Thursday, March 17, 2016

Chapter 3.16- I Believe


            “But it isn’t okay, Cee!” Vivia’s voice floated through the window interrupting the book Mariah had been studying.
            “Why not?”
            “Why not?” Dove’s sharp response decided it. Putting the book aside, Mariah rose. Peeking through the curtains she had a view of the sweetest scene she’d ever seen between her kids. “Why not? Really? Surely you don’t like it.”
            “I don’t don’t like it.”




            “Cee,” Vivia’s voice was patient, slow, tender. “Cee, you’re not ‘upposed to like it, you’re ‘upposed to not like it.”
            “They’re being mean to you. It’s mean.” Dove added. Mariah started, before disappearing from the window.
            “It’s not mean if you don’t unnerstand sump-ting.”
            “This isn’t that they don’t understand, Cee.” Dove leaned in closer, trying to get him to look at her instead of Vivia. “They are making fun of you. They’re bullying you!”
            “They didn’t hit me!”
            “Bullying inn’t jus’ hitting is what Ms.Parker says,” Vivia reflected.




            “Vivia’s right,” Mariah added. All three kids jumped at the sound of her voice. Ceeven, however, didn’t retain his surprise for long, smiling sweetly at her while Vivia wiped tears off her cheeks. “Bullying isn’t just hitting or pushing. Do you guys mind filling me in?”
            Dove’s eyes narrowed fractionally, sizing her mom up, wondering whether her mom really needed to know. Vivia, however, had never had Mariah fly into a rage in the school office because the world wasn’t perfect for her angel. With a great, juicy sniff, she told her best tale.
            “The other kids at school are being mean to Ceeven because he’s weird and Ceeven won’t tell on ‘em!”




            Frowning heavily at Vivia, Mariah shook her head. “Ceeven isn’t weird-”
            “-Yeah, he is.” Dove broke in.
            “-No, no he-”
            “-Yuh-huh.” Vivia added, wide eyed. Ceeven nodded placidly.
            “Let’s not call anyone weird! Okay?” Massaging her temples, Mariah tried to figure out how to get this back on track.
            “I’ll tell you guys what. Let’s go to Pop! You guys can think about how to tell me exactly what’s going on while we’re on the way. Then you’ll tell me exactly what’s going on *without calling anyone weird* while we have a snack and then we can play some games, okay?”
            Ceeven’s face brightened. “Can we go bowling, too, Mama?”
            “Anything you want, so long as you tell me what’s going on.”

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            Pop! hadn’t changed much since she was a kid. And her kids were just as enamored with the place as she’d once been.
            “I want that!”
            “There’s plenty for all.”
            “But I wanted that one!”
            “I don’t like those.”
            “Then don’t order it.”
            “Why does she always hafta go first?”
            “Maybe you two should let Ceeven order first, then.”
            “I don’ wanna go first, Mama.”
            By the time they’d finished placing orders and sat down Mariah was ready to pull her hair out. Hopefully the kids would actually talk sensibly now they’d been bribed with sweets.




            “Ceeven? Would you please tell me what’s happened that your sisters say you’re being bullied.”
            “I dunno,” he shrugged.
            “He really doesn’ know, Mom.” Vivia chimed in.
            Dove shook her head gravely.
            “Alright, fine.” Mariah found it increasingly difficult to keep her temper reined in while these three did their best to thwart her attempts at sanity. “Dove? Have you witnessed whatever it is that’s happening?”
            Again, Dove shook her head, this time a heavy scowl on her face.
            “I has.” Vivia nodded, eager to chime in.




            “Okay,” Vivia started. “Okay, no a‘fence Cee, but sometimes you’re weird.”
            “Can someone please just tell me what happened?”
            “Ceeven brings his stupid toy-”
            “For PlumbBob’s sake, no ‘stupid’ either!”
            “-to school in his backpack and brings it to the playground.” Dove stated. Vivia nodded at her sister, encouraging her. “The kids made fun of ‘im so we made him stop.”
            Ceeven’s lower lip trembled. “I love Poppet, Mama.”
            “But then he says he met some circus girl and they’re best friends. And her name is Poppy.”




