When work nudged her toward more work with vertebrate life forms, Zahra discovered another common interest with Charles.
They’d never needed conversation, which was good because Zahra was so bad at it. But their silent time together said paragraphs.
When he wasn’t fishing, Charles got Granddad to train Jabari Keaton in Sim-Fu.
Finally, someone his age to spar with.
(With the train ability, you can compel random NPCs to learn skills! Awesome!)
Ada, on the other hand, discovered her Easy Bake Oven.
When she had all the muffins she could carry, she went and found Fabian, who was sitting at the computer as usual. “Come on, Dad! You’re going to teach me entrepreneurship.”
“Queen to queen 4… What? I’m going to teach you what?”
“Oh, come on, Dad. I need an adult with me.”
So she dragged Fabian to the square and set up shop. Once Fabian got over the unpleasantness of being dragged out of his nice comfortable house, he found a wealth of opportunity.
Harvey Ursine, for example, couldn’t avoid talking to a guy whose brother-in-law just happened to be married to his daughter.
(And Fabian becomes the first character to actually MEET Harvey.)
Harvey was waiting for his new squeeze, Zelda Mae, to get off work. He took up with her within days of Rachel’s death. But you had to give the old bastard one thing — he never stepped out on her while she was alive. At least not so that anybody found out.
Mortimer Goth showed up at the theater on a date with Madison Langerak.
But he spent most of it complaining about Shanni.
Ada was a born saleswoman, and the crowd around her muffin stand lasted stretched down the block.
Fabian had to drag her home past her bedtime. “But there are still muffins left!” she cried.
And in all of this ebb and flow of daily life, Shanni was nowhere to be found.
She’d barely been home since things started between her and Agnes. She certainly hadn’t slept there.
There was a whole world to Agnes that she never let people see.
It only took a visit to the dark, half-decorated second bedroom to set Shanni thinking on the life Agnes had expected before her husband’s unfortunate accident turned her world upside down. No wonder she was so bitter now.
As she was coming down for breakfast, Agnes dashed out of the downstairs bathroom, looking embarrassed. “Don’t go in there dear. I’ve already called a repair man.”
When the repairman arrived, though, Shanni was in for a surprise.
“Adjo!” She gave her brother a big hug. “It’s been too long. Since when are you fixing toilets?”
(Seriously. If I knew Twallan was going to appoint Adjo as the down repairman, I would have taken a screen shot of Agnes breaking the toilet. It was funny.)
“Since Toya had another baby. You heard, right? Another girl. Her name is Starr.”
Shanni nodded. “Yeah, I heard.” She held her tongue on Adjo’s choice of names. “Congratulations! But appliance repair? I thought you were going to stay with busking and avoid working for The Man.”
Adjo looked to the floor. “Well, that doesn’t exactly pay for a growing family, does it?” The edge to his voice was something Shanni had never heard before. “Toya’s home on maternity leave, and I don’t want her asking her dad for money. I got work as a Roadie at the theater, and I’m picking up odd jobs where I can.”
There were bags under Adjo’s eyes, and he seemed pale and wan under his dark complexion. Shanni could barely find her voice. Adjo had always been so sure of what he wanted. She’d never entertained the possibility that things would be less than perfect for him. “Wow,” she said at last. “I’m sorry.”
Adjo forced a smile that quickly became the real deal. He was tired, not beat. “But enough about me,” he said. “What the hell are YOU doing here?”
Shanni flushed. “Um. About that. I’m kind of here with Agnes.”
Adjo blinked. “With Agnes? You meant WITH with?”
“Yeah. I haven’t told any of the family. I didn’t know how.”
“If you and Agnes are a couple, what’s so hard to say?”
“Well, it’s just that, I don’t know. People expect me to behave a certain way. And good grief, Zahra’s so straitlaced. She’ll completely freak out to see me with another woman.”
Adjo took her by the shoulders. “Look, the real question here is whether she makes you happy. If she does, then we’re all happy for you. Simple as that.”
After he left, Shanni kept on thinking. Adjo might be having a hard time, but he was still people-wise in a way she would never be. He’d taken all the confused thoughts dancing around in her head and made everything clear.
She was happy.
Shanni had dated cops and criminals, nice guys and bastards, smart and dumb, relaxed and ambitious. Nothing had ever stuck. Maybe she hadn’t found the right guy because he wasn’t a guy.
Suddenly, she knew what she wanted.
“Shanni, where are you?” Agnes called. “Come have breakfast.”
“Agnes,” Shanni said from the foyer. “Could you come here? I wanted to ask you something.”
When she got down on one knee, Agnes went white. “You don’t want to. You can’t possibly mean it.”
“I’ve never meant anything more in my life,” Shanni said, and she meant it.
Agnes held her breath while Shanni put the ring on her finger.
“But you might change your mind. When you meet my husband’s ghost–“
“Hush,” Shanni said. “Wait till you meet my nephew.”
(I’m so glad you guys enjoyed Shanni’s big reveal! So here’s the gameplay story behind it. Shanni is a Hopeless Romantic. It turns out that if you ever want to play a Wishacy with no challenge to it, make your heir a Hopeless Romantic. Shanni had tons of romantic wishes, but they were almost never for specific people. The only guy she ever spontaneously had a romantic wish for was actually Michael Bachelor, her first boyfriend. All other times, she just rolled high-point wishes to be in a relationship, and if she talked to anyone for very long, she’d roll a wish to kiss him. So she wasn’t going to tell me who she wanted to settle down with after she fulfilled her LTW. I had to look for cues from the story.
And, well, Agnes was one great big cue. She kept popping up in Shanni’s life. More than that, her “secret” trait is ALSO Hopeless Romantic. It seemed like the two of them were a perfect match that was just a little bit less than obvious.
Now, the Heartbreaker LTW is phrased, “Be the girlfriend of 10 different sims.” It does NOT say, “Break up with 10 different sims.” So I figured that once Shanni became Agnes’ girlfriend, her LTW should be fulfilled. Except that once they made a commitment, she didn’t get it. I was getting pretty ticked off. Agnes was the choice. I didn’t want her to have to break up with the love of her life, wait for things to cool down, and then start the relationship up again. And it wasn’t FAIR because that’s not what the LTW said. Even more annoyingly, her commitment tally was 10/10. She needed to be the girlfriend of 10 different sims; the tally SAID she was the girlfriend of 10 different sims, and yet she hadn’t been granted the wish.
In a fit of impulse, I had Shanni propose, since that’s what she was going to do anyway. And lo-and-behold, as soon as Agnes accepted, Shanni got her LTW. It appears that the actual wish is to STOP being the girlfriend of 10 different sims. How you stop being a girlfriend can go either way :).
But wow. Heartbreaker is one heck of a LTW to try to complete with spare. She barely went to work the last couple of days because I was ready to be done and just rolling her through the relationships :).)