I’m not sure when it happened, but I laid my head against the cool stone bench and dozed. The temperature was a little too chilly for a sleep beneath the stars, but I was exhausted. My emotions had been all over the place for the past few days. It was time to sort things out… when I woke up. Despite the fact that I cancelled my flight for the obvious reasons, I felt so disappointed. Disappointed and depressed. I wasn’t going home. At least not yet.
Joseph hadn’t called me back. I didn’t blame him. I served him divorce papers. Oh what’s wrong with me? A few days ago when I decided to go home, I had express mailed the torn up papers home in an envelope with a sticky note – Forgive me? I’m sorry. I love you. attached. I don’t know if he read it.
When I was a baby, my parents told me I would self-soothe by cooing and singing to myself. This was a habit I kept up into my adulthood. I hummed a little as I glanced up at the sky. Looking at the stars made me wonder where Joseph was. My heart ached and I wondered why he was so far away. Because you let him be… I thought in sheer misery. I was going to be a mother of three… no four… and I would probably have to do it alone because I pushed Joseph so far away. The moon shone brightly when it slid from behind the clouds and the stars twinkled, trying to assure me everything would be okay. What do they know about love? I snapped my eyes shut.
“Ooo, child, things are gonna get eas…” my voice cracked as I tried to whisper-sing. “...ier. Ooo… child, things’ll get bright…er...”
I didn’t try to stop the tears forming in my eyes and sliding down my cheeks. Brighter? Like the moon? Like the stars? Was it terrible I wanted that passion of a fiery sun again? I ached in places I didn’t know I had, and the worst part was I brought it on myself. Joseph was a kind, caring, funny, intelligent, and amazing guy.
“I’m sorry, Joseph,” I whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
Sure he had his flaws. Who didn’t? But I had the best partner in the world and I blew it because I couldn’t get my act together long enough to put my selfishness aside and think about what he needed and wanted.
“If you ever...” I began shakily. “...fall down...” my heart plummeted at the words. “...straight to the bottom… and you can’t get… back where you started… with no strength...” it was like pushing myself through molasses. “…to stand...” my voice collapsed.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t bring myself to say the vows I had so horribly broken.
“…I’m gonna reach for your hand.”
I heard a voice in the distance. At first, I thought I was imagining things.
“When the going gets rough right when it’s hurting I will be there to help any burden.”
My eyes snapped open. I’m not imagining things, my heart leaped with hope. That same familiar deep voice I fell in love with was here. He’s here?!?
“Any place any time…You gotta know for you I’ll fight…” he sang.
“Joseph?” my voice cracked as I turned to run toward my vision.
And he was running back to me. It wasn’t at all like the movies. I think I tripped twice, and my heart was pounding so fast I couldn’t think straight. The grass made a grating squishy sound from the wee morning hours dew as my sneakers pounded across getting wetter with every step. It was too cold for a spaghetti-strap tank top and my body was shivering, I think. I didn’t care. It didn’t matter. Joseph was here. I wanted him to be here. I missed him fiercely. I wanted him to come for me. He finally came. I sort-of laughed and sobbed simultaneously as I reached him. I hesitated as I reached out my hands to grab his arms. Please don’t let this be pregnancy brain, I wailed internally.
“Are you…” I was totally out of breath.
Joseph finished my thought as my hands collided with reality, sinking around his muscular arms as his own arms engulfed me.
“I’m real,” he assured with a chuckle. “I’m here. I’m really here.”
“You’re really here,” I repeated with a girlish squeal.
We stood and hugged, laughing, crying… well, mostly I was crying, but Joseph had a tear or two glistening in his eyes when I told him I loved him.
“Do you know how long I’ve waited to hear you say that, Lizzie?”
“Oh Joseph Joe, I love you,” I said, repeating myself to drive home the fact that I truly did still care deeply about him.
“I don’t want to fight anymore,” he said, tiredly.
I melted into his arms.
“Joseph, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I should’ve come sooner. I should’ve called sooner. I shouldn’t have run away or sent you those papers. I was so scared and confused and worried we’d never be the same and I let my pain drive a wedge between us.”
“I’m sorry too.”
“No, please… it’s my fault.”
“Lizzie… we’re in this together. We both made mistakes.”
“I’ve been drowning in this ocean alone when I could’ve just reached for your hand once. And I’m so sorry.”
“I did the same thing, Liz. I need you to forgive me too. And I want you to take me back.”
Instinctively I grabbed his hands and squeezed.
