Saturday, December 29, 2012

Overlord Legacy - Chapter Forty-Nine - Dear Uncle Oliver

Dear Uncle Oliver,

I don't know how short or how long this letter will be, but in case you don't want to skip all the way to the end to see who wrote it, it's Severin (I had to use my dad's return address labels so my name's not on the envelope). At this point, I don't even really know what I'm going to say. But I feel I have to say something. I have to write this out. Maybe then I can get past this wall that I've hit, maybe then I can begin to understand anything of what's going on. I have to tell someone about everything that's going on, someone who can understand and maybe give some sort of explanation or solution, and you're the only one I can think of, Uncle Oliver. You always seem to have explanations.

I think it was three days ago, but time doesn't seem to be working right lately. But I think it was three days ago. I was getting ready for work. My cat tried to climb up my dad's pant leg again, and mom had to convince him not to throw Darth Furball out the window.
They had a little bit of an argument. Only a little one. You know my parents don't get into really serious arguments. They've always just gotten along. Fortunately mom won and Darth Furball lived to ball-swat another day. Then they started getting all lovey-dovey, right in front of my kid too.
It was like there was no one else in the room. Totally oblivious to anyone but themselves, which is fine. My mom told my dad that she loved him.
Then my dad told her that he loved her first. Dad said that sometimes, and mom always hated it because he was right.
When I left for work, mom was hanging out and having conversations with Katt. Seems like mom was always spending time with Katt. Good thing too. Katt doesn't have a mother in her life. I guess mom was doubling as mother and grandmother at the same time.
The rest of what really happened I only learned afterward, because I was at work, of course. By the way, work sucked that day. Normally I don't mind it very much, but it sucked that day. My boss was griping and moaning about everything, probably because his girlfriend Jackie broke up with him last night. (Yeah, Jackie dated him for a couple of days. You know Jackie. She's the friend I told you about, the one I 'like to snog with in my spare time.' I wish you would quit peering into my mind every time I visit you.) Then the stage wouldn't get set up correctly and the band went ballistic, destroying a bunch of equipment and cancelling the show they had tonight, so now everybody was unhappy. It just sucked. Really badly.

I was looking forward to getting back home. My dad had said he was going to make decorations out of the snow because he figured out you could stick it together.
He told me he was going to make a 'snowman,' or rather a bunch of 'snowmen.' That way I could look out my window and see a bunch of snow minions ready to do my bidding. It was really funny, actually. My dad pokes fun, but he still 'gets' me. He's a really awesome dad, Uncle Oliver. I don't know if I've ever told him so, but he is.
I was getting towards the end of my shift. My boss was barking at all of us, I accidentally whacked my middle finger with the wrench I had in my hand (in case you were wondering, that wasn't black nail polish you saw the other day, that was a bruise underneath my fingernail), and the heat failed during the whole last hour. The theater was freezing. I was just looking forward to going home.

And then it was about thirty minutes or so before I left. And I was just struck with this awful feeling. In fact, awful just doesn't describe it. It was hell. It was as if my soul went to hell and then returned back to my body, dragging hell with it. Just this sudden realization that everything was wrong, that things were not alright. I had no idea what was going on. I wondered if maybe I had finally lost my sanity from that hellish work day.

But I look back on it now, Uncle Oliver, and I know what it was. I know what happened that moment while I was at work.
Do you know how much it kills me that I wasn't there, Uncle Oliver? Do you know how much that kills me? Thirty minutes. I could have left thirty minutes early. I missed it by thirty minutes. But no, I pressed on. I kept working, because I thought I was crazy. I ignored all the horrific feelings that were suffocating me, attacking me, giving me chest pains. I ignored them.
Thirty minutes, and I could've been there to say goodbye. I could've told her so many things, Uncle Oliver. These past few days I've tried so hard to remember what the last thing I ever said to her was, and damn it, I don't remember. I don't even remember our last conversation. I could have told her I loved her, Uncle Oliver. I never said that enough. I never knew I meant it that much until lately. Do you think she knows now? Do you think, there in the netherworld, she can somehow know much I loved her? How much I still love her and miss her? Do you think if I screamed at the top of my lungs, screamed until my voice was hoarse, screamed that I loved her...do you think she could hear? Or did I lose my last chance forever?

Do you know how much I utterly hate myself right now, Uncle Oliver?

