Chapter 6.18 – Sight

As Sarah continues to dominate the local music industry, she finds herself with more incoming band demos than she can handle alone.
So every couple of weeks, she invites Ben to her office. Together, they evaluate all the new demo tracks that have come across her desk. It takes the stress out of a job which should be anything but stressful. Working this way with Ben reminds her of a couple of teenagers sitting together, listening to the new records they just bought. She has learned that her brother makes his decision about a song within the first twenty seconds of listening to it. There are only a select few of them he downloads onto his music player. Those are the musicians she contacts for live auditions.
Lunchtime is always the highlight of these sessions. It means the business part of the day is over, and they get to spend the rest of the afternoon together. It is also their chance to catch up on gossip. Sarah has moved in with Ricky Nava, a local police officer. And even though he is a distant, second-cousin-once-removed, type of relation; nobody seems to care all that much. On the contrary, everyone can see what a perfect match they are. But even so, Ben cannot resist the little bit of teasing he is entitled (or perhaps obligated), as her big brother, to provide.
She is happy to return the jibes, but is careful not to take things too far. She knows he is still ultra-sensitive about losing Maria. He has divulged enough of the small details, over time, for her to piece together a picture of what he had experienced. And it seems terrifying.
He has only now just started dating. And it only happened after the band’s drummer literally threw herself at him out of exasperation. Sarah insists that Ben only likes her for her maracas; to which he has no response, other than a goofy smile. But with kidding aside, both she and Ben know it is the truth. He is not in love. And that is what worries Sarah the most. She wants desperately for him to find his one-and-only before he becomes too comfortable with living the revolving-door lifestyle of the super-stars. Though she doesn’t dare say it, she wonders whether Maria had been his one-and-only. She often prays that she is wrong.
Eager to take her mind off of the topic, Sara proposes that one of her new artists play as an opener at Grayswandir’s gig tomorrow night; to give them some exposure. Ben agrees immediately. He remembers listening to a recording of their audition, and finding it to be one of the few he really liked. The band’s musicians were sloppy, and only marginally skilled. But despite the clumsy performance, he recognised the hidden passion underneath that ugly exterior. If properly played, the music could be brilliant.
Ben and Sarah spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the beach together. Then, after dinner at the bistro, they finalize the set list for Grayswandir’s show the following night. Practice runs later into the evening than usual. The siblings had taken an unscheduled break to recover from a tear-inducing fit of laughter. It was evidently triggered at the beginning of a song, which opened with maracas. Obviously, none of the other musicians have any clue what crack-up is about. Nevertheless, they all enjoy the light-hearted diversion, then finish the night with a flawless rehearsal.
Ben paces the backstage corridor, listening to the ruckus of impatient fans waiting for the opening act to start.
The warm-up band had arrived together earlier that evening; but they had not displayed much “togetherness” since then. Two members of the band had been at each other’s throats and screaming profanities at each other the minute they arrived. Ben kept his distance, but could still smell the alcohol saturating their breath and clothes. The vocalist, presumably the “adult” of the band, was clearly embarrassed by her band mate’s behavior. Though at the same time, she seemed resigned to it.
She expressed genuine frustration when apologizing to Sarah for their poor showing. Then, Ben watched as the two bickering band members continued to drown themselves in alcohol during the final rehearsal. By show time, they were both incoherent and impaired beyond the ability to perform. Ben knew then, that the evening would not end well for this band.
A frown forms on his face as they take the stage. He decides to move closer to get a better view of the oncoming train wreck. He winces as the guitar player completely misses the first chords. The keyboard player is equally bad, sounding as if he were wearing mittens. Ben finds he cannot watch the carnage and turns to leave, but stops when he hears the most amazing voice attempt to rise up over the brutality. He turns to regard its source, and finds the vocalist, defiantly trying to perform music. She must be the heart and soul of this band. Without ever having met her, Ben knows this is her passion.
