Learn to Be Lonely: Farah's Story

Sunday, July 11, 2010

There are many reasons that we as people feel the need to keep secrets from our fellows. Most are simply embarrassing, kept for the delicate purpose of avoiding those awkward conversations with friends and neighbors who we do not trust with our more personal feelings and emotions. Then, there are those that prevent things that we do not wish to happen, and those that allow us to lead pleasant lives without others judging us about our pasts. Yes, there are many reasons to keep things from one another... But the one common thread between most of these reasons is protection: sometimes for others... and sometimes, for ourselves.

For the Kanes, keeping secrets had become a way of life -- but, always, it had been to protect the family from the prying eyes of Twinbrook's nosy residents... But, as Jebidiah had begun to teach the rest of his wayward family, it was not always from the outside world that certain things were kept.

Sometimes, it was from each other.

Jebidiah clamped a hand over his mouth to prevent any noise from escaping, but it didn't stop the look of surprise still clinging to his face. "How could my mother be involved in something as diabolical as grave robbery?!" It made absolutely no sense, to him. Farah was an incredibly noble, elegant woman -- prissy, arrogant, and exhaustingly picky at times, but that did not change the fact that she never liked to get her hands dirty... Especially literally.

He had watched her exchange information with one of the graveyard's night crew, before slinking back to her car and driving away. Jebidiah almost forgot to follow; he was nearly too shocked to move. The moment that her lights went on, though, he jumped from his position, and raced for his car.

"I can't believe this," he muttered to himself as he started the engine and began to search for the direction the lights of her car were leading. "This isn't right... There's gotta be another explanation."

He'd continued to stall back in the shadows as Farah parked her car and walked into the house in which she was staying. It was only a temporary residence;  Jeb knew that much. She'd mentioned that she was staying in this small house "off the beaten path" until the mansion she'd acquired was at least marginally livable. Still, that didn't mean that there wouldn't be clues to what she was up to around where she was staying.

Jebidiah knew, he'd need to confront her -- but he wanted as much information as he could get, first, in order to prove that she was actually involved. If he knew his mother as well as he thought he did, she wouldn't cave easily to a few thrown-together accusations.

Her trash didn't have much, but it was enough; all he needed to do now was actually talk to her... And it couldn't wait until morning. He dreaded it more than he had with any other case, though: it was his mother, for Plumbob's sakes.

"... Jebidiah? What on earth are you doing here at this hour?"

"Mother," he replied in a rather curt tone, his eyes catching a glance through her open door. "I have something important I need to talk to you about. Can we go inside?"

"Yes, of course... Must be very important, it's not often my son feels the need to visit me." While her voice was chastising, he caught a hint of worry -- drat. She knew he was onto her.

"So what is it, mother?" As Jeb watched Farah close the door, he began to interrogate her on his suspicions. "Are you trying to get back in the spotlight with a new medical breakthrough? Or is there a lack of cadavers at the hospital for your pretty little students to play with?"

She sharply turned towards her son, eyes thinning at his sudden accusations. "I don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about, Jebidiah."

"What, haven't you heard? People breaking into the graveyard at night, strange ectoplasm turning up all over the place, turned soil over graves... I followed you home from the graveyard, mother. I know  you're involved!"

"That is quite the accusation for you to be making, Jeb! You have no ide--"

"Oh, I know plenty! I know that you've been pulling up medical records on a few of the deceased in Twinbrook's Cemetery, that you've been running tests on their corresponding ghosts... All the evidence I found in your garbage points to you, mother."

"How dare you!" Farah yelled, but Jebidiah acted as if he wasn't listening. "How dare you go through my things! And point the blame at me! I've done nothing wrong! And even if I had, you'd never turn me in!"

"Oh.. I wouldn't be so sure about that," Jebidiah replied as he began to chuckle. "Even if you've broken no laws, once I have to explain to the Caretaker what you've been doing at his graveyard... If word gets out... The police may want to get involved, and if they find out you actually have been digging up bodies... You not only could lose your medical license -- think of your reputation, mother."

"You wouldn't!" But now, Farah was growing frightened -- she had no choice but to give in, to protect her job and future. "Alright, alright... If you agree not to disclose my name, I give you my word I'll stop what I've been doing. I haven't had much success, anyways, it... It was a flop to begin with. A false hope."

