Friday, August 29, 2008

Chapter 11: Macaulay Says the Longest Hello

Sat, October 17, 2074 6:28 pm: Caliente Manor- Middlebourne, Pleasantview
Laurie guided Macaulay out of the parlor, lightly pressing his hand against the small of Macaulay's back. Macaulay in turn did his best to ignore the feeling that Laurie was attempting to communicate more than a desire to usher Macaulay into the next room.

The Calientes' maid breezed through the dining room, lighting candles with her head bowed. Macaulay was reminded of how Lavinia set about that same task, lingering over each candle and humming to herself. Lavinia never completed a chore expediently but instead dallied, stretching what should have taken minutes into hours of blissful work. She was the only person Macaulay knew who found beauty in the mundane. On some days, it drove Macaulay's father out of his mind.


The maid disappeared behind the kitchen door, keeping her eyes averted as though it were her sincerest wish to simply fade into the wall. Childish squeals of laughter rang throughout the house, accompanied by the heavy thump of running feet. Laurie surpassed Macaulay, allowing his fingers to trail across Macaulay's back and elbow as he did. He stopped before the window, where the light was strongest, and turned to face Macaulay.

"I'm really glad you came by," Laurie said, smiling warmly.


"I am too," Macaulay replied. Then hastened to add, "I mean, it was the least I could do, I guess." The words after you saved my life dissolved on his tongue, more substanceless than smoke. Macaulay was uncertain about whether or not he was truly grateful. For most of his life, he had felt like an outside observer, staring detachedly as the world came and went. He knew not only what it was to wish to fade into the wall but to actually succeed at it. That God and fate had seen fit to deliver him from death stood as proof to Macaulay that he did in fact matter. He was too astounded to have any room for gratefulness. He lifted his eyes to meet Laurie's. "Hey, I didn't get a chance to ask you... How did you find me?"


"Oh, well we were walking down Valleymoor Road towards town and I heard you go under." Macaulay narrowed his eyes, smirking at Laurie skeptically.


"You heard me all the way from the road," Macaulay asked. Laurie shrugged.

"The hills must have amplified the sound. I don't know. It was a pretty loud splash, though."


"Ok, so you heard a splash. Why didn't you just keep walking?"

"Ah, well, that was a little strange. I had this sort of gut feeling. I can't explain it." Laurie turned away for a moment, furrowing his brow. Suddenly his head jerked upwards with alarm, concern bending his lips into a pout.

"You must have been under for ten minutes!" Macaulay smiled at the absurdity of the statement.


"Ten minutes? No one could have survived that."


"Well actually, I was being conservative. You must have been under for at least ten minutes. Not only did I have to run from the road but once I got to the falls, I had a bit of a look around. How long do you think you were under?"


"Certainly not ten minutes," he chuckled. How long had Macaulay been under? It wasn't as though he had spent that time checking his watch. In fact, he couldn't remember much that had happened after he dove. "I dunno. I blacked out pretty fast." Laurie sighed deeply.

"You know what? Let's not talk about this anymore. It makes me uncomfortable. I was really freaked out."


"Were you?" This had come as a bit of a surprise. Why should Laurie have cared? They had been strangers. They were still strangers. Nonetheless... "I'm sorry." Laurie laughed dryly.


"You ought to be! I'm joking. I'm really glad to have met you."

"Yeah well, it might have been easier for me to just have said hi to you in Chemistry or something," Macaulay grumbled. Laurie blinked.


"You're in my Chemistry class?" This new knowledge seemed to have brightened Laurie's demeanor even further.

"Yeah. I sit three rows behind you, on the left. In fact, if anyone asks about how we met..."


"Chemistry class?"

"Chemistry class." To Macaulay, it seemed that this agreement was the end of an introduction that had begun with his first gasp for air. He thought that it must have been the longest hello ever spoken. They were thoroughly acquainted and from now on, co-conspirators at the very least. Macaulay smiled sheepishly. "I- I'm glad to have met you too, Laurie Caliente."



  1. This is a comment that I meant to post when I first posted the chapter *cough* but for the record, Macaulay was underwater for a grand total of 2 minutes 14 seconds. That's from the time his face hit the water to the time that Laurie emerged from the pond.