“I don’t want to fight anymore even if things get rough again,” I said. “I don’t want to fight this war we’ve been having. I’m done with it. I don’t want to give up. I never…” my voice wavered. “…want to give up again. I wasn’t fair to you.”
“I wasn’t fair either,” Joseph interjected. “And if I hadn’t been so jealous and caught up in my own grief, I would’ve seen that. I don’t blame you, but we’re in this marriage together for better or for worse. And it’s been worse…” he laughed awkwardly. “…much worse… but I think this love is worth saving, beautiful.”
I slid into him, and his foot bumped mine, stepping on my toe. I winced.
“Opps, sorry,” he grimaced.
“Come here, you,” I pulled him closer, placing my lips inches from his. “I…”
We did a little dance trying to figure out the most comfortable position for a kiss. Finally, I just sighed, closing my eyes and resting my forehead against his.
“I’m done…” I sighed.
“Done?” he jerked back and repeated.
“Oh no… I mean done with this nonsense. Done with running away. Done with fighting,” I said, quickly, trying to reassure him. “I want you, Joseph. I need you. If we’re in this together, we’ll make it out alive. Will you…Joseph Simself… be mine… again?”
Before I knew what was happening, he was dipping me back. My eyes widened and I was momentarily worried he would drop me. His arm was quivering.
“I got you,” he said, softly.
My face relaxed into a smile. “I don’t know why I doubt.”
“You just… made me the happiest man alive,” he grinned, as our lips finally met.
All those fears came to a crashing halt. All the lies I told myself evaporated. All the worries that he wouldn’t take me back evaporated. I knew I was safe in his arms. I knew I was wanted. I knew I was loved. The moment was pure magic… even if it was misting and my arms were freezing and my stomach rumbled. I could feel a baby kick inside. Oh yes!
“Joseph,” I pulled away, even if I wanted to stay against him forever. “There’s something you need to know?”
“What is it, beautiful?”
I sighed. I didn’t know where to start. So much had happened in our time apart. I decided to open with the most recent news. I began to explain what happened with Rob and how he asked me to be Carrie’s legal guardian. I wasn’t sure what Joseph would think since Rob had been his competition for so long, but I saw no jealousy spark in his eyes. I couldn’t read his expression either, and so I nervously rambled through my jumbled thoughts and wishes for the future. I wanted us to take care of Carrie. I think it was best she stayed with us, but I ultimately did want Joseph’s input. When I stopped to finally catch my breath, he was still standing stoically.
“Does that change your mind?” I asked, my heart fluttering into a slight panic. “I want to do this, but like you said, we’re in this together. I know it’s a lot to ask, and with everything that happened with Rob before…”
Joseph cut me off. “Lizzie, I always… felt… like I wasn’t good enough.”
“Are you kidding me?” I exclaimed.
He did? What? Oh! Tears pricked my eyes again as somehow it all made sense.
“Let me finish,” he shook his head. “I didn’t have the right job or the right things to say and I wasn’t your first,” he sighed. “You seemed to want Rob more than me. And I let you because I wanted you to be happy, even if it hurt like hell. When he left, I didn’t want to crowd you so I kept my distance. When you and I finally did chat, I wanted to tell you everything. That I still cared about you. That I had fallen in love with you. But I didn’t know how. I was too chicken. When I saw you at Lee’s wedding, everything changed and I decided to go for it.”
“I’m so glad you did,” I breathed.
Joseph took my hands and kissed them tenderly, surprising me.
“There was some part of me deep down all this time that still struggled with the fact that I had to pursue you to get you to want me.”
“It’s not like that, Joseph,” I gasped.
“When I thought I lost you the first time, I figured it was punishment. I stopped trying so hard to make you want me because you were so distant and then that vampire screwed with my mind. I know it’s irrational, but I just didn’t think I was good enough.”
I swallowed hard and shook my head. “You are. You are. Don’t think for a moment that I regret my choice. Don’t think for a moment that I don’t want you.”
“I…” Joseph started. “I realized I was being silly. That it didn’t matter who pursued whom. That nothing else mattered. You did pick me.”
“I did. I chose you, Joseph Joe. I’d choose you again in a heartbeat.”
“You have no idea how happy that makes me,” he whispered.
“Oh I think I do,” I grinned.
“Lizzie, we’re in this together. I’ll take your hand. I’ll be here for you. Nothing is going to change my mind. Not even Rob or Carrie. When you lost the baby, we kind of lost ourselves. I know how hard that was for you, and still I kept my distance. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me,” Joseph continued.
