Thursday, May 9, 2013

Chapter 2.17-Feeling Superior

          Layla rose early the next morning. She hadn’t taken a load of gems or metals to the consignment store in almost a week. With all the excitement she had been too busy. But now she hoped things would settle down. She didn’t need to worry over Ned or the election any longer. She wouldn’t have Cyrus to go and visit since he'd now secured his job for a while and would be at work more. And, most likely, Aunt Estella wouldn’t be dropping by, or wanting her to drop by anytime soon either. That first meeting was going to be rough. Hopefully the embarrassment between them wouldn't last long.

          All the different emotions of the past few days left her exhausted and sometimes slightly confused. The scene with Ned at his headquarters yesterday still stung, making her stomach churn uncomfortably when it sprang to her mind unbidden, but it was over at least. And her heart still skipped a beat when she thought about the night before with Ignacio. Hopefully, she could talk him into staying again soon.

          Finding him on her couch as she went out surprised her. She had no idea he was such an early riser.

          Resolutely she climbed in his lap with kisses ready. Maybe she’d get him to stay for the rest of the day even. But he allowed her caresses for only a moment, turning and pushing her away.

          Layla pouted, making him laugh.

          “Oh, Mi Llamita, nothing against you, but not at this moment,” he said. “You do not listen when you kiss me.”

          Settling back, Layla decided not to say a word. Of course she listened. She listened very well, and she’d show him just how well.

          “Don’ be mad,” he said. “It’s big news today. You’ll like it.”

          She said not a word, waiting for him to continue.

          “Alright, fine,” Ignacio smiled. “Ned won last night.”

          “You have got to be kidding me,” she broke in, her personal vow of silence broken. “How did that happen?”

          “Seems your Aunt and cousin work very fast. Much faster than I thought,” he said. “It looks like the town felt sorry for him and enough people felt sorry enough for him that he swung about Fifty-Five percent of the vote.”

          “They voted him in as mayor out of pity?” she asked harshly. “These people felt bad for him for what?”

          “See, I told you you do not listen.”

          Layla rolled her eyes. She’d been listening.

          “I was listening. I heard every word you said,” she said. “I just don’t get how he managed to change the minds of enough people out of pity? Ned has it all, why is he some tragic figure in town suddenly?”

          “Because he does not have it all,” he could hardly keep the sarcasm out of his tone. “He doesn’ have you anymore and I don’ work for him anymore and they all know about how it went down.”

          “You mean someone overheard us yesterday and then told the town?”

          “Not quite,” he said more patiently this time. “Now listen this time. Your Aunt and cousin saw what happened with you and I and told the entire town. Ned would never have revealed such a personal heartbreak.”

          “Well, Sally will be happy to have made such a difference at least,” she said.

          At this, Ignacio finally laughed.

          “Oh, Layla,” he said. She loved how he said her name. It made her stomach flip happily. “You don’ quite get it, do you?”

          “Sure, I do. Sally and Aunt Estella told the town I’m not dating Ned anymore and that I slept with you and they feel bad for Ned because I betrayed him so they voted him in as Mayor to give him a pretty toy instead of just being nice to him.”

          “Not quite, but almost,” he said. “See, they know that it wasn’ just you betraying him, it was both of us. And they are quite angry at us for making them pity him. I went out to go and try to make a few deals yesterday afternoon since I am now unemployed. I must have a steady income. But many people are just turning their backs on me. And your name my dear Miss Sixkiller is ‘mud’ as they say. I had to wring all that out of Matthew at the consignment store. He is finally willing to do business with me, but no one else will.”

          Layla flipped over to look at him, but he pressed her against his chest so Layla laid her head down. Hearing his heartbeat she tried to take comfort in the steady sound while he began to rub her back.

          “Wait a second,” she was near breathless as she took in just what he said. “Wait, wait. You’re telling me the town is mad at us because we ‘made them vote for Ned?’ We didn’t have anything to do with their votes! That’s their own decision! It’s just an excuse! And for what?”

