Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chapter 2.39-Unseeing Eyes

       “Layla,” Sabria breathed with relief. “Who was that, honey?”

        And then her eyes finally saw past her daughter-in-law, sweeping over the bare room. Well, bare in comparison to what it had been just a not so long ago when she had last been in the house.

          But Layla took another step, drawing a shuddering breath, not answering.

          “Hello?” Sabria repeated. “Layla? How are you?” Waving her hand behind Layla’s back didn’t really make anything better, but she felt like she was making more of an effort to get attention.

          When it didn’t work she repeated her first question.

          “Who was that that just left? What did he want?”

          Finally, Layla stopped her pacing.

          “That was Matthew,” she said in a small voice. “You know, he’s the one who runs the consignment store where I sell what I find.”

          Sabria took a step nearer to hear her better. Layla had been much quieter since her return and didn’t realize when it was difficult for others to catch the words she spoke so softly.

          “Well?” Sabria asked. Matthew and Layla had always had a wonderful rapport according to both Layla and Ignacio. Though Layla wasn’t as close to Matthew as Raul was.

          “Iggy says the gems and things lying around aren’t good for Mariah when she’s on the floor so much,” Layla admitted slowly. “So I had Matthew over to help me sort things, and then he’ll sell them for us.”

          “I see,” Sabria rolled her eyes a little. Whatever Layla wanted to blame the lack of clutter on, so long as it wasn’t in the house anymore.

          “It just feels, so-” Layla faltered.

          Sabria took another look around the room feeling there was still plenty of ‘stuff’ lying around if that’s what had Layla so nervous.

          “Empty,” she finished. “It doesn’t feel right.”

          “It will,” Sabria said. “Just give it time. You’ll get used to it. And Iggy is right that it wasn’t good for Mariah to be around all of that.”

          Layla nodded slowly.

          “Come on,” said Sabria. “Go get Mariah and let’s go to the park. We need to talk.”

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          Because she hadn’t heard what had happened from her daughter-in-law yet, Sabria decided to begin with that immediately asking what had happened to Phedra. Mariah had found a fire truck and played happily in the sandbox in front of them.

          Since she’d been home Layla had been in touch with both of her brothers trying to figure out exactly what had happened. The answers they received were piecemeal at best, but it was all anyone would ever know. Phedra and George had gone on a flight with two of the scientists within the expedition. They never returned.

Bits and pieces of what was thought to be the airplane had washed up ashore around the islands, but nothing that could be positively identified. Henry was officially the ward of Cyrus and Olivia, and as the teen had never known any other parents it wasn’t the loss it might otherwise have been. He was saddened, but he would be able to move on.

          Mariah had driven her fire truck farther than she could reach, making her wriggle sideways to be able to grab the toy again. Layla watched her with unseeing eyes. Sabria, knowing Layla needed another moment, waited, keeping her peace.

          “It’s over now.” Layla finished.  When she had returned she’d spent days crying in her room, finally letting everything wash over her. Once her grief was spent, she’d come out different, broken. It saddened Sabria to see her in such a state when the first blush of marriage should have been joyful. Ignacio and Layla had opted for a private marriage in front of a Sim of the Peace just a few days earlier.

          Sabria nodded sagely. It was over. Time to move on. A marriage should herald a new beginning, one she was anxious for.

          “I’d like to thank you,” she began quietly. It might not have been entirely in line with the topic, but it would help her ease into what she felt she needed to say. “You’ve taught my son a lot of patience.”

          “I’ve taught Ignacio, a lot,” Layla repeated slowly. “A lot of patience?” The words said ‘insult,’ the tone did not, and her confusion was clear as she narrowed her eyes a little quizzically.

          “Yes,” answered Sabria. “Yes, you have.”

          Layla decided to take it as a rebuke, but one she deserved. Looking away she tried to form the apology she knew she ought to make, but Sabria interrupted this line of thought.

          “Iggy had known for a very long time that there would be someone who would come into his life that would trust him implicitly, immediately. And that person would be incredibly important to him. From what he’s told me that’s exactly what happened when he met you. And then he screwed it up; first, by being so nervous, surprised and excited that he couldn’t find the right words to say. And secondly, by being a little overconfident. By expecting it to just happen. He’d waited for so long and could hardly bear to wait longer.

