Love's Insanity

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Meredith hardly slept.

Not that that is in any way, shape, or form, surprising. She did fight the urge to sit on the computer, hitting 'refresh' on the email every ten seconds, but her brave step into her husband's territory was not nearly as liberating as she'd hoped. Instead, Meredith's worry increased ten-fold -- she couldn't turn back, now... A frightening thought.

But, somehow, she found the strength to shower and dress, knock back a cup of coffee, and greet the day -- her son, in particular -- with a bright, if tired, smile. "Please try not to speak poorly of your father at school, today... He's innocent, you know."

"Whatever, ma. I love Dad, but... nobody's perfect."

As Travis slipped his homework into his backpack and half-hugged his mom while running to the honking bus, Meredith felt the overwhelming urge to cry... but for once, no tears came.

Instead, she turned to the computer, still lying on the dining table, and propped it open.

Just what she'd dreaded... A response. "Meet you there."

The rest of the day was nothing but a blur. She tried to play with Bradley, but all he did was cry, or ask for his dad... She tried to paint, but everything she started turned out fuzzy, brightly colored and distorted. Finally, giving up on everything else, she collapsed on the couch, and fell into a deep sleep.

"Mom... Mom?"

"Wh--Oh Travis, when did you get home?"

"Over an hour ago... You looked tired so I let you sleep. But now Brad's crying. I think he's hungry."

Meredith rushed into the nursery to take care of her younger son, frustrated that not only did she fall asleep, but that she slept through Travis's whole baseball practice, as well. Just as he'd guessed, Bradley was hungry... It wasn't until Brad was playing with the dollhouse that Meredith realized it was almost 7:30.

"Holy Plumbob!" she cried. At the sound of his mother, Travis peeked in from the other room. She always had weird outbursts, but never quite like that.

"Travis, honey... Come here."

He looked wary as he approached, but before he could stop it, Meredith sweeped her son into a tight hug. "Travis, I have to go out. I... I don't know when I'll be home. The sitter will be here any minute, I want you to be good and watch out for your little brother for me, alright?"

"Is something wrong, mommy? Does it have to do with dad?"

"I... No. It's nothing sweetie, just need to go see a friend. Just remember what I asked, kay? I love you..."

"Kay." Travis reciprocated the hug... But it wasn't enough to squeeze away the nervous growl in his mother's troubled stomach.

Meredith had never driven so fast in her entire life. Finally, the sports car her husband had bought her was being put to good use... If that's what you want to call it. The winding roads of Riverview never seemed to end, and Meredith began to worry that she'd be there late -- or, worse, arrive at the same moment as her husband's framer. No, she wanted ample time to wait, if only to mentally prepare for whatever she may meet at the end of this journey.

But as she pulled up and looked around the small, quiet fishing area, she breathed a sigh of relief. No one was there... yet. Lost Willow Park was beautiful in the afternoon, but even Riverview's most dedicated fishermen didn't enjoy the creepy atmosphere it had once the crickets came out to play.

She found a bush near the road, and curled up inside it. Her car was out of the way, where no one could see... It was just her, the crickets, and the stars.

And now... She waited.

"But you always find a way to keep me right here waiting
You always find the words to say to keep me right here waiting
And if you chose to walk away I'd still be right here waiting
Searching for the things to say to keep you right here waiting"
-- Right Here, Staind

Tick, tock.
Tick, tock.

Meredith became impatient. She turned her gaze towards her wristwatch... 8:15. 8:20. "Well, at least I tried,"  she thought to herself, getting ready to get up and leave. There was nothing else she could do.

... But then she heard a crunch of leaves behind her.

Her heart stopped. Meredith could feel the eyes of Carl's murderer on her neck, and hear their quiet breathing only feet behind her. How could she have been so stupid?! Of course they weren't going to walk right up the road...!

With as much courage as she could muster, she turned around.

"Didn't your husband tell you not to play with his toys?"

The voice was one that Meredith had heard many times before... But never so condescending as this. She couldn't understand... She couldn't believe! All this time, it was... "Chandra... Chandra Hawkins?!"

"What, you're surprised to see me? I suppose I should say the same, about you... Clever, but you always were stupid."

As Chandra walked down the hill, Meredith couldn't wrap her head around it. "It was you! You killed Carl Strummer!"

"I'd like to see what proof you have of that, Meredith."

"But... But, you're here! There's no other explanation!"

"No... I suppose not. Ha! You've caught me... Of all people, Meredith Jones is the one to finally see the truth. Still... I'd love to see you prove it."

