“Breathe Sun. Just breathe.” This was the fifth time today that I needed to just stop where I was, close my eyes and do what I could to calm my nerves. Deep down I was happy Jin was back on the island, for it meant I was no longer alone carrying this huge burden all on my own. But there were times too, that I think I would have been just as happy if he left us to live in peace. He wasn’t trying to annoy me, but none the less, he was seriously getting on my nerves.
Jin reminded me of the Energizer bunny on full speed- he just kept going and going and going. For a sim who barely slept or never seemed to take any breaks during the day, the man had enough energy for three people! Since his arrival on the island, Jin had turned my once tranquil home into a whirlwind of serious activity and noisy change. If there was one thing I could definitely say about my new-old island mate, it would be this: When Jin decided that something needed to get done, he absolutely wasted no time.
He was motivated, there was no doubt. He had a definite list of things he wanted to accomplish in his head (that he didn’t share with me) and everyday something new arrived or changed on the island. I wasn’t sure at first if he was deliberately keeping me out of the plan, or if just felt it was easier not to ask my opinion on the changes he planned to make. But after watching him for a week, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and determined it was just Jin’s way- see a problem, get it done. He may have changed, but the one thing that hadn’t changed was his consideration for other people. So I knew he felt he was doing what was right for all of us. I just wished I could help make some of the decisions, since it was also my home.
The first decision he made was to contract an energy company to come and install a windmill, once again giving us electricity. I certainly had no complaint about that! The contractors arrived in less than a week, bringing the windmill on a long barge and had it installed in less than two days. They stayed on their boat, and other than the initial contact with Jin to discuss the plans, we left them be to get it done. Once they got it running, I was surprised to find it was quieter than I expected. When Jin first told me about the windmill, I expected it would be this loud whipping kind of windy noise machine. But in actual fact, it was nearly silent. Still, those turning blades made me very nervous and if I had been given a chance to have say, I would have picked solar instead.
Jin spent quite a bit of time at the island counter on the beach, making lists and drawing out plans for our new home. Soon after, we woke one morning to a bunch of crates and supplies that had been delivered on the dock. I was excited to go through them, but Jin stopped me saying he had bought surprises for both myself and Jade. He asked me to wait with no peeking and so I did, no matter how curious I really was!
The next morning I woke up to find Jin had risen very early, and completely cleaned out the inside of the barn without asking for help, or even waking us up. I had no idea how he had done it. That day, construction on the barn began and my life became full of hammering noises, sawing of wood and the occasional expletive as Jin hit his thumb, dropped tools or just generally displayed his frustrations. I offered to help a few times but Jade really did take up all my time, so I decided to let him do what needed to be done, while I continued to look after Jade and the garden.
You would think after a full day of physical labour, Jin would be exhausted and just want to go to bed. But as it turned out, even after all that, he still had energy to take over and look after Jade as well.
“Whew little girl, you stink! Time for a bath!”
It was times like this that irritated me the most and I felt like saying to Jin, “Hello? I’m right here you know!” However, I decided that for now, it was better just to bite my tongue.
Sigh, I realize I sometimes sound childish when it comes to Jin. I hate everything I think and all that I say to him that comes across that way. I’m sure it’s exactly what he thinks too, even though he never says anything argumentative back to me. That was different too about him. Before he left, he could argue quite well. How was it that before he left, I was the more mature one of the two of us and now, I seemed to be the one who was younger minded? It left me wondering just what kind of life he was living all the time he was gone, to have influenced such a change.
Aggravating weeks of the constant racket of construction noise had passed and we saw the end of Spring turn to Summer. Jin finished the main floor, and while he worked on the second floor, we spent a week living out of a tent on the beach. Since we only had one tent, I agreed to allow all of us sleeping in the tent together. It certainly seemed appropriate, when we were in separate sleeping bags, with a baby in between us.
Finally, the day came when Jin declared the new house complete and I was allowed to see the inside for the very first time.
“I hope you like blue,” he said.
“I do,” I replied. “I’m just glad it’s not purple.” Then I laughed. “It’s so homey Jin. I love it!”
“I think so too,” he replied. “Now I know you want a canning station but it hasn’t arrived yet and you really don’t need it till Fall anyway, right?” I nodded. “And, you have to agree with me over the garden house now, after seeing the size I was able to fit in the space. You will be able to grow all those grapes you wanted to plant and have them year round.”
“The plants will get so much more sun with all those windows and that glass roof! I’m so glad you contracted for those. You know what I love the best about our new house?” I asked him.
“Indoor plumbing? Indoor kitchen?” he replied.
“Oh no! Those are great for sure, but no it’s definitely the fireplace! Knowing we will never be cold again, well that is a great relief to my mind.”
“I have plans to put one in the master upstairs as well. It just hasn’t come yet.”
The nearly finished house, had two bedrooms upstairs, one playroom for Jade and another full bath. The main space was an open floor plan, with another full bath next to the front door. Never again would I be living in a cold, damp, dingy barn again.
