When it rains, it pours. At least that’s what my dad says. I suppose it depends on your perspective regarding rain. Is rain a blessing? Therefore, ‘if it rains, it pours‘ means good things come all at once. Typically, this isn’t the most widely accepted meaning behind this phrase. The reverse is most often true. When it rains, it pours can also mean bad things happen all at once too.
Joseph and I hadn’t exactly been experiencing the best of luck lately. We endured a season of hardship – vampiric sorcery is the best way Joseph could explain the problem that snowballed into other problems. Then my days stuck in transition – in the ‘in-between,’ and then the return from beyond, beginning the long recovery process. My doctor was confident that Joseph and I would be successful in the long run because we were in this together. Even so, there were days that I doubted I’d ever feel the same ever again.
The Deutchsims have a phrase – Man muss die Dinge nehmen, wie sie kommen. I remember my mom saying this phrase to my sisters and I when we wondered about bad things happening. Things don’t always turn out the way you plan. Essentially, we must take things the way they come. Every day that I woke up and rose from the bed was a day that I lived. I tried. I could at least say I tried. Perhaps our life wasn’t the easiest. Our appliances and fixtures were outdated. Joseph disliked his job, and was faced with a pay cut. I lost many of my memories. I couldn’t carry the child to term. I sometimes missed steps -lacking sufficient knowledge about how to do things, so I was starting over and learning again. But we had many blessings too. I was trying to count my blessings and focus on the positive. It made life a little more bearable.
Of course, we never knew what the day was going to give us. Sometimes it really did feel like the rain was pouring a little more heavily in our little corner of the world. It was spring in the city after all. Rain showers were inevitable. One particularly early rainy morning, Joseph kissed me goodbye, grabbed his briefcase, and headed downstairs to his car. He had parked on the street because garage parking prices had skyrocketed, and taking the subway wasn’t always convenient. All it takes is a sleepy yawn, an adjustment of the mirror, a slip of a foot, and suddenly your front bumper hits the back end of the truck in front of you.
Our insurance rates would definitely go up, and Joseph had a neck injury and a cracked rib as a result so tally in the unexpected medical bill. We were still paying for my treatments, and those weren’t cheap. He was so grumpy that he chose to stay home from work. That didn’t help our financial situation, but I wanted my husband to feel better. I sliced some oranges, washed some berries, and fried some Championne toast on the stovetop. Joseph came home from the doctor, took a long hot shower, and eased into a dining chair. I tried not to notice the peeling paint on our cabinets or the whining noise of our heater or think about the light bulb that burnt out again. Instead I tried to smile and make my husband as comfortable as possible.
“Thanks for calling, Riley,” I said, as I walked to the sink to fill a cup of water.
“What’s going on? I heard about the accident. Do you need anything?”
“No,” I said, trying to sound chipper. “We’re okay for now. Just taking it easy.”
“I wondered if you’ve heard from Karleen.”
Truth was, I hadn’t heard from Karleen, ever since she told me she tried to call Goober three times and he never answered. And then she attempted to tell John what really happened, and he was understandably upset, especially because he hoped for another chance with her, and then her kid may not be his. It was a lot for a guy to take in. I wasn’t sure if she had told Munter yet.
“No, I was thinking one of us should check up on her,” I replied.
“I’ll stop by today,” Riley offered. “And seriously, let me know if you need anything. Akira can bring by stuff too.”
“I think someone should check up on my neck,” Joseph groaned, rubbing the base of his skull.
“I’m coming,” I said, sighing lightly. “Bye Riley.”
“At least he’s calling before coming,” Joseph grumbled.
“He’s not coming over,” I corrected, placing my hands on his shoulders and massaging gently. “He called to see if you’re okay.”
“Oh,” Joseph muttered, rolling his shoulders. “My neck, Liz. It hurts in my neck.”
“I know,” I sighed. “It will for a few days. Eat your breakfast. You’ll feel better.”
