Seasons of Change in the LASL World (Updates)

After two months of silence… I have the new cover for the third season of Generation 1 of          Livin’ A Simmin’ Life. Ta da!

LASL Season 3 Cover

And there’s many more characters revealed over on my updated Part 3: Chapters & Characters page. For the record, I don’t have internet set up in my new house yet. If you don’t see your submitted Sims that’s because I haven’t been able to add them to my game yet. I’ll add them soon (no promises on exact timeline since I’m still trying to get settled in).

And don’t get your hopes up for a LASL chapter soon. Sorry folks. :/ I’m still plugging away on The Krazy Crazy Life of Kassiopeia Fullbright, Second Edition, but I wanted to give you something for LASL.

In the meantime, enjoy the life updates and bios of the characters with completed profiles. Find out what your submitted Sims are up to in Livin’ A Simmin’ Life, Season Three: Parenthood. And if you haven’t already, I’d love for you to read Kass’s story, if you need a reading fix from me. 😛 

I’ve been playing the game for fun a bit. Here’s some of my initial thoughts on the game and my newly added, Seasons. (Apologies for the lack of pictures… I haven’t snapped screenshots obsessively like I do when I’m writing. I’m over at my old house writing this post without access to any of the photos I did snap on my desktop at the other house).

Family Life: Having triplets is tricky, and when I popped into a certain household with quintuplets, it was even crazier. I have a feeling the Simself-Greens will need a lot of extra help this season staying sane erm… properly raising four kiddos and keeping their romance alive.

This isn’t the first time I’ve managed a large family (Cora Mae and her quadruplets) and at least she had servants, and TS4 doesn’t make it easy. I suppose it’s trying to be realistic, but goodness! Lizzie and LegacySims2017‘s Joseph are exhausted all the time, stinky (I can’t remember the last time either one of them showered), struggling with bladder issues while they try and potty train their tots, starving and eating quick meals constantly, and stressed out. And the triplets absolutely hate thunderstorms. Poor Parker is probably the worst. She’s terrified.

Once the family decided to head to the park. It took 1 hour for the toddlers to show up, and three hours for Dulcie, and by that point, it started storming. Joseph went back and picked up Joey to speed things along, and Lizzie went to grab Parker. Poor Nathan toddled along for another hour in game.

I tried to send Carrie to help pick up Nathan, but she couldn’t. I didn’t realize kids can’t pick up toddlers so InfraGreen‘s Carrie hasn’t been much help, and poor dear… she’s still adjusting to a loud household because I swear the toddlers break down and throw tantrums once every few hours. Carrie has been hiding out in her room and playing with the giant dollhouse, especially after she walked in on her adopted parents in their bedroom during their one “peaceful” moment. Poor kid! I think she’s pretty scarred.

Pets: Unfortunately, the pets have been kind-of neglected… so much so that Dulcie ran away. Don’t worry. She came back after a day. Friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison found her. Thank the Maker! Dulcie, then ended up, with some illness and Joseph dropped everything (and left work) to take her to the vet (which I forgot is in Newcrest). Not very realistic here, people! Haha. Newcrest is very far away in my Simworld from San Myshuno (in Simnadia!).

Lizzie was concerned, but she was struggling to feed the tots in their high chairs while a storm raged outside. Does it ever stop raining? Marshall always seems to be muddy, like he is rolling in a perpetual mud bath. Lizzie tries to walk him as often as she remembers. They had a cute moment on the plaza outside the Cabash Gallery where Marshall gave her a hug. I swear, the frazzled Lizzie looked about ready to burst into tears of joy. She needed that hug.

Television: Waltzing With Celebrities is a favorite new TV program to watch in the Simself-Green apartment. I catch Carrie dancing to music frequently in the living room when no one is around and at two or three in the morning (girl, you need to be in bed!). Maybe she’ll be a dancer someday.

Lizzie fell asleep watching Game of Llamas, trying to find new ideas for her novels. Parker napped next to her, and Dulcie curled up on the couch across from them. The “ladies” need to find something more exciting to keep them awake. Lol.

Joseph watched The Real Housewives of Windenburg (I promise, I won’t judge), and then proceeded to come curl up in bed with his wife. In the morning, he was extra attentive.

Activities: Carrie joined scouts as her after-school activity. She managed to earn one scout badge and unlocked “Scout Cookies.” Darn! She has to be a teen to bake. This incident was followed by another flour-and-chocolate-syrup-on-the-floor mess (because when you can’t bake, you might as well make a mess with the ingredients, right?).

Joseph corrected her and sent her to her room.Then he went out and bought a cupcake at a street vendor, put it in his inventory, and left it on the counter. He’s trying so hard to be a good dad to his adoptee.

I am pretty proud of Carrie gaining the “Social” badge. She made friends with simscognito‘s and Akira’s kids, Hamilton and Oliver, and invited them over to listen to music and dance. She was pretty in awe of Rikira’s penthouse when she visited there but sadly kids can’t use the karaoke machine. They would’ve made one sweet trio, I think.

Lizzie got asked to join the “Flower Arranging Club” by CathyTea‘s Sugar Maple Bough, and she turned it down. When would she have time? And then Lisabee2‘s Lisa Bee asked Lizzie about an hour later to join the same club. Do they get points for recruiting people? I’m not sure if Lizzie has the green thumb.

Seasons: Seriously, does it ever stop raining? I swear it storms every day in my game. Carrie is awfully cute when she plays in the rain. Lizzie was so exhausted and dirty one night that while walking Marshall, she took a nap on a park bench and *gasp* showered in the rain. Thankfully, she was in a secluded corner of Myshuno Meadows, but still! I didn’t think she was bold enough… then again, she and Joseph left their wedding reception to “get busy” in the flower bushes. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised with her comfort level with the au naturale approach.

I’m so excited that there’s finally a gifting option in game. Joseph has been gifting Lizzie things quite frequently. I think the tired, overworked mamma appreciates it. 🙂 I need to get out of spring/summer to really experience the other seasons. I can’t wait for autumn!

Food: New recipes always makes me excited. Nora came to visit and made honey cake. I’m going to assume she and MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau are beekeepers now, but I don’t know for sure. Lizzie hasn’t visited them yet, settled into their new home in Newcrest. All I know is you need honey to make honey cake, but perhaps she purchased it.

Lizzie did visit CathyTea‘s Cathy Tea and Shadami’s Amy Cat in their renovated apartment and CT served bee tea. Lizzie approved.

Lizzie and Joseph’s only date, as of yet, has been to the food stalls (she got a chocolate parfait and he got a vanilla) before they were called home because the “sitter” disappeared? Lizzie also grabbed an iced coffee while walking Marshall one evening and chatted with Munterbacon‘s Munter Bacon, who was out walking Dash.

Harvestables: The money tree is back! Woot! I tried planting it in the living room but that was a bit weird so I removed it. Joseph and Lizzie don’t own property and this new apartment doesn’t have a balcony. Still, I want to work out some sort of story line where Joseph, whose lifetime wish is to be fabulously wealthy, plants a money tree in this story.

He did buy a lotto ticket, but didn’t win. Karleen did! As if she needs the moula with her new husband’s wealth! Ha! But she used her own income to start her own mascot costuming business and a food critic blog.

Calendar: Lizzie was invited to a Weenie Roast but she couldn’t make it because she had to go to work or lose her job after working from home, skipping work, and calling in “sick” for two weeks (because it’s hard raising toddler triplets).

When I switched to control Joseph to help with one of the tots, he received a notification about a Shopping Rebate. He headed over to the Flea Market and purchased a new decor item for his home office at a fraction of cost.

Lizzie and Joseph also received the “Night on the Town” notification, but I wasn’t able to send them because that’s where I stopped playing the game. They could sure use it though.

Gardening: Lisa Bee is a new Sim in town, and is employed in the gardener career. I rolled at random for career choices, and figured someone new should be a gardener. Because this is San Myshuno, I had to set up planter boxes beneath the windows in the kitchen for Lisa. I’ll be curious about indoor gardening. Maybe if it succeeds, I’ll let Joseph plant the “money tree” in their apartment. 😉

That’s all for now, folks! I’ll keep you posted with new chapters!

Advertisements

Epilogue, Part 2: Can’t Stop the Feeling (LASL)

Since Wintonborough was the site of our reunion, Joseph and I decided to plan for a ceremony one year out. We selected our actual anniversary. We picked a old church in the woods for our locale. Sage called and offered to watch the triplets, the cat, and dog while Joseph and I celebrated our special day. Friends and family came from different parts of the country. Geeta Rasoya flew in to cater the ceremony, and her son, Raj baked our cake.

Carrie makes a mess

Carrie was so mad she didn’t get to help that she threw flour on the floor of our sanctuary. Joseph had really become a great dad in the last year. He couldn’t replace Rob for Carrie, but he was kind and guided her in a gentle way. I was in the middle of getting ready, walking to the dressing room with my bridesmaids, when I saw him take her by the hand and explain there was a better way to process her emotions. She sighed and said her dad bought her an easy bake oven and cooking made her feel close to him. I smiled as Joseph offered to help her make a cake after we returned from our honeymoon.

Joseph calms Carrie

“You promise?” she said, looking so hopeful. “You’ll come back?”

“Of course, I will, sweetie,” he replied.

That’s my man.

Karleen flirting

Before the wedding, Karleen and Riley were trying to decide which one of them was hotter. Of course, Akira did not approve. He felt threatened as the two old friends bantered in typical harmless flirtatious tones. Akira chewed Karleen out, saying she needed to back off his love. Karleen rolled her eyes and said Akira needed to lighten up. He shouted some forbidden words.

Karleen and Munter and Akira

Munter got in the guy’s face and told him to back off and not speak to his wife that way. It ended in Akira trying to shove Munter and Munter punching him.

“Oh!” Karleen exclaimed as Munter rubbed his hand. “I’ve never had someone defend my honor before.”

Riley quotes Simspeare

“Akira!” Riley gasped. “Don’t worry, my love, you will not go down alone.” With a dramatic flourish, he quoted Simspeare before crashing to the ground in a heap, “I’ll be brief. O happy dagger. This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die.”

Akira groaned. “Riles, just…help me up.”

Riley lifted his head from Akira’s chest. “You know I’m yours and only yours.”

“Then elope with me later tonight,” Akira begged.

“What? Lizzie and Joseph are getting married tonight,” Riley protested.

“I’m tired,” Akira said. “I’m ready to fully be yours.”

“You know what?” Riley smiled. “Sure. We’ll go tonight after the reception.”

