Blogger Challenges · Events · Getting Personal · iheartslFeed · Opinions & Thoughts · SL Places

Chapter Three

When I initially read the prompts for Chapter Three of The Writer’s Block, I really wasn’t sure I’d even have anything to say this time around. I don’t really think too much about going back in time to change things. Not because there aren’t things worth changing, but because I believe that every event in our lives leads us to the place we are right now, but literally and metaphorically. I happen to love my life, despite the challenges I’ve faced. So, I wouldn’t risk making a change that might completely alter my entire history, or cost me all the good I have in my present life. The other three prompts seemed interesting, but well… I’m in SL with my RL husband, so sex in SL is sort of irrelevant to me at this point. But I did mentally keep coming back to the fourth prompt… “the struggle between the real and the second” seemed very compelling to me. But what to say? I honestly wasn’t sure I could think of anything. My SL and RL have always been pretty merged (the whole RL husband thing again).

Then yesterday I was shooting a new poster for the front of our store Embody. We have six huge posters of our products, and we try to highlight the basics and best sellers with the posters. One of our biggest selling categories has always been maternity. So, for the poster, I got all dressed up like I’d been thoroughly knocked up and was about to pop. I thought I looked pretty darn adorable, dressed like a pregnant diva on a shopping spree, and well… it made me realize that maybe I did have a story to share about the struggle between the first and the second.

The reality of dreams

I remember when I was still brand new to SL. I mean, maybe two weeks old, and we were at a club where a woman had a tummy talker. I found it so odd. I didn’t understand the point of role playing a pregnancy (or anything) at all. But I had literally no exposure to RP before SL, so that’s not really surprising. Also, let’s face it. It’s easy in life to be judgmental. Humans are judgmental by nature, and my personal opinion on that is that we need to be able to make judgments. Being judgmental helps us make decisions and choices. The question is whether or not those judgments are flexible, and are they based on all the facts. Can we be fair judges in our lives, both real or second? That’s the part that’s tricksy.

I like to believe I am open-minded. I am fond of saying that I am a bisexual, anti-dieting, Libertarian atheist with a degree in anthropology. If I couldn’t be open-minded, or accepting of differences, I wouldn’t really have very many people to talk to in this life. Besides that, agreeing with everyone all the time sounds boring to me. I like debate, and intellectual discourse. I like to learn. I may be opinionated, and there are some things which I cannot imagine I will ever feel differently about, but I’m willing to listen to other perspectives.

Okay, so back to the story… the tummy talker kind of freaked me out. The SL pregnancy thing just seemed odd.

Then a friend of mine in SL got pregnant a few weeks later with twins. She looked, well… adorable, to be honest. All round and cute and dancing around with her new husband, and she mentioned that they couldn’t be together in RL and he couldn’t have anymore RL kids even if they could. Suddenly, I saw the whole thing in a new light. You see, part of how I wound up in SL was infertility. Oh, not directly. It was not like “well, can’t have kids, let’s join SL.” It was a series of events, but they are all events that would’ve transpired very differently had we had children as we’d planned, and tried for for two years. That all ties back to my not changing the past thing, really. If I’d become a mother, as I’d dreamed of my entire life and for years after meeting my husband, I know I would have been damn unlikely to be in SL. Which is not to say mothers shouldn’t be in SL, by the way. I just want to clarify that. It’s just my personal belief that I never would’ve been in stupid YoVille, which is what led to me winding up in not-generally-stupid SL. Just a disclaimer.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I could have an SL pregnancy and baby… I didn’t get to do any of the fun “I’m pregnant” stuff in RL because I couldn’t get pregnant. Infertility sucks all the joy out of the entire experience, at least until you get pregnant, if you’re fortunate enough. I wasn’t. But here I was, in a virtual world with virtual doctors and my real life husband. Rad is a serious trooper, and he went through it all with me and even played along. Once he asked a silly question about whether or not the gymnastics type run in my AO was safe for the baby. The first time, I was pregnant for only 5 weeks, and Ashlan was born. The second time I was pregnant 20 weeks, and we had Trinity. After Ashlan and Trinity, I was supposedly done. I wasn’t going to do it again. It wasn’t inexpensive, and it was silly… right?

