Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Chapter 16: Trust

What did The Compound teach you about trust?

We were supposed to trust only residents because they weren't tainted. Other than classes, we had another meeting called Accountability Time, which was where we had to sit around and talk about our lives with other residents. They were usually split by gender to encourage discussion of potentially sensitive subjects. There was always one person in the group who wasn't part of our regular class to encourage us to learn to trust new people.

Titanium and Camo are joined by Barry for their Accountability Time meeting. Barry annoys Titanium and Camo just like Zinfandel does, so they dread this meeting as much as they dread class. Unfortunately, he's particularly chipper today and picks the most awkward topic to start off their discussion.

"How did your Intimacy sessions go? I've no doubt you heard about mine since Zinfandel was my partner and she's in your class. I'm curious how you guys fared. Hopefully better than me."

Barry laughs in a friendly manner, clearly enjoying this meeting way too much.

"Shut up, Barry. You're a dumbass."

"Oh, come on, Camo. Lighten up. You were a first timer, it must have been exciting for you."

"It sucked. I didn't like it."

Barry looks a little shocked because he's never heard of a resident who hasn't enjoyed their first time at intimacy.

"Why? What happened?"

"Uh, she was gross and it took an eternity for me to get hard. I don't know why I had to tell you that, I already told Titanium of my own will."

"You know why. It's to make sure we keep our purity. If we have more than one person who knows about our lives, it keeps us accountable so that we don't stray off the path of purity. It's also good to have more than one person you trust. You shouldn't be so shallow, Camo. We do not value appearances here."

"Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever, four eyes."

Barry brushes off Camo's name calling and turns to Titanium.

"What about you? Did you have a better experience? I know you were a first timer as well."

Titanium becomes nervous and looks at Camo, who shoots him a 'do not say anything about not liking girls' look. Titanium exhales softly and thinks about his reply, heeding Camo's warning.

"It felt good."

"See, Camo? It can feel good as a first timer."

"Whatever, it did feel good, but I just didn't like my partner. I would have preferred someone who I actually wanted to look at."

Camo is thinking about Verona and what it would be like to be intimate with her. He's learned not to get his hopes up since he'd been so let down by his first time, but he also thinks that he would enjoy Verona a lot.

"Camo, that's a common myth. Intimacy is for reproduction purposes only, it doesn't matter if you like the resident or not. Actually, liking your resident makes it worse."

"Yeah, what's up with that, dumbass? You actually liked Zinfandel romantically?"

"Well, I did, and I am still going through the cleansing process. I'm not supposed to talk to her for a month and then we can try to be friends again."

Stupid Andromeda. I can't believe I punched her. Or can I? She had been growing apart from me so much over the years. When we got married, she knew I didn't want kids. She knew that! We lived for twelve years, just the two of us. She was wonderful. We both had jobs we loved, and were doing great. Then the economy slumped, and Andromeda got fired. I was there for her the whole time, helping her get through it. She never really recovered from losing her job, and that was when she changed.

She started talking about wanting children and how it would fill some void in her life. It hurt when she said that because it was like I wasn't enough for her. Then she started going on about how a baby would make us love each other more because it was something we could create together. I didn't understand why she couldn't just love me without a baby. I said no. I didn't want a baby. My parents tried the whole 'let's fix our relationship with a baby,' and a fat lot of good it did them. I could feel the hate oozing out of their eyes when they looked at each other, even through the fake smiles they gave me. They only stayed together because of me. I know that because when I turned eighteen and moved out, they got divorced. The annoying part is, Andromeda knows what happened in my family, yet she pulled the same crap with me. I started getting mad at Andromeda when she kept bringing up baby talk, every month she would ask me, and I'd always say no. I feel like I look at her like my dad used to look at my mom. My relationship turned into exactly what I was trying to avoid. Absolon is a constant reminder of when I lost Andromeda, and I hate him for it.