Thankfully, Riley and Akira avoided Karleen and Munter for the rest of the evening so there was no more drama… other than my sister, Nora acting all whiny, and Julian complaining to Joseph about her mood swings. I suspected she was pregnant again, but now was not the time to discuss it.

Cathy plays piano

I thought the evening would never come. Cathy settled on the piano bench to play our entrance song. Joseph picked it out as a surprise. I couldn’t help but laugh.

Eddie and Lizzie

“Really?” my dad smirked as he sauntered toward me, ready to escort met down the aisle. “Shut Up and Dance With Me?”

“It’s perfect,” I croaked.

“The green is a nice touch,” he remarked.

hugging Dad

“Thank you,” I smiled, swiping at the tears threatening to ruin my mascara. “I didn’t want to wear white.”

“You look radiant,” Dad said, hugging me. “You ready, kiddo?”

“Ready!”

selfie with Dad

“Wait, wait!” he pulled out his phone from his tux jacket. “A picture with my beautiful daughter first.”

Ash and Karleen

My bridesmaids, Ash and Karleen walked the aisle before me. Everyone was all smiles, but especially Munter and John.

Joseph

Joseph stood at the end underneath a flower-trimmed archway, grinning at all his guests.

on the aisle

I stepped onto the white rose petal lined aisle and caught my breath. He really did look fantastic in a tux. I was marrying… no I was already married to the best guy ever. Nothing could ruin our beautiful day.

Lizzie on the aisle

…not even Riley returning fashionably late.

Joseph sniffles

“Are you crying?” I inquired of my sniffling husband.

“Oh Lizzie, I thought this day would never come,” he sighed quietly. “You look… beyond beautiful. You’re gorgeous. And I can’t believe you picked me.”

“I’d pick you ten thousand times over,” I whispered, caressing his cheek.

The minister grinned at us, leaning forward as he inquired, “Are you two ready?”

Joseph hands me a rose

Joseph handed me a single red rose.

“You have my heart,” he said. “All of me. I’m a simple guy. I don’t have fancy words or an impressive speech. I didn’t write you a sonnet or love song. I just…” he cleared his throat. “I love you, Elizabeth Green.”

“Simself,” I corrected as I swished my floor-length green gown.

Simself is the name

“What?” he blinked a few times as if caught off guard by my interruption.

“Simself… Mrs. Elizabeth Simself-Green,” I said, cheekily. “I changed my name.”

“But… the Green legacy?” his eyes widened.

“Joseph, I am yours. It’s my legacy. It’s my name. It’s my life. I can do what I want. And what I want is your name. What I want is you!” I declared.

Joseph dip kisses Lizzie

“Oh wow!” Joseph exclaimed, dipping me back for the sweetest kiss I think I’ve had in my entire life.

Our guests clapped and cheered. The minister smiled.

“Well, I now pronounce you man and wife,” he said. “I would say kiss your bride… but you’re already doing that.”

“Let’s party!” Riley whooped from the crowd.

Everyone laughed.

club dj dancing

Ash hired the same DJ who was at one of the clubs for Riley and Karleen’s bachelorette party. She was fantastic and really got the party grooving. This was a celebration for the ages. Confetti rained from the ceiling.

“Hello Wintonborough!” the DJ shouted. “Can I get a whoop whoop?”

“Whoop!” Riley indulged her.

And then the DJ put on the perfect track.

dancing 6 Ah, yeah, ah, yeah
I got this feelin’ inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flyin’ up, no ceilin’, when we in our zone

dancing

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)
I can’t take my eyes up off it, movin’ so phenomenally
Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop

dance 1

And under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

Lizzie dancing

Nothin’ I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good creepin’ up on you 

dance 1

So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do

dancing 16

But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’

Dancing with Joseph

I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance

I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

dancing 9

Ooh, it’s something magical

It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushin’ on (rushin’ on)

dancing 10
I don’t need no reason, don’t need control (need control)

I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone

dancing 11

‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket

Got that good soul in my feet

I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)

dancing 12
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally

Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop (stop, stop, stop)

dancing 13

Under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close

dancing 15
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

dancing 17

Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance 

Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

dancing 14

And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’ 

dancing 18

So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’

dancing 20
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’

dancing 21

So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’ (yeah)
So keep dancin’, come on

dancing 8

Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do

dancing 7
But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’
So keep dancin’, come on

dancing 22
Everybody sing (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)

Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Wanna see you move your body (I can’t stop the feelin’)

dancing 22Got this feelin’ in my body
Break it down

Everyone was so excited about dancing they didn’t notice we slipped out. Joseph started whirling the sparkler lights, creating our own send-off.

dancing 23Got this feelin’ in my body (ah)
Can’t stop the feelin’
Got this feelin’ in my body, come on (ooh)

We didn’t even make it back to our decorated car with streamers and cans attached. Joseph and I decided to make a pit stop in the woods.

“You ready, Mrs. Simself?” Joseph asked cheekily.

“Are you, Mr. Simself?” I smirked.

coast is clear

He slipped through the flower bushes and into a romantic secluded section of the forest. We could still hear the music in the distance. Everyone was having fun. No one would fault us two lovebirds for sneaking off.

“Coast is clear,” Joseph said, pushing the leaves aside.

“Good,” I grinned, leaning my chin on his shoulder. “Now come help me outta this gown.”

I can’t stop the feelin’ (yeah)


Author Notes: Thus concludes Part 2 of City Livin. I couldn’t help myself. I had to include the wedding before moving onto Part 3: Parenthood. I was thrilled with the pictures. Since Joseph and Lizzie are already married, I set up the walk down the aisle and cheated to put Joseph at the end. Then I initiated one romantic interaction between them. The rest? They did it all on their own. And the dance sequence was so great. I couldn’t pick so I included almost all of them. This was probably one of my favorite scenes to shoot ever. And the best part is 99% of the interactions were autonomous. 🙂 The song is Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling. I just thought it was super perfect for this final awesome scene. 

Thank you for reading and following me along this journey. I am actively recruiting for Part 3 (the last of the Lizzie/Joseph arc before the next generation). I’d love your help in deciding some of the goals for Part 3 in the following categories (so throw down suggestions in the comments or over in the forums): skills, career, city life, parenting, friendships, romance, aspirations, travel, etc.

If you have a Sim individual or family you’d love to see in Part 3, feel free to let me know where I can find your gallery upload (plus any traits/bio you’d like me to be aware of). I’d prefer limited CC, but I use it so let me know where to find it if I need it for your submitted Sim. This is an ISBI (I’m Surrounded By Idi*ts) Challenge, meaning I’ll only control my Simself and everything else is left up to autonomy and game mechanics (short of a few minor things, and I’ll let you know in author notes). And I welcome pets! 

This chapter featured Shadami’s Amy Cat,TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast, InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley, Cathy Tea’s Cathy TeaLegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself,  Munterbacon’s Munter Bacon, simscognito‘s Riley Cognito, and MINEZ‘ Julian DeBateau and Sammy Sarafin.  

Epilogue, Part 1: Play the Right Music

Joseph and I were back together. Things were back to normal. Well, normal is overrated. Things were better than normal. I think we were better than we’d ever been before. We just needed to find the right music again.

Joseph had flown back East to take a job interview and see me.  On his drive down the coast,  he had horrible reception and a tire exploded on his rental.  He had to wait much longer than expected to get it fixed.  But he did.  And he made it. Back to me. I couldn’t have been happier.

On the day I moved back, I received a text from Joseph when walking through the airport. “I can’t get you out of my mind!” I had a long layover in Magnolia Promenade and he asked me to meet him at the new restaurant across town – Limoni. I didn’t need much encouragement. I dragged my suitcase into the bathroom, fixed my hair, touched up my makeup, and pulled out the new dress I bought.

Joseph hugs Lizzie
“Hey beautiful,” Joseph greeted me with the warmest hug ever.

“Joseph Joe,” I murmured.

It had only been eighteen hours since we had seen each other and I was walking on sunshine. Joseph caught an earlier flight to make plans for Carrie to move in with us. Carrie stayed with my sister since we couldn’t take her across state lines until the paperwork was signed. I promised her it wouldn’t be long. I felt bad about leaving her, but I wanted to make the apartment nice for her too. She was distracted by my nephew, Presley, and assured me she would be okay for the long weekend.

Lizzie hugs Joseph

Joseph felt incredible. I closed my eyes and rocked into his shoulder, covering his neck and shoulders with kisses. He laughed.

“Lizzie, this is a tux, you know?”

“I don’t care,” I smirked, but I reached up and wiped the lipstick smudge from his collar. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen you in a tux.”

“And I look good,” Joseph bobbed his head smugly, and then reached to kiss my hands. “But not as fantastic as you.”

the Tea Cats

“Hey look, it’s the Tea-Cats,” Joseph smiled as we were seated at a table near our friends.

“Tea-Cats?” I repeated. “Hi Cathy. Amy.”

“Isn’t that the purr-fect nickname for us?” Cathy purred.

“I love it,” Amy exclaimed. “Joseph thought of it when he stayed with us.”

“It’s real good to see you back together,” Cathy added.

Joseph brags

“Thank you,” Joseph grinned. “Don’t I have the most beautiful wife ever?”

“I don’t know,” Cathy winked at Amy. “I’m pretty biased.”

“Shush, Cathy,” Amy mock-scolded. “These two lovebirds are enjoying their night out.”

My cheeks were a pleased pink. “And I’ve got the most handsome husband.”

“He is rocking that tux,” Amy remarked.

“Stop it ladies, you’re making me blush,” Joseph cleared his throat and stretched his neck like a proud peacock.

“He is pretty handsome in this tux,” I smiled, reaching out and tugging on his bowtie. “But…” I lowered my voice. “You look good without anything too.”

“We haven’t even ordered an appetizer yet,” he coughed, as if nervous by the sudden attention.

I was enjoying every minute of it.

“But I want dessert,” I pouted teasingly. “And I’m not sure I can wait…” I winked at him. “You know what I mean? You always looked good without a shirt. Should I come fix your stereo, sir, if you know what I mean?”

Joseph grimace

drinking root beer floats

Joseph indulged me. Dessert first. I think he was a little embarrassed by my bold flirting in a public establishment,  but I could tell he was pleased too.

Carters

The Carter family was enjoying a night out on the town too. Marie was pregnant… again!

“Congratulations,” I exclaimed.

“Thank you,” she replied. “I hear you have news too.”

“We’re adopting a little girl,” Joseph said, and I beamed as I heard the love in his voice.

