Chapter 5.6: Already Gone

Chapter 5.6 Already Gone

A/N: The song for this chapter is Kelly Clarkson’s Already Gone. Picture the song as an insidious presence throughout the chapter, until it all falls apart, and nothing else can be heard.

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Remember all the things we wanted

“So they’re having another kid, huh?” Oliver asked, jerking his fingers on the controller as he tried to dodge a fireball rocketing straight toward his face.

“Yes—another little brother or sister. I’m kind of hoping for a little sister—once that likes dressing up and princesses and the like. Gemma was always more interested in well…blowing things up,” I said with a bit of a laugh, trying to keep up with Oliver on the screen.

“Aw, but blowing things up can be so rewarding,” he said with a smile, easily making a jump that I was currently on my fifth attempt in trying to make.

“I suppose….”

“Back up a little before trying the jump, or else you’ll just keep bouncing off the wall.”

“Oh, right,” I said, my cheeks pink as I made my character back up some. I ran forward and then easily made the jump.

“You know, it’s kind of weird….” Oliver started slowly.

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Now all our memories, they’re haunted

“What’s weird?”

“Our kids are going to have an aunt or uncle around their age,” he said with a laugh. I pressed jump when I meant to run, sending my character catapulting right into a spiky rock that immediately killed her. “Ouch,” Oliver said, watching as my character tumbled out of sight.

“They are?” I finally managed, staring fixedly at the screen as my character regenerated near the top of the map.

Oliver frowned a little. “Well, yeah. I mean, let’s say we do get married right after we graduate. That’s three years from now. Then maybe in another year or two….we’d probably have a kid, and their youngest aunt or uncle would be 4 or 5 by that point. They might even be—watch it!” he suddenly exclaimed.

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We were always meant to say goodbye

I jumped in place, only to see my character plummet right into a lava lake. She tumbled out of sight once again, charred. A cold sweat had broken out on my skin, but it had nothing to do with the fact that I had just died—again.

“Sorry,” I whispered, and I wasn’t sure if I was apologizing for dying, or if I was apologizing for the other thoughts that were now running rampant through my head.

“It’s okay….” Oliver assured quietly, looking over at me. “Are you okay?”

“Peachy! I’m just….tired. I think I’ll go to bed,” I said, putting the controller down.

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Even with our fists held high,
It never would’ve worked out right (yeah)

Oliver blinked, and his own character pitched forward into the lava lake, little plumes of steam coming up from where he fell in. “Uh, okay,” he said absently, barely acknowledging the large GAME OVER letters plastered across the screen.

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I instantly felt horrible, so I said the first words that came into my head: “In your room?”

My skin felt hot as I blushed. Oliver met my gaze and then blushed as well, averting his gaze and then slowly nodding.

“Yeah,” he said in a voice a little higher than usual. He cleared his throat. “Okay.”

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Why was it so hard to just tell him what he needed to know?

***

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We were never meant for do or die

I stared up at the sky, the clouds slowly moving past my vision as I lay sprawled out in the grass. I found myself doing this a lot ever since I came back here. Although I had loved being home, I had to admit that visiting might have been a mistake. After all, it just served to remind me how much I didn’t enjoy being here.

I wasn’t sure what it was exactly. The classes were a bit more interesting this time around, and Hannah and I were okay, and Oliver always made sure to take time out of his busy days to tell me how much he loved me, but still I just felt…off.

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“Why don’t you just tell him you don’t love him?” I suddenly heard from above me. I turned my head, startled, only to see Hannah looking down at me, her hand on her hip.

“But I do,” I said, surprised.

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Hannah plopped down on the grass beside me, resting her chin on her knee as she studied me. “So what’s the problem then? I see you with him and you’re not all…stupid goofy like before.”

“Stupid goofy?”

“Whatever. Ignore that. Point is, what’s up? You don’t still think he’s going to leave you, do you?” she asked, arching one of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows.

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I shook my head, the movement awkward while I was lying on my back. “No. You were right. He is…how did you put it…‘head over heels’ for me?”

“I believe I said pathetically head over heels, but close enough.”

I sighed. “Let’s not fight again, please?”

“I’m not,” Hannah remarked. “I was just telling you what I said. So what is the problem?”

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I didn’t want us to burn out

I stared up at the sky for another long moment, watching as one particularly fluffy cloud began to break up into several smaller chunks. “Oliver wants to get married right after we graduate,” I finally said softly, my gaze fixed on the tiny clouds. “He wants a big family too, which it seems he’d like to get started on just as soon as we marry.”

Hannah let out a breath. “So he proposed?”

“No,” I said, feeling startled at the very idea. “No, not…not um, yet, I suppose. He just mentioned it. Like, it’s what he’s always dreamed of, you know?”

“I see…and that’s not what you want, is it?”

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I didn’t come here to hurt you, now I can’t stop

“Not even a little.” I sighed heavily, sitting up and resting my head upon my knee. “Does that make me a horrible person?”

“No,” she said, and then glanced at me. “Unless…have you told him this?”

I swallowed. “Um, no,” I confessed.

“Then yes, it does! Why the hell haven’t you mentioned it? I can’t say that I like the guy all that much, but jeez, isn’t that a bit fucked up?”

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“I’m going to tell him,” I mumbled irritably, hugging my knee closer to my chest.

