In spite of her unfortunate start in life, Katara was a good baby. None of the villagers would have anything to do with her; the men were angry and the women were mostly afraid. So it fell to Theresa and I to take care of her – and to protect her. More than once I felt her precious life was in danger because of her parentage.
Theresa contacted James via the satellite phone as soon as she could and when he came through again, he confirmed my suspicions that there was a blonde male volunteer at Jhana’s village. He’d gotten word that the man was sleeping with many of the women and he’d been dismissed from the program a couple months before.
“What happens to her now?” I ventured, as we all looked down on the mewing infant.
“There are orphanages in the cities…she’ll never be accepted here or in her mother’s village. If left here – she’d likely be killed.” James’s voice with full of sadness and I knew he spoke the truth.
“Killed?!” Theresa asked in outrage. “But she’s just a baby!”
James shrugged, having no explanation for the barbaric behavior. “It’s their culture, she’s not one of them as far as they’re concerned and her existence is shameful in their minds.”
“She’s one of ours though…sort of anyway. Couldn’t she be taken home? She’s have a much better life there even in foster care…” Theresa suggested, leaning forward to comfort the baby.
“Without the father or the mother – getting her out of this country would be near impossible. Let alone getting her into ours…there are procedures.” James said.
“What if we had the father…” I suggested.
“But we don’t, he’s back home now and from what I’ve been told he’s not going to come back for a child…” James responded.
“Would they test? Genetically I mean?” I asked, a plan forming in my head already. “What if I was the baby’s father?”
“But you’re not Faromir!” Theresa exclaimed. “We all know that; you’ve been here and Jhana’s been there…”
“But the government won’t know that…they don’t need to know. If we had the baby’s father…would the process of getting her out of this country and back home be easier?” I asked, avoiding Theresa’s eyes.
James considered for several minutes and then nodded. “Yes, I think it would. You’d have to leave the Corps immediately of course…travel to the capital with Katara and apply for all the necessary paperwork.”
“How long would it take do you think?” I asked, Katara’s fingers had wrapped around mine, as if she was claiming me as hers.
“Could take months – maybe longer depending on who you have to deal with. But it can be done; if you’re willing. She’d be yours then – forever Faromir – not just until you get home you understand.” James cautioned, though I think he knew I understood all of it.
“Of course she would.” I said, a small smile on my face.
Things moved quickly after that. James began the paperwork to have me dismissed from the program and soon I found myself packing bags for myself and Katara – not that Katara had many things to pack at her tender age of one month old.
Theresa looked on awkwardly as I closed up my suitcase. “Are you sure about this Faromir?” she asked finally.
“Yes, yes I am Tes.” I said. “She needs someone and I need to get out of here so it works out for both of us I think.”
“Well…I’m going to miss you. You did a lot of good here, I know things have been dark lately but you belonged here I think…” she said, answering my old fears.
I looked at Katara and nodded. “You’re right, I did belong here. You be careful okay?” She nodded and grew quiet. I went to the desk to scribble a quick note and then picked up an old blanket from my bed. Tucking the note in the folds of the blanket, I turned back to Theresa. “I have to return something to someone…will you keep an eye on Katara?” she nodded, then returned her attention to the book she was reading.
I walked across the village with a neatly folded blanket; my heart was hammering in my chest. I noticed the looks and scowls I got from everyone but tried to ignore them. Standing across from her home, I hesitated. What would her husband say if he saw me? Would he beat her later just for talking to me? I took a deep breath and continued forward, knocking lightly on the door frame.
Nyaari was now six or seven months pregnant and looked perfectly radiant with her expanding belly. I had to stop myself from reaching out to touch it, to touch her even. “Faromir!” she said softly, a mix of pleasure and fear. She looked around outside before ushering me inside, away from curious onlookers.
I held out the blanket to her. “You lent me this – I’m leaving and I wanted to be sure you got it.” I said, standing near the doorway, as far from her as I could get so my mind could stay clear.
“No…you are leaving?” she asked, pain crossing her face as the realization hit her.
“Yes, I…” I wanted to explain but I couldn’t begin to find the words. Eventually someone would tell her that I left because I got a woman pregnant – which is what they all believed anyway. I didn’t want to know how it would make her feel. “I’m leaving tomorrow and, as I said, I wanted to return the blanket.” She started to protest that she’d never lent me the blanket and then she felt the note in the folds. She pulled it out and looked over it quickly before tucking it back inside.
“If you need anything…” I said. I turned toward the door, intent on leaving but my feet refused to move any further. I turned back to her, “I wish you’d come with me.” I whispered, terrified to say it any louder lest someone hear. “I can take you away from this…from him. I would protect you Nyaari.”
Nyaari looked like she was going to cry but she shook her head. “I wish I would too…but I cannot.” As horrible as her husband was, she felt a sense of duty, of obligation to remain with him. It was simply their way – something I didn’t want to understand.
