Chapter 8.21 – Withdrawal

Luke and Anna lovingly attempt to recapture the remarkable bonding they had shared together a few nights ago.
 
It has been a catalyst for triggering fundamental changes in both of them. Family members fortunate enough to witness the transformation can only describe it as falling in love. Some of these changes seem insignificant, and are easily attributable to the euphoria of a new romance.
 
A number of other changes, however, are hardly insignificant. Anna’s addictions, having been neglected for too long, begin to assert their authority. No longer feeling alone, Anna completely surrenders to to her new-found faith. But the price of her betrayal to old demons is a crushing detoxification that demolishes her both physically and psychologically.
 
At first, Luke attributes his own fatigue to the constant care Anna requires. But there seems to be something more at work than just the stress of supporting her through withdrawal. The immunity to sleep he has enjoyed his entire lifetime has recently vanished. The benefit to this, is that he is able to be with Anna when she wakes from nightmares in the middle of the night, suffering cold sweats, convulsions, and nausea. But what troubles him most, is the vacant feeling he’s been experiencing; like a part of himself has disappeared.
 
His shared memories, unnatural stamina, heightened senses, and myriad of other assets – they’re all gone. Though he already suspects what has caused the revocation of his very unique abilities, he simply is not ready to face the possibility that the entity is no longer a part of him. He shares these concerns with Anna, who wants desperately to help him as much as he’s helped her. But she finds herself too sick to do anything but listen and reassure him that it is going to get better.
 
To compound their troubles, the District Attorneys Office has levied multiple drug possession charges against Anna. Luke’s cousin Makayla, being the legal magician that she is, has worked out a plea-deal with the prosecution. Anna will enter a secure rehabilitation facility, pay a hefty fine, and do community service. In exchange, she will not be forced to serve jail time.
 
Makayla does not have to do much convincing. The worst of Anna’s physical symptoms are behind her. But Anna knows the impending physiological repercussions promise to be complicated. And they will likely be more than Luke can manage.
 
Anna packs her few belongings, plus some new things that Luke’s family has been incredibly generous to provide, and reassures Luke that this is the right thing to do. Her near-death experience opened a door she had always known was there, but flatly refused to acknowledge. Plus, she still has no idea how to even comprehend what happened the night she and Luke became lovers. All she knows for sure, is that she is crazy in love with him because of it. She kisses Luke and promises that she will return to him; and together, they will be the happiest sims on the planet.
 
She remains curiously silent, however, about the slight bulge inside her abdomen. Perhaps she is afraid to tell Luke because she is unsure whether or not he is the father. It could be that she is in denial, or worried that her violent withdrawal from drugs has somehow harmed the tiny, vulnerable sim. Or maybe she has already resolved to handle this child like she had the others; by simply terminating the pregnancy. Regardless, she leaves after a tender hug and kiss with Luke, and an unspoken understanding the he will take care of letting Sandi know about his change of heart.
 
It is a strange sensation, feeling completely alone. Luke had always taken the presence of the entity for granted. In a way, it had become his best friend without ever really having spoken to it. The silence in his skull is depressing enough. And now, with Anna gone for what could be weeks, he is faced with the unpleasant chore of dumping his next oldest friend. He had worked for years to reconcile with Sandi. He marvels a the irony of the situation. She had become pretty upset about him chosing church over going to breakfast with her last Sunday. With any luck, she’ll still be angry, and realize that it just isn’t working out between them.
 
 —
 
They had not spoken to each other for more than a week, so Luke is surprised by her unusually light mood. In fact, she is almost elated to see him. They both begin speaking at the same time, then apologize in unison. After a good laugh, Luke expresses his regret for missing breakfast with her friends. Sandi smiles broadly and rolls her eyes. She apologizes in return, reassuring him that the reason she hadn’t called is because she’s been really sick.
 
Sandi gracefully approaches Luke, and greets him properly with a sensual kiss. His mind spins for a way to break the news to her. He knows the longer he stays, the more difficult it is going to become. He begins to speak, but is immediately startled by a avery overt distraction. Luke smiles unconsciously, but musters the willpower to move Sandi’s misbehaving hand. Before he can gather himself to speak, Sandi has pounced again, whispering how much she has missed him.
 
Then, as if having just thought up a very clever idea, Sandi takes him by the hand, kisses him again, then begins to lead him upstairs. But Luke stands firm, eliciting a confused expression. He begins to explain why it isn’t a good idea for him to go woo-hoo with her. But she puts a finger on his lips and tells him that she’s got a different surprise to share with him, first. He can see by the way she’s looking at him that this is something important to her, so he reluctantly agrees to follow her up the stairs.
 
After they reach the top of the stairs, she invites Luke to close his eyes. He regards her suspiciously, but she smiles playfully and draws out the word, pleeeeaaasse! Unable to contain his own smile, despite knowing that he is avoiding what he has come here to do, Luke plays along and closes his eyes. She leads him into the studio and sits him down on the chair by the desk. She clicks some keys on the computer keyboard, then tells him to open his eyes.
 
At first, Luke is not sure what he’s looking at. But eventually, like a perfectly thrown knuckle-ball, it slowly sinks in. The image on the screen is from an abdominal ultrasound. Luke’s gaze narrows, and he looks up as Sandi, back at the image, then back at Sandi again. She shrugs her shoulders, offers a sheepish smile, then rubs her belly affectionately.
 
Surprise!
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9 thoughts on “Chapter 8.21 – Withdrawal

  1. Aww no………
    I mean…YAY!….NO! I can see how this is going to play out next generation..
    Haha, Luke you knocked up two girls. This is going to be awkward when he breaks it with Sandi. I’d hate to have favoritism when it isnt born yet, but Anna’s kid is my favorite >=) but it wont be first born! Does that mean next gen isn’t going to have the entity? 😮

    Like

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