I want you to know that it doesn’t matter
Where we take this road, someone’s gotta go

“Uh, when?” Hannah asked dryly. “When he’s down on one knee, or when you guys are under that arch? Or maybe on your wedding night, when he’s wondering why the fuck you’re still insisting on using a condom?”

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“Why do you have to be so rude?” I snapped, getting to my feet. “I’m going to tell him and it’s going to be before any of that. God!”

Hannah looked up at me, and then to my surprise, her face softened. “Sorry,” she mumbled.

I deflated instantly, instead feeling completely nonplussed. “It’s…okay,” I managed to say, still feeling really confused. Hannah held out her hands to me and I grabbed them, helping her up. She brushed some grass off of her clothes and then sighed, seeming to sense my confusion.

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“Look, I don’t want to fight either, and I hate that we keep doing so. You’ve been my best friend since I was like, 5, and I don’t want that to change now.”

“Why?” I asked. “Because you actually want to be my friend or because Talent Night is this Friday?”

Hannah sighed. “The first, obviously,” she said tiredly, and she did at least sound sincere. “Speaking of Talent Night though, I believe we still need to purchase some outfits for our big performance, so you wanna go do that, or what?”

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I frowned a little, my mind launching a debate with itself. On the one hand, I was very tired of my best friend, and had frequently been wondering why we were friends at all, but on the other, I loathed to give her up because yes, we had been friends since we were 5 years old. Plus, there was the matter of Talent Night, and even more so the potential that a particularly important rep might be in attendance. I sighed, making up my mind.

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“Yes, I guess so,” I said somewhat reluctantly. “Let’s go.”

It was a decision that would change everything.

***

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And I want you to know you couldn’t have loved me better
But I want you to move on, so I’m already gone

Talent Night caught up to us in a whirlwind of practices, arguments, and hours stressing over our hair and makeup, determined to get this right. Hannah and I stood off-stage now, waiting for our turn to perform. My heart was beating about a million times per minute it felt like, and I was sure I would have exploded if it hadn’t been for the reassuring ‘good luck’ text Oliver had sent me. He, unfortunately, was not able to be here tonight as he had his first lab meeting as a new member of Dr. Vasco’s research team, a professor very well known for his published works in the field of geothermal physics. I wished that he could be here, but knowing how prestigious his new position was, I understood why he wasn’t.

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“I think I’m going to puke,” Hannah groaned from beside me, her eyes wide with fear as the guitar player before us finished up his set.

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“Ugh, please don’t,” I groaned. “We’ll be fine, seriously.”

“Next up,” we heard the commentator announce in a loud, enthusiastic voice, “we have Hannah Cook and Joanne Winters as The Darling Diamonds!!!!”

Hannah gasped, but I swallowed my fear, elbowing her in the side and then striding forward. It was now or never.

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I had to admit, I thought I was going to vomit too once we were up there, but then the music started up, the first pounding notes of Hannah’s keyboard sounding throughout the room, and I was transported to another dimension.

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The notes fell from my lips easily and flawlessly, and I remembered that I had been doing this since I was at least three years old. Singing came naturally to me—not like walking because that was a skill you actually had to learn at some point in your life, but like breathing. I felt that I had been born knowing how to do it, and all I had to do now, was show it.

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Looking at you makes it harder

It was about halfway through the song when I saw him: Tom. He was way in the back, talking animatedly to a tall man who looked like he wanted to go, and it all came to me, hitting me like blow to the skull: make sure you make yourself noticed.

Adrenaline coursed through my veins, and I realized what part of the song was coming up—a part which Hannah and I had, after much arguing, reduced greatly, cutting out a bunch of runs and lowering the whole thing by half an octave so that Hannah could stay in sync with my voice. It had seemed like a good decision at the time, but…make sure you make yourself noticed.

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But I know that you’ll find another

I forced any hesitation and any guilt deep down into the darkest recesses of my mind and as the part came up—I went into our original rendition. My voice came up as Hannah’s went down and I completely drowned out her vocals, letting the music take over me as I gave in to what it made me feel. The notes soared over the crowd, and everyone started cheering and screaming.

By the end, I was trembling, vaguely aware of the audience yelling for an encore, but my eyes were only on the back of the room, where Tom was smiling, and a man who had been about to leave was standing in place. His body was turned toward me, and even though his face was cast in shadow, I felt like he was smiling too.

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That doesn’t always make you want to cry

“What the HELL was that?” Hannah shouted at me as soon as we got off the stage, looking furious. “You totally upstaged me!”

“Did I?” I asked absently, still high off adrenaline and the sheer risk I had taken by overshadowing my best friend.

“What do you mean ‘did I?’! YES, you did! What the HELL, Jo! Why would you—” she yelled, but then stopped abruptly, her eyes on someone who had just walked up to us.

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Started with a perfect kiss then

Tom.

“You just earned me a huge chunk of change, sweetheart,” he said, a big smile on his face.

“What do you mean?” I asked, feeling so breathless and nervous that I didn’t even care that he’d just called me ‘sweetheart’.

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“I mean, whenever I find someone Mick actually likes, I get a reward, and Mick…well, he likes you,” he said with a triumphant smile.

“So….” I said, my voice trailing off. I hardly dared to ask what I wanted to, my mind completely spinning now.

“Soooo,” Tom continued, holding out a card to me, “have your agent contact Michael Valencia’s office sometime next week. Anytime from 3-5 PM.”

