Love the Hard Way

Chapter15: “My Dear Samir” June 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 6:53 am

(Note: Since Colton and Anita are now going to college, I found it appropriate to have them age up. I found Anita to be a beautiful sim! For an in game birth character.. ^^)

Summer vacation had started for Colton and Anita. He was to be preparing for dorm life that summer. Anita was going to the same college as him so they were suppose to prepare together, with his mother helping him. But that all changed. Here he was, June 20th, sitting with his mother in a hospital.

The sun was beginning to set and he knew it was time to leave, it had been an eventful day, she had exhibited signs of regret and she was scared when she woke that morning. She kept holding his hand and crying. Gently kissing her cheek he whispered goodbye to Hazel and left, glancing behind to see that she had not moved from her spot at the window, or changed her gaze. He sighed and ran a hand through his thick black hair.

At home Colton was alone once again. Anita’s parents had put their foot down, even though she was 18, and even though they expressed their condolences towards Hazel, they wanted their daughter preparing for college. So Colton hadn’t seen her lately, and agreed that she should not forgo preparations for college. Anita called him every night however. She was more concerned about him than college and cared enough about him to drop it all if he allowed her to. She hated to leave him alone. Even though they were still  very young, they had found a much needed love in each other.

Colton was cleaning his mothers room, putting away her paintbrushes and wiping paint drops off the floor, covering up her unfinished works in progress and finally making her bed. He had left her room the same way since the first night she went into the hospital, he didn’t want to touch anything, and couldn’t bring himself to.  He was putting away some of her clothes that he had washed and a wooden little box caught his attention. It was in her wardrobe on the top shelf. Colton took the box down. It was not dusty, and was not even locked properly. He opened the box to see a tray with all sorts of little trinkets, under was a stack of letters and photos yellowed over the eighteen years.  He knew who it was immediately, it was his father. The man in the pictures, smiling and kissing his laughing mother had the same black hair as him and lips. Colton opened the letters and read the love that this man, Samir Kaur had written to his mother. He hated to find out about him this way as his mother didn’t talk about his father at all, only that he lived in Egypt and was a good person, but it was too late to put it back now.

The last letter was a letter written by his mother to Samir. It was unopened and on the front it said in big red letters ‘Return to Sender’. He opened the sealed letter and read;

My Dear Samir,

My heart is breaking and there is nothing I can do anymore about it, I cant keep it to myself, I cant just be silent and let you live in peace…no matter how much I want to. I called your father and I have a feeling that he will not tell you anything, so I take it upon myself to deliver the news..that is if he will even give you my letter. He told me that you were…married. I just wish you would of told me…would of called me, tell me what was going on, I knew something was wrong the last time you called me, I heard it in your voice….. I felt like the world was crashing down around me Samir when he told me…. I would not have bothered you and your new life but I felt that it is your right to know that you have a son. He is beautiful Samir, and even though everyone says he looks like me, I see you in him. He was born 7lbs 3oz three days ago, his name is Colton. I look at him and I cant go on without you knowing that you have a child somewhere in the world. I do not want anything from you, you do not have any obligations towards him or me. You don’t even have to write back to me. I just needed to you to know, it settles my heart. Colton has taken your place and holding him in my arms makes my broken heart sing. I will always love you Samir and I will always remember you.

Goodbye, Hazel


Colton sat down on the bed, a little shocked at the revelation of why he never had a father. But this letter, this letter was never delivered to him. It was sent back. Colton folded the letters and placed then gently back into the box. He sat there for a long time, thinking.

An hour of silent thoughts passed before he retrieved the undelivered letter from the box and called Anita.

“Anita..I need you to check in after my mom for a couple days.” He said calmly, clicking around on the computer as he spoke.

“Why? Whats wrong?” The delicate voice on the other end asked.

“Im going to find Samir…my father…”


Chapter14: “We will give her the best care.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 6:38 am

“Hey mom…How are you today..hmm?” Colton asked softly as he entered the room.

“I had a really big test today…finals week is almost over.” He continued as he placed his book bag at the foot of the bed.

He touched her finger, one that wasn’t bandaged. It had been three days since that night. They had to give her a sedative when the ambulance came to calm her down. Now here she was, sitting in the hospital bed, staring out the window of a very sterile white room.  They had a floor for mentally disturbed patients and that’s where they placed her.

