Sunday, July 31, 2011
Chapter 6: A Cold Day In July
With her art becoming quite popular and bringing in serious simoleons, Dakota gets it in her mind that they need to move. While Lily's at school, she takes Phillip to see a house that she's interested in purchasing.
"What do you think Phil?" she asks him earnestly. His opinion has always been important to her, but she finds herself relying on him more and more these days.
"It's really nice Dakota," he attempts a weak smile. It's not that he doesn't like the house. In fact, he thinks it's perfect. He's just had a lot on his mind lately. Gina has been pressuring him to get more "serious" about their relationship. Translated, that means she wants to get married. But Phillip doesn't want to leave Dakota alone with a teenage Lily. He loves the girl like his own daughter, and he wants to see that she makes good grades and graduates. He wants her to have every opportunity in life, and he is nervous about leaving her in Dakota's hands.
Lily and Dakota have always been distant at best. Dakota never seemed to take an interest in Lily when the girl was a child. Now that Lily is older, Phillip can tell that she feels unwanted. He is the only link between the two of them, and if he leaves he doesn't know what could happen. And he doesn't want anything bad to happen to his girls.
Lily calls her realtor and let's her know that she wants the house.
Phillip decides to take out his frustration by doing some cool Sim-Fu karate moves.
Gina makes herself at home in the new house.
"Why are you still living here?" she persists.
"Lily needs me..." Phillip explains.
"Lily is a teenager now. She can fend for herself."
Phillip shrugs and goes quiet. Gina's been dating him long enough to know when to drop it, but she can't help but wonder about Dakota's role in all of this.
However, the topic continues to come up during their day-to-day conversations. Gina just can't seem to let it go.
One evening when Dakota and Lily are out of the house, Gina brings it up once again.
"Why can't you just move in with me?" she nags. "The whole town is talking about what a chump I am to let you live here with her! Everyone thinks I am such a slut, dating a man who lives with another woman!"
"Gina," Phillip says exasperated. "There is nothing going on between Dakota and I." He grits his teeth and tries to force himself to be patient. "Why do you listen to what everyone else says anyway? You know I've only got eyes for you."
Gina snorts. "Yeah, right! I see the way you look at her. If only you would look at me that way, maybe then I wouldn't have such a problem with this arrangement."
Usually so patient, Phillip feels himself snap. "What is your problem Gina?!" he yells. "I've done everything I can to prove that I love you, and you only! Why can't you trust me?!"
They stand there for a minute quietly staring at each other, the air thick with tension.
With his frustration released, Phillip feels exhausted all of a sudden. He just wants Gina to leave so he can go crawl into bed and cry.
Finally, he breaks the silence. "Gina," he says quietly, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have yelled at you like that."
"Get away from me," she shrieks furiously. "I'm out of here!" She storms out the front door, leaving Phillip alone with his thoughts. Resigned, he heads upstairs to his bedroom to brood about the evening's events.
It's 4:00 in the morning, and Phillip can't sleep. He tiptoes down to Dakota's room, knowing she'll be home by now.
"Dakota?" he whispers. "Dakota, are you awake?"
He hears a groan from under the covers. "What do you want Phillip?" she responds groggily.
"Dakota, can we talk please?" he asks quietly.
"Right now?" She turns over to look at the alarm clock. "Phil, it's 4 o'clock in the morning..."
"I know, but it's been a bad night. Dakota, I think Gina and I broke up."
With that news looming over her head, she immediately pulls herself out of the covers and walks over to comfort him.
"I'm sorry Phil," she tells him softly. "I know how much you loved her."
"That's just it," he says. "I thought I loved her, but now I'm not so sure."
"What happened?" she asks him.
"She wanted me to move out of here and in with her," he replies nonchalantly.
Dakota breathes in sharply. "An- And what did you say?" she stammers.
"I told her no." He pauses and scans her face for a second, searching for something, anything. Looking her directly in the eyes, he says "She thinks I'm in love with you."
Dakota feels her heart pounding a mile a minute. She swallows hard, and, trying to sound light and effortless, she asks, "And do you?"
