Maya had slowly and methodically been working her plan for escape to get off the island and start her new life. She didn’t want Ian to have any idea, so she tried to play the loving wife as best as she could, while also keeping her distance from him. She walked around in fear of doing or saying something that would finally set off his temper, showing the real man within. It was a tricky game of back and forth that had her walking on egg shells most of the day. It was mentally and emotionally draining, but this was how it had been for most of her life so her nerves were fine tuned to withstand the stress while always maintaining a state of alertness. It was all just a matter of time, she was sure of it.
Before her day of marriage to Shen, she knew what she was walking into as she had years to really get to know him and see the man he truly was. He was such a miserable person in general, you could almost see the evil in him radiating off his skin. She delicately tried to beg her father not to make her go through with the marriage, but as there were no other suitable candidates she was stuck with his choice. She wished now that she had found a way to run away before the marriage. Perhaps she could have enlisted her best friends sister to help her, but she was too scared to ask and not entirely sure who to trust. If her father had found out what she was planning, she probably wouldn’t be alive today.
With Ian, it was nerve racking waiting for the good man act to drop and for the terror to begin. Day after day, she and Ian carried out a routine of painting, sculpting and spending a little time together in between projects or meals. He appeared to be very careful with her, which made her even more on edge and cautious around him. He was a very hands on kind of man and she found him softly touching her in all different kinds of ways; from a stroke of her arm or a soft caress of her back as she washed the dishes. It was incredibly alarming at first because she wasn’t sure how to respond. Her parents had never given her any kind of affection and only touched her to discipline her. Shen had never been gentle with her or kind for that matter and she didn’t know what the touches meant. Was he just touching her to show his possession, or did he want to have sex?
She had begun to open up to him in the bedroom, allowing him to kiss and cuddle her, but beyond that he asked for nothing else. Remembering their afternoon in China when she allowed him to take her to bed, gave her goosebumps and ignited feelings of arousal all over her body. She knew if she stayed much longer, that she wouldn’t be able to resist him. Her body was telling her yes, while her head was screaming no. She needed to stick to the plan if she was going to get free from him. Right now it appeared she had all the rights of a free woman. He imposed no household laws or traditions upon her to tie her down and threaten her safety. If she angered him, things could change and her situation would become dire indeed very quickly.
Yet Ian seemed such a loving man and all those caresses fueled her need for him to touch her body the way he once did. Her body longed for him to hold her close and ignite her passions, while he rocked inside her and brought those passions to a climax. Perhaps one night lying with him would be enough to ease this torment and make her husband happy.
No No NO! She must not give in to this baser nature of hers. This was not the life she wanted for herself and she needed to keep things in perspective. Perhaps giving more effort to her money making tasks and more physical activity, was all she needed to keep her on track.
Painting always had the effect of calming her troubled mind and put things back into perspective, but today it wasn’t enough. All she could think about was Ian. She painted two mediocre paintings before it was time to start dinner. She kept taking furtive glances his way, studying his profile and the way he moved about the room. The way he crouched around a sculpture he was working, watching his muscles as the moved. He was so incredibly sexy and she found herself daydreaming about him instead of watching the meal.
“Maya, watch out!” Ian said loudly to get her attention from across the room. “The pot is boiling over.”
“Oh no!” Maya grabbed the over mitt and removed the lid from the pot to throw in the sink. She stirred the contents and almost began to cry.
“It’s burnt. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I will start again.”
Ian came across the room and lightly touched her back which caused Maya to flinch and move away from him. He turned her to see tears running down her face.
“I’m sorry. It will never happen again.” She couldn’t look him in the eyes, had her hands raised in defense waiting for his hanger to finally rise. Instead, Ian took her face in his hands and lightly kissed her cheeks. He then forced her face up and waited for her to look him in the eyes.
“It’s just food Maya.” He lightly kissed her on the lips to show her she had nothing to fear. Maya stood still trembling, while he softly caressed her with his lips. That familiar feeling began in her lower tummy and slowly grew in intensity the more he touched her body. She knew she couldn’t fit it any longer and taking a chance, she deepened the kiss. Ian groaned, wrapped his arms around her and used his thumb to gently open her mouth a little more, to deepen the kiss even further.
