6.65: Interlude – Dreams

God damn it! Erik closed his eyes. Fuck. Come on. Breathe. Get it together!

But try as he might, it was no use. He’d already been telling himself that for the past hour, but it had done nothing to quell the dangerous urge that continued bubbling up inside him.

This craving was easily ten times worse than his last one. Worse than anything else he’d felt since his detox, really.

All the stress and frustration of apartment hunting had been building and building for the past couple of weeks. And it had finally come to a head, it seemed. Extreme stress was one of his “triggers”, as Dr. Kirby liked to call them. And boy, was Erik feeling it today.

His mind just wouldn’t stop. It was like there was this tiny, persistent voice he could not silence. And it was telling him there was only one way to feel better. One way to calm down and feel happy again…

But could he really do it? Could he really throw away everything he’d accomplished in the past eight months? Could he risk everything he’d been working toward? His career, finding a home, being a good father to his son…

Fuck fuck fuck!

There was only one thing he could do.

Erik’s hand shook slightly as he pulled his phone from his pocket. He knew it was wrong. He knew he shouldn’t. But he was just so desperate. There was no other way, was there?

He dialed the number quickly, before he had the chance to change his mind. A strange mixture of shame and excitement rushed through him as he lifted the phone to his ear.

It only rang twice before someone answered.

——————————————————————–

Erik stared down at the cracked cement of the sidewalk beneath his feet as he fought to steady his breathing. Almost there. He kept telling himself. It’ll be better soon.

He was glad he’d opted to walk instead of drive. The park they’d decided to meet at wasn’t far from Danny’s apartment, and the fresh air always helped to clear his head a little.

But it still wasn’t enough.

Thankfully, Rubi was already waiting for him when he arrived.

The moment his eyes fell on her, Erik felt better. Calmer. He hadn’t seen her in nearly a month… And he’d missed her a lot more than he realized. 

It was the first time he’d ever seen her outside before, instead of inside the light green walls of Dr. Kirby’s office. Somehow, she was even more gorgeous in the daylight. He couldn’t help but take a moment to appreciate the way the sunlight danced across her face.

Rubi rose to her feet instantly at the sight of him, her beautiful face etched with concern. She took several quick strides toward Erik, closing the distance between them.

“Thanks for coming.” He said seriously as she drew closer. “I know I shouldn’t have bothered you. I just… I really needed to talk to somebody. Before I did something crazy.”

“Believe me, I’ve been there.” Rubi assured him gently. “More than once, actually… I’m glad you called.”

“Me too.” Erik agreed.

Danny was at work that day, but Erik knew his brother would have have come back for him, if he’d called… But he needed someone who’d actually understand what he was going through. And luckily, Danny didn’t. Erik hoped he never would.

“So… are you okay?” Rubi asked, her voice calling him back to the present. “Or still…?”

He shrugged in reply. “Still feeling it.” Erik confessed. “But it’s definitely a little better now… I just wish I didn’t have to spring this on you. I mean, you’re supposed to be done with all this shit.” He continued guiltily. “I didn’t wanna burden you with it or anything…”

Rubi had attended her last group therapy session a few weeks ago now. After nearly a year, she and Dr. Kirby had decided she didn’t need it anymore. She was ready to move on. Erik had been so proud of her when she’d left… But selfishly, so sad too.

Rubi just smiled at him. “It’s not a burden. I gave you my number for a reason… I know sometimes you need to talk to someone who really gets it. Even when we were still in the group together, Michelle and I used to text each other all the time. Dr. Kirby probably would’ve killed us if she knew… But it actually helped. A lot.” Her smile widened. “And I know the circumstances totally suck, but… I’m really happy to see you. I missed you.”

“I missed you too.” He replied seriously.

But despite how much he’d wanted to see her again, Erik still hoped he’d never have to call her, no matter how much he wanted to. It wasn’t fair to her, was it? To drag her back into the types of issues she was finally free from? Still… He was terrified to think of who he might have called instead, if not her.