He really was going to be a great dad.

“And I’m expecting too,” I added, rubbing my belly.

“That’s awesome, Lizzie,” Marie grinned.

Lizzie eating and surprise

Joseph downed his bowl of soup. I snacked on a pretzel.

“I’ve got a surprise too,” Joseph said. “And I think you’re going to love it!”

“Really? What? Don’t tell me. You already got a promotion at work already?” I asked. “I’m so proud of you.”

“No,” he grinned. “But since I’m making more than ever before…and we’re starting a family, I figured we outgrew our old place. I found us a new home!”

Ali talking to Dulcie

Joseph was hopeful that I wouldn’t be upset that I didn’t participate in the apartment hunting process. I told him I was so excited to start our new life together that it didn’t matter where we lived. While we were at dinner, our friends helped move everything into our new place in the Arts Quarter. Ali had a long conversation with Dulcie in the hallway.

“Now you’re gonna have a whole household of friends,” she explained. “Joseph and Lizzie you already know, but they’re having triplets… do you know what that is?”

Dulcie meowed.

“Three,” Ali squealed and clapped her hands. “Three little babies. Oh the love,” she swooned. “And then there’s Carrie… and Dulcie?” she leaned down to whisper. “Show Carrie a little extra attention. Poor kiddo is adjusting to life without her daddy and mommy. Can you handle that?”

Dulcie purred.

“Good kitty. I knew you would,” Ali squeezed her eyes closed and smiled.

settling

Joseph and I settled into a happy routine in our beautiful new apartment. The place had three bedrooms and space for an office, two bathrooms, and a dining room. It could’ve been the tiny little cramped place back in the Spice Quarter and I still would’ve been over Luna for Joseph, but it was nice to have the space. Plus the size of our family more than doubled. Marshall moved in with us along with Carrie, whom we officially adopted. Dulcie wasn’t all that thrilled about a dog in the household, but she stuck to the countertops to avoid Marshall’s big paws.

Parker Sophia

We welcomed the triplets in the late spring. Parker Sophia was totally going to be a daddy’s girl.

Nathan Robert

Nathan Robert was going to be the apple of his mama’s eye. Oh, I breathed. I’m a mama now.

Carrie

Carrie picked the middle name – Robert for her dad. It was touching. The triplets would have a built-in big sister.

Joseph Elliott

And then the third one of the babies – Joseph Elliott. I could tell my husband loved all his kiddos, but he was especially pleased to have a son named after himself.

bachelorette party

Karleen and Munter welcomed a baby girl of their own before we did – Pepper. Yes, yes, Pepper Bacon. Karleen decided to change her name too. Karleen Bacon. Oh the cooking jokes… get outta the kitchen, woman!

After a few months, Munter promised to give Karleen the big white wedding she always dreamed of. Around the same time, Akira and Riley became engaged. Bring on the double bachelorette party!

Joseph calls

Joseph offered to watch the kiddos so I could have a night out with the girls. It was the first time I had been out in almost a year. Around eleven, he called me, sounding sleepy.

“Are you having fun?” he whispered.

I wondered which of the triplets he was rocking to sleep in his arms.

“Yes, I am,” I beamed, listening to Cathy regale the group with tales of her world travels. “Thank you for calling, Joseph Joe.”

“Good night, Lizzie,” he yawned and hung up.

dancing

When the club closed, and we were kicked to the curb, the group didn’t want the party to be over.

“Come on, Lizzie,” Karleen exclaimed. “Lead us in a dance.”

Dancing Queen!” Riley whooped.

“You guys,” I shook my head, shyly.

Someone found a stereo.

dancing 2

dancing 3

You can dance

You can jive 

Having the time of your life 

dancing 4

Ooo see that girl

Watch that scene

Dig in the dancing queen

Riley

We took the party to Uptown. Of course, Riley, the diva she is, required an outfit and hairstyle change.

“Come on, girl, get outta the bathroom,” I yelled through the door.

All other stalls were taken and I desperately needed to relieve myself.

“Okay, how do I look?” Riley inquired, returning to the dance floor, twirling. “Fabulous? Uh huh… come on… you know I am.”

“Riley, I love you!” I laughed.

Ash dancing

Ash was pretty pleased with herself. She and John just got back from a trip to Champs les Sims. John had never seen the Marsian Tower and he snapped a couple dozen failed selfies and sent them to me everyday. I was so glad that he found happiness. He and Ash seemed to be a solid couple.

Dancing 5

We took the dance floor by storm.

Riley checking out

I think we had a little too much alcohol. Riley kept checking out every guy’s butt that walked by. None could compare to Akira.

Cathy and Lizzie

At some point during the night, Cathy and I ended up at the bar at the same time. She was amazed by the colors and lights and sparkle.

pushups

We went back to the hotel. Unfortunately for us, the pool was closed for the night. That didn’t stop us from splashing, diving, and cannonballing into the water. A little alcohol and a lot of dancing and we were rebels. Someone started a game of truth or dare. I don’t really remember who, but it was pretty fun. Cathy and Riley tried to do one hundred push-ups. Riley collapsed on the pool deck in defeat. Cathy won. She was pretty proud of herself.

marshmallows

We sneaked onto the roof and roasted marshmallows that Karleen had in her bag. I don’t think we were supposed to do that over there heat boxes, but no one seemed to care. The night was coming to a close and we were enjoying living in the moment. Riley broke into a spontaneous serenade – Walkin’ on Sunshine. Whoa!

“And starshine,” Riley warbled. “And moonshine! Whoooaa! Ooo…” she threw her hands up.  “Moonshine!” She tripped over the corner of the heat box. “We should get some.”

“Someone’s a little juiced,” I teased.

“I might have a flask in my bag,” Ash said.

Ooo… and don’t it feel fudd,” Riley belted.

“Food?” Karleen tilted her head.

“Good,” I corrected.

“No fudd….” Riley shook her head.  “Fun aaaaannnd good. We are young…  and on fire.” She hit her chest dramatically.  “This girl is on fi-ire.”

“Alright,” I reached for Riley’s arm. “You’re really gonna be on fire if you keep singing and swinging around. Sit down please.”

marriage Munter Karleen

Karleen and Munter 2

Munter and Karleen 3

Munter and Karleen’s wedding was beautiful. Karleen wore a shockingly modest dress. Well, she was a mama now too. It was stunning. She wrote Munter a poem. In typical Karleen fashion, it was quirky and silly and slightly inappropriate. I think I heard Munter’s mom gasp. She wasn’t particularly thrilled with her new daughter-in-law, but Munter was an only child and Pepper was her only grandchild. For now she would tolerate the woman, and hopefully grow to love Karleen like we all did. Munter’s dad was a little bit more relaxed and open. He even joked around with Joseph about keeping Munter in line.

dress

Karleen picked pretty bridesmaids dresses too. Ash had an emergency and wasn’t able to be a bridesmaid so Riley stepped into fill the spot in his white suit so I was the only one in a bridesmaids dress. I was loving the minty green, and I think Joseph enjoyed it too. He kept glancing over in my direction and winking at me.

Riley and Akira 1

Riley and AKira 2

While Riley and Akira were engaged, they didn’t do the official proposal and ring deal until Karleen’s wedding day. Karleen didn’t care. She was so excited for them, and honored that Akira chose her special venue as the site of his official proposal.

Munter push ups

Munter decided to do a few push-ups while waiting for Akira and Riley to move along so he and Karleen could take wedding photos on the bench.

“What are you doing, babe?” she inquired.

“Working up a healthy shine for the picture, love, so I can match your glow,” he explained.

Joseph steals a kiss

“Hello gorgeous!” Joseph came up and stole a kiss while we waited to see off the newly married couple.

“Aww… you’ve upgraded from beautiful,” I beamed.

“What do you think, Lizzie?” he nodded toward the wedding party. “Should we do it? Should we get officially hitched?”

“What are you saying?” I giggled as he nuzzled my neck.

“I’m saying you and me… a wedding… for our family and friends. We did the whole legal ceremony, but I never got to give you a big day,” he remarked.

I smiled.  “But I’m already your wife.”

“I know, but you deserve a day like this,” he said, grabbing my hands. “What do you say, Lizzie? Stand up with me? Be mine… forever? Marry me?”

“Joseph Joe?” my voice cracked with emotion. “I’d be honored to officially marry you.”


Author Notes: Yay! Happiness! I’m so glad things are working out for the better. Oh the roller coaster of emotions with these two. They’re back together and happier than ever. 🙂 FYI, the game picked Pepper Bacon as a name. I loved it. So punny! Lol. And then the game also decided the proposal at Karleen and Munter’s wedding because my game glitched out and Akira and Riley hadn’t gotten engaged yet somehow. It all worked out. 🙂 

This chapter featured so many Sims… friendsfan367‘s Ali Morrison, MadameLee‘s Anne Charming,Shadami’s Amy Cat, TheYayToast‘s Ash Toast and the Carter family, InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley and Marshall Buckley, Cathy Tea’s Cathy Tea and Sugar Maple Bough,  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself and Dulcie,  Munterbacons Munter Bacon, and simscognito‘s Riley Cognito. Congratulations Karleen and Munter and Akira and Riley! And welcome to the Green-Simself babies! 🙂 

Goal #23: Back to You (LASL)

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.

1

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.

2

3

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.

4'

“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.

5
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.”

6

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…”

7

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?”

8 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!

9 “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.

10

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.”

11 “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.

“I’m pregnant.”

“WHAT?”

“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!”

12

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. (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. 

Goal #22: Color Outside the Lines (LASL)

Carrie hits me

My heart sank as I saw a distressed little girl throwing paints on the floor as she screamed and cried. I took a moment to collect myself before entering the Oh So Curious Children’s Home attached to the city hospital.

“Carrie?” I said, softly. “Carrie… it’s me… Lizzie!”

“Go away, Lizzie!” Carrie screeched, hitting my leg through blinding tears.

I winced. Carrie stomped in the colorful composite she created on the floor. I knew what was happening. She was in denial and she was angry. I would be too.

Lizzie tries to comfort

“I’m so sorry, sweetheart,” I knelt down and tried to comfort the child.

“My daddy loved you and you left us,” Carrie cried.

She’s confused, I figured. I was the one that Rob left behind. But then again, Carrie had been about four when everything happened. She probably didn’t remember clearly, just that her friend was there one day and gone the next. Just like my friend. My heart seized with sadness. Rob was dead. A brain aneurysm in the park, they said. With no next of kin, I was listed as an emergency contact. I wondered if there was some sort of mistake.