The doctor had listened to Colton when he had come in and told him that it was not safe for Hazel, she was self destructive and depressed as well as still in a state of deep shock. She had to stay in the hospital where she would undergo psychiatric help in understanding and accepting what happened, until then she had to be under their care. When Colton had asked the doctor how long it would take, the doctor shook his head. “I am unsure Mr.Valenti. Your mother needs serious attention..but you don’t need to worry, we will give her the best care.”

The hospital was all the way in SimCity as they didn’t have a ward and a specialist in Sunset Valley to take care of her. Colton would drive everyday after school into the city and stay there talking to her and doing his homework until visiting hours were done. Anita came with him some days. The doctor told them to talk to her..that it would help with snapping her back into reality.

Hazel would speak sometimes, but it was nothing that showed progress. She would talk about seeing Jenny. She would talk like she was there and that made the doctors worry that she was going backwards in stead of forward.

The days passed into weeks, and Hazel had made slight progress during her near two month stay in the hospital. It was not much but at least she showed them that she knew that the woman she loved dearly like a sister was gone with tears and sobbing when they showed her a picture. But then at times she got worse. Every day that she snapped out for a moment, a week of backtracking passed.  She would walk around talking to herself, laughing to herself. She would sometimes recognize Colton and ask him how school was. Other days she didn’t know who he was, and then there were the days when she was so silent.

Colton was emotionally drained. He never felt so helpless before. His graduation was a week away and he was confused and disoriented. Anita was his rock during this time. She went against her parents wishes and began staying with him at home more often. She would bring him food at the hospital and stayed with him on the weekends.

On the day of his graduation, Colton did not go. Sharing a tender kiss, Anita told him that she would pick up his diploma and be back at the end.

That day he sat by his mother’s side talking to her about memories they shared when he was little. The stories she told him about his first day at school and how he cried not to go. She told him that she stayed all day outside his classroom, worried that he would hate school. Instead when it was over he came running out with a goofy grin on his little face, showing her the paper heart he had made.

Of the time he had his first sleepover…or when he had experienced his first heartbreak.

Or of all the fun they had late at night staying up watching monster movies and eating junk food. She was always there for him. And now what could he do for her?

Colton didn’t realize it but he was crying as he talked, he missed them too. They were like a second family. Jenny a mother, Dennis a father he never had and Garrett..the little brother who he helped raise, who he left his friends for to take him to the park and eat an ice cream. He loved them too and he had no one to share his grief with, he found it selfish to think about his pain when his mother was lost…truth was he was lost too.


Chapter13: “Call an ambulance!” May 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 2:25 am

The next few days Hazel was despondent. She didn’t eat, she didn’t speak, she looked lost. When Colton spoke to her she would reply in a very small voice, “I’m waiting for her. She’ll be here any minute Colt..You must get ready.” It was the same thing over and over again. He couldn’t get through to her and it scared him. Anita had been sleeping over since the incident and helped him as much as she could. But Hazel was deaf to the world around her. She didn’t see her son. She didn’t hear his pleas, she couldn’t feel him when he touched her.

It was late one night, and Colton was trying to get her to eat some toast. She would eat, but not very much.  Sometimes she would snap out of her death like trance and talk animatedly about Jenny coming and seeing little Garrett again. Oh how much he had probably grown these past five years she would say to Colton.  It was one of those nights.

The TV was left on while Anita was cleaning up the kitchen, when they heard the following;

Good Evening, Im Dan Vincent. We are sorry to interrupt the scheduled show, but we have a news update about the tragedy that took place on April 13th.  The police have new findings that the engine was not properly checked before lift off. Investigative reports have shown  that dives  into the ocean searching for the ruins of flight 187 and collective data has revealed the engine shorting out. The police and FBI agents have put it together that the engine cut when the plane was air borne and plunged into ocean, taking the lives of 154 passengers. The many families of the passengers—

They had all migrated into the living room rather slowly, Anita with glassy eyes, Colton right beside her unable to feel from the numbness spreading into him. It never really hit home with his mother to fill his time, but hearing it on the TV, seeing the plane, the pictures of what was recovered from the crash…it hit him hard. Colton was suddenly caught off guard by his mother screaming, “NO!!! THEY ARE ALIVE! THEY ARE ALIVE!”

He tried to grab her arm, but Hazel had already lunged at the TV, beating at it with her hands before finally taking a nearby vase and  smashing the screen. Glass shattered and flew everywhere, Hazel didn’t feel the pain as glass tore into her hands and arms. She  kept using the now broken vase to break the already broken television screen further, all the while screaming wordlessly.

“MOM!!! MOM!” Colton screamed as he tried to grab her from behind.

“Anita! Call an ambulance!” He screamed to the girl who was trying to pry the broken vase from Hazel.

Blood dripped down Hazel’s hands and arms. There were pieces of glass in her hands and deeps cuts, Colton could not hold her arms to control her because of it.

Hazel wouldn’t stop screaming, over the cries a siren could be heard.


Chapter12: “Happy Birthday Mom…” May 7, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 4:27 am

The next week was difficult for Hazel to sit still with. She was so excited and it showed. The party was all set and Colton was the one who decided that it should be more intimate than huge. Only them and a couple of close friends, make it more personal. And when Hazel got over her excitement she thought it was a brilliant idea. So instead of renting a hall like she originally intended to do, the party was held at her house.

Hazel had received a phone call the night before from Dennis letting her know that they were getting on the plane and would reach there at 4pm in the afternoon. It was 2pm and guests had already started arriving.Hazel was chatting with guests when someone tapped her on the shoulder, it was Colton.

“Oh, Colt! You look so handsome darling.” Hazel replied as he hugged her.

“Happy Birthday Mom, you look beautiful today.” He said.

“Happy Birthday Ms.Valenti!” Anita said as well before presenting something she had behind her back. It was a long thin box wrapped with purple velvet wrapping paper.

Colton spoke, “Anita and I decided to get you a little something.” Before Hazel could protest he said, “I know, I know no one was suppose to get you anything. But I felt that this was right..” He said. Hazel silently took the delicate box and lifted the lid. She had a moment of remembrance from when Colton was little and the first present he had made for her in school, a paper heart, she still had it. Cushioned in the box between a soft purple cloth was a paintbrush. It was old and the bristles were paint stained though clean of paint. On the handle was the name, Peter Savanti. Hazel gasped as she touched the delicate thing, “Colton! You didn’t!” She said looking up.

Colton smiled slyly, “You had told me that he was the person who made you start to draw, grandma had given you an artbook  for your 10th birthday and it was his work that captivated you. Anita had saw an auction for some of his things.  And we won it for you.” He said.

“Oh you guys…this must have been really expensive!” She gushed as she pulled them both into a hug, “Thank you, thank you…this is something Ive really wanted…” She said, she felt like tears were coming.

“Mom..dont cry!” said Colton, Hazel laughed as she carefully closed the box, “I know, I know! I wont.” She said. “You kids are just wonderful…” She said smiling as she kissed each on the cheek.

The time passed by with idle chatter and laughs and when Hazel checked her watch it was 6 already.

“Why don’t you call the airline? Maybe their plane is late.” Anita suggested.Hazel nodded and excused herself from the guests. Colton left with her as well. The phone rang on the other end steadily before a man picked up. He seemed in a hurry.

“Hello Hello, SimCity airlines, how can I help you?” He asked

“Hi, um..My name is Hazel Valenti. Im calling to check on Flight 187 from Africa to SimCity Airport. They were suppose to—“

The man cut her off, “Im sorry to tell you this ma’am but that flight met with a crash about half and hour ago. We are overrun by the police over here, they are investigating what happened. We have word that there are no survivors …Im sorry ma’am. There were—“

Hazel felt herself grow cold, she was in shock at what she just heard, did he say that there was no survivors?

Colton was shaking her, “Mom?? Whats wrong? What did he say??”


Chapter11: “Guess What!?!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 4:22 am

17 years later

“I cant wait to see you Jenny! You don’t know how much I have missed you!” Replied an excited Hazel.

“We will be there next week on the 13th right in time for your birthday. Garrett is so excited too, he has been collecting things for you and Colton.” Jenny replied. The reception wasn’t too bad but it was a little grumbled.

“So, its permanent right? You guys are coming back for good?”

“Yes yes! 5 years is a long time away from Sunset Valley.” Jenny said.

“This is so wonderful! I cant wait to tell Colton when he gets home. He will be so happy to know you guys will be here for his graduation! Can you believe it, 3 more months and he will be finished…” Hazel sighed. “I have so much to talk to you about Jen.” She said longingly.

“I know, I know Zelly. Don’t worry, just a couple more days! We will—Hold on..”

