Tag Archive | layla

3.45 Togetherness

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.

Then cake.

And dancing.

“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!

3.44 Pinnacle

Layla had been the Executive Chef of the Little Corsican Bistro for ages. As she grew older, the work became more and more familiar, and it took very little effort to keep the restaurant at the quality it had become known for. Layla began to wonder why she was even bothering to show up for work. She wasn’t getting any younger. She should have retired a long time ago. What kept her coming back?

She did something she’d never done before. She called her boss, the owner of the restaurant, out to meet her outside of work hours.

“I don’t think the bistro needs me anymore,” Layla confessed. “I was thinking of retiring.”

“Of course you can if you want to,” the director admitted, “but I see just the opposite. You have real culinary genius, and if you let yourself apply it, you could take us places we’ve never been before.”

Layla thought about those words overnight, and in the morning she’d made her decision. She sat down and designed a menu that wove the cuisine of her childhood with the bistro’s usual fare. Italian-Egyptian fusion.

Sunset Valley was bowled over. Little Corsican Bistro made national, then international reviews.

Layla was a celebrated 5-star chef.

Her boss had been right. She had more potential than she’d ever expressed. And now that it was expressed, she felt at peace. She’d really done all there was to do in the culinary arts.

She made the call and retired from the bistro.

Lancelot was delighted. He’d never had a proper job, and he’d never really understood her desire to have a career. Now that she’d set it aside, he was eager to enjoy all the extra time together.

They celebrated in proper fashion.

Fabian helped her celebrate by fixing a breakfast she had no need to help with.

Layla felt so free she could sing. There were all sorts of new skills and hobbies to explore in her retirement.

To start with, she took a writing class and sat down to write her memoirs.

All was right in the Sample household. Zahra and Fabian were reconnecting.

Charles finally made the honor roll! Being visible didn’t hurt a bit.

“Hey Granddad,” Ada called to Lancelot after school one day. “I’ve been writing some adventure fiction. Could you take a look?”

“Absolutely, my girl!” Lance crowed, his chest puffed out that his expertise was called for.

And that’s when the tingling sensation washed over him.

It was a warm, fluffy feeling, almost like flying.

Lancelot Sample’s time had finally come.

Surrounded by his family, he said his goodbyes.

“Don’t cry,” he tried to tell them. “It’s actually kind of fun!”

But he was already past speaking. They’d have to figure it out on their own.

Without regret, and proud of all he left behind, Lancelot passed into the Netherworld.


(Woo! Lancelot died at the age of 104 with ~260 happiness points. Even though Susie was the founder, I spent most of her lifetime figuring out how to play the game. Lance has been with me for a long time, and it’s hard to imagine playing the legacy without him. I looked up how long a Vegetarian can live, and it’s up to 15 days longer than normal sims, so I was starting to warm up to the idea of him getting to hold his great-grandchild. In the end, he didn’t make it nearly that far, and not even as crazy long as some Vegetarians. I read in someone else’s legacy of a Veggie who lived to be 111!

I’m gonna miss you, Lance.)

3.43 You Know It’s Time to Leave When…

Zahra wandered out of the bedroom, down the hall, and into the kitchen. She was ravenous, and it had been a long night.

Fabian relaxed on the sofa with a book on logic. “Morning dear,” she said absently to him as she passed.

“Morning, love,” Fabian said, looking up. “You don’t happen to think that something is different do you?”

“Different?” Zahra asked, flushing. “What do you think is different?”

“It’s just that we seem to have misplaced the entire kitchen.”

Zahra looked around. “Oh, it’s not that bad! It’s just a few counters… and a stove… and the coffee maker… The refrigerator’s fine!”

“Have you been playing with the space-time continuum again?”

“No! Well, maybe just a little.”

Fabian sighed, setting down his book. “I understand your dedication to science and everything. It’s great. But would you please keep the experiments a the lab?”

“It wasn’t just an experiment,” Zahra began defensively. “I needed– AIGH! Charles! Would you stop that!”

