Chapter 13: Tough arrangements

Wednesday, spring 2009.

So I did it. Just after closing you yesterday, dear diary. I called Sam Sekemoto and invited him over. I knew it wouldn’t be an easy conversation, but I could not imagine how hard it would be or how it would end. But I had to do it; I wouldn’t allow my kid to be raised in a house without a father or in a house with a father that wasn’t hers or his. If being attached to Leighton meant being attached to Sam… so… I would live with it.

The first thing I did when he arrived was telling him that I was aware of the truth. He was Leighton’s son, information I lacked when we had our family dinner. I also announced him my pregnancy – as if it wasn’t obvious. He, by his side, sustained his silent manners – even though now he wasn’t a teenager anymore. He had grew into a young adult while I was getting married to his father and calling the stork to bring me a baby.

Announce pregnancy

I was a bit apprehensive and I didn’t even thought about inviting him in. I had a proposition to make that would ease my life and his as well. It was a splendid idea – at least for me. And I presented it to Sam while we’re both still standing by my front door. I knew the old Leighton’s house was to sale and I supposed Leighton was expecting that money to both finish our own house and buy an apartment to his son. But wouldn’t it be better to built a great house and save some money if we all lived together?

Sam versus Brigida

But he didn’t react all so well. He started shouting saying I was responsible for his precocious development into a young adult. He had to take care of himself since Leighton had moved in with me. He also added he wouldn’t deny his roots as I was willing him to do. Oh, yes, diary, for my splendid idea to work I would need Sam to cooperate with me and never reveal to the kid I was yet giving birth that he was Leighton’s son. Come on, it seemed a good idea!

Argueeing

He would move in with us, he would have a whole house area all to himself for free and in exchanged I only asked him to act as “uncle Sam”. He would still be around his father, he would still share a life under the same roof as our family but he would need to get used to call Leighton by… Leighton. Instead of daddy or so. It wasn’t that difficult!

Leighton, who was taking a nap inside, woke up to our voices. He showed by the door and greeted Sam. The boy turned all the news to him. He was sure expecting Leighton to be furious and who knows what… break the marriage? But it just didn’t happen. Leighton started talking and calming him down. He added he wasn’t aware of what I was about to propose – and glanced at me in disbelief. Sam seemed upset, but more prone to talk and be convinced of whatever.

Leighton could understand his son’s anger: Sam was raised to always tell the truth. But Leighton was growing old and life had teach him some lessons. Being a kid from a divorced couple isn’t easy; questions such as “Where’s your daddy?” or “Why did your parents split up?” always arise to remind of the days one would prefer to forget. Sam, on the contrary, had been leading a comfortable and easy life. Sure having a grandmother and a father as a whole family wasn’t the most common family arrangement in the valley, but at least he grew up with both a male and a female presences. I’m sure Yumi was ever there to him when Leighton couldn’t due his work.

Trying to “undo” the bad impression I had caused – as he himself said – Leighton complimented Sam for his appearance. He had grew into a strong young adult. The boy smiled, flattered. He said both of us were glad he accepted the invitation to visit us and that uniting the family again was the only thing that mattered. So, he reminded Sam of some old bathroom jokes Yumi used to tell – and how would be nice if they could pass this “family knowledge” to the next generations. Well, I don’t know if I want my kids to have such knowledge and grow to be inappropriate ones… but the argument seemed good and pleased Sam, who ended accepting to move in when his father proposed it.

Leighton didn’t make any references to my terms. So… the terms in which Sam moved in remained unclear. But I’m afraid my perfect family will have a more crooked beginning than I have ever imagined.

It's different when your father asks

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9 thoughts on “Chapter 13: Tough arrangements

  1. tipix7 says:

    Sam is a lot better looking in my game… I wonder why? Poor poor Brigida- family never comes without drama it seems.

    • jurocha says:

      Based on what I’m reading, the interactions among friends or friends’ dates might influence the development of the pre-made Sims. I read on WikiSims that Sam grew to be a coward… not in my game. He’s a patchwork of his fathers traits and not traceable ones: he’s athletic AND artistic; he’s also frugal and has commitment issues. I still have to put a family tree online with all his and Leighton’s stats.

    • jurocha says:

      …and I still have to dress both men up! I’ve download some decent jeans online, let’s see if I can make they spend a day with someone from the Queer eye for the straight guy! LOL.

    • jurocha says:

      Ah, at last but not least, I’ve a question for you regarding gameplay and storytelling. I was sure I had posted it here already (maybe I was dreaming; waking up at 7am make me think strange stuff… *g)… Well, the question is: when do you draw the line between writing a story based on your game and pure fiction? Do you care about it? I faced that dilemma after finding out Sam was a son and not a brother.

      I chose to accept this fact and found a way to give sense and meaning to it. I also planned to follow with the “pretend you’re an uncle plot”, but I know from previous experiences that when a baby is born, his family trees automatically add his half-brothers and sisters… So… I was wondering… should I ignore that the kid actually “know” the truth and tell the story based on the fictional fact that they don’t?

      I like legacies like the Reflection’s apocalypse, but I’m not sure if I want to go so far from the in-game allowed interactions. I feel like there’s still so much to tell and so space to create within the boundaries of the allowed in-game interactions. And a great example of it it’s your faint sequence! Associating it with the heartbreak… was great, made sense with the history and the character’s personality and still: she did really faint in-game; due tiredness probably – and what else one would feel after a bad discussion with a friend and the revelation of such heartbreaking news?!

