Monday, February 17, 2014

Chapter 2.49-Unknown Quantity

                “I’m telling you ‘Riah, it can’t be done,” Roger said sadly, his finger tracing the line he’d picked to emphasize his point. “We’d need better, stronger tools, and more people.”
                At Roger’s feet, Eddie, their sometimes compatriot, looked up from his homework briefly. “He’s right, Mariah. Listen to him.”
                In frustration, Mariah stamped her foot.
                “Aurgh! I just don’t wanna do this,” she whined.

                “You know,” Roger grinned. “You know I can always lock the towel closet while they’re in there. That is something feasible.”
                Today was officially the first day Mariah and Andre would be working together on their shared project and she would do anything to put it off. Roger had helpfully promised to assist her in any way he could. Eddie was just tagging along out of boredom.

                Mariah gave a single laugh, grinning large.
                “While I will admit that it might slow things down,” she said. “I just don’t think I want Andre showing up wet and gross. I mean, that’s why you shower after practice right?”
                “Point for the lady,” Eddie added.
                “Aw, why not? Maybe he’d just skip it and go home to shower,” suggested Roger. “And you’re not helping Eddie.”
                “Fair enough,” Eddie said, getting to his feet. “I really thought you two were serious about locking the entire football team in the locker rooms. But it seems my hopes were dashed. I shall go do my homework somewhere more comfy, thanks.”

                Waiting until Eddie had walked to the end of the block Roger finally made his plea.
                “’Riah, just ask Adkins to reassign you,” he begged her. “Ask if you can work alone. I’ll help you if you need.”
                Mariah let out a heavy sigh.
                “I already asked to be reassigned,” she admitted. “He told me that Andre had already made that request. Then he told me to suck it up. But I promise you, if I can’t handle the work load and he’s slacking I’ll come to you for help. Okay?”

                Roger’s eyes lit up at her words.
                “Great!” he said brightly. “Are you sure you don’t want me to be there today?”
                “Nah,” she answered. “Nah, if we’ve got to work together, I need to give it a fair shot. At least once. And hey! Maybe, if I get lucky, Mom will flip out while he’s there and he’ll just leave me alone, huh?”
                The two chortled for a moment, each with their own vision of what Layla might be capable of around a stranger.
                “Well, good luck,” Roger extended a hand formally. “And if you don’t survive, at least your friends will have the comfort of knowing that you died honorably, on the field of battle, against your mortal enemy.”
                “Yeah,” Mariah rolled her eyes, ignoring his outstretched hand. “Yeah, ‘cause that’ll happen.”

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                Running home she was afraid she’d be late. She’d spent far too much time with Eddie and Roger this afternoon and she’d wanted plenty of time to compose herself before Andre showed up.
                But as she began to run up the walk to the door an awful grinding noise made her look around before she came to a complete halt.

                What on SimPlanet  is Mom up to now?
                With wide eyes and careful steps, she approached the yellow monstrosity her mother was attempting to control. Dirt was flying everywhere from the machine and it had kicked up the dust into a cloud.
                But the noise was unbelievable! How had she not heard it before she got to the house? Or had she just ignored it as she’d raced down the hill, assuming it was something, someone, else?

                Honestly, she’d only been half hoping that Layla would cause a scene. At this very moment, she really regretted hoping that might happen. This was just embarrassing. Maybe she could jump in the hole that thing was digging and it could bury her?
                Where had Layla gotten it from?

              “What?” Mariah shouted once she thought she might be close enough for Layla to hear her. “What.Are.You.Doing?”

                “Worms!” Layla shouted back, never taking her eyes off of the display in front of her. “Your father is all out of bait to go fishing with! So I’m helping him out with this miner. This baby should be able to dig up all the worms he’ll ever need! Ha! And there’s a motherlode of them right there!” Layla jabbed a finger at a light on the display before pulling on the levers again.

                “Stuck!” Layla shouted happily before putting her weight into pulling that particular lever.
                Mariah sighed, rolling her eyes. There’s her mother for ‘ya. Living with ghosts in a land of make believe.
                “Okay, then,” Mariah sighed. “Listen!” She shouted once more. “Listen, someone is coming by to work on homework with me. Just send them up to Tibi’s room okay?”
                But Layla didn’t answer, and Mariah wasn’t going to stick around that dirty, smelly machine a moment longer. As it was, she felt she needed a shower just from being that close.

