Chapter 4.3 – Choices

Hope is not accustomed to feelings of awkwardness in friendship.
Making friends has always come easily for her. Most of the time, she gets away with doing stuff at friends houses that other sims wouldn’t even dare trying. It’s just the kind of kid she is; sweet, lovable, and unassuming. From her perspective, she shouldn’t feel bad for wanting to visit a friend’s house, or even for showing up at the doorstep unannounced …it’s what normal friends do.
But Michael Nava is not a normal friend, at least not since the weird experience at his house a few days ago. Hope has handled it like any other kid her age would. She pretends nothing bad happened, and avoids the subject like the plague. Michael has tried a number of times to talk about it, but she always manages to cheerfully change the subject each time. Michael eventually gives up, and plays along with her charade.
But there is an aspect about the incident that Hope is just dying to talk about. The problem is, she doesn’t quite know who she should talk to. After a few days of allowing the burning questions to build up in her mind, she decides to approach her mother about her troubles. It is later in the evening, after everybody is in bed, when Hope finds her sitting alone in the rec-room. The television is turned on, but her mom does not seem to be watching. She seems rather lost in thought, staring at some far-off, imaginary place. Hope climbs up onto the couch and hugs her mother affectionately, which breaks the spell, and wins a warm smile.
Hope knows that everybody is worried about her Dad, even though they don’t talk about it. He had gone away on a business trip again and was supposed to check in with home a week ago, but he hasn’t. She understands that it is his job to put bad guys from all over the world into jail. She also undertands that the work is really dangerous. Her mother has always been so strong about stuff, and this is no different. Mei smiles sweetly at the older of her two daughters, then tell her to go back to bed. With a kiss on the forehead, she reassures Hope that her father will be home safely before long. Hope agrees with her mom. He is super smart about beating the bad guys, not to mention that he’s one of the best martial artists in the world.
While she is worried about the safety of her father, it is not the main cause of her sleeplessness, however. She tries to splice words, and form them into a meaningful question, but fails due to her lack of understanding about what she experienced at the Nava household. So, instead, Hope begins telling her mother about the frightening visit. She describes the shabby little house Michael lives in, detailing the things she saw, heard, and smelled there. Mei smiles, and admires her daughter’s innocence about life; maybe feeling slightly envious as well.
Mei is caught unprepared as Hope finally finds the words she needs to solve the puzzle that has tied her youthful mind into a knot. She asks Mei why Michael lives in such a tiny little house, with garbage all around; while her own family gets to live in such a beautiful and amazing home. It might as well have been the question asking where babies come from. Honestly, Mei wishes it were. At least then, she could give her daughter something more than a dull, blank stare. She holds her daughter’s gaze while trying to imagine what Jiang Xi would have said.
Conflicting answers bounce around in her head.  Hope had been born into wealth, and Michael into poverty. Her daughter’s question is one that sims have been asking since the dawn of civilization. She could give Hope some long-winded academic response about social responsibility. But in reality, the answer is simply this; there is no answer. She tells hope the story about her grandmother, Ciara, and how she made a choice to give up everything to help those who live with very little food, and even less money. Mei goes on explaining that it is a problem of choices. Some sims choose not to share the wealth they have, while others make very poor choices with the little bit they do manage to get. Her eyes sparkle as she thinks of Jiang Xi’s lessons. Then she tells Hope that what’s missing is balance. The best Hope can ever do is bring herself into balance, and help guide her friends to find theirs.
Her answer does not come close to clearing up the confusion her daughter is feeling. Hope points out that Michael probably doesn’t have any choices about where he lives. Mei quickly agrees, and says it is for that very reason that making good decisions is so important. Because the decisions a sim makes will almost always have some effect on other sims. Some adult sims make terrible decisions that cause harm to others, child sims included; sometimes even before they are born.
It is not important whether a sim lives the life of a queen or the life of a beggar, Mei continues. The true reward comes after a sim has lived her life never having harmed, and always having done her best to help others. She picks up a sleepy Hope and brings her to her bed. Her daughter has such a generous heart, and she cannot help but wonder whether the situation with her friend is just a little girl’s imagination.
Mei drifts off to sleep in her own bed. Mark has made some difficult choices with his own life. And while she understands, to some extent, why he has made them; she hears her own words repeating in her mind. His choices have never been selfish or unwise, but they are having a profound effect on his family; and on his wife particularly. She had not been raised on the same beliefs as he, and much of what he believes seemed very unusual to her at first. But she finds herself praying, nevertheless…
…bring Mark back home alive …please…

5 thoughts on “Chapter 4.3 – Choices

  1. This was another really good chapter.

    I’m really hoping you don’t let anything happened to Mark 🙂 Mei still seems a little young in her faith, and I don’t want her to lose it because of what happens to Mark.

    I hope Hope (ha) will be able to talk with Michael about the situation, and overcome the awkwardness that seems to surround the topic.



  2. Enjoying Hope’s narrative, she really had a fresh perspective that blends aspects of both her parents’ beliefs. It’ll be interesting to see how she fits into the Barimen’s mysterious history.


  3. Hope is so innocent and I absolutely love her. The situation she’s in is never easy to deal with and I hope that she manages to come to an understanding with Michael.


  4. I hope that Hope and Micheal can finally sit down and have that talk after this. I dont want her to feel that awkwardness still while being friends with him. Im sure that he cherishes her friendship after all that he is going through.

    I also wish the best to Mark…I really dont want anything to happen to him.


  5. I hope the friendship between Hope and Michael works out. Your chapter was really well written, I enjoyed it 🙂

    I have new chapters posted on my blog, can you check em out?


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