Chapter 6.10 – Connection

It is shortly past midnight when Ben wakes up in an unfamiliar hospital bed.
His head is still swimming from the sedatives, and he doesn’t remember much about what happened after Sarah yelled at him. All he knows is that he seriously freaked out, and caused some major damage. He really doesn’t know where the rage came from, and he starts to feel guilt about the trouble he has caused. This is not how he wants things to be. He doesn’t want to be the troubled, high-maintenance kid any more. But even now, he cannot suppress the feeling that something is horribly wrong with the world.
With no piano or guitar present, Ben begins to hum out a tune he has been working on. The lyrics come to him with ease, and soon his humming is replaced by his deep, melancholy voice. He sings in harmony to the guitar strings being plucked in his mind. The music eases his worries and calms him better than any sedative could. As the last notes of his new song evaporate into the air, he sees movement in the dark entryway.
Knowing she has been spotted, Maria emerges from the shadows and appears not to care that she is intruding. She has become a teen since the last time Ben saw her at the estate. She still wears that dull, emotionless expression on her face. The mannerisms that had reminded him of another sim  during her childhood,  have only intensified now that she is older. But he still cannot quite make the connection. She tells him plainly that she overheard the nurses talking about him being admitted a few hours ago. She moves closer to Ben, who is still startled by her sudden appearance. She is wearing the same style hospital “pajamas” as he, and also has the plastic hospital wrist bands. Is she a patient here?
She sits next to him on the bed, paying no attention to his discomfort. He had never seen her before without glasses. And now that he looks into her empty, blank eyes, he makes a startling and disturbing discovery. The poor girl is being heavily medicated. Her flat disposition is clearly a side-effect of the meds, and not just a boring personality as he had always believed. Having gained new understanding about his old friend, Ben gently asks her why she is in the hospital.
The question appears to confuse her at first, and her expression stalls while trying to remember. She finally pulls the information out of her clouded mind, then speaks in her monotone voice; saying her mother think’s she’s crazy. Lately, her artwork has been depicting some disturbing subject matter regarding the end of the world. Coming here is punishment for making “those kinds” of paintings. She comes here a lot, especially when her mother declares that she is having an “episode”.
Ben nearly falls off of the bed after hearing Maria’s confession. He looks deep into her eyes, hoping to find some glimmer of a identity behind the medication induced glaze. She instinctively blushes at his sudden display of interest, but gives no indication that she is even slightly lucid. Then, with a slight attempt at a smile, she tells him she loved his beautiful song. She asks flatly if it was about the end of the world.
Still deeply troubled by these new discoveries, Ben shrugs and admits that it was; sort of. Before he has the chance to pump Maria for any more information, both teens are startled by a loud commotion out in the hallway. Maria lazily turns her head toward the door, appearing to cower slightly away from it. The shouting becomes louder until he can hear panicked voices directly outside. There is a swift knock, but he has no chance to respond before a nurse flies into the room.
The woman cocks her head and sets her jaw upon seeing Maria sitting on Ben’s bed. Maria attempts to run, but is stopped easily by the burley woman. Ben throws his hands up and immediately promises that nothing happened and that she just wandered into the wrong room. The nurse shoots him a dirty look, then shouts into the hallway that she has found Maria.
When the nurse takes Maria by the arm, addressing as “Miss Kennedy”, Ben makes the connections all at once. His eyes dart from Maria to a very familiar figure now standing at the doorway.
Dr. Kennedy steps into the room wearing a stern look on her face, and shouts Maria’s name. Her expression melts from anger to horror as she recognises Ben standing in the room next to her daughter. The resemblance is as plain as day now that he sees the two of them together. It is amazing he didn’t make the connection earlier. Maria smiles, with daggers for eyes. Even in her medicated state, the animosity is crystal clear.
Maria slurs out a mocking introduction as the nurse pokes a needle into her arm. Her last legible words before succumbing to the sedative has Ben wondering how long Maria has been playing this scenario in her head;
…but I guess you’ve already met.

7 thoughts on “Chapter 6.10 – Connection

  1. Chilling update. I feel badly for Maria, but she isn’t exactly innocent, is she? Poor Ben. He’s just figured out that he’s probably not going to get sympathy from his doctor.


    1. Aye, Ben’s problems just keep piling up. Now he’s got himself all mixed up in another family’s drama. I agree, though. It kinda makes you wonder what Maria’s issues are.


  2. Well, so much for the help the doctor could give! I didn’t even consider that Maria could be her daughter — I was trying to think of someone in the Barimen family 🙂 And gosh darnit, if all sims don’t look just a little bit a like. 😉 Haha!

    Wonderfully written update, zoxell – I was so thrilled you got another one out so quickly! Of course, I will certainly wait as long as needed for the next one!

    On another note, how’s your wife doing?


    1. Thanks!
      I was hoping to pull off that surprise (although I did drop a little hint early in the chapter). I’m glad you’re enjoying it!

      Thanks for asking about Mrs. Zoxell. She’s doing great! We find out the baby’s gender Monday after Easter.


  3. Wow! I cant believe that Maria is Dr.Kennedy’s daughter…it brings up so many questions now. She seemed so caring and attentive to Ben when he was a child, and yet here her own daughter is..medicated and committed.
    I feel for Ben, as said before me that he is now not only has his own worries but caught up in the problems of another family.
    I do wonder what Maria’s story is though…is she lying about the end of the world thoughts or is she really the other person Jiang Xi was talking about?


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