Welcome to Brook Haven Ranch! We are a 18+ premium role playing community set in Trader's Bend, Montana. Our concept is the culmination of twenty years of plotting and planning. We feature a rich, developed program in which many troubled characters thrive. Our community is one of the best on jcink and we look forward to you becoming a part of it!
Healing Horses & Troubled Teens since 1995
Not every teenager has the benefit of growing up in a loving, happy home. Some are victims of abuse, neglect, a system that shuffles them from foster home to foster home. Brook Haven Ranch was established in 1995 as a refuge for abused and neglected horses -- and teenagers who needed a second chance in life and the opportunity to become something more than society expects of them.
MBTI Type: esfp
Likes: penpals, helping people, the bible, church, her family, ministry, reading, books, bible study, writing letters, journaling, colored pencils, colored pens, journals, blank books, sketch books, painting, watercolor paints, spending time with god's word, school, planning for the future, cooking, making a home, making her fathers proud, spending time with her friends, writing letters, making letters pretty, bible journaling, journaling bibles, buying new pens, shopping, pretty clothing, being blonde, boys, her church family, people who respect her father, babies, small children, people who are in need, baking, delivering food for the less fortunate, speaking to people about their lives, visiting the nursing home or homeless shelter, volunteering, horseback riding, equestrian competition, watching equestrian sports, the olympics, dreaming for the future
Dislikes: homophobia, homophobes (though she doesn't like to admit to hating the sinner and not just the sin), sin, abortion, the fact that she had an abortion, often herself, being told she won't be successful because she's a teen mother, competition between hillbrook and brook haven, the way her vitamins make her feel, swollen feet, not being able to ride, disappointing her father, her sister (sometimes, but not often), her mother, people who hurt other people, abusers, bullies, teachers hwo put her down, going to school and facing everybody there, the looks she gets in church, people who talk down about her faith, the devil's temptations, the boy who left her pregnant, not being able to help people
Strengths: excellent student, loving, trusting, generous, servant-minded, mary-hearted, altruistic, giving, friendly, supportive, smiles easily, good sense of humor, knows how to laugh at herself, believes in people, hard-working, studious
Weaknesses: stubborn, dishonest, insecure, self-deprecating, tends to see things through a narrow lens, can be zealous, tends to wear herself out, can be emptied by too much giving, idealistic, poor decision-making skills, too trusting, risk taker
Fears: labor, miscarriage, her father finding out about her abortion, corporal punishment, falling off her horse, being kicked out of hillbrook, disappointing god, going to hell, being kicked out of church, being abandoned
Aspirations: complete high school, go to college, complete college, earn a doctorate
Romantic Orientation: heteroromantic
Sexual Orientation: heterosexual
Relationship Status: it's complicated
Significant Other: none currently
Education: sophomore year
Dream Job: church pastor, public speaker, surgeon
Home Town: canon beach, oregon
Religion: protestant christian (sincere)
Preferred Riding Style: english
Riding Strengths: soft hands, keeps heels down, good at judging distances, good posture
Riding Weaknesses: takes criticism to heart, difficulty remembering courses, occasional poor timing
8 Things Sym is Never Without
Most teenagers would probably find it strange to carry a Bible around everywhere that one goes, but Sym is one of those Christian teens who likes to have hers with her at all times. It's a quick way for her to reference inspirational scriptures when she needs a pick-me-up, and she likes to have it handy because its presence alone comforts her. Some girls are attached to their phones, some (even at her age) have stuffed animals that they like to hold onto; for her it's her Bible. The one that she usually carries with her is an NIV Women's Devotional Bible*.
Symphony keeps a journal of her Bible studies. Each journal lasts her for about three months and then she swaps it out for a new one. Her preference is for Moleskine dotted journals, which can be tough to find. She's very proud of her journal and she carries it with her everywhere for the same reason that she carries her Bible. It also contains some of her artwork, as well as her S.O.A.K. Bible studies. This serves for her as a way for Sym to share her testimony with other people, as she generally always has some notes jotted down that she can share with those who are interested in hearing about her her experience with Jesus Christ.
The Filofax is Sym's personal planner. She uses it for all of her bullet journaling needs and as a way to plan out her life. This is where she focuses on her S.A.V.E.R.S. and accounting for all of the time that she needs to have available to take care of all of her responsibilities. It contains her daily appointments, her daily responsibilities, and keeps track of her self-care, as well as accounting for such things as her daily mental health. She doesn't do any of her personal journaling in her Filofax, however. That is kept to a separate book that she leaves at home.
Because she is so dependent on her journal(s), Sym has three pens that she carries with her everywhere. Two are black and one is red, and they are used primarily for marking in her Filofax, though she also uses the same pens when she is working on her Bible Studies in her Moleskine. The first is her Faber Castell PITT fine point artist's pen. The second is her Sanford Sharpie Fine Point Pen in black. The third is the same pen in red. She only uses felt-tip so that she doesn't tear her pages with a ball-point pen, and these pens are always tucked up into her bag.
