The Irresponsible

Monday, May 2, 2011

"I can't believe you let this happen, Tana! All the work I put in to putting that--that woman behind bars, and this is how you repay me?!"

Aside from Jebidiah Kane's looming voice, the Twinbrook police department was fairly quiet save the typing of several officers trying desperately to mind their own business; unfortunately, they had to periodically pause because of the elder man making a scene in the middle of all the main cubicles.

It wasn't anything new, to see one of their fellow officers being yelled down to like a disobedient little school child, but something about the sight of Mr. Kane--Twinbrook's so-called leading crime stopper--doing so was eerie; he'd rarely lost his temper here, before.

Today, though, he had a very good reason to do so.

"Jebidiah! Can we please take this into my office? You're making a fool out of yourself!"

Jebidiah's growl turned into a sarcastic laugh at Officer Larson's response. "Yes, because I'm the one who looks like a fool, letting a prisoner escape out of my custody."

"Just... Office." Tana's arm twisted around, pointing in the desired direction. "Okay?!"

Tana nearly had to drag Jebidiah by his ears to get him to budge from his spot, but when he sat himself down he his composition completely changed, as if his bloodthirsty outburst from before had never happened. Tana scowled from behind the monitor, irritated that he made a public mockery of her only to be patient in private. Unfortunately, she had no right to complain.

"Look, this is all we know. Carolina escaped at some point last night when the guards were switching shifts; she obviously had this planned for months in advance, perhaps even longer. We're unsure how long it would have taken her."

"How long what would have taken her?"

"The..." Plumbbob, this was embarressing. "The hole. We found it this morning. In the corner, underneath her cot, she'd managed to remove a cement slab and... dug."

"So... you're saying that Carolina Leman was paid so little attention to that she was able to dig herself out of prison?"

"Well... Not exactly. She had help, obviously. She only needed to dig partway; someone else on the outside used one of those Miner contraptions to get as close as possible, we're guessing she only had to dig to the edge of the building's foundations."

"Who, then? Her husband?"

Tana shook her head, lips pursed. "Doesn't look like it. We brought Thomas in for questioning--not only was he as shocked as we are, but apparently he hasn't even been in to speak with his wife for the past 6 months. Sounds like they had a falling out of some sort. The only one that had been in to see her, it looks like, was her youngest daughter, Lisa; unfortunately, we've had a tough time tracking the girl down."

"Look," Jebidiah said with a deep sigh, his voice calm now that his disappointment outweighed his fury. "You've obviously all failed considerably, whether it was just your night watchmen or the architect that built this facility. As much as I'd like to sit here all afternoon pointing out those flaws, that obviously isn't my concern."

"Naturally, Jebidiah," Tana responded stiffly, guessing at what he meant. "And, you must understand we have every available resource out trying to catch her before she manages to leave the State."

"No, it's you who doesn't quite understand. Until that woman is caught, lives are at risk. Carolina isn't just going to try to escape... She's going to try to even the score between us."

"Do I need to dispatch a unit to protect you, then?" Tana said with a smirk.

"It isn't me that needs protecting." Deep, weary concern crossed Jebidiah's face, leaving him looking even weaker than his aging years should have made him. "This woman is going to be out to destroy me, Tana. This woman knows exactly how--so until she's caught... it's my family that is not safe."

Jade turned the page of her book with intense concentration; too many times had she cut her fingertips from carelessness, but tonight, she was purposefully cautious in order to avoid the glances of her husband, who laid on the bed next to her in a gloomy, bored slouch.

"How is it?" Travis asked, nodding curtly towards the novel in her hands.
"Fine," she responded coldly, pursing her lips; did he really have to bother her, right now?

Several more minutes passed before Travis finally gave up trying to give her space; this cold shoulder BS was becoming too much for him to take, and it didn't help that his wife seemed to look pleased with herself every time he looked put out.

"C'mon, Jade," he said in a soft voice, reaching out a hand to grip the corner of her book. "Put it away. I want to spend some time with you."

