We stood in the office. On the wall hung a mint-condition, first edition poster of the medieval video game, R.E.F.U.G.E. I knew how much Joseph liked the game, and how many hours he had played with my cousin on the couch in the past few weeks. I hoped I made the right choice.
“Do you like it?” I asked. “I got you a copy of the game too for your computer too so you don’t have to keep borrowing from John… except…” I ran a hand awkwardly through the side of my hair. “I think I loaded it on my computer instead.”
“Like it? It’s perfect,” Joseph exclaimed.
“Happy Valensim’s Day,” I smiled sadly. “I’m so sorry for doubting you…”
“Shush!” Joseph cut me off. “I’m sorry for being so stupid and withholding the truth from you. I guess somewhere deep down I thought maybe it would undo everything that happened and I’d lose you all over again.”
“You aren’t going to lose me,” I whispered, grabbing his hand and squeezing.
Joseph tugged me into a crushing embrace. “Lizzie, I would’ve died for you. I would’ve died in your place. I’m so sorry. I’m so so so sorry. I shouldn’t have let him into my head. Please believe me when I say…” his voice cracked and he whispered, “…love you.”
“I love you too,” I said, my voice full of emotion.
“Uh… guys?” we heard a voice call through the door.
I smiled, swiping at my now-happy tears. It was my cousin. I almost forgot he was still living in our apartment on our couch.
“We’re having a moment,” Joseph said, beneath his breath.
“Be nice,” I said.
“If you two lovebirds have a second, I have something to say,” John called through the door.
“I’m moving out!” John stated as Joseph sat down and booted my computer, excited to play his Love Day gift.
“What? No!” I exclaimed in disbelief. “Are you ready? Oh John, you showered!”
“Riley convinced me too,” he said sheepishly. “And I shaved too.”
“Yeah, wow…” I turned his jaw myself. “I haven’t seen you clean-shaven since high school.”
“Stop it!” John protested, his cheeks turning pink.
“You are my little cousin,” I teased.
“No, I’m not. I’m older than you by a year,” John grimaced.
“But you’re still my cousin,” I smirked.
“Just give up, John,” Joseph chuckled. “You aren’t going to win this one.”
“Speaking of winning,” John said. “I’m going home and I’m going to call Karleen.”
“What? Uh… no!” I said, before I could stop myself.
“I’ve thought long and hard about it. If it’s time to move on, then it is, but I deserve a moment for her to hear me out,” John explained.
“Good for you,” Joseph stood up and placed a firm hand on my cousin’s shoulder. “We wish you luck, don’t we, Lizzie?”
“Um?” I blinked. “Right…”
I wondered how Karleen was going to take that phone call.
“Have a good night, John,” I hugged him. “Happy Love Day.”
With the transparency about what really happened, Joseph and I went back to doing what we do best. Loving one another. The burden was lifted. I didn’t need to remember everything. It didn’t matter. Somehow Joseph filled in all the gaps for the steps I might have missed, the kind gentleman that he was. I couldn’t believe I ever doubted him, but it didn’t matter. What mattered was the here and now. He forgave me. I forgave him. We made the sweetest love I think I’ve ever had in my entire life. When we finally resurfaced for air, I laughed.
“What’s so funny?” he asked.
“My stomach,” I rolled onto my back.
“Too much?” he winced.
“Not enough,” I grinned, yanking his neck toward me so I could kiss his scruffy face. “No, not that. I’m hungry. I don’t think I ate a thing at the festival.”
“We can fix that,” Joseph slid from the bed, replacing his boxers.
I heard our door click open. “Riley?” I wondered.
“Or Dulcie…” Joseph shrugged, slipping into his jeans.
“Right,” I giggled, wrapping the bedspread around me. “Cuz the cat can open doors now.”
“You’d be surprised,” Joseph smirked. “So I’ve got cups of coffee out there, and a box of heart cookies. What do you say we go have a snack?”
“Sounds good,” I replied.
It wasn’t ten seconds later that we heard the sounds of retching. Human. Not cat. Karleen was in our living room, puking over our trash can.
“Karleen?” I asked, worriedly as I wrapped my robe tie around my waist.
“Uh… hi guys…” she said, turning, her eyes red from crying, her face blotchy, and a piece of spinach hanging from her mouth.
Karleen resumed vomiting, and I walked over and touched her back.
“Joseph, go get a cold compress,” I urged gently.
“What’s wrong with her?” Joseph frowned, but did as he was told.
One look at my friend’s face and I knew. I squeezed her shoulder gently.
Author Notes: Hey everyone, thus ends the arc of misery for Joseph and Lizzie. Finally! Whew! I need a reprieve. Enough drama already, guys! You two are made for each other. 😛 Now onto Karleen’s drama… which will be an arc of its own. Thank you for reading everyone. This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself.