Losing Lancelot came down on the Samples like an anvil.
Everyone was struggling and trying not to drag everyone else down.
They all soldiered through the days. But it was Layla who found herself in that empty bed every night.
She tried to put on a brave face, but she wasn’t really fooling anyone.
Everyone wanted to cheer her up. Charles tried his usual fare.
But she barely noticed.
Ada and Fabian dragged her to the art museum to get her out of the house.
Ada was in her element. “It’s so golden,” she whispered, “and the tiny golden men are singing to me.”
Fabian ran into none other than Mayor Tamara Donner. He was so bowled over that he followed her into the bathroom to interview her.
And Layla tried. She really did.
“What’s this thing again? Dadaist? Dada is a movement?”
When she got home, she declared that all she really wanted was a nice bubble bath. Before anyone else could react, Charles had teleported to the to the grocery store to pick up some bath soap.
And got himself picked up for being out after curfew.
When he got home, Zahra really let him have it.
Zahra was terrifying and unforgiving when she was angry.
But Charles was only trying to help. He carried around his resentment until it exploded.
“Do you have any idea the kind of energy your research equipment is wasting? Do you even care?? We all have to live on this planet too!”
Layla listened to the arguing going on downstairs and wracked her brain.
The grief and tension were ripping the family apart at the seams. Lance of all people would have been crushed. She had to think of something to draw them back together.
“The twins’ birthday is coming up,” she told the household. “It’s been so long since we were all together as a family. I think we should throw them a party.”
Everyone jumped to make it so.
The next evening, the Sample house was busting at the seams.
“I don’t know if Agnes said anything,” Shanni confided in Toya as they arrived. “I’m pregnant! Zahra referred us to a doctor who does work for the Science Center.”
“That’s fabulous!” Toya crowed. “Now that money isn’t so tight, Adjo and I are thinking about trying for another one. Let me tell you about babies….”
Adjo slipped away while the women gossiped to pay his respects.
There was hustle and bustle of catching up on everyone’s lives. Adjo and Toya had weathered the lean times, and Adjo was now in business for himself again as a local band manager. “These kids have talent like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “All they need is one break, and we’re talking national attention, big name label, their voice on every radio station. This is for real.”
While the blood Samples were laughing and comparing notes, Agnes drifted up the stairs alone. Fabian watched her go. He followed and found her sitting on the upstairs couch, staring into space.
“This seat taken?” he asked, not waiting for an answer.
“You!” Agnes said. “What are you doing here? If your wife finds us alone, she’ll cut your balls off.”
“Yeah,” he said amiably. “So she tells me. So what are you doing here all alone?”
“It’s just a little intense down there. I needed a breather.”
“Tell me about it. How’s married life?”
Agnes sighed. “Complicated. It was so much easier with Erik. Or maybe I never got a chance to find out how hard it would be before he died. Don’t get me wrong. I love Shanni. But she’s… intense. And Shanni pregnant is almost more than I can handle. A woman with such a delicate mood should never have a condition that gives her extra mood swings.”
“I know what you mean,” Fabian said. “Monogamy is a lot of work, isn’t it? You might have noticed that Zahra’s the irresistible force AND the unmovable object. I wouldn’t change a thing, but sometimes I wonder how my life could have been different.”
“Yeah,” Agnes said. “I hear you.”
“So we’ve come to this,” Fabian said softly.
Agnes flinched. “Come to what?”
“Old friends. Sometimes old lovers make the best kind.”
She laughed. “Especially old lovers you’d never take back.”
“I deserved that. I think the cake is ready down there. Let’s get going before someone comes looking for us, and I lose my balls.”
And there were laughing, cheering, wishes pondered, and candles blown out.
Under the gaze of old loved ones.
“The thing about the orbital mind control lasers is that most people can’t see or hear them,” Ada told Shanni. “Except me. When the lasers are on, I can feel the heat on the back of my head.”
“I know just what you mean,” Shanni answered eagerly. “Like the invisible words the government inserts into news articles to control the way you think about them.”
“I had no idea you’d understand!”
It was early morning before they could bring themselves to say goodbye. The cloud had lifted from the house. There was cleaning to be done in the morning, but now was the time to unwind.
Layla headed to her empty bedroom with a feeling of peace and contentment. The feeling grew inside her until she realized it was something else entirely.
Layla’s time had come too, and she was ready to embrace it.
It was hard to say goodbye.
But this time, the ones left behind were ready to take comfort in each other.
Who is remembered, lives.
And then there were four. Layla left the household also at age 104 with Lifetime Happiness of (sob) 190,000. If I’d really processed how long she was going to live, I could have nudged her to 200,000. I tried at the end, but it wasn’t soon enough. Plus, she went the last day and a half without generating any wishes. Her last big wish was to throw that birthday party. Still, I don’t think there was enough time to get to the goal even if she’d been more helpful.
This is the last post for Generation 3. It seems kind of fitting that it should end with the farewell of Generation 2.
Generation 3 has been by far the most engaging generation so far. Everyone became a well-rounded personality. Everyone had a story arc. It felt more like a story than either 1 or 2. And you can certainly tell by how many posts I managed to generate for them. 45. Damn.
Oh, yeah, and it turns out that both Insane and Neurotic sims have the “Talk about Conspiracies” conversation option, and it gives them a relationship boost instead of a hit. Shanni and Ada really do understand each other in a special way :).
On to Charles!