Jade grumbled as he tugged it from her loose grip, and as she heard the hard cover thump onto the floor on the opposite side of the bed.

"You know I don't have time for this right now," she said, forcefully averting her gaze from his as he carefully took ahold of her, threading his fingers through hers. "I need to go to sleep, I have a lot to do tomorrow."

"Jade..." Travis's voice was lost, earnestly pleading to be believed. "I'm not asking for much. I just... I need you to stop pushing me away. It's been weeks since--since you'll even look at me. Just... give me something, to know I should actually keep trying to fix this. Please."

"You know what? No. I won't." Jade snapped, pulling her fingers away from him, rolling away from him so quickly that Travis was left dumbfounded and frozen beside her. "I'm not the one that broke this marriage. You shouldn't expect anything from me."

"But... but I don't. I'm just trying to show you that I care... " Travis blinked, completely confused. "... that I want this to work. But you're not even giving me a chance to try to make it up to you. I just want to show you that... That I love you, Jade."

"Well, Travis..." Jade's gaze dropped to the sheets between them, before the chill sound of her voice found the strength to utter, finally: "I'm just not sure that I... That I love you, anymore."

Travis' limbs went weak at his sides.

Though the words she spoke were something he'd guessed at for some time, hearing them aloud was more a shot to the heart then any bullet he could have taken. He waited, desperately, for her to add something more; to say that there was a reason why, one that he could disprove to fix everything that had gone wrong... but he began to wonder, now, if it really even had been him that was the problem--maybe, it was just them.

"I never even... did anything..." his dry tongue uttered softly, uncaring whether she heard them or not. Surprisingly, she did--but with her trust gone long before her love, she merely closed her eyes and turned away, hearing them only as lies.

The distance between them was small, physically, but oceans stood between the shores of their hearts. Something in them wanted to keep acting as if everything was alright, that what Jade had said had never been spoken--even Jade, as much as she'd wanted to say them for quite some time, began to wonder if they were even true. But, the cat was out of the bag; if she really did want to turn back now, it was already too late.

Though it hurt, he didn't shrug her away when her sleeping body drew close to his for warmth; 'I probably deserve it,' he thought to himself, disgusted.

But, his body shivered when he heard the sharp ringing of his phone in the other room.

Travis put it to his ear without even bothering to check who it was; at 2 in the morning, that sort of thing ceases to matter anymore.


He listened to her voice; there was a poetry in her sobs that Travis couldn't recognize, but a bitter sweetness that he could. Though he was a little nervous Jade might waken, it faded when he heard his voice begin speaking without his consent.

"Just hold on, I'll be right there."

When the light from her doorway flooded onto his face, Travis was unable to see her face; her hair hung in thick blades across her cheek, and she bowed her neck away from him.

Travis reached out to try and grasp Lolly's arm, but she had already moved away by the time he did. Scowling, he turned and shut the door behind him, and then followed Lolly to her couch, where she was already sitting, her face buried in her hands.

"So, you might lose your job at City Hall over this?" Travis asked, after several minutes of Lolly timidly explaining why she'd called.

"Probably. You know politics, Travis. They smell one rotten sock and the whole drawer gets thrown out. The Governor's new hard stance on crime made people start to notice that my family has a long history of criminals, so now they're starting to think I'm influenced by that--and if I can't convince the man looking into my case otherwise... I may as well start putting my application in to every pancake house within 20 miles."

Lolly took a deep breath, trying to calm herself down as much as possible; but, when she felt Travis's hand reach out to brace her shoulder, she felt her chest heave into another sob, and her legs instinctly carry her away from the couch.

"I'm barely able to make the mortgage payments with this job as it is, Travis. If I lose it, we'll have to move, and my kids will be forced to live in closets smaller than the ones they have now... if we can even find anywhere for me to work in Twinbrook." Lolly aimlessly looked out the window, her eyes drifting over the tiny yard that may not be hers for much longer.

