The Grim Reaper stuck around for a little bit after… that. I didn’t really think about the fact that he was there, inside my house, until he called down to me from the top of the stairs. “Stuart… I’m sorry,” he said in his hollow, echo-y voice.
I glanced up at him, startled. This man who had the task of taking people’s lives… could feel?
“I left something in the bedroom that you occupied as a child,” he continued.
“Like… a present?” I asked him.
“Is that the word that you mortals use for it?”
I nodded my head yes, then walked up the stairs. As I brushed past him, I felt a shiver run through my body. Did he actually have the power to spread coldness, or was that just me being scared of being so close to the person that took my mother? Was the Grim Reaper even a person?”
“By the way, you can call me Grim, if you’d like.”
That really startled me. Could he read my thoughts? Did he know precisely what I was thinking in this very moment?
He didn’t say anything more to me, so I walked into the room. When I saw what he had left there for me, I was pretty sure that he could read my thoughts.
“A… goldfish?” I stammered, scratching my head in confusion. I thought that any present Grim left would be a death trap. As far as I knew, goldfish couldn’t kill sims.
“So you won’t be lonely,” Grim said to me. I turned around to see that he was standing right behind me. That was weird- I didn’t feel the cold this time. I looked into his “face”, right at the spot where his eyes should be. Assuming that he had eyes.
“You have something else for me, don’t you?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “This gift isn’t something physical. Its a piece of knowledge that I want you and only you to have.”
I nodded for him to go on.
“I have lived for many years, through many different times and places. I’ve seen history repeat itself many times before. I’ve seen countless wars, murders, death sentences, and illnesses… and I’ve never told anyone about any of it. I’ve always wanted to, but I’ve never been able to find the right person. Until now.”
“But why me? I’m just your average guy who loves video games, happened to find love in a woman who’s husband died in the war. I have a sister who happened to marry into a privileged family, a father that I never knew, and a mother who cared for everyone. Soon I’ll have a step-daughter who wants to change the world and a step-son who’s hard-working and knows exactly what he wants from life. I’m not anyone special. I’m just… me.”
“I want you to think for a moment- look at each of those people that you talked about. Are those facts that you stated the only things about them? You only listed strengths- what about weaknesses? If you were playing a video game and had to choose a character to accompany you on your quest, you wouldn’t just look at their strengths, would you? There’s more to a person than just the things that you can brag about. Stuart Albert, I know more about you than anyone does- even you.”
I knew that Grim had a point. “So this thing that you want to tell me about… is it because of my father?”
Grim chuckled. “No, in fact it’s quite the opposite- it’s about your mother.”
My mother. I never knew that much about her. In fact, now that I thought about it, I didn’t even know if I had living grandparents when I was a kid. I didn’t know if she had any siblings. What did she do while Mindy and I were away at school? I knew for a fact that gym trainers didn’t make that much money. “Who was she?”
“She took the last name of Albert from your father. But her birth name- it wasn’t Larissa. It was Elizabeth Doll.”