Thursday, January 10, 2013

Chapter 1.11

Chapter 1.11- Something You Choose

Nothing makes us so lonely as our secrets.
Paul Tournier

                Steve was working hard with Cyrus while Helen was out taking photos. Cyrus wanted to keep up with Steve so badly, and walking was going to be far faster than crawling.

                Steve never thought he could be this attached to Cyrus. It made him long to have one he could really call his own. Secretly, he hoped he could talk Helen into it. He was very afraid that she had shut the baby shop up for good, she had hinted in the last few days that two kids had been quite enough.

                Cyrus was begging for more attention, but as he kissed the downy head Steve knew that his work hours were looming and he really needed to shower and dress.
                “Steed pway wid Cy,” Cyrus begged.
                “Naw kiddo, got work today, Mama will come home and play. Maybe she’ll help you run.”
                Ignoring the tantrum Cyrus proceeded to throw was difficult, but he intended to stick to his guns.

                Things didn’t work out the way Steve wanted most of the time, but this was a real joke. He was shocked by the amount of dripping plumbing in the bathroom. The sink, the bathtub, the toilet and the shower were all in need of some work.
                “Why, Helen,” he thought ruefully. “Why didn’t you tell me all this needed fixed today?”
                Steve hadn’t had a promotion, or a raise, at work yet. They had wiped out the little amount of money they had buying and furnishing this house. And the house looked more like a money pit each day. He wanted to ask the Caretaker if he would be so kind or find it in his heart to help this struggling young couple by rewarding the work Steve did, but he knew he would never have the courage to ask.

                Passing out a work almost any time he heard something strange, or if the wind blew too loud or cold, didn’t make a very good impression on his boss either. He had taken the job because Helen had insisted. There was no way he would admit his cowardice to her. And so he was stuck at the job wishing that for just one night he wouldn’t faint. Then maybe they could afford to get a new sink, a new bed, a better toilet, a nicer tub, and the list went on and on.
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                Awkward silence. Deafening quiet. Thick tension. Awe inspiring fear.

                He’s going to die in his sleep tonight. Steve knows it just like he knows the sun will rise in the morning.
                Though her thoughts aren’t exactly bent the same way, Helen thinks it’s very likely that he’ll not be sleeping in the same bed with her that night. She’s embarrassed. More importantly, she’s hurt.
                She thought she knew him, knew everything about his personality and likes that could matter. She thought the only thing she didn’t know was his name. How wrong she was.

                Taking a deep breath, he dives in. There is no other way. He’d really like the continued use of all his limbs. She might just dismember him if he doesn’t do something soon.
                “Look,” Steven’s voice is shaky. “It just happened. It’s not like I planned it. Besides, it’s happened before, just never quite so… badly… before. The old man knows about it, I usually just wake up drenched and he laughs at me and we go on.”
                A glance to his right shows her still scowling at him.
                “It’s not a big deal, really.”
                Her sharp intake warns him not to add another word.
                “Not a big deal.”
                Steve notes the soft note under her growl, taking heart.
                “You’ve never been there after dark. You’ve never seen what really goes on there.”

                “It’s usually just one or two,” Steve rushes on. “But tonight it was all of ‘em, all of ‘em, and they rose up faster’n normal too and I just… couldn’t take it.”
                He raised his hands helplessly. Trying to illustrate how the ghosts tonight had put on a show with the caretakers assistance, trying to see what would happen if Steve saw all of the ghosts in the memorial gardens rise at the exact same moment. Usually, Steve would pass out when he saw a few of them wandering around palely in the moonlight. He’d just never told Helen, sure she wouldn’t believe in the ghost sightings.