"Isn't there anything you can do?" Travis asked from the couch, rubbing the back of his neck in thought. "Your family is rich, you could ask them for money..."

"There's a reason I moved away from them in the first place. I love my family, but it's the principle of it, Travis. They are criminals. I l-love them, but I don't agree with them... if I do that, then I may as well c-confess to their accusations that I work for my family's agenda."

Travis hesitated for only a moment--but when her cries began to start again, he lifted himself from his seat and approached her, quietly, his hand extended to meet her arm. "Lolly," he spoke softly. "Lolly, if this happens, and you do get fired, I'll help you make you pay your bills for a while. It's the least I can do."

"No, Travis," Lolly said, almost spitefully. "I won't take charity from you. That's not why I asked you here."

"It's not charity Lolly, not when one of the people living under the roof is... is my son."

"Travis--" Lolly spun around, her back nearly leaning against the window she so forcefully tried to put distance between herself and him. "There's something you should know--"

"Lolly. Don't." He knew what she was going to say--and he didn't want to hear it. "Just... don't."

"No. Look. He--he's not yours. We both know he's not yours. Last week, I made certain. The paternity test came back negative--so... You're not obligated to come here, anymore."

Before Travis could open his mouth to respond, Lolly continued: "I know what you're going to say, and I really don't care. This isn't what I want, Travis. I'm not going to lie to my son to keep him happy, or lie to myself and hurt your family. I've made a lot of mistakes, and... and I'm paying the price, now. Karma--bites you... bites you in the..."

Lolly collapsed into tears again; Travis instinctly pulled Lolly into his arms, but at this point there was little he could say. She clearly wanted nothing from him, except to help tear herself down further... he frankly couldn't understand.

"Look," she sniffled into his shoulder. "I just asked you here to tell you that you don't need to c-come over anymore. It's better if you don't, anyways... B-better for Nolan... B-better for Jade... maybe she'll stop being so paranoid, now," she added with a light scoff.

"No. I'm not going to do that." Travis gently tilted Lolly's streaked face upwards, meeting her confused expression with the most concern that poor Travis had ever mustered in his entire life. "I love my children. All of them. Owen, Gracie, Sally... And Nolan. We'll tell him the truth, but I'm not going to stop coming. Every kid deserves a father figure in their life, and I'll be damned if yours doesn't have one because his mother made a mistake. I care about him..."

Travis paused, before--slightly hesitant--adding: "... and you."

"Don't joke with me, Travis," Lolly sobbed, licking her lips as she tried to turn away. "All I've done for the past 7 years is try to destroy your life because I'm so selfish. You can't care about someone like that."

"And you can't tell me not to care. We both made mistakes... we shouldn't have to pay for them forever." For a moment, Travis almost felt like laughing. "I've already gotten told how worthless my love is once, tonight... Don't do it again. Please."

"I..." Lolly paused, her body still shaking from hours of despair. "I won't."

It had been years since their last, true embrace, but her lips felt just like yesterday, like they did under the stars. Tonight, though, there was no drink, no nectar tainting his senses and impairing his judgement. It was strange, then, that it was now he truly acted on his impulses, when before it would have been easy to excuse. Easy to blame on the bottle.

But, at least now, he had no reason to deny his wife's accusations any longer.

The bell on the front door of the Blue Bottega jingled brightly as Bradley walked through it the first thing the next morning, a morning that was particularly wonderful for Brad as it was his only week-day off that week.

"Hey, is my mom around?" Brad asked cheerfully as he approached the front counter, realizing that Meredith was no where within eye or earshot.

"She's up in the Blue Room," the cashier answered with a nod, pointing his finger up the stairs. The 'Blue Room' was code for the 'Painting Room', Brad figured, so with a smile he waved in thanks and turned to bound up the stairs.

It was early enough that customers hadn't started pouring in yet, so Brad was lucky enough to catch his mother at her morning ritual: slathering a canvas with whatever first came to her mind.