“Ha, Mom! It gets you every time.”

Fabian glanced at the science book he’d left on the sofa. “I’ve been reading up on this stuff. All the mad science is making this place unstable. I think it’s time we moved. There’s nothing about space-time damage on the disclosure form, so we shouldn’t have not declare anything dangerous when we put it on the market. If we wait until the place HAS collapsed, our homeowner’s insurance won’t cover a thing.”

Zahra deflated. “All right. Let’s go house-hunting.”

Fabian grinned. “I have a better idea. Why don’t you collect up your experimental equipment and take it back to the lab. The kids and I will go house-hunting.”

So Fabian, Ada, and Charles picked a place to live.

And soon they were all packed and on their way.

The new place was an old estate in the architecture of the English countryside. It was directly on the beach and surprisingly close to downtown. Fabian had done a pretty good job.

They arrived on the evening of Ada’s birthday, with just enough time to celebrate properly.

And after a makeover:

Ada was…. changed after that birthday. The artistic vision that had always dominated her personality now seemed to take on a life of it own. Sometimes she started talking to the furniture, or walking around outside in her underwear.

“Don’t worry,” Fabian told Zahra uneasily. “It’s a phase. She’ll grow out of it.”

(Ha! Ada rolled Insane for her teen trait! I was totally not expecting that!

And the upcoming Gen 4 has a new house! It’s English Country Estate at ModTheSims. It has a few issues. The 2×1 gothic arches used don’t seem to exist anymore, one of the upstairs beds was unroutable, and so was one half of the dining table. I tweaked the walls a bit to fix those things, and I replaced the arches with some not-as-pretty columns.

Of course, I ended up moving before I’d intended to AGAIN. This is another elaborate Simfail associated with Shanni’s wedding. Why is it that nobody can get out of this household without there being major game issues???

This time, right after Shanni and Agnes got engaged, I started having major game slowdowns. It literally took Shanni all night to get to her bureau and then to the mirror to fix her wedding dress and hair. I actually tried to do the wedding in this state, which is where the pic of bodiless Parker came from, but it was slow and messed up, and nobody came except the immediate household and Parker for some reason. And then I clicked Agnes and there was NO “GET MARRIED” OPTION.

So I downloaded a utility I read about on ModTheSims that would locate corrupted CC, and the utility flagged the entire custom kitchen from the house they were living in. I don’t know how this could have been the problem, since I’ve been playing in that house for like six months of real time, but it’s possible that there was some cumulative problem. I deleted the kitchen, and things improved immediately.

So I figured it was more fun to roll that into the story :).

I wanted to get the household out of the corrupted house as fast as possible, so I actually moved them out before the wedding and staged them in Condor Museum Lofts for the duration of Shanni’s wedding. Then I moved them to the new digs. So, for your Simantic viewing pleasure….

Here is the whole family standing around in the basement of the loft building.

Shanni was so excited that walls could not stand in her way.

And I close with a cute pic of Shanni calling to schedule her own wedding party.


3.32 Odds and Ends

So, I said before that law enforcement didn’t pay, and that Fabian only brought about 1100 Simoleons into the family. But I failed to mention that he brought 1100 simoleons and a TOFUNDA WAGON. The two Sample vehicles now cancel each other out in terms of fuel efficiency.

Law enforcement does pay, apparently. It just doesn’t pay for money management classes.

So what HAS everyone been up to in the Sample house?

Zahra was still on maternity leave. She tried to stop fighting it and relax.

Then she gave up relaxing and took up inventing.

Charles asked Lance for some help on his homework, and Lance dragged him to the park instead.

“It’s evening, m’boy! That’s your best time! Let’s throw the old pigskin around!”

“Ouch! Grandad!”

“You’ll get the hang of it, kiddo! Just don’t give up!”

Fortunately, there were some things were Charles already had the upper hand.

“Stop! I call uncle! That’s a mean game of tag! You sure know how to wear an old man out.”