"You're going to have to give me more than that to convince me," her son said with a shrug. "You need to explain why."

"Well... If I tell you everything, do you promise, to protect my name?"

"I promise."

"Well," she began, taking a deep breath as she closed her eyes. "I suppose it will make more sense, if I start from the beginning... The very beginning."

Who will be there for you
Comfort and care for you
Learn to be lonely
Learn to be your one companion...
-- Learn to Be Lonely, Phantom of the Opera --

Screenshot-151.jpg"As you know, I was always raised to be a strong, independent woman. Your grandmother, Kaylee, was the best example of a woman who never needed anyone to get where she wanted to go in life. To the edges of the world she travelled, never thinking or believing once that she needed a hand to hold as she walked the paths of great adventure. She did have one great romance... My father, yes. But it was only that -- a romance. She refused to be tied down, and he refused to leave the land he loved... So, as greatly as she felt for him, they parted, and she never once looked back."

Screenshot-188.jpg"It wasn't until she returned home that she discovered that I was going to be born. She was so, so very brave... The idea of raising a child by herself never once frightened her. I was a gift, to her... Someone to instill with the value of independence and freedom. And... that she certainly did.'

"Eventually, as the years passed by and my mother was taken by old age, and her exotic lifestyle was no longer sensible, she found a man to spend her last days with... But it was not until now, that I truly understood that over time, she had grown lonely. It is one thing, to be free... But one can be free and still be in love."

"No, it took me just as long to realize this as it took her. That isn't to say I didn't have my fun -- in fact, through my teen years, I was quite the little mistress, if you catch my meaning. I was not loved by many of the girls whose boyfriends I stole, but I was too selfish back then to care. It wasn't until I met someone that that began to change.'

"Greg Newbie... You met him, once or twice, before we left Riverview County. Oh, he was everything I wanted in a boy. I had never been happier, than when I was around him... He was so charming, even as a young boy. Even as young as I was, I knew I loved him."

"But my pride got in the way. My mother had always taught me that independence was key, but I had interpreted it so wrongly. Instead of simply having the strength to believe in myself, I began to believe that I was capable of anything. Of getting whatever job I wanted, living whereever I pleased, and even seducing any man I wished -- I thought I was just that good."

"As much as I knew I loved Greg, I believed I could do better. He was younger than I, and when I graduated, I had my sights set on much grander prospects -- I didn't want to be weighed down by a no-name boy when I could have rock stars and movie stars at my fingertips.'

"I wish I could go back, now that I truly understand the mistake I made... But I've finally realized, it's impossible to change the past -- I had set into motion events that were beyond my control."

"After I had ended things with Greg, my sights were instantly set on obtaining my dream job -- and I knew the best way to get it was through my boss and mentor, Jebidiah Wilson. At the time, I didn't realize it, but while I was attempting to seduce him for a promotion, I was also beginning to fall for him."

"He had a wife, and kids, but like I said before -- I thought I could get anything I wanted. So I stole from him the loyalty he had given to his marriage..."

"And because of that, I also took his life. The panic and stress of his adultery caused his heart to stop, and before my very eyes, Jebidiah Wilson died."

Though he pleaded with death to spare him, even death gave him no pity... No pity for me, either, the one that had inadvertantly caused that awful tradgedy."

I cried for days, barely being able to make it to work, nor cook or sleep. All I could do was order pizza for a week, and by the end of it, I could not help but seek comfort in the man that brought my food every night..."

"A little too much comfort, unfortunately..."

"... And the result, as you know, was a very ill-timed, unwanted pregnancy."

"There could've been no worse time for Greg to come back into my life. I absolutely refused to rely on anyone for help -- I would not disappoint my mother and forsake my independence -- and so despite how much I wanted to leap into his arms and let him carry me off to some ruddy sunset... When he came back to me, asking for my love, I refused. I told him, I needed time: the time to heal from the guilt I felt, the time to learn to be strong again, and the time to have my baby in peace... Alone."