Then my real life sister got pregnant. She was 17, and pretty much got pregnant the day she left rehab for the third time. Now, I love my nephew. I’ve only gotten to meet him once, but I adore him and we talk on the phone (he usually hangs up on me). He’s so sweet and I am so grateful we have him in our lives, but it was hardly ideal for my troubled teenage sister with a dysfunctional relationship to have gotten pregnant. And it just tore my heart to shreds. My sister was like my daughter, which is a long and complicated story I will spare you all from reading, but she was. We were inseparable, and we were so much alike in many ways. Until the drugs. Then things changed. Eventually, we had a huge fight. She told me I was just jealous of her because she could get pregnant and I couldn’t. Now, she was 18 and troubled and pregnant… but that is something that will always sting, and our relationship has never been the same. Maybe when she gets a little older (she’s not quite 22), things will change. But for now, it’s a gaping hole in my heart… and in the moment, several years ago, it was utterly crushing.

During that painful time, I decided I wanted another SL pregnancy and baby. Rad told me he didn’t think I’d be satisfied until I did one that lasted nine whole months. Now, you won’t meet a lot of people in SL who have done nine month pregnancies. Not in SL where a week seems like a month, and a month easily feels like three. Time in SL is so strange and nebulous. But I said yes… okay, let’s go for it. Let’s do the whole nine months. I didn’t pick the gender this time, either. I did, about halfway into the pregnancy, decide I was having twins, but we RP’d it like the doctor “discovered” the second baby. I didn’t pick hair color, but rather gave options based on our avs. Same with eye color, skin tone… you get the point. I made it as real as I possibly could, so that I could get it out of my system. And it worked, too. No, it is not the same. It could never be the same, naturally. But it’s as close as I could get to the real experience.

I know pregnancy in SL is one of those “hot button” issues everyone has an opinion on, and I know the vast majority of people I’ve met find it silly, stupid, weird or some combination of those things. I’ve seen plenty of snarky comments about prim babies, tummy talkers and pregnant avatars. I always get really mad, but I remind myself that at first I also didn’t “get it.” The thing is, you don’t have to “get it” to be more accepting and less judgmental. I don’t get a lot of things. I don’t get prayer, for instance. But I try to not judge people for whom that is an important part of their lives. I believe that, so long as your choices aren’t hurting other people, they are yours to make.

For me the struggle of not being able to have children in real life turned into something of a struggle in Second Life when I felt judged by total strangers or even friends for being (or having been) pregnant in SL. Now, mind you I muted my tummy talker in public places (with only family-friendly locations as an exception). Or I took it off. I didn’t wear it to laggy events. I didn’t take my (prim) babies to public places because I personally didn’t see the need, although I know some people RP in a way where leaving a baby with “Nanny Inventory” is not okay. But I went through so much trying to get pregnant in RL… and I never could. Second Life gave me the chance to live out a dream. No, it wasn’t the dream I wanted or imagined, but it was as close as I could get to that dream. I remember being baffled when a girl wearing an interactive cat tail judged my av’s pregnant belly. Really? I doubt she had a RL cat tail on her body. Part of what makes SL fun is doing what we can’t do in RL, or what we choose not to do in RL. For some of us, that includes pregnancy and families.

So, the next time you see a pregnant av before you snicker about it, consider what it might mean to her (or him!). Consider that maybe the person had cancer treatments that left her infertile. Or that her partner can’t have RL kids. Or that it’s the only way for two people who are currently living thousands of miles apart to share that experience. Consider that just maybe what you don’t understand is allowing the person to work through something very painful and difficult, and you don’t have to understand it. It’s okay for everyone to have their own unique SL experiences, and their own unique RL ones.

