Life was wonderful!
The mood was easy and relaxed for the first time since I had arrived on the island. Here, the peaceful environment allowed me to let go of all the pre-conceived notions learned from living in a busy world. Trudging through life, bogged down by responsibilities and commitments, often unwanted but completed none the less. To work much, earn more and spend it on “things” hoping they would provide the happiness so desired. But more was definitely not better. Less was apparently the key to a happy life.
I never would have considered living so free and open a life, with no expectations, no routines to structure my day. Yet now that I was, it was surprising to admit that life was never boring. We were never bored. It wasn’t all paradise twenty four hours day mind you, for life on the island did have it’s own stresses, but I never felt them to be a chore. I was grateful.
This life here, showed me what was truly important. I felt safe and because of that, tensions dropped away allowing for a complete union as a family. I also felt truly blessed, which was surprising considering all that we were living without and all I had been through. Our simple living washed away struggle, expectations and even strife between us, allowing for jovial feelings and laughter, always laughter.
Was it then reasonable or logical to say, the island itself also felt this new level of hope and happiness? Did it truly appear, in all that we heard and all that we saw on the island, or was my vision seen through rose-coloured glasses that tainted the view of my small home? If so, through those glasses the plants were brighter hues, the birds sang in happier tones and the harvest had been the best grown since I began this garden. Oh, I was sure there were understandings to explain away my new-found view, however I chose to live in complete ignorance and love this life and the family I was so blessed to have been given.
Our newly re-ignited romance, had Jin tentatively questioning the possibility of marriage whenever he could squeeze it into conversation. Although I was not opposed to such matters, I really wanted to take this time to re grow our love on a new level and learn to truly understand one another as the adults we now were. Reasonable? I thought so.
One afternoon I was about to enter the bedroom, when I spied Jin lounging on the bed reading a romance book. But not just casually reading, intensely studying it, like the subject of romance was a course for school. Oh the faces he was making! I tiptoed back down the stairs, smiling at the thought of all the interesting experiences he may be formulating in his head.
Jin and I weren’t the only sims growing and changing on the island. Over the last few months, Jade had grown into an older toddler with a personality to challenge even the most patient Sim. Since her birth, I had never seen a more forgiving and “easy-going” child. However, recently she was becoming forceful in making her wants and needs very well-known. It wasn’t all day mind you, or even every day. Just small bits of the newly changing little girl would surface, and so Jin and I were learning new ways to parent her. Although with his Alula family experience, Jin was by far better at parenting than I it seemed. When those moments arose, he would step in to put his foot down with her, which was something I found very difficult to do. If she was crying on the floor, or throwing a temper tantrum, I would immediately start to go to her, but Jin would stop me with a shake of his head. He was always right, of course. When Jade realized she wasn’t going to get what she wanted, she would comply with whatever her brother had said in the first place.
Other times, it was best to let Jade discover the reason why the answer was no. Playing in the snow, was a good example. She made it ten feet outside before she understood the snow was so deep, she would never be able to walk in it. She sat down in frustration, only to discover just how cold snow makes a bottom feel. A few minutes of sitting there brought on the slightly painful icy prickles one gets, but Jin refused to go and get her after she began to cry. He stood in the doorway, coaxing her back and eventually she made it upright, after a few falls and returned to the house. I admired Jin for his tenaciousness and when I told him so, he replied that living with the Alula family had taught him a great deal about raising children. But memories of his childhood and his father’s patient teachings had taught him even more.
“She is going to be stubborn like I was. We are in for a bumpy ride.”
Spring arrived with a rush of very warm air that literally melted all the snow in half a days time. The weather stations were full of articles stating the winter had been warmer than usual, with less snowfall and so Spring would be hotter as well. Scientists were also predicting Spring to be a wetter couple of months,which was perfect for starting new plants. I began to discuss an outdoor garden with Jin, specifically fruit trees of differing varieties, making a list from the stored seeds we had brought back from France.
I began to dream of lemon raspberry tarts, and cherry pies for dessert! After listing all the yummy things I could bake, Jin agreed to help me plant a mini orchard on the grassy area of the island with a little more enthusiasm than I expected. I had visions of Jin and I running circles around the island to keep off all the extra weight we would potentially be adding to our hips and thighs from all these little goodies! Perhaps I should ask for a treadmill for my birthday I thought, then laughed out loud in giddy anticipation of all that sugar!
Things were always in constant change around the island. First and foremost, I must tell you that the chickens had to go. In the end we were getting more rotten eggs than good ones, so we decided the chickens had reached their elder years. We had plans to replace them this summer, but for now I was enjoying the extra space in the garden house. I had plans to grow all the vegetables we had been without and I was very excited!
