**Earlier this week, I posted a special feature chapter called The Ghosts of Midnight Sun Isle, that you may want to read first before continuing on with this chapter.
Three days passed since we had taken refuge in the basement of our island home to escape hurricane Galven, named after the worst storm previously recorded in Sim history one hundred years ago. The rain had continued non stop for three days, but after about 16 hours, the high winds had died down and no more frightening noises had been heard from above. We were blessed to be alive, a fact that hadn’t gone unnoticed and was discussed, once our terrified hearts had stopped trying to beat out of our chests, and we could once again breath without the fear of passing out. It was then we finally slept for the first time.
Jade had climbed into Sophie’s soft bed and passed out, happy I’m sure to be out of our arms and have some space to herself.She clutched her new doll to her chest and slept peacefully with Sophie next to her, keeping a close eye on things for all of us. We desperately hoped that the events of the storm hadn’t greatly traumatized Jade or Sophie in any way. I was traumatized enough, to say the least.
The next morning, I was sorting our rations trying to determine how much I had left per the amount of time we may have to spend in the basement. I clearly hadn’t packed enough in my haste to get to safety.
“I’m afraid we are basically out of water Jin. I have just enough to make one morning bottle for Jade. But, I do have this newly made bottle of juice we can share. It really needs to be tested before the batch goes for sale.” Then I began pouring it into glasses for us.
“Uh, no thanks,” Jin replied. “I’m good for now.”
“Jin, you can’t go without some form of water. Here just try it.”
“No really, I’m not thirsty right now. But you enjoy.” Then he turned and walked across the room, inspecting the steel basement door. I changed into my clothes and set out the picnic basket so we could eat a bit of breakfast.
By lunch we were pretty much out of food and the pee bucket was in bad need of emptying.
“What do you think? It’s been quiet all morning. Should we try it?” I asked
“I will go. You should stay here with Jade while I check things out.”
“Mmm hmm, yeah. I don’t think so. I’m only going to say this once so listen closely. Either we go together, or we don’t go at all.” I think the look I gave him said it all really, but sometimes guys can be dense. He just nodded his head and picked up Jade.
I stepped off the stairs onto the grass and the first thing I saw was the missing dock.
The bench and the teeter totter were in the pond.
But it wasn’t until I turned towards the house that I understood the full extent of the storm we had lived through. I gasped, then covered my nose and mouth in an effort to hold back the tears.
“Oh Jin!” He just stood there with Jade in his arms, staring at the devastation with a look of shock on his face.
The roof was almost entirely gone, including two very large glass sections from the garden house which were laying on the sand by the water. Large sections of wall were missing, so were the stairs to the second floor. There were trees, bushes and debris inside the house and garden house!
Almost all of my plants I had worked so hard at growing, gone. Some were plants I couldn’t replace either as I didn’t have seeds for them.
As bad as that was, nothing was more heart breaking then when I realized the majority of our personal possessions and furniture were either gone, or strewn about the island broken. Jade’s highchair, was on the roof!
I found the upstairs shower on the beach and it was then, I saw all the damage to the lighthouse.
“Its all gone,” I said trying to hold back tears. I was beginning to panic, and my breathing was coming in and out in short rasps. “We’re starting over. It’s all gone. What…are…we…going…to do?” I was wheezing now. I bent over leaning my hands on my knees.
“Sun sit down!” Jin knelt down beside me placing a hand on my shoulder. “It’s just stuff and a house. That’s all. Stuff can be replaced and a house can be rebuilt. But we survived. That’s all that matters. Right?”
I nodded my head while I continued to struggle taking a full breath. “Right,” I managed to whisper back.
But that wasn’t fair and honest was it? This was our home and we had finally settled in, happily I might add! To have it all ripped away like this, was just too much and I began to cry. “It’s just not fair….Jin. Why…why….does stuff like…this keep happening…to us?”
“Mama Sun don’t cry,” then Jade crawled into my lap and she began to cry. I felt sorry for Jin then. He sat down beside us and stared at our broken home while I let it all out and Jade joined me in a good cry. Dang it, I had been holding it back for three days now so I figured I deserved a good stress relieving cry! After a while Jin finally spoke.