Anyway. I wasn't there. My dad was, though. He still hasn't told me much about what really happened. He hasn't been able to talk about it much yet. He never told me whether he was able to say goodbye. At least he'd told her that he loved her before it all happened. My dad was smart. My dad was a good man. Quite the opposite of selfish, careless me. I could've told her I loved her before I left for work. But I didn't.

What must dad have seen? What was it like? I'd seen the Reaper just a few days before, in the gym. We actually worked out together for a little while. It was a bit out of the ordinary, but pretty interesting. But how did dad see him? What was dad's reaction when the Reaper came, not to take some unknown soul and then hang around a while, but to take my mother away from us?
Did he look Death right in the face? Was he at peace? Or did he loathe the Reaper for coming, for stealing the soul of my mother? Did he loathe the Reaper as much as I do right now?
And what did my mother see? Was she terrified? Was she clawing the floor, trying to cling onto this life?

Was she ready to go? Was she at peace?
My dad won't tell me. He's hardly told me anything about mom's last moments. Can't he see I need to know? I need to make sense of it all. It's torture not knowing what happened - and knowing I could've been there. Thirty minutes, Uncle Oliver! 

Hell, even my cat was there. My cat saw the whole thing. He's been a bit mopey as of late. Can cats really be affected by the sight of death?
Anyhow. Thirty minutes passed. Those thirty minutes when I could've been home. And no, I'm not forgiving myself for that, Uncle Oliver. I'm angry, and the only one who deserves the blunt of that anger is me. Anyhow, I drove home, still feeling sick, still feeling like hell inside, still unaware of what was going on.
I ran past all my snowman minions. My dad had started decorating the whole yard with them. I don't know how much time he put into each of them, but they really were quite clever.
I ran inside, ready to just get away from my crappy day already, ready to relax, maybe play my guitar for a while. The first thing I saw inside was dad. I smiled at him, but he didn't smile back. I don't think he could've forced his facial muscles to smile back.
I took off my hoodie, shook the snow off my work clothes. And then I noticed it. It was right there in the middle of the floor. I could tell my dad hadn't touched it, not since the Reaper had left it there. I knew what it was and I knew what it meant. All the hell I felt inside just increased. I felt like my heart literally ripped in two, slowly and painfully, like Satan himself was grabbing it and laughing as he ever-so-slowly began tearing it. I felt like my insides were on fire.

I feel like it's pointless to describe how I felt. It's making me angry because I can't find the words.
And then the tears. Salt water just shot up to my eyes, threatening to spill out over the place. My body shuddered, like a great force was trying to hold back a powerful threat of sobs. I've always been a controlled individual, largely because I just don't care about a lot of things. The last time I cried was when I discovered Tracey was pregnant, and then I was just a pansy teenager.

I felt so out of control of my own body. I don't think my mind could keep up with it. It seemed like I could hardly think through the fuzz in my mind, but I remember I ended up collapsed in my dad's arms, bawling all over his shoulder like a five-year-old boy.
Yeah, real manly, I know. But as I said, I couldn't control myself. I wish I could've. Dad watched the whole thing. Now, after watching mom disappear from our lives forever, he had to deal with a blubbering son who couldn't be strong when he most needed to be.

I'll apologize to my dad someday for that. I really appreciated him being there for me, though.
Who knows how much I killed him inside? He had to hold off his own mourning process in order to comfort mine. I'm surprised he didn't just have a heart attack right then and there. I can't imagine how he ever held himself together. He's a strong man. He deserves to be an alpha wolf. I have a lot to learn from him yet.

We decided to have the funeral at the castle the next morning. You know that, of course. You were one of the first people I sent the notice to. I couldn't sleep at all that night. I eventually just got up at 4:00am and went to check on Katt. She wakes up at odd hours of the night, and I didn't want her to start bawling or anything. Dad sleeps right outside her room now.
He'd left the door open a crack. I only peeked. He was alone. For one brief, hopeful second I expected to see mom sleeping there too, right next to him like she always does. Maybe this whole thing was just a nightmare. But it wasn't. I don't think Dad was really sleeping either. I think he was just pretending because he heard me get up. I thought I heard him sniffle as soon as I walked away from the door.

