As the grey clouds finished relieving themselves of extra weight, the roof of the Casbah Gallery burst forth in glittering splendor from the sunlit reflection of thousands of watery beads. Look closely and you’d notice each bead was caught in an internal battle between stasis, gravity, and surface tension, one that resolved within minutes depending on its size and distance from neighbors. Droplets turned to rivulets turned to tributaries, painting the roof in a mosaic of deconstructed venules and capillaries. These were the ones who lost to the forces of physics. They were damned if they went down without taking the rest with them. Of these, most fell off the eaves and waited to be vaporized back into the water cycle. The ones we’re concerned with, though, are the ones falling to the ground to be disturbed by a size 2Y black canvas slip-on.

The boy wearing the size 2Y black canvas slip-on, plus its twin, rotated his phone to make sure the little blue gradient stuck to his little blue you-are-here dot was pointing in the right direction. An elder sitting on a bench clear across the lot gestured to the lad during the fraction of the minute this action took and moaned to his wife about the current generation’s overuse of technology. If Jasper had heard him, he’d hardly be offended. This accusation was leveled at him so many times it counted as background noise.

Yo devs lemme put the roof up so I can get a shot of this lovely rainbow you made. I also notice the champagne bucket is now worth over §400 after the latest update. Thanks for giving Shu a raise! Please let this be intentional.

Jasper had found in his father’s things a sticky note with Cruz Greenwood’s address among other Cruz Greenwood paraphernalia, and knew from idly listening to his father’s Cruz-Greenwood-themed rambling that Shu lived across the hall from the wonderful magical Cruz Greenwood, which was followed up with a detailed history of Cruz Greenwood’s high school extracurriculars and a couple extra Cruz Greenwood facts. He’d retraced his father’s steps out of the elevator to Cruz Greenwood’s floor, only to take a sharp left mere feet from the apartment that may or may not currently contain Cruz Greenwood.

Peeking through the windows, it was clear this was the place. Brightly colored furniture, wall murals, about eight guitars. Cool-people stuff. He knocked with caution on one of the parts that wasn’t glass. A kid who hadn’t grown up in a transparent house or basically any adult would question the decision for this particular door to have windows. Shu popped his head in from stage right, then recoiled gently, bewildered eyes wide. He opened the door.

“Jasi? What’s crackin’? Whatcha doing here?”

“Here come dat boi!” That’s the traditional Meme Appreciation Club greeting.

“Your mom’s gonna skin me with a Swiss peeler and put my glasses in a decorative bowl if I respond to that. You know that.” He squinted. “Does she know you’re here?”

“Yeah.” This claim held as much weight as a fly’s handbag. What he actually delivered to his mother was some line about being at a friend’s house, and Jo was too wrapped up in the idea of him riding the subway alone to ask for details about said friend. He instead left the apartment with a subway map (outdated—not as good as the app he’d downloaded to his phone last week), instructions to pick a spot on the ground and stare the hell out of it until the preacher/crackhead/candy-bar-basketball-team guy/etc. is gone (she didn’t actually say ‘hell’), and a tiny container of pepper spray that was blue to promote Bloaty Head awareness (just go nuts using it in an enclosed space). Not a prepaid card, though, which is the one thing he actually wanted.

“Yeah. Right. Uh-huh.” Shu punctuated his triple positive by spinning the phone he’d retrieved from his back pocket. A quick text would confirm it.

“Shu, can I ask you a question?”


“How come people think it’s weird to put a lime in the microwave?”

Shu’s brain short-circuited at the concept of cooking a citrus fruit whole, much less microwaving one. His phone went back into his pocket. “Uh. What?”

“Why can’t you put a lime in the microwave?”

“Uh, I mean, you can. But if you try to cook citrus fruit like that, it’s gonna get bitter and brown. So I’m guessing it’s gonna taste like”—he took a couple beats to come up with a Jasper-appropriate simile—“trash.”

“But why do people think it’s so gross? It’d make your microwave smell nice. It’s not like you’re microwaving an avocado or anything.”

“I guess. Want to go inside, buddy?” he said, waving his hand to usher Jasper in. The moment he was out of Jasper’s peripherals, he began dry heaving at the mental image of that last suggestion. Those are two words that should only appear in the same sentence if someone’s writing a three-word horror story, he thought. And that’s not even a sentence. By the time he made it through the door, he’d taken his phone out and started scrolling through his contacts. He was at ‘D’ when he collided with a soft blonde pillar.

“Did someone forget where we were going?”

The further we get into both this story and Gnome Dome, the clearer it’ll become that the Dome itself is a caricature of Dolly’s earnest design aesthetic

“No.” Shu tilted his head Jasper-ward. “Surprise visitor. I can’t plan these things.”

“Well, you did plan another thing. And that thing is happening in an hour. Can’t Gen deal with this?”

“Y’all, what are you dumping on me?” Gen said this loudly to ensure the sound waves bounced off her bowling avatar and reached the people it was intended for. Pausing would throw off her groove.

“Babe, his dad just went missing,” Shu appealed. “Think Cosette from Les Mis. Halfway to Batman. Disney main character.” They both looked at Jasper, who was inexplicably walking into Gen’s bedroom. “Disney main character plugged in to Know Your Meme.”

Chantel rolled her eyes. “Fine. Go play ‘father figure.'”

“Hey—hey, where’s the kid?” Gen asked, removing one hand from the controller to twist around in her seat. “Is he behind me?”

Shu gave a thumbs-sideways towards the bedroom. “No, he’s—“

“—FORTNITE!” Gen was cupping her hand to form a makeshift megaphone. “FORTNIIIITE!”

“What,” Jasper said, emerging from yonder to heed the call of his people, “where?” Seeing the colorful screen with its lineup of non-Fortnite characters, which waited with infinite patience for Gen to un-cup her hand and just roll the damn ball already, he plopped himself down on the other end of Gen’s loveseat to get the best vantage point for whatever this was. “Who are you?”

“I’m Gen. Shu’s better girlfriend.”

He turned to Shu. “You have two girlfriends?”

“I mean, I guess.” If one has six girlfriends, they also have two girlfriends. QED.

“That’s so cool. You’re like the coolest person ever.”

“I don’t know how you could say that when I’m sitting right here.” Gen handed a controller to the aspiring memelord. “Take it. We’re gonna listen to the same beep-boopy background music for two hours and we’re gonna have a great time.”

CC by a lot of people, including Pilar, Around the Sims 4, Pralinesims, and Peacemaker. Peacemaker, you are a gift to the world and I want your babies

“What are we doing?”

“Yelling at the TV and pressing random buttons. JK, bowling. You aim with the D-pad and then press and release this one,” she indicated on his controller. “Get ready for it to not be bowling, because it’s like eight games. And could you give me a hand with something?”


“Tell Shu to stop sucking at Party Frenzy.”

“Shu, stop sucking at Party Frenzy.”

Shu didn’t dignify this with more than one apathetic head shake. He was seated under the window with one arm resting on a cushion behind the woman Gen would classify as his second-best girlfriend. “You know that joke where a guy asks a genie to build a bridge to Sulani, and the genie starts laying out all the steps he would need to take to do that, and how impossible it would be? And then the guy asks for something else, that’s leading to the punchline, and the genie’s like ‘Let’s look at that bridge again.'” Jasper shook his head to indicate a negative. “Well, that’s the joke, pretty much. It’s like that. It’s not gonna happen.”

“I’d ask the genie for a boyfriend who keeps his appointments,” muttered Chantel.

“Whoa, we haven’t missed anything. It’s in like an hour.” He gave a playful shrug. “You wanted the unpredictable guy, babe, you—I don’t think I can say something overplayed like ‘expect the unexpected’ right after claiming that—“

“—Get used to doing all the side quests,” Gen finished.

“Ok, she has a point. I’m bad at saying ‘no.'” Call it politeness or subservience, he’d picked up the habit from Xiyuan. It was a multi-generational weakness to requests that held regardless of who had what job or who banged which ghost. Though we do concede, at this point, that Shu had to deal with more of them. Requests. Not ghosts.