She was gone for a few seconds, “Oh darling Ive got to get off the phone, there’s a line of people here waiting to use it.” She laughed as someone said something behind her.

“Alright alright! Bye bye Jenny!!”

“Bye Hazel!” The line clicked off as Hazel placed the receiver on the table.

She sat down on the sofa smiling to herself. Five years ago, Dennis, Jenny and their 12 year old son Garrett had left to do charity work in Africa. It was mostly Dennis who needed to go and help with the under developed clinics that had opened for children. Jenny and Garrett went along because they didn’t want to be apart as a family. Initially they were suppose to stay only a year or so, but circumstances and needy children without any healthcare kept them longer.

There had been plenty of letters and phone calls, but nothing was nicer than sitting and chatting with her best friend over a cup of coffee.

Hazel jumped up, she had to start making the plans! They were coming back just in time for her 39th birthday party and she would make sure it was a big one with all their friends.

The past 17 years had been very good to Hazel and her son.

Hazel was a well accomplished artist with six galleries in SimCity featuring her work.

Colton on the other hand was a handsome boy who without his mothers strong support and will would of gone down the path of being a bad lady’s man. But Hazel set him straight as soon as she saw the little girls lining up outside for him. He was a straight A student who had gotten a scholarship to play soccer in an Ivy League college far from Sunset Valley. Hazel was not worried about him living on his own in a couple months, she just feared she would miss him too much. That’s why having Jenny near made her so happy, it would soften the blow of losing Colton to college.

It was Colton that walked through the door at 5pm, he had brought home with him his girlfriend of 2 years, Anita FeinBurg. She was a sweet girl that Hazel had liked better than all his previous love interests.

He was barely through the door when Hazel grabbed him into a hug.

“Guess what!?!” She exclaimed, and before he could get a word in edge wise she replied, “They are coming back! Jenny, Dennis and Garrett are coming back next week…on my birthday! You have got to help me plan the party, you too Anita. Its going to be wonderful.” She went off, talking to herself mostly as she sat back down at the kitchen table, writing down errands she needed to run for the party.

Colton looked at Anita and laughed. “I don’t think you’ve ever met Jenny. Shes my moms best friend. They are closer than sisters. I consider her my second mom actually.” He said nodding.

“I cant wait to meet her then! Your mom seems so excited!” Anita replied.

Colton chuckled, “Yea..they haven’t seen each other for five years, so its bound to be a really huge reunion between them.”

Anita joined Hazel at the table, the two chatting about all the decorations while Colton threw  snacks together in a bowl and got soda out for them. He could tell that until they arrived the following days would be filled with eagerness and nonstop chatter from his mom.


Chapter10: “By the power vested in me…” March 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 11:21 pm

The following months were a blur for Hazel. Colton was growing up fast. It seemed like just yesterday when she was in the hospital holding him for the first time. Now he was walking around, talking and giggling. She watched him as she sat at the table drinking her morning tea. It was a big day…Jenny and Dennis’s wedding.

It  took a while to happen actually. After Colton was born everyone became busy, she with raising Colton and taking care of her gallery, Jenny had been promoted shortly after and was running campaigns, and Dennis had finished his exams and was now a full fledged pediatrics doctor, in fact he was Coltons doctor now.

When it seemed that life was slowing down and getting into a regular pace, Hazel and Jenny both sat down and planned out the details. Jenny had left much of the bulk of decorations up to Hazel, while she fussed over her dress and the who to invite.  Jenny’s choice has always been a beach side wedding…and Hazel had made it come true.

She reserved a private beach across the city and made  up the wedding scheme with the colors pink, red and white. There was a live pianist and the food was all catered, the blue sky sparkled in the sunshine and the wind blew gently, ruffling the table decorations and the flowers. Everything was ready…


Hazel dabbed at the tears in her eyes as she watched Jenny walk down the aisle, Colton was in her arms as she smiled at her friend. Jenny looked radiant, the wedding dress didn’t add to her beauty, it complimented it, everything were just compliments to her smile. Dennis stood at the alter looking dapper in his tuxedo, the look on his face was priceless, the awe at the woman he was about to marry was enough to tell anyone that those two really were in love.

Hazel watched the ceremony through teary eyes until those final words,

“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife! You may kiss the bride!”