"I... I... But..." Meredith had no idea what to do. She was caught in the corner -- figuratively -- and now Chandra looked as if she was about to laugh at her... And Mere couldn't have that. "But Chandra -- you were Jebidiah's friend! His best friend! Why would you do this to him?! Why would you murder an innocent man just to hurt him?!"

"Jebidiah was no friend of mine! Not after what he's put me through, for all these years!"

Meredith was, no doubt, incredibly confused. Some of her fury was completely lost in simply not knowing what was going on -- but Chandra seemed to have enough rage for the both of them. "What... I... He what?"

"For years, everything I did, was for him... He was everything to me, everything! But no one ever notices poor, loser little Chandra. No one ever cares about Chandra, pays attention to Chandra... Well guess who's not going to lose this game!"

"I don't get what you're saying, Chandra," Meredith said with her fists curled. "You framed my husband for murder because... You... love him?" There was no room in Meredith's mind for jealousy, anymore -- but certainly enough for hatred of this woman.

"You don't understand, Meredith! You never could! Not when from the moment he laid eyes on you, everything was about you, you, you... Always feeling so sorry for yourself, yet you never thought to think how lucky you were, or how miserable I was! There's no way you could know!"

"Try me," the redhead growled, her eyes and lips thinning in growing, pent up fury.

"Well," Chandra almost laughed. "Let's see..."

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"From the day you were born, Meredith, you were born into wealth. Sure, your parents hadn't earned a cent of it, but you never knew hunger, living in a room the size of a closet, or what it was like to sleep in anything but a cozy mansion... My life was different. I was born into a three-room house, with parents who could barely rub two Simoleans together. My mother was old and sickly, and my father was trying to build a criminal empire the likes of Riverview had never seen -- but he was struggling, then...'

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"And being poor did nothing for me at school. Second hand clothes, beat up books, and a father that spent most of his time in jail those days, it was inevitable Ithat kids decide I was a loser. Nothing in my life went right... Until I met Jebidiah Kane.'

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"For the first time, I had a friend -- out of anyone else in the world, he sought out me. Why? Because I was the only one that understood his goals for the future... Who understood his diabolical humor... Who laughed at his innane jokes, like tying his Grandmother's shoelaces together. Man, that was brilliant.'

"When I learned he wanted to be a criminal someday, instead of abandoning him, I fostered his talents and his goals... I introduced him to my father, who gave him all the tools and knowledge he'd ever need to become a successful thief. And, with my father's confidence in his abilities, he finally began to get us out of debt... Although Jebidiah was the only person who never seemed to care that I never had any money. He was always so generous to me.'

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"For years, he was the closest person to me in my life. My friend, my companion... I spent every second of every day with him, helping him plan his next prank on the teacher, or make sure no one was around when he beat up his favorite target... I was the best sidekick an evil mastermind could ever hope for.'

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"I never thought there could be anyone closer than us.'

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"And when he asked me to be his best friend -- forever -- there was no way I could refuse... But I wanted more. I thought, inevitably, he would realize how much I cared for him, how much I loved him -- the lengths I would go to to make sure he was happy.'

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"But then you came along. You, with your long red hair, your shy little seductions -- for whatever reason he liked you, despite how much you despised almost everything about him. What he saw in you, why he wanted you, I have never been able to understand... After everything him and I had done together, I thought for sure that he wanted me to be his. But I was wrong. That day I ran into you having a picnic, he told me to go away. I didn't know why, I was such a loyal friend I went anyways...'

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"It was the day he asked you to be his. I wanted to hate him, but I couldn't -- I loved him more than he'd ever know. I knew, someday, he'd come around...'

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"But he never did. He started to spend less time with me... I almost never saw him. I thought by dating other guys, he'd get jealous and realized what he was missing... But every relationship ended the same. When I came to him for comfort, you were always there, and he refused to see me -- he left me, more alone than I had ever been.'

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"I didn't even hear from him when you two decided to get married -- no, my father was the first person he told of the engagement, I had to hear about it second-hand. It was like he had forgotten all about me! All the break-ups in the world couldn't compare to how much that hurt me...'

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"But I went to the wedding nonetheless. And I found out why he had seemed so far away -- he knew how I felt. He had been trying to distance himself, so I would forget about him... But now he was getting married. He asked me not to ruin it for him, because he was happy. Well... I knew I couldn't. I loved him too much to tell him no.'

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"Things never got better for me. Break-up after break-up... Eventually, I got pregnant, and married my son's father to try to make my life easier. Not a day went by I didn't cry, but I was doing what Jebidiah asked -- letting him live his happy life, even if it meant that every time I saw him...'