“Yeah, and I’m usually the one you’re not saying no to. We’re unpredictable together.”

“Oh, duh. Remember when—” He stopped short, remembering Jasper’s presence. The lull in conversation had caught the child’s attention. Normally, the time when adults stop talking is the best time to listen. “Remember when, uh. That time at the bluffs?”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” It wasn’t uniquely determined. “Remember last winter when we went around looking for boxes, in case there were any kittens in the box? But then there were just snow globes, so we tossed them off a bridge to see who could make the loudest splash.”

Shu rewound back a few weeks, which is a challenge for someone who ‘pees in the mouth of monotony,’ his words, to the night in question. “Oh, yeah!”

“That was the best! You were dying laughing.”

“You guys are really setting an example for the kid,” Gen interjected. “In a week he’s going to turn in his homework soaked and they’re going to close down the school because of a suspicious black Jansport filled with shards of glass and tiny little San Myshuno landmarks.”

Faces of Chantel: Part I of A Three-Part Series.

“My bad,” said Shu. “Don’t throw snow globes off a bridge.”

“Then what are you supposed to do with snow globes, anyway?” Jasper was asking the real questions.

Gen shrugged. “Throw them off a bridge.”

“Why are we wasting time on this?” Chantel whispered to her boyfriend. “All you can talk about all week is getting me to the doctor, and now there’s forty-five minutes to go and you act like it’s not happening?”

“I don’t know what else to do. What do you want me to do?”

Faces of Chantel: Part II of A Three-Part Series.

Jasper had a few cards to play that would bring the conversation back to an audible volume. “I got an ‘A’ in school. I also taught myself how to deep-fry a meme. If you want anything deep-fried, I can do it for you.”

“So, image filtering?” Gen asked. “I wish they taught me discrete cosine transforms in school.”

“What’s that?”

“It’s what gives JPEGs that fantastic blocky quality we love so much,” Gen explained. “There’s a bunch of jargon, but if you give me a piece of paper I can draw what’s going on. Don’t worry. You’ll probably understand it better than Shu.”

Shu shrugged. “Bleh.”

“Weak, Shu. Aren’t you like supposed to be super-talented at everything ever.”

“I love you too.”

“You could learn it as a bonding activity, ‘Daddy,'” Chantel said.

Shu leaned sideways to whisper in her ear. “For fuck’s sake don’t start with that reverse-gender Oedipal shit.”

I didn’t abbreviate ‘discrete cosine transforms’ in order to disambiguate it from the Dominated Convergence Theorem. Now it’s less confusing. YOU’RE WELCOME

“There’s a bunch of other things you have to do for deep-frying.” Jasper’s lesson on how to deep-fry a meme was well received only by Gen, and also ten minutes long.

“Look, this is scary,” Chantel whispered. Jasper was on his fifth false start of listing all the filters he knew. “No matter what they say, everything’s going to be alright. Right?”

“Don’t worry, we still have time. I’ll be there no matter what.”

Chantel sighed. “Never mind. I’ll be in the bathroom if you need me.”

“Oh!” Shu remembered this kid’s mom has no idea where he is. “I have to do something. Be back in a minute. Love ya both.”

A while back I made hyperlordosis joke about Chantel, but she’s not hyperlordotic, just thicc

“Hey Shu?” Jasper called.


“How come people call Kanye West Yeezy?”

“I have no idea,” Shu said, finally pressing send on a text to someone he knew for a fact wouldn’t want to hear from him.

“ARGH,” Gen yelled. “YOU FRICKIN’ FRICKS.” Jasper was bent over knees-to-torso in laughter.

“Did I miss something?” Shu’d sat down again, but it was clearly too late.

“Gen got run off the track by the computer.”

“Yeah, the AI decided it had road rage.”

“And then I passed her!”

“And then he passed me!”

“Wow, you’re beating Gen already? Does this mean I’m off the hook?”

“You were never on the hook, Shu. You beautiful, beautiful noob. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”

“I’m pretty good at racing games,” Jasper explained. “My mom lets me play them when my friends come over!” This wasn’t news to Shu. Neither was the ‘A’ grade. Though he’d never admit it, he sometimes binged Jumping Jasper! when whoever was next to him was asleep. Jo wasn’t a fan of games but she loved documenting that her son had friends.