Since Ash still hadn’t returned from her vacation, Karleen had to resort to easy-to-make foods. Scrambled eggs should have been a piece of cake, but she forgot to use spray so her breakfast stuck to the frying pan. Karleen sighed. She was going to be a mom. She needed to be able to cook. She’d even signed up to take cooking classes at the community center in Myshuno Meadows. After all, she didn’t want to burn down the apartment every time she attempted to make a meal. Today she was fairly proud of herself. The scrambled eggs were a little crispy on the bottom and the bacon may have been slightly burnt, but she was making great improvements. Still, as she sank onto the edge of her bed, Karleen couldn’t help but feel terrible, and not because of the pregnancy.
I miss Munter.
She didn’t want to admit it, but the reason she hadn’t called him yet was because she was most afraid of his reaction. He was the only one of her three partners she had yet to tell anything about the pregnancy, and she couldn’t even call him. He had shown up at the apartment once, knocked on the door a few times, left a half dozen messages, but she hadn’t answered or returned a single call. She didn’t want to lose him, so it was better to lose him on her terms, or so she thought. Maybe that’s stupid. A tear plunked onto her plate.
The doorbell rang. Karleen rolled her eyes, setting her plate on the glass nightstand atop a celebrity magazine. It better not be him, she winced. She couldn’t face him… yet… or maybe ever. She slipped across the floor in her stocking feet and peeked through the peephole. It was Riley. More accurately… it was Riley’s eye and his voice calling, “Karleen don’t you dare not let me in.”
Sighing, she unlatched the chain and unlocked the door.
“What do you want?” she asked tiredly, leaning against the frame.
“Wow, Karleen, you look great this morning,” Riley replied, and she couldn’t tell if he was being sarcastic. “Red is a good choice…” he grinned, pointing to himself. “…and look we match.”
She frowned, thinking about Goober’s comments about her red attire. Maybe she needed a new signature color. Karleen waved her hand nonchalantly at Riley.
“Come in if you want… I’m just going to go hide out in the bathroom for awhile…”
Riley pushed past her into the bathroom, stopping and turning at the towel bar, and walking Karleen back a step or two.
“Oh no you don’t!”
“Then… at least let me hide in bed… seriously, Riles, you can use our cable if you want.”
“I came to see you. And you need me. Plus your TV is better.”
“Than the one in the living room?”
He had a point there. The tube in the main room was outdated, but it was Ash’s. She liked old-school technology.
“Fine, but we can never agree on a television program,” she narrowed her eyes.
“Today is ladies’ choice,” Riley offered.
Karleen thought for a minute. “Okay… go find Specific Hospital. It’s usually on by now.”
“You’re coming?” Riley looked enthusiastic.
“Yes, yes,” she waved her hands. “But first… preggo lady has to pee. Shoo!”
“You’re pretty clean for a grieving lady,” Riley remarked.
“Shut up…” Karleen shoved his shoulder in annoyance. “And I’m not grieving.”
“Okay, grieving is a bad word,” Riley replied. “Aching. Lamenting. Enduring…”
“Gawd, Riles!” Karleen rolled her eyes. “Did you come here with the express purpose to make me feel bad?”
“Coping,” Riley lifted a finger in the air in an ‘aha’ moment. “That’s the word I was looking for.”
“Yeah, not all grieving ladies…” Karleen began with narrowed eyes. “…cope in pigsties.”
Riley shrugged. “Touche.”
“So Specific Hospital?” he grabbed the remote and turned on the television. “Who do you think kicks the bucket today?”
“Definitely Miss Coquette,” Karleen nodded. “She’s been in a coma for almost two years.”
“No way! Last week’s episode was the one with Sol Plexus,” Riley disagreed. “He had a heart attack after catching his wife cheating with the gardener. It’s always the gardener.”
Karleen straightened, feeling uncomfortable as she realized Sol was John’s favorite soap opera character. If Mister Plexus died, John would certainly be depressed. And the topic made her feel squeamish. I’m just as bad as a soap opera star, or worse… she rubbed her forehead.