“No mistake,” the director of child services said. “Rob had an attorney draw up the papers for him should something ever happen to him. He wanted you to be Carrie’s legal guardian.”

I was shocked. I was in denial. I climbed the stairs instead of taking the elevator so I’d have more time to process. I was still trying to wrap my head around being a mother of triplets. Now Carrie was left in my custody and care by my ex-boyfriend? And what would Joseph say? I still hadn’t been able to reach him. Where is that man? Or is he avoiding me? I tried not to think about it.

Director of child care

“If you aren’t prepared to care for the child, she can stay here with us should you choose to give up your legal claim,” the director said.

“Wait, what?” I blinked rapidly, pulling back from the hug I was giving Carrie. I rubbed my forehead. “Look, no. She’s my responsibility.”

“Please don’t leave me here,” Carrie whimpered. “Please don’t. I can’t lose you too.”

My heart nearly broke in two.

“She’s coming home with me,” I said firmly. “Get her things and whatever paperwork I need to sign.”

“You will need to contact the attorney about the official adoption,” the director replied.

“Yeah, whatever,” I said, more flippantly than I meant, as I bent down to hold Carrie again. “You’re coming home with me.”

Carrie good night

After four hours of crying, sobbing, screaming, kicking, biting, and huffing, Carrie finally collapsed in the guest bedroom of my sister’s home. Lee and Sammy were very confused upon my return, but they were more understanding when I explained after Carrie fell asleep.

“That poor girl,” Sammy sighed.

“What an ordeal she’s been through,” Lee pressed her hands to her lips, her eyes filling with tears. “I’m so sorry, Lizzie.”

“And you really are the legal guardian?” Sammy asked.

“That’s what they told me. Rob wanted Carrie to be in my care. I have…” I sighed, and rubbed my forehead. “…the contact of the attorney and my letter from him. The hospital gave it to me.”

“We’ll let you read it alone,” Sammy said. “Come on babe,” he wrapped his arm around his wife’s shoulder and guided her away.

Lizzie reads the letter

I settled on the bench outside the house within earshot of Carrie’s window should she wake up and be confused, or scared, or sad and need me. I tried to call Joseph.

“Joseph, we need to talk. Where are you? I’m sorry. Please call me. There’s something you need to know and it transcends what transpired between you and me.”

I sighed heavily as I lifted the folder of papers Rob’s attorney left for me at the hospital. Inside was a handwritten letter from Rob. I took a deep breath.

Dear Elizabeth Green,

That sounds so formal, but a formal letter deserves a formal greeting.

I smiled wistfully as I could hear Rob’s voice in my head.

I never set out to be a parent. I don’t know about you, but I was told at an early age I could never have kids. A genetic defect, the doctor told me.

I gasped. Wait… what?

Sure this is light cheery reading for the bedside. Okay, here we go. If you’re reading this letter, it means I’m no longer in this world. About a year ago, Catarina Lynx, whom you know as Cat, passed away in Asima and I was the only surviving relative of Carrie’s. Now Carrie has no one. I don’t tell you this for you to pity me or to guilt you into taking care of my precious baby girl. I’m telling you this because my attorney said I’m required by law to say this – Carrie has no biological living relatives. Now you know, and anyone else who needs to see this document by law.

A tear pricked my eyelid. Poor baby.

When Catarina and I met, she was wild. She was wild and crazy and I loved her. And she had a nine month old baby girl named Carrie. The little girl’s biological father was Seoulan. His family was shamed that he got a white woman pregnant out of wedlock and so he took his own life.

Oh my gawd! I nearly dropped the papers. Was I reading this right?

I am the only father Carrie has ever known. She is my little girl. I adopted her when Cat and I got married. This is what Cat used against me when she worked with the courts to get full custody of Carrie back despite my years of proven loyalty and dependability and my consistency as a father in Carrie’s life. I want you to know it had nothing to do with you no matter what Cat said to you or you might have thought, or even what I told you. So please don’t blame yourself. I hope you didn’t. I know I didn’t end things well with you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you in. You see I’m super protective of my daughter. I don’t care what a piece of paper says. I’m her dad and that’s that.

Lizzie reading

Tears slipped down my cheeks. At the time, I did think that Catarina used Rob’s relationship with me against us, and drove us apart, using Carrie as a pawn to get what she wanted and to play her stupid game. Now I knew the truth and it all made sense.

I cared about you. I even loved you. And then I left. I chose my daughter over you. I don’t regret my choice. I do regret not taking better care of myself because I can’t be there to watch my daughter grow up and that plum sucks! I know that you’re probably wondering why you of all people. You have a good heart, Lizzie. You care with your whole heart, and you make people feel special and loved and needed. I watched my daughter grow attached to you and I realized that if anything ever happened to me, despite everything that happened between us, you’d be there for her. You’d be there if I asked you. I know I have no right to ask you, but I want you to be Carrie’s legal guardian since I’m gone.

I choked back a sob, and lifted my head back to take a deep breath, sucking in air as I stared up at the night sky. Rob, why? Why didn’t you let me in? Why did it take your dying to let me in? I dropped my head back down and looked out across the water. And Joseph? He won’t let me in either. Why? Why am I so hard to trust and to love?

You’re probably crying by now. I know I am. Know that I trust you, and that I am truly sorry for all the pain I caused you. I ask that you be a pillar in my daughter’s life and help her grow up to be the kind of woman you are.

“Oh, Rob,” I wailed. “You give me too much credit.”

Carrie needs someone she knows and loves and trusts. I’d rather it be you if you don’t mind than strangers. I couldn’t bear for my little girl to be raised by people she doesn’t know. It won’t be easy, I know, but I trust that you will be a fantastic mom to my kid, the kind of mom Cat could never be, the kind of mom I would want for her, because you are one of a kind, Lizzie.

It was signed Rob Buckely. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe all the kind things he said, and the truth about how he wasn’t Carrie’s real dad, but he became her real dad and took on that mantle because he loved Cat enough and he loved Carrie enough to do the stand-up thing and be a good guy. I vowed right then and there to try and be half the woman Rob made me out to be. I would honor his dying wishes.

Lizzie kisses Carrie good night

I slipped into my bedroom and planted a kiss on Carrie’s forehead.

“Good night, angel,” I whispered fiercely. “I promise. I won’t ever leave you again, Carrie.”


Author Note: I always suspected something was up with Rob and Carrie, but I never could prove it. Then the little girl aged up and she didn’t look entirely like Rob or Cat. I’m not sure if InfraGreen planned that (well, she didn’t plan for Cat… that was my weird game fluke that seems to assign random parents and exes to people). It was always my goal to have Rob pop back up in part two here as a foil for Joseph and potential drama, but it just never fit until now. I didn’t need drama. Joseph and Lizzie created drama in spades. I also planned for Lizzie to adopt at least one child and voila! Looks like she will. Lizzie happened to run into Rob in Wintonborough and it just worked, but then he died tragically, and I was deeply saddened. I knew Carrie would need a new home and it just made sense that Rob would pick Lizzie. There isn’t a children’s hospital in game and when I cheated to find out where Carrie was after Rob’s death, she was ironically at the spa. So I just rolled with it. Thanks for reading. This chapter featured InfraGreen‘s Carrie Buckley. 

Goal #21: Make Future Plans (LASL)

Lizzie slides off the table
“So what’s the verdict?”

I asked the doctor as I slid off the exam room table. Finally, I managed to make it to my appointment. The doctor asked me a multitude of questions, the same ones the nurse asked, and the same ones the paperwork I filled out asked. I was beginning to wonder why they needed so many checks and balances as it was growing tiresome to answer everything multiple times. She seemed polite enough, but I missed my normal doctor. Even so, I patiently succumbed to questions and tests. Always more tests. They could charge me a fortune with tests.

“Wait here,” the doctor requested. “I’m going to get a second opinion.”

A second opinion? I gasped. As the medical professional left the room, my brain went to all sorts of terrifying places. Oh dear! What if I was sick? What if I didn’t fully recover? What if I was slipping back into ghost mode? I just felt happy again. I couldn’t let that happen. I called Joseph last night and left him a message. Actually I called three times. He didn’t answer, but I left him a voicemail each time telling him how sorry I was and begged him for a second chance. I told him I was coming home if he still wanted me. I frowned. I couldn’t lose that opportunity. Not yet. Did I have cancer? Or worse? EXCES?

new doctor
A new doctor appeared, this one much older than the last, but wearing the same attire as the first. I wondered if this hospital had some sort of uniform. I also wondered about the white coats. Then again, Caelen didn’t practice in a white coat.

“Just give it to me straight, doc,” I said, gritting my teeth and bracing for impact.

“Congratulations, Mrs. Green,” he smiled. “You are expecting.”

“Expecting what?” I frowned.

“Babies,” he announced.

I nearly fell back into the table. “That’s impossible. Wait? Did you say babies?”

“Yes, as in more than one,” he replied. “I think it would be best if you take it easy, but I wouldn’t worry if I were you. You’re perfectly healthy.”

“More than… one…” I laid my hand across my stomach in total shock. “How long?”

“You’re about…” the doctor checked my chart. “…two months along. I’m writing you a prescription for prenatals…” he scribbled on apiece of paper.

The night of Cathy and Amy’s wedding! The timing dawned on me. I twisted my lower lip wistfully. What a happy blessing to come out of such a horrible night!

“Babies,” I slipped back into my pants. “I’m going to be a mom.”

“Yes you are,” the doctor winked at me as he tore off the prescription and handed it in my direction. “Of three.”

Joseph jogging

The earliest flight he could get on left at two-thirty. It would have to do. In the meantime, he jogged around the park, thinking through everything he wanted to tell Lizzie. Something poetic would be nice, but he wasn’t sure he could come up with something in time. It would need to be from his heart. That wasn’t hard. The hard part would be waiting for her answer. His cell phone jingled. Plucking it from his pocket, he answered.

Joseph answers the phone
“Mr. Simself?”

“Yes?”

“Joseph Simself? Hi my name is Justin Delgado. I am the president of Sims.tv.”

“Hello Mr. Delgado, it’s great to hear from you. Although I was expecting to hear from your sales manager.”

“Well, let me tell you something. The reason I’m calling Joseph is I would like to interview you for the position of senior vice president of digital advertising and sales management for our company. My hiring manager was so impressed with your interview that he sent me your information and after reviewing it, I wanted to call you. When would you be available to interview?”