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                Mariah had chosen Tibi’s old room for several reasons.
                The first reason was obvious. What teenaged male would want to spend any time at all in the rather obnoxiously bright, overly girly room? Truth be told, even Mariah hated it.

                It was just so, so, purple. And pink. Bubble friggin’ gum pink. Could Tibi have gone any more cliché with her girlyness?
                Secondly, when Tibi had left she’d taken every piece of furniture from the room so it was nicely empty, giving them plenty of room to spread out while doing their work.

                Spread out, had also been the biggest point in that they had an entire room to separate from each other.
                This was her finally sustaining hope when that effer and gone and plopped down right next to her. Right next to her! What was wrong with him?

                Well, this is fun.

                Finally, Andre sat up.
                “I get it,” he said firmly. “I get that you didn’t want to be partnered with me. I know that. But we’re stuck together and I have no intentions of letting our partnership tank my grade. And since you don’t seem to be the one who wants to start, I will.”
                Mariah’s shoulders slumped as he read over the requirements. They had to pick an author from the list and read at least 2 works by the author they chose. Then there were 10 elements to the project. 1 element due a month, to be presented to the class. The final grade on the entire project made up a third of their grade for the year.

                When Andre had finally finished reading the list of elements required he looked up.
                “You’re a Victorian and Classic literature buff, I know,” he said, making the corners of her mouth twitch.
                Damn straight.
                “But I’m not nearly as familiar with those authors,” he admitted. “However, I’m really good with modernist authors. You are also pretty good with those. So I’d like to suggest we focus on one of the writers from that period. Plus, I don’t think anyone else in class is going to go for any of those.”

                Well, that was something to think about. If they chose an author everyone else wanted they’d also be competing with classmates as to who did the better job. Mariah liked the idea of competition, but since Andre was an unknown quantity she might be out of luck.
                “So what do you say we keep it to a more difficult genre?” Andre asked. “It might mean a harder job, but I think we can pull it off. Working together? I know we can.”

                Eliot or Doolittle, Hemmingway or Faulkner, Mariah really wasn’t familiar with their works. In all honesty, Faulkner kind of intimidated her. But when Andre read over the name DH Lawrence her interest was piqued. That sounded like a friendlier name.
                “Lawrence,” Mariah said, speaking for the first time, using her pen to point to the name on the list.

                At the sound of her voice, Andre suddenly sat up and grabbed her arm.
                “Ah! Yes! I’m so glad you’re finally participating!” Andre beamed as Mariah’s dropped pen rolled out of sight.
                “My mom had us read his works a long time ago and I really don’t think anyone else will pick him either,” Andre continued.
                Mariah was almost completely panicked. Since Sabria’s usage of her as a child, Mariah had learned to navigate life without allowing anyone to touch her for any reason.

                 No one touched her. Her mother didn’t touch her. Roger didn’t even touch her. His offering of his hand for her to shake today was unusual. Mostly he remembered and respected her boundaries. She’d even managed to get around the crowded school hallways without bumping into anyone. Why was Andre touching her?
                Tears were threatening when she finally managed to stop the panicked voice in her head long enough to whisper “Please let me go.”

                Surprised confusion swept over Andre’s before he finally followed her gaze and looked down.
                Mariah had frozen, her breath shallow and quick, and her mind blank. And then she realized something. His hand was really warm, his palm sweating a little even. The realization of all of this came in a flash and it jarred her.

                Just as she managed to get her breath under control again, just as she was trying to decide if his touch was light or if he had a firm grip (out of curiosity) he released her hand.
                “Sorry,” he muttered, looking at her for only a moment before blinking, rolling his eyes, and looking away.

                Andre resumed reading from the sheet, this time listing aloud the works by Lawrence that were approved by their teacher.
                Slowly, Mariah brought her arm back into herself, hugging it close. The extra warmth on her wrist was already fading as a new thought struck her. She’d liked him touching her. It had been encouraging and friendly and for a crazy moment, it made her stomach flip.
                No more of that, Mariah shook her head, pulling her focus back to a discussion of which works they should choose to focus on.