“The house needs things to make it feel like our house. Jade’s room needs decorated and so does the master, but I thought you might like to do those yourself. And maybe someday, we can make Jade’s playroom a nursery….,” he said allowing that thought to hang in the air.
“Jin don’t. Please don’t do that,” I said walking away from him.
“Why? We don’t know-“
“That’s right!” I replied cutting him short. “We don’t know and therefore we shouldn’t even be mentioning it,” and I continued to walk away from him.
“So you don’t know…the results then?”
“No of course I don’t know! Don’t you think I would tell you if I knew!”
“No, actually,” he replied calmly. “I don’t know that for sure. I don’t know anything for sure anymore. It used to be I knew everything you were thinking and we talked about everything too!” Jin took a deep breath and let it out slowly. “Do you want to know?” he asked.
“Of course I want to know! But your father never told me he had gotten the results. No letters came that I saw. No phone calls either Jin, before or after he died. So how would I know and besides, I’m not sure just how important it is now anyway.”
“Why?” I repeated back to him. “Because, I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about you. I’m angry Jin, I’ve been angry a long time. I was all alone, completely abandoned. What was I supposed to think, about you? Was I just supposed to sit here and patiently wait for you to come back when you felt like it? Pining away for you. As far as I knew, you had completely forgotten about me. Moved on with your life with someone new! I can’t just pick up where we left off.”
“As far I am concerned, I’m just as much a victim as you are. This isn’t all my fault you know. We are both to blame for what happened on the beach that day. My father is at fault for being the cause of all this in the first place. Me, you, your mother, my father-secrets and lies. It’s all rolled into one big ball of fault.”
“I KNOW THAT! I’m not blind to how it is you know. But it doesn’t change anything either, my feelings are still the same!” I snapped back.
“Well I still want to know and I’m going to find out.”
“FINE!” I yelled back.
“Fine!” Jin snapped and so ended our nice calm silent truce we had going on, which didn’t get better once bed time came along and I once again forbid him from sleeping in the bed.
Needless to say, things were a little chilly around the house after that day.
Jin made a few phone calls to Sunset Valley to get in touch with Doctor Landgraab, only to find out he had passed over eight months ago. After a search of his office records, there was no official report on the test, however one of his former assistants did find where Malcolm had noted the result had been sent to Ian. Since nothing had been sent via mail, the only logical conclusion, was the results were on Ian’s computer. But without internet access, Jin couldn’t log into any email files. Jin had ordered a satellite to be delivered but it hadn’t arrived yet, so until that happened and it was installed on the roof, we were at a stand still.
Even though he was on the island, I felt lonely all over again. He avoided me, I avoided him and we both went on with our day, only speaking to one another as necessary. He spent a lot of his days doing yard work around the island and playing with Sophie.
I spent my days in the garden and with Jade. It was uncomfortable and my frustration turned to sadness. This was not how I wanted to live out the rest of my days on the island. That was the annoying thing about the silence, it made room for thoughts to creep in and shake up your brain. One morning, I was listening to the water lap at the side of the island while weeding the garden, when it hit me like I had been slapped. Jade’s birthday was just two days away and that also meant……. I wondered if he remembered, or if he was aware of the date today. Was he thinking about it?
I found him lying on the beach.
“Jin,” I said to him softly and he answered me with a hmmmm. “I need to tell you something. It’s Jade birthday in two days and that means it’s also……” I just let that thought drift off.
Jin sat up then and said, “I see.” I stood there awkwardly, trying to figure out what to say to him but no words came to me, but he stood up then with a smile on his face.
“So we shall have to make this a great birthday then. In fact, I think every birthday should be extra special for Jade, don’t you think Sun? Jade needs to always feel she is loved and wanted. We should tell her all the time, how much she was loved and wanted. You can make a cake right?” Then he walked away, phone in his hand making phone calls for supplies. I stared after him, completely bewildered.
The morning of her birthday, I dressed her in a pretty pink dress with cute little shoes and went in search of Jin to see what he was doing. He had already decorated the island and I had to laugh at all the “interesting” decorations he had bought.
Jade wouldn’t put down her new gift for a second, but eventually we managed to distract her by showing her around the island.
We spent the day playing outside with Jade, introducing her to the beach, the sandbox and Sophie. We snapped one more pic just as the sun was beginning to fade and then we heard a noise off in the distance.
“What do you think it is Jin?” I asked.
“Sounds like a boat, but not like any other boat I have ever heard before. The engine is really loud considering we can’t see it, but we can already hear it.”
We waited a few more minutes, listening, straining to see anything off in the distance and eventually, there it was. Coming our way, racing across the top of the water it seemed and then, with one final look, I knew. Knew that once that boat got here, our lives would be forever changed.
“Jin, it’s your satellite.” Then I took Jade from his arms, and walked away.
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