A few hours later Maya rose from the bed, her body still tingling in every spot he touched. She quietly dressed as to not disturb him and headed downstairs to begin cooking dinner again. Ian came down shortly and wrapped his arms around her from behind. this time, she didn’t flinch and he was really pleased with his progress. He released her and went to sit at the counter, while he did some searching on the web.
By the time she had finished making the meal, she felt quite unwell and excused herself from her husband. She didn’t quite know what was wrong, but she was hopeful that sleep would clear it up. Sometime later on, she woke to her husband quietly climbing into bed and snuggling up to her back. it was around two in the morning, when Maya woke to slight stomach pains that made her unsure as to whether she was hungry or sick to her stomach. So as quietly as she could, she tiptoed downstairs in the dark for a glass of milk from the fridge. One mouthful of milk and she felt shaky and a little hazy as if she was going to faint. She felt quite as if she was having an “out of body experience” but slightly different. And then she knew.
Covering her mouth with two hands to hide the gasp, she almost began to cry. ‘I’m pregnant’ she thought. No no no, that can’t be! What am I going to do? How could I be that stupid! Maya began to quietly whimper in her effort not to cry.
This was what I was trying to avoid with my first husband. Stupid, stupid, stupid girl! As the tears fell down her cheeks, thoughts whirled around in her head as Maya continued to berate herself for her foolishness that afternoon in China. ‘You did this to yourself and now you have to live with the consequences.’
From out of the darkness, Ian was suddenly at her side. “Maya what is wrong?” he asked, holding her tight to his chest. “Please tell me!”
“Oh Ian. I’m, I’m pregnant.”
“Pregnant? A baby? A baby! Oh Maya you have made me so happy! Ian grabbed her up into a hug and a dip kiss. “We are going to be so happy! And baby makes three” Ian said with a laugh.
For the next few weeks Ian felt as if he was walking on air. It was truly amazing how blessed a new life could make on feel, and he could not wait to meet his new baby son or daughter. He was already picking out names and creating a list in his head. He wasn’t sure the Chinese custom for naming a baby, but if possible he would like the child to have one of his parents names. They would have been ecstatic at the news of a grandchild on the way. If only they were here to see it all happen. Ian spent the new few days daydreaming about life with his very own child. He had visions of playing catch on the island, fishing and reading bedtime stories while rocking a child to sleep. He would teach the child how to sculpt and Maya could teach painting. He wanted to be the same loving parent his mother had been and the calm patient man as was his father. He just couldn’t wait!
The night Maya discovered she was pregnant and into the next day she spent in a right royal panic. The time frame for her perfect plan had now been greatly reduced and she didn’t know how she was going to accomplish it all in the time she had left. She focused all her energy towards her goals and used that sense of panic to keep her on schedule as best as she could. She painted pictures, turning out completed works quickly and began sculpting with clay; which was something that made Ian very happy. As the days went on, it was getting more and more difficult to do with this heavy bulk up in front, but she kept on as best as she could.
She purchased a chicken coop to harvest eggs, because she had heard that this particular brand of chickens occasionally laid exotic eggs. She was lucky enough to find three in the first two weeks, which brought her about fifteen hundred simoleons per egg! She didn’t tell Ian about the money, but stocked it away in her secret savings for the day she was going to need it.
Since she was already pregnant, Maya had decided to benefit from Ian’s lovemaking skills. She had slowly become more and more comfortable with him but still looked for signs that any trouble was brewing ahead.
By the time Maya had nearly reached the end of her pregnancy, she was exhausted and frustrated at carrying the extra bulk around. Her back and feet ached, her ankles were swollen and she could no longer bend to do any sculpting. Sitting on a stool to paint a picture no longer seemed to work either.
It didn’t help that Ian couldn’t seem to keep his hands off her, touching her all day long in different little ways. She was feeling quite miserable and completely ready to have this pregnancy end as soon as possible.
Ian found her in the kitchen staring out the window and trying to rub the ache in her lower back. He came up behind her and gave her a hug.
“Ian please don’t. I’m just not in the mood right now.”
“Oh really. You know, I have read that sometimes woo hoo brings on delivery. Care to give it a try? Hmmm?” Then he twirled her into a dip kiss. He was always so good at taking her breath away with his kisses.