As they kissed, everyone  seated stood and applauded. It was a beautiful ceremony, a beautiful day as well. The pianist left the piano and turned on the stereo, music pounded and everyone moved to congratulate the new couple before heading to eat and begin the reception festivities.

Hazel let Colton wander around, laughing as he began to dance his own dance.

Jenny pulled her aside and hugged her tightly, her voice filled with emotion,

“Hazel..this is…this is more beautiful than I imagined it could be. The flowers…everything is so beautiful..thank you..this wouldn’t of been possible without you..” She said tears filling her eyes.

“Oh Jenny, stop it. You know this deserves no thanks, I love you more than anything. I don’t know how I could ever get through anything without you by my side. I am proud to say you are more than my friend, you are my sister. Im glad that this wedding was what you wanted.” Hazel said with equal amount of emotion in her voice. It was a tear fest that Dennis interrupted,

“Hey, hey! Whats going on here!! No crying girls! It’s a wonderful day!!” He said picking up Jenny and swinging her around before he got tangled in her train and nearly fell.

Hazel laughed with them and smiled as she watched them lovingly,

“Lets get this party started…” She said aiming at the weak amount of dancers .

Jenny laughed and grabbed her hand as well as her new husbands, “Lets show em how its done!”


Chapter9: “…God help me, he looks like him.” March 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — dustydreamer @ 5:21 am

(I apologize in advance for the lack of images in the beginning, it seems that even with story progression off,  my main family file progressed and Hazel had her baby without me and baby had one day left before aging up. So I couldn’t proceed to make the hospital scene I wanted.)

Hazel screamed in pain in the desolate hospital room. Her hand was clutching Jenny’s, the other girl in a panic as she coaxed another deep breath,

“Come on! One more Hazel! One more!”

The doctor, a friend of Dennis was delivering the baby and was repeating the same words.

Hazel just wanted them to shut up at that moment, they were infuriating, telling her the same thing over and over again, what was she doing?! Taking her sweet time!?

At one point she screamed shut up, but like all women in labor, her words were fleeting in the room. It took exactly 12 hours for the little new life to emerge into the clean, white room, it too screaming, crying and wondering why it was taken from its warm, safe cocoon.

Jenny had tears in her eyes as the nurse wrapped the child in a blanket and placed the little bundle into its mothers arms, the baby instantly became quiet, smelling the scent that it had known for nine months.

Hazel had been crying too much during the delivery to cry any more at the tiny sight.

The nurse smiled, “Congratulations Ms.Valenti…you’re the mother of a beautiful, healthy baby boy.”

“Look…Jenny…!” Hazel was in awe and couldn’t finish her sentence as she stared at the tiny person nestled in the nook of her arms. She never thought that you could love someone so much within a minute of meeting them, yet here was this child who held her heart, whole and new.

“Oh Hazel, he is beautiful…he is perfect!” Her friend replied, wiping her eyes with a tissue, “Just beautiful..” She whispered, kissing Hazels cheek and half hugging her.

“A boy,” she chuckled slightly and more to herself, “…and god help me, he looks like him.”


Colton Valenti was a beautiful child. He got along well with anyone who played with him and he was adored by Hazel, Jenny, and Dennis alike. Hazel never thought that she could be happy again, and yet here she was with her heart full and running over every time she cast her gaze over her son….her son. The words were yet so unfamiliar and new. She had no one to show her the ropes of parenting. During the time Colton was asleep, she would scour the internet and parenting books to help her with the growing baby.

Dennis and Jenny were constantly over; cooing over him and providing help whenever she needed it, which was not often. She did Jenny proud with picking herself up and getting out of the rut she was in.

Hazel knew it was hard to be a single parent, but she wanted to do it all, she did not want to miss a second of her life and her child’s. If she wasn’t busy reading and playing, snuggling to sleep and teaching to walk, she was sketching new ideas for paintings. Her private gallery was thriving and she promised buyers and watchers to have new paintings out every week, it was demanding and she had to pull back from it sometimes, but Colton always came first.

Hazel would often watch over him as he slept, his features were strong and cut deep…like his fathers. She didn’t need his picture out on her nightstand anymore, it was always staring right back at her. Sometimes he would smile and it would make her heart hurt. He had all the perfect fits of both her and Samir…it was hard to look at him sometimes.

Colton adapted to her life well and she adapted to having a child in hers. Hazel did not think she could be more happy. She knew her mother and father were watching over her and sending positive energy down into her life and she was thankful for it.