            Mariah’s breath caught. And listen to Ceeven about Poppy, please. He doesn’t need more grief from you than you’re already going to give him. Poppy. Abuela Sabria, the old fraud, had mentioned Ceeven’s Poppy in that awful letter.
            “And he tells everyone about all the adventures he had at the circus with ‘Poppy.’ But he on’y went to the circus one time and we all know that Poppy is Poppet. So the other kids are makin’ fun of ‘im and callin’ ‘im a liar and say he’s stupid and weird for still playing with his dolly and saying she’s real.”
            “But Poppy is real. I met her at the circus and we had so much fun there. Poppet is my dolly. I didn’t take Poppet to the circus.” Ceeven was unusually solemn.




            Trying her best to keep her face neutral, Mariah carefully surveyed her son. That dumb doll had been Ceeven’s favorite toy since he was very small. The imagination he showed during his games was enough to convince her that Dove, Vivia and the rest of the kids at school were probably on the right track. Not that it made them making fun of him okay, but…
            Then there were Abuela Sabria’s words floating lazily through her brain. Poppy. Maybe she could find a middle way.
            Ceeven turned toward her, his eyes begging her to believe him. Liar. How it had hurt when her own grandmother wouldn’t believe her.
            “Poppet is Poppet,” Mariah said. “And that’s a doll. Clearly Poppy is not.”




            “Whoawhoa-whoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoa,” Dove flared almost instantly. “Poppy is Poppet. Poppet is a doll. Poppy is a doll. And when would he have had time to meet any one at the circus?”
            Mariah ached when she saw the hurt cross Ceeven’s face.
            “Dove, “ Mariah said. “Dove, did you see Ceeven 100% of the time when we were at the circus?”
            “Yes!”
            “Really? Because I believe you were watching the performers as much as the rest of us, not watching your brother. Even I lost sight of him a few times in the crowds. Maybe he met someone while you couldn’t see.”




            “So?” Dove challenged. “There was never time for him to have adventures with his doll.”
            “Poppy is not Poppet, sweetie,” Mariah tried to convince her. Even Vivia looked skeptical. “And it isn’t up to us to decide about Poppet and Poppy. If Ceeven says he met Poppy, then he met Poppy, okay?”
            While Vivia nodded, slightly cheered, Dove frowned more heavily than ever.
            “What if I told you that you’re being mean right now?” Mariah stated, trying to get Dove on board at any cost.
            Dove’s jaw dropped as she began to splutter




            “So,” Vivia piped up, relieving Dove from trying to figure out how to defend herself. “So, we need to make sure the other kids be’s nice to Cee! ‘Cause if Poppy is reals to him, that’s okay.”
            “Exactly.”
            “Maybe Cee shouldn’t tell the other kids about Poppy then?” Dove’s face was still hard.
            Studying her oldest for a moment, Mariah finally nodded.
            “That would probably be for the best. Even if Poppy is real, the other kids don’t think so.”




            Ceeven glared at the smug Dove, while Mariah turned back to Vivia.
            “And you!” Mariah said. “You need to tell the teacher if the other kids are being mean to Ceeven, even if he doesn’t want the teacher to know. Okay?”
            “Why not me?” Dove broke in.
            “Because you still don’t believe him.”
            “I don’ either.” Vivia was incurable honest.
            “Then pretend!”
            “Oh. Okay!”




            “I won’t bring Poppet to school anymore, if she upsets you so bad.” Ceeven offered, ever helpful.
            “I think Poppet should probably stay at home anyhow,” Mariah said. “What if Poppet gets dirty, or torn or someone takes it out of spite. We couldn’t replace it.”
            “Her, Mama.” Ceeven’s voice had once again dropped to his usual near whisper.
            Mariah, waited, puzzled.
            “Poppet is a girl. Just like Poppy, Mama.”
            Dove and Vivia traded smug glances.
            “Oh,” said Mariah. “Oh, I’m sorry. Her. ‘Poppet is a girl. Just. Like. Poppy.’”
            Ceeven nodded happily as he reached for the brownie in front of him.
            “Just like Poppy!”

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            Propped up on the couch later that evening, at last Mariah had a moment to think over all her kids had told her.
            As much as she’d like to give Ceeven the benefit of a doubt, she just wasn’t able to deny that she was more on Dove and Vivia’s side than on his. There simply hadn’t been time for him to meet anyone from the circus! They’d been only once so far, though she’d been promising another trip for good behavior this weekend if it were still in town. Were his stories the tales of someone hopeful that magic existed in the real world? Or was he so lonely that he’d resort to stating imaginative fantasy as fact?
            Hating herself for the thought she wondered if perhaps she might need to speak to the counselor at school. Surely calling in a therapist was too drastic. Then again, did Ceeven actually believe his own stories?




