Passages 3

Metro South - Chinatown: 10:30 AM

She paced down the length of courtyard, under the lanterns, dark now even in the shadow, walked up to him, and stopped, and waited. He did not speak first. Match point one for him. “You know,” Rayne told him, trying to meet Ryan’s smile, “you called me at a really bad time. I was kind of busy.”

The mid morning sunlight was warm, streaming over his face and shoulders. He laughed and shook his head. “You could have called me back later, you know that.”

Relieved, this didn’t feel like anything terrible, starting to finally feel warmer, sun chasing the chill, Rayne breathed a little easier. However, it had been so long since she’d heard from him, the call still seemed odd, out of place; it was hard to understand why he would suddenly just call like that. “I thought it might be urgent or something.”

“With all due respect,” Ryan grinned, “if I need backup, you’re not going to be the one I call.”

That explained exactly nothing. She let it go for now as they laughed together easily and started down the stairs toward the park squeezed between the bus station, the overpass, and the bars and restaurants of Chinatown. “I got your card,” he was saying as he walked beside her. “Thanks, Rainie. It was good to hear from you.”

He sent her a birthday card, he always did. Not Christmas cards or anything, but then she didn’t send those either. She’d found one of those ‘hey I moved’ cards when she was shopping for presents for the twins and decided to send it to him, but that was months ago. Smiling at him, Rayne said warmly, “Well sure, I don’t forget. How’s Riley?”

“You wouldn’t recognize him. Or maybe you would, he’s got the red hair.”

They paused at the fountain. Rayne glanced down into it – the water was dark with grime. She was tired and despite feeling better about this, didn’t know what else to say. Was this really it? He just wanted to talk? He’d called her out of nowhere to chat?

“How’s your mother?” Ryan asked quietly, rubbing his arm where the water splashed up against his skin. “I saw the latest about the Holloway woman; it made two or three tabloid covers.”

Rayne walked away from the fountain and sat gingerly on a dirty bench and avoided looking at him for a few moments. Now she understood why he’d called. It wasn’t about her; it was about her mother. She slid her hand through her hair and kept on ignoring him. He was sitting just a few inches away from her and waiting. Waiting and waiting while the bus belched exhaust and the chess people argued and the sun would set and rise again and he would still be waiting.

She remembered the anxiety, the fear that had driven her the morning after she’d gone to Ryan’s house and spent the night with him. She’d been afraid she was going to get caught, get in trouble; that he would find out it was her; that he would go to jail; but it had been about her, not really about him. What she had not understood was how he would feel. He thought the woman he loved had finally come to him. He still believed it. She had not done that, and, as far as Rayne could tell, she never would.

The dream snagged at her thoughts, catching and ripping them. She yanked away but felt the pain, the hole of absence and useless hope. She was waiting too. If someone had done that to her and left her believing a lie, waiting and waiting and hoping…it made her sick, gasping sick.

“I haven’t talked to her in a while,” she told him carefully, pulling herself together with an effort since she didn’t know what to do about any of this. She didn’t see it, not yet. “I guess she’s hoping it just goes away.”

He leaned back, clasped his hands behind his head and came out with a deep, rough sigh. “For her sake, I wish I could say I thought it would. It’s not going to change. She needs to quit waiting for it to happen, make her own move, force her own change.”

Agitated, Rayne stood back up again and yanked restlessly at the leaves on the Japanese maple. “She’s not going to leave him, Ryan. Even with Stevie and my dad – and I’ve seen them - and Stevie saying stupid shit about her, and my dad hasn’t done a thing to shut her up, my mom isn’t leaving. I don’t think she’s ever even considered leaving my dad.”

Ryan turned sideways on the bench and gazed up at her. “You do her an injustice,” he responded, his voice deep and quiet. “She’s considered it. She came damn close." He broke off and stood up.

No, she hadn’t. She had not come close. And it was her fault he thought she had. Rayne bit her lip, clenched her hands together so tight that her nails dug into the flesh of her palms. If she did this, he was going to be as puke horrified as Miranda had said he would be. She was going to lose him. If she didn’t do it, he would keep waiting and believing a complete fantasy. He didn’t deserve that.

Now she did see it. Wait until you see it. She saw it.