“That’s great!” Before Jasper could blurt out his next bit of intel, Shu interrupted himself. “I’m getting Chantel. She needs me right now.”

“Can you stay and watch me win the race? Pleeease?”

“You want me to watch Gen actually lose for once? Sure.” Gen gestured at him with her controller. Her pointer fingers were in the position her thumbs should have been. Then she turned back to the screen. A particularly sharp corner was coming up.

“Oh, no. I dropped my earring. Where’s that lil’ troublemaker?” Gen stopped to run her hand over the cushions mere feet from the finish line. Her avatar, that was. She stayed at a relatively constant distance from the screen throughout the whole conversation. Jasper, who wasn’t wearing earrings, whizzed past her.

“Yeah! First place!” He turned to see Shu’s reaction. Shu took this as a cue to stand up and mimic the frenzied state induced by watching a favored athlete score a goal on TV.

“Wooo! That’s what it feels like, Gen! That’s what it feels like to be me!” He slapped his thighs. “Aight. I’ll find Chantel, but I’mma do the dishes first.”

“Like hell you are. It’s my turn to do the dishes.”

Behind the closed bathroom door, Chantel tried to hide her annoyance at the muffled laughter. It’s rude to laugh when someone else was feeling down, right? It’s not just her.

“There’s nothing to worry about. Nothing will change.” She exhaled deeply. “You’re almost there, girl. You got this.”

From outside, she could hear the knob of the other sink twist open, followed by the sound of running water. “You better keep your hands off those fricking dishes,” Gen’s voice carried through the concrete walls, “I swear to god.”



“That was a waste of time.”

“You didn’t learn anything?”

“They were trying to slap a stupid label on me. Personality disorder! We talked like once! But I did what you wanted, and now we can move on. Right?”

For the people going ‘psssh’ at how fast this diagnosis was, know that Sim doctors have the benefit of looking at people’s personality traits

“Chantel, the point was figuring out how to move on.”

“This doesn’t change anything. I’m still the same person.”

“And there are still massive problems with the way you see this relationship.”

“Which you already knew before you dragged me into this.”

“I mean, I hoped you’d listen to the doctor. You weren’t listening to me.”

“I was listening. You said I had to do this before we could move on. I did. I listened to all the horrible things she had to say, and her ‘plan.’ I took the Simpedia printouts that basically say she thinks I’m hopeless. But nothing changed.”

“You’re not hopeless, you—“

“All I did was tell her my feelings. Of course I’m distressed! Anyone waiting two-thirds of their life for a damn proposal would be distressed!”

“Like I said, I—“

“You don’t get it. You don’t get what you put me through. But now you have the chance to fix! Everything!”

“It’s not going to—“

“You’re the only one who can drag me out of this living hell. And you’re not! Day after day after day. You just watch me suffer. Just plan something for once in your life and pull the damn ring out. Just put it behind us so we can move on.”

“I don’t think we have the same idea of what ‘moving on’ means.”

“…What are you saying?”

“I’m saying we should take some time apart. You have some stuff to work out.”

Faces of Chantel: Part III of A Three-Part Series.


“You need to focus on yourself.”

“No! Focusing on themselves is what selfish people do.”

“I mean, in excess? Sure. But what’s the alternative? Pushing the work onto other people?”

“But I don’t need to. I have you. You’re the only good thing in my life.”

“Look, it’s statements like that that make me worry about you.”

“And now you’re throwing me away over something some doctor said?”

“I’ve known this had to happen for a long time. I just—I didn’t want to go through with it, either.”

“So you made me humiliate myself and go through with this bullshit, even though you already made up your mind?”

“It’s the only way—“

“You’re acting like you know the future. You don’t know what’s best for me.”

“—to go forward—“

“It’s clearly not! There’s a solution staring you right in the face that’ll make us both happy! Take it!”

“—It wasn’t for me, you had to hear—“

“—No. Stop! You know what? I always knew this was going to happen. I just didn’t think it would be in my hour of need.”