After all, don’t you?

Belleza for Collab

Some of the cuteness I have on can be found at the new edition of Collabor88, so if you love autumn, be sure to hop on over. I took these pics at the gorgeous sim that is home to Little Closet, and if you want a lovely autumnal place to hang out and take pics, definitely check it out. My hair is new from Truth for The Season Story event, which is full of wonderful fall goodness, too!

~Lucie

Credits
Skin: Belleza – Leila – Pale – 03 (Collabor88)
Eyes: IKON – Perspective – Glass (coming soon)
Hair: Truth – Junpier – Reds (The Season Story)
Dress: Geometry – Love Maternity Dress – Ivory 3rd trimester
Jacket: coldLogic – Plume – Earth (part of a dress)
Hands: SLink – mesh -Casual
Boots: League – Lauren – Taupe (Collabor88)
Poses: Embody – Mother MegaPack

Advertisements
Blogger Challenges · iheartslFeed · Just for fun

Can you keep a secret?

This short story is for the Chapter Two of The Writer’s Block. It is possibly NSFW, but I tend to be prudish in that regard. Yeah, yeah snort all you want. 😛

Too long to read? You can listen here instead.

***

It began with a simple question, on a chilly autumn afternoon in Central Park.

“Can you keep a secret?”

She whispered the question in my ear, her dark curls brushing my shoulder as she leaned in close to me. I breathed in deeply, and the smell of her perfume overwhelmed my senses. I nodded, afraid to speak, afraid to hope her secret was the same as mine.

“It’s not something I can tell you. I need to show you.”

Her teeth nipped my earlobe. I shivered, though I wasn’t cold. She moved on the blanket we sat upon and faced me. Her lips, stained the color of ripe strawberries, parted. She leaned in, and claimed my mouth with her own.

That is how it began. With a whispered question and passionate kiss, my heart was hers. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but oh, I’d longed for that moment for so many years. We’d been friends since high school. Over the years, I’d watched her flirt with so many men and women, and always felt a pang of envy. Even when she broke their hearts in the end (she always broke their hearts), I longed to be in their shoes.

I never deluded myself into thinking I could be different, that somehow I’d be the person she’d been searching for all these years. I lost myself in her molten brown eyes, soaked in the scent of her long, thick hair, which was as wild and untamed as she. I let myself be engulfed by the fire that for years I’d fought to contain. When we kissed, she murmured my name against my lips. “Juliet,” she’d say in her husky voice, “touch me. Please.” She never needed to ask twice.

For a few tempestuous moments, she was mine. We fought as much as we loved. Her moods were often volatile, and always mercurial.

She wrote me letters… such beautiful, romantic, passionate letters. She’d tie them up in ribbons scented with her perfume, and leave them on my pillows. I’d find a piece of my favorite chocolate slipped into my lunch bag, with a romantic or silly note. Once, after a bad day at work I found a rose tucked under the wiper blade of my car. She made me smile. She made me cry. She made me whole, and then broke me in half.

She made me crazy.

I kept waiting for the end. It had to come eventually. It always did with her. I wasn’t special, or different. Was I? As days turned into months, and months into a year, I began to wonder. Maybe this time she wasn’t going to run away. Maybe I could hold on to her. I never dreamed I would someday wish for the end.

But I did.

Nearly two years had passed since she asked the question. We’d lived together for most of the time, and we were nearly inseparable. Funny thing about fire… it requires oxygen and room to breathe in order to flourish. I began to feel suffocated. She was jealous. We fought more, and loved less.

“I love you, Juliet.” She said it every day. For months, I didn’t believe her. Maybe that was part of the problem. Sometimes I even laughed when she said it. Oh, how cruel we can be to the ones who love us most.

I loved her, too. I’d loved her from a distance for my entire adult life, and several years before that. Was it enough?

No.