"What is it, today? Your left foot, or your dream about world peace?" he asked teasingly; his sense of humor was miserable, but since his mother considered almost everything funny, he heard Meredith giggle as she cast a glance over her shoulder back at him.

"Just another abstract today, actually!" she smiled, putting down her brush so she could move the canvas out of the way.

"Oh it's so good to see you!" Meredith squee'd as she lept into her son's arms, as vibrant today as she was before her hair had gone all gray.

"Love the new haircut," he whispered into her ear as he squeezed her frail frame, hoping she didn't get too much paint on his shirt. "I'm just here for a minute though, mum--Alesha wanted me to pick up some supplies so I could do some fingerpainting with Margo this afternoon. Think I could get some?"

Her reaction, however, was not what he expected.

"Oh, Brad... I just don't know. We've been having so much go missing, lately." Meredith grabbed her head in a frenzy, which shook back in forth with the sudden paranoia that came flooding in. "First one of my employees runs off with a bunch of canvas' without telling me, then all sorts of things start disappearing--and then, of course, those darn crates in the garage get broken into... I don't know what to do, Brad! At this rate, I'm going to have nothing left!"

"Mom... Mom. Calm down," Brad said, reaching out a hand to brace his mom's shoulder. "That's not going to happen. All businesses go through a bit of theft now and then, it's usually nothing to be worried about."

"I don't know, Brad," Meredith shook her head. "Your father seemed awfully worried about the stuff in storage. I don't think he should be, because--well... there's something you should know, Brad."

"What's that?"

"Well... The last time Alesha was in here... I saw her snitch a couple of things. Nothing major, but... If it keeps up, I'm going to have to report her--and I don't want to have to do that. Can you talk to her, for me?"

At first, Bradley wasn't sure what to think; Alesha, stealing things? That was preposterous, and he knew his mom might be getting a little senile on top of the paranoia she already had before, but this was so far-fetched that it almost had to be based on truth somehow. But still--his wife? Really?

"I'll... talk to her, yeah," Brad said, though still deep in thought. "Just don't say anything to anyone else, alright? Especially Dad."

"No, no, of course not sweetheart. Besides, I'm sure Alesha meant no harm by it--I would've given the stuff to her if she'd asked, I'd just prefer if she did, from now on. Now--what paint colors were you needing?"

As soon as Bradley got home, he raced up the steps, where he heard the distant hum of Lilobot's processing core coming from.

"Hey, Lil, you up here? I wanted to ask you--" He stopped. Bradley stared, utterly confused by the sight before his eyes.

"Oooommmmmmmmm... Oooommmmmmmm..."

 "Lil, what are you doing?"

"I am practicing the ancient art of... yoga. Can you not tell?"
"I can tell, but... er... Why?"
"In order to promote balance, alignment, and a youthful vigor, of course!"
"Uh... right." Brad simply scratched his head in wonder; it was best if he just didn't ask.
"What was it you required, Mr. Kane?"

Brad was snapped back into reality by Lilobot's question. "Oh, well--have you noticed Alesha coming home with... stuff, lately? Like, not from the store?"

"Oh yes, sir! Mrs. Kane often returns home with various odds and ends of questionable origin, but to avoid confrontation, I am careful never to act as if I've seen anything! That is good, right?"

"Yeah--that's good, Lil. Thank you." Brad paused, but only briefly, before asking, "You wouldn't happen to know what she does with all that stuff, would you?"

"Of course, sir! Mrs. Kane always puts them up in that odd treehouse contraption she often complains that you haven't finished." Bradley smirked upon hearing Lil say that. When he didn't respond--he was frozen in deep thought--Lil asked, "May I continue re-aligning my chi, sir?"

"Oh, er--yes. You... go ahead and align your... chi..." So strange. He gave her a brief wave and then turned and descended back down the stairs.

Great. Just what Brad needed--a reminder that he wasn't getting any younger. Not only had he neglected to finish this treehouse, but the entrance into it was a pain in the royal patootie. He was going to have to remember, after all this was through, to commend Alesha on keeping in such good shape.

