Thursday, July 19, 2012

5.3--Unsurprisingly Unconventional

Just like his mother, Harlan doesn't particularly care for crowds.  Unlike his mother, he does enjoy observing crowds, being the quasi-sociologist/scientist that he is.  The more he watches this group though, the more he just wants to leave.  Although different from his own methods, their way of coping with loneliness still hits far too close to home.

Not wanting to spoil Henri and Dafne's night with his morbid company, he tells them to go do whatever.  "I'll be fine once I get a few drinks in my system."  He assures them - and eventually they reluctantly do just and leave Harlan alone at the bar.

Harlan feels a light touch on his arm, bringing him out of his mild stupor.  "You look awfully sullen."  The woman says, tracing her fingers across his forearm and moving closer so her face is visible in the dank light.  "A man like you shouldn't be here alone."

Harlan places his hand gently over hers in an attempt to remove her hand politely, but she takes this gesture as something else entirely.  "We can go somewhere private."  She whispers seductively.  "I don't live too far from here."

Harlan tenses at her brazen proposition.  It would be so easy to go to her place, fuck, and pretend like he's forgetting about Cadence and finally moving on, but that isn't him.  No. He'll just let it fester until he can ignore the hurt completely, as usual.  "I'm not good company.  Trust me."

"Why don't you let me be the judge of that?"  Her fingers continue to circle gently on his forearm.

"No."  This time Harlan grabs her hand and removes it from his arm.  He doesn't mean to appear so callous, but the actions does what he wants.  The woman finally walks away, throwing him a dirty look before pawing at some other man on the opposite side of the bar.

Following his own advice, Harlan orders a few drinks in the hopes of blurring out everything (for at least a little while).  He downs his last drink quickly, muttering how pathetic he is, before going to find the girls.  Hanging out alone is only making things worse.  And getting drunk is quickly becoming a bad idea.  He can already feel his stomach lurching slightly in protest to the alcohol entering his system.

He finds Dafne first.  She's on a couch by the dance floor watching her girlfriend seemingly flirt and dance with another woman.  Harlan can feel Dafne tense up a bit when Henri and this mysterious woman get touchy - but she isn't saying anything, and Harlan doesn't want to be the first to start the conversation.  So they sit in uncomfortable silence...

... that is until Henri approaches them a few minutes later.

"Babe, I'm leaving with Heather."  She says, throwing a backward glance toward her dance partner.

Dafne shrugs, trying to look unconcerned by the development.  "Be safe."

"I will.  See you both tomorrow."

Dafne doesn't respond beyond a nod, but Henri is clearly waiting for some sort of verbal goodbye.  Harlan glances between the two, uncomfortable in their silence, and decides to take one for the team. "Uh... yeah."  He smiles awkwardly. "See ya', Henri."

Henri appears to be as confused as Harlan for a moment.  "Dafne..."

"I'm fine.  Have fun."  Dafne interrupts with a placating smile.  She watches as Henri nods confusedly and then walks out of the club with other woman hand-in-hand.

Once they're gone, Dafne visibly relaxes.  "This place blows."  She smirks.  "Wanna leave?"

Her smile is hollow.  Harlan knows that look all too well.  He had the same one when he attempted to assure his family that he was moving to Redwood for job opportunities, not because he's a coward.   "Are you okay?"  He asks, his voice laced with concern.

"I just want to leave."  Dafne sounds defeated.

"All right."  Harlan frowns as he gingerly helps a slightly drunk Dafne up from the couch.  "Let's go."

Dafne heads straight for her room as soon as they step through the door.  Harlan figures she doesn't wish to talk, but just as he's getting into bed, he hears her fiddling around in the kitchen.

"Dafne?"  He asks confusedly.  "I'm not sure a drunk person should be messing around with a stove.  I would much rather not be killed via house explosion."

"I'm sober.  Believe me, I wish I was drunk."  She frowns.  "I'm making some macaroni and cheese. Are you hungry?"

"It's four in the morning."  Dafne shrugs in response and continues cooking.  Harlan sighs - it's clear she's still bothered by whatever happened at the club.  It would be really shitty of him to leave her alone like this.  "I can eat."  He amends.

She fills two bowls and heads toward the dining table without a word.  Dafne catches Harlan watching her warily out of the corner of his eye.  He's going to ask eventually about what the hell is going on, so why not spill it all at once?  "Me and Henri are in an open relationship."  She blurts.

Harlan stops everything and turns toward Daf, who's obviously waiting for some type of reaction.  "Okay?" He says, urging her on.

Dafne takes the bait all too willingly.  "Henri and I... we've had this arrangement since we first started dating."  She starts. "She has commitment issues and I thought that I would rather have her this way, than not at all.  And I figured I could deal with it.  I mean, I get to sleep with other people and be with the person I love - the perfect settlement, right?"

Harlan offers a sympathetic smile in response when she looks at him briefly.  "I don't think I can do this anymore.  I still love Henri, but this relationship we have... it's getting toxic.  I get jealous, she confronts me about it, we fight, we make-up - over and over."

"You haven't talked to Henri about this."  Harlan feels like he's stating the obvious when Dafne smiles wryly and shakes her head.

"Not yet.  I'm just... not ready, I guess.  Henri is the longest relationship I've ever had and I care about her.  I don't think I'm completely prepared for what might happen when I tell her all of this."

Harlan rubs the back of his neck, feeling completely out of his element.  "You think she'll break up with you?"

Dafne shakes her head again, turning back to face Harlan. "I don't know."  She sighs. "But enough about me; what about you?"

"What about me?"  Harlan averts his gaze.

"I just spilled my guts - it's your turn.  You've been a sad-sack since you arrived here, so Harlan Harris... what are you hiding?"

