The Last Straw

Monday, August 2, 2010

There are always moments in life when events, people, and places, simply become "too much". Perhaps it's a town that's too obscure to carry your favorite brand of laundry soap, or one-too-many times that a neighbor has kicked over your trash can on your petunias; the newspaper girl dropped by ten-minutes-too-late, or your husband has an inquenchable lust for delicious insults... Yes, there are always things ever-piling on the fragile plate of life.

All it takes is one last drop to cause it to overflow... One last playing card to cause the pyramid to collapse... One last push to cause a fall... One last straw to break the camel's back.

And it only takes one step to finally, completely, tumble over the edge.

There was a sick taste in the back of Meredith's mouth as she opened her eyes. To her chagrin, it wasn't a dream. It was a foolish, foolish reality... And the man standing up from the other side of the bed was not her husband.

For a moment, Meredith closed her eyes again, trying to change the past all over again. Think... think... think... "I can do it..." Think...

"Well, that was unexpected," Shamus said with a chuckle as he lifted himself off of the mattress, looking back over his shoulder at the woman who -- obviously -- was not his wife. "But, I knew you'd come around eventually. Jebidiah doesn't deserve you, Mere... You were totally right to seek me out."

"Seek you out, right," Meredith thought sarcastically to herself, but refrained from saying anything out loud for fear of blurting out something incredibly stupid.

"Look... Shamus..." Meredith finally found a way to speak that didn't cause her vocal chords to squwak.

The tone in her voice instantly made Shamus' lips curl downwards, and his eyes thin to slits. It took even him a moment to finally respond with an ungrateful, "Yeah?"

"This... This can't happen again. It shouldn'tve happened in the first place." Meredith's words were stuttered, but she still was able to make her voice sound strong. "You... You need to go."

This obviously wasn't what Shamus wanted to hear.

"You pull me into your house, you lead me on, and this is what I get in return? No 'thank you'? No 'I enjoyed that, Shamus'?"

"Well, frankly," Meredith squeaked, tucking back into a corner as Shamus rounded over her angrily. "I didn't. If anything, all it made me realize is that... No matter what my husband does, I can't... I'll always still..."

She had a hard time finishing that thought, because Shamus started to hang his head in shame -- or sadness, or... something -- and the pit in her stomach grew even wider.

"Shamus, I realize things with you and Eva aren't great, but all you did was suck me into your marital problems, and help me cause ones of my own. I love Jeb, more than anything, and... I know, deep down, you've got to love Eva, too. Right?"

Shamus remained silent for a moment, but after a while, he began to shake his head. "I... I don't know. I do, but she doesn't seem to -- If only she'd--"

"Don't tell me that, Shamus... Tell Eva that."

"But please," she continued, pressing her hands together as she looked into Shamus' eyes. "Don't tell her about this. It would just break her heart further, and then... Oh plumbbob, I can't believe what we've done, Shamus. But it'll only get worse if she knows. Just..."

"Alright, alright," Shamus responded with a shrug. "I don't really want her to know, either. It's not like this was the first time-- Well, anyways, I won't tell her."

But, Shamus' words of reassurance did little to quench the stabbing pain of remorse in Meredith's heart.

For once, Travis was glad he'd actually left his cellphone on; that night, he actually got a call from someone he wanted to see.

"I'll be over around 8," June said on the other end, her voice sounding rather muffled and groggy over the phone.

"Are you alright?" Travis asked her, but as usual, his hot-headed cousin responded with a very animated: "I'm fine!!"

When she arrived, Travis didn't think she looked too bad... Maybe she really was okay. It didn't really explain her impromptu visit -- but, he supposed she didn't really need a reason. She was his best friend, after all.

"Hey cuz," June said with a smile as she walked up the first set of stones in their walkway. "How are feeling, today? Whipped? Has Lolly got you a collar to go with that leash, yet?"

"Oh shut up," Travis grumbled as he walked up the front steps and opened the front door to let June in. "So, what's up?

Once June walked across the threshold, she completely let loose; she immediately began to cry, her head hanging and mouth drooping.

"Okay, come on, what's going on," Travis asked, this time a bit more forceful. He knew he wasn't going to get anywhere with June if he kept tiptoeing around the issue.

"My dad... he had an aff... He's having a baby with another woman. She's married, too, an-an-an..d... Mom'n'dad are starting to talk about maybe getting a divorce."