“Please, don’t storm off. I need you to know that I—“

“I’ll be at my parents’. Don’t come back if you change your mind.”


“Get fucked.”

“I knew you wouldn’t end up with that deadbeat loser,” Angela said. The Lucas family apartment had been spacious when Chantel was born, but was running out of extra rooms as she changed relationship status and accumulated siblings. Her room was behind the stairs. Her younger sister Jolene was eyeing that room for after the new baby aged up into a toddler—violating the properties of matter for the first of arguably between three and six times—but Chantel’s arrival meant crushing her dreams, too. She dreamed of being closer to the kitchen: it was a weird shade of orange but you could hide things in the cupboards since Colten and Angela rarely cooked. Shortly after Chantel moved out, they’d hired an interior decorator to change the place from “offensively unpleasant to pleasingly inoffensive,” as Colten put it. It wasn’t bad before. He was just proud of the phrase.

“I just can’t believe I wasted so much time!” Chantel wasn’t referring to her two-hour rant, rather the relationship in general. “Mom, you wouldn’t believe. He only thinks about himself.”

“He’s selfish,” Angela corrected. Why she felt this needed to be corrected is anyone’s guess.

Colten nodded. “He doesn’t care about your needs.”

“He clearly has commitment issues.”

“Real piece of work.”

Jolene took her chance to sneak away from the firing squad, having retrieved from the pantry a set of novelty panda-shaped erasers. She wasn’t allowed to have them. Her dad thought they were stupid.

They’re in her other hand. Ok?

“One moment. Jolene,” Colten barked, “why aren’t you doing your homework?”

“I was going to—“

“Go do your homework.”

“—get a pencil so I can do my—“

“Don’t talk back to me. You sit down at that table and do your homework right now.”

“He made me go to the hospital, like there was something wrong with me and it was my fault, when clearly he’s the one who has some issues to work out. And then he just left me! Like that!”

“Did he give you a reason?” Whatever it was, Colten was confident in his ability to rationalize it away. He just had to know what it was first.

“No. Reason. Whatsoever.” Chantel accentuated the first syllable of each word by slapping her thigh. “It just came out of nowhere. He strung me along for weeks and used me up. And then he left me.”

“That’s what men do,” Angela said. Colten wanted to blurt out a common three three-letter-word phrase to warn them against attributing behaviors to gender when such behavior arises from other causes, and which gave away how he perceived his conduct in particular, but decided gender issues could wait for another conversation. “At least we won’t have to worry about this with Jolene.” She and Colten snickered. Jolene was right there. Seriously, right there. Ten feet away.

Now a song by a much more famous Dolly will be stuck in your head all day. Enjoy.

“Can we not bring Jolene into this? This is literally the worst day of my life.”

“Huh?” Colten said, shooting his wife and then daughter a bemused look. “We never said anything about Jolene.”

His statement was lost on Chantel, who was reliving bits and snippets of the fateful conversation. Shu’s face, full of fake pity. He probably couldn’t wait to get rid of her. She sprang up at this realization, growling, digging her fingertips into her palm in renewed rage. “I just can’t deal with this right now. I’ll be in my room.”

“Whatever you need honey, just tell—“

Chantel slammed the door on her mother’s statement. She was too distracted by the pain of grinding her teeth together, which was the intention. Physical pain was easier for her to deal with than emotional pain. Physical pain had a clear cause and a clear solution. She pitched herself onto the bed. She knew there’d be no sleep that night, but the measurable and peer-reviewed softness of the GoodSleep™ mattress that could, quote, “carry [her] away to dreamland” was also ideal for absorbing blows; the free pillows that came with it could dispel any nightmare or allow one to scream about ex-boyfriends without alerting neighbors or parents. She told the pillow everything she should have said in that fateful moment. She ran out of words. She screamed pure emptiness.

She held the pillow to her face tightly enough that the pressure caused visions of black-and-grey tunnels to project onto her eyelids. This was something she’d started to do as a child. If she followed the tunnels for long enough, she’d go through them and they’d spit her out into a magical land where the streets were made of candy and everyone loved her. Clearly she didn’t accept this as truth—neither child Chantel nor adult Chantel was that naïve—but the tunnels were cool, and comfortable, and slowed her down. It meant she was closer.