I slump down on the bed in the motel room I rented and close my eyes. I understand why Andromeda thinks I'm cheating on her, but what I told her was true, I just can't stand being at home where she's going to rip my face off with her death glares and screams. I always come here after work and watch tv after grabbing a bite to eat. We constantly go in circles over what went wrong. I always feel like my head is going to explode when she looks at me. I think I saw a glimmer of love in her eyes when I grabbed her shoulders, and we almost had a decent conversation, until she brought up Absolon, again.  I truly believe that she purposely stopped taking her birth control and that she trapped me into having a kid with her. I feel like she betrayed me and I don't know if I can forgive her. There might still be love in my heart for her, but can I love someone and yet not be able to forgive them? I don't know the answer to that, and I still can't believe she slapped me.

It's 10pm and it's time to close the bookstore. Camo and Titanium's shift was over at 7pm because they had some arrangement where they had to be back at their home by 10pm otherwise the doors would be locked. I can understand that since they live in a shelter and the point of a shelter is to keep its residents safe.

The stage where Absolon performs is bare, so he must have taken his stuff and went home for the day as well. He doesn't have set hours, but he usually leaves around 7pm, with Titanium. I think he has a crush. I make my way around the store to see if there are any customers lurking and I don't see anybody, so I shut off the lights.

Just as I'm ready to shut the door and put the key in the lock, I hear a clanging coming from the cafe. I find this weird because the cafe should be empty as well and customers can't go back there. I open the door and go back inside. As I make my way back to the cafe, there's no mistaking that aqua colored hair. It's Absolon, but what's he doing here? I saw him leave with Titanium hours ago.

Camo and Titanium are still in their meeting with Barry.

"I know I'm going to regret asking this, but what is the cleaning process?"

"It's cleansing, Camo."

"Whatever, god, you're just like Zinfandel, uppity and annoying."

"The cleansing process is how a resident becomes clean again after they stray off the path. It is different depending on what caused the impurity. In my case, I crossed the rule of romantic boundaries, so the first part was I had to be put in Isolation. The second part was that I had to tell The Leader what went wrong in the Intimacy Room. The third part is that I am not allowed to talk to Zinfandel for a month."

"I choose not to talk to Zinfandel of my own will. She's a dumbass, just like you. Guess that's why you were attracted to each other. Takes one to know one."

Camo looks bored, which isn't surprising, but Titanium has become curious with Barry's choice of words regarding Isolation. He said 'had to be put' as if he thought Isolation was a good thing. Titanium remembers Isolation as being the worst experience he's had in The Compound, even worse than when he had to pretend to enjoy intimacy with a woman.

"Barry, what do you mean 'had to be put' in Isolation? I was put in Isolation once and it caused me to distrust everyone because if I hadn't been reported, I wouldn't have been there."

"Titanium, Isolation is the best way to cleanse your soul. It causes you to think about the wrong you have done and why it is wrong, without distraction. It was not meant to make you lose trust in your fellow residents. You misunderstood the purpose of Isolation. Also, the way to avoid Isolation is to avoid talking about or doing impure things that will get you reported in the first place."

Titanium sits back and ponders Barry's words. He thinks Isolation and the act of reporting residents are both wrong and finds it strange that Barry is not only okay with it, but seems to think it is necessary.

Did your perception of trust change at this point?

I think it did. I knew in my head that I was supposed to trust Barry because that's what the rules said, but my heart didn't want to trust Barry because I didn't want to believe that his words were true.

"Absolon? What are you doing here? I thought you left with Titanium."

Absolon looks really nervous and I wonder what's going on with him.

"Uh... well... I did."

"But why did you come back?"

"Uh... I've... uh... been sleeping here at night... on the loveseat. When I hear someone come in, I hide in the kitchen until about 9am and then I pretend to 'arrive.'"


"Um... I'm uh... I'm... homeless... please, please, please don't fire me. This job is the only good opportunity I've ever had."

"I won't fire you. Hang on a minute, ok?"

I pull out my cell phone and call Dad.

"Hi baby girl, what's up?"