Her Messenger Bag
The messenger bag holds everything that is mentioned above, though the below items are mostly in her pockets. She carries a messenger bag rather than a typical purse because Sym doesn't tend to carry things like makeup. While she does have a small bag within a bag to hold these items, the most important things are listed above. Her bag is large enough to hold all of the items that she takes with her on a daily basis, as well as her wallet (which contains her money, her identification, and her debit card as well as a few cards for the church). This is how she transports everything unless she has a reason to dress up, in which case of course she takes a regular purse.
Like most teenagers, Symphony keeps her phone on her at all times. It's her lifeline, and it connects her to Chan (most importantly), to her father, and to Nate. When she's in trouble she even has a code with her father to help her to get out of a situation that isn't comfortable for her, without her friends having to know that she's notified him. She considers this one of her most important life tools outside of her Bible, and though she's certainly not the type of girl who is glued to it and constantly looking at her phone, she likes to have it with her.
Although she doesn't have her own car, Symphony does have a key to the family car and two keys to the house -- one for the knob and one for the deadbolt. She carries her keys with her everywhere she goes, even if she's with another member of the family. It's logical, for one, but there is a part of her that is always afraid that if she doesn't have them, that her family won't let her in. This is rooted in her insecurity over her mother leaving, her pregnancy, and nightmares that she's had since she was a child about coming home to an abandoned house.
It's a gift that Nate gave to both her and Chan when they were only ten years old: A compass to help them to find their way home no matter how bad things got in the world for them. The compass serves as a reminder to Sym that what she's terrified of the most will never happen: Her family will be there for her no matter what, and the front porch light will always be on for her to come home. This is one of her most treasured possessions and she either keeps it in her pocket or on a chain around her neck most of the time. If it's not in one of those two places, it's in her bag.
Honesty is the Best Policy
Symphony is pregnant -- and not for the first time. Though her father is not an ultra-conservative sort of Christian, they are a Christian family, and she has to find a way to explain to him how she got pregnant when he's admonished both her and Chantal not to have sex before they are married to the person who loves them as much as they deserve to be loved -- and who loves God above all else. This is particularly big for Sym because she has been pregnant before, and terminated that pregnancy in a panic.
She's going to have to approach her father and be up front with him about one of the scariest things in her world, because this time she doesn't plan to terminate: She plans to give this baby up for adoption so that it can have a much better life than the one that she could give it as a teen mother (and so that she can finish school).
Unfortunately, her father doesn't approve of this option any more than he does of abortion, and so Sym is going to have to find a way to make her life work following her decision to sleep with a boy who promised her that he loved her. She is devastated that he has left her, and in the aftermath of their relationship she will have to come to terms with the fact that sometimes people will tell you what you need to hear. She's still a trusting, sweet girl who doesn't understand how someone could hurt her so much.
Brook Haven Ministry
Faith is important to Symphony. Don't let her pregnancy fool you! She's on fire for Jesus and she wants to show you just how important He is to her in her life. Symphony believes that it is the call of all Christians to put themselves aside in order to minister to others, and so she has decided to take up a ministry to the students at Brook Haven. Her goal is to bring Christ to those who don't know him and to create a safe place for those students who know Him and wish to remain separate from the world that turned its back on her.
She will therefore be volunteering at the ranch in spite of her Hillbrook affiliation (see below). Her goal is to minister to the students of Brook Haven by bringing them things that they don't normally have access to, such as books, magazines, and small food treats. Sym may also bring things like art supplies and stationary for those who would be interested in having a penpal, since this is one of her biggest hobbies. And of course she's going to bring Bibles.
There is little doubt that Symphony will be spending a lot of time on the ranch getting to know the students, but be assured that she is not a Bible thumper. She won't force her religion on other people and she is perfectly capable of making normal relationships -- to the point that it does sometimes get her into trouble with her father (as in her pregnancy).
Conflict of Interests
Symphony is a Hillbrook rider and has been since her family moved to Trader's Bend last year. She loves the equestrian center and her horse, but she doesn't have any particular loyalty to the people there. It's her "tribe" so to speak, but her faith tells her that she should minister to all people, and so she often finds herself doing things that the people of Hillbrook disagree with. For example, she volunteers at Brook Haven, which is for them a conflict of interest.
Now that she's pregnant, she can't ride anyway, but she still takes care of her horse (who is boarded at Hillbrook), and she has to face a lot of ridicule from the people who ride and board their horses there. Whispers are that if she's pregnant and can't ride, she ought to drop her name off of the Hunter/Jumper roster, as she's not serving them and she's only holding a slot that could be taken from another person.
Besides, or so some of her teammates say, what happens if she defects at the last minute? All it will taken, when she gets back in the saddle, is one deliberately bad run to break their streak and give Brook Haven the advantage. It's not a happy place to be, and Sym is conflicted about how to handle this disagreement with her home stable. She won't give up Hillbrook or volunteering, since she believes that both are right.
This is a slightly future key plot, but since its key I wanted to get it in here.
When he found out that Symphony was pregnant, the father of her baby split. He had no desire to stick around to become a father, and though she has to see him every day at school, their relationship is over. She's angry (though she won't admit to that openly), and she's lonely, and she's struggling to figure out how she's going to handle having this baby on her own without anybody to help her to take care of him -- or herself.