“We are going to need someplace to sleep tonight. Can you help mama grab the tent from the basement Jade?” Jin asked.
“I do it,” Jade said, then jumped off my lap.
“Wait for Mama Sun, Jade. I said help.” Then he turned to me and said, “I will start gathering up all the broken furniture while you set up camp.”
By the time I had everything set up and sourced out food in the house fridge to eat for supper, Jin had also fixed the satellite, which lucky for us, had only blown off the missing roof.
“I checked the weather station online. The storm is completely gone, so at least we don’t have that to worry about,” said Jin.
Hallelujah, I said sarcastically in my head. Somehow I didn’t really feel any better with that knowledge. I’m sure I was still slightly in shock; like this was all just a dream somehow.
That night Jin and Jade slept in the tent, while I slept in the house. Jade had grown so big now that the three of us couldn’t all comfortably fit in the tent together. We thought it was an excellent solution, until Jin woke up in the morning to find Jade missing from the tent. “I panicked like you wouldn’t believe,” he told me later. “Flashes of everything terrible that could have happened to her swarmed my mind in one single moment.” Jin said he began calling her name frantically.
He found her, sleeping on the grass by the pond.
I am so glad I was asleep through all of this as I fear it may have been my last straw of sanity holding me together. Jade of course, decided to wake me up.
“Mama Sun.” I groaned back at her without opening my eyes.
“Mama Sun, wake up!” I did wake up then, to Jade shaking my head and pulling my hair a little as she did. Jin and I discussed the sleeping arrangement and decided that putting Jade with the heavy sleeper, in the tent was not the wisest solution. That night we would have to change places.
The morning had a slight chill to it, but as the day carried on, the temperature dropped to a very cold -4C and we were back into winter coats and hats. Except this time, we had to wear them all the time because there was no where to get warm. Jin built some temporary walls to fill in the gaps, we lit the fireplace but with the missing sections of roof, the room never did get fully warm. We brought up the furniture we had stored in the basement before the storm, so we at least had something to sit on. Looking at the room, I was reminded of my winter without Jin, huddling around the fire pit just to keep warm! I never thought I would feel this hopeless over my living situation ever again.
A week later the weather warmed up to normal Spring temperatures and we were able to spend our time outside again. Jin tore apart some of the broken furniture to build something of a drafting table, then started immediately working out a new house plan. I took one look at it, and started pointing out all the things I didn’t agree with. We “discussed” it, calmly, but I held firm because I believed the house needed to be torn down and started from scratch.
Jin asked me what I wanted in a house, then took those suggestions and came up with another plan. I wasn’t happy with that one either. I told him, I had changed my mind. I wanted a bungalow, not a two storey house.
So he started again and before he finished. “There’s no basement in this house. I can’t live in a house with no basement.”
The next day he came to me and said “I’ve been up all night, formulating ideas in my head and I think I may have the perfect house for us.”
Jin worked for two days on the rough sketch of the plan, wanting to get all his ideas down before he forgot them, but I took one look at it and shook my head.
“I don’t like it. It’s not right for us.”
“I really don’t understand what is going on here. I’ve designed several different houses that would be perfect for us and gave you everything you wanted on your list. Why don’t you like any of them?”
“They’re not perfect. I don’t know why, I just don’t know they aren’t right.”
“I need a break! I’m going for a shower to clear my head,” he said to me, storming off with a very frustrated look on his face.
I really didn’t know what was wrong with me. I paced around the island getting increasingly upset, knowing I was making Jin’s life so difficult. But I didn’t want to live in a house I knew I wouldn’t be happy in. In fact, no house was going to make me happy…..and then it hit me. Oh no. I sat down on the stairs to the dock and burst into tears. Jin found me moments later.
“Hey. What’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry you are so angry with me. I’m really not trying to make you angry.”
“I’m not angry. Frustrated, a little confused. But not angry.”
“The thing is Jin, I can’t live here anymore. I don’t want to live here anymore. Please don’t be mad. I know this is your home, but I just can’t stay here. I’m too frightened and-“
“Okay,” Jin said.
