly, I've just been under so much stress lately. Abel was really just the frosting on the cake, I really thought I was gonna lose it there, for a while. And with the heist going down tonight, I honestly feel like I'm about to crack under the pressure, ya know?"

Meredith paused a moment, confused. "... The heist?"

"Yeah, you know, the heist? The one Jeb's been planning for, like, the last two months? 'Course, Jeb's as cool as ice about the whole damned thing, which makes it that much harder to act all tough about it, but it's actually not that bad ever since he changed the plan last minute so I don't actually really have to get my hands all that dirty..."

All the while as Marta spoke, Meredith listened intently, her sense of humor dying away as if everything funny had gone from the world.

"So... Wait a second. Jeb is plotting a heist?" Meredith asked as calmly as she could. "Like, he's planning to steal something?"

"Sorta, yeah-- why? Didn't he tell you about it?"

"Of COURSE he didn't tell me about it!" Meredith yelled. "That rotten, bloody liar! Why would he tell his wife, when he swore years ago that he would never touch crime ever again?"

"He swore that?" Marta asked, surprised but amused.

She was no longer amused when Meredith continued to yell. "Of course he swore, when his stupid antics almost destroyed our entire family! And here you are, this entire time, in cahoots with him over the whole thing! I can't believe you, Marta! I trusted you!"

"Wait, wait Meredith, just calm down," Marta said, not losing her cool, yet. "Look, I had no idea that Jeb wasn't supposed to be doing that anymore, so don't you dare blame me, alright? It's his own darn fault if he's been lying to you, not mine."

"Uuuuggh, I know, I just--" Meredith felt as if she was about to throw another temper tantrum. Why?! Why must Jeb continue to lie to her? Here she was, trusting him, finally regaining the respect and the love she'd had for him -- and he betrayed her again!

Although disgusted and angry, Meredith breathed deep and tried to relax -- there were people here, in this bar, and she didn't want to make a scene... But she wasn't sure there was anything that could make her feel better, at this point. Not when yet again, her husband had proved how untrustworthy he was.

"Look, I don't know what he told you, or what you've been believing all this time, but I don't think it's right that he's been lying to you. If I'd known... I would've told you right away, Mere. You know that."

"I know... I'm sorry. But, I should probably go-- I need to go confront that no-good-two-face-stupid-piece-of--"

"No, don't," Marta said, stopping her friend; her face now read serious, and her intent strong."You don't need to go anywhere..."

With a deep breath, Marta finished: "I'll tell you everything."


Unknown December 13, 2010 at 2:57 AM  

Heavy post is heavy!

This was a hard one to wrench out, since all the stuff going on in it is noooot exactly happy stuff. Hopefully it's obvious that this is the pinnacle before the climax -- things are about to come a'tumblin' down. Fast.

Oh you Kanes, how I adore thee!

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 2:58 AM  

First comment, Damn it woman, don't leave me hanging like that.

Second and proper comment after I read it all again. LOL

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 3:16 AM  

Psh. ;) Leaving you hanging is the whole darn point! At least you only have to wait 'til Wednesday for the next post!

Also, I noticed a ton of typos looking through it again after I posted. DANGIT. Oh well. Just goes to show that the only proofread that works is the one after it's posted. I'll fix in the morning when my brain is awake.

Heading to bed now! Night PiB. ;)

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 3:17 AM  

Travis, Travis, how on earth did you get in Lolly's bed? And who is the father of Lolly's baby anyway?

Poor Jade, she so needs support and help just now. And Travis just doesn't seem to be that support. If this is true "Travis alone on his door stoop, baffled by both his incredible insensitivity " then the boy has had a huge leap forward.

Poor Brad really had snapped. Thank the plumbbob that someone stopped him before he did something *else* to regret later. Good thing Alesha remembers the sweet guy that Brad used to be cause that isn't the Brad she has to deal with.

Good for Naomi to admit her mistakes but surely Jeb wouldn't have truly left vital information on a computer that can be stolen? Hmm.

Nice scene between Mere and Marta. Poor Mere finding out that Jeb has reverted to his old ways.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 3:25 AM  

Quick response before sleep!

Lolly's baby's daddy: Some elder dude that used to be a repairman or something, I think. Definitely not Travis, since this was technically his first woohoo.