She's met somebody at church -- an older boy (a man really) who speaks kindly to her and who reads his Bible and attend's the church's weekly Bible studies. He's spoken to her on more than one occasion, and he's finally asked her out. The problem is that he's twenty and she's seventeen. It's not just that it's a big age gap: She's also afraid of what it will mean for him, considering the implication of statutory rape. It hasn't even crossed her mind that their relationship is legal as long as they don't have sex, or that he's not trying to get into her pants.
The craziest part about all of this for Sym is that her father approves -- not only with the age difference but also with his race. Of course her father should approve: He's a gay pastor. Still, it's taking quite a bit to wrap her mind around this and to give in to a potential romance that is about a man who loves God before he loves himself -- or her. It's everything she's ever wanted, but that's still hard for her to deal with.
Symphony is the daughter of a pastor. Ben is the head pastor of Fruit of the Vine church in Trader's Bend, and the father of twin girls who each have different biological fathers (neither of whom is him). When she and her twin are together (and in spite of being very different, they are close, most people don't believe that they are actual twins because they are two different races. Chantal is half Asian and Symphony is half Jewish, and their father is neither Asian nor Jewish. Most people probably won't know that she and Chan are sisters, or at least that they're twins. It's likely most will think that they are adopted.
People in town will probably know Symphony as the daughter of the pastor, but soon enough she's going to be known for being pregnant. Things like that get around town really fast, especially in a small town like this one, and within the first two months of her pregnancy (even before she's showing) most of her peers will probably be aware of what's going on with her.
Her temperament is sweet, trusting, and gullible. Sym is a natural extrovert who loves to be around people, and who gives of herself much too easily, often resulting in heartbreak (as it has both times that she's gotten pregnant so far). She makes one-sided friendships easily but struggles with long-term relationships and can be insecure due to her mother having abandoned her.
She's a Hillbrook rider with a current conflict of interests because she volunteers at Brook Haven, but this should give her plenty of room to connect with people in town, at Hillbrook, and on Brook Haven Ranch. There's no end to the possibilities because of this!
Symphony is very extroverted. She's friendly, generous, trust, loyal, and compassionate. All of these things make her an easy person to talk to, and therefore one would think that she would have a lot of friends. The trouble is that a lot of her friendships are one-sided and superficial. People want what she can give to them at the time (and she's willing to give enough that she's gotten pregnant twice by boys who wanted nothing to do with her afterward), and then often abandon her when the act is done. Not only has she given away her virginity to a boy who didn't love her (and then had sex with two more), but she's also stolen for people who have asked her to -- including taking something from her father and something from her sister.
She's easy to manipulate and good friends are hard for Sym to come by.
There are plenty of places for potential friends to meet Sym. She's at church most nights in the week; she rides at Hillbrook; she volunteers at Brook Haven. Plus of course she goes to the public high school. It's a very busy life, but she somehow manages to balance all of it, including keeping her grades up. If you want to make friends with her, meeting her (or writing it into the past that you have met her) at one of these places will work best.
She will definitely need a good female friend to share her experiences with and who can support her through the most difficult times of her life. It would obviously be helpful for her to have friends who are Christian, but in the absence of this possibility, she does need people who won't judge her for her mistakes or her current crisis and who will be there for her no matter what happens in the future.
Sym has had exactly three boyfriends: You are welcome to play any one of the three past boyfriends if you would like. I'd be very open to having the boy who first got her pregnant in play, and the boy who recently abandoned her as well. The middle one probably had the strongest feelings for her, but we can work that out if you're interested in playing a past lover for Sym. It's highly likely that all three of them went to her church, but not imperative.
She's obviously easy to manipulate sexually. Sym believes in a sense of duty and in her womanhood: She believes that it is her duty as a Christian to become a good wife to a good husband. She just hasn't found him yet. She is, therefore, looking for a long-term relationship, and she doesn't date blindly. Even those boys who have hurt her, she believed that the relationships were going somewhere.
Symphony has a romance plot coming up that will be her final (I believe), but I would love to fill those past love slots as they are important to her development and they could be interesting for you to play. Feel free to suggest existing boys or to talk to me about filling this as though it's a request (even though I have no intention of requesting the past lovers).
Apart from being easy to manipulate, Sym is also a sweet lover who is very tender with her boyfriends and who likes to write them love letters and cook them meals or bake them treats. She's a very devoted and doting girlfriend who might come across at times as being overbearing.
There's plenty of room for enemies for Sym! Not only will some people judge her harshly for being pregnant, but she's fighting over a conflict of interest between Hillbrook and Brook Haven. Plus she's about to be dating an older black man! Definitely tons of room here for tension, so bring it to me!
Symphony is the type who is most likely to cry if she's confronted, but she does have a temper -- just not a bad one. Push her too far and she can get catty. It's unlikely that she will get into a brawl with somebody while she's pregnant, but there is always the possibility that if something goes too far, there might be some hair pulling and slapping going on. I never said she was a good fighter!
