Monday, May 13, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 46 - Graduation

After Omicron's first day of school, his sister was waiting for him in the playground next to the schoolhouse.Epsilon: "That bad, huh?"
Omicron: "It was awful!  I thought I'd have so many friends, but they all just laughed at me."
Epsilon frowned sympathetically.  It sounded just like her first day, except it probably hit Omicron even harder because Epsilon hadn't expected to have any friends.  She never could have anticipated how cruel the other children would be, though.
Epsilon: "They teased you about your mom?"
Omicron: "Yeah.  They kept saying that I didn't look anything like her, and that she wasn't around because she was ashamed of me.  She's not, right?"
He looked up at his older sister, tears starting to form in his eyes.
Epsilon: "Of course she's not!  Why would she be?  I was too young to remember, but Al told me - your mom left because Dad threatened her.  He won't let her come around you, that's all, it's nothing to do with you."
Omicron folded his arms tightly and frowned, blinking the tears away.
Omicron: "Why did he have to do that?  I hate him."
Epsilon: "I don't know, Omi.  It doesn't make any sense."
He sighed and unfolded his arms, looking around the playground.
Omicron: "How'd you do it?"
Epsilon: "Huh?  Do what?"
Omicron: "Your hair.  Big Sis said that they teased you about it, and I remember how it was before.  It was all...funny."
Epsilon's voice was bitter as she replied.
Epsilon: "And now it's not?"
Omicron: "No!  Well, I guess, but it's less funny.  I like it."
Epsilon: "Well, thanks, I guess.  Nobody else does, they still tease me for it as much as before.  I guess I've just gotten better at ignoring it."
Omicron: "Well, I still like it.  It looks like that stuff I learned about in class today, um...the white stuff that comes during winter?"
Epsilon smiled a little.
Epsilon: "Snow?"
Omicron: "Yeah, that's it!  It's like that, I think it makes you special."
Epsilon: "Thanks.  I'm getting used to it, I guess."
Their conversation fell silent as the two siblings looked around the empty playground.
Omicron: "We should go.  We're gonna miss the bus."
Epsilon: "Already did, I saw it go while we were talking.  Don't worry, I have some money for a ticket on the regular bus.  Al was right, odd jobs around the school pay really well."
Omicron: "Maybe they'll let me do some when I'm bigger like you."
Epsilon: "I'm sure they will."

Soon it was time for graduations.  Both Alpha and Epsilon were graduating their respective schools this time around, though only the older sister had a school-organized ceremony to attend.  So as not to let her younger sister feel left out, Alpha splurged on a cake that the younger Woods children could enjoy while she was at the school.
She had to be careful with her limited funds, but elementary school graduation only came once in a child's life.  If there was ever a time when it was okay to drop $30 on a cake, that was it.  She graduated with highest honors, though her classmates were stumped as to what to caption her yearbook photo with.  They finally decided on "most likely to never leave the house," which Alpha had to admit was somewhat descriptive of her high school career.  The house was empty when she arrived home - Saturdays tended to be like that - and as she unpacked her bag the university admissions kit she'd been given at graduation caught her eye.  University was expensive, so there was no way she'd ever be able to afford to go.  But surely it wouldn't hurt to take the test, just to see whether she'd make it in or not.  Hypothetically speaking.
After all, merely taking the test didn't mean she'd have to go anywhere.  It was just an idle amusement for a quiet afternoon, that was all.