            “Mama?”
            Her stomach flipping with anxiety, she snapped to attention. So wrapt up in her thoughts, she’d not heard her boy, with the scarf from the circus lady still on, come padding down the stairs.
            “Ceeven? What are you doing up? You’ve not been sleeping with that scarf on, have you?”
            “No, Mama.”
            “Good! You’ll get choked in the night. What’s up Buddy?”
            “I need to talk to you.”




            Ceeven neared her as Mariah waited to see what was keeping him up an hour past his bedtime.
            “You do know Poppy is real, right Mama?”
            Of course he would have picked up on her incredulity. Nodding slightly Mariah swung her legs down. Patting the cushion next to her she invited him to take a seat. This conversation would probably need more than a nod and a hug.




            “Of course I believe Poppy is real,” Mariah answered once he’d sat. “But no one else has seen her, so they have a hard time believing, or even understanding, your story.”
            “But you were right, Mama. It’s mean when they don’t believe me. Just because I’ve never seen a fairy doesn’t mean they don’t exist.”
            Mariah bit her lips trying to hide her smile.
            “I hate to say it Ceeven, but plenty of people don’t believe fairies exist either.”




            “But,” Ceeven was shocked. “But, Mama, don’t they know that if they don’t believe in fairies they’ll hurt them?”
            “No,” answered Mariah. “No, they don’t realize they’re hurting the fairies by saying they don’t believe. Then again, fairies are magic. Maybe they’re just ignoring the people who don’t know better and go about their lives as they please.”
            “I dunno, Mama. It’s still not nice.”
            “The world isn’t always a very nice place, baby.”




            “But when they talk bad about Poppy and Poppet, about me, it hurts, Mama.”
            “And you tell your Mama who hurts you. I’ll make it stop. I promise.”
            “You really do know Poppy is real and Poppet is my doll? Honest, Mama?” Ceeven’s normally soft expression had grown flinty and hard. Mariah wasn’t about to hurt him the way all others around him did. The old bat, Abuela Sabria, had at least had one thing right. Mariah would do anything for her kids; lie, cheat, steal or even murder if it meant she could protect them from a world that was much too harsh for such tender hearts.
            “Really truly honestly.”



            “You look pretty tonight, Mama.” Ceeven had slipped back to his old self easily.
            “Aw! That’s so sweet, baby. Thank you!” He was going to break all the girls’ hearts one day. “Now back to bed. It’s way past your bedtime.”
            “Okay, Mama.”
            “And take that scarf off!”
            “Yes, Mama.”

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I’m half tempted to do a pictorial of Mariah in the school office haranguing the poor staff because Dove tripped over her shoe lace or something. xD

20 comments:

  1. Being a parent must be so hard.

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  2. "The other kids are beeing mean to Ceeven because he's weird". Oh boy, that had me laugh so much. What to do when your kid is beeing bullied for beeing weird, and it's true?

    So there's Poppet the doll, and Poppy the friend that no one has seen. That was predicted or what to call it, by Abuela- and it's a girl. I have no idea what's going on, but dolls and imaginary friends are usually bad news. Ceeven is so sweet. But he's acting a bit different when he wants to know if Mariah believes him at the end of the chapter. That's a bit strange.

    Mariah has to be the most patient parent. The sweet-shop talk was almost taken out of a book about parenting. And Mariah does look great in that little, black dress. I'm hoping she's waiting for a date

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    1. I don't know! And I want to know. lol. Because Lou is weird and there's this one kid who picks on her for it. What do you do?

      Predicted is a good word for it. =) Ceeven isn't as naive as Mariah would believe. He realized that her words to Viv and Dove were just that. To Ceeven, Mariah is also his friend, and he wanted his friend to believe him about his other friend. And while he might confide in his sisters normally, they've both let him know that talking about Poppy isn't something they're willing to listen to. Which makes Mariah the only person left for him to say anything too. (Roger isn't around much and Ceeven is too much in awe of him to really open up there anyway.)

      Lol. She really dotes on her kids doesn't she? She's desperate for them to be popular and well adjusted without caring a bit for how ignorant they might be. =D

      Thank you! I think she looks quite nice, too. lol. We'll see what she's waiting for later on. ;)

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    2. Re: Dealing with a weird kid.
      I was (and probably still am) 'the weird kid'. There's nothing you can do. Lol. You're never going to be able to get every kid in school to stop saying things, so all you can do is to make sure the weird kid (Ceeven/Lou) is comfortable in their own skin. Let them be themselves, make sure they know that it's ok to be different, the world would be boring if we were all the same. And most importantly, make sure to embrace their weirdness and play along with it, that way when the kids say something extra-mean, you can be the shoulder they cry on, and every kid needs one of those. :) <3 xx

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    3. Well, that helps. <3 Hugging and loving is pretty easy. How to make sure they're comfy being themselves might be more difficult.