          Once he realized his mistake he had to work even harder to even be able to befriend you. I don’t think even you realize all the ways he tried to do nothing more than get under your skin, hoping you’d pay attention.
          Layla blinked in confusion. Could that really be why he’d acted that way? He’d sat there, silently listening as she spilled secrets about her time spent traveling before coming to Appaloosa Plains. Then he’d attempted to blackmail her for a date. Not to forget crashing the date she was on with Ned. And making sure her brother got a job; his family, a house. Showing up to give her a gift so she could pretend to grow a garden. All of it, because he could barely stand to wait for her to wake up.

          “And if he hadn’t learned that patience,” Sabria continued. “I’m not at all sure what he would have done when-”

          Layla ducked her head again, cheeks flaming, when Sabria broke off.

          “Well,” she clucked. “You know. But it’s come into use for him with other things as well. Such as his tolerance for my gifts. In particular, related to a vision I’ve had for a long time now.

          You know how he doesn’t like it when I ‘Butt In,’ as he says. And he hasn’t let me for a long time. Until recent events, when he allowed me to See if I could comfort him.”

          Knowing that Sabria was still dancing around her flight, Layla closed her eyes, trying to listen. Trying to ignore that it was her fault that Ignacio had allowed himself to be put in such a spot. He’d been so desperate to make sure she was alright, that she was going to return home, he’d allowed his mother to use him to See. And Sabria Saw, she’d Seen everything he had worked to keep private. Layla would make it up to him though. She’d make it all better if she could.

         Sabria noted her discomfort and paused. Her intent was not to hurt her new daughter-in-law, but to give information and to see what she knew.

          “I’ve started in the wrong spot,” said Sabria. “Let me begin again. A long time ago, I had a flash of a vision with Ignacio lying dead on a floor.

          “As the years have gone on, the same scene has revisited me at different times. Sometimes there are subtle changes. Sometimes, sometimes, my son is alive.  Sometimes there are people in the room with him. While he was in his teens I made him take steps toward protection even. But I’m now having the vision more often and the changes are becoming less. Something is solidifying, and what I learned by using Ignacio as my medium leads me to that conclusion. Though I’m still missing something. Maybe you could help me.”

           “When Raul was in high school, we allowed him to travel abroad as an exchange student. He became very close with his host family and had already put in a request to go back the following year when a military coup took place. Sim Nation decided to punish the newly appointed military dictator by placing embargos on all imports to the country and Raul was brought home along with all other Sim Nationals.

          “But he kept in touch with his other family and learned of the hardships they were being forced to endure due to Sim Nations’ hardline stance against the country. He felt very bad for the innocent people being punished for something they could not control and the moment he was out of school he looked for ways to help the family he had left behind.”

“Eventually, he found a way to get supplies to them. And with a little effort, and some organization, he managed to set up a supply chain to get basic supplies in to help not just his other family, but all others in need while not alerting Sim Nation to his activities.

          “For one of the basic necessities, food, Ignacio agreed to supply all the fish he could. Lottie cured and dried the fish ready for shipping. Matthew organized the shipments. Raul made sure they arrived safely. He made a small amount, enough to ensure they could afford to continue their efforts, but not much more.”

          Layla’s interest was truly piqued, it was an interesting story. But this sounded like a noble and charitable endeavor to her. She’d thought it had been shady when she’d asked about what he really did with Raul so long ago. They’d snuck around, talking in whispers in shady corners, brows lowered, glowering at anyone who dared get too close. When Ignacio had refused to answer her questions about what the two were up to, evading her questions instead, she’d exploded, assuming the worst. She was ashamed of her past behavior, a fierce pride in her husband making her eyes mist. Why was Sabria concerned over this?

          “But lately I’ve noticed a change,” Sabria continued. “I live with Raul and Lottie. I know what they make in their day jobs. But what they are bringing home and spending is wildly different, as are their attitudes and actions. Something about what they are doing has changed and I’m afraid Ignacio may not know what it is. This change could also be what has him in such danger. I know that if it goes on much longer there could be a significant chance that my son’s life will be on the line. You have to help me convince him to change his path.”

