Fabian woke up in the morning, and Zahra wasn’t there. Trembling with panic, he dashed down the stairs to find Ada. His daughter was sleeping in her crib. Zahra was sleeping beside Adjo in Shanni’s old teenager bed. He let out a sigh of relief.
Zahra’s eyes snapped open. “You,” she said.
“I was afraid you’d…” Fabian began breathlessly. “I want you to know how sorry I am.”
She got up and made the bed, refusing to look at him. “You said that last night.” Then she headed to the shower.
“But if you would just calm down and –“
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Zahra shouted.
Fabian left her alone.
(Note: Do not EVER tell a betrayed Sim to calm down.)
He stumbled into the kitchen. His wife was ready to kill him, and now he had to go to work and pretend everything was all right on about three hours of sleep. (For real. That fight lasted almost all night, and his energy bar is still orange. I thought maybe espresso would help, but the poor guy hit the crashing moodlet before the work day was over.)
The rest of the family drifted in for breakfast while he was drinking his chemical courage. He didn’t want to see any of them.
“Hi,” Shanni said softly as she sat down.
“Do you know what happened last night?” Fabian asked.
“Most of the neighborhood knows what happened last night.”
“Wonderful. Hey, Charles.”
“I don’t think I’m supposed to be talking to you,” Charles said and suddenly became absorbed in his homework. Fabian winced.
“Zahra’s the most important thing that has ever happened to me,” Fabian said. “I have to find a way to win her trust back. You’re her sister, Shanni. How do I convince her I’m for real?”
Shanni sighed. “I don’t really know what’s going on, and maybe it’s better if I don’t know for now. The rumors about you and Agnes have hit the salon, and they’re pretty bad. I won’t lie to you. Zahra’s not all that quick to forgive. Do what you can to make it right and show her that it won’t happen again. Give her some space, but not too much.”
“No problem,” Fabian said bitterly.
The drive to work was quiet and awkward.
“Heard you cheated on your wife,” his boss remarked. “Make sure you keep that kind of stuff out of your job.”
You’ve got to be kidding me.
When Fabian got home from work, Zahra was sitting on the back porch with Ada.
“I’m sowwwy,” Ada whimpered.
“Sorry!” Zahra said. “Sorry for what!”
“You and Daddy are mad!”
Zahra swept Ada into her arms. “We’re not mad at you,” she said fiercely. “Never at you.”
“She’s not a threat to you,” Fabian said softly. “She never was.”
Zahra cuddled Ada. “Why don’t you play in your room for a while. I’ll talk to Daddy out here.” When she’d closed the door to the children’s room behind her, she looked Fabian in the eyes. “OK, talk.”
“We’ve been seeing each other for years. It was a no-strings-attached thing. We knew we weren’t right for each other. I guess after you and I got together, we didn’t really stop to think that things needed to change. But once you were in the picture, we never… you know….”
“I don’t think I know anything,” Zahra said.
“We never had sex,” Fabian spit out. “We just talked.”
“Look, you can have the bed tonight. I’ll sleep on the sofa. I can give you all the space you need. But please don’t throw our marriage away. I’ll do anything I can to make this right.”
Zahra thought for a minute. “Thanks for the bed,” she said. “Ada needs to be fed and get ready to sleep. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Fabian watched her walk up the stairs, then put on a smile and turned into Ada’s room.
They had a beautiful daughter together. If there was nothing else, that had to be the tie that binds.
Zahra lay awake for a long time, wondering when it would be clear to her what to do.
(Seriously, according to the reputation page, Fabian and Agnes were a thing for *14 days*, but never got above romantic interest, so I didn’t know about it. As of this writing, more than a Sim-week in the future, she’s still listed as his longest relationship. I didn’t want to wrap this up in an, “It’s all a misunderstanding” storyline. Those get old. So, since the game thinks Fabian and Agnes were a thing, I’m saying they really were. But I figure that since he’d neither talked to nor seen Agnes since he came under my control, I decided it was safe to say he hadn’t actually committed infidelity. Though, it’s kind of amusing that the game has given him the cheater reputation for cheating on Agnes with Zahra, since Agnes came first, and he HAS obviously been fooling around with Zahra.)
BTW: I’m knocking out a few posts now because I’m going be gone for four days to a wedding. First air travel with the baby. Wish me luck!)