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  3. About half way, when Viv said "sumpin" or something, I started reading her in my head with a really broad Sheffield accent XD It's extremely entertaining.

    I feel bad for Cee, poor little baby, I just wanna wrap him in cuddled <3 but who is Poppy? Is she Poppet? You're not going to turn an IF real, are you? I'm intrigued.
    I'm also slightly curious as to why Mariah's rather dressed up in the latter pictures, was she waiting for a gentleman caller? ;)

    Dove's a bit of a madam sometimes, isn't she? xD
    I'm sorry, this comment is all over the place
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (again) Ruining surprise, I made you a little something for your birthday, but it won't be out until tomorrow bc tonight has been hectic, so keep an eye on tumblr ;)

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    1. LOL! I looked it up just to see what you were laughing about and landed first on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mh8xts7WJA . I'm not sure how accurate it is, but just the thought of Vivia talking as an older heavily bearded male had me giggling. xD

      Who is Poppy? That's for us to find out later. =)
      Ah! The other million dollar question this time around. Things were set in motion last chapter that will go on for a while. Hopefully not *too* long, though. We're going for brevity this generation.

      LoL! Yup! She's a little hard and bristly isn't she?
      Nah, it's alight. Besides, sometimes comments just work that way. Ha!

      THANK YOU! oooOOOooo! I can't wait to see! Haven't been on there today (too.Busy!Ack!) But will go check in a bit and keep an eye out. ;) Thank you! <3 *hugs

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  4. Aw no! Ceeven being bullied :'( I was bullied too. Kids are mean >:(
    But this whole Poppy/Poppet thing... In my mind, there's 2 options.
    1. Poppy is 100% real and an actual sim and the similarities in the name are just pure coincidence.
    2. Poppy is Poppet when them AWFUL! IF dolls turn into super-annoying stalkers. Only, Poppet got missed by the 'Object > Delete it' function all those sim days ago, and now Poppet has brainwashed poor Ceeven and who knows what Poppet/y is going to do with him?!?!
    3. Or, y'no, the same as 2, but without all the evil. Maybe not all IF's are evil, maybe it's just the creepy way some far-flung non-existant relative posts them to you before you've announced the birth of your kid... *shudders*

    Me likes Ceeven, though. He's all sweet and innocent, and he just needs a big hug... And have they washed that scarf at all? :/
    Mariah *did* look pretty nice for a chilled out evening alone at home.... Hhmmmm.... Is Roj back on the cards? *wiggles eyebrows* Or maybe a mystery man? Or maybe she's got some important business meeting about the psychic place? Nah, not at night... Did she just get back from parents evening and wanted to look really good while she shouted? Lol.... WHY?!?!? ;)

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    1. Kids can be horrible.

      Lol. There are certainly lots of options. But the similarity in name does make you think twice. ;) And YES! Far flung and it arrives the day after birth. As if they even know beforehand the second you were going to deliver. Slipping it into their inventory magically would have been so much 'nicer.'

      Yes! He just needs a hug. <3 Sweet little thing. Not yet. However, this is the first Mariah has paid much attention to how much it's been worn. Her germ-a-phobia will most likely kick in pretty quickly now she knows. ;)

      Very nice for a night at home. lolNope. No parents night at school. Besides, she never dresses nice to go to school. They're not worth it in her opinion. HA! Nope. Roj is not back in the cards, either. That ship has sailed (here. They'll always be together in my head where life is roses. <3 *sigh) Why??? Why indeed. ;) *hugs!

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  5. This is quite a Poppy/Poppet dilemma. I'm going to guess it is an imaginary friend come to life? But why is Ceeven saying he met Poppy at the circus? Did he sneak back there without Mariah somehow? Is Poppy totally unrelated to the doll?

    Hmm why is Mariah dressed so nicely after the kids are supposed to be in bed? She's got a secret rendezvous.