          “You have a daughter together, and you’ve helped raise his other daughter,” Sabria said quietly, her voice low and urgent. “You’ve been married for mere days and your world is still upside down… But please. Please, listen. Please, don’t let him die.”

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Welcome back ladies and gents! I know that was a lot to take in right off the top, but I did warn you that we’d be hitting the ground running when I had finished taking a small break (because writers block had settled right in.) And so we are! Get ready folks, because we’re getting ready to run!

A few notes: I kind of broke Layla. She’s still a little broken and might be for a while. I did, however, finally allow her and Ignacio to fulfill their wishes to get married to the other. It thrilled Ignacio. Like really. It’s so funny to see him. He’s forever doing that “Jump Into Arms” interaction on Layla. Giddy little schoolgirl that he is. Lol.

There is a new pose pack up under the downloads tab. Girls sitting on the ground talking. I can tell you definitely that was not the hold up on this one coming out. lol.

And a huge THANK YOU! to Gemma and Misty for helping me work past the block I had on this chapter and the upcoming storyline. You two rock!


  1. Woweee look at the difference in that room. It looks almost naked! What has Sabria sighing with relief before she's even noticed the bareness of the room? Daughter-in-law, so there was indeed a wedding! Yay!

    Still, it's so strange to see Layla so subdued. And to have finally let go of all that *stuff*? The naked house, and subdued Layla, kinda make it clear that she's really been through a lot. Not just Phedra. It's been one thing after another that she's had to deal with. I hope it hasn't broken her.

    Ah. So she *is* sort of broken. I'm glad, at least, that she's finally dealt with her grief. She never seemed to really adjust to any of the losses.

    Hm. Yes, something has solidified. Layla, in Iggy's life. Does she have something to do with this vision of Iggy's death?

    Wait, so Raul is...a smuggler? Illegally, at that.

    Wow. Don't let him die. That's a tall order for a new bride :-/ But this still seems ominous. If Raul's gotten in over his head or become greedy...and Sabria wants Layla to pull Iggy away from that...I smell trouble. I can't wait to see what Layla thinks of this information and what she's going to do about it.

    You're welcome! You rock too!

    1. Nah. She'll adjust. And she might even bounce back given enough time.

      We'll have to see if Layla has anything to do with what's going on in Sabria's vision.

      Yes. He is a smuggler. Though at least he began with good intentions.

      Most likely lots of trouble. Ha! Drama follows Layla like a shadow. What she does and thinks should be next time. Hopefully. lol

      Woot! *Rock hands!

  2. Layla has been broken, I hope she's finally on the way to mending.
    So we finally learn what Raul was up to, but now there's a bigger mystery, what he's up to now and how that might lead to Ignacio's death.
    Looking forward to seeing how that all comes around.

    1. I think she is. She's finally had to look at exactly what she's doing in the face, and while it wasn't a pretty sight, it did let her know that something needs to change.

      Yes! And we'll find out just what he's up to soon.

      Me too! Ha!

  3. Damn you!! I'm 2 days behind on updates because of my stupid monster chapter and the one after it that distracted me from finishing this one, and then you post and I'd feel bad if I didn't read it... *sigh* here goes then, I guess...

    HANG ON! You posted it last night? Meaning I could have read this hours ago rather than when I was in the middle of something? How rude.

    Ok, pix are beautyfull, and Layla's hair. Where did you get it from? I want it. I get the feeling I already have it, but I want it again. My fave pic is "Iggy says the gems and things..." etc etc, that one. Layla looks SO CUTE! Her cheeks are all chubby and I want to pinch them. And Sabria looks concerned, and Layla is all 'this is awkward' kinda look, but also how she was supposed to look.
    And having that pram there adds a crazy amount of realness to the park scene.

