Chapter 5.23 – Birthplace

The house feels empty with Hope, Doc, and the boys gone.
Faith did not have the opportunity to share the news about her pregnancy with Hope before she left. Or perhaps she had the opportunity, and just chose not to take advantage of it. Either way, saying goodbye to her brothers was possibly the most difficult thing she has ever done. Jimmy was there for her, of course. He is always there when she needs him. He gently offered comfort and attributed her haywire emotions to pregnancy hormones gone wild. Maybe he’s right.
Then again, hormones can’t explain the feeling that she will never see Thomas or Joseph again.
As if sensing Faith’s hurt feelings, Mark and Mei keep their granddaughter’s mind occupied on the birth of her upcoming child. Hope had not thought to tell Faith about the family legacy.
That small detail seems to be the breaking point for Faith. Mark and Mei sit in empathy with their granddaughter as she releases the pent-up frustrations surrounding her mother. After the tirade, she apologizes for acting like a child, and thanks them for doing what her mother should have done long ago. Faith promises Mark that she and Jimmy will be proper caretakers of the legacy.
The old box filled with various newspaper clippings, photographs, maps, documents, and an old diary finds itself to be the subject of renewed attention, as Mark hands it and its contents over to the younger generation. As Faith continues to learn more about the family, the more resentment she feels toward Hope for not spending the time to share it herself. But no matter how much bitterness she feels, there is a bond of love she shares with her mother that no amount of bitterness can break. It is this bond that makes the problem especially painful.
It is just a short few days after Mark discusses the family legacy with Faith and Jimmy that the newest Barimen makes a grand entrance. Benedict is born in the wee hours of the morning and instantly brightens the previously gloomy mood at the estate.
Mark has always been more of a father-figure than a grandfather to Faith, and he does a superb job of continuing in that capacity. But Faith knows that sims do not live forever; as does Mark. Soon after Ben is born, Mark hands control of the estate to Faith and Jimmy. He expresses his confidence that the family legacy has been left in capable hands. Mark is completely sincere about his confidence. But he chooses not to share the fact that he never considered allowing Hope to take charge of the estate, for fear that she would not pass it on to Faith.
Nor does he share with Faith that the driving force behind her mother leaving Sunset Valley, perhaps, was an earlier discussion with Hope about this same topic.
Meanwhile...
Doc has few happy memories of France, but he still feels a fond attachment to his birthplace. When he left here, he had nothing. He returns a wealthy man; and not just in terms of money. What he has gained measures far beyond anything simoleons can buy. His two sons have become a source of pride and joy. And though he may not be her natural father, Doc feels a strong parental instinct to protect his step-daughter. This has put him in a very uncomfortable position. He has tried to talk with Hope about it, but her aloofness about the matter is a signal that the topic is off-limits; at least for now.
The whirlwind of circumstances that brought him back here, is not as simple as Hope is trying to make it appear. Chez Llama has been pursuing her for years. There is no explanation for her sudden need to take the job now, and leave their support system behind. Something had happened to sour the relationship between her parents and her family. And it was serious enough to have driven her to walk away from her home, her daughter, and her future grandchild. Faith had not told Hope about the pregnancy, but it was obvious. At first he thought that Kacey may have been the cause of the rift. But he senses that it is something far more personal and private.
To make matters worse, something else does not sit quite right in his mind. He cannot place the feeling or identify the source of his uneasiness. Perhaps it has something to do with the unanswered questions surrounding what happened in the cavern that night. He knows that Kacey is somehow key to solving the mystery of the temporal loop. Hope pleaded with him to allow her more time to rest and heal before asking any difficult questions. He came to understand that the time Kacey needed was more for mental and emotional healing than physical. But time slipped away and the business of marriage and parenthood soon took priority over his desire to understand the temporal loop.
It all seemed to be over so quickly. Although it felt like just a few days, Kacey had actually remained at the estate for several months. He was shocked to find she had disappeared. But more importantly, he was angry at himself for not gathering more data. Now the mystery may never be solved. These thoughts tumble around in Doc’s subconscious as he tucks the boys into bed and joins Hope in their bedroom. His wife has a rather spectacular way of making his worries disappear, and she easily melts away his anxiety; later settling with him in a tangle of arms and legs. Whoever would have thought that he would end up here; with a beautiful wife, two amazing sons, and wealth beyond his wildest imagination. He drifts off to sleep wondering what tomorrow will bring.
He wakes suddenly, staggered and disoriented, as if sitting inside a crashing car. The wind is cold on his face, and he can smell his own unbathed odor swimming around him.
Doc has had a few knuckles thrown at him over his lifetime, but he has never felt anything hit this hard before. He opens his eyes and moans from the splitting headache caused by whatever just happened. His unkempt hair hangs dirty over his eyes as he sits up from the bench where he was sleeping.
He wants to stand, but is afraid he will vomit from the way his stomach is spinning. It takes a moment for him to regain his bearings, but he eventually forces himself to relax with slow, deep breaths. As his blurry eyes focus, he recognises the dirty, vacant slum he used to call home. In the blink of an eye, his world has come crashing down. His wife, his children, the girl… gone… all if it. It was only just the dream again.
Or was it? It seemed too real to be a dream this time. Her name was Hope, and the dark-skinned girl was her daughter. Her name was Faith. Doc hides his face in his hands and mourns the loss of yet another dreamt life of happiness. He sits like this for a long time, with his head in his hands, trying to fight against the building apathy.
The gentle clicking of his wedding ring against the bridge of his glasses finally causes him to emerge from his grief.
The emotion abruptly transforms into intense anxiety, as he attempts to comprehend the enormity of what could possibly have happened.
Something has gone terribly, terribly wrong…
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5 thoughts on “Chapter 5.23 – Birthplace

  1. Oh my goodness! This is awful…what on Earth could have happened? I had a foreboding sense this whole chapter and now THIS?!? It’s awful. I’m just so curious what has happened! Is Doc dreaming again? Did Kacey do something to affect the temporal loop? And what about the twins — are they really gone forever?? And poor Faith — is she still married to Jimmy, with a baby boy in tow?! So many questions to wrap up this generation with — I only hope you manage to update soon 🙂

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  2. Oh lord! I had to re-read the end to make sure I really understood what was going on. Is it all a dream? Did Doc go back to his own time or are we looping again?

    I can’t imagine what is happening with Faith if Doc has woken up alone. Poor Hope. I was happy that she and Doc had found happiness together.

    I can’t wait to see how this resolves.

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  3. Heey! Sorry for not commenting all this time, but I’ve been having sims problems. Buuut, i got a chance to catch up with the reading, and I absoulutely love this chapter! There’s so much emotion, and it’s not seeing how the people think and feel. The graphics you used on your pictures are really great. How did you do them?

    xcin100x

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