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Questions anyone? I’m really hoping I explained all that alright. Sorry about Eddie in the first shot too. Of course random townie insists on sitting right behind where I staged that. Lol. (Well, not so random to me. He's actually one oh Phedra's sons. And all of them followed me around town crying that day since that was the day Phedra passed finally.)
And as to the project, I’ll probably go over what all they’re required to do later on. It’s fairly intense, but it has parts of it that should be easier than others, and certainly won’t take up their entire time. However, it will keep Andre around quite a bit. 

Finally- the homework poses are up for grabs if anyone would like them. I needed poses that were a little angrier than the in game animations allowed for and I figured there might be others out there who have sims who hate to do homework too. =D


  1. HAHAHAH! I think I'm before Gemma! Mwahaha!
    Watch her beat me now...
    I think there's something going on between Mariah and Andre... Just a hunch but still, I think there might be something there. One of those classic hate turns to romance thingys. Hehe.
    I couldn't help but feel a little sorry for her with the touching thing, was that mainly out of shock why she started to cry? I could get why, I'd be a little on edge anyway around someone I didn't like.
    Fab update as usual. And that homework seems really hard :/


      *Grabs knife*

    2. *mom Voice:No! No murdering here! My characters are the only ones licensed to kill on this blog. But if your intent is to maim, you may proceed. lol

      Yeah. Mainly shock. She's had that wall up for years beyond it's shelf life. Unlike Layla, Mariah prefers to live in the here and now. She just wasn't expecting it and that scared her. Realizing that human touch makes her feel more human... well... That's another chapter. And yes. She's already on edge just having him in her home, even if it is at her invitation. Combine all of that and she'd probably climb the walls if you startled her good enough. Ha!

    3. Hehehehehe, I made Gemma angry. You weren't quite as close to mine time wise, maybe your losing your touch with keeping up ;)
      Joking, promise. Please don't virtually stab me D=

      Heh, I'd like to see Mariah climb up the walls, it reminds me of this book character who could walk up walls and stuff. This guy was flirting with her so she carried on drinking her tea on the ceiling. Not relevant though.
      I kinda get that Mariah lives more in the moment, mainly because of the fact that Layla referred to 'the baby'. I'm kinda worried about Layla though... It can't be healthy to be wrapped up in memories all the time.

    4. Lol. I dunno if Mariah would have been quite so nonchalant as to keep drinking her tea though. :)

      And Layla was actually referring to The Miner when she spoke about "This Baby." She just kind of forgot she has a kid. No, it's not healthy at all. However, if I've got this all timed right (like I obsessively like to do) Layla won't be around too much longer anyway, so...

  2. Mariah's reaction to Andre touching her was interesting... I understand her fear of being touched given what Sabria put her through as a kid, but she liked him touching her? I do hope she's not going to get her heart broken! I was surprised that Andre seemed to want to work on the project, I wasn't really expecting that from the previous chapter...

    1. You too >:( But as this is your first offence I'll save the stabbing for next time...

    2. Stabbing? You should be careful when it comes to things like that - I like fire... *evil laugh* ;-)

    3. FIRE!!! *settles in to watch. Fire is our friend. =D And knives and fire? This'll be a great show!

      I think Mariah doesn't even realize that a lot of the walls she's built around herself have gaping cracks in it due to disuse. She's also moved forward a lot more than she's realized. Her mind is much more open and to be very honest, she's incredibly lonely. She has a few incidental friends. Then there's Roger who knows everything but refuses to push that last little bit to break through with her. And then she has her mother who lives with memories and shadows. Sometimes, it's the smallest things that get the most attention just because they're different.

      Andre wants that grade. He admitted that himself. As for full disclosure on how he feels? I'll just let that one unfold. ;)

  3. PAHAHAHHAAAAA!!!! OMG LAYLA!!! <33333
    I should be sad, feel sorry for her that she still thinks Iggy is alive... But that... That was just soooo hilarious that I can't help giggle. I wonder if she was still doing it when Andre showed up? What did he think?

