Zahra had been sleeping beside Fabian and going through the days as his wife, but something wasn’t right, and she knew it. The more she thought about it, the more it seemed impossible for this marriage to work. The glue that bound them together, their mutual passion for science and logic, paled in comparison to their social differences. Fabian was at his best in the situations that frightened her the most. In a room filled with people, he bloomed while she wilted. How could she believe that a man who was ultimately so alien to her could ever be faithful?
It had to end. The question was when and how.
“Fabian?” she asked one evening. “Do you have a minute? I think we need to talk.”
“Sure thing!” he said. “Did you know our whole family is having a birthday this weekend? I wanted you to know I planned a party and invited everyone!”
“You what?” she asked.
“A party! Shouldn’t there big a big shindig with so many birthdays happening together? Wait, did I do something wrong? Why do you look like that?”
“No, it’s OK,” Zahra said quietly. Then she slipped into the office to escape.
The next day, it really was quite a party, and everyone really was there.
Charles’ best friend Jabari Keaton made it. So did Genvieve Goth, a nice girl from his class. (She managed to avoid every single picture, I see, but trust me. She was there.) Jake Roland even crashed the party to pine over Shanni, but he didn’t bother her.
Adjo and Toya were expecting their first child already. It was going to be a girl! Adjo told everyone who would listen. He did everything but hand out cigars.
Toya, when Adjo wasn’t watching, showed a bit of her unsavory side.
(I didn’t realize until after they got married that Toya is, in fact, Evil like her dad.)
Hank Goddard had just found out that Pauline was cheating on him, and he had a long sob story for anyone who would listen.
Fabian was first to blow out his candles.
As he made his wish, he looked at Zahra and winked. She looked away. It hurt to know everything was wrong when he was so sure everything was right.
He inherited his father’s nose.
And with his genes, it wasn’t terribly surprising that he needed glasses.
(I think I am in love with teen Charles. He’s just the most adorably geeky-looking sim I’ve ever seen. Though his personality is almost as far from geek as you can get.)
(Random toddler and ghost spam :).)
She was beautiful, and the spitting image of her father.
As the party wound down, Zahra took some time with Adjo alone. “O I don’t want to rub your nose it in, but do you know your wife and her dad have a ballot-stuffing racket going on? They’re going to throw an election to get Toya into office.”
Adjo just smiled blandly. “I love whom I love,” he said. “Did I tell you we’re going to have a baby girl?”
Meanwhile, Israel Bauer, Layla’s dear boss Antonio’s orphan son, was picking Toya’s brain about Shanni.
“Is she seeing anyone? I know I’m younger than she is, but she was dating Mortimer, and he’s my age!”
When the guests left, Charles immediately pulled Lancelot aside. “Teach me everything, he said.”
So he did.
(The Train ability is awesome.)
“It’s your turn now,” Fabian pointed out to Zahra. “Don’t you want to blow out the candles too?”
“No, that’s all right,” Zahra said. “Celebrations are really your thing, not mine.”
So she aged up alone.
The day was over, and here she was in bed with Fabian again, no closer to telling him the truth.
And she couldn’t help but see Fabian in her daughter’s face every time they spent time together.
Charles had lost his father forever. How could she do anything like that to Ada?
At last, Zahra’s maternity leave was over. As they prepared for work in the morning, She told Fabian the truth.
“I’ve decided I’m going to stay with you.”
Fabian blinked. “I didn’t know it was still in question.”
“I don’t understand you,” she said quietly. “I don’t think you really understand me. But we have a beautiful daughter who I can’t bear to hurt.”
“That doesn’t sound like an expression of deep confidence in our marriage.”
“I’ve never really dated,” Zahra said. “I don’t think I know how to be married. I know you’ve tried, but I don’t know how to trust you.”
“What can I do?” Fabian asked. “When I was dating Agnes and Laura and Marie, I said… I should just shut up now, shouldn’t I?”
Zahra looked down at her plate. “What you just said is the whole problem. You’ve been happy with so many people. How can I ever believe that you are happy with just me?”
The carpool honked. Zahra dashed off. Work at last!
Fabian couldn’t leave it like this. He couldn’t stay with Zahra while knowing that she was so unhappy. But what could he do?
After work, he found himself heading to the spa.
“Make it big and bright,” he told Mildred the tatoo artist. “I want everyone to see it.”
Zahra’s name, across a heart. That shouldn’t be too ambiguous.
“I don’t know what I can do to earn back your trust,” he told Zahra that evening. “This might be a stupid gesture, but it’s not a wedding band I can take off or a commitment I can forget to mention. Anyone I see will know I’m with you. The past is the past, but going forward, you’re the only person I want to be with.”
“I love you so much,” he whispered in her ear as he held her close.
Zahra was silent for a long time, but she clung to him with something words could never express. “I love you too,” she said at last. “All right. Let’s start over. But if I ever catch you stepping out on me, I’m going to cut your sensitive bits into little pieces.”
And Zahra didn’t usually use metaphors. She might mean that literally. Fabian gulped. “All right then,” he said. “Let’s start over.”
And so they did.
( Zahra and Fabian’s cheating thread is finally resolved! What really happened here is that I THOUGHT their relationship had been repaired, but in the middle of the party, the betrayal moodlet expired and the game announced that she had decided to divorce him. The “Break Up” action stayed in her queue for a while, but it was superseded by the series of birthday cake age-ups, and eventually it was dropped. I decided that the birthdays had made her change her mind, but that didn’t seem to be enough to get their marriage back to a good place. So here you go.
If she’d divorced him, I don’t think she’d’ve been able to make him move out. Barring any contradictory wishes, I figured he’d stay in the house, help raise Ada, and keep trying to get Zahra to take him back.
Fabian and Zahra didn’t wish to be mean to each other or any of the stuff that happened to other people. I realized later this is because they are both Good, so they can’t wish to do mean things. They just didn’t have any wishes about each other at all, except that Fabian started wishing to have another child — NOT the time for that! I was lulled into a false sense that everything was OK. I also learned that breaking it off with a romantic interest once the cheating accusation has been made doesn’t actually help. Still, it made for nice story. We’ll be seeing more Agnes.
Oh, yeah, and when I dug through Fabian’s memories, I found out that he was a PLAYER. He was with three women other than Agnes who were not current love interests. Thus the throwaway line to Zahra. I have a custom mod to keep important and romantic memories b/c there are some things about the memory system that are actually pretty cool.)