He takes a deep breath, and without breaking eye contact he quietly replies, "Yes. I do."
Phillip takes Dakota's hands in his and a bit louder this time declares "I love you, Dakota West."
Dakota exhales. She hadn't even realized she'd been holding her breath. "Oh," is all she can manage to say.
They stand there for what seems like hours staring at each other. The silence between them is practically unbearable when Phil suddenly asks "Is it hot in here?"
"Yes, I'm a bit warm," she says faintly.
Phillip grabs one of her hands and leads her out the backdoor.
They sit in a patch of grass in the backyard.
Dakota has never felt shy a day in her life, but tonight it's all she can do to look Phillip in the face. Instead, she stares up at the stars, watching as their twinkling lights fade in the dawn's early sunshine.
Phillip can't keep his eyes off of her. He feels a sense of relief. And joy. The burden he's carried around all these years, the fear that has held him back for so long, is gone.
He reaches over and holds her hand, surprising her out of her thoughts.
Their eyes meet. He smiles encouragingly.
Dakota relaxes, and together they watch the sun rise. In this moment, everything is perfect. They are together at last. What more could they ask for?
Blissfully tired, they get up. It is morning now, and neither of them have gotten much sleep.
He gently strokes her cheek. "I love you Dakota," he says again. She smiles contentedly.
"I love you too Phillip," she whispers in reply.
They spend the morning sleeping late. Phillip wakes up around noon to the sound of his phone ringing.
"Phil?" Gina's voice resonates loud and clear.
"Yes?" he responds sleepily.
"Phil, we need to talk. Now. It's urgent."
From the tone in her voice, Phil knows something is wrong. He immediately gets up and dressed and heads over to her house.
When he arrives, he realizes that Gina is dressed peculiarly. Somehow, she looks different to him too, but he can't put his finger on it.
From the way she's staring daggers at him, she's obviously still mad.
"What do you want Gina?" he asks, getting right to the point. He is still tired from last night, and he really wants to get home to be with Dakota.
"Phil, I'm pregnant," she announces abruptly.
Phillip feels like he's been winded. "W-W-W-What?" he stutters.
"I found out this morning," she explains. Her tone is bitter, and she glares at him unsympathetically.
Phillip can't even breathe. A million thoughts run through his mind, and he stands in front of Gina frozen in panic.
"It's going to be okay," he says more to himself than Gina. "We will be okay." He looks up into her face, and all he sees is overwhelming anger.
"What do you mean it's going to be okay?!" she screams. "It's NOT going to be okay!"
Blindsided by her rage, Phillip tries to calm her down. "Gina, we'll figure this out," he tries to soothe her, but he sounds hollow and unconvincing.
"I do not want to be a mother Phillip!" she shrieks. "I am single and alone, and I do not want to go through this whole thing again!" Phillip knows she has a daughter from a previous marriage, but he didn't realize she hated being a parent so much.
After arguing with Gina for hours, Phillip wanders around the town aimlessly. He arrives home late that night to find Dakota painting in her PJs. He was honestly hoping she would be asleep by now.
Drained and emotionless, he tells her everything. She quietly listens, and with a sad silence she accepts their fate.
He is going to marry Gina. He will go live with her and help her raise the baby.
That night, Dakota cries the hopeless tears of a broken heart.
The beautiful house that is displayed in the first photo was created by calisims (yangthecat) and is available here at Mod the Sims. It is a wonderful home, although I redecorated the interior to fit the personality of my family. It is fabulous though right out of the box.
I know I didn't spend much (alright, any) time on Lily this chapter. She had a ton of stuff happening during this time period as well, but due to everything going on with Phillip and Dakota I figured I would tweak the time frame a bit and blog about her a little later.
The chapter title is from a Dixie Chicks song by the same name. I thought it was appropriate, as I'm writing this on the last day in July. It's been about 105 degrees Fahrenheit in Texas this month (I do not exaggerate), which is causing my plumbob to fry (lame joke, I know). Anyway, when I was writing this chapter it made me feel cold and sad, even though it's so hot, so I thought the title fit perfectly.