"Just... another..." Huff, huff. "Man, I really need to start working out mo--"

"--ooorree...." Brad's voice lost all it's air, nearly squeaking, as he looked down at what was now at his feet.

Well: at least, now, he knew his mother wasn't completely delusional...

... but what did that make his wife?!


Sara May 2, 2011 at 11:22 PM  

Fantastic post! All of the sections were great. And I love how the title fits into everything- the police being irresponsible, Travis being irresponsible, Alesha being irresponsible (and responsible for things missing) all at the same time... Very nice! The emotion came through really well, particularly in the scene with Travis and Lolly.

I don't really think my love for Lilobot needs stating again, but oh man, she is one of my favorite characters now!


Unknown May 2, 2011 at 11:32 PM  

Thanks, Amelia! ^^ <3

They all were definitely being really poorly responsible--strange that it took me a really long time to come up with that title. ;D Soo bad with titles.

Glad that the emotion with Travis and Lolly came out really well. That part easily took me the longest to write because trying to express how they're feeling was really painful. D;

Lilobot is seriously amazing. I need to record her at some point, too, because her voice is way cute. Everything about her is cute, really!


PiB - Nicarra May 3, 2011 at 1:45 AM  

Jeb, yelling at Tana is not the answer. Was she the one running the prison? Hmm? So Carolina had help? That was interesting.

Poor Thomas, not the kind of news he'd really want at this point. And he is stuck in black and white again. :) I hope he is careful, she's probably peeved at him at least some. Not as peeved as she is at Jeb though.

Travis, poor Travis he was trying with Jade (hmm, you are using new skins I see). He tried. He did.

Then there is only Lolly. Lolly, being a Racket can be uncomfortable. Glad that she finally admitted the boy isn't Travis's son. In a way, I can't blame him.

Meredith's crime wave, it does sound like the gallery has been having trouble. Jeb's crates, Alesha's visits, her employee, it would all add up.

Lil was pretty cute. :)

Brad did have a surprise when he finally got into the tree house.

Another excellent chapter.

Chrysame May 3, 2011 at 8:31 AM  

Alesha's is going to have some 'splainin' to do.

Jeb genuinely seems scared for his family. He's not worried, he's scared.

Travis never slept with Lolly. And he knew that Nolan wasn't his boy but he still stepped up. He flirted and propped up his ego but he never cheated. Until now. And such insight into Lolly! There's depth there in both characters. I still don't blame Jade. If only Travis would have talked to her about what had been going on before she passed into the frozen zone of "I'm not sure I love you."

This post was good, it answered some questions and asked a few more. It feels like the doctor just told me to take a big breath and now I'm holding it until the next post. :D

Cami May 3, 2011 at 9:07 AM  

I love Lilibot! lol She's so awesome!

The update was great - so much explaining that needs to be done lol

Unknown May 3, 2011 at 11:28 AM  


Haha--well, Jeb's not thinking rationally, at this point. Can't really blame him, though Tana really isn't the right person to be upset at; still, she's a decent scapegoat. ;D

Yeah, Travis really did try. :( Jade's just so stubborn she drove him away; at this point, I don't even think *she* would blame him for cheating on her. Still sad nonetheless, though. :(

(And yeah--I've been using new skins for like the last 4 posts, wondered if anyone noticed the difference.)

Mere is honestly mostly just paranoid; her business isn't going to be hurt much by a couple things missing... still, kinda stinks when your own daughter-in-law is nabbing stuff from you! ;D

Thanks for the comments, lovie! <3

Unknown May 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM  


You're veeerrry correct, Chrysame. Jeb *is* scared--in this situation, he's very powerless, and he knows what Carolina is capable of, at this point. If she's crazy enough to try and escape prison just for revenge...