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My mouth fell open, and for a moment I could only stare at Tom, sure that I had misunderstood. He waved the card in front of my face, an amused look on his face.

I finally took it with a trembling hand, barely even registering the fact that I didn’t have an agent. Dad had one, so surely I could work something out? I stared at the card, my heart pounding hard.

“Oh, and Joanne?”

“Yeah?” I breathed, wrenching my gaze away from the small card and back to him.

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“I know it may be jumping the gun a little here because there’s a lot to work out, but…welcome to Valencia Records, Miss Winters!” he said dramatically. I smiled a little, still in a daze, and watched as he then turned around, only to disappear into the crowd once more.

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We could feel the poison set in

“You…bitch,” Hannah suddenly hissed from beside me, and I jumped, having completely forgotten that she was even there. “That’s why you upstaged me? You…you…you fucking bitch!” she said again, louder, but I didn’t even care, turning away from Hannah and heading right into the crowd.

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“Welcome to Valencia Records….” I mumbled to myself in a daze. Welcome.

***

Chapter5.6Text1

Chapter5.6Text2Chapter5.6Text3

***

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Perfect couldn’t keep this love alive

I paced in front of the science building, the events of the night still swirling through my brain like a film, fast forwarding and then rewinding and then replaying in slow motion. Now was the time to come clean with everything. I was walking on clouds and my previous fears just all felt so stupid.

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“Hey, Jo….” I suddenly heard from behind me, and I turned, brightening up to see Oliver. He looked pale, his eyes averted and his face creased with worry, and I realized how terrifying my text must have sounded. “We need to talk” was probably the most horrifying phrase in all of relationship history. Oops.

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You know that I love you so

“Hi,” I said, shooting him a quick smile. I came up to him, wrapping my arms around his waist and then pulling him to me as my lips met his in a passionate kiss. When I pulled back, he was smiling a little again.

“Wow. So uh…well, you look incredible,” he said, seeming a bit dazed. I flushed, highly aware of my plunging neckline and the way the fabric of my dress clung to every curve of my body.

“Thank you,” I said sincerely. “I just—I want to come clean,” I started, looking at Oliver with wide eyes. “There’s so much that I’ve let go unspoken for far too long.”

Oliver cleared his throat, running a hand anxiously through his hair. “Like…like uh, what, exactly?” he asked, clearly trying to remain calm.

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I love you enough to let you go

“I don’t want children!” I blurted out before I could change my mind. “I mean, not yet, at least. Not for a long time, and then only one, maybe two.”

“Okay….” he started to say, but I cut him off.

“I also don’t have any interest in getting married yet, and right after college is too soon. I want to establish myself in my career first….become famous, if I can. I don’t want to settle down until much, much later.”

Oliver stared at me for a long moment, his face expressionless. “Is that all?” he asked, sounding a bit out of breath himself.

“Umm…yes, I think so. Oh, and I might have secured a deal today with Valencia Records, so that’s pretty exciting!”

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Oliver laughed. It was a sound of relief and pure happiness, and I had to admit, it kind of threw me off a bit.

“Oh, thank god. I thought—” he shook his head, laughing again. “Never mind what I thought. That’s okay, Jo. I…I really don’t mind waiting. I’d wait forever for you,” he confessed, reaching out to tuck a stray curl behind my ear.

It fell back by my face almost immediately.

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I want you know that it doesn’t matter
Where we take this road, someone’s gotta go

I furrowed my brows in confusion, certain that I must have missed something. That had been far too easy. Surely he would argue at least a little? Maybe bargain a bit and we’d come up with a compromise?

“But…but isn’t that your dream?” I asked. “To get married and have a big family and everything?”

“Well, yeah,” he admitted, “but I’d put it all on hold for you. You…you mean that much to me.”

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And I want you to know you couldn’t have loved me better

I gasped, feeling rather incredulous. He would give up everything, just like that? He would put all of his dreams on hold for ten, twenty years, so as long as it would grant him me?

That was so…so….

My breath caught in my throat.

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But I want you to move on, so I’m already gone

That was so…wrong.

I felt my face fall, my eyes suddenly burning from the sting of tears. This was wrong. This was so horribly wrong because, I realized, I would never do that. I would never do the same for this unceasingly sweet boy before me, and that wasn’t fair. I looked at Oliver, seeing the questioning look on his face, and I felt my heart twist uncomfortably in my chest. I loved this boy, I really did, but this wasn’t fair. He would give up everything for me, and I would never do the same for him.

“That’s so…” I found myself saying absently, my heart beating hard, “that’s so….fucked up!!” I finally yelled, hot tears escaping my eyes.

Oliver jumped, startled at my outburst and probably even more startled because I had cursed when I rarely ever did, but it was the only word that I felt could properly convey how I currently felt.

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I’m already gone, already gone

“Woah!” Oliver exclaimed, his blue eyes wide and his hands held up before him to calm me. “What’s fucked up?”

“YOU!” I shouted. “This….US!” My body was trembling. This was just so messed up and wrong.

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“Wait, what?” he asked, and the look on his face was so worried, so surprised, so pained that I could feel my heart squeezing in on itself in my chest, but I just couldn’t stop myself. This wasn’t fair to him anymore.