“How can I be a mom if I’m no good?” she bemoaned.
“What?” Riley whipped his head around. “Karleen. You are not a bad person.”
“But I made bad choices,” she cried.
“Everyone does,” Riley said. “Motherhood is going to be good for you. It’ll be hard, but it’ll be good. You’ve already started working more hours and taking cooking classes and bettering yourself.”
“Yeah, but can I better the life of a kid?” Karleen sighed.
“Tell ya what,” Riley clicked off the television set. “You just need practice. I’ll call up a friend of mine with a kid and we can go babysit together.”
“Oh I don’t know,” Karleen threw her hands up in the air. “If you think it’ll help.”
“I do,” Riley winked at Karleen.
Forty-eight hours later, Riley took Karleen to meet Pablo Martinez. He and his wife had a foster daughter, Alice. Karleen wasn’t so sure this was a good idea, especially when she showed up feeling nauseous. They needed a babysitter at a god-awful hour. Who wakes up at four a.m.? Apparently Mister Martinez was a firefighter in training and Missus Martinez was an attorney. They actually lived in Lizzie’s neighborhood in an adjacent building, which made it Riley’s neighborhood too. Karleen was just happy they didn’t live in the Fashion District near John or in Uptown near Munter.
“Come inside, you can meet Alice,” Pablo said.
“Great,” Riley said, turning when he realized Karleen wasn’t following.
Bile rose in her throat, but she swallowed it down. She couldn’t mess up this gig. She would just ignore her pregnancy symptoms. Yes, she placed a hand over her mouth. I can do this.
“You okay?” Riley asked, worriedly.
Once inside, she barely had time to introduce herself to Jennifer and Alice before bolting to the bathroom to get sick.
“I hope she’s okay,” Jennifer said, a look of concern on her face.
“Where’d she go?” Alice inquired in a squeaky kids’ voice.
“She’s fine,” Riley chuckled weakly. “Bad eggs.”
“Help yourself to whatever’s in the fridge,” Jennifer said, standing up. “We’ve got ginger ale in there if that’ll help your friend. And hope you don’t mind the low lighting. Pablo switched us to more economic bulbs.”
“Gotcha,” Riley grinned. “We’ll be fine, Jennifer.”
A half hour later, Karleen finally emerged from the bathroom. A twinge of guilt pinched her gut as she left Riley alone for awhile and didn’t get to say goodbye to the Martinez’s. Alice seemed to be intently watching some children’s program with pink fluffy rabbits playing piano while Riley did sit-ups on the carpet.
“Never miss a morning workout,” he grunted between crunches.
“Aren’t you hot in your sweater?” Karleen frowned, thinking it was highly impractical to workout in a full sweater and jeans.
“I’m always hot, baby,” Riley teased.
“I’m baby!” Alice asserted, pointing two thumbs at herself.
“Yes you are,” Karleen grinned abnormally, and began tickling the little girl. “Goo…chi… goo…chi… goo!”
“Stop,” Alice squirmed from her grasp. “I don’t like you.”
Karleen frowned. It was something she saw adults do to their babies on all those TV shows. Riley smirked.
“Alice is a little old for the goo…chi… phase.”
Karleen went to the bathroom again to wash her face, hoping to feel better, and to recover from her embarrassment. Come on, girl, you got this, she said to the face in the mirror. You can be a mom. A fun mom. You just need to pull it… together… maybe try asking Alice what she wants to do.
“She’s fun…ny…” Alice toddled around the couch and said to Riley as he returned from getting a drink of water in the kitchen.
“Karleen is a hoot!” Riley exclaimed. “She’s always fun to be around.”
“Hoot!” Alice repeated.
“Hoot hoot! The owl says hoot!”
“That’s right, Alice.”
“You hoot!” she poked him in the leg.