I never wrote her letters. I told myself I wasn’t the type, but I think I always feared putting my feelings for her into words. Paper burns, and my emotions for her were so hot, so intense. I was sure the paper would turn to ash beneath the pen.

It was June. It was hot in the city. New York in June can be brutally humid and disgusting. A thunderstorm without rain raged overhead. She wanted to know where I’d been. I hadn’t been anywhere. I’d never have cheated. I wasn’t the one with the history of cheating. But somehow she seemed to forget that if either of us should be insecure, it was me.

I was exhausted. I’d spent the past two hours stuck in traffic. The heat had made me cranky, and our AC was on the fritz (it was always on the fritz). I tied my hair back in a ponytail, and refused to make eye contact with her. All I wanted was to throw on a tank top and shorts and pour myself a giant glass of chilled white wine. I ignored her. I had learned long ago it was the best way to diffuse a fight with her.

But I was so very tired.

She apologized, and took my hand. I let her lead me to bed. I already knew it was the last time I would. Maybe that was unfair of me, but I wanted one more memory. I wanted one last time to feel my body melt into hers, to leave this plane of mortal existence for the seemingly endless heaven our bodies created when they came together.

Can you keep a secret?

Sometimes I still hear her voice whisper that question, and the pain of losing her – of leaving her – is as fresh as that brutally hot June day I walked out. I didn’t say a word. I waited for her to leave for work. She kissed me a passionate goodbye (she knew only passion). I returned the kiss eagerly, as if nothing was wrong. I packed my bags, thankful the apartment was in her name. Ironic, since that had once, in the not distant past, terrified me, back when I expected her to be the one to end it. On her pillow I left a note. I had written, “I can’t do this anymore. Love, J.” I don’t know why I signed it love. It seems to callous to have done so, but I loved her. Oh, how I loved her. I walked out, and didn’t turn back.

We haven’t spoken since.

Sometimes I dream of running into her somewhere, though I’ve been told she left Manhattan after I deserted her. Sometimes I dream I never left, and that we’re still together.

On these days, I slip into the lingerie she most loved me to wear, and I stretch out on the bed. I surround myself with her letters. So many letters. The ribbons still faintly smell of her perfume, the one that always made me crazy.

I’m surrounded by memories.

Surrounded by memories

I live daily with my secrets. The secret of knowing that I made the biggest mistake of my life that hot June day when I abandoned her. The secret of knowing I will always love her, and that I walked away from her because that frightened me. I know I’ll keep this secret the rest of my life. The only one I could ever share it with will never speak to me again. I am alone with only memories to comfort me.

Can you keep a secret?

Credits:
Skin: Glam Affair – Katya 04 – Jamaica (Collabor88)
Hair: Truth – Elaine – reds04fade
Closed eyes: SLink – mesh eyelids
Necklace: Deco – Marilyn pearls – Smoke (Collabor88)
Lingerie: Blacklace – Material Girl (TGIF Special edition/price through 8.22)
Hands & Feet: SLink – mesh
Pose: Embody – Arched 4

Decor:
Floorplan: Bibliophile bed, Wallpaper (on the floor), Night Stand
Second Spaces: Grandma’s Secretary Desk Love Letters

Blogger Challenges · Events · iheartslFeed · Looks

Feels like fall…

I began this post like I begin any post. I had pictures done, and a clear direction. It was simply going to be about how today feels like fall, and how my outfit from [MotiAme] for Acid Lily Gallery fit that feeling. Then I began writing, and realized I was doing Katya Valeska’s new challenge, The Writer’s Block. I realized that I was writing the perfect post for the prompt “the colors of me.” The funny part about this is, I fully intended to do the challenge… with a different prompt! Sometimes creativity finds us when we least expect it, so without further ado… my take on “the colors of me.”

For me, the symbolic end of summer has long been the inevitable August morning where I awake up to heavy clouds, fog and rain. The air is heavy with a chill, and autumn is nipping at summer’s heels. As a child, this day would mark the end of the bath-like warmth of the pool I spent so many hours in every day. Oh, I still swam daily (often even in the rain, when I could get away with it), but the water never again reached the same level of sun drenched warmth.