    "I’m half tempted to do a pictorial of Mariah in the school office haranguing the poor staff because Dove tripped over her shoe lace or something." I'm guessing Mariah no longer gets invited to parent-teacher conferences. xD

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    1. Y'know? I just finished getting the story line(s) for the rest of this generation all untangled and visualized and spiffied up. It was really neat to see that there's only about 10 chapters (maybe 11. Maaayyybe hopefully not)left. Of those chapters not a one will answer a single question you just posed. lol. I'm so sorry. We will find out, though! Just not soon. So hang onto those. ;) Wait wait wait... There is one question up there that will be answered this go round. Yay!

      And there's another good question I can't answer! However, that one should be coming up sooner rather than later. =D

      Nope. xD lol.

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  6. WHAT? This post completely slipped under my radar, I'm so sorry for arriving so late! And happy extremely belated birthday. xx

    Being the odd one out and not entirely noticing/caring either way - LOL, been there. For me, school was just a place I had to go to (much like an adult has to go to work) and I had my real friends on my street. We were a nice little gang, and even if it was pointed out sometimes that I was "weird", I was still accepted as an equal - but I guess that's pretty rare? Some friends of mine who were really physically bullied as kids sent their daughters to self-defense class, judo or some such, and they enjoy that. It's really good for their self esteem. I probably would have hated judo myself, I wasn't a very physical kid. Don't know about Lou. But just having some social circle outside of school makes it a lot easier. Drama class, horse riding, junior roller derby.. I don't know! :) I hope it works out. <3

    But back to pixel people!

    That scene on the slide was soooo sweet! Those kids are so adorable.

    Ceeven is such a sweetheart! I'd love to be his friend if I were his age, but kids have no taste, have they? I wonder about Poppy. Maybe she's a ghost! Maybe she's a vision! I don't think it's his doll.

    Dove is a tough cookie compared to her siblings, isn't she? She's like a dog with a bone, that one, she just won't let go!

    “Then pretend!”
    “Oh. Okay!” - XD Vivia, a whole lot more eager to please than her sister.

    I SEE MY PAINTINGS! Ooooh thank you! *tackle hugs* It's awesome to see them in your game like that, all sneaky like.

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    1. This comment slipped under my radar too! Ack! Blogger! Play nice! lol

      Ceeven has friends. Just no one has met/seen them. ;) Lou is in dance. It's been a long year. But she got a solo in jazz, front row in ballet, and is a lead in tap and now the other girls are warming up and it's getting a little better. So we're adding swim team to get her around even more kids! lol. Thanks. :)

      They're so darling! Ceeven is a total sweetie. He got a lot of his dad's laid back attitude. lol. Ooo! That's a new theory! Maybe Poppy is a ghost! I like that.

      Dove. lol. Dove has had to put up with a lot more than her siblings so far. They're just starting out their journey with Mommy the ultimate helicopter parent. She's developed a good healthy distrust of adults because of it. Ha!

      Vivia is for sure an eager beaver. She's much simpler than Dove, but brighter and more forward than Ceeven.

      I love those paintings! They're so perfect for right there. The style and colors fit just right. I need moar! =D

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  7. So...Ceeven meets a new person only he can see on the same day he gets the scarf he wears kinda obsessedly? I'm having difficulty believing that's just a coincidence. Now the question is, how does that tie in with Poppet, the imaginary friend doll? Is there even a connection?

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    1. ;) Coincidences are rare aren't they? And that seems to be the million dollar question. =D Is there a red herring here, or not? lol We will find out. :)

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  8. "Chop down the mightiest tree in the forest With.....! A herring!"
    ^^random thought after reading the above response.

    I am getting way too close to recent. I don't like that. :(
    Did I read that that ship has sailed? Then what I said about Roger and the contortionists still stands. Makes me giggle now, actually.
    I wanna know why she's dressed up, and I hope I get to find out next update.

    Poppy is a fairy, right?

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    1. LOL! We're chopping away aren't we? xD

      That ship has indeed sailed, sadly. =( Sorry. They're not the same people the were as kids and only their children are keeping them in touch now. LOL! I'm not sure he's too flexible though. Actually, he strikes me as the type that's rather unbendy. lol

      Ah! Not next update. But within the next 12, I hope.

      AhHa! There's another good one. A fairy! A ghost a fairy and an IF. This list is getting pretty interesting! xD

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  9. Ooh, I'm curious to see Ceeven's imaginary friend - I'm assung that's what it is :)
    And I still have no idea why Dove's teachers thought she needed special attention...

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    1. Lol. We'll see what it is one day!

      *sigh. I'm so sorry I've confused so badly on that one. =( I promise that roll reveal is coming up in just a few chapters! Two I think. From the current one, which is 3.19. So soon!

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