You can’t make it feel right when you know that it’s wrong

I took a shuddering breath, trying desperately to get a hold of myself. “We…we are such different people,” I managed to say, the words coming to me slowly. What was I doing? What was I even saying here? Surely I didn’t mean….

“I…I guess,” he said hesitantly, sounding almost afraid to speak at all. “But we’ve always known that. I mean, it…it makes things more interesting, right?” he asked, but it sounded less like a question and so much more like a plea.

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I’m already gone, already gone
There’s no moving on so I’m already gone

“Yes,” I admitted, feeling strained, “but we are also on such different paths…aren’t we?” I looked at Oliver entreatingly, my eyes meeting his. I understood what I was saying now and I wanted him to understand too, but the words were too difficult to say. He looked back at me and for a long while we both just stared at one another, until slowly, his face became lined with anguish, the light extinguishing so fast from his eyes that if I hadn’t been staring, I would have missed it.

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“Don’t,” he whispered. His hands were shaking. “Don’t do this.”

I took a step away from him, ignoring the screams of my heart and ignoring the hot tears falling down my cheeks. “I have to! This isn’t fair to either of us. I-I can’t give you what you want! I wish I could, I really do, because I care about you so much, but that’s why I can’t continue like this!”

“Stop it, Jo!” Oliver groaned, and now his eyes too filled up with tears. He ran a hand through his hair. He kicked at a rock. He looked like he was slowly coming apart, but I just could not stop. “Jesus, Jo, don’t do this! Please don’t do this!” he begged, reaching out to me.

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Already gone, already gone, already gone
Already gone, already gone, already gone, yeah

I took a step back. “I’m so sorry,” I said, my voice coming out tense and strangled. “It’s just…you would give up everything for me, Oliver—everything, but I can’t do the same for you. I won’t ever do the same for you…and that’s why I can’t let you do that for me. It just isn’t fair!”

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“Fuck fair, Jo!” he snapped, throwing his arms up in frustration. “That doesn’t matter! I LOVE YOU. More than anything in the world I love you and that’s why I’d do this for you!”

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“THEN I DON’T LOVE YOU, OLIVER!” I shouted back with a sob, my heart shattering into about a thousand pieces. “I. Don’t. Love. You,” I hissed through gritted teeth, “because I would never do the same for you.”

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Remember all the things we wanted
Now all our memories, they’re haunted
We were always meant to say goodbye

Oliver’s mouth fell open, and then closed, his entire body slackening as he crumbled in on himself. “Oh…fuck, Jo,” he choked out in disbelief, and then, to my horror, fell to his knees before me, broken.

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I wanted to comfort him then. I wanted to take it all back and fall to my knees too, sweeping him into my arms and apologizing over and over again. I had never meant the conversation to go this way, but hearing him say that he would give it all up when I never would….

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I want you to know that it doesn’t matter
Where we take this road someone’s gotta go

I couldn’t comfort him. I couldn’t take it all back.

I couldn’t because letting this continue would have been far crueler than what I was doing now.

I would never be the woman that Oliver needed. I would never be the woman that Oliver deserved.

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And I want you to know you couldn’t have loved me better
But I want you to move on, so I’m already gone

“I’m sorry,” I said softly, “but you deserve someone who will love you just as much as you love me and I’m just not that person.”

Oliver let out a sob, slowly shaking his head. “God…yes, you are! Please, Joanne….”

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I’m already gone, already gone
You can’t make it feel right when you know that it’s wrong

“I’m sorry,” I repeated, more tears escaping my eyes. “I’m sorry.” The words were lost in the louder sounds of Oliver’s despair and I found myself turning around, forcing myself to walk away as quickly as I could—forcing myself to walk away before I could change my mind.

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I’m already gone, already gone

It was for the best, I knew. We were on separate paths now, and forcing them to connect would have been far crueler than just allowing them to split.

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But still it hurt so badly.

I had never meant the conversation to go like this…and now that it had, I knew there was no going back.

There’s no moving on, so I’m already gone

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36 thoughts on “Chapter 5.6: Already Gone”

  1. Oh wow… This was such a… sad chapter…

    Most chapters, I know how to feel towards most (if not all) of the characters. But… I’m not even sure how to feel towards Joanne…

    I really didn’t like what she did to Hannah. AT ALL… Sure, Hannah is a bit of a loud mouth jerk… But it wasn’t very right what Jo did… Though I guess I kind of get where she is coming from. She had an opportunity to do what she wants, and when she saw it slipping through her fingers, she got desperate and did whatever she could to hold on the that opportunity.

    My heart actually broke for Oliver. I did not expect that situation to go that way… I expected him to be angry about her lying or something… But now he’s all heartbroken and sad… That was just… Wow… I’m not even sure what to say… I am that shocked…

    I hope that this chapter doesn’t end up as a pattern in Joanne’s life… Because she may one day wake up and realize that she is all alone.

    Great chapter!

    1. That’s actually supposed to be how it with Jo, so I’m very glad you feel that way. I’ve been really careful in trying to create a character who you both want to root for…and punch in the face, haha. I have to say as time goes on though that its getting harder and harder to bring out the “root for” part, which has made this gen suddenly very difficult to write >.< Oh, Jo *shakes head*

      What she did to Hannah definitely wasn't right, but as you said, she did whatever it took to hold onto that opportunity…you'll notice that desperation is pretty important in this gen.