“So… do you wanna go for a walk or something?” Rubi suggested, her voice calling him back to the present. “Or we could grab some coffee? Or both. Or neither!” She laughed softly. “I know the stuff that works for me might not work for you…”

Erik’s lip curled into a smile. “A walk sounds great. Moving around kinda helps… It’s when I’m sitting in one place that it really starts getting to me.”

The woman nodded in understanding. “We’re the same, then.” Rubi began heading down the sidewalk as she spoke. Erik followed. “I don’t get cravings nearly as much as I used to… But they still pop up every now and then. Sometimes being out in the garden is enough. Sometimes I’ve gotta go for a jog or something… Depends on the day.”

“Garden?” The word had caught Erik’s attention. There was so little he knew about Rubi, outside of the things she’d shared at therapy sessions. Somehow, it was easy to imagine her surrounded by lush green plants with soil between her fingers. It suited her.

Once again, Rubi laughed. “Guess I never mentioned it before… But I love gardening. And being outside at all, really.” For a moment, her smile faltered. “I was even working on getting a degree in landscape architecture. But then…”

Erik’s heart sank. That was one thing he did know about her. A bad skiing accident and a torn ACL led to nearly two years hooked on Oxycodone. But she’d already been clean for even longer than that. “It’s okay. You don’t have to talk about it.” He assured her.

She shook her head. “I don’t mind talking about those stupid pills… I just can’t remember the last time I’ve thought about that old dream. Being a professional landscaper, I mean.” Rubi shrugged slightly. “I haven’t thought about it in a long time.”

Erik nodded. He understood all too well what she meant. “Yeah… There are some dreams I’ve had to abandon too.” He said softly.

“But it’s never too late, you know.” Erik continued, willing the painful thoughts away. “I mean like, if you wanna go back to school or something, you should. What’s stopping you?”

Rubi did not immediately reply. Erik couldn’t help but notice how cute she looked with her brow furrowed in thought. “Okay, this is gonna sound super dumb.” She spoke at last. “But I guess the biggest thing is, like… Looking like an idiot, I guess? I mean, I’m twenty-five years old. Way older than all those uni kids. It’d be too weird.”

Erik sighed, almost amused. “Okay, first off, I am one hundred percent certain you wouldn’t look like an idiot.” He assured her. “And secondly, who gives a shit what anybody else thinks? Why should anyone else’s opinion matter? Like… what difference does it make, really?” He asked. “Letting other people have control of you like that… Is it really worth it? If you wanna do it, do it. For you.”

To his surprise, a bright burst of laughter passed Rubi’s lips at his words. “Okay, I’m sorry.” She managed to get out in between her giggles. “That’s seriously great advice, it’s just… You sound JUST like Dr. Kirby. Those are exactly the types of questions she loves to ask.”

He found himself joining in her laughter. “Alright, you caught me… I might have borrowed a couple of those from her.”

Dr. Kirby had worked with Erik a lot to help him worry less about his mother’s opinion of him. It was fine to want to make her proud… But he needed to stop doing things just to please her, or obsessing over what she might think of his choices. Now he realized that he needed to do things for himself. Because they were what was best for him. And maybe Phoenix too. But not anyone else. And Erik was sure that was just as true for Rubi.

“Aha! I knew that was something she’d say.” Rubi’s laughter had finally died down a bit, but her smile remained. “But, uh, I’m kinda questioning the ‘shit’ part…”

“Okay, I might’ve improvised a little.” Erik laughed again.  “Seriously though… If you wanna do it, I really think you should go for it.”

“Thanks.” She replied seriously. “But honestly, I don’t think I know what I want right now… It’s something I’m still figuring out. I’m not even sure what ‘the dream’ is for me anymore.”

Erik was thoughtful for a moment before replying. “Well… Why not work on finding a new dream?” He suggested. “That’s what I did when my old one didn’t work out… Now it’s all about doing the best I can for my son.” He couldn’t help but smile as the thought of little Phoenix crossed his mind. “That’s my new dream.”