Katt was up. Of course she was up.
One of the first things she asked me that morning was where grandma was. Last night grandpa had put her to bed, and she'd seen me and grandpa, but not grandma anywhere. What could I tell her? I didn't even know an acceptable answer for myself. So I told her the truth. I told her she had gone to the netherworld and she wouldn't be coming back. I don't think Katt really understood.

The night before - the night mom died - I'd found some old diary entries and things of hers. I discovered some things I never knew before, like who Soren's and Tobie's dad was and the day when she first fell in love with my dad. But of all things, I think she wrote about her children the most. Soren, Tobie, me...so frequently she wrote about how much she loved us and wanted the best for us. She worked hard to take care of us. She went through heartbreaks and loneliness and difficulties, but she had strength and she had joy because she loved us.

She gave her all for us. She gave everything. Even the ambitions for the family legacy weren't as important to her as we were.
Uncle Oliver, I'm a terrible father. I'll just admit it openly. I'm a terrible father. I don't spend time with my daughter. I don't consider her half the time. I just assume she'll grow up and turn out okay, and I'll be the guidance in her life where she needs it. I haven't sacrificed for Katt. My mom and dad made the sacrifice for her. They stayed at the castle for her. My dad quit his job before retirement for her.

I have sacrificed nothing. I am a worthless, gutless, terrible father.

But as I held her, I realized all my mother did for me. I finally realized it. And then Katt unexpectedly grabbed my face with both her hands and smooched me right on the cheek and said "Muah! Kissy!"

And I had another moment where my body moved in automatic while my mind stayed a clouded, fuzzy mess. Another moment where I hardly knew what I was doing, I was just going on autopilot. I set her on the floor to give her her bottle, but before I did, I kissed her back. Right on top of her head. I've never kissed my daughter before, Uncle Oliver. Never.
And then I started crying right in front of her. Just started crying. And I heard myself tell her, "You listen to me, Katt. I love you. I love you and I don't want you ever forgetting that. I promise I'll try to be a better daddy."

She told me, "You good daddy." I'm starting to question her intelligence. But if that's what she wants to believe about me, I can let her believe it.

I let her see grandma's urn.
She asked me if grandma was in the urn. I told her that in a way, yes, she was. Then she asked me what that smell in the air was. I told her I didn't know what she was talking about, that there was no smell in the air.

Even toddlers can smell death, it seems.

The funeral began at 9:00. Nothing fancy. Just a gathering to give condolences, comfort each other, share her memories. Only it was cold. And snowing.
This damn town hasn't stopped snowing since winter began. The sun couldn't have just peeked out for her funeral. No, it had to snow. It had to be a f**king blizzard. I'm sick of this f**king snow.

Anyway. My friend Candy was the first in the door.
We hugged, talked about my mom. Kind of superficial, but neither of us knew what to say.

And then you came. Of course you'd be right on time, one of the first to show up. You really don't need to have any ties to this family, especially after the stories I've heard of how it was when you and my grandmother, Midnight, lived together. Yet you've always been there anyway.
I'm glad you were. We needed you there, Uncle Oliver. We all needed you there.

I almost think my dad needed you more than I did. He seemed to talk to you for an awfully long time.
He wouldn't tell me what you two talked about. I don't know if you're under confidentiality and can't tell me either, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Just promise me if you have any answers to anything - anything to bring order and meaning to this confusion and chaos - that you'll tell me. I can barely breathe in it.

More guests showed up. Uncle Phantom and his family made their appearances. Whenever Uncle Phantom shows up, the air just feels a little lighter.
My Aunt Keri came too - my mom's sister, Grandpa Jakk's other daughter. She's pregnant right now. I wonder if it will be difficult for her now that she doesn't have her big sister to ask advice of. My mom did raise three boys after all.
My dad spent some time with her. I left to go outside after Phantom paid his respects to my mom. I couldn't watch him.
I really just wanted the cold air. The castle was feeling stuffy, what with it smelling like death and all. Outside I found Jackie. She didn't even look at me when I first walked out. It was almost as if she were afraid to come inside.
I tried talking to her. She just started crying. The only thing she could manage to say was, "Oh my gosh, she was your mom...you just lost your mom..."
Maybe what they say is true and 'friends with benefits' without the feelings involved is impossible. We've slept together a few times, not wanting any kind of commitment. And I don't think we want it now either. Maybe it's a deep bond of friendship? I don't know. We weren't able to keep feelings detached at the funeral. I kissed her gently. We hugged. It became too much for her soon. She left early. I don't know if I'll see her again. I don't know a whole lot of anything at this point.