Harlan contemplates just getting up and leaving the conversation, he knows Dafne won't push him again for answers if he does, but maybe it will help to talk about it for once.  Maybe.  "I had a bad break-up recently."  He admits. "My ex-fiancee cheated on me with a co-worker and I caught her in the act. Instead of dealing with it head on, I ran to Redwood."

"That's... rough.  Do you know what happened to her?"

"No and I don't care to know."  His statement is aggressive, much more than he anticipated, and Dafne throws her hands up dramatically in feigned offense.

Harlan stutters an apology, but she stops him.  "Don't worry about it.  I've been in the same situation as you before and I can tell you with complete confidence that you will get over it eventually. If it makes you feel any better, I am glad that you moved here."  She grins as she punches him lightly on the shoulder.

Harlan laughs.  "Yeah.  Me too."

They both head to their respective beds when the sun begins to shine through the kitchen window.  Before Harlan knows what's happening, Dafne pulls him into a light hug.  "Thanks for talking to me."

"Same."  Harlan mutters.  His cheeks flush at the sudden and unexpected intimate contact.  It's a friendly hug, of course, but the fact that she's in her underwear turns Harlan's thoughts to other things that he would much rather not be thinking after the conversation they just had.

Dafne pulls away and Harlan turns to leave, but Dafne pulls him back again.  "Before you go - I just want to give you some advice.  You know, from someone who has been through this.  Don't let whatever happened in the past hold you back from moving forward.  You'll find someone else when you're ready.  And she'll know your worth."

Harlan can feel the blood rushing to his cheeks again and coughs to hide his embarrassment that this will be the umpteenth time since moving here that she's managed to make him blush.  "Thanks... for the advice.  Can I return the favor?"

She nods, looking mildly uncomfortable.  "If things aren't working, then you need to say so."

"I know."  She relents.  "Easier said than done, right?"

Harlan smirks.  "I'm with you on that."

Harlan isn't sure when or if he'll ever be ready to put himself out there again, but Dafne's words resonate with him when he climbs into bed.

Maybe Dafne is right.  Perhaps he will find someone else someday.

He sighs in frustration when his mind decides that, that someone is the woman with impossibly pink hair... and a girlfriend.

"Or maybe I'm just destined to be alone." He mutters.

The download link for Henrietta has been added to the RL uploads blog (she's in the side characters section) and I also linked to the creator of Dafne Muller.  I highly suggest checking out strawberrysims'/simsiverse's tumblr - she has some wonderful sims available.

In other news - I'm not happy with this chapter.  Like at all.  I had to replay a large portion of it and didn't feel like recreating some of the club scenes I had planned.  Oh well.  The point is it's finished and the story can move on from here (because I'm all caught up now - yuuuusssss).



  1. Open relationships only work if both sides are into it. I've got major commitment issues which is why Eli offered an open relationship, and we both take advantage of it. It's a lot of fun since sometimes we'll pick a person for each other... usually the ugliest person we can find. xD

    That said I can totally see how this isn't working for Dafne, and I hope she can see that and get out of her relationship with Henrietta. Or at least talk to her about it and get things cleared up.

    1. Oh I'm the same way. My relationship with my ex-boyfriend was open until he wanted something more steady and stable (and his dropping hints of marriage was definitely a deal breaker) - but it was fun while it lasted.

      Right now, I think Dafne is just sort of stuck. She isn't sure she wants to end things, but she also can't continue the way that it is.

      Things do get cleared up eventually... :D

    2. When I dropped hints about marriage he was the one to freak out at first xD. Two days later he randomly started talking about the merits of a vegas wedding versus a more traditional wedding somewhere both our families can fly to. I'm taking that as a good sign.

    3. Definitely a good sign. A Vegas wedding would be fun. Pleeeaaassseeee tell me you two are potentially crazy enough to want a fake Elvis declare you husband and wife... just because I think the concept is hilarious. HILARIOUS, I SAY. All caps means srs business.

    4. I think we're planning two since family and friends cannot be in the same room together >_>. But yes... Elvis declaring us husband and wife would be AWESOME.

  2. Sidenote: Bahahaha, James and I are going to Vegas for his Marine Ball this year. We are considering getting our vows renewed by Elvis.

    I feel sad for Daphne. Sometimes when you love someone, you realize you will do anything for them. Then do it and realize it was something you never should have agreed to in the first place because now you aren't happy. It's hard to go back on what you agreed on but Harlan is right; it still needs to be said.

    1. Oh goodness - if you do, you *have* to share pictures of it with me. I'm totally serious. :D And congratulations on potentially renewing your vows! You and your hubby are adorable. I've decided.

      I feel bad for Daf too. Poor girl has quite the *ahem* adventure ahead of her.

  3. I agree with Heaven, Dafne kind of made a mistake agreeing to arrangement that doesn't really work for her, and, for better or worse, she'll have to speak up about it.

    1. Oh I agree as well. Daf is going to have to suck it up and do the right thing. :/

  4. I *also* agree with heaven. She said it better than I can, so I'll just leave it at that.

    I'm totally going to check out that strawberrysims' place NOW. Dafne is stunning, as I've mentioned, and I am in love. With her. Which is weird because I'm normally into non-pixelated (*cough* real) people, and guys, but you know. Whatever works. I just adore her. =)

    I. Want. Moar. (It sucks being caught up! You need to post another update and soon Ms. Giga or else face my wrath! ;)

    1. You totally should! Her sims are gorgeous and I *think* she still takes requests as well, if you're interested (although she moved accounts - her newest post should give the info. because I forgot). Lol.

      And haha - it's coming, I swear. :)