"Oh, June..." Travis put his hand on his hip, and hung  his head a little as well. "I'm so sorry. I can't imagine... I mean, I sortof know what you're going thro--"

"You have no idea what I'm going through, Travis! My parents have never had a good marriage, never been lovie-dovie like yours... They don't even fight, or even act like they care about each other, they just pretend that everything's alright and..." After a minute June began to cool off and take a deep breath; her breather finally gave Travis the opportunity to speak.

"Look, I don't know exactly what you're going through," he sincerely began. "But things haven't been great between my mom and dad either since we got here. They're always fighting... And maybe they're actually fighting for something, but I know something bad's going on underneath the surface they aren't telling us about. I don't think they'll divorce, but it still doesn't  make it any easier to listen to."

"Oh, Travis," June mumbled as she swept him up into a massive hug. "I'm sorry I blew up at you... I don't get it. Why do adults find it so difficult to be happy?"

"I don't know, Junebug," he responded as he gave his cousin a big squeeze. "But at least we can be happy for them."

"What about you, though? Are you finally gonna do the right thing, Trav?"

"Yeah... I think I am."

"I've done what you asked, given you what you asked... What more could you possibly want?"

As Tatianna crossed her arms over her chest, a devilish smile began to slowly tug across her lips. "Oh... I think you know, Kane. I think you know."

"No," Jebidiah began, his sneer deepening on his withering face. "No, actually, I haven't the faintest idea.

Tatianna chuckled, but slowly began to stand from the bed. "Come, sit," she said as she ushered towards the small couch across the room from her bed.

As they sat down, Tatianna turned her head to face his, gently resting her hands on her knees to emphasize the level of her scrutiny. "So, you took care of Marc, correct?"

"Yes... he won't be bothering you anymore. Though, if you ask me, cutting him a small chunk of the money would've been more than fair, instead convincing him that his life would be in danger if he ratted me out himself..."

"As you've already discovered, Mr. Kane, I do not make decisions based on what is 'fair'. Now, I know you've delivered the 100 grand... On time, too, I'm impressed... But see, the investigators in Riverview I initially informed of your location are a little bit suspicious of why I suddenly discovered that 'you weren't the Jeb they were looking for'... And I'm afraid it's going to take another 100 grand for me to come up with a better reason for covering up your identity than, you know, missing out on the 50 grand I'd get for turning you in..."

"For Plumbbob's sakes, woman!" Jebidiah jumped up from the couch, failing his arms in the air. "Isn't double enough? You're already looking at enough Simoleans to--"

"Only enough to keep my tongue silent for a little while! I turn you in, I get one solid payment, and that's it... I stay here and keep your secret, I know that you'll pay anything to keep it that way."

"I can't pay you Simole's I don't have, Tatianna."

"Then you'll pay them when you have them, Mr. Kane! Otherwise, I am putting a call straight back to Riverview County and making sure that they 'misunderstood' my first explanation."

Jebidiah couldn't possibly understand how anyone could be this greedy -- oh, wait, yeah, he could -- but realizing how little a choice he had, he finally relented, and shook his head in disgust. "Fine. Use what you've got to set up your cushy lifestyle for now, I'll pay the rest as it comes."

"See... That's good businessmanship right there. I'll hold you to your word, Kane. Otherwise..." Tatianna waggled her brows, and cocked a maniacal smile.

As Jebidiah walked out the door and back to his car, he couldn't help but think of one, very overwhelming thought: "Man, I hate that woman."

"I'm so glad that you invited me out tonight, Travis," Lolly began with a smile. Travis had called her a few hours before, which he knew he'd need in order to brace for the impact that was inevitable to come in the next few minutes.

"Yeah, but... Lolly, we really need to talk."

"It's okay, Travis... You don't need to worry, I'm not going to go looking for someone else just because I aged up! I'm totally prepared to wait for you."

"Yeah.... Lolly... About that..."

Travis was totally nervous, breaking up with his first-ever girlfriend, but... Beneath the shield of his hands over his face, he was able to mutter out the words: "You may be, but... I'm not. It's over."

"Whaaaaaaaaaaat?!" Lolly's jaw practically dropped through the floor, and her eyes welled up and widened at lightning speed. "But, but... Travis, you're my soul mate! My everything! I'm in love with you! How can you..." she slowly trailed off, not even sure of what else to say.

"I'm sorry Lolly, but I just don't feel the same way. It's honestly been over for a long time, I just never had the heart to tell you. But now, you've got all the men in the world to chase after, there's no reason for you to be wallowing after me for ages."

"But... But I... Travis..." Lolly slapped her hand to her forehead; Travis was almost sure she was gonna faint. Great.