"When you came into the world, I was remarkably surprised how happy I was. Though I had absolutely no wish to see that infernal, detestful pizza delivery man ever again, the comfort he gave me that one night ended up a joy that would last me the rest of my life -- motherhood. I named you Jebidiah, for the man whose life was taken in order for events to bring you into this world. Because of you, and the work I had to put in to raise you, I quickly regained what I'd felt I'd lost..."

"... and I invited Greg back into my life. But it was too late. I never once thought he wouldn't wait for me, but I could not have been more wrong."

"He refused to show me his love for him, and it did not take long to see why: he had gotten married."

"And not only married, but to one of my young, not-terribly-bright interns. 'Ariel?' I asked. 'Of all the women in this world you could've had... Ariel?' 'She's the woman I love, Farah', he told me... 'You were the one, but I couldn't wait forever'."

"I thought he would come around, someday. He had to be wrong -- he had to still want me. And he did... Every time I saw him, over the course of years, I knew that he wanted me back in his life. But when he asked me to do something very important for him..."

"It was to ensure that his baby would come into this world safely. 'I love you, Farah,' he would always say. 'But I love my family more'."

Eventually, when their son was born and he'd entered school, things between Greg and Ariel became sour. They were divorced, and briefly, I considered reuniting with him once again... But both of us knew, it would never be the same. We had both changed too much, the time we'd spent apart... No matter how hard we could try, we would never be happy together."

"I had everything in my life I ever wanted. Money... Children... Fame... Prosperity... But I did not have love. I was forever destined to live with what my selfishness had cost me. And now, here I am, still a ruddy old maid with shortening years. Despite all my money, there's not much I can offer to any man that comes to my doorstep."

"And so, I turned to desperation. I believed, if I could not win the man I loved, I could use my brain to bring one back from the dead -- I believed I could find a way to give Jebidiah Wilson life, and that way, even if he did not love me, I would have someone to spend the rest of my years with... So I wouldn't be alone."

"That is why I wanted to move here, to God-forsaken Twinbrook. I lost most of my fame, gave away a good deal of my wealth, abandoned all of my friends and collegues... All for the opportunity and the dream to see if I could breathe life into that man. Here, in Twinbrook, where the rest of the world never rests it's eye... I believed I'd have a fighting chance to do what I came here to do. But, I can't. I suppose, even if I found a way... Even if I brought him back... I'd still, forever, be lonely."

After several moments of silence, Jebidiah took a long, deep breath, and tried to smile weakly at his mother. "I knew, but... I never really knew. I'm sorry, mother. But... You're right. This needs to end. Even if you found a way, it's a dangerous obsession, and you're going to get in trouble. I won't tell the Caretaker about what you've been doing... or anyone, for that matter... As long as you promise to stop."

"I do, Jebidiah." Farah sighed, and rested a hand on her son's shoulder. "And, thank you... for listening while I talked some sense back into myself."

Yes... We all keep secrets. Some are large, and some are small, but we are all guilty of hiding something from someone in our lives. Perhaps it's only a sad story that we keep secret for our mother...

Or a dangerous past that we hide to protect our children...

... but, sometimes, a secret becomes so sinister, we can't trust anyone ...
... even ourselves.


Unknown July 11, 2010 at 3:35 PM  

It's a bit of a picture heavy post, but I didn't want to leave anything out. :) This was definitely one of the craziest things to ever happen in my game -- Jebidiah got this case, and I knew exactly why Farah would want to resurrect a dead lover. The fact that I didn't have to make that up was priceless... God, I love this game.

Farah got quite screwed over early on in life -- Greg was no where near adulthood when she reached it, so I had to break them up for obvious reasons. When the time came that I wanted to hook them back up, Twallan's SP had already gotten him married. Jebidiah died from old age the second they had their first kiss... Never had a Sim with worse luck!

Anonymous,  July 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

So many regrets, Farah. Who knew you weren't always so cold. She was quite lovely when she was young. And she blew it on an old man and a pizza delivery guy.

The pizza delivery guys are kinda cute. Plus, you know...pizza.

Is that the most sinister thing our Farah has been up to? Or is there more? Garbage diving can only tell you so much. *says sagely*

Great update. I liked all the pics. I really don't know how you pare them down as much as you do already.

Dee July 11, 2010 at 6:32 PM  

So all this really happened in the game. Wow. This game has just led you here. It's a little spooky sometimes how the AI works in this game.