Fabian spent some time trying to connect with his wife’s Egyptian roots.

Which was probably a lost cause.

Layla had truly become one with her golden years. She had never felt so comfortable and fulfilled.

She had the best private garden in the city. (I totally failed to note when she achieved her Perfect Garden Lifetime Wish.)

She had a wonderful husband, successful children, and amazing grandchildren who loved her.

(The No Jealousy reward definitely helped her marriage.)

She had his and hers running NFL Madden 12

(These really were taken at the same time.)

Ada was into everything, of course.

As she grew older and could communicate better, she and Charles had more fun together every day.

Grady Elfman the maid hit on Shanni a couple of times, and she agreed to meet him in the park.

Big mistake. The guy couldn’t stop talking about his hair gel.

But there she ran into the Ursines out on a family picnic.

Including the elusive Harvey.

Family was a good excuse to get out of a date gone bad, so Shanni ditched him and spent the afternoon with them. And she was glad she did. That evening, Rachel’s precarious health took another turn for the worse, and she died the next day. She must have been over 100. RIP, Rachel.

(I’m back! Ah the Simfail I have to rant about. But first we needed some cheerful stuff after all of the relationship drama.)

3.16 Meet the Family

Fabian Branch Sample began his first day of married life by making breakfast.

Mac ‘n’ cheese. Well, it was a great breakfast when he was a bachelor.

Zahra, not the most inspired of communicators, pretty much broke the news to her family by letting them watch the new state of affairs. They were surprised but supportive.

“So, dear, it looks like you got married last night.”

“Yeah. It seemed like the thing to do.”

“He seems like a nice man, dear, but he doesn’t bring in much of a salary. Do you think we can afford it?”


(Fabian did bring in about 1100 simonleons, which I think is the lowest amount any spouse has brought into the family so far. Law enforcement clearly does not pay.)

The men were even lower key.

“You gonna make my daughter happy?”


“Thought so.”

(The men spontaneously bonding in their underwear was pretty awesome.)

Fabian and Adjo were already pals for reasons only the Sims game was tracking. I have to guess it’s mostly because they’re both people people, so they could hardly bump into each other in any context without becoming friends. Shanni didn’t have a lot of use for men that she wasn’t staking a claim on, and Fabian really wasn’t her type anyway, but they coexisted all right.

He pledged to help with Charles, but mostly what he did was take over other household responsibilities so that Zahra could spend more time with him.

He also convinced her that subtle pink accents in their bedroom was not only manly, but tasteful. Zahra, who didn’t pay much attention to aesthetics anyway, let him have his way.

(Yes, his favorite color is pink. I notice you can see him telling her this on their park date when they were teens. Fabian is such a Sensitive New Age Guy. I have vivid memories of adding pink accents to their bedroom and even photographing it, and I can neither find the photographs nor evidence of the pink in later photos. Did I do this on a version of the game that crashed on me? The world may never know. I’m at least two weeks beyond this, Sim-time, and I’ll have re-redecorate their bedroom.)

Things got back to routine in the Sample household, and in due course, Zahra and Fabian had happy news to report.

3.11 Aftermath

(Hey there! I’m trying to get past my writer’s block and get back to posting.)

You couldn’t call it death for someone who was already dead, could you? In the end, it didn’t really matter. Cycl0n3’s loss hit the Sample family like a ton of bricks. Everyone did their best to cope in their own way.

Shanni lost herself in Zahra’s best friend Fabian’s younger brother, Richard Branch.

(Yes, they’re brothers. Ida Branch has a dark skin tone, while Mr. Branch — whose name I forgot — had a light one. Here we see the non-subtlety of Sims 3 skin tone genetics.)

He was one heck of a kisser.

He also turned out to be one scary dude. There they were, making sweet nothings at each other in the hallway of the Branch house, when he suddenly started screaming at her. Something about ants. And aliens. Hoooboy. Shanni just stood there and took it, too frightened to say anything.