Riley obliged and the little girl giggled hysterically. Karleen slipped out of the bathroom silently, again, feeling guilty that she left him alone, but he seemed to be fine. She wished she had his natural charm with kids.
“Why?” Alice asked.
“Why what?” Riley said.
“Why you… so fun?” she inquired, tilting her head to the side, her pigtails swaying.
“Can you keep a secret?” Riley asked, dropping to his knees and leaning forward earnestly.
Alice bobbed her head.
“I’m part fae,” Riley replied.
“Ooo… like a… fair…fairy!” Alice clapped her hands as Riley floated up off the ground, and Karleen rubbed her eyes.
Am I hallucinating? Is it the pre-natal vitamins? She shook her head and looked back. Both of Riley’s feet were back on the ground. Alice giggled and waddled to her bedroom with happy laughs. Karleen approached.
“You aren’t really a fairy?” she grimaced.
Riley just winked. Alice returned waving a pair of sparkling wings with glitter and straps.
“Fair…y!” she declared.
“Oh you are one too!” Riley exclaimed.
“Where did Rile… go?” Alice asked.
“He had to go to the restroom,” Karleen explained. “Wait… do you know what that is?”
Alice toddled over and opened her bedroom door. “He’s… not… sleeping?”
“No, he’s in the bathroom,” Karleen puzzled, trying to think of the kid appropriate word. “Potty.”
“Oh,” was all Alice said.
Karleen had no idea if she was doing this right. Actually, she rarely knew if she was doing anything right.
“I know a joke,” she said. “Wanna hear it?”
Alice clapped her hands.
“Why is the tooth fairy so smart?”
Alice scrunched her face and scratched her head. “What… what… is that?”
Karleen’s eyes widened. “You don’t know the tooth fairy?”
“Oh I know this one!” Riley walked out from the bathroom.
“She has all the wisdom teeth,” Karleen finished with a grin.
“Mommy… she’s slee…puhy!”
When Jennifer returned, Karleen had conked out on the couch for a nap. Alice, on the other hand, refused to go down for a nap so Riley entertained the little girl for hours with puzzles, games, toys, pretend, fairy flying, and television programs. When Karleen awakened, Jennifer was standing over her, frowning.
“Oh!” she snapped straight up. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Jennifer smiled, picking up Alice and setting the little girl on her lap. “I recall the days when I could barely tie my shoes let alone stay awake and babysit for nine hours.”
“Right,” Karleen said, sleepily. “I…I really didn’t mean to nap.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Jennifer said. “Motherhood is new for you. You’re going to be tired and you’ll have to accept it. Riley was here,” she nodded in the direction of the kitchen where he was scrubbing the counters. “I trust Alice was fine and didn’t get into too much trouble.”
“I don’t… think so…” Karleen said. “She was fine.”
Riley thought he left his cell phone on the couch. Sitting next to Karleen, he started feeling into the cushions. Alice half-stumbled, half-ran to her mother and gave her a hug.
“Mommy… I know a… a…see…see…” she frowned, trying to process the correct word.
“A secret?” Jennifer finished.
“Yah! Mommy, guess what?”
“Rile… is a fair…ry!”
Author Notes: Thanks for reading everyone. This was a longer chapter, but a fun one, nonetheless, and lots going on. Car accidents don’t actually happen in the Sims 4, but here’s what did happen… Joseph kissed Lizzie goodbye and then I tried to get a screenshot of him going to work on the sidewalk, accidentally went to the wrong side of the building, saw the one car drive through the other one, and then Joseph returned to the apartment, complaining about his problems. He decided to take an unpaid day off work. I wrote it in the story. Riley seems to like having conversations in the bathroom if anyone has noticed. Lol. I followed him and Karleen around for half a day and they went to visit the Martinez family. And then the floating business… why not make Riley a fairy character. The fae exist in my Sims 3 stories. Why not in TS4? This chapter featured LegacySims2017’s Joseph and simscognito‘s Riley Cognito.