Where I live now, in the mountains nearly two miles above sea level, summer’s are a heartbeat… a few precious moments of time where the days are long and lush, verdant grasses grow untamed. Wildflowers grace the hillsides, and fields erupt in an explosion of color, like a daytime fireworks display put on by nature. I never really liked summer when I lived back east, childhood swimming aside. It was too hot, too humid… and too controlled. It turns out, I like my summers wild, and more unfettered by the footprints of mankind. Here, possibly in part because it’s such a fleeting thing, I love summer.

But by August, I feel the call of my favorite season. By August, I am ready to revel in the colors of autumn. Much as I hate to awake in the near darkness that comes with the shorter days, I am ready for them. I crave the crisp, chilled air, scented by the rich, earthy smell of wood smoke that billows from chimneys. I long for warm apple cider, and pumpkin donuts. I wait for the perfect autumn morning; the morning when I put on my heavy, terry cloth robe and stand outside on the deck as I drink hot cinnamon tea and stare up at the mountains blanketed in the season’s first snow.

Fall means “back-to-school” for many, and even as a child I reveled in this annual rite of passage. I loved back-to-school shopping. I love notebooks, binders, folders and pens… and oh, the books! Being given my textbooks on that first day of school was such a thrill.

Feels like fall

Books have long been my secret friends, full of worlds to explore and ways to experience adventures I can never have. The smell of books, old or new, sings to me of possibilities, of opportunities. So much to learn! So much to “see,” in a way uniquely my own…. because no matter how many people read the same books I do, I alone create the world and characters described on those pages when I close my eyes and dream of them.

Back to school

I love (nearly) everything about autumn. I love the cool nights and warm – but not hot – days. The nights are made for snuggling under cozy blankets, curled up to my husband, snuggled by the dog. The days are bright with the gorgeous, golden leaves of the aspen trees. The wind rustles the leaves, and the ground is covered with their gilt. The afternoon sun through the whispering leaves takes on a gem-like hue, that of citrine or topaz. The evergreens of the forest take on a deeper green next to the brilliant yellows of the aspens. Sometimes, totally at random, we get an aspen that is orange or even red… but here in the Rocky Mountains, it’s yellow that dominates the autumnal foliage season.

I am tempted at the stores by the rich reds of apples, and the warm oranges of the pumpkins. I love pumpkins, and usually buy a small painted one to keep on my desk. This is my season… these are my colors. As shades of green give way to the golden browns, lush oranges and jeweled reds of autumn, I feel my soul come alive again. There is comfort in these colors, in this gilded world that where I live, will last a mere few weeks before winter sneaks in on a cold, cross wind and covers the world in frosty snows.

These are the colors of me… and today, we woke to the symbolic end of summer I spoke of at the start of this post. That day of misty clouds and rain, and though I will be sad to see summer say goodbye, I also feel alive in a way that only happens when autumn begins. It is my season, my time… and I cannot wait to enjoy every moment.

My UglyDorothy - Acid Lily Gallery

~Lucie

Credits:
Skin: My Uglydorothy – Berry 02 (Acid Lily Gallery)
Hair: Truth – Delta – Reds04Fade
Hairbase: Eskimo Fashion – Malaysian Lace Front Caps – unparted
Eyes: IKON – Ascension – Forest
Lashes: Gaeline Creations – Fantasia
Glasses: Mon Tissu – Four Corners Readers – Black
Jumper: [MotiAme] – Tweed Dress – Brown w/black shirt (Acid Lily Gallery)
Leggings: coldLogic – jessop.taupe
Boots: Maitreya – Stagioni boots – Coal
Poses: Embody – Bookworm 04 (pic 1) & Bookworm 1 (pics 2 & 3)
Scene: Garden Of Dreams – Library