          “It is an excuse for them to take out their frustrations on us. They are saying we are immoral and bad and other things besides. It is a lot of self-righteous anger, but they all wanted their part in the drama that took place under their noses. They’ll come out of it eventually. They always do.”

          “What do you mean 'they always do?'” Layla was feeling a mite angry right now. Why punish them? What they did behind closed doors was no one else’s business and should have no bearing on anyone else in town.

          “I mean when things like this happen, as they are bound to do, the people will eventually get over it and move on,” he pressed a kiss into her hair and Layla’s stomach flipped again. “They just enjoy feeling superior. Give them their moment, keep your temper, and eventually they’ll be friendly again.”

          “I wasn’t really friendly with anyone in the first place, so that doesn’t matter as much to me,” she said. “But I don’t like being made a scapegoat.”

          “You were friendly with your Aunt and cousin,” he reminded her. “You were friendly with your brother. You were friendly with Matthew.”

          “And I will be still.”

          “Oh, Mi Llamita, you are in for a surprise,” he pressed her closer. “Your brother and sister-in-law will not be able to talk to you for fear of hurting Ned, their boss. Your Aunt will shun you on principle and will forbid your cousin to see you. And I have already told you Matthew even gave me a hard time. I’ve been one of his best sources of income through the years and he was almost unwilling to work with me anymore. I will help ensure he still accepts your business, but you will have to be discreet in your transactions with him for a while.”

          Layla rolled her eyes, keeping her face turned so he couldn’t see her. He was blowing this way out of proportion.

          Pushing herself up she grinned coyly at Ignacio. She’d had enough of his doom and gloom. It was wonderful that Ned had won the election, and there was no way her family would turn her away. She’d show him how wonderful they were and they’d all be very comfortable together.

          “Well,” she said. “Well, so long as I’ve got you to turn to. I know you won’t let me go hungry or get lonely, so I’m sure we’ll be okay.”

          He sat up, leaning closer, running his fingers up her jawline.

          “You have no idea.”

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

          “Fire,” Layla spoke quietly to herself. Ignacio had left after a quick breakfast to go back out fishing and Layla’s day had been quiet and smooth. She had tended her little garden and done laundry, the bills were paid and she had finally decided she had a quiet moment to take a look at the paper to see Ned’s win for herself. Ignacio didn't want her to go to the Consignment store until he could go with her.

          But the front page story was instead a story about a house fire that had demolished one of the larger homes in town. In the picture there was a man passed out on the ground and she was forcibly reminded of her father, Buck, who couldn’t handle the unexpected either. It made her chuckle. But it wasn’t the story she was looking for and she opened the newspaper to look inside.

          The front door slowly creaked open and Layla checked the time on her phone. 2:10pm. She didn’t even have to peek over the newspaper to see who it was. It made her smile though, Ignacio had said Sally wouldn’t be able to come by again. But she wouldn’t give her young cousin the satisfaction of knowing she was glad she was here. She’d string it out a bit to let her know that it really wasn’t cool that she and Aunt Estella had walked in on her and Ignacio like that. Why hadn’t they knocked?

          “Oh, uh,” Sally croaked. It sounded like she hadn’t expected Layla to be sitting there. Well, Layla usually was in the backyard at this time of day. “Uh, hi? Can I, uh, could I come in?”

          “I don’t know, Sally. Can you?” PlumbBob. Mentally she kicked herself. She had hated it when her own mother had done that to her growing up and she had sworn she would never do the same.

          Finally peeking over the paper, Layla frowned. Why on Sim Planet did Sally look like a deer in headlights? Was she that embarrassed? Rolling her eyes, she looked back at the paper in front of her. She’d finally found the article about Ned winning. There was even a graph showing how the votes fell. Maybe if she kept reading she’d see her own name if what Ignacio said was true.

          “Ok, well, do you mind if I come in?”

          “I don’t mind at all,” she answered without looking up.