      Ugh, my heart is broken for Oliver too. His sim looked SOOOOO upset. You know, fun fact, Jo broke up with Oliver on freaking autonomy? I DID NOT EVEN KNOW SIMS COULD DO THAT. One minute I was making them "argue" for the pictures, and the next I hear this weird music that I'd never heard before (I never have sims break up….) and lo and behold, there's Jo breaking up with him. I mean, it WAS actually planned that way, but still! Autonomy! And she slapped him too! On that note, she also slapped Hannah on autonomy after THEY argued too. Her sim is worse than I've written her so far =O lol

      A pattern, hmmm? Oh, oh, we shall see…..

  2. I totally agree with you Phyrcracker no matter the career, it’s not worth breaking a friendship or a love’s heart…

    And you’re right, if she continue like that, she may well end up alone…

  3. Wow, I’m with Nate. I’ve lost some love for Jo. It was wrong what she did to Hannah and then with Oliver. She handled it so badly. My heart broke for him, seeing him kneeling on the ground, broken. He would still get his dream and his wish. Why can’t she see that he had that dream with her. Without her, he may not want that anymore. His imagination got carried away because she never said anything to stop him, slow him down, and then have them build a future- together. I know Oliver would have been honest about his feelings and they would work through it.

    But her character is only human. And in being human, we make mistakes and should learn from them appropriately. We can’t go through our entire life learning from other people’s mistakes or I don’t think we will have ever lived, ever dared to try something new. When it hurts someone we care about, it would be so nice to wish we are better than human but in the end, all we can do is learn. I hope she does, but wow.

    I have such an odd feeling after this chapter. Within a few thousand words Jo was able to lose two people that cared about her. I do somewhat see what Hannah was talking about with the ‘Holier than Thou’ attitude that Joanne has. I didn’t see it but she literally seemed to show no remorse for Hannah and even mentioned she wished they weren’t friends anymore almost like they weren’t good enough for her. I understand people grow apart but there can be such shortage of kindness in the world, so to see people throw it away- is frustrating and sad to watch. In her own way, Hannah was always there when she needed her, and although blunt, she said whatever she needed to, to get Jo off her butt to start taking control. And now, because she thinks because she wouldn’t give up her dreams for Oliver she thinks doesn’t love him. Just wow Jo.

    Such a great chapter Lilly!

    1. Losing some love for Jo is expected and it’s possible you’ll lost some more before you gain any of it back, if you do. She did handle it badly. It’s funny in a dark way because in her head she did it because she felt like it was wrong and cruel to stay with him, but breaking up with him like that was probably crueler. But that is, like you said, part of being human. We rationalize our actions in our heads, making them out to be good choices even when they are not, and that is exactly what’s happened to Jo in this chapter: first, in her betrayal of Hannah, and second, in her break up with Oliver. She thinks she did the right things, and yes, you can see SOME logic in the reasoning, but in the end there’s no denying that they were both decisions that were NOT handled well.

      I’m so glad you see that Hannah was right about that!!! Actually, this whole time Hannah has been like….the dark little part of my mind that says things you shouldn’t say out loud. Like, if I had absolutely NO filter, those are the kinds of things I would have been saying to Jo this ENTIRE time, so many of the things she says are cruel and nasty, but also, TOTALLY TRUE, lol. If only Hannah was a bit better with phrasing things, maybe she would have been able to convey these things to Jo in a way that would have actually gotten her to listen, instead of turning her away…..but as you’ve said before, people need to learn things on their own, and Jo will indeed learn….

      Thank you ❤

      1. I agree, what she did to Oliver is way more cruel than she thought. Poor man ;(
        That make me like him more ^^
        It’s rare a man like him I think ^^

        And I like Jo’s tied hair ^^ Do you know WCIF it please ? ^^

  4. Hmmmm. Now that was very unexpected. Very. I also feel like she was didn’t mean all of she said for some reason? I feel like she was holding back maybe, or a sense of regret will come on afterwards. I could be wrong of course haha, but still.

    1. You’re right, honestly. She really didn’t mean everything she said. I mean, would anyone believe for a second that she doesn’t ACTUALLY love that boy? I sure wouldn’t.

      Will she take it back though? Or better yet, CAN she? What matters more to her? Friendship and love, or that career?

      Hmmm :/

  5. Yay, I finally caught up. This story is amazing, I like that you add depth to all your character. I would have to say my favorite generations so far are Tamara, James, and now this one. Tamara was one of my faves because she was so brave and independent. I also liked all the places she traveled. James generation dealth with so many real-life issues, and I think you did a great job addressing them. I also like James and Candice as a couple.

    This current generation is coming along fantastic. I like that you made Jo a talented singer. Singing comes with the Showtime EP, right? That’s the only reason I would get that EP, because of the singer profession. Jo grew up so pretty. I would have liked for her to remain with Oliver, but maybe she needs this seperation to figure some things out.

    1. Wow, thank you. I’m truly humbled by your comment–you have no idea how much that means to me! I honestly spend ages developing each character and it can be seriously challenging sometimes, especially at the start of a generation when I’m still developing and getting to know that character.

      Your favorite generations are my favorite generations as well! I think James’ might be my ultimate favorite though just because I enjoyed writing his story so much since it came to me so easily. I probably understand his character the best of all of them, and it doesn’t hurt that James and Candice are my favorite couple so far, hands down!