"Please, Lolly, don't think it's anything against you... It's all me. I was young when we started this relationship, and I'm just not ready for that big commitment, yet. Maybe someday, things will work out between us--" Yeah, right. "--but right now, I'm not even half-way through high school, and you're starting a job at City Hall... It's not fair to either of us."

"I... I guess you're right." Lolly's tears finally started to drain away, but, it was obvious she felt a lot worse about this than Travis did.

In fact, Travis hardly felt anything at all: it was a long, long time coming.

Right after that scene with Lolly, the Kane's decided to go on a nice little mini-vacation to the beach! (My revamped beach of awesome, that is.) Because these don't really fit in anywhere else, I'm posting them up as a slideshow: there's quite a few shots of them on the sprinkler (because I was testing out angles with the Camera feature), but that's not all that's in the slideshow. Some of my fave screenshots so far are in there.

I figured it would be a good thing to post, because, hey -- not everything has been a downer with the Kanes, lately!

______________ A Day at the Beach ______________

But man, things just haven't been that happy lately, have they? Well, to remedy that fact, tomorrow's post is extremely happy and heart-warming. Until then, happy simming!


Unknown August 1, 2010 at 10:30 PM  

Can't say I enjoyed writing this part of the story much, but it is what it is. This is my official retaliation against stories that make people who cheat out to be horrible, mean, rotten, no-good vermin. There should always be a place in the world for good people who just make really bad mistakes. And as we've seen before, Meredith's pretty darn good at that. :P

I am happy to note that 90% of the wishes of both Jeb and Mere, no matter how bad their relationship got (I put them in the red a few times), hugging, smooching, and woohooing. Those two were made for each other. End-of-Story.

To add some more light-heartedness, this is especially for Dee:

So I was juggling my 5 Sims around the house as usual tonight, and finally got around to getting back to Amelia... I double click her, she zooms into view, and... This is what shows up:

I dunno why Amelia wasn't freaked out, because I totally was. O.O

Di Al Martini August 1, 2010 at 10:45 PM  

First, lovely pictures with Mere and Amelia. I am totally surprised with this post. Surprised about Mere and also about Jeb, that Jeb didn't do anything with Tatianna. But Mere... mere is absent minded I guess, because she seemed to forget everything she did. Well, she must be very desperate at that time. Glad that she finally have settled everything with Shamus. Though, I am bit worried here. Is she still having wishes for him? A happy post will be great for the remedy.

Di Al Martini August 1, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

By the way, your pictures are getting more awesome. I love them all and I always love your narration at the beginning of each story.

Unknown August 1, 2010 at 10:54 PM  

Thank you so much, MJ! <3 <3

I think, the picture of Meredith flipping hot dogs is my favorite screenshot ever. I have no idea why. I think it's the combination of her expression, the angle, the flying wiener, and her outfit. It's just silly!

I don't think Jeb would touch Tatianna with a ten foot pole at this point. They hate each others' guts. Regardless, Jebidiah is slowly changing... He's never going to be perfect, but his devotion to Meredith will keep showing as the story progresses. (He's still a jerk, though.)

I don't think Meredith will have wishes for Shamus, anymore. :) In fact, after he blew up at her, she wished to not be his friend anymore. It was very smart of her!

I really appreciate your compliments, MJ. <3 I feel that my screenshots are getting better, as well. Getting used to camera mode has really helped!

Di Al Martini August 1, 2010 at 10:58 PM  

They are all lovely, I could not decide which one I like the best. The beach looks lovely too. Sometimes I called it a big lake :D

Di Al Martini August 1, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

It's funny though that Jeb is becoming or at least try to be faithful and to be a good sim when on the opposite Mere is slipping down especially after she killed Chandra. I can see the angle and sim's faces and expression. Great work with that.

Unknown August 1, 2010 at 11:48 PM  

I tried my best to improve the beach without taking away the 'Twinbrook' feel from it... There's still some things I want to go back and change, though.

Yeah, Jeb and Mere are walking in each others' shoes for a bit. :) I don't think Meredith is enjoying it one bit, though. She's pretty quick about learning from her mistakes, at least.

Also, Newsflash: I finally got around to updating my header! Behold, it's glory!

Header features Mere (sorta), Jeb, Amelia, Brad, Travis, Shamus, Jade, and Emerald. Boy, do I love me some photo mashups!

Di Al Martini August 1, 2010 at 11:56 PM  

I like the shades of colors especially from black to blue. O-o.. ^o^ I see Jeb and Shamus fighting there!
How did you able to put the picture (I think it's a screen shot from TS 3) as the background of this blog?

