Fabian couldn’t be more delighted about Ada.
And Zahra couldn’t walk near him without getting a dose of what he thought of her.
He told everyone who would listen, over and over again, that he’d never been happier in his life.
Soon, it was Ada’s birthday
She grew into a vivacious little toddler with wisps of her father’s jet-black hair and the light green eyes — Susie’s light green eyes — that both parents shared.
Her first word was “play.”
But she meant something different than her parents assumed.
Fabian was working long hours as a beat cop, and even when he wasn’t working he was pulled off to work-related events like hangout time with Hank Goddard and the others at the diner. He spent a lot of time with his family, but as the long days of maternity leave crept on, Zahra began to feel his absence. When she wasn’t watching Ada, she was in the garden. Every day, she brought armloads of produce into town to sell to the farmer’s market.
It was there that she saw two people whispering to each other and casting her strange looks.
“What?” she demanded. “You’ve never seen fresh flame fruit before?”
“You’re Fabian Branch’s wife, aren’t you?” one of the asked.
“Sample,” she said, looking down her high-bridged Egyptian nose at them. “He took my name.”
“And I assume you’re all right with his… extracurricular activities?”
Zahra’s eye’s widened. “His what?”
She was waiting for Fabian when he came home from work.
“Agnes Crumplebottom! You’ve been seen with THE Agnes Crumplebottom? Behind my back!”
Fabian was dumbfounded. “Wha… huh? I what?”
“Don’t play stupid with me! You haven’t even been trying to hide it. People talk.”
Then it seemed to sink in.
“Oh my God, Zahra. I’m so sorry. It’s not how you think!”
“All right, then, how do I think, and how is it different?”
Fabian was silent.
Zahra’s throat caught. “Are you seeing her?”
“I’m so sorry,” he whispered. “I love you. I love Ada. I never meant to do anything to hurt you.”
Zahra couldn’t even cry. Her voice was flat when she answered. “And it never occurred to you that cheating on your wife would hurt your family.”
“I….” He just stopped, shaking his head. “I’m sorry.”
Fabian was exhausted from a hard day of work followed by a harder evening, and he fell asleep immediately. Zahra just stood there staring at him, unable to face being so physically close to the man she had trusted absolutely.
She went downstairs to find Ada.
What would become of them now? What kind of future could she possibly have with her beloved daughter’s father?
After a while, she couldn’t think anymore.
The big decisions would have to wait until tomorrow.
(Oooookay. So the way this runs out on the other side of the computer screen is like this:
Aww. Fabian and Zahra are so cute together. And it’s sweet that he’s been waiting for her all this time! Let’s look in his relationship bar. Oh, I guess he wasn’t just pining away. There’s a heart under Agnes Crumplebottom. Sly dog. I guess they had a thing before he got hitched.
Hmmm. Didn’t I read something about the Generations patch doing something with romantic reputation? Those leftover romantic interests can really screw up your PC characters’ marriage. I’m supposed to do something about it then. How do you get rid of a romantic interest? Things seem to be going fine, so I’ll just have him call her up one day and…