I'd personally love to see her have a good, strong enemy -- maybe just one or two, but I want to see somebody pick on her for her situation. The most likely ongoing scenario (a relationship that can't get past hate) is somebody who puts her in a situation where she has to question her father -- and his paternity -- because that person doesn't believe that she and her sister are twins.
Of course there are tons of other options, so throw at me whatever you have!
Your character is in a relationship with someone but falls for someone else. What do they do? Keep it a secret?
Symphony tucked her feet under her and crossed the right over the left, careful to keep her knees together and her hands settled gently on her knees. She'd rehearsed this over and over again in her mind, struggled to find the right words. Her stomach ached deep in its pit, and she swallowed hard, fighting for the right words. She wet her lips, running her tongue across the smooth, grape-flavored surface. Sym lowered her eyes to her hands and held them there for a moment. He knows that this is coming, just by the way that you're acting. It was Chan's voice in her head, telling her what she already knew. Wasn't it just like Chan to say something like that? They might not have been identical twins, but they still felt one another acutely.
"I have feelings for somebody else," she said finally. Alan had been wonderful to her, gentle and kind and when they made love he was so sweet to her. In a thousand ways he was the best boyfriend that she'd had, and maybe that was the problem. He was everything that another girl would want, but for Sym he lacked the danger. If he couldn't be dangerous, she wanted him to be godly, and being a church-goer wasn't necessarily the same thing as being a godly man.
She'd tried to blame him a thousand times, to find something about him that hadn't hit her in the heart. He loved her: Sym believed that when he told her, but didn't she also believe Mark when he told her that he loved her? The conflict raged inside of her, but Mark with his motorcycle and his leather jacket and his books -- good Lord his books! -- were everything that meant everything to her. Her father might not have approved of her taste in men, but that was one of the reasons that she hadn't told him who interested her. If she did, then he'd only tell her to stop seeing all of them.
Sym was not, strictly speaking, allowed to date. But both she and Chantal did it.
Her heart beat rapidly as she finally raised her eyes to meet Alan's. "I'm so sorry, Alan." She bit down hard on her lower lip, her tongue rolling again over the flavor of grape lip gloss. It seemed out of place, a sweetness when things should have been sour. She sniffed up a deep breath through her nose and raised her head, squared her shoulders and met Alan's confused face. "I didn't want to hurt you, but I don't have the same feelings for you that I used to have."
She bent, picked up her bag, and then uncrossed her ankles and stood. For a moment she met his eyes and locked hers on him, then turned and stepped out of the room and into the next phase of her life. It was the first time that Sym had ever broken up with a boy and it felt all wrong to be doing it. Why was it so easy for the boys to do it to her when she had struggled to find the right way to tell somebody who loved her that she'd found somebody else?
Carlos was Sym's first boyfriend. She wasn't supposed to be "dating" at all as she was too young (according to her father, who didn't want his daughters to date until they were eighteen). Their relationship lasted an amazing two years -- from the time that Sym was thirteen until she was fifteen), and for a long time they did everything together whenever they were in school or could avoid her father. Their relationship began with some simple kissing and progressed to petting. Carlos finally pressured Sym into having sex with him or losing him. She relented and he became the first boy to get Sym pregnant, and he pressured her into having an abortion when she was fifteen years old.
He broke it off with her not long after.
Ross Ayers • Ex-Boyfriend
Ross is the boy referred to as "Alan" in Sym's sample on the previous tab. He's the one who truly loved Symphony and who was the right sort of person for her -- if only she'd gone to her father's church. Symphony gave her body to him mainly because she worried that not doing so would cause him to stop loving her, and also because she felt that sleeping with him would show him that she loved him, too. In the end it was Sym who broke up with Ross, because she'd found somebody who was more dangerous. If he'd been a member of her church, she might have stuck with him.
Seth Pope • Ex Boyfriend & Father of the Baby
Seth appealed to all things that Symphony loved. He was dangerous, rode a motorcycle, wore leather, was a member of her father's church, and he read books. She fell for him fast and hard, and even broke up with Ross for him. She met him only a few months ago, and things progressed quickly. She trusted him, and when he told her that he loved her, she fell into bed with him. They only slept together three times, but he made her pregnant for the second time. When he pressured her into having an abortion, she refused, and he broke up with her saying he didn't want to hear from her again.
Benjamin Lyonette • Father
Sym enjoys a close relationship with her father. The two of them have always had a strong relationship, and that's specifically why she tends to keep so many secrets from him. His disappointment is one of the many things that Sym absolutely cannot abide, and she won't tell him the things that she's done because how much she does not want to let him down.
Chantal Lyonette • Twin Sister
Sym and Chan are as close as half-sisters can possibly be. They don't do everything together, but they love one another intensely and they spend a lot of their time at home together. When Sym has a problem, she trusts Chan not to tell other people if she shares those secrets with her sister. Likewise, she would never tell her sister's secrets. The two of them share a lot with one another.
Nathan Curry • Step-Father
Sym gets long with Nate very well. The two of them seem to vibrate on the same frequency, and although Nate's not a Christian in the way that she is or that her father is, they have a strong relationship with one another and a lot of good times. He's often the person she goes to for comfort when she's worried about how her father will react to something she has said or done.