          Sally quickly closed the door, peeking through the windows furtively for a moment before flopping down on the couch with a sigh.
          Layla continued to peruse the articles not bothering to peek at her cousin. Sally sometimes took a moment to organize the gossip before spilling it all out in a rush that she listened to in silence.
          “So,” Sally said. “So I know you’ve gotta hate me now. So thanks for letting me come in.”

          Layla peeked around the side of her paper briefly.

          “Why would I hate you?” She really wanted Sally to get on with the days gossip so she could go back to minutely inspecting every inch of the article.

          “Why would you-” Sally blurted. “Why wouldn’t you hate me? Dear PlumbBob, I’d die if someone walked in on- on anything, and then Mom was rude, and I’m sorry but I was so aghast Ottawa knew at once that something had happened and I told him and Lola was nearby and listening and heard, and she told Rose-”

          “Whoa there, Nelly,” Layla peered around the paper for a moment again. “Basically you’re saying the entire high school knows you and your mother are voyeurs?”
          “What’s a- a voy-er?” Sally made it rhyme with foyer.

          “Never mind.”

          “But the point is everyone knows! And I know Mama had a ladies meeting so I’m sure she told Mrs. Blanco and old Mrs. Martingale and they would have told their daughters. I’m mean, look at the election!”


          “Sally,” Layla said passively. “Sally, you are overthinking this.”
          Abruptly, Sally sat up. “It’s Sarah. Will you ever remember? Geez.” She put a finger to her lips and lapsed into silence for a moment making Layla thankful. She thought she might have managed to get through the article without seeing her name and was skimming again to make sure.
          “Hey, Layla?”


          “Sarah. Would you let me make it up to you and let me take you to a stylist for a haircut? I know you’ll feel better with a new hairstyle and I’ll even pay.”

          Since the heat of summer Layla had been thinking along the same lines. Something shorter and cooler might be nice.
          “Sure,” she said.
          Sally whipped her head around so fast it looked like it might have hurt her neck.
          “Really? Let’s go! Come on!” She said, ripping the paper out of Layla’s grasp and tugging on her arm. “Quickly, before-”
          “Before what?”
          “Nothing. Nothing at all.”

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

So that was really wordy. Sorry. And I hate the first sequence of pics, but there just aren't a whole lot of cuddling and talking on the couch unless she's straddling him or sitting across him and not many of them move from pose to pose very well at all, and I just didn't want to use the couch cuddle interaction again. It's too happy from both of them. Oh well.


  1. Well, it appears that Layla did help Ned win the election, just not in a way they would have imagined, lol
    I'm glad that Sally/Sarah is still coming by. Either her mother didn't forbid her, or she didn't listen. :P
    Sounds like living in that town is about to get a lot uncomfortable for Layla. I'm sure when all is said and done, she won't take so many things for granted, but will appreciate what she has.

    1. Yup. Ned got something out of the whole ordeal at least.

      She needs to look around her to see just what she actually has. Is that something she'll actually do? I dunno yet. lol

  2. Gotta love small town politics. The whole snuggling on the couch scene was sweet. I do have to agree with Layla, it's stupid that the town would vote that way out of pity, but the backlash of them betraying Ned was sure to be felt. It's sad though, the depth of that backlash. I can see people giving the cold shoulder over this--but her aunt refusing to see her? Forbidding Sally to see her? People not doing business with Ignacio because of this?

    I'm glad he told her to wait until he could go with her to the consignment store...seems like he's trying to protect her.

    Not too wordy at all, this was a great chapter =)

    1. Aw, thanks! There was going to be a lot of backlash. And you know how the game telephone works and gossip can be the same. That story was a big enough deal in the first place, I can only imagine the tale by the time it had been told a few times.

      He'd like to protect her. He's been through all of this before so he kind of knows the ropes. I just hope she listens to his advice.