    Anyway, there was storyline.
    Ok, so... Raul is like the good cop gone bad? Well, either that or he's suddenly found a way to make tonnes of money from aid work and has kept Iggy out of the loop *gasp* maybe Iggy finds out cus Layla absent mindedly mentions Raul is super-stinkin' rich, and Iggy goes to confront him and get his cut, but it all goes wrong. (*brain remembers... Family Guy? news reporter: "It was a drug deal gone bad" character: "Oh, when do they ever go right?!". lols*)
    Oh... Iggy, just let it slide!! :O

    It was nice to have like a mini flashback over the generation so far through Layla's memories, and what Sabria said about Iggy puts him in a whole new light regarding the earlier chapters.

    I hope Layla de-cluttering (or by the sound of it, Iggy de-cluttering for her) will be the first step to her recovery. She has had a pretty rough time with her entire family dropping dead around her (now we just need to hear from Anthony. Will he pop up? *gasps* will he kill Iggy for getting the girl he wanted?! Does anyone besides me rememer him?).

    I cannot stop rambling. Good bye...
    (I loved the chapter, btw, no probs for the helps *sloppy kisses*)

    1. Lol! I'm sure you have that hair. I'll have to dig around and get it out for you. It's usually a male hair actually. lol. and Thank you! The lighting and weather were just no cooperating and I really had to mess with the lighting. And Thank you on her face! It took me forever twiddling with it to get her to look awkward and uncomfortable.

      'Good cop gone bad.' For whatever reason I'm suddenly hearing "Good girl gone bad" by Rhiana now. We'll see just how it happens when it does.

      Yeah, we needed a little recap didn't we? After that last one a bit of a refresher was probably needed. Ha!

      Nah. We won't see Anthony again. He's going to stay nice and quiet in Riverview, and in the past.

      Lol! Mmm! *Slobby kisses back!

  4. I'm glad that Layla is finally dealing with her issues and with the (many) deaths in her family, I wish you hadn't had to break her to do it, but I suspect that was the only way she would even see that they were issues.

    Sabria's visions sound very ominous and it sounds like what Raul's been up to has changed without Ignacio being aware of it, I hope Layla and Sabria can find a way between them to stop Ignacio getting killed.

    1. Yup. I'd actually been trying to get her to shut up about some of her obsessing a long time ago and she just doesn't. :/ Just who she is I guess.

      It has indeed changed. And we'll find out what soon. As well as if Layla and Sabria find a way to change what she's Seen. Hopefully it won'ot be too long at all.

  5. I actually read chapter 40 first, before figuring out that I somehow missed a chapter, lol :P I couldn't figure out where this vision of death came from...

    Now that I know, yikes! What a burdensome thing to know, for all of them involved! And wow! Clean house! I bet Layla feels naked, lol Her walls are gone.

    Their daughter is so adorable! =D

    1. lol. I do that sometimes. So glad you figured it out!

      Yup. Those walls are Gone! Gone gone gone and my game runs so much better without all the crap laying around. ha!

      Very burdensome indeed. However, for some, it seems to weigh heavier than on others.

      Yup! Mariah is gorgeous! Ha!

  6. Yup, it's never "You're going to adopt a kitten!" Or ... "This is the horse to bet on in the Kentucky Derby." Or... "There will be an early frost, so get your plants inside." Nope. It's "don't let him die." Such lovely visions she has. :P Yes, yes, I know; it's how she keeps her clients etc etc.

    Very much more clutter-free, but still a bit much. In the first SS, I was like 'I thought she said she was getting rid of the clutter?' Then, I figured out you HAD. Wow.

    They're stuffing something in those fishies. I just know it.

    1. Never the good things! Never a clear answer. Wouldn't it be so much easier for her to say "Hey. If X happens? RUN LIKE HELL." Lol. I'm not offended.

      Wow indeed! Loading the lot had become super cumbersome too. Too.Much.Junk! But Layla likes her shinies out in plain view and always has. Getting rid of too much isn't her style.

      LOL. Stuffed Fish! Sounds like quite a delicate export!

  7. It was really interestig to have Sabria explain a couple of things! So that's why Iggy was such an ass at first! Aww, now even that seems cute. Gosh, I hope Layla can prevent the vision from coming true!

    1. Sabria has a lot of explanations tucked away in her brain. Getting them out is the problem. lol.