About four months ago, Symphony read a book called Miracle Morning* by a man named Hal Elrod. She then picked up The 5 a.m. Miracle* by Jess Sanders. She's always read a lot of self-help books, most of them Christian, but this one transformed her life in a significant way. Since reading this book, Sym wakes up nearly two hours before she absolutely has to (at five a.m.) and goes through the morning Life S.A.V.E.R.S. routine. That's Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribe (writing).
Her reading and her scribe are nearly always related to Christian self-help books on biblical womanhood. She realizes that she has failed at this, but she's doing her best to make up for her transgressions.
Sym's never had a taste for coffee, which is just as well considering that she's pregnant and shouldn't be drinking it anyway! Instead, she starts her morning early with a cup of tea (often herbal to avoid the fluoride in tea). She claims that it helps her to wake up on these early mornings, but the truth is that she enjoys the routine, the warmth, and it makes her feel more grown up to have the tea with her. It's always brewed in the most traditional way possible, from loose leaves and a strainer, and she enjoys the process as much as she enjoys the tea itself.
As part of her evening wind-down routine, Sym engages in active Bible study. She usually keeps some sort of study guide with her to help her to find the right passages for that day, and she uses the S.O.A.K. method of Bible study, while also keeping a small bullet journal in which she writes her daily study in. Right now she is focusing on Biblical womanhood and what it will mean for her to be a mother, and then one day eventually a wife as well. This is an important part of her routine and it's important to her to remain close to God in spite of her present state of sinfulness.
Most people go to church once a week -- if that. Sym's in church every single day, whether it is a Saturday or Sunday Sermon, a Wednesday Bible Study, or volunteering at the church on the other four days of the week. She is highly active with the church and she is involved in many different aspects, not just as the pastor's daughter (in which Chan is also involved) but as someone who genuinely loves God and being in church as well. Most days she's only there for an hour but a couple of times a week she has multiple activities, including Youth Group and the Worship team rehearsals (she plays cello).
Always With Her
There are three things that Symphony always has with her: The cross that she wears around her neck, a Bible (she usually has her Women's Study Bible with her, but she does have several), and her bullet journal. These are the things that she feels keep her the most grounded, with the cross keeping her connected to her faith, the Bible giving her the opportunity to look for inspiration when she needs it, and the bullet journal helping her to keep track of her day-to-day activities, as there are many things that she does every day (school, church, volunteering, horse, antenatal appointments).
A year ago, Symphony had an abortion. She was pressured into it by her boyfriend at the time, and it is one of the greatest regrets of her entire life. She hates herself for having done it and she wishes that she had chosen to be honest with her father and keep the baby. Every day she wonders who that person would have been if she'd chosen to carry to term and give the baby up for adoption, and she's cried real tears over what she did to end that pregnancy. No amount of reassurance from her sister has helped her, and she never told her father. This is one of the reasons that she's been so up front with him about her current pregnancy.
The Need for Love
When Sym was a little girl, her mother walked out on her and her sister. She had no regrets, and Sym and Chan never saw her again. Psychologists may say that a girl's need to feel affection from boys comes from something broken in her relationship with her father, but for Sym it's something broken in her relationship with her mother. It's difficult for her to not respond when a boy tells her that he loves her and it makes her therefore very easy to manipulate into having sex with him. Sym neither understands nor likes this fact about herself but it's something she's been unable to change.
Spreading Her Testimony
Symphony believes that the best way to spread the Word is to live the Word. Obviously she's not doing such a good job of that right now, as she's pregnant out of wedlock, but she's doing her best to show others that God is love by proving to them that He has continued to love her in spite of her sin. She's deeply Christian but she is not one of those Bible-thumpers who will preach to you about the sin that you're living in. She's more apt to show you through her own faith the change that God (and Jesus) has made in her life. Therefore, Sym will leave it up to others to ask "what are you so happy about?"
Sym found her first penpal two years ago when she was fourteen years old. Her friend is a girl from Greece who she found via a Facebook group for penpals, and the two of them exchange everything from letters to stickers, and have been doing so for two years. Since then Sym has collected two more penpals, one from Ireland and one from California. She writes to all three of them every two weeks regardless of whether or not she has received a letter, and she often embellishes both her letters and her envelops for her friends.
About a year go Sym discovered Bible Journaling, and since then she has poured a lot of energy into keeping a Bible Journal. The Bible itself is a wide-margined, leather-bound copy in which she draws and writes. Her designs are quite artistic and Sym is fond of putting her favorite verses in the margins of her Bible so that she can refer back to it and see what inspired her at various points in her spiritual journey. This is one of her favorite ways to spend her limited free time.
A hobby that she picked up from her twin, Symphony enjoys working with beads. Her favorite things to make are earrings and necklaces, and she's gotten good enough at this that she's started to sell some her designs on Etsy. Originally she was giving the whole of the money to the church, but now that she is pregnant she is tithing her 10% and then keeping the rest of it to supply baby things. Her father has promised to pay for what she needs, but she's careful to make sure to take responsibility for her sin.