“Oh why not?” she said to him, giving him that come hither look she had learned to do so well, crooking her finger at him. “Come show me what you can do!” Their love-making was gentle and thrilling at the same time and when it was over, Maya felt as if she had been touched straight through to her soul. It was overwhelming the emotions she felt. She would not love this man! She couldn’t, but deep down she knew she was kidding herself. She already did.
Ian was true to his word and their lovemaking did the trick. About two hours later, labour did begin. It was the most excruciating pain she had ever felt and she vowed she would never feel again.
Just when she thought she couldn’t take any more, a healthy baby boy entered into the world with all ten fingers and ten little toes.
They decided to name him Jin in honor of her heritage, because Ian felt it was important their child knew where he came from. That began by choosing the right Chinese name. Maya was not so concerned that he have a Chinese name. Especially not as Ian suggested, that they name him after Maya’s father. Ian didn’t understand Chinese traditions, and therefore didn’t understand that their marriage meant she no longer had a family. But it seemed important to him.
“He is just a strong and proud man,” Ian had said. “He will come around, he’s your father. But at least he will have a grandchild in his namesake.”
Maya decided to leave it be, for in the end, it really didn’t matter and the truth was just too embarrassing to explain. To honor Ian’s father, their son was named Jin Charles Bell.
Maya held Jin for a few minutes and passed him over to his father. She headed upstairs to have a shower and there, cried out her heart. He was so beautiful, this little piece of herself and Ian. She cried for all the days ahead and all the heartbreak she knew was inevitable.
For the next few days, Maya spent as little time as possible with Jin, focusing on all the tasks she wished to complete. She needed to make as much money as she could to help support herself in her new life. Her paintings were becoming quiet popular in the art world and her sculpting skill was advancing faster than she had anticipated. She was quite pleased with herself in that respect.
Staying away from Jin, however, was the hardest thing she ever had to do. He was such a happy little tyke that his giggles just drew you in. She had never seen a happier baby in all her life. Ian had turned out to be quite the good father, although she never had any doubt in that regard. He had put aside all his creative responsibilities to spend all his time with his son.
Ian didn’t think he truly could be any happier. This little bundle of wiggling arms and legs had put everything into perspective. Jin was such a giggly little thing, his happiness was infectious and Ian found himself smiling all day long; even when changing those dirty diapers. He couldn’t understand what was going on in Maya’s mind. Was this some sort of postpartum thing? She didn’t seem to want to spend any time with him, passing him over with all kinds of excuses about an unfinished painting or sculpture or feeding the chickens. She had also started a garden, which took up more of her time. This just didn’t seem how he imagined a new mother to be.
Since Jin had been born, it had rained for weeks straight. Days of incredibly heavy rain and dark skies that made it nearly impossible to distinguish between night and day. The walls seemed to be closing in on them a little bit more each day that passed, and there was just no escape from the tension that permeated the air. The rain was bad enough, but with temperatures near or below zero, the damp cold just seemed to seep directly into their bones, leaving them shivering, no matter how many layers of clothes they put on.
To make matters worse, Ian had begun to insist that Maya take care of Jin so he could get back to work. So here she was, staring out the window at the unending miserable weather, while her son played on the floor behind her. When Jin was born, Maya had felt that by avoiding him as much as possible, he wouldn’t learn to depend on her and therefore wouldn’t miss her as much when she was gone. She was just trying to minimize any psychological trauma she may cause him by leaving. The rain had foiled her plans and delayed her departure far longer than she had anticipated. In fact Jin had already turned to a toddler. If it didn’t stop soon, she would just have to leave anyway and take her chances on the open water. Everyday she spent on the island, it was getting harder and harder to leave. She was discovering that her son was quite the little boy.
Very intelligent, sweet and kind, but his artistic talent seemed to lean more towards music, unlike Maya and Ian. Of course he was too little to stand at an art easel, but perhaps when he got a little older…..
But that didn’t matter did it? Because Maya was never going to see it happen.
Giving Ian a son had made him incredibly loving and “giving”. When he wasn’t working on his art, or playing with their son, his full attention was directed on Maya. She called upon her creative skills and very quickly came up with ways to help curb that loving energy. She had, for example, gotten quite good at giving him massages that would put him to sleep.