The uncomfortable heat baked by her own breath into the pillow’s fibers brought her back into her body. Carefully, she recentered herself in her old room, scanning her surroundings with awe as the greyness was replaced with reality. Most everything was beige-floral or shades of beige. The interior designer had gotten to Chantel’s room after her decision to look like an organic nude lipstick collection. To the right, she’d added some new decorations. A large framed selfie beckoned her eye.

“I just can’t get rid of you, can I?” she asked it. “No matter what, you were going to be with me forever.”

No response.

“You made the biggest mistake of your life, you know? You can’t replace me. I’m irreplaceable.”

No response.

“It’s not just me,” she said. She was backing up toward her keyboard. “I’m not the only one who feels like this. And I don’t have to tell you. Just the world. Just everyone in existence. Is that what you want?”

No response.

“You know what? You’re going to regret this,” she told the photo. “Every time you turn on the radio. Every time you walk into one of your stupid clubs on one of your stupid dates.”

“It’ll play for ages. It’ll hit the top of the damn charts and stay there forever. And if it doesn’t? I’ll write another. And another. I’ll keep going until the world can only ask one question: who did this to Chantel Lucas? Then I’ll tell them.”

“Xishu Liu. You’re going to be famous.”

Her fingers performed their chaotic dance across the keys. A pattern was beginning to emerge.


super cute animation but Jasper NEEDS TO GET OUT OF THAT CLOSET. So many fireworks came from there
We’re done here. No more prose, the rest of this story is going to be Chantel making faces, thank’ya and good night
Look What You’ve Done to Me, Xishu Liu
Tagged on:         

19 thoughts on “Look What You’ve Done to Me, Xishu Liu

  • November 10, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Chantel’s faces! I loved the writing in this chapter so much. It’s immersive.

    Where’s Charlie, and what about Cruz?

    Also now I want to play video games.

    • November 10, 2019 at 11:47 am

      > what about Cruz?

      NOT YOU TOO!

      And immersive? That’s a huge compliment! I’m proud of how my writing has improved, at least. The next step is figuring out how to promote it without feeling like a narcissistic asshole.

      • November 11, 2019 at 12:46 am

        Yeah, I meant it as the hugest compliment! I spent close to half an hour reading that chapter–which is usually my total morning reading time. And the time just sort of disappeared while I found myself in San Myshuno. I was there, on the couch, playing video games. The outside air smelled like fog and chocolate! LOL! And exhaust.

      • November 12, 2019 at 11:06 pm

        I’m going to quote Simister on this: “Ah, Cathytea, you’re the reason I write.” This was after the ‘gnomes feel like home’ comment, which we both thought was hilarious.

        The San Myshuno in my head also smells like exhaust, but replace fog with piss and chocolate with cigarettes. We grew up in different cities, I guess?

  • December 24, 2019 at 7:53 am

    “If one has six girlfriends, they also have two girlfriends.” Touché. That’s just math. Okay, besides cackling like a maniac at the image filter jokes and Chantal’s face, I love that Shu seems like the well adjusted one in this situation. I’m glad he finally got it together and just ended things with Chantal. Stop acting trapped dude, you’re only in this situation because you can’t say no to women because your mother.

    And Chantal. Wow. I don’t have words. Is it wrong that I am rooting for her to get her revenge?

    Well, revenge and more therapy. Girl needs therapy. For real.

