Friday, May 31, 2013

Chapter 2.24- Distracted

          Fish. Fishing. Seafood. All he wanted to do was let his little daughter in on daddy’s favorite things, but she stubbornly refused to say those words.

          Tibi already had a favorite daddy activity: Spending time with daddy. Why should she have to talk to him when she did it? Besides, she knew how to get him to play her way. Look at that. Isn’t she adorable when she makes her eyes all wide and smiles sweetly? Abuela taught her that move.

          Ignacio felt a little inadequate sitting there trying to figure out just what interested this toddler. What might tempt her to form the words he wanted her to say.

          The times Tibi babbled to Layla had been painful moments for him. Layla would smile brightly, and nod doing her best to hide the terror in her eyes. She felt she should be able to understand what Tibi said, she didn’t understand that the amount of time that needed to be allowed before she’d be able to hear the pattern in the child’s words.

But Layla wasn’t here today. Fall was closing in as the summer days became shorter and cooler and she wanted to make sure she found plenty of gems and metals to sell before they were hidden by the carpet of fallen leaves brought about by the change of seasons. If she wanted to have enough to purchase a larger home any time soon, she needed to find a lot, quickly.

          “Cawwit!” Tibi cried out startling her distracted daddy.

          “Yeah? Carrot? Maybe Miss Lala will grow you a carrot if you ask her.”

          “Miss Lala may-does,” shaking her head somberly. Her tiny tongue could not quite wrap around Layla, but Lala was an easy word and so Layla had become Lala instead. The girl also found watching Layla work her tiny garden fascinating, especially the tomatoes. She thought Layla was growing the bouncy balls Tibi loved to throw and chase.

          “To-May-Toes,” Ignacio enunciated for his girl. It would be a long day for sure.

          “What about an actual ball you can play with? What about baseball?”

          Like the little girl was going to cater to daddy’s wishes on that one. Her lips were sealed.

          “Tsi-gen!” Tibi cried delightedly after a moment in thought. (Chicken)

          “Hmm. Maybe you need lunch. We’ll try again later.”

          “Bok bok?”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          He should have been the one introducing his girlfriend to his father. But Santiago had caught a pretty face amongst the guests of his wife’s annual Fall First party and couldn’t resist. And how had they managed to come dressed alike? Ignacio finally understood why girls got so upset when another female showed up wearing her dress.

          His mother loved to throw this party each year for her clients, only most of them were too terrified of being spotted to actually show up and most of the rest of those in attendance were only there for curiosity and didn’t really interact with each other, or their hosts.

          The gentle touch of his mother’s hand on his shoulder turned him around.

          “He didn’t even give me a chance to introduce her. He just went right up to her first thing,” he whined.

          “She’ll tell him very soon that you are her boyfriend, so relax,” she soothed. “Besides, she doesn’t know that’s your father. She’s actually thought he was Raul at first and is now very confused. But she has no idea of betraying you with your father. No matter his intentions.”

          “Wait, his intentions?” Ignacio drew up short.

          “Calm down. I already told you she’ll handle herself very well,” Sabria sighed. The family was used to Santiago’s roaming eye, but Ignacio had never had it rove over someone he considered his.

          “Your hair is so much like moonlight,” Santiago’s voice drifted to them. “I would love to see you stand outside so I can tell just how closely your eyes match the stars.”

          “Oh,” Sabria said. “Oh he changed tack on me. I’ll go rescue her. Damn him. Stand here. You’ll embarrass her if you go. She knows who he is now and it’s starting to creep her out.”

          Reading the tension on her sons face, she laid a hand on his shoulder. “It’s alright. Really. She just doesn’t know how to stop him without being rude.” And she swept off as Ignacio’s siblings materialized.  Ignacio knew the drill as well as they did. Time to distract the unhappy couple their father had tried to get in between at yet another party. Only this was the first time it had ever hit so close to home for any of them.

          “He is drunk and he is an ass and he did not realize you are his son’s girlfriend,” the woman told Layla without preamble. “Mom knows how he is and she is not hurt and she does not blame you one bit. Neither do any of the rest of us.”

          Standing quietly for a moment Layla tried to reel in her thoughts. Who was this? Her words were accented almost as Ignacio’s were, only more heavily. Though maybe she could find traces of resemblance in her face too? Maybe not.

          “Sorry,” the woman said. She stuck out one hand in the same brusque manner as she had approached with. “Nalleli. Ignacio is my little brother.”

