Saturday, August 30, 2008

Chapter 12: Haven Is Bound

Mon, October 19, 2074 7:01 pm: Pleasantview Youth Boarding House- Tolsbury, Pleasantview


Haven Hanby tripped over her own tangled feet while rushing up the stairs. Her arms flew wildly into the air, grasping for a slightly-too-distant banister. She managed to catch herself before her face hit the wooden edge of the step but her right foot slipped beneath her, causing her entire body to slide backwards for the length of three steps.


No one saw but she was just as embarrassed as she would have been if someone had seen.
Haven pushed herself up, her palms red and burning, her pride likewise injured.


She continued her journey up the stairs clomping heavily but slowly, hanging her head in a show of defeat. She would be cursing herself painfully for the next few days over this.


Haven reached the top of the steps, keeping her eyes on the floor just in case anyone was around. This was the problem with the boarding house- there were no good places to sulk. She had to resign herself to looking away from everyone else and pretending that she was alone.


Haven turned the corner to enter the girls' dormitory when she heard a male voice chastising her from the study room, "You really shouldn't run like that, you could hurt yourself." Orlando! Haven swiveled around abruptly and headed into the study room.


Orlando was seated at the first computer, seemingly proof-reading something he had just typed. He did not look at her. Haven wanted to fling herself on him, plant kisses all over his face and tell him about her day at school. But most unusually, Orlando seemed like he didn't want to be approached.


Haven held her breath and crept behind Orlando's chair. She would wait for him to finish his work before she hugged him. Oh, Orlando! He was her very best friend in the boarding house. No, her very best friend in the world! He was super nice and smart and fun. Haven wished that she could be just like him.


Orlando never tripped or forgot important stuff or blew his nose too loud or said the wrong things. And he was always so good to her. He never treated her like she was different or talked down to her because she was littler than him. Orlando liked her in earnest, for who she was. Haven wasn't even sure she could say the same of her parents.


Haven teetered from one foot to the other. Maybe she would count the seconds until he was done. One (one thousand), two (one thousand), three (one thousand)... She couldn't take it.
"Wanna go look for salamanders," she chirped.


"No, I want to talk to you about something," he said flatly. Uh oh. What had she done now? Haven tried to recall anything she may have said to offend him. Her square face scrunched-up tight in desperate concentration.


Orlando turned his chair around towards her and gestured for her to come closer. Haven came tentatively. When she passed within reach, Orlando took her by the hands.


Haven's hands were sticky from an orange popsicle she'd eaten a few minutes ago. She regretted not having wiped them off somewhere. Orlando had a very expectant look on his face. Haven didn't suppose he was thinking about her hands.


"Haven," Orlando started but looked away as though he was rethinking what he was about to say. "I'm going to be eighteen in December-" Haven cut in, squeezing Orlando's hands.


"Yes, I know. I've already got everything planned." Haven gave Orlando her broadest smile. Did he really think that she would forget his birthday? Orlando closed his eyes and sighed. Haven knew that sigh. It was the sigh of someone who was exasperated with her. She was a little hurt.


"I'll be too old to live here anymore," Orlando said. Years later, Haven would remember this moment as moving infinitely slower than it did. She let go of Orlando's moist hands. Amid the shock of knowing that she was about to lose him, Haven thought that the mixture of his sweat and her popsicle juice had somehow bound them like blood brothers.


"The thing about it is," he continued. "I can't just leave you alone here. I mean, Jack would probably look after you but he's hardly ever around and- Well anyway, I want you to come live with me. I've already talked to your mother and to Mr. Hanby-"


Orlando was interrupted in mid-sentence when Haven threw her tiny arms around his neck. Orlando coughed. She was cutting off his air. She let him go. He was beaming.


"So you'll come?" Haven shrugged but could not suppress the joy on her face.


"My home is where you are," she said. Orlando grabbed her forcefully, pulling her into a crushing hug. Haven couldn't remember a time that she had felt more wanted.