Rayne crossed her arms, drew a deep breath, looked at him directly and said, “No she didn’t, Ryan. She never did – she – you see that wasn’t her. The woman who came to you that night and slept with you and said she loved you…”

His face changed. He stared down at her. He set his massive hands on his hips, pulled back his shoulders, probably already knowing what was coming, preparing for it. She’d never seen that look in his eyes on any other person in her life.

“Go on,” Ryan ordered in a flat, hard voice.

This was going to crush him, take everything away from him, shred every single little hope into pieces and leave him with nothing. Did she see it? Did she really see it? Was that better than leaving him with empty hope? One last time, she tried to turn it in her mind, looking for any way out for him. She saw none.

“That woman,” Rayne finished, forcing herself, finishing everything, no way to back out now, going flat out for it no matter what, no more waiting, not for him, “that woman was me.”


NEXT CHAPTER: Rising Above Chapter 10


Robin said...

wow she is something else. does she think that by tellng him he is going to love her..... want her?
I love this story i look all the time to see if you have updated it.
Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


S.B. said...

Hi Robin! Thank you SO MUCH for such a great compliment!

No, Rayne wants to set him free, cut him loose, stop him from believing something happened that didn't. She doesn't want him to keep waiting for her mother. She fully expects he's going to be furious and disgusted and never want to see her again.

I suppose she does love him in a way, but he's not the one she's searching for. She's got her own quest going on, and it doesn't include Ryan.

thanks again!!! It means a lot to know that someone is reading this and enjoys it!

Dinuriel said...

I think all I can say at this point is "Hoooooo boy" as I tremble in anticipation for the next update...

Can't wait to see his reaction. And her reaction to his reaction.

Nice work :)

S.B. said...

Thank you Dinuriel!!!

they have a long and very close relationship. which she totally betrayed. He needed to know the truth. Rayne is beginning to understand consequences - she's getting hit in the face with irresponsible behavior from other parties, doesn't like it, and doesn't want to be someone who did that to someone she cares about.

Thank you again!

Gayl said...

Brilliantly done and carefully crafted. The lights are starting to come on for Rayne and she needed to tell him the truth. I love how you handled this!

S.B. said...

thank you Gayl.

I'm going to give credit to Gabe for Rayne's dawning realization. She can't get or even find what she wants. It's given her a newfound appreciation for what Ryan feels.

and the whole issue of respect...Miss R feels very dissed at this point by Coop and Stevie. That also played a big part. She respects Ryan. She wanted to do the right thing.

thank you for keeping me on always!!!

Phoenix said...

Oh snap!!!!! Dude, I didn't think I could like Rayne but in this moment right here, right now...home girl as my admiration. I don't know if I would have been able to do it!

I was seriously holding my breath waiting to see if she would change her mind. And I feel bad for Ryan...and I don't even like him! Poor guy!

Lovely scenery Beth! This was absolutely beautifully done!

S.B. said...

Hey Phoenix! yeah? You got admiration? ha ha wait ten minutes!

Rayne's got balls. Serious brat attitude, but she's coming face to face with her own limitations and her own behavior. She loves Ryan. Maybe more than anybody else, in a way. She wasn't going to let him go on like that.

and thanks so much about the scenery. I threw everything I had in there, and more. Really liking using NB objects on the lots. They are BIG.

S@ndy said...

Oh god!!!!
Holly cow!!!
I wasn't expecting a confession this soon...
wow... it really was unexpected for me and I can only imagine how Ryan is feeling... WOW! bet it felt like a million bricks falling down on him...yikes.. poor guy I feel so sorry for him!

Rayne.... she is not that annoying brat anymore.. What she just did is admirable.... she is ready to face the consequences of her actions...

I can't wait to see Ryan's reaction!!!

I'm really loving this story...
You are doing a wonderful job with this blog...
beautiful written and you manage the situation incredibly!!!!

S.B. said...

S@ndy, yes a million bricks is right. Everything turned inside out. Hope turned to something close to horror.

Rayne's consequences may be more her own choice than Ryan's. He won't understand WHY she did it.

Thank you so much, and I have to add that your last update is freaking INCREDIBLE!!!

Sinclair said...

Good for you Rayne. She did the right thing. Leaving Ryan with that delusion would be cruel. He doesnt deserve that. However...hes gonna flip his shit. Shes doomed. But it was the right thing. Now they can move on. Even though hes gonna wanna strangle her alive lol

S.B. said...