And he was holding his baby brother at the time.

At last, he stormed off, talking loudly to himself. Shanni got out of there right quick. She wanted comfort, but not that much.

(I failed to get the really good pictures of Richard ranting to himself. He did in fact go off at her in a dangerous-looking way in the middle of flirting. I’m guessing he’s Hotheaded, and he’s definitely Insane.)

(Also, it’s probably not obvious, but this scene happened in the old Frio house where our story began. The majority of the Branch clan has moved in here. Their father died of old age, and Fabian, the eldest, is also living elsewhere, with a roommate I think. So I think think Ida Branch and the three younger brothers Richard, Connor, and Tyrone are all living here together. Mamma Branch didn’t make no girls.)

Lance and Layla clung to each other. Life was short, and they were in their golden years. Zahra’s loss was just a grim picture of what they faced too.

(Spontaneous affection between Sims is so cute. Lance and Layla can’t get enough of each other these days.)

Everyone wanted to be there for Charles.

(This is Lance, tapping his foot, waiting for Adjo to finish playing with Charles so he can have a turn.)

And they tried to be there for Zahra, but she didn’t want to talk about it. She threw herself into her work, climbing the promotion ladder at the science center with alarming speed. After the first couple of nights, she never let any of her family see her cry.

Late at night, she whispered to Charles about his father.

Charles, as little as he was, seemed to understand.

3.10 Going Home

It was Zahra’s day off, and she and Cycl0n3 took a much-needed morning together. They slept in luxuriously late. Adjo made sure that little Charles was taken care of before the twins headed off to school.

Romance was in the air. Lance jumped up at breakfast and asked Layla out on a date. She spent such long hours working at the bistro, and she never got a chance to experience the romantic atmosphere as a customer. He wanted to fix that.

The two of them looked sharp in their formals.

The afternoon was everything they’d hoped it would be.

Cycl0n3 and Zahra rolled out of bed and quickly fell into the usual topic of conversation: their son.

But this time Cycl0n3 called a halt to it. Zahra had been working her tail off at the science lab, then coming home to work her tail off tending to Charles. She needed to take some time to herself away from both work AND family.

He kicked her out of the house to spend the afternoon at the spa getting a massage. But not before he showed her is appreciation.

It turned out to be the last wish he would have a chance to fulfil.

Alone in the house, he headed downstairs to play with Charles.

They read together from a math-for-toddlers book. Charles’ eerie ghost voice piped up against his father’s. Cycl0n3 felt completely fulfilled.

And then a strange sensation came over him. It was as if the wind blew through him, and he was the wind, and it called to him from beyond the pale.

Alone on the back deck, Charles went on reading until Mommy came home.

Zahra returned, flushed with a good massage and feeling carefree, to find her ghostly son alone in the house. At first she was furious. “Where is your father?” she demanded of little Charles.

Charles looked up at her with penetrating inhuman eyes, and she realized for the first time that he truly was something different.

“Daddy went home,” he said.

Then her eyes fell on an urn sitting on the deck. She hadn’t noticed it in the pile of Charles’ toys. Suddenly she understood.

Nobody knew exactly what the science lab had done to Cycl0n3. Somehow, in her heart, she’d always just assumed he was immortal in his half-ghost, half-human form. Apparently not. The Netherworld had called him back.

She picked up the urn and placed it in her bedroom, hoping against hope that he’d rise again, in whatever ghostly form he was permitted. But even when the other family ghosts came out to play, the urn was silent.

Goodnight, Cycl0n3.