“Okay? What do you mean okay?” I asked him.
“I mean okay. We will go. If you don’t want to live here, we will find somewhere else to go.”
“Really?” I wiped the tears from my face.
“Really, it’s okay. We will go.”
“Okay.” Then I laughed and cried at the same time.
“But not right away, because we have to find somewhere to go first. We will do it together and find the perfect place. But just so you know, it will be another island, not a town. You understand that right?”
I was so happy, but still trying not to cry so all I did was nod my head.
We spent the next two weeks on the computer and the phone with real estate agents looking for the perfect island. If was a frustrating search. Money wasn’t an issue, but Jin had specific requirements, choosing to honor his father, which I was perfectly in agreement with. I didn’t want the essence of our life to change. Just the location.
“Hey Sun, come look at this,” Jin yelled to me where I was playing with Jade on the beach, trying once again to interest her in sand. “I think I found it. This one,” he said pointing at the screen. “Here, sit down,” he said pulling the stool over, “so we can look at it together.”
“See, it’s got this. Oh and this. What do you think of this?”
I kept glancing down at our list and back to the computer screen. I had to admit the place was darn near perfect, at least per the realty listing.
“It’s too bad we can’t go see it in person before we buy it. It looks so pretty there. I mean just look how bright it is!” I said.
“What do you think though? Should we try for it?” Jin asked.
“I think we should. It meets all our requirements on our list, so as long as the listing is honest, I think we could be happy there.”
It took a week, before the real estate agent emailed us back to say the island was ours with immediate possession. In anticipation of that response we had spent that week determining what we would take of the items we hadn’t lost in the storm. It wasn’t much really, just basically what we would need to start out. Tent, fire pit, sleeping bags, food, Jade’s toys, her potty, Sophie’s food dish, bed and toys. There were a few personal items thrown in the mix. Without a doubt, we were going to have to stop for supplies before finally landing on the island.. Mainly food, because it would take some time before we would be able to plant a new garden and it would be producing again. I wasn’t looking forward to living out of a tent, but all I cared about was being safe….and warm! The real estate agent had promised us both. No hurricanes on record of every happening around our new home.
The night before the boat arrived, we had a small birthday party for my transition to adulthood.
Jade was scared by the bright colourful lights during my transition and began to cry. Once it was all over, I picked her up to reassure her that nothing had changed. A few more wrinkles on the face than before but “Still Mama Sun. See, just me,” I told her. Jin being Jin, made some funny joke about dating a younger man and I rolled my eyes at him.
“Your transition is coming in a couple of weeks Jin.’ Then he kissed me saying he wanted to see what it felt like to kiss an older woman. The jokes never end with him.
We retired early that evening as we needed to wake up very early in the morning to meet the boat. Before I knew it, Jin was shaking me awake.
“It’s 430, time to wake up. I will get Jade.”
Just before the boat was due to arrive, Jin asked for a moment alone, giving me Jade and walking away to stand in front of his parents’ graves.
“I know you aren’t really there anymore,” I heard him say. “But I wanted to say goodbye. Thank you for being such good parents, for your patience and your love. I will never forget you and I will make sure Jade knows her parents as well. We have to go. I know this island was your dream dad, but we just can’t stay here anymore. It’s time to move on. You taught me all the skills I need to survive in this world and I promise, I will take good care of them. Always.”
I saw Jin wipe tears from his face, before he turned to walk back to us.
“Ready,” he asked.
“Jin, we can take them with us you know.”
“No,” he said then reached to take Jade from my arms. “I don’t need their graves to remind me of the family I once had. They are gone now, together, right where they should be. Now it’s time for us to be together. We should go as the boat will be here soon.”
Goodbye Midnight Sun Isle
This is the last chapter for Midnight Sun Challenge. After this you will want to look for the chapter under the Samsara Isles tab found here under the Chapters tab under the Midnight Sun Challenge. All of Jade’s story line will be found there. Before you do that though, there is one special features chapter that comes next. Titled Samsara Isles