                He closed his eyes against the look he’s sure is on her face. Anger, embarrassment, disgust.
                His boss had called Helen to come and pick him up after he was sure he had accidentally killed him. Steve had remained unconscious no matter what he did. The usual bucket of ice water had done nothing. Screaming in his ear, beating on his chest, and shaking him had produced no results either.
                Steve had finally come around on his own in the taxi, his head on the lap of a very angry Helen. Almost the only thing he had heard her say since coming to was a barked order to the driver to take them home instead of to the ER.
                Noticing his pain, Helen felt a swift stab of relief. She couldn’t bear it if something happened to him, and she had been terrified that the old man had killed her lover trying to play some practical joke.
                “And now you despise me.” Steve finally said.

                Sighing, he opened his eyes and waited for her to say something.

                He would call an exterminator in the morning to deal with the annoying cricket that had to be lurking in a kitchen cabinet somewhere.

                “I have never said I despise you,” Helen finally spoke. “And you will never hear me say it. It was a mean joke, he shouldn’t have done it. Anyone would be scared seeing things ‘rise’ out of the ground all at once in a cemetery.”
                This time, it was Steve who had no response.
                “I’m just marveling because you’re telling me that this has happened before, only on a smaller scale,” Helen was truly most angry at the caretaker. She’d strangle him if she could. “Why are you still working there if the place terrifies you and the old man is mean?”

                “You’re the one who told me to go n’ work there!” Steve almost exploded at Helen.
                Alarmed, Helen’s eyes widened. She wasn’t afraid he would do anything, she was afraid he would over-exert himself and she’d have to take him to the hospital for real this time.
                “You told me thet a ‘big man’ like I am should go and work there, thet et was a good job! So I did! I did it to please you!”

                Far from being intimidated, or even frightened, she almost liked his anger. Her eyes were greedy, and she smiled a little, making him angrier.
                “Everyone! Fer as long as I could remember thought I was supposed to be the big bad man. The strong one, the bold one, the fierce one,” Louder than necessary, Steve pounded his hands on his legs to emphasize his points. “Buck shouldn’t be afraid of a little ole storm! Et’s good fer ‘em to spend a night in the barn while the cows are calvin’.  Mary, yer coddlin’ Buck! He needs to learn how to gut a deer, I’ll make a man of ‘em! Buck…” finally his words trailed off into tears. “Yer sister needs ya, save ‘er. Show me what a man ya are.”

                Buck Sixkiller?” Helen smiles to herself.
                “Buck Gunner Sixkiller.” He doesn’t even seem to notice that Helen is even beside him. His eyes are focused somewhere far away.
                “PlumbBob, you look so much more like a ‘Buck’ than a ‘Steve’, I’m just kinda shocked…”
                ‘Heaven! I’m in heaven!’ Birds twittered above her head. She loved it.
                “Glad you like it.”
                “What’s wrong with it?”
                “What’s wrong with et is I didn’t live up to et.”
                “Think you could tell me?”

                It was a moment Buck hoped wouldn’t happen. He hated that he felt he should relive his failures just to explain why he is who he is.
                “My name is a conflict in an' of etself. My mom wanted te name me Gunner, I think she meant Gunter like 'er grandaddy, but she couldn’t pronounce et right. Hell, he probly didn’t pronounce et right. My dad wanted me te be Buck after his dad, and his dad and his dad as well as 'imself.”
                Small amounts of relief washed over him. It was good to tell Helen the truth, though his past was no fun for him.

                “My dad’s great-grandfather was half Shawnee an' the name was special to the fam'ly,” he warmed up to his story as he went along. “So he won et namin’ me Buck, but my Mama would sometimes call me Gunner outta love. She knew I wasn’ goin’ to be like thet. My little brother was the big strong manly man. Trigger liked huntin’ and fishin’ and farmin’. But 'e wasn’ ‘Buck Gunner Sixkiller,’ I was the oldest and suppost to be jus’ like 'e was,” Bitterness flooded him. “Et weren’t fair to either of us. He was good and tried te be nice to me, but my dad jus’ kep’ tryin’ to force et outta me.”