“Oh wow! Thank you. Um… thank you!” Joseph exclaimed. “I would be available at your earliest convenience… uh…” he glanced at his watch. “…I’m flying back East to meet my wife tonight, in Wintonborough, sir. So perhaps after the weekend?”

“Well, let me tell you something. I live in Brindleton Bay when I’m not traveling to San Myshuno for work, and it just so happens that I’m in Brindleton this weekend. It may be a little unorthodox, but would you like to come interview in my home? Brindleton is only about a day’s drive from Wintonborough, but I don’t want to intrude on weekend plans.”

“No definitely. I mean. Yes, I can come interview with you. I actually fly into Olde Towne for my layover, but I could arrange my flight to end there. I’d rent a car to drive Wintonborough but stop in Brindleton. What’s your address?”

When he hung up the phone, he did a little happy dance. Things were looking up.

Lizzie fishing

I cast my line for the second time out into the water. There was something very down-to-earth about catching one’s supper. I would truly miss Wintonborough and all its beauty, but the city was tugging on my heart again. I was ready to go home. Tomorrow couldn’t come fast enough.

Tonight, I would be having my last dinner with Lee and Sammy and baby Presley. My mother and Nora were coming too, both in town for a food expo, Mom as a food critic, and Nora as a chef. I felt incredibly peaceful. I was going to be a mom.

And not just any mom. A mom of triplets. My heart leaped for joy. It more than made up for everything that happened. I wondered what Joseph would say when I told him. He still hadn’t answered his phone.

Mom hugs lizzie

“Lizzie, my daughter, you’re beautiful,” Mom said as she wrapped me in a hug.

“Mom, hi… thank you,” I embraced her. “How’s the food expo?”

“Delicious, though not as good as these fish for dinner are going to be,” Mom smiled. “Where does Sammy keep the spare poles?”

“Up by the porch,” I nodded. “I’m glad you’re here, Mom.”

“Me too, Lizzie,” Mom smiled. “I think all my daughters will have babies by the middle of next year.”

“Mom!” I exclaimed. “Who told you?”

“Lee had her suspicions and just look at you,” Mom squeezed my hands, her eyes moistening with tears. “You’re radiant. Such a healthy pregnancy glow.”

Lizzie fishes with family

All four Green women fished for their dinner. Mom and I had more luck than Nora, who was still acting a bit prissy about the worm on her hook.

“It’s alive,” she wrinkled her nose.

“It’s the cycle of life,” Lee replied.

“Grow up,” I teased.

“Don’t…I… like being the baby,” Nora pouted.

“You can’t be the baby and have a baby,” I rolled my eyes.

“Right… babies are messy and dirty and motherhood could be slimy,” Lee teased.

“Ugh! Not unless I’m having an alien,” Nora wailed.

“Oh my daughters, just enjoy the moment,” Mom cut in.

The horizon was breathtaking. Gold hues sparkled against the blue waters. There was something very grounding about watching the sun set and fishing for one’s meal. I made a point to include something similar in my next story.

“So do I get to be the fun aunt?” Nora asked.

“To whom?” Lee asked.

“Lizzie’s kids!”

“Sheesh! Cat outta the bag, much, mom?”I rolled my eyes.

“Hey what about Presley?” Lee protested.

“Well, do I?” Nora asked.

We all laughed.

Lizzie and Mom chat

“I’m thinking of changing my name to Simself,” I said.

It was after supper. Mom and I lay in the grass, gazing up at the clouds and watching the sunset over the Simsapeake Bay.

“It’s your choice, daughter,” Mom replied.

“Really?” I leaned over on my elbow so I could see my mother’s face. “You don’t think it’s weird for a legacy? My legacy?”

“That’s just it,” Mom said. “It’s not just your legacy. It’s Joseph’s too.”

“Yeah, but Green-Simself is so weird,” I sighed. “That’s why I thought it might be a nice gesture to change my name to his.”

“It’s whatever makes you happy,” Mom said. “He doesn’t know yet? About his children to be?”

“Well, that’s why I’d do it. For our kids. A hyphenated name might be difficult for the little ones,” I said. “And no…” I frowned. “He’s not picking up his phone. I mean, I did almost divorce him. What if…” I paled. “What if I have to do this alone?”

“Lizzie, you won’t be alone,” Mom squeezed my hand. “You have your sisters and brother-in-law, and if Julian ever gets his act together, another brother-in-law. And you have your father and me. And something tells me that Joseph won’t abandon your side.”

I sighed and rolled over onto my back, holding my stomach. “I hope so.”

Joseph and his new boss

Joseph eased into a blue and white plaid highback chair in the living room of his potential future boss. He tried not to feel too nervous.

“So you’re Elizabeth Green’s husband aren’t you?” Justin said.

“Yes?” Joseph squeaked, feeling uncomfortable.

“I love her novels. I have almost every single one,” Justin admitted.

Joseph puckered his brow. “Um… forgive me, Mr. Delgado…”

“Please, call me Justin.”

“Okay, Justin,” Joseph began, straightening so as to appear taller. “I prefer that I get this job on my own merits. I love my wife, but I’m not her, and if that’s the only reason you called me here today then I’m afraid I can’t do business with you.”

Justin seemed to ponder his response for a moment. “I can appreciate that you want to be your own man. My wife is Aphrodite Smith.”

“Whoa!” Joseph exclaimed. “The pro tennis player?”

“Yes, and she traveled all over the world before turning eighteen and she’s had fame ever since,” Justin explained. “I know what it’s like to feel left out or left behind.”

Joseph coughed nervously, a hint of pink breaching his cheeks.

“I’ll admit I met your wife and tried to tempt her to join Sim.tv when we were recruiting for a music program,” Justin said. “But it was before she reached her own level of fame as an author. And the truth is, I didn’t call you here today because of her. I called you here because I was impressed by your work and your resume.”

“Thank you, sir,” Joseph replied, feeling both humbled and proud simultaneously. “What in particular did you like?”

“Well, why don’t you tell me about yourself and your career goals and we’ll go from there, okay?”

Joseph is hired

Two hours later, Justin and Joseph talked much longer than planned, but Joseph had a new job.

“Welcome to the team, Joseph,” Justin shook his hand.

“Thank you,” Joseph said. “I’m looking forward to working with you and this company. I really appreciate the opportunity.”

“You don’t have to sell it, Joseph, you already have the job,” Justin teased.

“I’m just being polite.”

“Stay for dinner. Aphrodite’s cooking grilling on the barbecue out back.”

“As tempting as that is, I’d like to get on the road.”

“Yes, go see your wife. And I’ll see you in a week,” Justin said, shaking Joseph’s hand again.

“Thank you,” Joseph did another happy dance on his way out to his rental car.

He was so excited that he tried calling Lizzie as he pulled out onto the two lane highway. She didn’t answer. He drove for about an hour and tried again.

“Lizzie! I’m in Massimchusetts. Driving to Wintonborough now. I wanted to tell you… why I was back East in the first place. I got a…” he didn’t have the opportunity to finish his sentence as a loud bang disrupted his stream of thought, bringing the vehicle to a careening halt.

The following morning, I was on my way to the airport when my cell phone rang. I glanced down, not recognizing the number, but after four calls from the same number I figured I should answer.

“Sounds urgent,” the taxi driver quipped.

“What!” I exclaimed, nearly dropping the phone when I heard the news. “Driver, turn around. Take me to the hospital.”


Author’s Note: Thanks for reading.  There is no hospital or doctor’s office, at least not one that I placed, and I probably should have so I just ran with the spa because that’s where Lizzie traveled to autonomously.This chapter featured  LegacySims2017‘s Joseph. 

Goal #20: Tie Up Loose Ends, Part 3 (LASL)

Joseph miserable

Miserable, Joseph collapsed on Riley’s leather couch. That and an old record player and a coffee table were all that was left of Riley’s possessions. Everything else had been moved to his new home. Akira quipped that Joseph would have to be carried out in his pajama bottoms on the couch to get him to leave. Joseph was not amused.

He picked up a copy of his wife’s latest book, Clockwork Carnival. He was torturing himself. She didn’t want him anymore. She wouldn’t be his wife for much longer, but somehow leafing through the pages made him feel close to her again. The story followed a handsome Ferris wheel operator, muscular, tattooed, and dark haired, who kept having mysterious encounters with a beautiful redhaired woman every night at midnight on the carousel.

Unbeknownst to him, the woman pined away for her love from inside the mural on the carousel walls, forever trapped within the paint. On their final night together, she finally told him her fate and then climbed to the top of the Ferris wheel begging the gods to fly… just once. And when she fell and lay dying in his arms, she asked him four little words, “Do you still love me?”

Joseph couldn’t help but tear up a little at this couple’s ending. The male protagonist was named Joe. It was fitting. He could practically hear his Lizzie asking the same thing. The parallels were astonishing. Of course, he still loved her. He balled his fist and slammed it into the couch. I’m an idiot! She needs to hear that. In all his phone calls, messages, texts, and letters, he never once assured Lizzie of his love.

“Come on, get dressed,” Riley burst into the apartment.

“Not now, Riley,” Joseph shrugged and turned to face away from his friend, feeling pretty glum.

“No, you don’t have a choice,” Akira sauntered into the room. “We’re going out.”

Joseph and the guys

They arrived in Newcrest by nightfall. Riley and Akira planned some guys outing, and while Joseph wasn’t in the mood, he did appreciate his friends trying. John, Lizzie’s cousin was there, and his old roommate, Issador, whom Joseph had met at Cathy and Amy’s wedding. Munter Bacon flew into town to join the group, and that fighter pilot, Ace Reynolds also made an appearance. As they stepped off the tram, Joseph wondered what they were doing here.

“This is where you and Lizzie first had your date,” John explained.

“Yeah, so?” Joseph was confused. “It was a horrible first date. And I was an llama’s butt.”

Riley talks
“This,” Riley called from the sidewalk, speaking between sit-ups. “…is an… intervention, Joseph. You need Elizabeth. She needs you. And you need to be reminded of your love for each other.”

“So you took me to the site of a failed date?”

If he wasn’t so tired and heartachy from the past few months, he’d be amused.

“Come on,” Riley popped up from the curb, walking between Munter and John as the two were sizing each other up. “Now you boys play nice. We’re here for Joseph.”

“Of course,” Munter replied coolly.

“Right,” John grunted.

Joseph frowned. Were those two getting along now? He couldn’t keep up with Karleen’s exploits, but in the end, she seemed happy with Munter and John seemed happy with Ash.

“Julian’s already inside,” John remarked, waving to Joseph’s almost brother-in-law.

“Great, let’s go get some Bernish coffees,” Ace grinned.