      I’m really glad you think that this current generation is coming along fantastically because as it is still in its beginning I’ve been struggling quite a bit with it. I often have to rewrite her chapters multiple times just to make sure I get them right! Jo really is pretty, which is probably fitting for her profession, haha. Singing did come with the Showtime EP and that career is probably my favorite part of that expansion pack, so I’m pretty excited to play it in this generation.

      Jo definitely does need time to figure things out….and I have to say, it may take a while before she truly does…..

      Thank you again for writing such a nice comment and, of course, for reading! I’m impressed that you got through all the chapters in so little time and I hope that you continue to enjoy what’s to come ^_^

  6. Well, this was right about what I expected to happen. I was still very heart-broken for Oliver. She is doing the right thing, but she was very cruel about it.

    I think this was superbly written–maybe your best. I thought the weaving of the song through the chapter was perfect. I really could sort of feel the crescendo.

    Oliver will probably survive this…I hope (’cause I like him lots), but I wonder about Hannah. We didn’t get to see much of her reaction and I think she has a lot stronger feelings than she lets on. All that sarcasm must be a mask for something, right?

    As for Jo, she deserves to reap what she sowed, but I wonder how long it will take for her to learn from this.

    1. I also believe, in the end, that she is doing the right thing, but went about it in a bad way, which I think was because she didn’t exactly think it through. It all just came to her once and she acted on those thoughts immediately. As you’ve seen little hints of, Jo can be…impulsive.

      Also, wow, thank you so much! That’s actually exactly what I was trying to accomplish with the song, so it makes me really happy to hear that it worked out. I don’t know if I’ll always be able to do it, because the songs don’t always fit so perfectly, but I’m glad that it worked out this time.

      I think you’re right about Oliver–he’s far too collected to let this break him, but it definitely hurts and he’ll be torn up about it for a while. As for Hannah, you’re not entirely wrong, but you may continue to not see too much of her since her reaction to fights is usually the cold-shoulder, lol. So you’ll have to see…..

      As for Jo…hmmm….could take a while….it’ll definitely be….complicated.

  7. Jo! Why? Seriously? That was so messed up! I know Hannah isn’t the greatest person ever, but wow. Not cool. Very dbag like. I’m not happy with her right now. Plus, Ollie! Oh poor baby…:( He was trying so hard and and… I just feel for him so much. Dang, wonderful writing Lily! I could really feel myself getting angry while reading this chapter! That’s so intense emotions you poured into this chapter. Bravo. *claps for you*

    Very unhappy with Jo though. Very unhappy. I really loved her a lot and thought she was adorable. Now I’m just… Just… Arg! Bad Jo! :/

    1. Ah yes, Joanne is beginning to make some very unpopular decisions. What she did to Hannah was uncalled for, and whether or not you agree with Joanne’s reasoning for breaking up with Oliver, it’s clear that it didn’t have to be done quite that way :/ I really felt for him too, especially when I played the scene in game. He made the most devastating faces–it almost made me regret my decision! Almost….:P

      Thank you very much! *blush* It means a lot to me for you to say that ^_^

      Joanne…yeah, it’s…well, you may grow to dislike her more before you come to like her again…. >.>

  8. Oh man… I agree that that’s what Tom meant when he said “Make Valencia notice you,” because if you have talent, you want to be on that path, and a scout is there, then you perform your best. I think that Joanne and Hannah should never have adjusted the track for Hannah’s sake, that is the decision I think was wrong, not what Joanne did at the show. I think Joanne did what was best for her, which sometimes is what you have to do, especially when she wasn’t even sure about her and Hannah’s friendship anymore. Which brings me back to my point of they never should have adjusted the track for the Hannah. LOL. It only serves to hold back the better singer, and as much as it hurts to realize that you are the weaker singer, holding back the better singer is cruel as well. If Joanne wants to be a famous singer, which she does, she can’t have Hannah riding on her coattails for her entire career.

    When Joanne described how it felt when she sang, I totally understood it. When you have a passion like that, it is as easy as breathing.

    I think this is the first chapter where Joanne actually made decisions for herself, rather than just tagging along with Hannah and Oliver, and doing what they wanted, of which I am proud of her. Even though both of her decisions did hurt the two people who were closest to her in her life, I feel like Joanne has grown up a lot just by these two actions. Life isn’t about pleasing everyone around you, as much as people think that is the best way to live. I relate to her dreams of being in the spotlight, even though my chosen path is acting, not singing, and not wanting to just live the ‘getting married, having kids, and a picket fence life’. I definitely am a dream chaser. LOL. I had dumped many boyfriends in college when it was clear they were just looking for the normal life. I feel sad for Oliver, he really is just the sweetest boy, but I also understand 100% the feeling that I should never have to sacrifice what I want for someone else. It was sweet that Oliver thought that it didn’t matter for him, but I think that as he grows up more and moves on, he will realize that Joanne did the best thing for both of them. If a couple is on different paths, and they try to stay together, more often than not, it results in one of them becoming resentful of their partner.

    I think I should note too, that this is the first of Joanne’s chapters where I think I’m starting to understand her and feel more connected to her as a character. XD

    1. Oh my my, Late Knight Simmer, congratulations for being the first (that I’ve seen) to not lose love for Joanne because of her actions in this chapter 😉 I never actually intended this chapter to be one that would cause people to lose respect for Joanne, but that’s the way it panned out, lol. I do see why, given that although Joanne made a lot of necessary choices, she did them in not the best way, but as you pointed out, in the end it was sort of the best thing to happen all around.