          “Oh! I didn’t realize-” Layla tripped a little over her words. “I didn’t know-It’s nice to meet to you.”

          As the two women attempted to get past the awkwardness of having ones father hitting on the other, Santiago passed by his sons deep in a discussion of ancient Egyptsims methods of mummification and what happened when the process sometimes went wrong.

          “You should have told me that is your latest piece of-” he snarled.

          “-You don’ want to finish that.” Ignacio interrupted.

          Eyes narrowing, Santiago passed on muttering under his breath.

          But Raul had gained an idea by what his father had said. Across the room, Layla was unaware that yet another of Ignacio’s family members watched her closely.

          “So are you guys getting married any time soon?”


          “You have lasted longer than anyone else,” Nalleli continued as matter of factly as she had begun. “And I know that you survived Mom’s First Interview: spook predictions, your past deeds, threats and all. And Mami says you are going to be around for a while so we just kind of figured.”

          “Threats? Your Mother didn’t threaten me. Well, she did some strange faceplam move and she did indeed do the spooky predictions and brought up my past. But no threats.”

          “Wow. That’s kind of her thing. It is always how she manages to get the girls to run. I got to watch her do it once, she was seriously frightening.  Pretended to predict that all kinds of horrible stuff would happen to her if she stayed with Ignacio. He never knew that part, but he could never believe anything bad about Mami.”

          “Imagine that.”


          Abruptly, Nalleli turned to peer at her brothers.

          “Really,” Layla continued without noticing. “Your mom wasn’t too frightening. I kind of thought she was sweet. I loved the story of how she first met your dad too.”

          “Uh-huh,” Nalleli’s eyes narrowed and she turned back to Layla. “How she saw him sitting by her side? Yes. She loves that tale. Tells it all the time. Like it justifies how she’s stayed with-”

          And she clamped her jaw tightly closed.

          “Do you like fishing, too?” Nalleli asked, changing the subject abruptly, making Layla blink in surprise.

          “It’s got to be started soon if it’s going to work out,” Raul spoke quietly, those the noise around him wouldn’t have made eavesdropping easy anyway. “Are you sure Matthew is on board to move it all out?”

          “I have already gone over that with you,” Ignacio answered. “He understands the situation and is sympathetic. We have even worked out the best times for me to deal with him so it doesn’ look too suspicious.”

          “You’re positive he’s sympathetic?”

          “Yes. He doesn’ like it any more than we do and is prepared to assist.”

          “You better be safe,” Raul’s brow had lowered. “I don’t need you taking unnecessary risks just because you think you can. Are you sure people are still avoiding you?”

          “Iggy has actually taken my brother Cyrus out and shown him some spots,” Layla was still talking to Nalleli. “But we’ve never gotten around to it with just each other.”

          Nalleli hadn’t taken her eyes off of her brothers. Raul had something new up his sleeve this time and had somehow managed to rope Ignacio in. She’d hoped that wouldn’t have been the case, but hopes rarely do anything other than disappoint in her experience.  

          Her jaw hardening in distaste she briefly debated on pulling Layla off somewhere to perhaps enlighten her, maybe convince her to convince Ignacio to get himself out of it all. Nonsense. There was nowhere in the house that was private right now. Maybe she could invite Layla over sometime, or maybe out to lunch.

          “I just want to make sure that Layla stays out of it,” Ignacio said. “She is not going to make drops for you, and you stay away from her and her things. That is my house now too, and we are not funding your enterprise.”

          “I would really like to take you out to lunch sometime,” Nalleli said, still very distracted as she puzzled over what Raul's newest plans could possibly be. “Do you usually go home for lunch, or have you been to the diner?”

          “Her assistance could be lucrative for us if we add her,” Raul said. “Really, let’s face it, if she made drops too we’d double the good we’d be doing. Double our meager profits, too.”

          “Who hasn’t been to the diner?” Laughed Layla. “For a solid month after I’d arrived in town Sally- Sixkiller, my cousin- took me as often as she could in order to meet as many people in town as possible. She didn’t do much introducing though. Just pointing and a brief life story. Though there were quite a few people I didn’t spot there. You for instance.”

          “Layla stays out of it or I am out of it,” Ignacio said firmly. “She has no ties here and I have no problems telling what I know to the police and dragging her and Tibi into hiding with me. You would never find me, brother. Stay away from my girl.”

          “I can ride a broomstick upside down!” Nalleli popped out as she had completely lost the thread of the conversation as her mind worked.