(It turns out that Cycl0n3 was “living” on borrowed time. I knew he had a lifespan of sorts, and that he’d be called back into his gravestone eventually. However, when he married Zahra and changed his name, his gravestone got borked. Apparently EA in its infinite wisdom was using character name to attach the ghost to the gravestone, and Cycl0n3 Sample couldn’t be using Cycl0n3 Sw0rd’s gravestone. This caused some other glitches I was struggling with, since the character was now duplicated — the version of him in his gravestone and the version I was playing. When I figured this out, I had to use some of Twallan’s mods to get him to terminate gracefully, but that also ended up destroying his gravestone. I’m terribly grumpy about this; I wanted the whole family to be in the graveyard. I’m still trying to see if I can export Cycl0n3 from a previous save file and get him properly stowed in a gravestone, but I may just call myself lucky for having a functioning game file and give up.)

(ETA: Fixed the last picture. Somehow the mood was lost when instead of Zahra sleeping alone, the last pic was of Shanni taking a bubble bath. Woot.)

3.2 It’s Not Too Late

Time passed, and Lance started to wonder if he was being just the teeniest bit of a jerk about Layla’s flirting.

One day, while she was out working in her garden, he decided it was time to make amends.

He loved her more now than he had the day he married her, and he hoped she could see his ranting and raving for what it was — fear that he would lose her.

When Layla returned home from work that day, Lance had arranged for a surprise.

It was her birthday, and he hadn’t forgotten.

(Not a bad age transition. I left her pretty much as she was.)

He took her on a second honeymoon back to Egypt, where they rocked the campsite.

(In case you can’t tell from the picture, whoohoo in tents causes the tent to jump up and dance around :). )

It had been a very long time since they’d been able to spend so much time with each other, one-on-one.

When they returned home, Lance built one last monument to his travel days and hung up his adventuring hat. It was time to spend more time with his family. Long past time.

And of course he and Layla could rock things a little closer to home too.

(So, I hadn’t *intended* for this to be Lance’s last vacation, but this one turned out to be just too weird. When I reset the town, the vacation destinations were reset as well. Not only are all Lance’s quests reset to the beginning, but there’s a young version of Layla wandering around in Egypt. Creepy…)

2.32 Not All Love is a Fairy Tale

Lance and Layla’s marriage has been going through what you might call a “rough patch” recently. Layla has been working long hours at the Bistro, and Lance has been taking long spirit journeys to China by himself. When they’re home together, Layla has taken to spending most of her time in her garden.

When they go to bed, they’re usually exhausted, and they only exchange a few words before going to sleep.

The woohoo has almost completely drained out of their lives.

To make matters worse, Layla’s flirtatious nature has gotten on Lance’s nerves more and more. Recently, he caught Layla flirting with Cycl0n3 of all people, right in their own study.

Lance absolutely lost it. He raved like a lunatic, and Layla had to just stand there and take it.

Layla got fed up with Lance’s possessiveness. He knew what she was like when he married her. She’s never once even thought about being unfaithful. Why couldn’t he trust her just the littlest bit?

Frustrated and insulted, Layla started expressing herself behind Lance’s back. She kicked up her very flirty friendship with Antonio Bauer, but she made sure they kept all the fun at work.

What Lancelot didn’t know about wouldn’t hurt him.

2.28 The Land of Their Ancestors

The new place was looking pretty nice, and there was plenty of space for everyone.

Lance took advantage of the amazing view to inspire his art.

Cycl0n3 made another pass at a chess opponent, this time at Margarita Landgraab, a woman he’d known while he was alive.

Poor Cycl0n3.

The family ghosts made themselves at home.

(Ghost Connor is missing his beard, damnit.)

Now that Shanni and Adjo were older, Layla started to feel homesick. She wanted her children to see their homeland and meet their aunts. Lance, always eager for another vacation, packed with her for a trip to Egypt.

Their first destination was the Lufti sisters’ house.

Layla’s sister Meena was home. She and Shanni and Adjo bonded pretty quickly.

Aisha was manning her shop as always.

She and Zahra seemed to get along well.

Meanwhile, Lancelot the eternal adventurer found an, um, secret stair in the master bedroom…

…that led to a master spy center?

What? Was Layla some kind of a spy?

A few minutes reading in the empty control center reassured Lance that they didn’t have much interesting information to show for all the flash and dash.