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"... that every time I looked into his eyes, I'd see what could've been, and the knife through my heart would be plunged even deeper than before."

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"I tried to escape him every chance I got, but it was impossible -- every room of your house, every object you'd bought together, every child you'd born... They all should have been mine.'

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"I needed something to comfort me, even if it wasn't real... I sent someone still loyal to my father to take back some momentos of the children that were supposed to be mine -- but I never did get those pictures, did I? All I wanted was something to help me live inside a dream for a little longer, so I could make it through each day without pushing myself back into Jebidiah's life and invading the privacy he'd asked for.'

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"But he betrayed me. He knew I'd do anything for him, but no -- when you finally weren't enough for him anymore, he went to his bimbo colleagues for affairs instead of the woman who actually loved him. My friend Holly saw everything, how he stuck his tongue down other women's throats -- when it was supposed to be me he turned to! I had had enough. I decided, if he wasn't going to give me what I waited so long and patiently for, he'd pay the price for the torture I suffered since the moment you walked into his life... And make you suffer for it, too.'

"Holly heard he was having a party, so I sent her in to pick up the date of his 'big heist'. I knew it was happening -- my father had given him the tipoff, after all -- and all I needed was a date. A date to slip a poison into the meals my restaurant prepared for the Strummer's dinner, and a date to call back the favor that my friend Tameka owed for abandoning my father's gang for the Company -- I made sure she didn't follow through with her
job, and so Carl Strummer ate the fatal bite of food that would put Jebidiah behind bars forever."


There was a long moment of silence after Chandra finished her story. Meredith simply stared, mouth agape, at a woman she had spoken to cheerfully on many occasions... Who she had let handle her children...

"You're insane!" Meredith slowly began to back away. "Jebidiah won't spent another minute behind bars... Not once I tell the police. You'll be the one rotting behind bars, Chandra... After what you've done... All over one man..."

"Well, you obviously don't love him enough if you can't understand how desperate I was!" But Chandra began to laugh, before she continued.

"How dim you are never ceases to surprise me. Of course the police will never find out, Meredith... You don't seem to understand -- if I can't have Jebidiah Kane..."

As Meredith stumbled backwards, now suddenly very afraid, Chandra raised her fist. "No one can."


Unknown July 3, 2010 at 2:46 PM  

Long post! This was a bit of a doozy to throw together, since I was pretty busy this last week, and I had to go through 10 different folders trying to find the screens from Jeb's childhood with Chandra in them. Phew!

As kinda a "Fun Fact", while Jebidiah was growing up, I'd actually first targetted Chandra to be Jeb's future love, but that was scrapped once I found out what Meredith's traits were. (I also have a soft spot for redheads.) Chandra really did get the short end of the stick in that regards, too.

I never did like her much, though. So whiny! And now, insane. :)


Anonymous,  July 3, 2010 at 4:55 PM  

Great post! Long suffering Chandra in insane mode is creeeepy.

Meredith? Run!

The pictures are wonderful. I wondered how you had all those great shots to use to explain Chandra's obsession. Now that I know she was a possible future love, it all makes sense.

Unknown July 3, 2010 at 5:13 PM  

Chandra reminds me of one of those creepy people that would lock up their husband in the basement out of crazy obsession. She obviously wasn't always like that, but... Craaazy lady.

The amount of backstory all the Sims in my neighborhood have is ridiculous. I'm very careful to record anything and everything, because it could come in useful someday -- definitely found that out with Chandra, even though I ended up ditching her for the most part eventually.

For example, you know Dallas, Jeb's Boss? How he's married to Simon, Jeb's "uncle"? Well, in high school Simon actually dated Skip Broke, Chandra's father. The screenshots of them snogging as teenagers cracks me up.. It amuses me that Simon somehow dated the only two Sims in Riverview to become criminal masterminds. And he's a Good sim. ;D

Unknown July 3, 2010 at 5:18 PM  

Oh, and the screenshots in this post were incredibly random. The one of Chandra crying by the mailbox? Jeb had just invited her over, but the second she arrived, she started crying, and left. That was my first hint that maybe she wasn't happy about Meredith and Jeb.

The one of Jeb tripping his grandma? If you look through the front door, you can see Chandra's father talking to someone -- he's talking to Simon. A few minutes later, Simon tried to stick his tongue down Skip's throat. Did not end well. ;)

Di Al Martini July 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dee July 3, 2010 at 7:47 PM  

I'm trying to think of what to say here. OMG, this is so intense. That's the only word I can think of right now. Yeah, Chandra's love for Jeb and never getting what she wanted just plain drove her crazy. Poor Meredith. All these years, trusting a crazy woman. Around her kids even.

