Chapter 7.24 – Life

Being a widow to the Logrus Estate’s sole heir would normally command a terrifying air of fear, power, and control.
But not this time. There are many sims in the Baltic Sea crime syndicate who have intimidated, threatened, bribed, sweet-talked, and even attempted to kill Amber Barimen; to dissuade her from divesting the Logrus fortune from its interests. But she survived Brand. And there is nothing any of them can do to approach the scope of what he had done to her. With their base of power, and now their money, gone, the organization dissolves into chaos and infighting. Amber takes some satisfaction in knowing that by doing this, many career criminals have been shut down; some of them permanently. The results are far more impressive than any law enforcement effort could ever have achieved.
Amber chooses not to view Uncle Ricky’s death as sacrifice made only to save her. She chooses to view it as a sacrifice made to save an entire town from the devices of a family that has victimized its citizens for generations. The vast manor, which has been a symbol of fear for so long, is given to the town as a gesture of healing and recovery. The towns-sims gladly accept, and renovate the ancient building into a historic tourist attraction and inn, for would-be travelers and adventurers to come and hang their hats.
Seeing what her husband’s sacrifice has accomplished, Aunt Sarah eventually forgives Amber. She gives birth to a baby boy, Richard Nava IV. Amber mobilizes her considerable, new found resources to set up trust funds for her aunt and both children. Nonetheless, Sara moves with her son and teen-aged daughter to the same Baltic town where her husband died; if for no other reason, than to take part in the joy his actions have brought to those sims.
Sarah does not need to say the words for Amber to know the real reason for her leaving. It does not matter how much progress has come from Ricky’s death, or that Sarah has forgiven Amber for the foolish exploits that led to his demise. The simple truth is that she wishes to never see or speak to Amber again. Aunt Sarah’s aloofness troubles Amber deeply. But it is the reaction of her own parents that demonstrates just how deep the rift sinks.
Thanks to the influx of new money toward their efforts, Ben and Lisa successfully bring together the disgruntled Grayswandir bandmembers. And the music they create together once again sets the music industry ablaze. Amber fakes her happy smiles, knowing  when the band begins touring, Ben and Lisa will live out their lives doing what they love; traveling and playing music. So when they say farewell to Amber before leaving on concert tour, she knows that this time, it is actually goodbye.
Ironically, it is Grandma Faith who comforts Amber when her parents are gone. She consoles her granddaughter, exactly as she had when her parents went on tour when she was a child. She also shares details about her own dangerous exploits, and those of her father, Ben. It is Grandma Faith who eventually brings her to understand that all sims have faults, and that this feud will not last forever. She reminds Amber that a sim’s character cannot be solely defined by what they have chosen to do in the past, but also by what they choose to do right now. Grandma Faith also points out that a young woman needs more than the unconditional love her “old granny” can provide.
And with some coaching from the same “old granny”, Wendell has become much more than Amber’s best friend. He stood up and risked his life for her. Amber has not thanked him with words, and she senses no such thing is required. To show her gratitude, she has done far better. She has displayed the same kind of patient and loyal love he has been demonstrating since she was a teen. She had been so fixated on “the mystery”, that she had no clue what being in love, romantically, felt like. She wishes now, that she had paid much closer attention.
The most painful part of healing, for Amber, is reconciling the conflicting emotions she still has attached to Brand. Knowing full well who he was and what he represented, she had willingly entered into marriage with him. There is no denying the unspeakable pleasure she felt that night with Brand. There is also no denying that the experience was as unhealthy as it was unnatural. And if that is not enough to keep her awake at night, there is another unsettling thought that does. If she were given the chance to experience it again in exchange for the same pain and loss, she is not sure she would have the willpower to turn the offer away.
Wendell has also gone through his own healing process. He and Amber have found that walking on the beach, and sometimes watching the stars together at night, are their favorite escapes from the stressful realities of life. He has told her the whole truth about the military injury, and about his clumsiness with both actions and words. Maybe it is that first, gentle kiss she gives to him after sharing his secret. Or maybe it is the weight that has been lifted from his conscience. Regardless, the limp that has hindered his movement for years, is now completely gone.
Setting aside the worry that Amber is young enough to be his daughter, Wendell finally finds the courage to speak those impossibly elusive words. On bended knee, he presents her with a ring (which he fumbles only slightly), and asks the love of his life to marry him. He knows the answer long before the ring even makes it onto her trembling hand. He does not know why, but her burst of tears afterwards seems only natural and fitting.
Amber’s wedding with Wendell is held inside the chapel, surrounded by her family and loved ones, and is filled with the love of the Spirit. She does not agonize over the fact that her neither of her parents or Aunt Sara had been able to attend. There is also one empty space on the front row pew, which Amber had insisted be left unseated for the memory of Uncle Ricky.
No measure of unnatural pleasure can ever compare to what she feels at that moment Wendell speaks the words, I Do. Dispelled by the cleansing power of her love for him, Amber purges herself of the tethers that Brand continued to hold even after his death.
And although her family’s wealth has now been restored tenfold, she and Wendell choose to continue living with only the necessary comforts inside their gigantic estate on the bluff. It reminds them both of what was lost, and what is most important.
It is not long after their wedding, however, that Amber kisses her husband and tells him that they will need to furnish at least one more room with those necessary comforts.
They laugh and cry tears of joy, and celebrate the new life that Amber carries inside of her; a life, together, they helped to create.

7 thoughts on “Chapter 7.24 – Life

  1. Do those chairs work for the wedding arch? Because the single chairs that I use for my weddings are so ugly >.< but that's the only way they sit down! I rather use that bench if it worked 😛
    Can't wait for the next generation 😀
    *desperately hopes it is a girl…..or twins*


    1. Nah, everybody stood around getting in each other’s way. Most of the spectators were doing the “get out of my way” foot-tapping thing. I didn’t know there were special chairs that had to be used for the arch. Pleh… 😛


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