Chapter XIII: Late Night Visit

Rookie liked his new home. Or so Harwood thought, it wasn’t like the little pup could tell him but Harwood felt they were developing a bond, a connection so strong it didn’t need words. He showed his new friend the studio first. They played there a bit, Rookie tried biting Harwood’s hand playfully and he petted him behind his little, flappy ears.

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Harwood made him a place to sleep in the dining room and the first night he kept frantically checking on him, afraid he might somehow get out or choke on something. The puppy slept peacefully, probably dreaming of a delicious piece of meat.

The next day Harwood played the guitar and Rookie came to watch. He liked the sound of music,  a fact thst made Harwood’s heart warm. He was already in love in the little animal that first day, sure he was right in picking him over his little siblings. For days Harwood barely left the house choosing instead to play with the little animal. But than one night something strange happened.

Harwood still remembered with a slight chill, and a faster beating heart, his encounter with the ghost of his first wife that first night in Twinbrook. But he hadn’t seen Macy since and even though Juan, his best friend spoke of the visitations he got from his wife’s ghost, Macy’s twin sister, as if they were an ordinary thing Harwood attributed that sighting to exhaustion and excitement and nothing more.

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But that one night Harwood woke with a start. His bedroom was dark still, and the heavy clouds had hidden the stars and the moon making it even darker but then a strange green glow appeared at the corner of his room and Harwood turned to it and there she was. Macy, his first wife.

Harwood’s eyes filled with tears at the sight of her, so young and beautiful as she was alive. “Macy?” He said in a weak, strange voice. The ghost said nothing and he swallowed hard. Why was she here all the sudden? His insides felt cold but he found himself strangely calm as he said: “Did you come for me love? Is it time we are joined once again?” The ghost shook her head.

“Not yet Harwood darling. There are many more years left for you here…” Tears spilled from Harwood’s eyes at the sound of that voice he had once cherished so much. “Don’t you cry.” The woman said quickly and stepped closer her transparent face warm with kindness. “There is a lot of good and a lot of love waiting for you in those years….”

“Love?” Harwood asked. He had given that quest up the night he left Pattina’s bedroom, refusing to start an affair with her. He had his little Rookie, he was all he needed.

“Yes Harwood. But a different kind of love, one you never felt before… You have already met her, the woman who will give you what I never did and never will…”Macy smiled sadly and Harwood felt an urge to hold her. He attempted to get out of bed and go to her but as he did she disappeared into thin air leaving his bedroom dark and empty.

“Not yet…” The words rang in his ears.

He woke again. This time there was light in his room, the natural one, without the greenish glow that accompanied his late’s wife visit.  Harwood’s thoughts were jumbled and he found little sense in what happened the night before. It was a dream he said firmly but he knew there were parts of him that would never agree. He sighed as he climbed out of his bed noticing Rookie standing at the door wiggling his little tail happily.

“Morning.” He said petting the puppy’s head. The animal lifted his head and licked his palm and just then Harwood noticed the paper laying at his feet. “You brought in the newspaper? You are such a good boy Rookie, you know that?” He said smiling picking the little pup in his hand. Rookie was still small enough to feet perfectly there.

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Once he concluded he had been petted enough Rookie let out his little bark and Harwood let him down watching him ran out the same way he came in leaving the paper on the floor. Harwood picked it up, it was wet from being carried over inside Rookie’s mouth and beside Harwood rarely read the local paper. He was debating throwing it away when a picture caught his eye.

The woman wore glasses and had strong wiry brown hair, ist tips dyed pink and unlike the other employees listed on the same page she didn’t bother to smile. Seeing her here however made Harwood smile. Dilly Pidgin. He hadn’t seen her since that night at the Red. He bought her drinks, they talked and he actually found her interesting, albeit a little weird for still living with her mother as a full grown adult but if Pattina hadn’t called that night who knew what could have happened… He sighed. He needed to permanently erase Pattina from her head.

You have already met her, the woman who will give you what I never did and never will… It was a dream he told himself. Just a dream… What else could it have been? But the words of his beloved Macy seemed stuck in his head… He paced around the living room nervously Rookie following him and sniffing the air as excidetly as a little dog could. Harwood believed in signs, and even though that odd vision must have been a dream could it also be a sign, a sign from another world, that he and Dilly were meant to be? It seemed a bit odd his first love would be the one to give the sign but did it really matter, he liked Dilly before, sign or not…

“I just hope I am not getting myself in another mess dog…” He told Rookie who just barked in response.

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His and Dilly met outside the Curious Memorial Museum for their first date. “I know this might sound a little weird but you know this is a date? And you are not married or anything?” Harwood asked before they even went in the old building. Dilly chuckled softly. “I am not married. Never been. What about you?”  Harwood’s answer to that particular question had always been no. It had been a part of his life he kept locked inside his heart. And maybe that was his problem… He never let anyone close enough. It was time to change, to start over. It was not too late. He had to believe that.

“Once.” He replied trying to keep a smile on his face. “She died long ago.”

“Oh Harwood I am so sorry.” Dilly said softly touching his hand.

“It is a wound that might never fully mend. But I am sure Macy wouldn’t want me to spend a lifetime grieving.”

“So am I.” Dilly said smiling widely. “Come on, let us go inside. I have not been here for so long… I wonder if they have anything new on display…” And that is how it started. True to Macy’s word it was a romance that would change the course of Harwood’s life, showing him that no matter how long a sim had been alive, and no matter what he had been through, life always had a new surprise, just around the corner….

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