          “No need to get so touchy,” Raul sneered. “We’ll leave her alone.”

          “Ok,” Layla was completely mystified trying to figure out where that came from. “That’s-uh- that’s really-really neat.”

          “Check out the pigtails on Cruz,” Nalleli pulled Lalya near.

          “I mean it, Raul,” Ignacio leaned forward menacingly. “You will swear it on Mami’s life that you will leave her alone.”

          “I saw that,” Layla’s eyes were wide in merriment. “I thought that was just the trend for men in Lucky Palms! I never dreamed it would hit here.”

          “Fine. I swear it. We will leave her alone,” Raul stormed off the moment he had said it and Ignacio deflated.

          Nalleli heard Raul's growl over the buzz of people in the room and sighed with relief. Maybe she wouldn’t have to tell Layla anything at all. Maybe Ignacio would tell her when he needed to. Or maybe her not knowing meant he’d try to get out of the scheme more quickly.

          “Go find my mother,” Nalleli told her instead, finally remembering what the pair had been talking about. “Ask her to join us for lunch tomorrow, eh? I want to talk to your boyfriend for a little bit.”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          Layla thought there were plenty of people in the living room, but the bathroom was obviously the happenin’ place to be. Here she found Sabria and several other guests along with Santiago.

          Dear PlumbBob, what was her cousin Silas wearing? And Santiago was kind of freaking her out with the stiff looks he kept shooting at her.

          “So Nalleli and I were planning on going to lunch at the diner tomorrow. Would you like to join us?” Layla asked cheerfully. It was unnerving though. Why was everyone in the bathroom?

          “How sweet of you to remember me, but no thank you. In fact, I’m not sure this week will be a good one for you either,” Sabria answered. Layla’s face fell.

          “Oh, my dear,” Sabria caught herself. “I’m sorry. You’ll just probably have a much better week if you stay close to home. I’ll even let Nalleli know that you won’t be able to have lunch with her for a little bit. Ok? And tomorrow, I’ll even come by to help with Tibi.”

          Layla looked at the woman baffled. Why would she need Sabria’s help with Tibi? Ignacio was always there if Tibi was there.

          Santiago and Cornell Riffin finally left the bathroom making it feel much more roomy. Too bad Silas still stood there staring a hole in Layla’s head.

          “Is there something I need to know?” she asked slowly. She’d really rather not know if something is going to happen, but Sabria was making it sound like some disaster was about to happen.

          “You’ll know when the time is right,” Sabria said gently. “Just remember: Time is always precious.”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

Arrrrgh! No one would do what I wanted them to do. Blast them all to hades. I wanted Sabria to be the one to talk to Layla, not Nalleli. And Nalleli was wearing that ridiculous skirt and my game kept freezing (so there was no way I was opening CAS to fix it) and Santiago keeps trying to flirt with Layla and then I could Not get Sabria out of that bathroom. Obviously my game knew I was trying to do something particular and determined to foil my attempts. So! Lots of tidbits, not many answers. Stuffs next time. Hang on folks, Mr. Toads Wild Ride is about to begin.

Oh, and isn’t Nalleli lovely? There's a shot where you actually see her face on the bloopers page. Also, while all this was going on Sally aged up to YA. I did open her up to save her to the bin (and fix her hair and eyebrows and outfit) And not ten sim minutes later she’s married to Ottawa. (check her bin save and sure enough, Sally Fox) The very next pop up I get? Guess who’s expecting? So we won’t see her as soon as I had originally planned, but she’ll be around again.

And there are a million bloopers up for this one. They all had far too much fun with their conversations and I wanted to use it all So badly, but couldn’t. For instance, everyone seemed very much to want to talk about death. Lol. So go check out the bloopers and have a laugh at their expense.

And last- It’s officially summer break and my updates are going to slow down quite a bit as we spend a Lot of time in the pool and I have youngsters to entertain all day long. Lou will go to a summer program starting next week, but my son’s summer program doesn’t begin until July and I’m doing a lot of his pediatric therapies at home in the meantime and those take a lot of time. Also there is a two week vacation at the end of June/beginning of July where a solid week I won’t even have internet. *cries. Just bear with me, the Sixkillers aren’t going anywhere.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chapter 2.23-Hearing and Listening

          “I am so glad that is finally finished,” Ignacio said as he sat heavily on the couch. It had taken the better part of two hours going back and forth to get all of his things moved over from his bedroom at his parents. Now, it all lay stacked untidily in the corner mingled with the toys he’d brought over for Tiburcia to amuse herself with.