    • December 24, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Cue ‘Frontier Psychiatrist’! Root for whomever you want while simultaneously yelling at them for fucking everything up because they have

      M O M M Y I S S U E S

  • May 27, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    I will always absolutely love and adore Shu’s style of fashion. It’s just been absolutely amazing… even my characters could learn a thing or two from him, and that says a lot.
    I’m going to be entirely honest here: I’ve lived on my own for more than five years and have owned my own microwaves since that moment but still, Jasper’s comment about the limes in the microwave and how they make it smell nice… I contemplated that shit. You know when you microwave a ready-made male that leaves behind this super strong smell in your microwave? Just microwave some lies after and that shit is gone. What a genius.
    Aw man, Chantel acted kind of shittily with Jasper’s surprise visit… while Shu was actually nice about it. I really like seeing Shu in these kinds of scnearios because aside from the whole playboy thing, he is like a genuinely nice dude and I like that. He’s considerate and all that.
    I’m ashamed to admit this but I’m like, totally blacking on who Gen is. I don’t remember her… is she just another of Shu’s girlfriends?
    Alright, that question already got answered for me. I guess she is.
    Shu finally broke up with Chantel… good. Like, I know the dude is all about the polygamous shit and I’m not saying there has to be something wrong with that, and sure Chantel knew from the start what she was getting into, but to me that doesn’t make it anymore OK that he knew (I mean, even the most unobservant dude should have noticed and he’s far from unobservant from what I’ve seen) she was hopelessly in love with him and has wholly different expectations of their relationship and wasn’t going to break up with him anytime soon even IF that would’ve been better for both. She may have been kinda shitty, though I guess everyone here kind of is LOL, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for her anyway. Like that shit just sucks, to be so hopelessly in love with someone but you can’t have all of them… and yet you love them too much to give up on them completely and so you just end up somewhere in the middle, unable to move on but unable progress too. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
    And Shu said some good things there, too. I’m proud of him. This was a good chapter for him and his likability LOL.

    • May 28, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      I wonder sometimes if it’s a spoiler that the author prefers Shu, but maybe I just find his struggles more relatable. They both hate regular-legacy-Sim challenge things, but Charlie hates them because he just wants to live in the woods somewhere and have no responsibilities, while Shu’s problem is that he’s too creative and would rather make his own structure rather than operate in someone else’s. I hope that came across. The appeal of his job isn’t running around being a cool playboy, it’s that he found a way to make money no one else had thought of yet. It still effects him emotionally. But more on that in the next chapter.

      (Speaking of that, I REALLY hope the date-reward price increase was because Shu has friends in high places.)

      Anyway, the excuses he gave her for why he’s not proposing might actually be true: he does feel the same way about her, but understands that the relationship isn’t healthy for her in the long run. Something needs to change. And his efforts to help her mature are failing, despite how much he loves her and wants this to work. He’s been shown to bypass obvious problems—why take a rabbit-hole job if he knows it’s going to make him miserable, CHARLIE—and be ridiculously emotionally intelligent, so would it really come as a surprise if pushing Chantel towards independence was one of his goals all along?

      Ugh, there’s just so much to unpack.

      • June 1, 2020 at 5:09 am

        Yeah, I do getchu! It’s just for me, personally, I didn’t see it so much as him trying to get Chantel to mature as him being in a relationship with her which he knows caters to his desires (the polygamy aspect) while not acknowledging the fact that hers in that department are different (her being more into the whole monogamy thing), and seeing as this is such a fundamental differently approach to love that both have, I don’t personally see it as him trying to get her to grow as her having to conform to his approach to love, which he obviously isn’t forcing her to, but because she’s SO in love with the dude she’ll do so anyway. That’s why I was hoping he’d have broken it up earlier, because to me at least it was clear that Chantel just saw things differently from him from the start and such fundamental differences shouldn’t be attempted to be changed for one party (which applies to both Shu’s and Chantel’s attempts to change each other, but since Shu was clearly the more…. mature one here, I’d have hoped he’d have taken it on himself to end it).

      • June 2, 2020 at 11:44 am

        Oooh, yep, you’re right. He’s known the right thing to do for a while and just really didn’t want to do it. I was thrown off because it’s possible to be polyamorous while married to one person, so he’s not necessarily being asked to give up his job and lifestyle. But I think I get what you’re saying now: it doesn’t matter if she says she’s fine with it, she’s got her love blinders on so it’s questionable whether she really means it. Yeap yeap.

        And then there’s him breaking up with her immediately after receiving a personality disorder diagnosis, which is fucked up and you KNOW Chantel’s gonna get her day to call him out on it. Again.