"Dad? I've kind of got a situation. A friend needs a long term place to stay. Do we have an available guest room?"

"Yeah, none of them are being used right now."

"Is it okay if I bring him by tonight?"

"Yeah that's fine. We'll talk when you guys get here."

My dad gets a playful tone in his voice as he says his next sentence.

"Him? Is he your tall, handsome crush?"

"No, he's not my crush."

"Absolon? You are going to come with me. My parents have a guest room where you can stay."

Absolon looks at me with relief written all over his face.

"Are you sure I wouldn't be imposing on your family or anything? I don't want to be a burden."

"No, it's fine. That was my dad on the phone, and it's cool with him."

"Oh my god, thank you."

Verona takes me out to the parking lot and I can hardly believe my eyes when she walks up to a bright blue Lamborghini and opens the door for me. I slide into the car and stare at the door as it lowers itself from above. Holy crap I'm riding in a Lamborghini, and who is Verona that she drives a freaking Lamborghini!? My questions just keep multiplying as Verona pulls up to a giant gate. She pushes a button on the visor as if the gate is a garage door and then she drives in.

A blonde haired man with a lot of facial piercings is waiting for us as we walk into the living room. He gives Verona a big hug when he sees her.

"Hey baby girl!"

"Hi Daddy!"

I feel a pang of jealousy when I see that the blonde haired man is her father. What I wouldn't give for my father to treat me like I'm not a repulsive piece of trash. As I look at their interaction, it becomes clear to me where Verona has inherited her genuine kindness and nonjudgmental attitude.

"Daddy, this is my friend Absolon. He needs a place to stay."

"Hello, sir."

"Oh, Absolon, there's no need for formalities. Call me Charles."

"Wow, Charles, your house is amazing, and your daughter is amazing."

"Thank you. Come, let's go get you settled in, Absolon."

Verona gestures for me to follow her father and she follows me. I'm still in awe, her house has spiral staircases and hardwood floors. I really want to know what her dad does for a living. My admiration does not cease when Charles leads me into the guest room. There is a large window, bed, and dresser in the room. Everything in their house seems larger than life.

"Absolon, you can stay here for as long as you like. This is one of our spare guest rooms."

One of the spare guest rooms? How many guest rooms do they have?!

"Are you sure, Charles? I don't want to impose."

"I'm positive. Verona told me she hired some entertainment for the store. That was you, right? I only noticed because of your guitar and amplifier."

"Yes, I am playing in the cafe."

"Well, you are now her friend, so if you need a place to stay, you are welcome here."

"I... just wanted to say, um... my situation is not the best, and I want to be completely honest with you."

"What do you mean?"

"Um, I am homeless. I had been sleeping on a park bench for a year before Verona found me and gave me the job. I'll leave now if you don't want me to stay here, knowing my past."

Charles looks at me confused. Then he smiles.

"You are no longer homeless, Absolon. Your past is of no matter to me. You have a home with us."

Who are these people? They feel like saints. My eyes tear up and I muster out a soft thank you. I look down so Charles won't see me cry, even though I'm sure he wouldn't mind. I've never been treated so well in my entire life.

Credit: Mypalsim's Poses for Sims 3


  1. Where to start...
    Enigma. It's kind of sad to see that he is pretty much aware of what is wrong in his life yet fails to be able to do something, anything about it

    Abs. I can't wait for him to meet Verona's mother o.O

    Titanium... funny, but I feel the same about people telling me I absolutely HAVE to trust someone else

    And thanks for following. I was hoping hard to get a follower # 14 soon *lol*

    1. Oh, you're welcome. :) I finally got around to actually clicking "Follow" on people's blogs. LOL. I rarely ever use the feed reader on Blogger's dashboard to check for updates, I just go to the blog directly.
      People seem to either feel bad for Enigma or hate his guts, depending on how much they look past his harsh exterior. He is being very stubborn, and as we know, he never fixes anything with Absolon.
      There's something about people telling me I HAVE to do something that makes me want to do the exact opposite.
      LOL. Verona's mother does have a problem with class differences, but she tends to be more anal about it if it concerns Verona's boy toys.