          When he didn’t receive an answer, Ignacio glanced at Layla then frowned at the intensity of her gaze. She wasn’t looking at him, but by following the direction of her eyes he quickly found what had her so preoccupied.

          Layla’s eyes were locked onto Tiburcia happily playing with a stuffed animal across the room. The child was being quiet, she was occupied, she was happy. Ignacio’s eyes swept the room looking for something out of place perhaps, other than the boxes of his belongings in the entryway. Maybe his little girl had messed with something and Layla was a little paranoid it might happen again?

          But he could find nothing out of place. Every gem, every ingot, both lamps and even the vases of wildflowers in the corner were still rigidly in the positions they were always in.

          “Uh, Layla?” Ignacio asked, still probing the room with his eyes just in case he’d missed something. “Is there something wrong, honey?”

          “There’s a child in my house.”

          Blinking, Ignacio’s mouth opened as if he were about to speak. Then he closed it, puzzling over what she’d said.

          “Yes, I told you I had a daughter and that I would like her to live with us eventually,” confusion colored his tone. “You said that was okay.”

          “I thought you were joking,” her voice, on contrast, was sharp. “I had no idea she was real.”

          “You though I would joke about such a matter as a child?” It was a question, but spoken as a statement.

          “You’d never mentioned her before.”

          “Because the time was never right,” he said. “It has not been very long since we have really been together, and when my mother showed up, let us agree that that was not the time to mention my daughter. Honestly, I figured you would have heard enough from the rumor mill that you would have known about her long ago. I thought that was why you accepted so readily. I had half thought you would have brought her up yourself long ago!”

          “Well,” she said. “I didn’t know about her. I had no idea she existed. And if she’s your daughter, shouldn’t you be the one to bring up the topic of her existence?”

          Ignacio spun to face her completely.

          “I did, if you will recall. I told you I have a daughter and I would like her live with us eventually. You are the one who did not listen.”

          With a small shake of her head Layla finally shifted her focus. Seeing the disbelief on Ignacio’s face exasperated her. She had listened! Didn’t she just tell him that she had thought he was joking because of how he brought it up? Isn’t that listening?

          “Uh,” she said. “I just told you that I had indeed listened. I thought it was a joke.

          His glower changed to a disgusted, reproachful look that made her roll her eyes at him.

          “No,” he finally said. “No, I told you and you did not hear me. You heard what you wanted to hear. Like you do all the time, you did not listen. Hearing and listening are two different things, Layla. And you have a hearing problem.”

          “Excuse me?” she shot back. “My hearing is just fine thank you.”

          “And again, you hear but you do not listen.”

          “Hearing and listening are the same thing, Ignacio,” she raised her voice slightly, making Tiburcia grow quiet.

          “No, they are not an’ you know it,” he challenged speaking extra quietly. “If you do not want to accept it, you hear it and do not take it in. That is not listening. Listening is hearing it and accepting it. You just refused to accept the reality of my baby girl.”

          “I did not-”

          “-Oh yes you did! And if she is not welcome here, I cannot be here.”

          “I said nothing about who is-”

          “-You did not have to say it. It is in your words for anyone willing to listen. You said that having a child in your house is wrong.”

          Refusing to give up though, she charged ahead not realizing the rocky ground she was treading. “That is not what I said, and it was not about hearing or listening to what I said at all. This is about you not telling me you have a daughter!”

          “You should have told me about her a long time ago if she’s really important to you! You should have said ‘Hey, I’ve got a daughter, just so you know.’ You have never brought her up!”

          Glaring, he nearly snarled the words. “I did tell you. And I have told you many times about the responsibilities I have. And I have alluded to past mistakes that I must bear cheerfully. And I would be shocked if you were to tell me your Aunt did not at least tell you. Estella Sixkiller was one of the first ones to spread that juicy morsel when the town found out what had happened. Again, this is about you not listening to what is told to you.”

          “And again, this is about you not telling me in the first place.”

          Raising her chin high, she tried to match the glare Ignacio gave her. But something didn’t feel right about it and her stomach churned nervously a little.

          “I told you,” his voice was deadly quiet. “I told you and gave you an opportunity to talk about her. When you dismissed it, I assumed you had heard about Tibi a long time ago. So I must apologize for assuming. And now I will take my daughter back home, and then I will come back and get my things out of here.”

          “Oh, for pity’s sake,” she sneered. “Why on earth would you do that?”