“And wine,” Izzie said. “Do not forget the wine.”

“Oh the joie de vivre,” Riley swooned. “We drink wine. We sing loud. We fight the establishment…” he cleared his throat and hit his chest proudly. “Viva la revolucion! L’chaim! To Life! Let’s drink!”

“What revolution?” John wrinkled his nose.

“Space age or old world?” Ace interrupted.

“Don’t look at me,” Munter shrugged.

“I think he might already be intoxicated from raiding the mini bar in our train car,” Akira laughed lightly, steadying his partner by offering his arm. “And he’s mixing languages again.”

De nada!” Riley leaped onto one of the fence posts, scrunching like a leap frog. “People! There’s a party to be happening,” Riley said in an excited childlike tone. “Now come on, Joseph…” he urged, grabbing Joseph’s hand as he jumped from the post. “I’ve got something awesome planned.”

John and Joseph dancingForty minutes later, Joseph was laughing and dancing and singing along to “Ooo Child.” It was the song playing the night that Lizzie tried to get him to dance with her for the first time. He realized as he waved his arms in a silly fashion that he had been trying to keep up with her ever since, and she needed more than that. She needed him to be himself and to know who he was and to be confident in himself. He had struggled to hold a job and make sense of his life in orbit around the wildly successful and popular Lizzie and that jealousy and insecurity and pride had damaged their relationship and his sense of self.

Ooh, child, things are gonna get easier,” Akira sang loudly from out on the patio.

Ooh, child, things are gonna get brighter,” Riley sang tiredly from his seat at the table. “If I wasn’t so drunk off my llama’s butt,” he pumped his fist in the air. “…I’d come over there and join you all.”

Some day, yeah,” Joseph sang as he spun around. “We’ll get it together and we’ll get it all done. Some day when your head is much lighter.”

“Oooh yeah,” Riley said. “Someday… my head is gonna… tolerate… more… nectar…” he collapsed on the table.

We’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun,” Joseph continued. “Some day when the world is much brighter.” He took off his cap and saluted the bartender. “You guys!” he exclaimed. “I gotta go.”

“Yeah, you go… you go get her!” Riley said, muffled, pumped his fist in the air without looking up.

“You want to borrow my jet?” Munter asked. “You could fly back to the city and pack your stuff.”

Joseph blinked a few times. “Right… um… sure… where is it?”

“At the airstrip, I’ll call ahead and arrange everything,” he replied, pulling out his phone. “Oh shoot!”

The device was already ringing.

“What?”

“It’s my dad. He and my mum are coming into town. They want to meet Karleen,” Munter sighed. “I was kinda avoiding telling them about the baby.”

Joseph grinned and slapped his friend on the back. “You’re gonna be a great dad! I’m sure they’ll love her.”

“Hey man, you’re going to be a great dad,” Munter said. “Seriously, you and Lizzie are made for each other.”

“Thanks Munter,” Joseph smiled. “Thanks guys.” He waved to everyone. “Now I’ve gotta get to the airport.”

Everyone said goodbye, everyone except Riley.

“My head feels… funny… and words taste like…Skittles.”

Akira chuckled. “Alright, sweetie, it’s time to turn in at the hotel.”

Rob runs to catch Lizzie

I wandered through the Von Haunt Gardens, one of the most beautiful parks on the Eastern seaboard. It was a cool, foggy night so I opted for a leather jacket I had picked up at a thrift shop last time I went shopping with Karleen. My cap kept my hair from blowing all over the place in the wind. My wedges crunched against the gravel as I followed the brick wall surrounding the landscaped gardens.

I was happy. My flight was scheduled for the day after tomorrow. I would go home and see Joseph and make things up to him. I would ask for him to forgive me and take me back. That was the plan. I figured I had the next forty hours or so to come up with more eloquent lines, something that really reflected the state of my heart. Any time I was stuck on wording, I liked to stroll around town, usually late at night, to help freshen my perspective. I could’ve sworn someone was calling my name.

rOB CATCHES LIZZIE

“Wow, you walk fast in heels,” Rob remarked as he stopped to catch his breath.

“Rob, what are you doing here?” I inquired.

“Still in town. Saw you. Thought I’d come. See how you’re doing,” he said, as he sharply inhaled between each statement. “And see. If. You. Want. To grab a coffee. With me. You still like.. Simithiopian?”

“I’m going home, Rob,” I said. “To Joseph.”

Not even coffee could tempt me away.

“Really? I’m glad for you,” Rob panted, bending over to grab his knees.

“You don’t sound too convincing,” I narrowed my eyes.

“Look Lizzie, I always wanted you to be happy,” he said, taking some gasping breaths.

“Are you okay, Rob?” I asked, frowning.

“And I always wanted you to be mine. But those two things aren’t necessarily in line with each other,” he offered with a shaky laugh. “And yeah, I’m fine. I wish you luck, Lizzie. Now where can a guy find the facilities around here?”

“Good night,” I waved as he ran away, puzzled, but still feeling peaceful in my heart about my choice to go home to my husband.

I toyed with my ring. “Oh Joseph, I’ll be home soon,” I whispered.

Rob at a dead endThirty minutes later, Rob hit yet another dead end in what felt like the endless maze of bushes in the Von Haunt Gardens. This felt like some sort of strange parallel to his life. He once loved Lizzie, but he lost her every time to Joseph. The guy was obviously the better choice and he meant what he said, but Rob couldn’t help but feel sad. Sad and uncomfortable. By now, his bladder had grown excruciatingly full.

“What the hell!” he faced a tall hedge and unzipped his fly.

Rob dies

A sharp pain whizzed through his brain and he groaned as he felt his whole body teeter as it was shutting down. This can’t be… how… I go… he thought. Carrie? Would his daughter be okay? Yes, he winced. His final thoughts in this world as he gripped his head were about how Lizzie would make such a good mom.


Author NotesSo much happening in game. Okay, first, we’ll start with the ending. I got a notification that it was Rob’s time to go. I thought it odd since he was still a young-ish adult. I followed him around a bit, he had an “accident” in the maze, and then he died from over-exertion in the garden. Poor guy! R.I.P. InfraGreen‘s Rob. This version of the Von Haunt Estate was created by Peacemaker. LegacySims2017‘s Joseph wouldn’t leave simscognito‘s Riley’s couch even after I moved him out and into Akira’s penthouse. I decided to expand a bit on the novella Lizzie wrote in game. Then Riley invited Joseph to join him in Newcrest. The part about Munterbacon‘s Munter’s plane was a convenient way to get Joseph back to San Myshuno quickly. Helps that he’s a billionaire in game. 😉  Hope you enjoyed. Thanks for reading. This chapter also featured MINEZ‘ Issador and Julian. townies, Akira and did I spy J Huntington the III? Ace Reynolds also made an appearance along with my Simself’s cousin, John Schooner.  

Goal # 20: Tie Up Loose Ends, Part 2 (LASL)

Lizzie jogs and sees a sign

I went jogging in the morning. This extra weight I gained in the past few months was annoying. I was convinced that the stresses of life was throwing off my cycle too. Only one more day until I could see the doctor. Then maybe she could shed some light on my bizarre symptoms.

Suddenly, I came to a dead stop. I almost felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. I doubled over, holding my abdomen. Why oh why was there an advertisement for the Ballet? It was the same advert that Joseph had designed, and seeing it somehow drudged up a whole bunch of thoughts and feelings – mostly memories of happier times.

“Are you okay?” a little girl with dark hair squeaked.

I blinked a few times, my eyes adjusting as the sunlight streamed into the park. The child wore a rainbow short-sleeved sweatshirt and jeans and a pair of green beaded flip flops. Her face looked familiar, and I realized in that moment, I was staring at a former babysitting kid of mine. My ex-boyfriend’s daughter. Carrie.

Lizzie hugs Carrie

“Lizzie!” the little girl shrieked in pure joy.

Instinctively, I dropped and wrapped my arms around her, surprised to see the child.

“Carrie? Wha? What are you doing here?” I asked.

“I’m with my dad,” Carrie replied.

“What are you seven now?” I said, trying to avert the panicky feeling in my chest. Rob’s here?  

“Eight,” Carrie corrected, placing her hands on her hips.

“That’s right,” I said, standing up. “Well, it’s good to see you, but I’ve gotta get going. I have an appointment.”

“An appointment?” Carrie repeated, tilting her head.

“Yeah, a meeting… a place to be, you know,” I shrugged, turning to jog away.

“Hello Elizabeth.”

Rob and Lizzie
The familiar deep musical lilt of my ex-boyfriend’s voice drifted in my direction, and I winced as I realized he saw me. He had barely changed. His hairstyle the same. The same sexy voice. The same soft eyes. I wondered why my heart was beating a mile a minute.

“Hey Rob, how’s it going?”

Right, Lizzie! That’s the thing to say when you see you ex after so long.

“Ooo, you talk, Daddy… I’m going to play,” Carrie said, excitedly, bouncing off toward the playground.

“Not much,” Rob replied. “Trying to keep the old blood pressure down. Doc ordered me on a two week vacation, but since Cat passed away last fall, things have been tight. I’ve been working three jobs.”

“Cat passed away?” I said, my eyes widening with shock. “Oh I’m so sorry. How did it happen?”

“Pufferfish. She was in Shang Simla, and ate some bad pufferfish. The report says they couldn’t do anything.”

“Uh… how are you holding up? Is Carrie okay?”

“We’re fine. As can be expected. What are you doing here on the east coast? I heard you got married. Joseph’s a lucky guy. It is Joseph, right?”

“Yeah, um… about that…” I trailed off.

“Say Brindleton Bay is only about a day’s drive from here. You should come up sometime. Joseph too. He is here, right?”

“No, he’s… um… not… uh, we’re getting a divorce,” I swallowed hard. Now why did I say that? A pang of guilt pricked my heart.

“I’m so sorry,” Rob said, and he sounded genuinely sad for me.

“So are you seeing anyone?” I was curious.

Lizzie chats with Rob

“Gosh, Lizzie, it’s great to see you,” Rob said. “I’ve been so stressed out lately between working nights at the dock and days in the factory and weekends at the bar and restaurant that I don’t have much time to date. And then there’s…” he nodded in the direction of the playground. “Carrie. She’s my pride and joy.”

“I’ll bet,” I smiled, watching Carrie clap her hands and squeal excitedly as she slid down the fire pole. “She really is lovely little girl, Rob.”

