Chapter 7.8 – Billy

Lisa watches with discomfort as Amber hugs and kisses on Billy Jones, who is in the hospital recovering from a gunshot wound.
Ben’s brother-in-law, Ricky Nava, had divulged that he was injured during a rival gang shoot out the previous evening. Billy was lucky to escape with his life, seeing how a number of other sims did not walk away from the gunfight. Lisa has tried her best to be understanding and respectful of her daughter’s choices. But to be romantically involved with a gang member crosses the line.
She had taken Amber to see him the moment news about the incident broke around town. She has never seen her daughter so spooked about anything. Normally calm and unflappable, Amber now seems deeply disturbed and intensely worried. It is more than just the situation with Billy, too. Something else is going on with her daughter. Unfortunately, she has been so preoccupied with the mounting legal problems, that she has not checked in with Amber for far too long.
Billy acts his typical narcissistic, arrogant, and impetuous self toward an infatuated Amber; even arguing with her at one point. But she is too dumb-struck to realize it. She kisses Billy goodbye when it is time to go, and tells him she will see him at the lake again when he is ready to continue his training. Lisa dreads telling her daughter that there will be no more lakeside martial-arts training for the two of them.
Lisa treats Amber to a movie, then to some comfort food at the diner before arriving at the beach just in time for sunset. As they walk barefoot through the wet sand, Lisa shares her concerns about Billy; and explains that her responsibility as a parent is to keep Amber safe. Sometimes keeping a child safe, even a teenager, unfortunately means that some choices will be taken away.
Before she can continue her thought, Amber asks meekly if she is going to be forbidden from seeing Billy. Lisa wants to say yes, but knows it will cause nothing but trouble. Lisa tells her, instead, that she can only see him if he visits the estate; and that they cannot spend time unsupervised. Amber sighs, and rolls her eyes, but does not argue. Lisa apologizes and states that she wishes it could be different, telling her they are welcome to use the estate’s gym for training.
As they continue to walk, Lisa and Amber chat about school, boys, and life. She has always been a mature child, having little problem carrying on conversations with adults. Lisa finds herself telling Amber about the legal problems the family faces. It has been years since she and Ben quit the music scene, yet there has been steady stream of litigation against the family. Some of the lawsuits are ridiculous, such as a fan claiming damages for lost sleep due to grief over the band’s breakup. But some are serious, such as songwriters claiming that Ben had stolen a song, then claimed it as his own creation.
Not a single one of these lawsuits had resulted in money being awarded to a plaintiff. But as soon as one case ends, there seems to be another, more serious one waiting. The legal fees by themselves are costing a small fortune. Recently, a number of businesses owned by the Barimen family have been sued for more money than they are worth. What has family worried, is the fact that it seems to be some kind of coordinated attack. As though somebody powerful is trying to destroy the Barimen fortune.
Lisa apologizes to Amber for dumping her own worries at a time when she is clearly upset about her boyfriend. Oddly enough, Amber seems keenly interested in the information. Preoccupied and in distant thought (a frustrating trait passed on by her father), Amber says the most curious thing in response to her mother’s apology. She absently assures her mother that there is no need to apologize, and that the information has been incredibly enlightening.
Lisa’s mothering instinct kicks in after her daughter’s weird response. She has been acting very strangely since last night, even before she learned about Billy’s altercation. Lisa doesn’t need gifted senses to see that Amber knows more than she is telling. After a short pause, she asks Amber what she knows about Billy’s gang involvement. Feeling suddenly overwhelmed and confused, and not wanting to lie to her mother, Amber begins to cry. She tells Lisa that he’s been working some shady jobs at the warehouse after school. But she knows he is made up of more than the thug he portrays. He is a different sim when they are alone together.
Throwing caution to the wind, Amber begins to unload her bottled-up emotions about Billy, being careful to edit out her own excursions to the warehouse. She talks about Billy’s lack of interest in martial-arts training, the intense make-out sessions, the broken fingers, and her weakening willpower in regard to woo-hooing with him. Amber knows he is a complete jerk. But yet, there is something irresistible about him that she cannot ignore.
Lisa smiles and hugs her daughter as the sun sets on their stroll. Lisa’s voice is gentle, wise, and perhaps, a slight bit amused when she reassures Amber that she knows exactly how she feels.
And that when it comes to the bad boys, it’s the same now as it ever was.

4 thoughts on “Chapter 7.8 – Billy

  1. I found this mother and daughter chapter really touching. There’s a little double naming at the beginning. You refer to Amber as Lisa. Just letting you know.


    1. Gah! Good catch!
      We’re on “baby watch” with our newest due any day now. I’ve got the “nervous expecting dad” syndrome going on, hehe.


  2. This was a nice mother-daughter chapter of bonding. Im glad that Amber unloaded what she thought of her relationship with Billy and that Lisa came clean with Amber on the lawsuits.
    Also happy to see that Billy didnt die. XD


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