Although she doesn't do it often (it's time consuming and Sym doesn't have a lot of time where her hands are free), Sym also enjoys knitting. She's partial to larger projects like sweaters, but she also knits smaller items like scarves, hats, mittens, and socks. As with other projects, she often donates the fruits of her labors to local groups that take care of battered women and children. Sometimes they also go to Brook Haven to support the program there.
Sym gives more than just the things that she makes: She gives a lot of her time. Apart from her involvement in Bible Study, this is the primary use of her time. When she's not in school, she spends a lot of time at Brook Haven (volunteering), at church (volunteering) or at the library (volunteering). She feels led to give of her time to others who need something that she is able to offer, and it is one thing that she feels she can do to make herself feel better about her present situation. Most people don't judge the person who is helping them.
Cooking • Excellent
In their house, the girls and their fathers split the cooking duties. Sym has gotten quite good in the kitchen, though in truth they all are. The Lyonette/Curry family doesn't ever go hungry unless they are intentionally fasting, and she makes sure that what she prepares for the family is as good as what her mother might have cooked if she'd chosen to stay. In truth, Sym's cooking is probably better than her mother's. She's the third best cook in the house, with only Nate trailing her.
Sewing • Good
For the sake of practicality, Sym learned how to sew. It meant that she could take what was old and wearing out and repurpose it so that more of the family's money could go to taking care of things with the church or taking care of other people. She's not great yet, and making her own clothes costs more money than buying them from the store, but the clothes that wear out can be repaired, it's better to do that than to give up on them. When she or Chan grow out of something, she tries to get it into the best condition possible to donate to the church's clothing bank.
Listening • Excellent
Symphony has remarkable listening skills. She's a reflective listener who makes sure that the person she's talking to feels that she understands and believes them. This is a part of her personal ministry, and it's important to her to make sure that the people she cares about feel that she's on their side and that she's available if they need somebody to talk to. She's great at listening to another person and not just waiting for her turn to speak, and she won't use somebody else's distress as an excuse to evangelize: That's not who Sym is.
Hunter/Jumper • Very Good
Sym picked up hunter/jumper about six years ago at Nathan's suggestion. He's always been a horse person and he encouraged Sym to get involved with them. Chan, too, but she never expressed an interest in the sport, so Symphony is the only one of the twins who rides, or who has her own horse. She loves the sport and she would like to learn show jumping as well, but she's not had the opportunity as she's now been pregnant twice. The last thing she wants is to let her team down, and she's doing her best to keep up with Hillbrook while she's pregnant.
Cello & Violin • Excellent
She'd tell you that she's still learning, but the worship team at church loves having Sym on the team because her Cello and Violin skills are excellent and good enough for her to make the congregation very happy. She plays for the modern services, and her music is generally "rock" oriented on both instruments (more "fiddle" than violin). She loves to play and she practices when she has the chance, but she doesn't get a lot of them. Though by no means a prodigy, Sym's good enough at playing these instruments to be impressive!
Sym's a true believer: She believes fully that Jesus died for her on the cross, so that she could be saved from her sins. It's good for her right now, as she's done a lot of sinning recently and she wants desperately to atone for those sins. Bible study as provided her with a great deal of comfort in her times of greatest need, and she loves to pour herself into the scriptures to give herself some hope for the future when she's feeling down.
Ministry has changed Sym's life, and she believes that it is her responsibility as a Christian to spread the message of God's Word to other people. She does this by being as good a person as she can be, because although she believes that it is by Grace and not by Works that she is saved, she also believes that ministering to people gives her an opportunity to give her testimony. In so doing, she hopes to teach other people about her own salvation and what it has meant for her. Through the blood of Christ she has been made clean again.
Right now Sym's only sport is hunter/jumper, but she is interested in eventing and she wants to learn show jumping and dressage -- once she's had the baby and has established some time. She attends shows in the meantime, and she hopes that one day she might be able to use her equestrian experience to gain some scholarships for college. She hopes to attend Oxford one day and is praying for scholarship money to do so. She'd love to be a pediatric surgeon.
Her own abortion was devastating for Sym, and she believes that many girls and women suffer extreme grief and loss when they make one of the hardest decisions of their lives. She believes wholeheartedly that this is a difficult decision (for most people) and that most women don't take it lightly. She's interested in finding more girls her age who have experienced abortion loss and grief and who are suffering with the consequences of that very difficult decision, so that she can minister to them.
Symphony is considering giving her baby up for adoption. Right now she's reading everything that she can to give herself an idea about what it is to be adopted and what it means for adopted people. She's finding it harder and harder to give her child up, however, and her father is fighting to convince her that it's better for the baby for her to keep him rather than to give him up to strangers. It's a decision that Sym is struggling with in a way that she can't explain. This will be the second most difficult decision of her life.
God is Colorblind
Sym has always looked at the world in very simple terms: All people are human, and all humans washed in the blood are brothers and sisters in Christ, and that once they are washed clean, they are all the same. She views herself in the same way that she does her new beau: Washed clean and white. It's never crossed her mind to attempt to understand the fact that people of color might view this in a very different way: As a statement that white is therefore necessarily better than being black, native, Hispanic, or Asian.
