Chapter 4.21 – Status

It was not too long ago that Hope Barimen stood at the top of the social pecking order at school.
She learns just how quickly this status can change over the next few months. She becomes the butt of the same “loser” jokes previously reserved for Michael Nava. Added to the forray is the inescapable fact that she is pregnant. And to make matters worse, the rumor going around is that Michael is the father of Hope’s child. Shunned by the same people who had at one time idolized her, Hope finds that she has nobody to turn to. Dara has become her one and only friend.
They have always been close as sisters, but the differences between them has created a steep social barrier. Dara’s friends tolerate the time she spends with her outcast sister, but they stay clear of the girl who had considered them mostly invisible during the prime of her popularity. And ironically, she is now socially invisible herself. Richard Nava, in particular, has been curiously absent from the home. He and Dara have become nearly inseparable. But in stark contrast to his brother, Richard seems to have won the approval of both Mark and Mei.
Had Hope been a more observant sim, she would notice that the conversations between Dara, Richard, and her parents have become quite serious; some of them involving her mother’s colleagues from the police station. In fact, Richard had come to Mark and Mei warning them about his brother and father; who were setting sights on Hope as a future source of income. And after creating the proof that Michael is the father, they plan to virtually take the child hostage. Richard had likewise been instructed to befriend Dara as a backup plan. But they had not counted upon the fact that he had already fallen head-over-heals for her. During these sessions, Mark, Mei and the Sunset Valley police collaborate with Richard to gather enough evidence to make an arrest. But even with all of this going on under her nose, Hope simply is not the kind of sim that notices these things.
Dara hates to keep secrets from Hope, but she knows it is for the best outcome. She means no offense to her sister, whom she loves dearly; but she’s just not terribly smart about some things. And given her past track record when it comes to Michael, she cannot trust Hope to keep her mouth shut about the details. So Hope remains blissfully ignorant about what is brewing while Dara keeps her occupied with activities they enjoyed together as children.
As the weeks progress, Hope becomes heavy with her growing child. But the loneliness of being discarded by her peers weighs upon her much more heavily. There is a cautious air of excitement building in the Barimen home as they wait in tense anticipation of learning whether Michael is the father or not. In Hope’s mind, it is already a fact. He had been like an addiction, only worse. She needed him, his approval, and his attention. And just like any other addiction, she required more and more of him just to keep her satisfied. Her experience with Kacey was key to finding the willpower to finally let go of him.
She has not told anybody about the voices she heard while saying goodbye to the mysterious woman who saved her life. The experience had purged Michael’s influence from her mind. But there is still so much about Kacey that doesn’t make any sense; and the story she told about Grandpa David sits at the top of that list. Her grandfather had kept a box filled with old photos and notes he had made while researching his family’s ancestry. Among all of this, she finds a picture of him and a girlfriend he dated before marrying. Old newspaper clippings he saved describe how he survived some sort of collapse at the old mine. That same girlfriend had also survived (see Chapter 2.21 – Alone). Her name was Kacey Kimura, and her brother, Reid, had been killed during the accident. Hope’s brain is at an impasse; this just simply is not possible.
The last days of her pregnancy helps to shift her focus away from the puzzle. She is scared beyond belief about becoming a mother. But the fear is nothing compared to what she feels about having to share her child with Michael. She prays for some way of keeping the baby from him and his corruption. Hope is deep into a conversation with her father about this exact topic, when she stops mid-sentence and doubles over.
 Whether she is ready for it or not, motherhood has arrived.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 4.21 – Status

  1. Hooray for Dara being a good friend, and I’m thrilled Hope has finally gotten over Michael. I only hope she and the child can overcome his evil influence and live a happy life. However, I know better…


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