                “He said I needed to live up te the Sixkiller name an’ prove I was a man.”
                Fear started to creep into Helen’s brain. These people sounded a little vicious to her.
                “We wen’ out campin’ as a family. There was a mountain campsite not to far from our place. It was beautiful in the spring. Everythin’ a real sof' green. It was too cold for my mama and my sister, heck, it was too cold at night for all of us in the little camper we took. But the days were wonderful and softly warm. The fish would be bitin’ real good, and we’d fish fer hours.”
                He sighed, not really wanting to go into this, but he’d make it clean. This was a one time telling.

                “My sister, Anna Claire, liked to fish from this little island in the middle of the stream. Truth be told, it was the best fishin’ spot ‘round there, but Dad didn’t like us to go out there case there was a flash flood ‘n we couldn’t get off it safely. Spring rains can come up sudden, and if they’re at the top o' the mountain the water comes down quick. But Dad weren’t there thet time. He 'n Mama had climbed up to some look out point fer sentimental reasons. By the time they got back down, the water was too fast and too high fer any of us. He were most mad at me fer lettin’ 'er get out there when it jus’ weren’t safe. So he made me try to go and git ‘er.” He sighed heavily, looking at his hands.
                “Mama begged ‘im not to send me out, said she’d lose two kids if he did. But he wanted Anna Clare back more ‘n he wanted me around at any point. So he pushed me into the water to get ‘er.”
                The churning in Helen's stomach made her want to vomit. How could any parent be so mean?
                “It were too fast fer me to even try to swim in. I got swept away pretty soon, but I was lucky thet I had started out near the bank in the first place. When Anna Clare got swept off…” Buck’s voice trailed away.
                Helen had nothing to comfort him with. She couldn’t even imagine. It made her hiding her name and hair color seem petty, juvenile at best. But Buck didn’t continue. She could guess at the ending. It at least explained why his mother moved the family to the city. As well as how his father’s anger most likely pushed him from the house before he was ready, which is why she met up with him in those woods with little to nothing for survival. Only a wonderful working knowledge of flora and fauna.

                “So that’s why you’re afraid of the water.” Helen’s heart was breaking for him. His face betrayed his emotion, the turmoil in his eyes painful even to her.
                “Don’ like it,” Buck mumbled.

                A question still niggled Helen.
                “Why Steve?” Helen’s voice was hushed, tears in her eyes. His story had distressed her very much, made her skin crawl.
                “Steve didn’ sound like someone anyone would care much about if he didn’ like water and fainted when 'e got scared. Steve sounded like a pretty nice guy, a pretty even guy... a pretty common guy.”

                Helen laughed a little at his description of ‘Steve.’ It forced Buck to look up and snort a bit ruefully also, though it didn’t quite reach his eyes yet. He still heard Anna Clare scream, his father yell, Mama’s cries. Again and again he could see the water swirling, feel it in his lungs, burning when he slept too deeply or when he got too close to moving water. He had trouble taking a shower sometimes, even after all the years that had passed.
                The pain was getting less lately though, and he hoped his retelling of the tale wouldn’t bring on the night terrors again. He wasn’t sure how Helen would take that.

                “I get why you didn’t want to tell me your name,” Helen said. “And it’s a horrible horrible story about your sister. And your dad…”
                The anger welling up in her was a little unexpected. But, in some ways… she just… she got it. She got how he could be so angry at a father who didn’t understand him, didn’t know him and didn’t bother. Craig hadn’t bothered until her and Peter had made the effort. Then when they had moved in, he really didn’t take the time to get to know them at all, preferring to keep his distance. At the time, Helen and Peter had been grateful for it. Kristine’s presence had been crushing, Craig was barely there.

                Seeing how distressed he had made her, Buck pulled her under his arm. She snuggled up with a sigh.
                “It’s over now,” he told her. “It’s all in the past. This is where I am now. With you.”
                The thrill running up Helen’s spine was wonderful. She shivered and snuggled closer.
                “So, can I call you Buck? Steve never did come easily to my tongue. It just didn’t fit.”