While her new boyfriend is most apt to show this to Sym gently, it would still be interesting for her to have to deal with somebody who is more confrontational about this fact and who wants to push her nose in her ignorance. I can only imagine how she would react to being told that she was "racist" but I do think that it will matter to her and actually be quite important, so I'd love to see this happen.
I prefer the person confronting her to be a person of color and not a white SJW whose ultimate purpose is to make her feel like crap. This should be an expository plot and something that will help Sym to grow, not an excuse to rant about social justice. Thank you!
Good Black Men
Symphony doesn't care about color (and that's fair and easy enough for her as she's white) but a lot of people care to varying degrees, and there will no doubt be people in town who hate the fact that she is a white girl now in a relationship with a black man. Not only is she going to wind up getting some flak from the white community in town (which is dominant as it is) but I want a thread in which a woman of color makes the point that here is a little white girl -- plenty privileged -- who is dating and may marry an intelligent, academic black man who could be a good father and husband.
The point of this plot is to embrace the racial implications of this relationship instead of pretending that they don't exist, but it is also to allow Symphony to further explore her own privilege and to give her and her boyfriend something to stand together on and fight against. It will be good for the two of them, potential positive growth for this other character, and good for the site in terms of demonstrating our understanding of racial differences.
Note that I will be requesting this character and that since she is a plot character, whoever picks her up is going to have to develop her in a way that will allow her to be very present when this plot is over.
Purity Ring Backlash
I'm already plotting a thread with Ava in which Symphony's father (Ben Lyonette) gives her a purity ring as a promise to him that she will protect her purity from this point forward. I'd imagine this will come with an admission that he should have done this sooner, but that's neither here nor there. The point is that I would personally imagine that there would be backlash from others that she is wearing a ring that promises that true love waits -- but is pregnant.
Basically I'm looking for a bully, or a group of bullies, who are willing to push her around not only because she's pregnant, but because she's a pregnant Christian Teen who has maintained her faith in Christ throughout her pregnancy and that she has the nerve to wear a purity ring when it's clear that she's had sex at least once (twice, given that this is her second pregnancy, but really a lot more than that).
This is particularly good if the bully or bullies tease her about being pregnant with the second coming, since if she's so pure, then she wouldn't be pregnant, or she must be a virgin birth.
You're not Twins!
Symphony is a heteropaternal superfecundations twin. What the heck does that mean? Well it means that she is a dizygotic (from separate zygotes -- sororal) twin formed and that she and her sister grew from embryos that resulted from two separate acts of intercourse during the same ovulation cycle (superfecundation) and that each ovum was fertilized with sperm from a different father (heteropaternal). In this case, the result was two children who ware two entirely different races. Chantal is half Asian, and Symphony is half Jewish.
It goes without saying that some people will find it hard to believe that they are twins. This could cause quite a stir, and I would be thrilled to have somebody who continually questions their twinship to the point that Symphony (and Chan, when she comes into play) struggle with their own relationship and their feelings about their father as a result of this.
As an aside, Ben is not the biological father of either girl. Like their mother, he is of British descent, and therefore could not be father to either of them. He signed the birth certificate before he could be sure of that, and he has never regretted making them legally his and not searching for their biological fathers. This plot could wind up making one or both of them want to search for their bio dads (probably Chan).
Time Zone: GMT-5
Native Language: English
Preferred Word Count: 500+
Likely Triggers: positive adoption language, abortion, miscarriage, needles, graphic, bloody violence. if you tag these, i should be okay!
So you know the deal with these two. I can't wait to get them playing together and for Sym to reveal the truth to Ben. It's going to make for an interesting conversation, Ben thinking she's coming to talk to him to tell him the truth about her abortion, and instead having her come to him to tell him that she's pregnant. This plot makes me smile.
He's not going to be happy. In fact, he's going to be angry, but he loves her, and just like he's seen her through everything else in her life, he will see and guide her through this all well.
I'm so glad that you brought her in. I'd love to have her work with Ben on his spring gardening project for the TB's as well, if you're up for that.
I'm not sure this plot will be what you were expecting.
Of course, Karl has known Sym roughly forever, because not only is she the pastor's kid, she's close in age to Karl's kids (and who knows, might even be friends with one of them). And I'm guessing Sym's expecting Karl to lead the brigade of people gossiping and mocking her; not only is Karl awfully judgemental about this sort of thing, but it also seems like a way to undermine Sym's father.
But actually, Karl is going to support her. He won't say this out loud, but Karl made his own questionable decisions when he was a teenager - not so different from Sym's, though with very different consequences - and he's more tolerant of them than people might thing. Doubly so because he supports what she's doing about it.
So, I know we're short on people to be cruel to Sym about her purity ring, but Karl's actually all for it, and will back her up if people give her a hard time about it.
When people look at Nick, they tend to see a big dumb bully. For all most people experience of him, they might as well be right. At heart, Nick is a smart, sensitive kid who’s learned to act tough because it keeps him safe, but that’s buried deep enough that plenty of people will never encounter that side of him.
