Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Chapter 0.11: Wintery Cold Heart
Pregnant. The word lingers in the air like a damp mist on a cloudy fall morning, leaving a numbing chill in it's wake. Jane envisions raising her child with Ryder and shivers. The thought makes her heart go cold.
Jane knows that Ryder is the father. The timing of her pregnancy tells her that. She knows that this news should comfort her, but it doesn't. In the deepest crevices of her soul, she secretly wishes that the baby was Terrence's, but wishing never helped anyone. Jane knows that she should break it off with Terrence, cut her losses before she loses everything, but she can't. She loves him, more than she ever loved Ryder.
Jane pays a visit to Terrence to tell him the news. Terry begs her to leave Ryder, to take the baby and runaway with him. He wants to marry her.
Jane refuses. Terrence is but a lowly author, with not much talent and even less ambition. Her future with him is uncertain at best, and she enjoys the comfortable life far too much to just leave it all behind.
She arrives home late that evening. Ryder is waiting up for her again. She sees him sitting alone in the kitchen, quietly eating his cold dinner.
"I'm going to bed," she says as she walks by him.
Ryder grunts in acknowledgement. He will sleep on the couch again tonight, for no other reason than to avoid the frigid silence.
Ryder visits his boss Sharla the following day. She's producing a new movie and would like him to star in it as the lead actor. He readily agrees, eager for anything to take his mind off of his home life.
A few weeks later, Jane gives birth to a son, who they name Elijah. She never knew it was possible to love another person as much as she loves her baby. Gazing into his sweet eyes, Jane feels consumed by worry. She wants only the best for her little boy, but she doesn't know what that is.
Beatrix wins an award for her years spent as a firefighter. While she attends the ceremony...
Brian discovers his daughter-in-law's half-naked ex-boyfriend wandering around their house.
He may be old, but he's not an idiot. Brian knows what he saw, and it kills him to have to tell Ryder.
He waits up for him, his wise old eyes filled with concern.
"We need to talk," Brian says quietly.
Ryder knows that tone all too well. Whenever there is bad news, his father's voice changes, his posture becomes more pronounced.
"She's cheating on you," Brian tells him gently. "I caught her with another man this afternoon."
Ryder wants to deny it. He wants to yell and scream at his father, hurt him the way he's hurting now. He wants to break dishes, slam doors, smash walls. But he doesn't. He just cries instead.
"It's all my fault," he whispers dejectedly. "I drove her away."
Brian sighs sadly, his heart breaking to see his son in so much pain.
"I need some fresh air," Ryder says after a minute. "I need to get away from this house."
He heads to the Ritz lounge, a fancy hotel located in downtown Anne Arbor. He immediately finds the bar and orders a drink. Needless to say, he's drunk within the hour.
"Hey gorgeous," a woman says as she approaches him.
Ryder stumbles a little as he gets out of his bar stool, catching himself just before he falls. He takes another sip of his cherry red cocktail before responding.
The woman giggles and flips her hair. "You alone tonight, honey?" she asks with a coy grin.
Ryder hesitates. Even through his drunken stupor, he knows better. He's still married after all. But then a mental image of Jane kissing another man flashes through his mind, and he throws all caution to the wind.
"I will be unless you decide to join me," he flirts.
Ryder only manages to sneak in a single kiss before he has to excuse himself to go throw up in the bathroom. Alcohol doesn't sit well with him.
But that one kiss reminds Ryder of what he's been missing. It reignites a spark within him, the desire to feel a woman's body pressed up next to his.
The following night Ryder returns to the Ritz to look for the mystery woman, but she is nowhere to be found.
Instead, he meets Nicole. Nicole thinks Ryder is pretty cute, and they hit it off immediately.
Ryder doesn't think Nicole is all that cute, but he really doesn't care. Unlike Jane, she's more than happy to share her bed with him.
"You were great Nina. Thanks, I really needed that."
She stares at him blankly. "Um, my name's Nicole. Can I at least get your number or something?" she asks with a smile.
Ryder laughs vacantly. "Nicole, look, this was fun. But I'm not up for anything serious or whatever..."
"Unbelievable!" she shouts. "You're such an asshole Ryder!" She storms out of the room, leaving him alone with the room bill. He shrugs. It was totally worth it.
After the same thing happens with Rita and Natalie though, Ryder learns to prepay for his hotel rooms. That way, they can split the cost.
Meanwhile, Elijah becomes a toddler. He receives a mysterious doll in the mail, and Jane doesn't think twice about giving it to him. He seems to like the toy and spends most of his time playing with it.
(Also: He inherits Ryder's hair and eye color.)
After Brian uncovered their affair, Jane and Terrence stopped seeing each other regularly. However, today they decide to meet at a deserted park.
"I miss you Terry," Jane whispers as she cuddles up against him.
"I miss you too babe." Terrence sighs. "When are you going to leave him?" he asks. "I want you all to myself."
"It's not that simple Terry. You know that. If I leave him, he will for sure get custody of Elijah. That's just the way it works in Sim Nation."
"Jane, we could start our own family. Have kids of our very own. Please? I'm begging you."
Jane shakes her head sadly. "I can't," she whispers.
After her meeting with Terrence, Jane takes Eli to the park to think. She can't stand the thought of leaving behind her son, but she knows that the situation between her and Ryder just isn't sustainable. She's heard about Ryder's many affairs. Now that he's a film star, it's been all over the news. But she won't leave her son. She can't.
That night, Ryder and his current fling Juliette hang out at the exclusive Blue Moon Oasis poolside club and bar. After the swimsuits come off, Ryder dumps her, and Juliette leaves in a huff.
He spends the next few hours enjoying the solitude (and the bubbles) when he hears a woman's voice calling his name.
"Ryder?" she asks. "Ryder McKinley?"
Ryder doesn't even bother to open his eyes. "Yes?" he replies, wondering if he will actually need to get out of the hot tub to sign an autograph.
"May I join you?" she asks, not waiting for an answer. Ryder's eyes pop open, and he almost gasps from surprise. Standing in front of him in her full, unclothed glory is Carmen Winters, the famous and notoriously unattainable pop star.
I seriously never thought I'd do the whole imaginary friend bit, but I think it might actually play into my plot for generation 3. I'm hoping the child size version doesn't creep me out too much. Elijah will be my heir, and I already have some ideas for him (hints the IF).
I feel like I wrote and wrote and wrote for this chapter, but yet nothing was resolved. I'm excited for the next chapter though, cause hopefully it will tie up a few loose ends. Also, it is such a downer to work on such depressing subject matter. Ryder makes me sad, and I've actually really started bonding with Jane and her plight. I almost feel bad for her now.
I should probably wait and introduce this news into my story the proper way, but whatever. I am excited. Sharla and Ethan had twins! *Happy Dance*
The oldest is Cyrus Starr. (He's a boy, I swear.)
Ethan (now an elder) and his daughter Scarlett. I don't know why I put him in a turtle neck, as it totally doesn't suit him, but oh well.
And just because I like this picture I'll throw it in too. Ryder was skinny dipping with Carmen Winters when Juliette stole his clothes. For whatever reason, he changed back to his old hairstyle in the towel outfit, but I still think he's rather handsome.