    Ok, super-awkward!! Andre was just touching her out of habit, just a normal thing to do when you get excited or whatever, I'm sure he didn't even realise he'd done it. And then Mariah's reaction... I bet that threw him for a loop! Poor guy doesn't know what he's in for! He actually seems like a pretty nice guy. I wonder if that's just because he's being polite so they can both get along and get a good grade, or if his usual self is just boyish bravado put on to make him cool?

    He stomach flipped, eh? Is that because *he* touched her, or just because she's pushed away human contact for soooo long that any contact is exciting? And just what is Rogers problem?!

    ...First? *crosses fingers*

    1. Lol. I think it's okay if you laugh at her. She's a little cooky anymore. I'm betting she ignored him entirely and just kept doing it. As to what Andre thought, well, I'm sure he thought it was rather odd too. lol

      What about a mixture of all of that? He's a little full of himself, so boyish bravado is there for sure. And he has had that since he was a kid. He's also rather well mannered and well brought up, so polite for sure. Getting good grades is extremely important to him, I'll let him tell why when the time comes. But roll all of that up and for whatever end he has, he intends to get along with her whether she likes it or not.

      The second. Because she's pushed away human contact for so long that it's exciting. Sabria hasn't come around since that last visit where she harangued Layla that we witnessed. So the time for Mariah to fear that touch has passed, and it's time for that particular wall to come down. I'd rather like a generation 4. lol

      Ah Roger. Roger is incredibly jealous, can't you tell? ;) At this point in time I think he senses that they are on the verge of the rest of their lives and that things are changing. He's also desperate to save the one person who saved him all that time ago. It's a debt he feels he has to pay in order to see himself as her equal.

      *hugs... uhm... well... I hate to break it to you sweetie... Maybe next time. *licks

  4. Really Andre? "Oh, I'm so glad you're finally participating" and that "accidental" touch. Pft..... No teenboy beams over someone doing homework. He's very different from what I imagined, but the story is still young.
    I'm really glad to see Roger acting more normal (or less abnormal?) this chapter, he was really scary in the last one. "I own you" scary.
    Poor Mariah isn't used to anyone touching her. That's so sad. And what's happened to Layla is also sad, and so funny. I tried not to laugh at her, it's really hard. A crazy woman operating heavy machinery :D
    Right, the story. Mariah, so tough and capable, and so helpless at the same time. A simple little touch, and she barely understands anything. Not even if he had a light or firm grip.
    I think she has a crush on him, and has had it for a while, but doesn't want to admit it to herself, and tries to push him away. Why else would she think about the pink room, so he wouldn't want to stay for long? They are supposed to do a project together. If it was just a project to her, she would have wanted him to stay, and have a comfy workplace. To get good grades. See, the crush theory is perfectly logical. Now, to ignore anything that says otherwise.

    1. Ah! But we've only been expecting what Roger and Mariah expected, and they didn't know him very well either did they? Very well caught! LOL! Yup! That about sums it up! I think his reaction was incredibly fearful and that fear provoked his jealousy in ways you don't normally come out.

      You can laugh at her. It's okay. She's totally nuts now so might as well have some fun with it. lol

      Yup. That's Mariah all right there. Capable and hard, book smart and completely, utterly naïve. She has volunteered, and then purposely gone out of her way to make that more difficult. She's only half heartedly looking for ways out, willing enough to concede that she's just going to have to do it. I think your theory might be more than just logical. It's probably pretty near the truth. But will Mariah see that?

  5. FINALLY. I've come here like 3 times already today to read, but got distracted, got pulled away, got distracted, or got distracted. Alrighty then.

    Who's Eddie and where'd he come from? I didn't realize there was a third musketeer, I thought it just a dynamic duo!

    Locking the entire football team in the locker room would indeed be a feat of awesomesauce.

    Aw. Roger. ::luff:: He really doesn't want her around Andre, does he?
    So Andre also asked to be reassigned?
    *snort* hoping her mother would flip out. Bad Mariah, bad.
    OH GOD WHAT IS LAYLA DOING WITH MACHINERY!?!? ::pulls hair out::

    Gah you're killing me, so many lol-wut moments already. The pink room. It's so bright! Of course Andre would hate it, lol. And in his defense, he doesn't *look* happy to be next to her, but it's kinda hard to work together from across a brilliant, blinding, purplebubblegummymylittleponyandbarbieonmeth room.