I agree with Chrysame. Run Meredith.

What you have done with the back story is amazing and so are the pictures.

Di Al Martini July 3, 2010 at 7:48 PM  

I think Chandra is a psycho. But yes, I agree that love can make a person go insane. But in the same time, I feel for her too. I don't know, but probably she would not be that insane if Jeb didn't ignore her as his best friend. Probably, she would be a little content by it? Does Chandra has an insane trait? If yes, probably she will still be insane, even though she had Jeb. Luckily that Jeb didn't marry her and I think Meredith is a good match for him. And oh, Chandra married her sons father? I mean that is like ...yuck. Oh, maybe he is her father's step son? Wonderful pics.

I hope Chandra did not hurt Meredith. A woman with anger and big jealousy would probably have enough strength to make someone hurt, especially a psycho. Desperate Sims and Chandra is one of them. They really fit the story.

Dee July 3, 2010 at 7:57 PM  

Hey MJ, I think maybe you read that wrong. She married the father of her son. The babies daddy. I had to take a second look at it too when I was reading it.

Unknown July 3, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

You're correct, Dee. :) I probably phrased it confusingly. She got pregnant, and in order to avoid hassle, married the boyfriend that got her pregnant. IIRC, it's one of three instances I've had where Twallan's SP has had that happen.

Chandra is indeed a psycho. :) She doesn't have the Insane trait (Loser, Hates Outdoors, Cook, Clumsy, etc), although after her... let's call it a mental breakdown... it would've worked well with her character. If I'd thought about it, I probably would've done a "Midlife Crisis" LTW on her and changed it up a bit.

Meredith is definitely a better choice for Jeb, but Meredith herself probably could've found a better guy. There wouldn't be a story if she had, though! ;)

Thank you so much for the compliments, guys.

Anonymous,  July 3, 2010 at 9:24 PM  

Chandra doesn't have the insane trait? I can't imagine how utterly off the wall she'd be if you added it. Some sims seem to naturally have certain traits. I know my sim, Ripley, won't back down from an argument, ever. She'd be scary if she had the hot-headed or another "fighty" trait.

Unknown July 3, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

I totally get what you mean. :) Although Chandra's psychosis is mostly for story-telling purposes, she's just... creepy. The way she looks at Jeb? And always seemed to hang around his kids? And gravitate towards him in social situations? It's like she was begging me to make her the star of an obsession plot.

I really wish I had gotten more scenes of the story with Chandra involved (she did hang around every now and then, but never really took screenies), but at the time, I had no idea how the story would end. To be honest, I didn't decide who the killer was until after Carl was dead. >.> I paused the game for a few days to figure it out!

Dee July 4, 2010 at 6:00 AM  

I have to let the pics lead the way. I do more captioning than story telling because I'm just not that good at writing. I think I more or less just describe what I see in the pics.
I must say that several of you are just so amazing when it comes to writing that you should be making a living at it.

I really love how everyone has their own style.

Ooh, I think I see another update. if Chandra kills Meredith I'm going to crawl into my monitor and give her what she has coming. :)
See ya in the next one.

PiB - Nicarra July 4, 2010 at 5:04 PM  

Wow, this was a very intense update.

Poor insanely jealous Chandra. If she can't have him, no one can.

Love the pics, the memory ones with the sepia toning and the edge blurs. You've done well at piecing together a really great story.

Jen August 3, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Omg! Of course! Chandra! lol Gee, she has aged quite a bit. lol But then she was always older than Jeb wasn't she.

Chandra is an absolute nutcase! Talk about obsessed.

Of course Jeb was always going to end up with Meredith. He was/is so in love with her and although Meredith wasn't too keen he made sure that she would be by giving her lavish and extravagant gifts, trying to win her heart.
Which I think is quite sweet really. lol
I can't belive that Chandra is still 'hung up' on him.

Meredith said she'd prepared herself, well tried to, but how can one prepare themselves to meet with a psycho like Chandra?

Loved the flash back shots and your writing was fabulous! ;)

Unknown August 3, 2010 at 9:11 PM  

Thank you! <3

Chandra certainly is insane. She's actually younger than Jeb, but the light blonde hair and the crazy makes her look a lot older than she is. That's part of the reason I rejected her as a possible mate, her genes were a bit... egh.

I absolutely love doing flashbacks. It's great to get to use unused screenshots and 'old footage', persay... I've actually been thinking of doing a "short" between Season 3/4 to go back and cover some stuff in previous generations. Haven't quite decided yet, though.

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