Spent more time with Candy inside. She's a cool girl too. I rather hope you can't read my mind through writing.
And that's when I noticed you, Uncle Oliver. You were quietly shedding tears, by yourself.
You've never told me how old you are, Uncle Oliver. I don't know how much death you've lived to see. I know you saw the deaths of my grandparents. I would've thought you'd be hardened to death by now, that it wouldn't affect you so much. I guess sometimes I view you as this untouchable creature, wise and friendly, but still cold and distant to the human life form. But you're not. You're not cold and distant. You're real and relatable. Sometimes I wonder if you spend so much time playing human that you forget you're a vampire.

Eventually, as the funeral came to a close, I got out my guitar and played a few of my mom's favorite songs. She'd always told me how much she liked them.
Candy was still there, as was Phantom, even though his family had gone home already. Nobody needed to stay. I wasn't performing for tips or anything. It was just a remembrance for my mom. Do you think she heard me? Do you think she heard the songs from my guitar? Do you think they have any connection to our world once they reach the netherworld?

I did appreciate you playing with Katt for a while. I could tell she loved when you danced with her to the music.
If she grows up to be a hopeless romantic, I'm blaming it on you, Uncle Oliver.

This is kind of where the letter ends. Although really, I've practically written you a novel. I don't even know when you'll have time to read all of this. But I had to talk it out. I had to get this out of my system. I need to be able to move on so I can go through with my plans for the legacy, and be a better parent to boot.
Sounding all melancholy and emotional isn't like me. It bothers me quite a bit. I hope to be back to my old form soon enough, with just a few changes here and there.

I'll miss my mom always. She was the most wonderful woman. I wish I could have appreciated her more while she was still here. I wish I could've been a better son. I wish I would've told her what she meant to me.

One thing I ask of you, Uncle Oliver. It's a familiar request, I'm sure. Grandma Midnight made it of you in regards to my mom, and my mom made it of you in regards to me and my brothers. Now I want to make it of you.
I don't know how long I'll live, or how much of my daughter's life I'll get to see. But just like you were always there for my mom and you've always been there for me, would you please always be there for Katt? If she ever needs someone and I'm not there, I want her to know she can go to you, just like mom and I have always been able to.

There's no reason for you to have any ties with this family, Uncle Oliver. But for one more generation, please stay with us.

Thank you for letting me write all this to you. I already know it's helped me a lot. Tomorrow I plan on waking up, taking a big breath, and preparing to move on. I will allow myself to grieve when I need to and not get stuck against a wall of confusion. Life will move on and so will I.

Your nephew (grand-nephew, actually),

-Severin.

P.S. My dad took mom's urn to the cemetery this morning, to bury her with my ancestors. It's late afternoon as I write this and he still isn't back. It is difficult enough for me to go through this time. I can't imagine what my father must be going through.
I hope he comes back home soon. I'm afraid of going out to find him. It's painful to see him like this.

Stop. Breathe. It will be over soon. I'll just keep telling myself that.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Author's notes: At the start of my legacy, I set the lifespan to 52 days. Amaranth lived exactly 52 days.

This stupid legacy blog has gotten me too attached to my Sims. I almost cried when the Reaper came for Amaranth while I was playing. Gator was making snowmen and I decided, after Amaranth put Katt to bed, that she and Gator could make snowmen together. It would be really cute. I couldn't wait to see how the screenshots would look. After asking her to join him, I focused back on Gator as he finished building his snowman. Two seconds later, the game immediately shifted back to Amaranth, and I knew her time was up.

THIS. This is why I kick out the previous generation when the new generation starts. So I don't have to put myself through this. Ugh.

The aftermath is almost as bad too. Severin and Darth Furball have their fair share of mourning moments, but my goodness, Gator can only be described as hysterical. He breaks down in full-blown sobs seemingly every ten Sim minutes. Like, literally, Severin cries, Gator bawls. I hate having to watch it.

I don't often write in first person. It's actually very difficult to be excellent at. I've written novelettes in first person, but it takes a lot of time and editing. So I won't do this very often for this story, but I felt like it fit better here, to give a personal feel to the funeral and the effects of Amaranth's death.

Comments can be left below. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm going to miss Amaranth like crazy.