  2. Wonder how Kayla will react. Somehow, I don't see her letting a former homeless guy sleeping in her guest room out of the goodness of her heart.

    I feel bad for Enigma...he doesn't like his son because it was one of his wife's "Honey, it'll bring us closer." ideas and he was formerly in Abs position...he should know how hard it is for his son

    I can't help but wonder if Barry and Zinny end up in a relationship after the Compound ("takes one to know one!") or if they stay, following the Leader...

    1. LOL. Kalya is less concerned with people in her house who aren't directly involved with Verona romantically, even though she's got that whole social class problem. She's a complicated lady.
      Yeah, Enigma is very stubborn. He's hurting, but he's also selfish, so it doesn't even cross his mind that he could empathize with Absolon.
      Don't know about Barry and Zinfandel, they're pretty brainwashed and don't know how to think for themselves.

  3. Absolon's father is a real piece of work. Just because he and his wife had a kid doesn't mean that he had to turn into his parents. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. He was afraid he'd turn into his father, and he did. It's up to him to change, but as we know, that's not likely.

    Titanium is starting to get a clue. Trust your heart, your gut. If something is wrong, it's wrong.

    I know Absolon is a good guy, but just opening your home up like that can lead to trouble. He could rob them blind. She doesn't really really know him. However, we all know that he's not that kind of asshole. :)

    1. Feeling the hate for Enigma, hm? LOL. Self-fulfilling prophecies are way too easy to fall into. I know I've fallen into them sometimes, and it's so frustrating to get out of them. Stupid vicious cycles. He's very stubborn, which isn't helping his cause. Sadly, as we know, he never does anything to make it better with Absolon.
      Slowly but surely, Titanium is learning to think critically rather than blindly following.
      Heehee... Charles is designed after those saintly people, those who see the good in everyone, despite what outer appearances may tell you. Verona has the street smarts to make wise decisions, although I agree with you, Charles and Verona took a large risk showing their kindness to Absolon. However, risks can lead to good things as well.

  4. Enigma and Andromeda are both immature and selfish. Having a child never ever fixes a broken relationship, it only makes it worse because now there's new pressure and stress. If Andromeda did stop taking her birth control on purpose, that was an incredibly stupid move.
    And Enigma, just because he didn't want a child and feels like Andromeda got pregnant on purpose, taking it out on the child is just repugnant. Man up! He's a shit excuse for a father, and he should know because of his own experience.

    Barry is such a tool! I don't feel nearly as sympathetic to him as feel towards the other more brainwashed characters like Zin and Abilene. With them, I get the feeling they want to be good, decent people and are just misguided. Barry just comes off like he'd be a douche in any setting.

    Charles is such a trusting guy to be taking in a homeless person, and encouraging Verona's friendship with him, even. Kayla is going to explode when she finds out, lol.

    1. I wanted to write Charles as a genuinely kind person, to contrast the fake kindness The Compound teaches. Hence the title of this chapter, Trust. Yes, it was a risky move and some may find it a little naive to open your home up to a homeless person. The whole idea of killing them with kindness (for lack of a better quote) is what I was going for. Be so kind to them that they feel like they couldn't hurt you even if they tried because they no longer want to. No judgment, blow the stereotypes away. Absolon's been judged his whole life, by his father, by Titanium (even though he wasn't intentionally trying to hurt Absolon), and by every other person who walked by him on that park bench. Charles and Verona can see the good in people, no matter how messed up the cover of the book is, you've got to look inside it to see the real story.
      Barry irks me as well. I styled him as those people who were always correcting me. No, do this, not that, no, that's wrong, it's this way. He thinks because The Leader saved his life that he's perfect. He is almost at the point of worshiping The Leader, thinking that everything is perfect in The Compound and shoving his ideas down Camo and Titanium's throats. He's extremely closed minded.
      Enigma and Andromeda are ridiculous people. They are both refusing to take responsibility of anything and just blaming each other for their problems, while Absolon's caught in the middle of their nonsense. Sadly, there are probably people out there who are like them. If they would both open their eyes and stop being blinded by what they could have, they could fix things. Enigma needs to stop pretending that Absolon is the cause of all of his unhappiness, and Andromeda needs to stop thinking that everything is Enigma's fault.