“Sounds like a good one to me.” Rubi smiled sweetly at him. “What was the old one?”

Erik willed away the thoughts of the life he’d once imagined sharing with Harper. There was no way he could share that with Rubi. Not right now. But he didn’t want to lie to her either. So he didn’t. “Depends on how old you’re talking… I’ve got plenty of old ones…” His eyes lit up. “Wanna know the first dream I ever had? Back when I was a little kid?”

“Sure! What was it?”

“Okay, don’t laugh, but…” To his surprise, he actually felt a bit embarrassed. “I wanted to be a basketball player.”

Rubi giggled. “Ha! No freaking way!”

“Hey, you said you wouldn’t laugh!” Erik was more amused than angry.

“Actually, I never said that. You did.” She stuck her tongue out at him for a moment. “And I was mostly laughing because of that.” Rubi pointed over his shoulder as she spoke, prompting him to turn around. “Perfect timing, right? Let’s go live the dream!”

It was Erik’s turn to laugh this time. “Okay, you can’t be serious.”

“Why not?”

“Because I haven’t set foot on a basketball court since I was like sixteen.” Erik shook his head as he spoke. “And you’re in a dress. And heels! You’ll break your ankle or something.”

“Nah, I’ll be fine.” Rubi reached into her pocket, pulling out a hair clip and quickly securing her hair away from her shoulders. “Plus, you’re out of practice, right? So… Think of this as a handicap to help you out a bit.” There it was again. That smile that sent his heart soaring.

Erik couldn’t believe he’d ever doubted his decision to call her that afternoon. Rubi had pulled him back from the edge. The memory of his earlier craving had all but vanished, replaced with… Well, he wasn’t sure of the word for it. But whatever it was, Erik didn’t want it to end.

He’d be lying if he said he wasn’t attracted to Rubi. Or that he didn’t already have thoughts in his mind of where he wanted things with her to lead one day… But he also knew it wouldn’t be right to rush into anything. Not right now, at least. Not yet.

For now, what he could really use more than anything was a friend. Someone to understand and support him.

And it looked like he’d found one.

“Alright.” He replied at last. “You’re on.”

53 thoughts on “6.65: Interlude – Dreams

  1. LOL Apparently he has good leg muscles and can jump high? 😂

    And yeah, no scoring of that nature right now haha Erik would love for that to happen eventually, but for now he’s just gonna take it slow and appreciate having a good friend and see where it may lead 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Erik is doing so well. ❤️ So glad he called Rubi instead of a dealer or even Danny. Rubi is much more able to help him than his brother would have been. Go slow Erik…that’s good. But I have a feeling he will now look for different reasons to call her up!

    Two chapters of growth for our little screwed up ex-couple. Both trying to put the pieces of their lives back together. I just hope Harper doesn’t freak if he and Rubi do get together. That could push her over the edge again….I can see easily slipping into her old ways of thinking and blame Rubi for stealing Erik away from her. 🙄

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, she was definitely the right one to call, I think… even if he felt bad about getting her involved haha Though you’re probably right that he might be looking for other excuses to call her after this 😂

      And you’re right about the Harper risk haha Something tells me she wouldn’t be happy if he starts dating someone new!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh. It looks like Ruik is taking off. I’m happy for Erik; Rubi seems nice and understands what he’s going through. It’s sad to see all the lost dreams that can never come true. Great chapter!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah, Rubi is a great girl! I think they are on the right track to eventually date for sure. Maybe they can help each other find some new dreams? 😉

      Like

  4. Looks like Erik is slowly but surely moving on. Harper definitely should too–I doubt the two of them will ever get back together, and if they did, they wouldn’t be good for each other. I don’t think they could rely on each other for stability and good decision making at all.