The results of the test surprised her.  She hadn't thought that she had many skills that a university would appreciate, but she tested high enough to receive awards in both the technology and physical education subjects.  More importantly, as a result of her well-rounded skills, the university was offering her a $1000 partial scholarship.  She crunched the numbers, double- and triple-checking every operation, but she could still hardly believe her results.  If she took a 12-credit load, even the partial scholarship would be enough to cover her tuition and housing.  She could go to university!  As soon as Epsilon walked in the door, Alpha ambushed her with the news.
Alpha: "You'll never believe what I just figured out."
Epsilon blinked in confusion, looking distracted.
Epsilon: "Huh?  What?"
Alpha: "Earth to Epsi!  Get out of your own head for a minute so I can talk to you, and then you can go back to whatever it is you were thinking about, okay?"
Epsilon: "Yeah, I'm sorry.  What did you figure out, Al?"
Alpha: "I took the SAT, and I can hardly believe it, but I qualify for a partial scholarship that will cover all of my expenses if I don't take a full load."
Epsilon: "That's great!  I know you wanted to go if you could, but there wasn't a whole lot of money."
Alpha: "Oh no, there's plenty of money.  We're just not allowed to touch it."
Her dry reply was tinged with disgust, though she kept her expression neutral.
Epsilon: "Omi will be, I think, when he's older.  Dad likes him.  Well, kind of.  At least more than he's ever liked either of us.  Anyway, don't get frustrated thinking about that.  You're going to university, that's a good thing.  You should focus on that."
Alpha: "You're right.  I'm happy that I can go, but I'm not sure if I should or not."
Epsilon: "What do you mean?  Of course you should go!"
Alpha: "I don't want to leave you two alone here.  You're still both young, and-"
Epsilon interrupted her.
Epsilon: "Don't worry, we'll be fine.  We're not that little anymore.  Omi's old enough to be in school, and I went out today and got a part-time job.  We'll have plenty of money once I get my first paycheck."
Alpha: "Oh, really?  I could never do that because I had to take care of the two of you, but I guess you don't have to worry about that.  Where'd you find work?"
Epsilon: "At the graveyard.  I'm going to be a Burial Specialist, whatever that means.  It's probably a glorified go-fer, but I don't mind.  They're paying me a lot, because apparently working there creeps most people out."
Alpha: "I thought cemeteries creeped you out, too."
Epsilon: "No!  I don't know how many times I have to tell you, Al.  They're not creepy, only the one we have is creepy."
Alpha: "Are you sure you weren't just feeling sick that day, or something?"
Epsilon: "Definitely not.  I went back a few days later to make sure I hadn't been imagining things, and I felt the exact same way once I got inside."
Alpha: "That doesn't make any sense."
Epsilon: "I know.  There's no explanation for it, and it really bothers me.  But anyway, I don't feel that way when I go to the one up the hill.  So that's where I'll be working."
Alpha: "At night?"
Epsilon made a face.
Epsilon: "Yeah, I know, vampires.  I'll be very careful, I promise.  I know you met one once, but don't you think that one might have just gotten way too into Spooky Day?  I checked all the town records, and nobody's gone missing or any strange happenings like that.  He was probably just traveling, or something."
Alpha: "You're probably right.  Still, you're my little sister, and it's my job to make sure you're careful."
Epsilon: "Oh, I definitely will be."
They hugged, Alpha burying her face into her sister's soft, white hair.
Alpha: "I'll miss you guys so much!"
Epsilon: "I'll miss you, too.  Don't forget to write, okay?  Proper letters."
Alpha: "I won't.  I'll give you my phone extension once I know it, so you can call and yell at me if I do forget."
Epsilon: "Count on it."

There was only one more thing left to do before Alpha could leave for university.
James: "Um, excuse me, I'm trying to walk here."
Alpha: "This.  This is what I'm talking about."
James: "Right now, I'm not at all sure what you're going on about.  Just move, I'm hungry."
Alpha: "No!  I'm tired of moving.  I guess what I'm trying to say is, I'm going to be out of your hair.  Forever."
James: "That's great.  I'm still not sure why we're having this conversation."
Alpha: "Before I go, there's something I have to tell you.  Just one thing."
James: "Then hurry up and say it, already!"
Alpha: "You are a terrible father.  You only do the bare minimum required to get by.  Less than that, even.  You spent your time entertaining a string of lovers, half of which you shamelessly knocked up, rather than take care of your own children.  It's disgusting, and frankly I'm ashamed to be related to you."
James: "That's not-"
Alpha interrupted.
Alpha: "Stop.  I'm not finished.  You hardly did anything to help raise me, and by the time Epsilon and Omicron came along you were even worse.  Since I was here, and since I was the only one who cared, even a tiny bit, I raised them.  I did the best job I could do, and I'll have you know that it was a damn good one.  But it was because of me.  Not you.  I sacrificed so much of my time and my life these past years for those children, because I love them.  I'm okay with that, and if I was sent back in time I would do it all over again, a hundred times over, because they deserved better than you.  I just thought you should know that."
The room fell silent, except for the chatter of the weatherman on the TV - snow tonight, continuing through the small hours of the morning tomorrow, with four to six inches expected!
Alpha: "Don't have anything to say for yourself?  I thought you wouldn't.  I'll get out of your way now."
She'd stashed her suitcase behind one of the armchairs, so she could make a quick and dramatic exit.  Still riding on the adrenaline rush from her confrontation, she stepped quickly out of the door and down the steps.  The taxi wasn't here yet, but she'd just go around the corner to wait.  She couldn't give that man the satisfaction of seeing her waiting in the snow.