“Yeah, she’s a beauty,” Rob grinned. “And you, Lizzie…” his tone changed to a flirtatious one. “You are still radiant as ever. I wish things had turned out differently between us. We should grab a cup of coffee sometime. Or dinner. Let me take you to dinner.”

“Uh,” I laughed nervously. “You said it yourself. You’re so busy. When would you have time to take me out?”

I felt pleasant shivers at the thought of going on a date with Rob. What are you doing? What are you thinking, Lizzie! My inner conscience exclaimed. Joseph! Joseph! I willed myself to think of my husband. As my thoughts drifted to my Joseph Joe, I felt my heart twinge. The thought of him made me deeply distressed. I missed him so much I thought I’d break into pieces. Here I was estranged from Joseph and I still wanted him more than anyone.

“And Carrie,” I averted my eyes, my cheeks filling with red.

“She’s older now, and wow! Lizzie, this is like fate,” Rob said softly.

I reluctantly let him hold it. Somehow human touch felt good after being so far removed from Joseph all this time.

“No, no it’s not, Rob,” I waved my hands. “So much has happened.”

Rob and Lizzie chat

“Then why don’t you start at the beginning,” Rob suggested, his hand reaching for mine. “I’m a good listener, remember?”

“I guess,” I sighed.

“Take it slow,” he urged.

“Okay,” I took a deep breath.

Lizzie tells Rob

I opened up. I told Rob everything. I told him how devastated I was when he left. I told him how I planned to call him after Lee’s wedding and then Joseph kissed me. I recalled that kiss with a deep intensity. Somehow I remembered Joseph’s green pullover sweater and his five o’clock shadow and his earnestness as he looked in my eyes and asked me if he had to spell it out for me, and how much he wanted me and I could tell with that kiss.

I told Rob about our subsequent move to the city and how Joseph proposed to me all spontaneously in the park with the sun shining at just the right angle and the swans floating on the lake and the smell of those wild flowers.

I told him about our impromptu wedding ceremony in the gazebo and how we promised to always fight for one another, and how we would give each other a hand if the other ever fell down.

I told him about the fireworks on our wedding night, and how we ended up in the Hollow by mistake and a vampire nearly attacked my husband, and how that same vampire came back later and screwed with Joseph’s mind.

I told him about how happy I was when I first moved into the city, and how Joseph and I danced on the balcony and he carried me to breakfast and how much he tried to please me.

I told him about how I died and it was all a misunderstanding and I became a ghost and Joseph did everything in his power to bring me back.

I told him about how I lost the baby and my memories and how we had been arguing on again and off again for months.

I told him how I ended up in Wintonborough and how I asked my attorney to write up divorce papers I wasn’t even sure I wanted. The more I talked, the more I realized, and the more I shocked myself. The floodgates opened. I was crying when I was finished. I still…love… I still love Joseph. I covered my mouth. Oh gawd! What have I done? 

Lizzie realizes she still loves Joseph

“I think… I think…” It was like a light bulb clicked. “I lost myself,” I said, swiping at my eyes. “And that’s why it’s been so hard for Joseph and I, but now…” I reached for Rob’s hands and squeezed them. “I’m sorry. This is probably not what you wanted to hear, but I have to go.”

“You do?” Rob’s eyes widened. “So after all that, you’re leaving?”

“I have to…” I said, turning back to wave at Carrie. “I apologize for rambling.”

Any feelings I may have had left for Rob evaporated in the moment. All I could think about was Joseph. My husband. If he’d ever forgive me. If he’d take me back.

“Don’t mention it,” he said casually, draping his arms against the back of the park bench and chuckling wryly. “It’s nice to hear about someone else’s problems for once.”

“I’m sorry, Rob,” I walked back and planted a kiss on his cheek. “You really are the best.”

“Um thanks?” he said, awkwardly.

“Telling you everything made me realize now more than ever,” I began. “…that I need to try and fix my marriage.”

“I’m happy for you,” Rob said, swallowing his disappointment.

“Are you sure?” I hesitated only for a moment.

“Really, Liz. Now go get ’em.”


Author Note: Surprise! Surprise! Rob is back in town. Well, not really. He was visiting, but Lizzie kept rolling whims related to Joseph – call Joseph, send Joseph a flirty text, embrace Joseph, woohoo with Joseph, etc. You get the picture. It was the strangest thing, but the best at the same time because it confirmed what I’ve suspected that Lizzie still loves Joseph. To borrow Rob’s phrase, go get him girl! This chapter featured InfraGreen‘s Rob and Carrie Buckley. 

Goal # 20: Tie Up Loose Ends, Part 1 (LASL)

Author Note: You’re getting one of these on the front end of the chapter today. I’ve been going through old playlists and I came across this song by The Fray. It feels so fitting for Joseph and Lizzie right now. They’re drifting. They’re both to blame. Somewhere along the way they lost each other, and now it’s so sad to watch them. Even so, it feels real to the tragedy they experienced. Hang in there, my pixelated friends!

Presley crying

When I returned from my shower, my nephew was hollering up a storm in my bedroom. I frowned. What was Presley doing in here?

“Oh good, you’re back,” I heard Lee’s voice behind me.

My sister saunteered into my bedroom in her pajamas with a bowl full of franks and beans in one hand. She sat down on the edge of the bed, looking nerdier than ever with her thick night glasses. I sighed. I don’t know what made her think the look was good. She could buy some smaller frames. I almost felt guilty criticizing the new mom’s fashion choices, even if it was just in my head.

Lee chatting with Lizzie

“What’s up with Presley?” I asked.

“Oh, I don’t know. I’ve tried everything. I thought the soothing blue of your walls might make him calm down,” Lee shrugged, digging into her late dinner.

“And that would work?” I asked, incredulously.

“I’m desperate,” Lee groaned. “I’ll try anything.”

“So I’m not getting sleep tonight, I guess?” I said, feeling a headache growing behind my eyes.

It wasn’t like I had been sleeping well in the first place.

“Hold the baby,” Lee said.

“The baby?” I repeated.

“Yes, the baby,” Lee said, more forcefully.

Lizzie holds Presley

I picked up my little crying nephew, rubbing my fingers against his little monkey onesie. “There there, little one.”

“Now,” Lee said, between bites of food. “Don’t you and Joseph want to plan for the little ones?”

“Gawd!” I exclaimed, startling Presley.

His little face contorted again and I immediately shushed him. I narrowed my eyes.

“How is that any of your business? Besides, I haven’t seen him in almost two months.”

“Yeah, and when was the last time you got your… you know?” Lee inquired, her eyes sparkling.

I must have flushed a thousand shades of red. “Wha…what… why?” I sputtered. “Lee, take Presley…” I shoved the baby into her arms, dragging the baby bed out into the hallway. “And go.”

“I’m just saying,” Lee smiled knowingly as she cradled her son against her shoulder. “Come on, Presley. Auntie Lizzie is in denial.”

Lizzie sleeping

The truth was I had been really tired lately. When I returned from my appointment with my agent, I collapsed on the bed and slept for ten hours, just yesterday. I blamed my depression, but perhaps there was something more biological in addition to psychological. I called Sugar, and she recommended a good doctor to see in town. She knew someone in every city, I swear. I couldn’t get an appointment for another four days. In the meantime, I’d just have to make do with my energy levels. Holland was in town with her whole family on a vacation, but had made time to see me for our business. The movie was progressing nicely. The lead actress had been cast. Filming locations had been scouted. And the cinematographer had been hired in addition to the director.

Lizzie ill

I wobbled back from my morning walk. It was a grounding for me. A way for me to maintain some normalcy in my life. Dr. Vatore suggested it. I really wished he could see me instead, but he was whisking Anne around the world with his family’s money. Lucky girl! I had nearly fallen on the docks this morning. My dizziness was increasingly worse. I couldn’t figure out why I felt so under the weather. Maybe I caught a bug or something.

Lizzie gets the mail When I went to gather the mail, there it was. The papers. Drawn up by my attorney. It felt so final. But at least we’d be free, right? Free to move on. I was miserable. I’d probably still be miserable, but I needed to be done. I needed this whole charade to be over. Still as I stood outside my sister’s home, letter in hand, I wondered if I had made a mistake. Maybe I should’ve tried counseling. Or at the very least returned a phone call.

Joseph cries over Lizzie

“And you think your life is going one way,” Joseph sniffled, moving his arms around to illustrate a path. “And then it goes another, and you wonder what the plum did I do wrong?”

“Plenty,” Riley muttered under his breath as he grunted against the exercise equipment.

“Excuse me?” Joseph cried, shocked.

“No, I mean…” Riley shook his head, dropping his arms. “Um… You’ve done plenty wrong. You promised to loan me your truck, but you didn’t show last night. I just needed the keys, man. And then you nearly scared Akira half to death with Dulcie last night. She jumped on our bed and you know Akira’s allergic. And you haven’t moved a single box and you said you would.”

Joseph cries

“Oh sorry,” Joseph collapsed on the couch. “It’s not like you’re working either.”

“I am… my muscles,” Riley said, pointing to his arms.

“I meant… in the apartment…” Joseph sighed . “What am I going to do when you move Uptown?”

“I don’t know. Crash on Annie’s couch?” Riley laughed lightly.

“Hey!” Joseph flung an accusing finger in his friend and neighbor’s direction. “This is payback for all those times you were over in our apartment…” he dropped his head in his hands. “…in Lizzie’s and my apartment. Oh gawd! Lizzie!” he cried.

“Aw… Joseph,” Riley said, quietly. “Stay as long as you like.”

Lizzie watches storm

I watched the gathering storm clouds on the horizon. I didn’t really have a plan for what I’d do next, but the impending rainshower seemed to doom any thoughts I had. Nothing I came up with seemed reasonable. Bearable. Livable. I just didn’t know how to make sense of my life anymore. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted or why I should or shouldn’t get a divorce. Maybe it was the easy way out. The brownish-yellow clouds seemed to agree with me as they angrily loomed in my direction.

I sighed, leaning back in the deck chair. I couldn’t live with my sister and her husband forever. I’d probably need to find my own place. I could move in with Ash. She offered since Karleen had moved back in with Munter. However, Ash and John were in a fledgling relationship and I didn’t want to complicate things for them. Riley and Akira would let me move in with them in a heartbeat, but their place was already crowded with Akira’s other roommates. I didn’t want to move in with my parents. I had money. I could afford my own place.