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 12:06 AM  

I just edited the site colors, too. :) I thought blue would match the header better.

As for the background: you can use any image you upload as a background if you edit it into the html. All you have to do is take the URL of the image, go to 'Edit HTML' under the Design tab of your dashboard, scroll down and find a section that starts with 'body {'. I replaced part of its contents with this code:

background-position:center top;
background-attachment: fixed;

And it sets the background as the image, and won't move around and stuff.

As a tip on the image, open it in your Paint program and 'save as', and use that copy to upload -- Paint will save it as a smaller filesize, which means it will load more quickly. :)

Di Al Martini August 2, 2010 at 12:23 AM  

Oh, thank you for the tips, Kaleeko! ^_^

Anonymous,  August 2, 2010 at 12:26 AM  

Stupid Insomnia. *kicks it* But, my lack of sleep nets me a nice treat.

Oh, Mere. *takes a drink* What did you do? And it doesn't even sound like it was good. But now, you truly get it. No matter what Jeb's faults, he's the one for you always.

I cringed for June. Talk about a blow to find out your father has been cheating, has another child on the way and the family is basically pulverized.

Good for Travis finally breaking free of Lolly. He had a great excuse and he's really doing her favor. She will meet someone who really wants her, eventually.

My love for Tatianna grows with each blog. Gwen is always very nice to her in my game because I like her so much in your game. A bachelorette challenge featuring Tatianna!!

I love the new header. The colors are awesome. I will learn how to make my own. I will! As soon as I get photoshop installed. You've really inspired me to try, Kaleeko.

Anonymous,  August 2, 2010 at 12:32 AM  

I'm jonsing for new patterns. With custard and dashboard I can root out the bad stuff so I'm venturing back into Pattern cc land.

Can you give me any recommendations of artists you trust on TSR?

PiB - Nicarra August 2, 2010 at 12:38 AM  

Lovely update, I finally have time to make a full comment instead of a snippet.

Great pics and I love the slideshow of the happy family.

As for the update - oh Mere, you know you shouldn't have.

Wasn't surprised by Titania blackmailing Jeb since I knew someone was. Chrysame loves Titania but I love Jeb - he better hide cause I ain't necessarily kind to Sims I love... :)

Poor June her family is about to fall apart. But at least Travis is finally free of Lolly.

Love the new header. I really want to make one but the first step is the hardest. What pics to use. Ah well, I'm thinking it over.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 12:40 AM  

You're welcome, MJ. :) Hope you find them useful!

I admit, when Twallan told me what Howard was up to, and how Penny had his baby (who I appropriately named 'Howie'), I was pretty baffled. I always knew he had commitment issues, but... Jeez.

I felt a little bad for Lolly. She was pretty strung out for a while... Hopeless romantics + breakups = bad.

Hahaha, Tatianna's a piece of work. I'm glad you like her, though. :D Surprised that Gwen is always nice to her, but hey! *Someone* has to befriend her.

Glad you like the header! They really aren't hard to do, the way I do mine is just using a big blurry eraser brush to smooth the edges around pictures and push them all together. The version I use was free with my computer though (Photoshop Elements), you may be able to get it free too, if you don't already have it.

I'll go scout out some Patterns for you, Chrysame. :) I don't generally pay attention to the artist, but I do believe most of the ones I nab are from the same few people.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 12:44 AM  

PiB -- Torture Jeb to your heart's content. Please. It would bring my massive amounts of pleasure. >:D

Some days I wish I could ask June to move in with the family. I don't see her often, but I have a special place in my heart for her.

Make a Header, PiB! Do it! The pics definitely are hard to choose, but you really only need one that "speaks" to you to make a great header. And it's fun! ... But then, I love messing around in Photoshop. :)

Anonymous,  August 2, 2010 at 12:56 AM  

Hubby can get Elements free from work so it just a matter of him downloading it. Then, I get to play,cry and fill my cuss pig with silver.

Gwen's not entirely stupid. Befriend Tatianna, Meanies yell at Gwen, Tatianna sees this and intervenes. The girls then go shopping for shoes. It's a system.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 1:00 AM  

Okay, Chrysame, here's some Links to the free pattern page of some artist's I really like:




Annie_Leduc (*Love* these ones):



I have downloaded a ton of patterns from all of those users, and I have not run into any problems. :) Most of them do exclusively patterns, so they put out quality stuff.