      • tipix7 says:

        I find that a lot of the sims interactions, while not realistic, have a certain charm that I don’t like to delve away from (who doesn’t want magical gnomes?). My story is pretty much put together by interpreting things that did happen in my game- I don’t usually plan something as I did with the faint scene (but I needed an excuse to write Gage out).

        For example, Gage wasn’t actually dead, but he had aged into an elder when Yvanna was finally old enough to have romantic interactions with him and as heiress I really needed her to be with someone her own age. So fictionally he’s dead and shes heartbroken even if thats not the case in game (it will be soon though, he’s really twice her age. I found out after I had written him in as Katrina’s brother that he was really her dad- but he had been introduced as that in my story and I couldn’t rewrite countless chapters bc of it).

        After the faint scene she met a young man who would make a good husband and they started dating. Fictionally, he’s going to find her in the park after she faints rather than her finding him in the park in a husband hunt I sent her on in game. That idea only caught on while I was writing the fain scene (since I always play a week ahead in my game then write chapters so I can make sense of what happens). I’m going with that idea bc I couldn’t justify Yvanna finding someone else to love after heartbreak unless it was close enough to a romance novel to entice her.

        For my fiction I usually keep as close to the game as possible- it makes the story surprising even to me. For example Gizi fell in love with Hank at first sight. I have a feeling its bc of her hopeless romantic trait.

        I didn’t make that up- all her wished involved him from the moment they met so I decided I’d make her happy. What resulted was I learnt that Hank was engaged to Pauline, her boss! The story really picked up from there. She could never get hold of him in the game and in my story, so since I have such great results from the unexpected in the game (such as finding out they were married the next time she saw him bc all he would talk about was marriage) I still stick with it, influencing only certain things for story purposes.

        A lot of writers seem to make up the story as they go and just add random screenshots that fit. As great as that is for the story, I feel that I don’t enjoy playing my sims as much since the game is a lie compared to the blog. I like my blog to really be what did happen, with a few embelishments to make the story more realistic for myself. My sims become more alive and interesting if I write that way.

        Having Sam as a half-brother and step-son really adds some drama you didn’t expect when you were planning your story with Leighton. It makes the blog more believable in my opinion bc I know thats what happened with your sims. It also makes you try encompass that in your writing, improving it I think.

        Since the founders usually have similar choices for friends and husbands in Sunset Valley, it ties the online community closer together bc you can see how differently someone else dealt with the same situation.

        Realistically, the child probably wouldn’t know Leighton was his half-brother unless he was told. Sims have instant knowledge of their family bio it seems, but if it makes more sense in your legacy that the child never knows who their true father is, for example, or their actual relations to someone else- there’s more a personal development when they do find it out years later.

        The difference is either you play and blog as the game is: Sam is a half-brother, and the child can either know or not (I think that as long as you and the readers know, what your sims know is just dramatic irony). Or you play with story strictly in mind and don’t even mention Sam in the blog bc you don’t want extra family floating around.

        Some blogs like the Valley of the Sun, or Reflections (two of my favourites next to this one and about 3 others) do play for the story rather than the game, I feel. And that’s just a personal style. Best is to decide what makes the game more fun for you, and stick to it since ultimately that’s what matters.

        The legacy will develop as you continue it, and I found I gained a lot of readers by following their legacies and commenting and linking to them, since often they’d return the favour. Posting new chapter links in the forums also helped a lot. And the more feedback you get, the more accomplished your legacy becomes I think.

        Well this was a long reply. lol. (and I’d be so happy if you’d do something about leighton’s sweater. 😛 Redressing townie sims is always fun!)

  2. jurocha says:

    Thank you tipix for taking the time to write a long and detailed answer as well as to share some behind the scenes tips. Reading your opinion has certainly influenced what I plan to do with the story and had reinforced my will of not going – at least for now – very far from the in-game interactions.

    Although, yesterday’s night, I was surfing legacies and I found a marvelous story-driven one named In his own world. It might not be my – or yours – writing style, but I’m sure we can both recognize the great job the author has done there. He picked a delicate subject – disability – and is building a story using Sims characters. Check it out: http://inhisownworld.wordpress.com/

  3. tipix7 says:

    I look forward to reading what you come up with for your legacy 😀 & thanks for the link, the story was really cute.

  4. Rad says:

    I’ve never played the Sekemotos (too many legacies have them already for my liking!) so I’m intrigued about their family tree – does Leighton’s father show, and does Sam’s mother show?

    • jurocha says:

      Not really. Leighton and Sam are the built-in characters who suffered from the odd bug of spawning from a single Sim. When I think about it, I find it… hard to believe that EA let the game out without noticing this bug (only corrected on the 2nd patch, I guess).

      When I started with the Paons, I haven’t seen many legacies with Leighton as a founder’s partner. But then I hadn’t really looked for it. When I did (after Nicole, from the Saquina Legacy stopped by to check how Leighton would age since she had chosen him to be her founder’s partner)… WOW! I counted something around 13 just in one single Google look. As I wrote to Nicole: Leighton IS the NEW Don Lothario. LOL.

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