Lisa Linn’s heart sinks as she labors to stay composed over the embarrassment caused by her idiot boyfriend and his roommate. She has worked countless hours honing her voice and guitar together, to reach near perfect harmony. But it’s over before it even begins; both tonight’s show and her career. Nobody recovers from a disaster like this. She’ll be stuck working late nights, trolling dive bars, and suffering drunks trying to make their moves on her. The only thing she can do now is sing, and pray that somebody hears what she is capable of.
The audience is clearly in shock, because they have not started booing yet. Startled cries from out in the crowd cause her to stop singing and look behind her. Her boyfriend staggers aimlessly for a few steps, plucks a few random strings on the guitar, then passes out drunk onto the stage. In a fit of rage, his moron roommate shouts out obscenities, kicks over the keyboard, then storms away in disgust. The drum player quietly folds his sticks into his lap.
Whispers from the stunned crowd and the sharp whine of feedback are the only audible noise in the building, as stagehands come to remove her drunk boyfriend. When he eventually wakes up, he’ll find a way to blame her for the whole thing. Looking for a way to escape, Lisa spots Sarah backstage; arms akimbo and shaking her head. After they make eye contact, all Lisa can do is look at the floor in shame. Defeated, she apologizes to the audience and assures them that the guitar player will recover; then asks for their patience while Grayswandir prepares to perform.
The audience grumbles, and some begin to shout and boo. She is expecting it. She deserves it. This was supposed to be her big break. She had begged her boyfriend to concentrate and practice for tonight. Instead, he spent the night celebrating with his roommate at some floozy nightclub. She had wanted this so badly. Now all she wants to do is retreat and hide. Still staring at the floor, she slinks away from the microphone.
Lisa nearly jumps out of her skin when the opening note to her song blasts out of the amplifiers and fills the building with impossible clarity. It is perfect, unwavering, and powerful. Her song continues to be played as she had always imagined it should, with masterful skill and loving embellishment. The drummer has also started playing again, but all Lisa can hear is the smooth-as-silk electric guitar wrapping around her like a lover’s arms. She misses her cue to sing. But the guitarist does not miss a beat, and bridges flawlessly into another intro.
She doesn’t know what is happening, but she doesn’t care. Closing her eyes, Lisa allows the music seduce her. She sings like never before; making love to the song as it caresses past, around, and through her. She reaches deep inside and finds a voice that had been dormant, but is now suddenly aroused. And she lets it sing without restraint.
The applause is deafening as the last notes are tenderly played. She dares not open her eyes while her next song begins with even more intensity and passion than the first; then the next, and the next. When it is over, she realizes she performed the entire thing with her eyes closed. She had done so out of fear that opening them would dispel the magic; but more importantly, because what happened tonight was something more than just music. Besides, there was no need for her to look. She already knows who had played those songs. There is only one sim possessing that kind of passion and skill. Sweaty, breathless, and glowing; and amid thunderous applause, she finally opens her eyes to find his. And they both know immediately.
It is love at first sight.

6 thoughts on “Chapter 6.18 – Sight

  1. I’m thrilled Ben found his soulmate — and she isn’t too shabby in the looks department, either. Though that’s not surprising — the Barimen good-looking genes have proved to be quite the hardy ones, especially since Hope’s generation 🙂

    I’m glad that Ben has found true love at last — someone who can love him for him, and hopefully believe everything he has to say — and I can’t wait to see future children. And future plotlines, for that matter.



    1. Thanks again, Snips!
      The AI dresses sims in some pretty funky outfits and hair. Once she moved into the legacy home, I managed to clean her up pretty well. Her “normal” state is a bit heavier than in these screenshots. It’s pretty funny, because when left to “free will” for a long time, Jimmy will always go looking for her and train her on the treadmill. All the poor thing wants to do is play piano on the other side of the house, haha.


  2. I think Im on the ‘Maria and Ben’ love too much cause I found myself disliking this new girl for taking Bens heart. XD
    But….I cant help BUT smile for Ben and what he has once again found. :} I have no doubt about them making beautiful music together, but I hope that she -if he needs to tell her- will believe what he has to say.


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