~ * ~

That's two chapters in a row that Alpha's had to put on her angry face!  Hopefully now that she's out on her own she won't have to use it quite so much.  She grew into such a pretty YA, I swear she didn't look that good when I aged her up in CAS to peek ahead.  Maybe it's just the haircut that flatters her.

This chapter was pretty much a giant mess of dialogue.  So many conversations that needed to be had.  If I was better at pacing, I would have avoided it all falling in one chapter.  Oh well.

Did James deserve that?  Probably.  Alpha needed to get it off her chest, at any rate.  There's only so much that meditation alone can fix.


  1. Woo! James finally hears a little hard truth! The pacing was fine; it didn't bother me any.

    1. Yes, he's had that coming for a long time. Writing it felt so good.

  2. Go Alpha! It's about time someone told James where to shove it. But now the big questions is will he actually 'hear' her advice. I'm kinda betting he just blows it off as it suits him.

    Poor Omicron. That's gotta be so tough with all the kids making fun of him like that and he had expected just the opposite. Hopefully things turn around for him soon.

    Epsilon working at the cemetery made me giggle I admit. It is oddly fitting though.

    And my sims never look quite the same between when I peek ahead and when it actually happens. Usually the result is a little better than I expected, not always but usually. But it's not just your game. It happens.

    1. Blowing it off would be James's style. He's intelligent, though, under all the selfish laziness. So who knows?

      I feel so bad for poor Omicron. All he wants is to make friends, and they all make fun of him. :\

      I can't picture Epsilon working any of the other part-time jobs available around town. She's too odd. The cemetery was perfect for her, even if it lets out late.

      It's good to hear that it's not just my game! I thought maybe a mod was screwing up, but if it happens to you too then it's just TS3 screwing up.

  3. GO ALPHA! Woo! :)
    She needed that, and James needed to hear that. I hope he makes a tiny bit of effort at least, because Epsi and Omi will miss Alpha loads otherwise.

    So, we're following a spare to uni? Oooh! Can't wait to see what you have planned for her!

    It's unfortunate that both Epsi and Omi get bullied, and I hope they can try to stick together against them.

    (I love the growing mod you use, by the way. I looked into it about a year ago, but every time I notice height difference on your blog I'm tempted again.)

    1. I think they'll miss her, anyway.

      Yeah, we are. I mostly just wanted to play a sim the whole way through Uni, but I do have a bit of a plan for her.

      Yeah, kids are mean. And it's mostly Sondra's fault for spreading those rumors around. Though really, that was done in reaction to James, so look who's the root cause of all the trouble. >_>

      I love grow mod, in my mind it's how sims 3 should have been. The only problem I have with it is that I sometimes have to manually adjust their height if I export them and import them into another save to take screenshots. But it works wonders for making close siblings look like actual siblings, rather than fraternal twins.

  4. Go Alpha! I love that she gave James a piece of her mind and a few home truths, but I wonder whether he'll actually do anything about what she told him.

    1. Probably not, knowing James. He's definitely to the point where karma is coming back to bite him, though.

  5. Oh yes, I think James most definitely did deserve that, and I'm glad Alpha decided to have her say before she left. Not that it'll change James much, most likely, but who knows.

    About what you said about her not looking that good when you peeked ahead in CAS, I've noticed that peeking ahead in CAS isn't really reliable. So maybe the genetic variations occur when they age up, and aren't set in stone? Both Ayala and Carrick look very different from when I peeked ahead when they were little.

    Epsilon looks like a miniature old person with that hair, poor thing. I'm glad she's old enough now that she can help shelter and care for Omicron though. He's going to need it. It's cruel, how other kids can be, and that can be so damaging.

    1. Well, it made Alpha feel better, so there's always that.

      I think the hair's starting to grow on her. I was playing this afternoon and parked myself outside the school to grab students for a scene I'm going to have to stage, and I noticed at least one other kid with white hair, so at least she's not alone.