      • June 9, 2020 at 5:32 am

        Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I get the polygamous part, it’s something almost all of my vampire Sims are too and quite some of them ARE married to one person, but what just often does NOT tend to work well together is one *jealous* monogamous person with a polygamous person. Had that in my game too with Ang and Cai, and it didn’t end well a lot of times either lol.

  • August 6, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Ok, dilemma here, Jasper annoys the hell out of me, bit I love Shu, so what do I think about a combination of the two? Well, it was kind of sweet. But of course Jasper had to goddamn add Fortnite inti the mix. Ugh. Damn kids these days 😆 Gen seems pretty chill, which is probably why Shu moved her in as the Chantel antithesis.

    Hm, I’m glad Shu finally broke up with Chantel, although he just went about the whole execution of it all the worst possible way. I still hope thos will somehow end up being good for her (like he does, I guess), bit I don’t know if there’s just been too much damage done to her throughout this relationship, on top of her family dynamic. Her Shu picture wall sure gave me the creeps haha. But her burying herself in her music could be a good sign down the line – sure, in first instance her motives are questionable, but you know, the motives that get you to pick something up do not actually matter that much in the grand scheme of things. At least in my experience.

    • August 6, 2020 at 8:42 pm

      Oh yep. I love Shu too, but he done fucked up here. He and Xiyuan are my favorites, and now they’ve both done abhorrent or unforgivable things.

      Thanks for picking up on her family dynamic. That place is a MESS. And yeah, she’s doing exactly what Shu wanted her to do. Luckily he’s the type to shrug off breakup songs where the chorus is I HOPE YOU DIIIIIIE.

      • August 7, 2020 at 1:05 am

        Haha yeah he’ll probably be happy when he hears the song!

  • May 22, 2021 at 2:29 pm

    Ahahaha remember when I made a random remark early on (during my first read) that Chantel looks like Taylor Swift? Called it! (Accidentally) called it! I get to say that now.

    I wonder how differently the appointment-waiting scene would have gone if Jasper wasn’t there? Shu wasn’t engaging with Chantel, but I’m not sure how much of that was just him thinking “this isn’t going to be productive anyway” because Chantel was obviously in a Mood, or if it had more to do with Jasper’s presence — if he engaged, it may have resulted in an egg-in-the-microwave situation rather than a lime-in-the-microwave one.

    What happens if you have part of a leftover burrito with a guac dollop somewhere within? Do you have to dig it out (the guac) before you microwave it (the burrito sans guac)? Or should I just eat more so I don’t have burrito leftovers?

  • March 18, 2022 at 2:02 am

    As the grey clouds finished relieving themselves of extra weight

    pees in the mouth of monotony

    You know urine a dark comedy when clouds are described as peeing and that’s not the only mention of pee in the chapter. (i want to be clear i delight in this opening line)

    Look closely and you’d notice each bead was caught in an internal battle between stasis, gravity, and surface tension…

    yes but did you ever pick two droplets and race them

    Manny makes a mental note to acquire six-and-a-half more guitars to achieve Cool Person status

    ah yes, shu, you’re only juggling your mother’s emotions, your father’s emotions, your six* lovers’ emotions, surely you have the bandwidth to be your nephew’s father figure, too


    †six, because I choose to believe Shu truly cares for Chantel and his ulterior motive for the breakup is to help her emotionally in the long term

    • March 18, 2022 at 2:14 am

      sorry, remembering Shu and Jasper are not blood-related, i’m just used to considering close family friends ‘cousins’ and their kids my ‘nieces’ and ‘nephews’ 😅

    • March 21, 2022 at 4:03 pm

      BAHAHAHA, excellent pun. Gah. You know that feeling where you forgot you wrote “pees in the mouth of monotony” and then someone reminds you?

      Droplet racing is a glorious pasttime. And yes, Shu “Mommy Issues” Liu does seem to be spreading himself emotionally thin.

      Is a half-guitar… a ukelele? A three-stringed bass?

      (As for the other comment, it totally works: there are enough cultures with aunties and uncles that Shu is totally Jasper’s uncle and can be considered as such.)


Leave a Reply