This was definitely a turning point for Travis. Actually, this post is a turning point for Travis, Brad, Naomi, and Mere all at once. Like I said, heavy post!

It's hard portraying Brad as this, but this was done back when I was still debating whether he was going to be "Grumpy" or "Evil". That was Brad's crossroad, which Alesha helped steer him in.

No, Jeb would not leave vital information accessible... But Jeb may not have a truly good understanding of what is 'vital'. Just a thought. ;)

I figure Marta's the kinda gal to stick up for another woman's rights, so she definitely wasn't gonna hold anything back from her friend. I felt a bit bad for Meredith, but... Teehee. Next post'll be funny. Ish.

Okay. REALLY 'night, now!

Di Al Martini December 13, 2010 at 3:31 AM  

Oh, such an awesome chapter! You have done an outstanding job on this post. So much things to read about. Firstly, I love the story of Alesha and Brad. Now, I know why Alesha always seems to have curiosity about Bradley, and why she fell in love with him. For a while there, I thought that Bradley could be the second Jeb. He was so insane and evil. Love the rain effects too. I must admit they are more beautiful than what I have done.

Love the scene between Marta and Meredith too.

Yikes, Travis how could you forget about that? Ah.. men (oops, sorry!) Although, I wasn't surprised either. Anyway, great work!

Deema316 December 13, 2010 at 8:26 AM  

Great stories with my morning coffee always make for a great day.

Wow! Now we know who was in the bed. Boy was I ever wrong. Oh Travis. Did last night teach you a lessen about the hazards of drinking to excess? Probably not. I do feel bad for you though. We all know that deep down you really do love Jade.

The rain us awesome.

OMG! Bradley! You truly lost it!
Oh Bradley. Stop. Think. You have to find a way to go on with your life. This obsession with bringing Emerald back it so insane.
I feel so sorry for Alesha now. She poured out her heart only to have it trampled on.

OMG! I've talked to pixels so much it's becoming a habit. I think I need help.:D

Naomi told her everything. I just know it. *laughing* Carolina is screwed.

I see meredith is getting a little grey.

Uh oh. Marta thought Meredith knew and now she's going to tell her everything?
The crap is about to hit the fan.

Anonymous,  December 13, 2010 at 8:42 AM  

Alesha, you saved the boy so he can become a man and you don't even know it. She's just had her heart smashed. I wonder if Brad does come around will she ever be sure she's number one with him or, in the back of her mind, will she always think/know she was the consolation prize.

Marta! You've got one big mouth, girl. You aren't a very good criminal. A good girlfriend but not a good criminal.

Great update. I can't wait to see it all hit the fan.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 11:42 AM  

@MJ!: Thank you!

Yep, now you all see why Alesha was so interested in Brad from the beginning. Oh, time travel, how it always has unexpected consequences!

Brad was definitely close to turning into his dad -- almost worse, actually -- but he had a savior. Oh, and the rain effects are just from the fog emitter in game, although they were annoying to set up because I had to stack like 6 of them around to make it look convincing. That rain also looks much cooler when actually moving.

@Dee: Thanks! :D

We can only hope that Travis learned his lesson. At this point... who knows.

Hahaha, talk to the pixels all you want, Dee! I just wish they'd say something intelligent back. Though, at least Brad just got a huuuuge wake up call. Too bad Alesha had to suffer for it. :(

Yup, Meredith's getting gray. So's Jeb, but it's a lot harder to see.

@Chrysame: Only time can tell how Brad will come to see Alesha, but it's certainly going to take a long time for Alesha not to be paranoid about it. Not after what he said.

Almost seems like Brad took a few jerk pointers from Travis, huh? :P

Marta's a pretty good criminal! She just assumed Jeb was a good husband... Which he's not. And he'll get a good kick in the arse for that one.

Thanks, guys. :D I can't wait until it all hits the fan, either!

Deema316 December 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

The comment Alesha made about Brad fumbling with the car engine. That really has me wondering just what he did to the car engine.

I'm going to have to check out those fog emitters. I haven't tried them.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 12:26 PM  

I mentioned a couple posts back that he tried to make it so the car wouldn't start, but he discovered that Emerald knew more about cars than he did. ;) I can't say exactly what he would've done, since I know nothing about cars myself.