“Of course, I think we’ve moved past the I’m sorry stage,” I teased.
“We’ve always wanted to be parents,” Joseph said. “This is the universe’s way of telling us we’re going to be whether we’re ready or not.”
“Actually…” a smile tweaked at the corners of my mouth.
“What?” he said.
His eyes were so full of love for me. I swear my heart melted into a puddle of joy.
“Yes, you, Joseph Simself, are gonna be a daddy…” I bobbed my head.
He sucked in air, his eyes shining with the sudden onset of happy tears. “Again?”
“Yes,” I confirmed, feeling about ready to cry myself as I stared into the eyes of my husband. “Of three. We’re having triplets!”
Joseph let out a whoop of joy so loud that a neighbor shouted down at us to be quiet since it was the middle of the night. We didn’t care. He grabbed me around my waist and I threw my arms around him and we kissed as if this were our last moments on Simterra. But it wasn’t. This was a new beginning for us.
Life isn’t a fairy tale. We fought. We separated. We came back together. The promise of our own children and the plan to adopt Carrie wasn’t exactly what I expected when I ran away to Wintonborough. This marriage was worth fighting for. This life was worth fighting for. This love was worth fighting for. We were going to make it. The babies jostled around in my stomach as Joseph and I talked until the sun came up. I was going to be a mother. Joseph and I were more in love than ever. Sure we might have our issues in the future, but we would be together and that was all that mattered. For the first time in a long time, I felt something incredible. Peace.
Author Note: This is the end… of part two. Thank you for reading and joining me on this incredible journey that took so many weird and wild turns. I was rooting for these two all along and it darn near broke my heart to see them separate. Lizzie genuinely asked Joseph to break up, which of course, neither one of them took well. It took all of three in-game days for them to come back around and for this scene to happen, although I dragged it out in the story timeline. All this time I’ve known they’d come back together, but it was a bit torturous waiting for all of you to catch up with me. Thank goodness things are good again… and good for good. I don’t ever want to go through this again, but never say never. Who knows what the future holds for these two lovebirds and their kiddos?
I’m writing one more part focused on Joseph and Lizzie as they raise their kids (and Rob’s daughter) together, and then other parents in game also (can’t forget Karleen… lol… and the other adorable ships in this game).
As for the goals, they kinda went out the window as I tried to keep up with all the ebbs and flows of this story.
Goal #2 – Move into the city and take part in city livin’. ✔
- Whims: Follow whims as much as possible ✔ (I did it, even if it killed me a little inside)
- Emotions: Remain relatively positive with emotions X (next to impossible with all the drama)
- Traits: Do trait-related activities on a semi-regular basis X (that kinda went out the window too)
- Skills: Max at least one skill level. Learn a new skill never before attempted. ✔ (dancing and mixology)
- Aspiration: Complete an aspiration. (not quite. Lizzie’s up there at level 8 for writing).
- Living: Keep up with rent in city apartment. Upgrade to a new apartment by this part’s end. Befriend landlord. ✔ (befriended Geeta Rasoya, landlady, did manage to pay rent, and you’ll see the new place I have picked out for Lizzie and Joseph)
- Career: Be promoted to level 7 of a career and maintain good work performance. ✔ (level 8)
- Friendships: Make as many friends as possible in the city. Get to know your neighbors. Throw a house party. ✔ (Made so many new friends. Met all neighbors. Had a Christmastide party)
- Romance: Maintain a positive relationship with boyfriend. Get engaged and married. ✔? (so they got engaged and married right away… but the positive relationship thing was so up and down).
- City Life: Unique game rules for City Living… Attend at least one of each type of festival. ✔ Participate in as many festival activities as possible. ✔ Explore every neighborhood to the fullest. X (not quite) Perform on the street. X Level up the karaoke/singing skill. ✔Collect festival trinkets and souvenirs. ✔
- Children: Babies are NOT allowed until marriage… unless both Sims roll a whim. 😉 ✔
This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Joseph. Thank you for reading. I’ve got a two parter epilogue and then maybe some reflection. Stay tuned. 🙂
I’m also actively taking suggestions for Part 3 goals : I want reader input this time. Throw down some thoughts for goals in the following categories for Lizzie (and/or other characters… no promises there though since it is an ISBI): skills, career, city life, parenting, friendships, romance, aspirations, travel, etc. If you have Sims to submit, let me know. I’d love to add to the game.