Jin could not wait for the snow to finally melt so he could resume his martial arts training. Jin always did like to be physically active doing something and I know he spent a lot of time in the gym in Monte Vista. To be truthful, I was surprised when Jin came home telling me he had been a police officer. The boy that left the island was not a take charge tough guy kind of Sim. But the man that returned definitely was and I often wondered if deep down he missed the police force. It would explain why he was taking the training so seriously. He made it to a level 5 belt in just two days, although it wasn’t without injury, I must tell you. His over eagerness to advance quickly had him spending both nights with ice on his face.
As warm as the weather has been, my grape crop matured quickly and since they had been grown from already well established plants in France, the produce was of excellent quality. I eagerly began learning the art of making juice. It was challenging at first, learning how to stay on my feet but eventually I mastered it (mostly). So while Jin was sporting an ice pack on his face…..I was sporting it somewhere else….but as a lady I won’t mention exactly, uh…. where. But you probably get the picture.
Since Jin had discovered the comic books his father had so kindly kept for him in the hidden basement, he had become obsessed with reading them. As a teen, he once told me that he had a real interest in writing, but that because his father had done so, he had discarded the idea not wanting to ride on his father’s coat tails. So when he came to me with the idea of writing a comic book, I was surprised at first but logically it made sense and I supported him completely. The comic did very well and soon the phone began ringing from companies wanting to add him to their list of published authors. However Jin declined all the offers, saying that writing was not his main goal at this time.
“Besides, have you seen our bank account balance? It’s not like I have to work just yet. Or ever, for that matter.”
“But I would think it would be for yourself personally,” I said to him. “Not about the money, but the accomplishment of it all. Your parents had plenty of money and yet they never considered their art a job. It was a love, a passion! Haven’t you always wanted that for yourself?”
“Maybe I have other passions right now,” he replied raising his eyebrow at me.
The man was certainly tenacious. I would give him that. “Just don’t brush the idea aside without giving it real thought. That is all I ask. Your father got his start later in life and I know he regretted that. It’s time for you to find ‘your thing’. Make your own name for yourself even, if that is what you want.”
My only real complaint about life here, was the constant invasion of the people in boats slowly circling in obvious attempts to be nosy. Jin had built our home to provide an open and bright space with large windows, which meant you could see straight through from the front to the back of the garden house. Other than hanging curtains and keeping them drawn, we could not see any way to maintain our privacy. But it wasn’t just while we were in the house, it was all the time; on the beach, by the pond, playing on the grass. I was concerned for Jade’s safety worried that these tourists were more than just “lookie-loos”. Yet there was nothing I could do, but keep my eyes on her at all times. As of yet, we had not seen anyone taking pictures or articles appearing in papers-not yet anyway. No one that we knew about, had attempted to actually step onto the island and I hoped it stayed that way.
It was during one of these times when I was watching the man in the red boat, that I noticed something on the horizon I had never seen before. I called Jin over to take a look.Off in the distance, we saw waves rolling towards us in the distance.
“What do you think?” I asked him
“I don’t know. I can’t hear them. Can you?”
I shook my head at him and he responded, “My guess would be, considering we can see them but not hear them, they must be larger than they appear to us here.”
“Oh, you are probably right. But you’ve never seen that before?”
“No. No I haven’t. I think it best we check the news to see if there is something going on in the world we aren’t aware of.”
I agreed, then picked up Jade to walk into the house.
“The weather forecast is predicting quite a bit of rain this coming week,” Jin yelled from the couch, as I prepared Jade her lunch in the kitchen. “Perhaps we should spend the rest of the day on the beach and enjoy the sun while we can.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
We spent the afternoon in the water and finished the day with hot dogs on the barbecue. I lit the fire pit to have roasted marshmallows as a treat after our dinner, and when Jin called that dinner was done, I walked over to the island counter to grab a plate. Jin was goofing around distracting my attention from anything else, when suddenly Jade screamed a cry I had never heard before. I whipped around towards her to see her holding up her hand and shaking it quickly.
“Jade honey. What happened?”
She mumbled some incoherent Simlish through her tears, then pointed at the fire pit and I understood right away.
I soothed her tears while checking her hand for any burns but found none. When I had her calmed down to listen, we talked about how fire is hot and dangerous. Never play with fire, I told her and she shook her head rapidly up and down.
“Ouch, Mama Sun.”
“Big, big ouch,” I said back to her, then gave her a hug.
Jin wanted to cheer his sister up and offered to give her a ride on the rockin rocket rider she loved so much but had only ridden once so far.