Hey Sinclair!

yeah she did the right thing.

she's doomed all right. You think Ryan's going to doom her? He'll want to know WHY in a big way. Furious angry mad absolutely.

You think she's going to tell him: "You see there's this guy I've been dreaming about since I was five and I sort of thought you might fit the pattern so I tried you on but no."

Not going to happen. She made a pact. She'll keep it.

Rayne is pursuing her own doom. Relentlessly. Collateral damage is starting to bother her. She does love Ryan. He didn't deserve what she did.

Thank you!!!

~Drew said...

Great update.

Rayne just can't help herself, always plunging her hand into the flame. While it may be admirable for her to come clean as it were, the fallout, wow. Look forward to more!
Not looking forward to poor Ryan getting hurt, and he will be, after the anger rolls back a notch.
I can't see their relationship surviving this...but I have been wrong before.

Muzegoddess said...

Oh damn!!! I think my heart just fell out of my chest. God, this is going to tear Ryan apart. I know that he needed to know, but the reality of him hearing her say it is just too much.

This is a sign though that Rayne is growing up, being a bit less self-indulged, realizing how her actions have affected people and trying to take some responsibility.

Poor Ryan, I swear the minute he gets back up, something else comes to knock him down emotionally and this is going to knock him right on the ass. Things will never be the same between him and Rayne now.

Love the shots and the use of the red everywhere; it really captures the many emotions associate with that color (love, anger, pain) all of which are present here.

Another brilliant chapter :)

S.B. said...

Thank you Drew!

I don't know how their relationship is going to survive, which is a shame since she definitely leaned on Ryan, admired him, wanted and needed his respect and affirmation. And his affection for her is very real.

He's going to be completely shattered. She's not going to come out this unscathed either.

S.B. said...

Muzegoddess, I am so glad you picked up on the color! Once I started working this out, how I wanted to do it, how I could fit it in with the Chinatown scene, I decided to flood it with red.

Yeah, it just about killed me to do that to Ryan. Again. But it made sense. There was a syzygy of sorts - her own yearning and waiting for someone she can't reach; her anger over the relationship between Cooper and Stevie; and her love for Ryan.

thank you so much! I'm always interested in your reaction; you see things at a different angle.

goodbye_sun said...

I'm really hoping that this is the first step in her starting to grow up a bit - she did something with someone else's feelings taking priority over her own. It sucks, and she probably just completely burned the Ryan bridge, but in the long run it has to the right thing to have done for his sake.

S.B. said...

goodbye_sun, it definitely is a big first step for her. She did something that will cost her a great deal. She did weigh that cost, it was part of the equation, but her primary concern was whether it was better for Ryan to keep hoping and waiting, or take the big blow and move on. I think she made the right choice.

I do think she totally torched that bridge though.

thank you!!

xtinabobina said...

i can only imagine the look on his face as those last words were coming out of her mouth. i bet he gets pretty upset.

i must say that raine is very pretty. im loving the tent of her skin and how it really brings out her honey brown eyes. great work!

screen 11 is pretty funny. i love her expression :)

i definately see how you incorporate surrounding lots/objects. i really, really love it.

i hope you give yourself enough credit, your screenshots are amazing!!!!!!!!!!!

xtinabobina said...

whoops! almost forgot, love that song "let go" by frou frou! perfect tone for this installment!

S.B. said...

xtina! Thanks so so much! Both for the compliment on the shots and the song!

Raine was born in the game so I can't take credit for her looks. She looks a lot like Cooper, his eyes and face, just her mother's skin.

and thank you again for taking the time to read and comment!

simstwoplayergirl said...

Just drop me off a cliff why don'tcha.......Great update - I am so glad to see that Rayne is growing up - what she did shows that she has a heart in there somewhere and wants him to move on with his life - I cannot even begin to imagine how Ryan is going to react - I will just wait for the next update..

Mao said...

I'm totally supposed to be washing dishes and putting clothes away, but I've been waiting for this one, so I just had to take a break and read.

What an EVIL place to stop! Pure evil, Beth! OMG. I can't believe she actually told him. This isn't going to go well.