    But it definitely seems like Erik would like to be more than friends with Rubi someday…guess we’ll see. He definitely finds her attractive though…LOL.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, I think they both need to find new people (and Erik has more or less found one, it seems haha But he’s gonna take it slow) If he does date Rubi, hopefully it’ll be good for him. Could go either way dating someone else who’s a recovering addict too… Potential to either bring each other down or lift each other up… hopefully it will be the latter!

      And hopefully Harper can find someone who will lift her too. She could definitely use it (and is finally actually becoming deserving of it 😛 )

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Erik, I do love you ❤ And I really like Rubi. She seems mature and happy and down to earth. Basicslly, the anti-Harper (although credit where credit is due: Harper is growing). I'm glad Erik realizes he should probably take it slow, though.

    Also, random, but I love Rubi's hair. Is it from the new stuff pack or an old one? Or cc?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha Rubi is definitely the anti-Harper in almost every imaginable way! Erik is totally falling for her, but like you said, smart to take it slow. Good boy! ❤ I'm proud of him. (Though yes, Harper is finally growing too! I'm proud of her too!)

      As for Rubi's hair, are you referring to the side ponytail? Hehe it's actually the same hair Mari had during Tobi and Stefan's childhood and teen years 😛 It's an edit of the cool kitchen side pony (which, in the game version, has a really high/weird bump at the top. But the edit takes it away). It's one of my favorite hairs (and so tempting to use on like, every female Sim I have haha I've been good and holding off since Mari though 😛 But it felt like the right time to brig it back hehe) Here is a link to it! 🙂 http://love4sims4.tumblr.com/post/126611364543/primadonna-sims-just-a-simple-mesh-edit-of-the

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  6. In a way the situation is bittersweet. While Erik and Harper were never good for one another, the fact that he’s moving on while Harper’s behind bars means there’s zero chance of them ever going back to the way things were. Phoenix will never know what it’s like to have both his parents with him–though by the looks of it, Harper will end up with Ivy or Katie and the kid will still have two loving parents.

    It’ll be a hard road no matter what happens, but it’s been hard since the beginning with Harper.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, at this point, I fear there’s no going back for Erik and Harper 😦 But Phoenix will definitely be loved by both his parents, like you said. Just… parents who are apart 😦

      Definitely a hard road for Harper this gen. Let’s hope things finally start getting easier?

      Like

  7. Haha, as somebody who has recently taken quite a few pictures in both the park in Windenburg and the basketball courts in San Myshuno, it’s a little bit like watching “Ten Things I Hate About You” and seeing them walk from the waterfront to the troll statue in just a few minutes.

    I’m really happy for Erik though – and I’m glad he’s found a “friend” who isn’t going to push him into doing drugs so that they can continue putting all of their emotional eggs into one fragile basket and deny reality.

    I’m glad he’s doing better. I really liked the “dream pictures” of what life could have been like had things with Harper worked out, but I also think it’s better this way.

    How long has passed since Harper has been in prison? How much longer does she have in there?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL! Yeah, if you know the game worlds, it’s kind of funny 😛 But San Myshuno is supposed to be Downtown Windenburg in my universe, so it’s not *quite* as much of a stretch… but still a pretty far walk I guess 😛 Haha

      I’m happy for Erik too. He has come a long, long way!

      As for timeline, I am a bit vague on that haha At this point it’s been somewhere between 5 and 6 months. So she’s about 1/4 of the way through her sentence. And already making a ton of progress! 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I totally figured that was the case! Nothing wrong with it, and totally understand why it’s done (because there’s not a lot to do in downtown Windenburg, ahahaha) – I probably wouldn’t have realized it if I hadn’t used both locations recently (I’m only just now thinking about Zayne’s old apartment, and I believe I figured that took place in Windenburg, but thinking about it now, that probably wasn’t the case, was it?)

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a nice chapter 😊 I was really stressed at the beginning though! I’m glad Erik made a good choice. Addiction is so scary; he’s on thin ice for a while.