      Should she have betrayed Hannah right in the midst of the performance? Well, probably not- she should have brought it up earlier and she really shouldn’t have adjusted the dang track for Hannah’s sake like you said, but she DID and here was her moment so, although not the nicest thing, can you completely blame her….?

      And should she have shouted in the middle of campus “I DON’T LOVE YOU” to the guy who was madly in love with her and whose every action was based on a desire to provide the best life for her possible? Well, again, probably not, but allowing the relationship to continue when it clearly wasn’t what she wanted would have ultimately been far worse.

      However, given that Joanne did take such extreme and hurtful methods of accomplishing what was necessary sort of makes you wonder….although everyone should indeed follow their dreams and not let anyone hold them back, exactly how far will Joanne go to achieve this dream….?

      Glad you’re beginning to connect to her a bit more, but I also foresee some more potentially frustrating moments for you…. 😛 XD

  9. Joanne, Joanne, Joanne. *sighs* It’s difficult, however Hannah, despite being a bit blunt, is right, you need to let him know that you have no intentions of settling down right after you graduate and you don’t want to have children in the next five years or so, you want to focus on your career. The sooner that your feelings are out in the open, the longer that Oliver believes that you both want the same little future the poorer he’ll react to finding out that you want something different. And oh, Oliver, dammit I know Jo never said she didn’t want to get married, but I hate how he just assumes that they’ll get married after college, he doesn’t even ask her if she agree or what she thinks, he just acts like she’s peculiar for asking “They are?” .

    Aww, poor Jo, she’s so talented and I think that Hannah knows that, it makes me so sad that she’s angry that she “upstaged” her, when it’s just her natural talent that’s shining through. Jo could be more understanding, though and shouldn’t just cast her aside because Tom recognized that she’s talented; I hope that she secures a record deal, but I’m also scared that she’s going down a dangerous road…

    I’m glad that Oliver is understanding, however he’s definitely too understanding, he cannot just follow Jo round, hoping that she’ll eventually be ready to settle down, making her feel guilty for not being ready or wanting a small family, especially when she knows that she has no intentions of throwing everything away just so she can be with him. It isn’t fair to him and it isn’t fair to her and I’m so glad that Jo ended it after realizing that. It’s sad, that things had to end for them, since they were high school sweethearts and everything, however they’ve both got separate dreams and I think, in order to chase those dreams, they need to be separated, despite the pain…

    1. LOL actually, a lot of what Hannah says is right, but she conveys it in a way that makes her very off-putting, and instead of Joanne heeding her words, she ends up disregarding them anddddd well, you can’t really blame her half the time because while Hannah is right, she’s also sitting there insulting Joanne =O. I’d have difficulties hearing the message behind the disdain too I think, heh. Though, it looks like she finally did let Oliver know about their differing visions for the future….and that, um, led to an outcome that she certainly hadn’t intended o_O

      Perhaps that’s why the breakup, although for the best, was handled so poorly. Gah, sorry Oliver–she really tore your heart out there….but at the same time, like you said, he should NOT have assumed that they were on the same boat!!! If he hadn’t, although I still think they wouldn’t have worked out, I don’t think their breakup would have been as painful. As it is, well, like you said, they need to be separated…it just sucks that it had to hurt so much. Which can actually be said about Hannah too. Perhaps her and Joanne are at the point where they really shouldn’t be friends anymore and this “break up” is for the best too, but again, it just ended in a bad way :/

      We’ll see what the road looks like from here 😛

  10. Oh god . . .

    Hannah and Jo’s relationship kind of reminds me of my cousin and mine. If we had been performing and she was Jo, I’d probably hate her for it.
    I know the pain of being back stabbed by someone you like and trust, but if they can go that far, it’s just too much for me. Even if we make up, there will still be a dent in our relationship.

    God, I can’t take it. Oliver was totally heartbroken.
    I mean, I can look at it using both of their POV’s.

    Personally, I’d like to get married maybe 3 years after college or so, and have kids not too long after.

    But if I wanted to be famous like Jo, I think that I’d hold off marriage and children for a little, but nobody ever said that you couldn’t be successful with kids and a husband either.

    1. This is so true, and if Joanne and Hannah do make up, it’s likely that there will always be that “something” lying just beneath the surface. Although in this case, their friendship has been so rocky lately that this betrayal may have spelled the end entirely for them….

      Oh, I know 😦 To this day going back and re-reading that breakup scene makes me so sad. Oliver was completely shattered–he’d had all these dreams of his future with Joanne, and just like that they were shred into a zillion pieces. Of course, Oliver also probably shouldn’t have assumed that he and Joanne were on the same page. Joanne should have spoken up of course, but Oliver also never even checked to make sure it was what she wanted too.

      It definitely goes both ways, exactly like you said. It makes sense that Joanne would want to wait in order to establish her career, but success can also come with those things. Both sides have valid points, which makes it all even more complicated. And in the end, it’s difficult to tell whether it was all a mistake, or whether it truly was all for the best. Depending how you look at it, it’s a little of both.