          “I have already said this once, and I will not repeat it. If Tibi is not welcome here, then I cannot be here either.”

          This time, however, concern flashed across Layla’s face. “I didn’t say she wasn’t welcome here.”

          “You did not have to use those words, but you have made many other indications that my daughter is not welcome. Unlike you, I listen to what others say.”

          “I don’t want you to go, and I didn’t mean to imply that she isn’t welcome here,” Layla finally conceded without apologizing. “I’m just-”

          She took a deep breath and tried to shrink into herself. Seeing her submission, Ignacio slumped back.

          “-I was shocked that you really have a daughter and I’m just not sure I’m ready to have kids,” she said. “I don’t know what to do with them and they kind of scare me.”

          Relief washed over Ignacio’s face briefly before he forced it back to weary disbelief.

          Oh, my PlumbBob. She’s actually listening and correctly responding. Finally.

          “That does not make it my fault that I have a daughter. And it does not excuse you treating her like she is unwelcome in your home. You had heard it said around town that I had a child, did you not?”

          Struggling momentarily, Lalya rolled her eyes.

          “I did. But I didn’t want to believe it. I figured it was just the rumor mill saying mean things.”

          “The rumor mill has officially put it around that I’m pregnant and that Ned and I were engaged and that you are some awful womanizer and that Ned is stuck up; and I’d just prefer to not listen to gossip,” she said.

          Narrowing his eyes slightly Ignacio leaned forward hoping she’d continue.

          “There was nothing like this where I grew up. Nothing. No one cared what anyone else did or why most of the time. The only time they cared was when they wanted something out of you. My brother only cared because his girlfriend wanted me to act a certain way so as not to get in her way. So I’d rather just not listen to what goes around and only take what others tell me themselves. No one gets hurt that way.”

          Gathering himself he let her have a moment, kicking himself for doing what he was about to do. But it was time for her to move on from being a teenager and he had warned her he would still be an ass occasionally. With what other reasoning would he have brought Tiburcia as he had this morning?

          “But do you see how you not accepting what someone says can backfire? Do you see that you hurt me and hurt my baby by just not accepting that what is told you might be true?”

          She nodded glumly.

          “Listening to gossip and listening to what people tell you are two different things. And you are not protecting yourself by not listening; you are hurting yourself and those around you.”

          “It is time to let go of high school and how your now sister-in-law hurt you back then, or how you hurt someone or any of that and for you to figure out how to sift through what you are being told to find out for yourself what is true and what is not. And it does not hurt to ask to see if something is true. Give a person a chance to clear their own name.”

          “That just sounds like a good way to get duped.”

          “Then be duped. Learn from it and move on. You cannot live in a bubble.”

          Shaking her head, she didn’t respond.

          “Well then,” he pursed his lips. “I guess we had better go. I will-uh, I will see you around I guess.”

          At last, she turned back to him.

          “Don’t go,” she said. “Don't-just don’t go. I have no idea where we’ll put a bed for her, but I’ll get used to it. Just give me,” she shrugged searching for words. “Give me time. Okay?”

          “You still did not listen,” he said heavily. “I said eventually she would live with us. I know this house is too small to fit in her crib and her things. I did not expect her to live here full time immediately. You do not know her, she does not know you. She does not know your house, or your scent or your quirks. I would never put my child in such a stressful situation.”

          “So you’ll stay?” It killed her that she couldn’t hide the note of desperation in her tone.

          “We shall stay.”

          “But you had better start listening, not just hearing, when someone tells you something. Right?”

          “I’ll try.”

          “No,” he shook his head. “No, that is not good enough. You will listen now. Or I will have to leave.”

          Frowning, her lips parted and closed again for several minutes.

          “I will listen,” she agreed. “But you will forgive me if I sometimes forget, or if I genuinely miss something.”

          He studied her for a long moment, eyes narrowed.


          Immediately, Layla launched herself across the couch into his arms.

          “I’m sorry.”

          Ignacio smiled, wrapping his arms around her, letting her nestle nearer.

          “Those were just the words I needed to hear. Thank you for saying them. All is forgiven.”

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

          Awwwwww. Aren’t they cute? And it’s totally sitcommy and Layla learns a lesson wrapped up in a nice 30 minute package but whatever. Maybe we can move forward a little now. Actually, after the next chapter I should be able to speed things up quite a bit with everything finally in place for the rest of the story and roll to start. I just really needed her to start attempting to listen to what is going on around her instead of fleeing to who-knows-where in her head.