    Totally superficial note: Rubi is really beautiful. She has a sweet, grounded, earthy look. I like her 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Erin! 🙂 I was kind of mean with that fake-out at the beginning hehe. But he made the right choice, thankfully! I think getting close to Rubi has the potential to be really good for him. (Though like I said to a commenter above, it’s also risky! But I have faith in these two being good influences on each other 🙂 )

      And thank you for the superficial note hehe. I really love her. Since I use lots of casting call sims (and my Rosebrooks are otherwise created with genetics), I don’t get to make sims too often! But I made Erik, Rubi, and Ivy for this gen and I really loved creating all three of them. Glad you approve 😉 Hehehe

      Liked by 1 person

  9. First off, we all know Erik’s was just jelly of Kody and his height and wanted to be like him as a teen…

    Second…

    I WILL FUCKING USE ALL THE DUCT TAPE I HAVE TO! HARIK IS NOT GOING TO BE ANOTHER MARKLYN! WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME AGAIN!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. LOL Rubi has skills 😛 (Though we don’t really know how well she might have played 😂)

      Yeah, Phoenix is going to grow up with two very loving parents, but unfortunately it will likely be two loving parents who are not together 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was busy yesterday so i didn’t get to finish reading it before now, but now i’m ready to comment.

    I’m so proud of Erik. In all honesty, for a second there i thought he had called his old dealer. But, a little part of me said that no, he couldn’t have. He wouldn’t risk it and throw everything away he had worked for. And I’m so glad he decided to call Ruby. It was a very mature move on his part. And it seems like he really has found that supporting friend he needs. That’s really great for him. And she seems really sweet and caring. They fit perfectly together.
    What is the new ship for those two? 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m proud of him too 🙂 Sorry for tricking you hehe I wanted people to think for a second that that’s who he had called 😛

      Rubi is definitely a great friend to him… and maybe will be something more too 🙂 As for a ship name, I like Rubik (nichole1011 came up with that one) because it reminds me of a rubik’s cube 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s a cool ship name. A rubik’s cube, is that those that has those colors where you have to shift them to make whites on one side, blue on one side, red on one side etc?

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Cool i love those! I could never figure them out though, but i’ve seen on youtube where people have solved them in like 30 – 60 seconds 😮

            Like

  11. That upskirt 😮

    I was pleasantly surprised by this. I didn’t expect the side story to even exist, but I like it! It’s a nice balance compared to Harper’s drama.

    Also, Rubi looks like she comes from a totally different game! With her and Erik side by side you can really see the difference between them!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Awwwe! This made me smile so much. Rubi is so lovely and I’m so happy Erik decided to call her. It’s just the friendship he needs right now, and possibly what she needs too. They also make a very lovely couple *wink wink* 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha I know, it seems weird, right? But apparently it’s group therapy protocol. When I wrote this one (and the one where we got a little glimpse of the session), I consulted with my friend who has both gone to group therapy and now works as a counselor, and apparently it’s a big no-no (but a rule that she says everyone breaks anyway XD)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I guess I can see why it would be a no-no but seem impossible to implement. I can see how there would be liabilities on both sides of the argument. “I couldn’t get in touch with my counselor and had no one else to turn to, so I got high, your honor.” lol, I’d be more concerned about preventing that one than telling everyone you’re not certified to counsel anyone, so don’t talk to each other.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This is the best partner that Erick could getm seriously, knowing how it is, it surely is more comfortingto talk about his problems, and he can’t use the ”She dosen’t understand me!” Kinda of line, for some reasonb, I was wondering what Rubi addiction was, glad to see a bit of that, everything is working soo well right now, maybe..a little…too welll…?Hum…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Rubi is gorgeous, where did she come from? I’m still not sure about how wise it is for two ex-addicts to be together, but I really like their vibe. I think she’d make a great step-mom to Phoenix. But I’m on board for the friends first plan that Erik has.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I actually made her ^_^ So thank you! Hehehe I was so pleased with how she came out (This gen, I made Erik, Ivy, and Rubi. Everyone else is a casting call person 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

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