      Thanks for reading and commenting! ^_^

  11. So, been reading some comments up above about what Jo did to Oliver (god, my heart goes out to that boy). But, honestly, I love how HUMAN she is. She’s loveable and hateable and it’s so easy to just put her down for hurting Oliver SOOO bad…but who would’ve done anything differently? She stayed quiet because she was afraid of hurting him (probably unfounded fear, but still) and then, when she finally spoke up, she brutally mishandled the situation. Everyone makes mistakes. Most people keep making the SAME mistakes throughout their life until, one day, they look behind and have an “oh, shit, I did that?!” moment. I think that’s going to be Jo. And, quite frankly, I’m looking forward to it. I’ve loved all your generations, LilyShadowWriter, but all of them seem to have one major issue that its centralized about which gets resolved towards the end. Not a bad thing! Don’t misread me! But I’ve particularly loved these last two generations because of how human James & Jo seem to be. They’ve got they’re faults, they’ve got their problems, they keep making bad choices and the people around them suffer because of those choices…and I love how utterly HUMAN that is. Often times, we never realize our mistakes until much later in life…usually AFTER they’ve landed us in a stew of trouble! I think Jo’ll have some hard issues like that. Which means I think I’ll really, REALLY enjoy reading her story.
    Sorry for the long-winded post. So, LilyShadowWriter, either your writing has improved a LOT or I’ve been sucked even further into your world. Don’t know which…maybe both. I’m leaving now >.>

    1. That being said…I’m totally rooting for her getting back together with Oliver later down the line. Maybe wishful thinking but…I’m a hopeless romantic, what else is there to say? 😛

    2. Ahhh thanks so much, darling! That’s really what I was aiming for. The fact of the matter is that humans are fallible and sometimes someone can be your favorite person in the world, and sometimes you just want to punch that same person in the face, haha. We feel fear, hope, and pain; we make mistakes; and yes, sometimes we make the same mistakes over and over again, like you said! Yes, Joanne mishandled the situation, but who is to say they wouldn’t potentially do the same in their own ways? We all say things we technically shouldn’t have in the moment–it’s also a part of being human.

      Hehe, again no worries, I’m not offended at all. You are 100% right and I KNOW that my writing has improved markedly since those first few generations. That’s why I said that I cringe when I read them =O I mean, they’re “cute” I guess in their own rights, but then I compare them to Generations 4 and especially 5 and I’m like “Omg, I should delete these,” lol. That being said, I also know I’ve still got a way to go, so hopefully in another generation or two I can come back to these and say the same 😛 My ultimate goal would be to actually publish something! =O =O =O

      Thank you so much again! *hugs*

  12. The song lyrics work especially well in this episode. Although I don’t the song… It fits perfectly.

    This was a big decision for Jo, but it was the right one. It looks depressing now, but it will be better soon.

    Poor Hannah though. I totally understand why Jo did that to her, and if she’s a real friend H will understand too, but it must feel awful now…

    1. Thank you 🙂 I actually think this is one of the “best-fitting” songs of all the chapters. It can be really difficult for me match up the song lyrics a lot of the times, but this time they just melded to the text with ease. Definitely not how it usually goes!!!

      It was definitely a big decision–one that she hadn’t even been consciously thinking about until her moment of enlightenment. She might have acted on her insight a bit too impulsively, but the fact of the matter is that whether it was now, or a week from now in a quiet conversation, it needed to be done. As you said, it was the right decision and even though it looks depressing now, it’ll be better soon enough (or so we hope, haha).

      It does feel awful now, so awful that I’m not sure Hannah will ever forgive her…but perhaps that’s a testament to the current state of their friendship :/

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  13. WOAH! GO Jo! He needed to hear that. It’s true, it’s not fair for one person to sacrifice everything for the other when the other isn’t willing to do that.

    Side note, love Jo’s performance outfit, are her shoes and dress EP or CC?

    1. Yessss, I totally agree. Although Oliver made not see it now, a relationship like that would have been totally unhealthy and he would have ended up miserable. Joanne probablyyyy could have handled the situation with a little more tact rather than ripping out Oliver’s heart and smashing it on the ground, but the break up itself probably needed to happen honestly.

      Joanne’s performance outfit is from the Late Night EP again while her shoes are from the TS3 Store: http://store.thesims3.com/productDetail.html?productId=OFB-SIM3:71644&scategoryId=11908

      Thank you as always for reading and commenting! ❤

  14. Aaaahhhhhhh *flails around*
    JOANNE, how dare you, my poor Oliver ;-;
    It makes sense, but doesn’t change that I’m sad now. Hopefully Oliver will eventually find someone else.
    As for Joanne…you’re pretty much going to be alone now dear. No boyfriend…no best friend…you’ve still got your family though of course. And it does leave room to meet more people…

    1. It does make sense…but perhaps it could have been done less harshly T_T

      Hmmm, yes, Joanne is giving up quite a lot all in the name of seeking stardom. Makes you wonder what else she’ll give up along the way if she continues like this =(

  15. No, OLIVER! no. ;_; … I mean… it was necessary but also you broke my heart. My achy breaky heart. I just don’t think it’ll understand…
    I’m worried about the path Jo is going down. She’s going to be awfully lonely once she becomes a star…

    1. I literally teared up while writing this chapter so I totally feel you ;____; It was, however, necessary AND marks the start of showing just how far Joanne is willing to go in order to achieve her dreams of being a star….But at this rate, you’re completely right–once she gets there it’ll be awfully lonely =(

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