I loved the realization of what she did, though. For someone like Rayne, this was perfect. It fit her to finally see that hey, what she did affected more than just her and her mother. She messed up Ryan, programmed him to think something that isn't true. Great job on that, it isn't an easy thing to pull off with a character like Rayne.

Leave it to her to just sort of throw it out there, LOL. "It was me"... famous last words. Bet Ryan wasn't prepared for that one... ;)

S.B. said...

simstwoplayer, Rayne is growing up, finally seeing outside her own head.

This will be a terrible blow to Ryan. He's losing two relationships he thought he had, and that he treasured.

thanks so much for reading and commenting!!

S.B. said...

Hey Mao! I certainly didn't expect to see you - a really great surprise!

awww...yeah, a bit of an evil place to stop LOL.

I'm so glad you think it works. Picking apart motivation in someone like Rayne, why she would do something, isn't always easy. She's able to see how Ryan feels though, partly because she cares about him a great deal, and partly because she's more than a little bit lost herself.

No, Ryan was not prepared for it. No way he could be. As soon as she started though, she gave him detail she could not have known. It really is going to rock him to his core.

thank you THANK YOU so much!

Anonymous said...


S.B. said...

Veron - do NOT fall apart LMAO!!

So excited that you are reading this!!

S.B. said...

hate some of these shots, talk about awkward much? but I'm still learning.

Lachesis said...

Aww, Rayne's growing up. Taking responsibility for her actions, and live with the consequences.

S.B. Do not hate your shots, I was particularly impressed with the one of Rayne in front of the orange and yellow tree,the colors are wonderful together.

S.B. said...

thank you Lachesis. I tend to drench the shots with color/light once I'm on a roll, so I'm glad you think those trees and that color combo work.

Rayne is changing. Growing up but not necessarily in a nice straight line..

cheripye said...

WOW! she did it! oh goodness what a terrible place to leave off, LOL! I love it, cool that she is showing some sense of growing up 80) accepting her own actions. They seem very close I wonder though how this news is going to affect Ryan. 80)

Great updated and stunning shots as always. 80)

S.B. said...

Cherie, Ryan will be crushed. They are very, very close though, you are absolutely right. Extremely close. If there's anyone in the world Rayne does not want to hurt, it's Ryan.

thank you for the compliment on the shots!

Emily said...

I'm so proud of Rayne right now! I definitely wouldn't have had the guts to tell him, she certainly took a step in the right direction, painful as it may be to go there. And while she's still a brat (probably to the core) I still like her.

Poor Ryan though...I am glad he won't be disillusioned anymore but the way he's going to feel after this is just so terrible.

I would say that their relationship is strong enough to come through this but um...this is going to be bad!

Fabulous update, you guys really know how to draw us in and connect with each and every character in this tale. Bravo!

S.B. said...

Hey Emily!

Rayne saw the parallel between who/what is haunting her and the pain and hope Ryan is feeling. She uses poor judgment, but she doesn't lack guts.

Ryan is reaching the end of his rope. There is no more rope.

and that means so much to us to know we are bringing these characters to life. thank you!!!

Colliegirl said...

Hoo-boy! Talk about a low blow... I can hardly believe she finally did it! This will certainly take their relationship to a whole different level. I can just imagine the way he will react... Most likely it won't be pretty either!

Oh what tangled webs we weave when we practice to deceive... :P

S.B. said...

sorry it took me so long to leave a response Colliegirl.

It was a very low blow. A devastating blow. Ryan needed to hear it though, and Rainie needed to tell him. The only other person who knows the truth is her mother and she is completely trapped. She can't tell Ryan the truth. And she may never know that Rayne came clean about it.

I doubt the relationship between Ryan and Rayne will survive.

Jennifer said...

Oh my gosh so she actually told him. Wow. That would have taken guts. But why did she tell him? Does she still love him, does she think there might still be a chance that they can be together? Sounds dangerous to me.

I really like this little side thing you've done. Passages really adds another dimension to the story. I'm quite fond of Rayne too.

S.B. said...

Hey Jennifer! Why did she tell him? Because Rayne has spent her whole life waiting for someone, and she cares about Ryan and does not want him to wait for her mother, believing it was her mother who came to him. She's not in love with Ryan: he was an echo.

Thank you so much! Rayne will become a pretty major character as time goes by.