  5. Grr. What irritates me about Barry is that he doesn't really think he's ever done anything wrong. That's why it doesn't seem strange or wrong to him - because they don't really apply to him...

    Maybe I'm reading the situation the wrong way, but I still dislike him.

    1. Nah your instincts about Barry are correct. He's a douche. He thinks this way of life has "cleaned him up," so to speak, so he thinks he owes his life to The Compound. It's causing him to think everything's perfect.

  6. There are too many Barry's in the world. I don't like him, or people like that. Grrrrr. I was rather hoping that Camo would deck him. Maybe sometime he will ;)

    Sadly, there are also too many people like Absolon's parents in the world. Selfish and twisted and battling to have their own way, despite the hurt they dole out to others. Absolon needs a break and I hope that he has found it with Verona and her Dad. I think that he has.

    1. Ugh Barry. LOL. That know-it-all type personality always irritates me. Haha, Camo should punch him. XD He probably won't though, or he'll get thrown in Isolation. *rolls eyes at The Leader* Haha.

      It's a wonder how many people are like Absolon's parents. Instead of understanding each other and compromising, or understanding each other and breaking up, they do stupid stuff to each other while staying together, causing both of them to be miserable.

      Absolon's path to where he is at the beginning of the story, which is happy with Titanium, starts from when Verona and Charles took him in. Verona and Charles have no hidden secrets, they are an open book, what you see is what you get, so you can bet when Charles said he was okay with Absolon living there, it's the truth. =)

  7. "Shut up, Barry. You're a dumbass." Camo deserves a virtual high five for that lol.
    "There was always one person in the group who wasn't part of our regular class to encourage us to learn to trust new people." I swear the leader has a bunch of contradicting rules. "Yeah, yeah. Blah, blah, blah. Whatever, four eyes." Omg I'm trying to eat and reading this is making it difficult for me not to choke lol.

    "Well, I did, and I am still going through the cleansing process. I'm not supposed to talk to her for a month and then we can try to be friends again." -_- Theres nothing for Barry to cleanse himself of besides the way he acted in the intimacy room with Zinfandel..Ugh.

    "Can I love someone and yet not be able to forgive them?" Hmmmm, this is like my life in a sentence. Lol I think it's possible to love someone and not forgive them but Absolon's father has no room to talk about love and forgiveness after he punched his wife in the face...That's just unforgivable in my opinion.

    Absalon finally got a break! I'm so happy for him, and Verona's dad is very accepting. I'm not gonna lie...I wouldn't be so open arms if a homeless person wanted to live with my family...Like I know that's kind of rude/mean but I think it's natural to be skeptical.

  8. Replies
    1. Camo: *high fives you back* LOL
      Ooh yeah, contradictions are good for cults. They do that to confuse you, and then the brainwashing starts again. LOL. *rolls eyes*
      LOL I'm glad i could make you laugh.

      The cleansing process is a very large joke. :D

      Enigma's an ass. LOL. He couldn't figure out how to adapt to his life with Absolon in it, so it led to Absolon running away.

      It's all right, most people were shocked by what Charles and Verona did, and Absolon thought that they would be shocked as well, which is why he said "I'll leave now that you know about my past." I think it's sort of just a thing, that people don't trust the homeless, almost as if they look at them as less than human. This is precisely why this event happened in the chapter entitled "Trust." :D

  9. I really like that we got some background for Enigma. Had a feeling there was something else there.

    1. Heehee yes. I was going to explain Enigma eventually. I feel like everyone has a reason as to why they are the way they are. Most everyone at least... LOL.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


Tell The Leader your thoughts...