“Whatever you hear…after I’m gone,” I considered my words carefully and then shook my head, at a loss. “I had to; for all our sakes.” I said finally. “Goodbye Nyaari.” It took a great deal of resolve to leave her then. I knew I was leaving her in the hands of a monster but if she wouldn’t leave, I couldn’t make her do it
James drove with us to the capital city and made sure Katara and I were settled into a hotel room before he had to leave again. He’d given me all the paperwork I should need to get the process started and wished me luck.
I made dozens of visits to the government offices, the Embassy, and it seemed a hundred other places over the following weeks. The Embassy sent me back to the government and the government sent me back to the Embassy. It seemed like no one actually expected a situation like this. Normally the father would cut and run before the baby was ever born – unwilling to take on a child or even believe it could be his.
“Of course the situation arises often – the women in those villages are awed and wooed by the male volunteers, but as good as they are to join the Corps – they don’t generally follow through on their parental duties.” the lady at the Embassy explained.
“What happens to the children then?” I asked
“Many of them we don’t even hear about for some time – they’re killed by the villagers or put to some sort of hard labor before they’re old enough to ride a bike. Some are taken by volunteers to the orphanages. They aren’t the most ideal places to grow up but they’re better than the alternative I suppose.” She said.
“I suppose so.” I muttered. “So what do I need to do to take my daughter home?”
And that began the run around again. It took two months of going between them before everyone settled on the appropriate channels to take but even then, they made no promises of anything happening quickly.
Katara and I moved to small, somewhat run down, apartment when it became obvious we might be long term residents of the city. I’d barely gotten her to sleep when I heard a frantic knocking at the door.
There was no peep hole so I opened the door enough to see Theresa, caked in dirt and cradling a bundle of rags. Or at least I thought it was rags until it began to cry. “Tes…”
“Faromir…” she held out the bundle to me and the blankets fell away to reveal a dirty little face of a newborn; he couldn’t be more than a week old.
“Tes, what is this? I have enough trouble trying to get Katara out of here, I can’t be taking every unwanted infant…” I said as I let her into the apartment.
“She’s yours Faromir. Nyaari gave birth five days ago…” she said, holding her out again.
This time I took the bundle and she instantly calmed in my arms. “What?” I asked, staring at her in surprise. Somehow it had never once occurred to me that the baby she was carrying was mine. Over a month had passed between our encounter and her marriage – surely she’d known before the joining…but she didn’t say anything. “Where is she? Is she…” I couldn’t make myself say the word, I didn’t even want to think it.
“She’s not dead, but she’s not well. She’s in the city now, I had to drag her away practically and I ‘borrowed’ James’s truck to get us here. I knew she was further along then she ought to be the whole time so I tried to make some arrangements – just in case. She’s with some people who will take care of her.” Theresa had walked to the bathroom and was scrubbing her hands and face, shouting all this back to me.
“You made arrangements? You knew…” my mind was reeling and trying to catch up to what she was saying.
“She might be dying Faromir – I did everything I could and she’s in good hands but, she might die…” Theresa repeated it again. “You should go to her…now.”
“But….” I looked at the baby in my arms, whose name I didn’t even know and looked over to the crib where Katara was sleeping.
“I’ll look after them…” she said, scribbling an address on a piece of paper and thrusting it in my hands. “This is where she is…go, tell them I sent you and see her.”
I handed the bundle back over to her and ran out the door, clutching the paper firmly in my hand.
“Let me understand this, you got two women, from two different villages pregnant within three months of each other…and you want to take both the infants home with you.” She asked, looking over the new paperwork.
“Yes.” I said simply.
“And the mother of the second child? Her name is Azula?” she asked, writing on the form.
“She’s dead.” I said, swallowing back the lump in my throat. “She was beaten when they discovered her husband was not the father of her baby.”
She seemed to have some sort of reply but thought better of it and merely nodded. “You realize this will complicate things.”
“In what way?” I asked. “The process is still the same yes? You have all the documentation you require for both Katara and Azula.”
“Yes I do, it’s simply going to raise some questions. It will take time.” She explained.
“Well then we’ll be here. Please let me know when you make progress or if you need anything from me.” I said, gathering up my things. “Thank you.” I shook her hand once before leaving the Embassy.
Theresa didn’t say much when I returned. She had both the babies asleep and was reading Aragorn’s book. “Any luck?”
“It’s going to take time they say.” I said, sitting on the shabby couch next to her. “Which is something I suppose I have…” I muttered, laying my head back and staring at the ceiling.
The Villagers didn't REALLY ignore Katara in game lol
Everything breaks, all the dang time!
Things that never were...
Sims are weird, they ran to the neighbors but then took like 6 cabs back home later lol
Tendaji's birthday happened during this update
More things that never happened :(
She looks like she's about to pop
She randomly stopped in the middle of labor a couple times to boo someone or something...not sure why or who lol