  2. Ooooooo! I hope Cully feels the same way! Laurie is so pretty! Not handsome....PRETTY...waaay too pretty!

    So would him being gay be a "bad" thing in their community? How would his parent's react?

  3. Ach, Tiana! For an answer to that question, I must direct you to the lengthy essay I wrote in the comments section for Chapter 31:

    It isn't really a bad thing in their community and same sex marriages do sometimes happen (taking my cues from Maxis). Generally, the feeling is one of acceptance. But Laurie's social equals play by a different set of rules. And it's all to do with their warped view of what is proper and normal. These people thrive on normal. Also, there is for them the question of inheritance. I talk about that in the note on Chapter 31.

    I think Laurie is just so cuuuttteeee. I should grow him up and see what he looks like as an adult. I think that he'll just end up looking like a much fairer version of Troy.

  4. The picture where he's turning and pouting at Cully-- TOO CUTE! I just wanted to hug him.

    And Cully is a very handsome sim, just like his father. He features look sharper than adorable baby-faced Laurie.

  5. I think that is probably my all-time favorite picture of Laurie! How could anyone not fall for that little face?

    I think that Macaulay might have his mother's mouth and his father's everything else. I keep forgetting to grow him up to see what he'll look like as an adult. Maybe I'll check that out tonight.

  6. Why were they in the same class when Laurie's older by 2 years?

    I'm glad there's a bit more light now so I had a good look at both boys. I like how awkward these two are with each other - I guess it's hard to sift through new feelings...

  7. The education system in Pleasantview is pretty different from what you or I would be used to, particularly in the private school, where there are so few students.

    Students are not separated by grade level. You're in lower school from age four to age eleven and upper school from twelve to seventeen (or eighteen). To graduate, you simply need a certain amount of credits in each subject area. For the lower school, the areas are mathematics, writing, reading comprehension, foreign language and social studies. For the upper school, the areas are mathematics, science, history/public policy, philosophy, literature, foreign language and fine arts.

    Macaulay's classes are a little advanced because he's a good student and that's where his guidance councilor thinks that he belongs. Laurie is an ok student but he greatly enjoys science. So that's where their paths cross.

    They have just had a very awkward 24 hours together, haven't they? The half-hearted suicide attempt. The romantic attraction. The fact that they're just awkward people, period...

    Cully really doesn't do the whole "social interaction" thing. This is totally new to him. Laurie on the other hand, is very social but he's a total goofball.

  8. I've missed this chapter!!! :D lol
    Now I'm understanding a little better, thanks for the explanations about same sex marriage and school stuff, it really comes in handy to understand some other things :D

  9. Oh most certainly.

    I know it takes extra time/energy to read the comments but I probably say more important things in the comments section than I should- Things that should either be in the story or on the behind-the-scenes blog. :\

    So it's probably worth it if and when you read old chapters to take a peek at the comments section.

  10. These guys really are so cute together. I really liked the whole idea of the chapter, the longest hello.

    Laurie is certainly getting the touchy-feely happening but I think Cully is a little bit more clueless. For now :)

  11. Cully is sort of unsure about the signals he's getting here. As we later find out, he's a little slow to pick up on when other people are having romanticish inclinations towards him. Clueless is right! Poor kid.

    Thanks, Verity!

  12. That first sentence seems to indicate Cully senses there's something weird in Laurie's treatment of him, but he just can't figure out what it is. Denial, total cluelessness, or a bit of both? Either way, he's still young, so maybe he still thinks people view him as a kid.

    And they have Chemistry together! That's so appropriate. =D

  13. Maruutsu!!

    I am glad that someone is still cheering for Laurie and Cully. I have kind of let this story fall to the wayside but the newest chapter is half-way written and is a Laurie/Cully chapter. I will try to post it tonight when I get home from work.

  14. Of course I'm still cheering for them! Who wouldn't? They're the cutest couple known to man! And I'm sure everyone will remember it when you post that chapter. Which will hopefully be very soon? *Starts refreshing the main page furiously*