I really recommend Annie_leduc the most, though. :)

Anonymous,  August 2, 2010 at 1:07 AM  

Is Annie also Zelia? I adore her stuff. I'll check them out. Thank you.

PiB - Nicarra August 2, 2010 at 1:15 AM  

You forgot the standard line

"Please do torture my Sim xxx - as long as you post the pics later."

I'm willing to assume that would be the preferred option. LOL

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 1:16 AM  

Yep, Annie_Leduc/Zelia. Annie_Leduc is just the username to search her by.

Here's another good one, not many patterns, but I've got almost all of them:

I particularly like the Pink Ice Cream pattern. Looks awesome on Amelia's PJs. :D

Hahaha, about Gwen. :) I bet Tatianna would make the perfect bodyguard! She sure needs to girly up a bit, too, make sure Gwen gets her some nice heels. ;)

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 1:17 AM  

Hahaha, PiB. :D Yes, I would definitely like to see screenshots. You don't have to, but it would tickle me pink if you did.

PiB - Nicarra August 2, 2010 at 1:24 AM  

Well, if I pick Jeb for anything serious, you'll see screenshots.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 1:52 AM  

I look forward it, PiB. :D

And -- amazing!! -- my Studio is working again! And, looks like Bradley is the most downloaded of the five... This does not really surprise me. :) He is pretty redonkable, isn't he?

Another random thing I'm excited about: my Archive page now looks even sexier!

.... I need a life. :(

PiB - Nicarra August 2, 2010 at 2:00 AM  

I want to know - why is Amelia missing from Season 3 cast!

Now I will have to do something with Jeb...don't know what though. But he'll appear sometime!

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 2:07 AM  

The short answer: Cuz I suck.

The long answer: Because I realized I'd have to re-align a bunch of images to keep them 'patterned', and I was just too darn lazy.

I actually was just thinking about doing that a few minutes ago, though -- I'll actually go do it right now. :D

No worries, on Jeb -- just knowing you want to use him for something gives me warm fuzzies. I hope he gives you a hard time... Then you'll see what I have to put up with. :P

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 2:24 AM  

Tada! Amelia is now in the cast list. :D

On another random note: I've uploaded so many screenshots, my storage on Picasa is almost full. Whoops. ^^

PiB - Nicarra August 2, 2010 at 3:35 AM  

I'm sure that Jeb will do fine.

Glad Amelia is on the list!

Dee August 2, 2010 at 4:08 PM  

Oh poor Meredith. She made a big mistake and now it's going to eat away at her.
I just can't feel sorry for Jeb this time. He got himself into this mess.

All the pics are just great and I really really love the slideshow. I think my fav is when they are sitting under the spkinkler. I know they are playing peek-a-boo but it looks like they are coveing their eyes because of the water. You did a great job with the beach.

I saw that pic of Carolina. Creepy. It looks like Amelia doesn't know she is there and it''s creepy.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

I feel a little bit sorry for Jeb, but only because he was really trying to change. Unfortunately, he's just not changing quick enough.

Thanks! I really love all those shots, but I knew they just wouldn't fit in the story anywhere. I really loved that peek-a-boo sprinkler shot, too; when I first saw it in action I crackled up laughing. It was too cute. :)

Yeah... Carolina was definitely creepy there. She's not even looking at Amelia, she's just... Haha. I dunno. It was really bizarre. Twallan's been sending a lot of random Sims to the house lately, Carolina was the only one to come that late at night though. ^^

Dee August 2, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

Maybe she was sleepwalking. :D
About the only time I have someone come to the house is if I put that bake stand thing on the lot. I'm thinking of hiding one on the lot somewhere just so other sims will drop by.

Oh, the background looks great too.

Unknown August 2, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

Hehehe, it's a possibility. She certainly looks out of it. And what's funny is, as soon as Amelia started trying to interact with her, she ran away. I think it must've hit that point where she'd just waited too long, but man, it was funny. ^^

Dee August 2, 2010 at 5:53 PM  

*laughing* When Amelia tried to talk to her, it woke her up and scared her.

Jen August 16, 2010 at 4:26 PM  

Meredith! How could you!
Of course she regrets it now that they've done the deed. Shame on her though for blaming Shamus, she was just as a willing participant as he was.

Yeah for Travis, he finally broke up with Lolly. lol It takes guts I guess.

Love the slide show at the end. Such wonderful shots! I'm a big fan of Picasa and what you've done here is fab!
My favorite shot would be of Travis sitting on the play equipment looking out at the sunset. Beautiful shot, looks so peaceful. ;)

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