Fog emitters are pretty handy. There's simply *hundreds* of effects you can set on them, from snow to rain to fire to confetti to the age-up sparkles to... Pretty much every effect animation in the game. You have to enter the effect manually, but if you search 'sims 3 fog emitter effects' on google you'll come up with like a hundred sites that list all the possible effects.

The default on them is fog, though, thus why they are a fog emitter. ^^

Deema316 December 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM  

Ahhh, my memory sucks. I forgot about him trying to fix the car so it wouldn't start.

Yep, now I know I'm going to have to play around with fog emitters.

I can't wait to see what meredith is going to say to Jeb.
Just a couple more days Dee. Just a couple more days. :)

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 1:14 PM  

I wanna know why he didn't go back in time just a little further and take the keys from his car outside the pub. But she doesn't know how to hot wire them. LOL

I had noticed Mere's hair color, looks like someone needs to visit the local stylist for a color touch.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 2:10 PM  

That's a good question, PiB, but the answer simply is that if he had found a way to do it, her death would not have happened. Stories that deal with time travel always have some sort of paradoxes, but there's either stories where the past can be changed (the Butterfly Effect), or stories where your travel back was already incorporated into your present (3rd Harry Potter book). In this case, I'm following the latter.

Back when Emerald died, she encountered all the things that Bradley tried to do to stop her, but she found a way around them. Maybe it just proves how fail Bradley is in being a time traveler, but in this instance, there's absolutely nothing he can do about it. :-/ What's done is done. Even if he suddenly came up with some brilliant idea to change the past, he knows now that in the act of going back, all he does is go back to an instance that's already happened and thus will obviously have no effect.

And, we'll assume that in the instance Brad somehow managed to steal the keys to his car, Em knows how to hotwire it (it is an old clunker), because otherwise the space time continuum would explode.

Oh time travel paradoxes, how I love thee!

Meredith needs a dye job, yup -- but I think she's actually sort of happy showing her old age come in.

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 2:39 PM  

Yeah, I knew you were going with the time travel can't change the past. Especially if poor Brad tried 20 times and still got no where. :) The old Doctor Who series, he could change the past that didn't influence him but he couldn't change events that had a direct influence on him.

I found the idea of Mere getting entirely gray roots rather amusing - thank goodness most people get a few hairs here and there. Which is why I'd change the highlight color first, it would give the effect of those first few hairs. :)

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 3:43 PM  

Interesting, about Dr. Who. :) Also, I think the more Brad tried the more pathetic his attempts got. He really needs to just go *sleep* at this point.

It is rather odd that her roots all went gray first, but honestly it's the only way I could work it with that hairstyle. That's one thing I dislike about custom hairs, is how they do the different 'areas' is very different, so the highlight color actually is the overall hair color. I couldn't find a way to do it that actually looked very natural, which is why I end up changing her hairstyle after the Season is over -- that and I'm just tired of having CC in my game.

Jeb's hair color change is way more natural looking. You can hardly even tell that it has, but it's definitely gray, now. They're each about 30 days away from being an Elder in my game... Agh! Nooo! :(

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM  

LOL 30 days from elder - that's *heaps* of time. Poor little Phillip is more like 14 and he should be way younger then Jeb is.

I think all of my games are still just on Normal life spans.

I was thinking with Jeb's hair (or lack thereof), you'd never notice grey.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 4:27 PM  

30 days isn't a lot of time to me! I was just looking at Farah and she's 541 days old... I think I might lose her soon. :(

Normal life span would kill me, but then again, if you played 4 saves like I play my one, you'd never ever get anywhere. ;) Something different works for each of us.

Lol -- yeah, Jeb is basically bald. Hard to notice the color change.

Deema316 December 13, 2010 at 4:30 PM  

Yet he is soooooo sexy "basically bald". :)

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 4:43 PM  

Well, I like the challenge of trying to accomplish their little life goals and 500+ days is so long that it just wouldn't be a challenge.

Would you believe the latest Sam clone is only 2 days from adult?

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 4:44 PM  

Dee, stop drooling at Jeb - the floor is getting wet over here. LOL

Deema316 December 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM  

But I can't. I just love those bad boys and he is one... hot... bad boy.

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 4:53 PM  

I think every single Jeb I've released into one of my hoods ends up with *some* hair. Usually short but some - just because.