However, she wasn’t all that happy when it was time to come in. He gave her the before bed bottle, rocked her to soothe her temper then put her to bed for the evening.
A few days later, I was on the beach with Jade brushing her hair when the sky suddenly changed to a somewhat ominous colour and everything became very still. I yelled for Jin to come over and take a look. As the minutes ticked on, the sky was becoming darker and darker as if it should be supper time, instead of first thing in the morning. We headed inside to check the weather report.
“I’ve never seen our area get a tropical storm,” said Jin.
“But seriously, do you really think it will come this far. I mean they predicted rain all week and we’ve not even had a drop of rain here. Perhaps this really isn’t for us.”
Jin looked outside as the sky turned even darker than before.
“I don’t know. But I think just to be safe, perhaps we should look up what to do in the event of a storm and maybe bring in the toys and such from outside.”
The sky turned black as night and the clouds began to swirl, like an impending tornado.
That night, the rain poured as it had never done before and the wind whistled this eerie tune that had Jade up all night. I rocked her to keep her calm, while trying to convince myself to do the same.
A little before dawn, I heard the emergency alert tone pop up on the TV and as I knew Jin was sleeping on the couch, I got up to look myself.
The tropical storm, had turned into a hurricane. “I think it’s time we got to the safety of the basement. I will take Jade.”
“Don’t forget her doll! I will throw together a food hamper to last a few days and meet you down there.”
Poor Sophie was skittish and freaked out by the whistling noise of the wind, thinking it was ghosts.
We spent a full day and night down in the basement, resting some and napping at other times, barely hearing any storm and wondering if we had possibly over reacted. But then-!
I had just gotten up to go pee in the bucket behind the juice making machine, when it happened. It sounded like a tree falling to the ground after being cut down and then WHAM, glass breaking that rose the hairs on the back of my neck. My heart leapt into my throat. With my heart beating a rapid speed, I was fighting the urge to flee, but flee where? There was no where to go. I peed as quick as I could and dressed.
The wind blew harshly down the exterior basement stairs, finding tiny cracks around the basement door to seep into the room around us. The air didn’t feel cold, but it was that terrible chilling sound that followed it, resembling the alarming whine of an emergency siren.
**To hear the siren sound of a hurricane wind: click here
We huddled under the table, in fear for our lives as the sound of small explosions from above filled the room. Then larger explosions shaking the floor above us. I couldn’t speak, fear had stolen my voice yet it screamed loudly in my head, thoughts racing in random order.
I’m scared Jin.
Jade is covering her ears.
Squeeze your legs around Jade’s head to cover her ears.
(Another even louder explosion sound!)
My heart is pounding so hard!
Can I die from my heart pounding so hard for so long?
We’re going to die!
Oh Gawd, what was that? !
What if things start falling through the floor?
Are we under the fridge and stove?
(the sound of tearing wood in high pitch wrenching noises)
SimLord please help us.
Is my heart pounding even harder? My chest hurts
Great, I’m having a heart attack.
What if the basement floods? Then we will drown.
Where else can we go?
We can’t go out there!
(whap whap whap -BANG!)
(small tears) I don’t want to die yet
Jade is too little to die
(hugging her closer to my chest)
What if Jin dies and leaves me here all alone? I can’t do this again without him.
I can’t breath!
(crashing, glass breaking-SLAM!-SLAM!)
Jin look at me.
Tell me we are going to be okay
(BIG EXPLOSION!!!!! SHATTERING GLASS!!!!)
(I cry out) The siren noise wails louder
Jin looks at me and I see his face and I know he is thinking the same things I am.
Jade is crying now, hard. Jin crawls over me and picks up Jade.
It’s the end. I want to be in his arms, he in mine with Jade.
Jade’s cries turn to softer whimpers in her brother’s arms. I rest my head on his shoulder. He rests his left hand on my head and I feel comforted by that. If I am going to die, I don’t want to see it coming, so I close my eyes and he does as well. The storm rages on, the explosions, the slams, the shattering glass and the floor above us continues to shake, fighting against the minor nails holding it down. Rain viciously pounds the floor above and I know then that devastation has come to the island to destroy our lives.
AND IT’S NAME WAS HURRICANE GALVEN
Thank you to SweetPoyzin for beta reading this for me. Our resident expert on hurricanes at the moment. Thank you also to ddutoit for creating the hair brushing poses for me. You will see more of the set in upcoming chapters. To check out her other poses I have posted, look here
Poses: fyachii.tumblr.com -(hold me pose), blamsart-(troubled pain), Severinka-(Little Kittens), Plumbobpie -(toddler sitting pose)