                It took him so long to answer that she turned, wanting to make sure she hadn’t offended him.
                Looking at her, he calmed. After all, what was in a name other than what you put in it?
                “Sure, Princess,” his easy grin touching his lips. “You can call me Buck.”

                Letting his pet name for her slide was more difficult than she thought. But for once, it wasn’t said in jest, it was said gently, tenderly, and she had enjoyed it.
                “Hey,” Helen said. “Tomorrow? Why don’t you quit at the graveyard. Go find something you’d rather do. Something you choose.”
                Squeezing her, “Sure thing,” Buck answered. “Sure thing.”

                In bed that night, Buck slept peacefully despite himself. Instead of dreams of horror, he dreamed of the future he wanted to build himself.

                And he dreamed of Helen.
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Some people have genuinely awful names in real life. I feel very sorry for those people. There are times I like to have fun with my sims names and to be honest, this is indeed one of them with Buck Gunner Sixkiller at the butt of it. I do not intend for many of my other sims in this legacy to bear the burden of awful names, but until I see how this all shapes up, I cannot promise not to have a little fun with the last name Sixkiller. These names are common in our area, as we live extremely close to an Indian reservation. My husband works with a guy surnamed Squirrel.
My last name got me teased in school from the time I was little all the way through high school. Though I’d love to leave that out, kids are cruel sometimes and life sucks. But you learn, and you move on. Sometimes, you even take it and grow.
Buck has been updated in the Generational Goals tab with his real name and I added the Coward and Hydrophobic trait on his listing.


  1. <3 Buck. It's nice to finally get to know you :)

    Buck does suit him better, and I quite like it too! What an awful childhood though. Feel sorry for him and hope Helen lets him have a baby with her (not read the gen goals tab, because I wan't it to be a surprise)

    1. It's ok to look at the generational goals tab. I'm trying to keep things under my hat until it is either fulfilled, or revealed. I'm also putting the traits of the characters there instead of here. So it's safe.
      Buck. I love Buck, too. And I'm glad you like it also. :)

  2. Aw, poor Buck! What a story. But I'm so happy he's revealed himself to Helen and she's accepted him.
    I'm all squishy now.

    1. lol. I'm glad he finally told it too. I keep debating whether Trigger should appear or not, and the story has to be told for Trigger to appear.

  3. What a horrible childhood Buck had and I want to find his father and do all sorts of bad things to him! I hope Buck and Helen work out together and are happy.

    1. Me, too! We can go find Buck Sr. and kick him in tender places. I swear I'm going to catch up on all of your legacy one day! One day! I love how you handled the deadbeat parent. I haven't read a story like that yet. It's really neat to read.

  4. Awww! <3 Buck. Totally fits him. I love him. He's such a good Sim. It's really nice seeing Helen grow up, too. It was a bit frustrating watching her be so selfish.

    1. Never fear! She'll still be selfish. She's learning though. But bad habits are hard to break.

  5. So Buck's his name, then... I was sort of warming to the name Steve, though, but I guess Buck fits him more. His childhood story was so sad, no wonder he's turned out the way he has... Aww, and he was so sweet, dreaming about... marrying Helen? I love this guy <3.

    And perhaps is Helen starting to feel he's a keeper? I hope so.

    1. How the heck did I miss this one?!? I'm so sorry. :( *hugs to make up for it.

      Lol. Sim dreams are so fantastic. Screw their wishes, what they dream about says so much too. <3

      We'll see! ;)

  6. I'm glad he let it all out, even more glad that it didn't bring on the night terrors.
    I was so confused when they were first sitting on the couch, but I see now that was intentional.

    1. No, night terrors. Yay!

      Lol. Yeah, I prolly should have led with sitting on the couch instead of mid chapter. Live and learn. =D