But yeah, in his own way, he is hot.

mmmcheezy225 December 13, 2010 at 6:19 PM  

Whoa. I can't really compose a proper paragraph, so I'll just do one-liners:

Lolly is evil.

Jade and Travis forever <3

Bradley needs a therapist.

Alesha is such a sweetheart!

I wonder if Amelia found out about the heist?

I love Meredith's grey hairs. ;)

I see that Marta gets a little blunt while under the influence of "drinks".

Jeb is in major trouble.

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 7:41 PM  

Hey Cheezy! Ha -- one lines work just fine. ^^ I agree with ya 100% on most of that, so I'll just say <3, thanks for commenting, and hope the next few posts are as exciting as I'm making them out to be. >.>

@PiB & Dee: Oh, you two, fantasizing over sim boys... Not that I'm any better.

Also, extremely long life spans do make LTW's really easy, but that's why I don't buy many LTRewards or even really focus on them much. I specifically choose the easier ones so I can just kind of ignore them and focus on my sims getting out and doing crazy stuff instead.


Di Al Martini December 13, 2010 at 7:45 PM  

ROFL @mmmcheezy225: Bradley needs a therapist. But, that made the story more interesting. Although, I must agree he needs one, and the therapist should be: ALESHA! :P

Unknown December 13, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

Teehehehe, MJ! :D So, so true. Alesha would actually make a pretty rockin' therapist, too.

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 7:50 PM  

I kind of thought a version of therapist was where Alesha and Brad were headed. Along with some other home comforts as well...

Di Al Martini December 13, 2010 at 8:41 PM  

@PiB, Well, I surely cannot wait for that to happen :D

PiB - Nicarra December 13, 2010 at 8:54 PM  

Remember MJ, I so couldn't wait for a happy Brad that I had a Brad clone marry Emerald. Now they are happy, content with 3 kids and living next to Phillip Grant. That was my therapy for Brad. He is usually quite upbeat when we see him. :)

Di Al Martini December 13, 2010 at 11:34 PM  

Well, he's very lucky then for having 2 soulmates in different games :D

Unknown December 14, 2010 at 12:12 AM  

Seeing Brad going through this struggle makes seeing him happy all the sweeter, doesn't it? :) I really can't wait to put up the next few posts. I hope you all will be pleased.

PiB - Nicarra December 14, 2010 at 6:53 PM  

I forgot one piece of speculation. Naomi had a chat to Amelia, we can guess about certain activities that involved a computer in the Kane house.

Carolina is going to go ballistic when she finds out.

Thomas is going to be somewhere between his evil but loved wife and much loved daughter. Exactly where is a good question.

Unknown December 14, 2010 at 7:32 PM  

That is an interesting bit of speculation, PiB... And I'm very interested to see how you react to what ends up happening, and to see if you can piece together why/how on your own. ;)

But, admittedly, the little bit with Naomi carries a far greater impact than you might initially think.

That's all I'll say, for now. ^^

PiB - Nicarra December 15, 2010 at 12:41 AM  

When I thought about what Naomi did, I know something should happen to the Leman family as fallout. What I don't know. :)

Jen December 18, 2010 at 11:41 PM  

Traaaaviss, your one naughty boyfriend. lol
I can't believe he was so drunk that after pushing Lolly away he ran back to her.
I think he got what he deserved with Jade. She is all over the place though. Which makes me wonder what you have install for her. ;)

Go Alesha! She certainly gave Brad a good serving and just in time too - he was going to kill his brother??? WTF! Poor Brad, he really had gone insane.

Love the rain in this chapter, looks awesome. And wonderful writing too! :)

Unknown December 19, 2010 at 5:45 PM  

I have concluded that Travis has a very, very low tolerance for alcohol. ^^ He did have an abnormal amount to drink, though. (In game he had something like 10 or so before Lolly showed up.)

I don't think Brad would have succeeded in actually doing much to Travis -- he probably would've just made it so the motorcycle just wouldn't start, instead of explode or breaks jamming or whatever -- but aye, he fell off the deep end, there. Brad was *pretty* delusional.

The rain was really awesome, but it's a pain to set up, and looks much cooler in motion than still. Still, glad you liked it.

Thanks, Jen! <3

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