Nick's only going to see her when she's volunteering at BHR (or maybe at competitions), but Nick would be happy to bully her about the purity ring. He's not that fond of people who he thinks are making a big deal out of being publicly Christian, and so he'd definitely make a thing of arguing that she's a hypocrite given the chance.
Born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Nat's a former military brat who hasn't seen her dad since she was six, her mom since she was nine, or her siblings since she was ten. Her mom kicked her dad out and moved the family to Louisiana to live with Nat's grandparents, who later died. Her mother was then diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and the family struggled. Ultimately, Nat and her siblings were taken into foster care after their school raised concerns with CPS that the children were being neglected.
Nat struggled to accept being seperated from her mother and begun to act out, which resulted in her being placed into a different foster home to her siblings. She continued to move from home to home as few foster parents could handle her anger issues and rebellious behaviour, and ultimately wound up at Brook Haven after attempting to run away to find her mom.
A talented musician and singer, she's a teenage girl with a lot of love to give and no idea how to express it, because she's so used to being angry all the time. She's got a lot of insecurities regarding her own body and wants nothing more than to be reunited with her family and go home.
Nat is almost definitely going to try to shake Sym off. Unlike with Nadia, who's stubborn enough to push Nat, Sym's just nice, and Nat doesn't know what to do with that. She's more likely to think that Sym wants something from her than believe it to be genuine, and she'll continue to try and push her away just to see if Sym actually will stick around. That might result in some rather unpleasant comments about Sym getting knocked up, I'm not entirely sure if Nat's moral compass will actually allow her to do that or not - and if she does, she'll likely feel guilty about it and wind up apologising further down the line.
What she won't apologise for, however, is being derogatory about Sym's faith. I didn't go into it in specifics in Nat's app, but she gave up on believing when her Mom got sick. She doesn't see how a God who is supposedly loving could do that to someone, and she doesn't believe that it's a fair test of faith, as some people have previously tried to convince her of. She's stubborn enough that she's stuck with a decision she made when she was eight, and she's pretty deadset against it, especially when people can't reasonably reconcile a loving God and her mother's illness without resorting to "God has a plan for everyone", "God works in mysterious ways", arguing that it was a test of faith or implying it was some kind of punishment. (I am aware this doesn't actually leave a lot of room for a genuine argument. Nat's stubborn as all hell on this one.)
That said, Sym's strong religious beliefs without pushing them onto Nat might be enough to bring Nat back to the faith. It's something that I want to explore with Nat; her starting to reconsider now that she's older and can more accurately phrase the questions that she has and understand greater nuance, and Sym being - well, Sym would be enough for Nat to ask her questions. It would likely start off as a way of trying to get at her, but could evolve into genuine curiosity if Sym continues to be patient with her, if you're up for it?
Also yes I want in on the event, you've sparked my curiosity now.
Tyler lived in Trader's Bend until he was 7, when his family was in a serious car accident. His mother was seriously injured, and he went to live with his father, step-mother, and step-sister for several years.
After using a horse riding accident to reveal their abuse, he's returned to live with his mother again.
I don't think Tyler really needs a direct antagonist; he's so conflict averse that it's a little hard for that to work. What he really thrives on (narratively, not personally) is being conflict adjacent - he tends to get drawn into other people's conflicts.
So I think what you suggested with Sym sounds perfect for him. Between Hillbrook and church, they should have plenty of opportunity to have contact, and Sym is definitely the sort of influential person Tyler would want to like him; the fact that he probably also wants her ex to like him would make that extra awkward.
One thing that jumps out about the two of them is that Tyler's going to be very confused by Sym's approach to religion, especially the purity ring. When Sym starts wearing it, and means it even though other people disapprove, that's something that's really alien to Tyler, and he'll be curious about why she's doing it. I'm not exactly sure how to bring that out, though, because it's not like Tyler's going to directly confront her about it.
Sym & KaleaKal doesn't get defensive about many things though focusing on her eating habits will likely bring out that side of her. I'm going to say that she won't get rude or snippy about it any form if Sym tried to approach the subject with her. Kal is much more likely to blow of her concerns and help her to understand that she's fine. At least she's eating at all and that should be good enough. I'm toying with the plot of Kalea possibly discovering she's a diabetic and she'll show the signs over time, but not entirely sure of it just yet. Other than I definitely see these two becoming good friends. Well Kal isn't hard to become friends with as long as your a good person and not a jerk. She won't shun or be nasty about Sym's pregnancy or religious beliefs. She's much more likely to support Sym and be in her corner. If she eventually learns to sew real well, she could even make the baby clothes for her. Also she is not the judgmental type. She won't bat an eye about the purity ring even though its clear Sym has had sex. It's not her place to judge, that's God's job. Plus its not helping when your choosing to be negative like that. She'll stand up to people for her; and it won't matter if its peers or Sym's dad. It's more important to support her then to stress her out or make fun of her. Hit me back!
Permalink ( May 14 2017, 01:11 PM )
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