    A third of their grade? Sheez. Well at least he doesn't want it to hurt his grade either. At least on that they can agree.
    Andre reads modernist writers? Please don't remind me of that horrible part of my scholastic history.

    Sweaty palms. Well that's sexy.

    Ah, random townie.

    1. Eddie wouldn't leave me alone and I didn't want to reset him since I was kinda all upset Phedra had finally left me too. So he got to stay. Unfortunately, I really liked that particular shot and he was in it. So there he is. lol

      No. Roger is really worried that she'll absolutely hate it. He says. ;) After that he's trying to 'rescue her' since she once rescued him from Andre too.

      Yes. But did Andre request reassignment because he doesn't want to work with Mariah, or because he knows Mariah doesn't want to work with him? ooooOOOoooo. His wording up there might have a few clues about his actions.

      Yeah, that was great wasn't it? =D

      That room looked so much better with all of Tibi's pink crap in there I swear. But take out the furniture sized blocks of solid color and that room is... yikes.

      He's an arty, jock, snob. Isn't that awful? He's totally been bred to be pretentious as $h!t.

      Lol. Yup! His palms were sweaty. ;) So glad someone picked up on that.

  6. I know it's sad the way Layla is, but that was too funny! Digging up her yard, and Mariah acted as if that was *normal*, lol No wonder the poor girl can't deal with a simple touch! Though when you're a teen, I don't think there's anything simple about a touch---it seems to me that Mr. Andre held onto her a little longer than necessary, lol The whole, how did that happen? *wink wink* :P It'll be interesting to see how they feel about each other at the end of the year, and just how Roger feels about it too. =)

  7. I gotta have some laugh time at my sims. Sims are meant to be laughed at. lol Yup. Mariah's definition of 'normal' is slightly skewed isn't it? We'll start seeing just how this develops pretty fast here. And I'll be sure to let Roger have his time and say as to what's going on. At this moment, I think Roger probably has a better idea of what's happening than anyone else.

  8. After the setup that Roger provided for Andre, I really didn't expect him to do anything for their team project. His motives for participating might be debatable but at least he is participating so far. With the size of their project, looks like he will be around for a while. I'm interested in how this partnership will develop.
    I can see what you mean about our characters have a skewed version of normal. Hopefully, Mariah won't be headed the same way as Madison.

    1. Ah, but Roger also doesn't really know Andre very well. Also, there are always 2 sides to a coin, and then there's the metal in between. So we'll see what's going on for sure very shortly. And yup. They'll be together a fair amount just to get through it all so we'll see how it goes soon.

      Yeah. lol. It's neat, though, to see how others react to adversity. I think Mariah is going to do much better handling her rough patches better than her mother or Madison though. Mariah is far less dependent on others, and much more accepting of herself. And in the end, I think that's what will make all the difference.

  9. I'm going to just throw this out there and say it almost seemed like Mariah was counting down the days till she would be working with Andre, but of course Mariah would *never ever* admit that. :P And I said that because, she thought about them working together a lot and is overly *hating* the idea of it, sort of like a reverse psychology on herself to keep any ounce of feeling she *may* have for him at bay, because she couldn't *possibly* have feelings for Andre right? ;) Or I could be over analyzing that.

    Layla...*shakes my head* poor woman. It's hilariously sad to see her this way. Is it safe to say she is far too gone? Or is there hopes of full recovery?

    Ahh *THE* moment between Mariah and Andre. I must say those poses portray their reactions beautifully. Hmm I see that Andre has been paying attention to Mariah (i.e: knowing she was a victorian and classic literature buff) unless she said it and I missed it. Ooo Mariah caught butterflies instead of wanting to vomit up her guts..hehe. Cute awkward moment between them, can't wait to see what comes of this.

    1. Had to reply again because I can just see Mariah scream at me "NOTHING! Nothing will come of this so drop it!!"

    2. That's Mariah! Lol! Yup. She'd totally be foaming at the mouth over that theory. HA!

      As for over analyzing, I'm horrible at switching directions mid stream so you're probably on to something there. =D lol Sorry.