  1. Haven is the Caliente household's former maid's daughter. Siren mentioned her in passing.


    I love this post. Glad you commented, I was trying to figure out who she was related to. Too cute.

  3. Everyone is connected to everyone else in Pleasantview by pretty short degrees of separation. :)

    Eventually, the family tree will be complete (next week, methinks) and then at least all of the familial relationships will make sense.

  4. I've just discovered this story and I must say, I am well impressed with it.
    Haven is such a sweet little girl and Orlando wanting to take her with him. I hope he realises just how big a responsibility he's undertaking

  5. Thanks Sonia!

    Yeah, I'm not really sure how this will pan out for them yet. Orlando is a very responsible young man but he may be in over his head. Even so, he won't have it nearly as bad as poor Vince, who is much younger still.

    And at the end of the day, Haven doesn't really have much of anyone else. Her parents don't really want her. The Caliente's are torn over the question of how much involvement they should have in her life. The Pleasantview Youth Boarding House is not the best situation for a kid to grow up in... But I'll get into all of that a little later.

  6. Awww! But isn't she in love with him? Or does she just love him like a brother? How old is she?

  7. Haven loves him like a brother. Oh boy, was that ambiguous? Hmm, I'll have to work on that. And she is ten-years-old:

  8. A little, not to mind might just be on one track... :)

  9. Awwww that was super-sweet. I love that name Haven, too -- so fitting for a girl who has had to go out searching for one. I guess she found it now.

    I thought for the first few paragraphs that she might have had a crush on him, but after that it seemed pretty clear that it was a more brotherly thing. That is just awesome of him, though.

    I guess I will be in love with Orlando now since Laurie has already broken my heart. I am saving a little spot for Jack Dalton, though, just in case he turns out as cool as he seems.

    I was wondering about Vince myself, 14 seems way too young to deal with being the head of a household, so I assumed he was super-mature. Sounds like we should be a bit worried.

  10. Vince is going to end up with problems that a normal adult couldn't handle, for sure. BUT he's going to get some help before too long. And the Riley family (that is, Cathy's family) is keeping constant tabs on him at the moment.

    And I wouldn't set my heart on Orlando just yet! hehehe

    Poor little Haven. Out of everyone though, I'm pushing for a happy ending for her and Orlando. But I'm still not certain about how their story will end.

  11. Sorry that I keep on asking questions - who's Orlando? And why is he staying at the girls' dormitory?

    I tried looking in your genealogy but I must've missed him.

    Other than that - good thing that poor girl has someone who's actually thinking about her welfare.

  12. hehehe Oh boy! It's like this--

    They live in the Pleasantview Youth Boarding House, which has a girls' dorm and a boys' dorm. Orlando, of course, lives in the boys' dorm. There is only one computer cluster and it's right outside the girls' dorm.

    Orlando is related to no one in the story that you've met YET so for now, we'll just say that he's a friend of Haven's. He is a Townie-born Resident, living in the boarding house in part to get away from his mother (whom he does not get along with) and in part to gain residency (which he was recently granted).

    He can be found here:

    Orlando Christopher Bertino

  13. I really love the name Haven too. Such a cute little girl with her rosy cheeks. I reckon there is something a little more than brotherly love going on for her, though I think she is too young to understand the feelings she is having.

    What a nice guy, to offer for her to come and live with him. And he looks so much more phwoar with the skins and eyes you are using. Maxis Orlando never had it so good :)

  14. I SO need to bring Haven back soon! I miss that weird little amphibian-collecting, Play Dough-tasting kid! But there's so much going on right now. Haven has a little kiddie crush on Laurie right now, at this age. But you're right, things might get a little complicated for her later in life when she looks around and finds herself in love with Orlando.

    Haha! Yes, Orlando is using Idolatry of the Flesh. I think he's sort of unconventionally cute too! It's funny how many of the Maxis sims end up Phwoary when you just change their defaults.