But did I want to? That was the million dollar question. Maybe I rushed everything and this is what my impulsive choices got me. I nursed my Earl Grey Hot, and let the tea warm my hands. I shivered as the wind kicked up. Am I ready to sign that dotted line and finish this? If only my heart and head could get on the same page because rationality screamed to let go and sensibilities cried to hang on. Don’t run away, my heart whispered. Yet I couldn’t bring myself to enter the space I needed to truly feel. It was too painful. And admitting the pain was the first step to healing. I just wasn’t ready yet. Would I ever be? I snatched my cup of tea and headed inside at the first clap of thunder. I’m such a coward.

Joseph lags

Joseph woefully lagged behind his friends as they jogged through Myshuno Meadows. He hadn’t missed a day of jogging, but lately, he just didn’t have the heart for anything.

Nothing was the same anymore. He wasn’t sure which end was up and which was down. The love of his life was slipping away and he was just letting it happen. What’s wrong with you? he grunted internally. Right foot. Left foot. Breathe in. Breathe out. Right foot. Left foot. With each blade of grass pressed into the ground, he felt the finality of his steps and his choices as of late.

Riley tried to convince him that getting out in the open, in the fresh air, would give him perspective. Julian tried to distract him by chatting about video game stats. John urged him to call Lizzie and try and talk things through. Maybe this was a mistake.

Joseph stops

“No, it’s a sign,” Joseph groaned, gripping the sides of his head. “If she wants a divorce, I… I…won’t contest it.”

He hated how final his words sounded. If he wanted change, he needed to make change, but he wasn’t ready to admit his faults. He wasn’t ready to admit his pain. It was hard living in the limelight of his wife when everything he tried seemed to flop as of late. Maybe he should’ve focused less on love and more on his career.

“You can’t give up,” John said. “I know Lizzie. This is pretty drastic for her.”

“I don’t want… to… fight anymore,” Joseph sighed. “We’re not even doing that. This separation is killing us.”

He didn’t add, it’s shredding my heart.

Mac and cheese fridge searching

cooking

They returned to Julian’s apartment. Joseph offered to cook dinner. It was the least he could do for being a burden to his friends. Macaroni and cheese always seemed to cheer him up. It was a good comfort food. He plopped his baseball cap on his head and zipped up his track jacket. Sprinkling a generous amount of pepper into the dinner dish, he wondered how things got so bad.

standing and eating

They stood around and chatted about all sorts of random stuff. Joseph didn’t much pay attention. No one seemed to want to go eat in the dining room. It was just as well. Joseph wasn’t sure he wanted to have a long conversation. He set down his dinner.

“I’m turning in,” he said. “Night guys.”

“Oh… good night,” John said.

As soon as Joseph was out of the room, John immediately began whispering loudly, “You guys, we’ve got to do something.”

“The dude’s miserable,” Julian acknowledged.

“Yeah, and Lizzie is too,” Riley piped up. “If only they would talk to each other…” he set his plate down and slid over the countertop. “The ends are loose, and we’ve gotta tie them up. I have an idea.”


Author Note: Thanks for reading. This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Joseph, simscognito‘s Riley, and  MINEZ‘ Julian. 

Goal #19: Find Hope on the Horizon, Part 2 (LASL)

Lizzie cries over pork and beans

Over the next week, I tried all sorts of things to feel better, but my brain felt foggy and my heart ached. The thought of losing Joseph was devastating, but the thought of being the first one to make a move made me nauseous. I know Lee and Sammy were concerned about me, but I didn’t want their pity. I got up. I got dressed. I watched the sunrise. I brushed my teeth. I fixed my hair. I put on makeup. I ate, though my meals often tasted salty if I started crying. Food shouldn’t make me cry. And pork and molasses beans are already salty.

I was functional though. I even editing the final manuscript of my new fantasy novella, Carnival Clockwork, about a magic carousel that moved on its own after the clock struck midnight and carried riders off into a dreamworld where feelings were physical beings. The character of Love made me depressed as she watched the Ferris wheel operator during the day from the mural on the carousel. She cared about him from a distance, but he didn’t know who she really was. Only when he rode the carousel at midnight could she appear and be with the man of her dreams. I was nearly finished with the story. After incorporating my editor’s notes, I could send it to the publisher. I wasn’t sure I wanted a physical copy of this book. Not everyone gets a happy ending. Love is a stupid name. She needs another one. 

After writing all day, I’d go for walks in the city. Wintonborough was a lovely town with cobblestone streets and sweeping oceanic views and gorgeous foliage. It was unseasonably warm, so the trees had yet to change to their autumn hues, choosing instead to remain various shades of my favorite color. Sometimes I’d take the cable car to downtown, or ride the ferry to the island, or walk to the local market. Lee started accompanying me on my nightly strolls to the corner store.

Lee and Lizzie talk “How’s your book coming?” Lee inquired.

Novella, Lee,” I corrected, feeling annoyed and wanting to be taken seriously.

“Sorry. Novella.”

“It’s getting published tomorrow.”

“That’s fantastic!” Lee exclaimed. “How’s the movie deal coming along?”

Twilight Boulevard?” I shrugged. “Okay as can be expected. We’re still hunting for the lead actress.”

“You mean, you didn’t take the part?” Lee teased. “Movie deals take time. It’ll get done eventually.”

“Yeah,” I sighed. “Do you mind if we don’t talk?”

“Why? I thought you were excited about the movie,” Lee seemed completely oblivious.

“I am,” I swallowed hard. “…but I don’t really want to talk right now.”

Truth was I didn’t want the conversation to go in the direction it always did – Joseph. He still called and texted and emailed. He even wrote me a letter. But he hadn’t visited. In all the romantic movies and literature ever, the guy always chases the love of his life and brings her home. Why hadn’t Joseph come? He hadn’t texted as much in the last few days. I wondered if he was giving up. I guess reality isn’t at all like a fantasy. I just wanted to see his face again, and I was too stubborn to be the first one to budge.

Lizzie walks away Instead I wrote about my desires and my fears and my dreams in my books. I managed to outline yet another story, a possible sequel to Clockwork Carnival. My working title was “I Still Care” but that felt cheesy and dumb. It was the story of the afterlife and a ghost caught between two worlds or two planes of existence and about the man that keeps her tethered to this dimension. Somehow I felt like I was drawing on my experiences as a ghost. It was my way of processing what I did remember and the feelings I had prior to leaving this life for the next. Caelen said the process of writing was therapeutic. I wasn’t so sure because every note writing session ended in tears.

“Oh Liz, you should just call him. He misses you.”

“He’s on the other side of the country and he hasn’t bothered once to come.”

“You haven’t gone home.”

“It’s not home. It’s a place where we shared space. Nothing more.”

“Lizzie, you’re blowing this out of proportion,” Lee clicked her tongue.

I exploded. “I think I’m done with you lecturing me for the night.”

Stomping away, my boots clicking against the stones, I could hear Lee sigh. I know she meant well, but her prying was painful.

“Okay, I’m picking up Presley from day care,” she added, softly. “I’m sorry, Lizzie.”

“Sure you are,” I muttered under my breath.

I hope she didn’t hear me. Once she was out of line of sight, I collapsed on a park bench. This wasn’t the way life was supposed to be. Where was the hope that things would get better? A pigeon cooed and landed on the armrest. I tried to shoo the bird away, but it only hopped closer. What is this? I narrowed my eye. A tiny piece of paper lay attached to the bird’s leg. Hesitantly, I reached out and removed the note. Upon realizing who the sender was, I smiled.

Lizzie games with Riley

“You know you could’ve called like a normal person,” I teased.

A half-hour later, I was deeply engrossed in a soccer game on the computer with Riley.

Aww… but where’s the fun with that?” he said, his goalie blocking my latest shot.

I shook my head. Riley always did have a flair for the dramatic. My friend knew how to make me smile. I always loved that about him.

“Where’s Akira tonight?” I asked, and then winced.

That was a dumb question. It could easily lead to chatting about Joseph. I shook my head. I was probably over-analyzing things.

He’s got a CD signing at the bookstore,” Riley replied. “A wine and crackers thing.”

“I thought you loved that kind-of stuff,” I remarked.

“Sure, but you needed me tonight, Liz,” he said.

“Aww… thanks… now I’m gonna kick your freezer bunny butt right on down the field,” I smirked, posing my shot and the releasing the mouse.

SCORE!

Joe catches Riley in hall Riley only played for an hour with Lizzie before she begged off for the night. It was good to hear his friend’s voice. He missed her, but he understood why she was away. In the beginning, he thought the separation might do her some good. Now he was wondering if supporting her choice had been a good idea. Still, he kept his mouth shut. For once… he smirked to himself as he slipped out of his apartment to go for an evening jog.

“Hello there, man… my man… uh… hey Riley,” Joseph was standing in the hallway, almost as if he had been waiting for him, awkwardly fumbling over his words.

“Hi Joseph,” Riley said, trying to remain neutral in his tone.

“How are you… this… uh… fine evening?” Joseph said, stiffly.

“It’s okay, Joseph. You don’t have to be weird around me,” Riley sighed.

Joseph protests

“I don’t want you to break the code,” Joseph waved his arms.

“What code?” Riley made a face.

“You know… the BFF code. I know it’s not cool to ask you to snitch on… her…” he dropped his head, unable to complete the sentence. Wife. I want to say wife. But it feels weird and I don’t deserve her. 

“You want to know how she is?” Riley asked. “Morose. Mournful. Sad. Splenetic. Pensive. Crestfallen…”

“Okay… okay… I get it,” Joseph said.

Riley shook his head. “I don’t think you do. She’s not herself, Joseph. You need to fix this.”

“I’m trying,” Joseph sniffled. “She won’t return my calls or messages.”

“Then you need to escalate,” Riley slapped Joseph’s shoulder. “And dude… you need to work out,” he teased. “You’re getting soft.”

Joseph grimaced.

Joseph and Riley in hall

“That’s the look!” Riley teased as he flexed. “Come on. I’ll race you around Thymes Square.”

“Then can we get some dinner?” Joseph asked. “I don’t like eating alone.”

“Sure, I’ll buy,” Riley offered. “Actually…” he held up a finger to indicate Joseph should wait, ran into his apartment, and returned momentarily. “Akira will buy. I’ve got his credit card for the month.”

“What?” Joseph replied as they stepped into the elevator. “How’d you manage that?”

“Oh, he lost at strip poker,” Riley smirked.

“Really?” Joseph shook his head. “What would you have needed to pay if you lost?”

“Oh,” Riley narrowed his eyes and grinned devilishly as the elevator doors closed. “I never lose.”


Author Notes: Thanks for reading everyone. This chapter featured LegacySims2017‘s Joseph Simself and simscognito‘s Riley.