19 comments:

  1. I may or may not be wiping away a tear. Crying at a Legacy entry... no never, but Amaranth. D: I am going to miss her like crazy! Poor Gator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know. My throat was tightening up and my eyes were welling when the Reaper came to take Amaranth, and I was like, "THESE ARE CREATED PEOPLE IN A COMPUTER GAME. THEY ARE NOT REAL."

      ...I get way too attached to fictional people.

      Delete
  2. I'm not crying.

    Seriously. I'm not crying. It's just eye sweat is all. Honestly.

    Okay wow, I know i'm a sap but even I can usually remember that characters are just characters and its silly to cry. But I still cried during this chapter. I guess you've had so many chapters with Amaranth, and she was so easy to love that its hard on everyone to lose her, not just her in-game family members.

    I'll miss her, but I'm glad her death at the very least gave Sev a wake up call.

    You wrote first person really well. : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did spend a long time on Amaranth, much longer than I ever expected to. At first I thought her generation might turn out too short! But then things kept happening and the plot kept twisting and I went along with it.

      But it's finally done with. I'll miss her a lot. And it's not comforting to know I'll have to do it all over again with Gator eventually.

      Delete
    2. As someone whose gone through many many character deaths... it never gets easy.

      Good luck with that! : D

      Delete
    3. That's why I kick them all out. "Go...be free...don't die under my control."

      Stupid generational goals for Severin. You're the ONLY REASON this had to happen.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. I'd give you a tissue, but I used all mine. :'(

      Delete
  4. :( At least it seems to have shaken Severin in regards to Katt, though it's awful to see Amaranth go. She's been a lot of fun to read about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. *sobs*

    This was really well written. I knew Severin was lovely, but this made me want to hug him and never let go... <3.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Aw, this chapter was so sad. And beautifully written. I'm sorry to see Amaranth go. Now I'm scared for my own sims' turn. I've already lost one member of my first generation... it was painful.

    Farewell Amaranth. You will be remembered.

    ReplyDelete
  7. This was beautiful.

    I felt the lump in my throat at Amaranth dying, but tears didn't fall until Severin asked Oliver to be there for Katt. :'( That was the hardest psrt for me!

    Obviously it's all very sad, but always look on the bright side - Severin will now start paying attention to his daughter!

    Kinda lost for words other than that, and need to go wash my face now, too stupid to buy waterproof mascara...

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really liked Amaranth. She is a sim that I would like to have in my game. A sim with unexpected strengths. She was a great sim. It is always hard to lose a favorite sim to Grim. That is why I have always liked Grimmy. In the end he makes sure that a good sim is always greeted as a friend.

    Silly, I know. It is just a game.

    Still, Amaranth will be missed.

    I am glad that Sev finally is growing up. I was afraid he would be too much like his great grandfather.

    A powerful chapter and very well written.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This was a beautifully written, powerful and touching chapter. It made me cry a little. You could really feel Sev's pain through the words he was writing, and the impact that Amaranth's passing is going to have on everyone's lives. I will miss her a lot. :(

    ReplyDelete
  10. My first thought was "Ohhhh no!" when I realized what was going to happen in this chapter. Awww, I guess I'd gotten really attached to Amaranth. It feels like she's been around for such a long time. Goodbye, Amaranth! ;_;

    Well done on the writing, though. I know it's hard...that's why I haven't published anything yet, haha. Actually I've always hated writing, so I guess I'm worse at it than most people. Sigh. Ahem, sorry, rambling.
    I have to say, Severin seemed a lot more emotional here than I would've given him credit for. Hmmm... Think I'm going to like him even more than I expected to. =)
    Looking forward to the next chapter as always! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh no, poor Amaranth, and poor Severin & Gator *sniffs* I'm glad Severin is going to try and be a better dad now though.

    It was a beautifully written chapter

    ReplyDelete
  12. Aw, Amaranth died :(
    It's good that Severin is finally deciding to be a father for Katt.

    ...is it wrong that through all the funeral scenes, I was just thinking of how good Severin looks in glasses? XD

    ReplyDelete
  13. Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww this is so sad, I am happy that Severin is going to try to be a better dad but still this is sweet.

    Excellent job on first person by the way

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ugh. My heart is broken. I loved Amaranth. I loved her story. I'm in work now, sneaking in some Sim time, and this almost made me cry. Poor Sev. Poor Gator. Poor all of us! :(

    ReplyDelete