This is a great update. Now I understand Farah a little better. Longing for her lost love.

Unknown July 11, 2010 at 7:38 PM  

Farah's always been a bit cold, but she's certainly gotten worse over the years... According to Twallan's SP, though, she's been hitting up the Gigolo lately. Hopefully that's been helping. ;)

It really was spooky! Here I have this backstory about Farah's life, and suddenly Jeb gets this case. It makes me really glad that I've been good about taking screenshots from Day 1, I've got lots of pictures to fall back on for past events.

I'm getting really close to being caught up now, though... only about 10 posts away. It's gonna be weird, if I actually do. :)

Dee July 11, 2010 at 7:42 PM  

I have a feeling you won't have any problems carrying on with the story, even when you do get caught up.

I love what you do with the screenshots. It really seems as though I'm reading about someones memories.

Anonymous,  July 11, 2010 at 7:43 PM  

How do you organize your screenshots?

Unknown July 11, 2010 at 7:49 PM  

@Dee: I hope not. :) Because I'm getting so close to having no "end" played out already, I've started writing out story ideas to try and follow as I play, now.

And thanks, about the screenshots! I have fun playing with filters. ^^ I feel I'm starting to get better about taking better screenshots, nowadays, too.

@Chrysame: Like so: http://picasaweb.google.com/Kaleeko

When I have about 400ish pictures in my Screenshots folder, I move them all to a new folder, and then use the Picasa photo program to sort them into Albums, and upload them to that site. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you can see all of Jeb's ancestors... It's pretty obvious though, I've taken more screenshots of Jeb&Co than all the other generations combined. I suppose that's what happens when you start writing a blog. :)

Anonymous,  July 11, 2010 at 9:27 PM  

I played a little with Picasa tonight. In your opinion, what makes a good screenshot?

Unknown July 11, 2010 at 10:28 PM  

Picasa's a pretty nice program. It's actually got some neat features that I really like to use with my actual photos, like face recognition. Unfortunately, it can't tell Sim faces apart. ;)

Interesting question! Hmm. To me, it's really similar to the same things as photography. Good lighting, a solid focal point, not too much distracting "clutter" outside the focal point, a nice setting (ugly wallpaper can turn a good screenshot to meh).

And lately, I've had a thing against thought balloons. I almost constantly run with headline effects off. If a sim happens to be thinking about something that would completely ruin the "mood", trying to get a shot without the mini balloons is a pain in my poor neurotic butt. ^^

I used to love them, since they can give me ideas about what they're talking about and what not, but more often than not, they argue about stuff like garbage when I'm trying to make them fight about.. say.. Jeb's recent love affair. Then I'd have to figure out how garbage has something to do with it, and... I'm too lazy to be that creative. ;)

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 1:15 AM  

You can turn off the thought bubbles? HOW?!!!!
There are times I love them and times I hate them.

Even with my style of take a bunch of pics and figure out a comic style story from those pics, I'd like the control to either include bubbles or not.

Unknown July 12, 2010 at 1:20 AM  

You can! I only discovered this a couple weeks ago, myself. The cheat is 'hideheadlineeffects true'. I believe you have to have 'testingcheatsenabled true' first for it to work, but that's generally how most cheats work I believe.

I totally hear ya. :) They can add a lot sometimes, but man, are they a pain in the butt other times! The worst is wedding photos.

Learn something new every day, huh? I'm still giggling with joy from the 'Cameraman' mode that Marty told me about. I have been having a ridiculous amount of fun playing around with it the last few days.

Anonymous,  July 12, 2010 at 12:41 PM  

Now to remember to use that cheat!

I hope Twallan gets him map tags problem fixed quickly. It's annoying.

Ridiculous amount of fun? That sounds like just the right amount.

PiB - Nicarra July 15, 2010 at 2:36 PM  

Love Farah's backstory, glad you had a chance to work it into the main plot here. Poor woman, lost one lover to death, another to marriage and didn't like her pizza guy *that* much.

But at least she had a son.

Jen August 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM  

Wow, a super chapter!

And a beautiful flash back into the life that Farah lead.

It's awesome chapters like these that I would have missed out on if I hadn't started reading from the beginning. :)

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