I'm really glad you bring up all of that with Travis/Lolly/Jade, because I was very, very careful to make sure none of them are totally in the wrong. They each have motivations and problems that caused them to make mistakes, even though all three of them are, honestly, fairly good people. There's a lot of *very* complex emotions going through their heads... but I definitely agree, I don't blame Jade either.

Actually can't say I blame any of them too much--unfortunately, they're all sort of 'stuck in high school'; Lolly's the first one to sort of wake up and realize, "Oh crap, we have children! Time to grow up!"

Awww, Chrysame--you always find a way to make me feel so good about my writing. Thank you, dear! *squeeeze*! <3

Unknown May 3, 2011 at 11:40 AM  


Isn't she?! I seriously have WAY too much fun with Lil--she's like a mixture of warm fuzzies and comic relief. ;D

Hopefully things get explained well as the story carries on--though they're about to get a whole lot stickier... *mwaah hahaa*

Thank you so much, Cami! *tacklesnug!*

Tender Wolf May 3, 2011 at 8:52 PM  

Another great chapter! I wonder if Travis and Jade are going to get a divorce, and who will get the kids if they do. I also wonder if Travis will stay with Lolly if that happens. I love Meredith's new haircut, and I had no idea Brad didn't know Alesha was a klepto. His reaction is hilarious! Can't wait to find out what happens next!!!

Jen May 6, 2011 at 7:34 PM  

Hahaha, this was so entertaining..and long! ;)

Alesha has been caught. How is Brad going to approach this I wonder. lol
And finger painting with Margo, awww.

Lil is so cute doing yoga. Hee hee.

Poor Travis and Jade. Their marriage is definitely in trouble. :(
That's pretty harsh of her to say too that she thinks she doesn't love Travis anymore. Ouch.
He has been a prick and probably deserves it but still, that's like way harsh.
Also, 'The distance between them was small, physically, but oceans stood between the shores of their hearts.' Awww that so beautiful but so sad.
And he isn't the father to Lolly's son? I wonder who is.

I sense bad things to come with Carolina escaping from prison. Jeb seems pretty worried about it all. Oh and where is Lisa? I have questions about her.

The plot thickens! Super update Miss Kaleeko! :)

Unknown May 6, 2011 at 7:41 PM  


Yeah, this was a bit of a long one. XD I keep trying to cut back, but I kind of run away with myself at times. ^^

Travis and Jade are definitely in trouble, that's for sure. Travis does deserve a kick in the rear, but Jade is... I don't know how to describe it. She's not *crazy*, but she's got a few screws loose she seriously needs tightened.

As for Lolly's son: the father is some Joe Schmoe she was dating at the time, a fairly unattractive townie that made both her children (she has a teen girl, too) rather... hard on the eyes. They've long since seperated, I haven't seen the guy since--and neither has she, I guess.

As for Lisa... Well. Lisa Leman will not remain in hiding for too much longer--that's all I will say. ;)

Thanks for the comments, Jen! *squeeze*!

PiB - Nicarra May 7, 2011 at 12:20 AM  

I must admit, I'm looking forward to seeing the youngest Leman. Thomas and Carolina have some nice looking kids together.

I <3 Sim genetics across generations.

Di Al Martini May 21, 2011 at 1:46 AM  

This is a very fantastic update, Kaleeko! Your shots are awesome too. I see that you have used pose player for some shots. They look great.

I feel sorry for Travis, Jade, and Lolly. Can't wait to see what will happen next.

Lil is very cute. I read this like reading a book, and more ... like watching a television series indeed.

Unknown May 21, 2011 at 7:26 PM  


T.T Buuuhhh--MJ, you're so sweet. <333 A TV series is what I'm aiming to 'achieve' the feel of, so it makes my heart swell to hear that!

The Pose Player really is a lot of fun--some of the poses are tricky, because they're a bit cold and emotionless, but that just proves as a challenge to find a way to use them creatively.

Thank you so much, doll! <333

Caskett,  May 20, 2014 at 4:34 AM  

Hey, can I download the police station somewhere for my story:D

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