      Uhm, in that particular scene note that she knows Mariah is Ignacio's daughter and that Mariah was able to tell her 'Tibi's room' (instead of MY room) without confusing her. So we're going to go with that was a pretty good day. I'll have a bit upcoming where Mariah tells us a little more about just how well Layla is doing day to day though.

      Yup! She caught butterflies. Does that help your analysis any? lol And yes, he's been paying very close attention. We're going to get more info about who he is as we go along. His character has really been something new for me to attempt and he's got a lot of surprises up his sleeve still.

  10. So.many.comments to scroll through! And nothing more for me to say that hasn't been said already. :( Well I suppose that'll teach me to not come a week late to the party.

    Oh wow, look at Andre, having a completely unknown side! Well read on modernists! Polite! Actually kind of nice! And probably interested in Mariah too, no? Loved her miffed expressions all through homework, and the super bright empty purple room. It's cool that they chose D.H Lawrence, for some reason I've only read his letters and they were super obnoxious, had me laugh out loud a lot (random observation). LOL @ arty, snob, jock traits. Well at least he doesn't love Bukowski, I can't stand guys who do.

    Very awkward to react that way to an accidental touch, but understandable I suppose. Well get used to human touch, Mariah, it's about time!

    I wasn't super keen on Roger in the last chapter and I'm still not too keen on him, have to agree with Urunwa there, he does act like he owns her. I'd like to root for the underdog, but he's making it hard at the moment.

    1. Don't worry about what others said. I want to hear what You think is going on. k? ;)

      Wow! You picked up on a lot of stuff I didn't figure anyone would notice until next time! Nicely done! LOL! Yes! He's for sure rather obnoxious. Very superior. Yick. And ICK! Bukowski! *gags! Ugh. Yeah, I don't think I could have stood for that either. Ha!

      Amen! She'll get used it. Her roll depends on it. ;) (Ooooo! Hints!)

      Roger is indeed making it hard right now, and his actions are also pushing against Mariah. But don't forget, all is not as it seems on the surface.

  11. Ugh, Lawrence. All I can remember is really awkward, painful sex scenes in Lady Chatterly's Lover. Not sure I'd want to be doing my high school project about that with a boy I was having maybe some mixed feelings about. Poor Mariah! You should have gone with Faulkner...

    1. Yup! That's about it with Lawrence! And for sure she should have gone with Faulkner.

  12. Wow. You're CREATING homework. Do you enjoy torturing yourself? Wait. I can guess. Yes!
    I HATED projects like these in high school!!! And GUESS WHAT?! I'm going back to college to get a mass comm bachelor's degree! Whee! First class I need since I have all my core: screenplays. -.- At least, I think that's the class I need.
    I'm a writer who despises writing assignments. I am my own paradox!
    Wait there was a chapter here... Lol

    So Andre's touch wasn't so bad? Ooooo Roger would NOT like to hear that! I don't think Andre meant anything by it; it was just a knee-jerk thing.
    You know, he actually seems nice, not like the jerk Mariah and Roger make him out to be. Of course, I used the word "seems." I remember being surprised when I became an adult and sat and had the best fun while my kids and miss cheerleader's kids played at Chuck E Cheese. She wasn't a total bitch like I'd always pegged her! Turns out she thought I was stuck up. Can you believe it?
    I have a feeling Andre will suprise us. Then again, maybe not. At any rate, it'll be interesting to read, and that's what you want!

    1. Yup... and it's why things go so.slowly anymore. It's easier to create it than to trawl through the masses looking for an 'almost as good.'

      Lololol! That sounds like self torture for sure!

      We'll see exactly what Andre 'means' and how he 'seems' next time we see him. Yup. Sometimes, getting to know someone, spending time with them, can really change your perspective.
      Andre... is Andre. lol. That's a hard one to respond to with where I'm at in story today... Yup. Ha! Uhm... There's a particular bit up there in which he unwittingly sums himself up quite nicely. ;)

  13. Wow, so the football jock knows literature!

    And aww, Layla... I feel so bad for her. Though I'm sure she's happier living in her fantasy world than if she'd actually wake up and face what really happened.

    1. Oh yes. Andre might be a jock, but he's well read. Weird isn't it?

      Exactly. Her fantasy world keeps her much happier than reality. She never could face a reality she wasn't in love with though.