    2. 'you know how the game telephone works' - what? :|

      This is me announcing that I've read this, but only have 5 minutes before I have to leave for work.
      I'll comment when I'm back, but I now realise as I finish at 1 today it'll only be 7am (yes? Am I learning time differences?) so you wouldn't even know that I hadn't commented immediately. But I've already written this, and I want to ask that question, so I'm gunna hit 'publish' instead of deleting it.

    3. It's a game kids play to demonstrate how what you hear isn't always what was original said. You get your friends all together and line them all up (more than 5 and it gets a lot funnier) and the person on one end of the line comes up with something silly to say or something nice to say about someone playing, and they whisper it in the ear of the person immediately next to them quietly enough that no one else in the room can hear. They in turn whisper it to the person next to them and so on and so forth until it hits the end of the line. Then the last person in line says aloud what they heard whispered in their ear and the person who started it says aloud what they originally said. Each is usually wildly different from the other and everyone giggles at how the message was subtly changed through all the tellings and then someone else takes a turn starting the 'telephone' sequence.

    4. Oh, you mean 'Chinese whispers'?

      Now I think about it, that's quite a racist name... :| Well, I've played it with Chinese people and they've never questioned the name, so it can't be too bad.

      Also, damn, you got up before I could comment and reply to the PM.

    5. Meh, hubs is out of town so I don't have a partner to share the morning work load with. However, I seem to have gotten through it all on my own more quickly that I usually do with hubs' help. Sooo... yeah. I was on early. lol

      And you Do know what it is! Just a different name.

  3. AWWWWWWWWWWWW! They're like a *real* couple!
    So, I guess they kinda have to stay together for a while so the whole town doesn't uproar? Well, it's probably for the best anyway, as they each have nobody else to talk to.

    Sally seems in a rush! I wonder who she's hiding from, or what she's got to do at what time. Or maybe someone is coming to Layla's and so she's trying to get her out the way?! Oooohh I'm intreged!
    But... I thought she wanted to be called Sally? :| I'm confused as to why she kept correcting to Sarah

    And, not wordy. Either my next chapter or the one after will be wordy, and then you'll see what wordy means!

    1. Yeah, pretty much.

      Next time. That's next time.

      *Giggles. No. Her real name is Sally, but she wants to be called Sarah. However, if you notice, she only catches it about half the time and Layla has never once remembered to call her Sarah.

      Uh oh! Can't wait to see it though!

  4. Layla does think and live like she's in a city, where the neighbors don't care what you do. I agree with her, what you do in private is no one's damn business, but in a small town like that, how you feel about your privacy don't mean squat, lol. People will be in your business.
    In the town I grew up, politics was personal, and I could totally see someone like Ned winning an election pity votes.
    I loved the reference about Buck in the article about the house burning.

    1. Yes she does. She really hasn't figured out that if you live in their backyard you're going to have to play by their rules or they'll just take their toys and go home. and Then they'll glare at you over the fence until you play nice. lol. And they are All up in your business. No matter what.

      We actually had a candidate win like that in the town my parents live in now. His wife announced she was divorcing him like a week before the end of the campaign and he won just because she was a real piece of work and everyone knew it and felt bad for him.

      I had to put it in there, it begged for it. I wanted to put Ned on the front page, but I didn't have a suitable pic to stick in there and when I looked closer it looked like a sim-fire and of course that just evokes Buck. lol

  5. Oh dear, poor Layla, she had no idea how people would react did she? I'm slightly worried by Sally's comment at the end - what is she expecting to happen that she wants Layla to get a new haircut before?

    1. No she didn't. But she's also not used to anyone outside of her immediate family caring about what she does, so she just doesn't think anyone else will.

      And you'll see. ;)

  6. Oh, Layla. She really has no idea what it's like to live in a small town, does she? Silly girl. I guess she'll find out soon enough. It will either knock her down a few pegs... or she'll just keep gritting her teeth and digging her feet in like a mule. I love her.

    1. Nope, not at all. And I'm willing to be she just grits her teeth and digs in. She's awfully stubborn when she puts her blinders on.