Short Story: Broken Rings

“Just face it, Angela: you know everyone likes you better.”

Angela rolled her eyes. “They do not.”

“Really? Then why did I see Dustin’s arrest mentioned in the paper after the two of you sneaked out that night, but not yours?”

“Oh, stop trying to one-up me by reading the plumming newspaper!” Angela said, tears welling in her eyes. “Besides, he didn’t get arrested– he just got escorted home.”

“Call it whatever you want, Angela,” Lilith said. “You know he’s still a bad idea.”

“You’re just mad because I asked him out first.”

“That’s not true! I’m perfectly happy with Dirk!”

“You haven’t even kissed Dirk yet.”

“So what?! You don’t need to kiss or anything to know that you love someone!”

“Then why do all those old eighties songs talk about how you need to do just that?”

“Because they’re trying to sell sex! Duh! If you’d paid any attention in class instead of ogling Dustin, you’d know that!”

“Oh, so you’re saying the C student pays more attention than the A student? Hmm… wonder how that works.”

“And that’s why the school system is flawed!”

“What, because they won’t give you an A?”

“No, because they reward rule-followers like you while punishing those who show genuine creativity!”

“Well, look who’s Daddy’s little princess,” Angela chided.

“He did not cheat because he didn’t follow the rules,” Lilith said sternly. “He cheated because he’s a bad man.”

“Mom says there aren’t good or bad people– just good or bad actions, which rules are meant to govern.”

“Angela, you know what happens when rules are made by bad people? They poison everyone and everything under their jurisdiction. They turn the whole world evil.”

“Ooh, fancy words there. You know, you may as well drop out now, marry Dirk, and live in poverty– there’s clearly nothing more school can teach you.”

“Marry him?! I’m not marrying anyone– marriage is just a dumb thing some dumb guy made up as another way to force us all into line! And you know who’s going to be living in poverty? You! Because you’re going to marry a criminal just to stay compliant with societal expectations, and then complain to me when he’s in jail and you can’t find yourself a job because you were taking care of five kids instead of furthering your education!”

“You know what? I’ll do that, and we’ll see who turns out better.”

“Who turns out better?” Their mother must’ve let Dustin into the house. “Angela, obviously.”

“Aww, thanks,” Angela said before kissing her boyfriend. “Let’s go out to the pool.”

***

“It’s raining! Why does this always happen to me?!” Angela asked.

“Hey, I have to get going anyway… the rain timed itself perfectly,” Dustin replied.

***

“Mom? I… I really want Dustin and I to promise to marry each other when we grow up,” Angela said.

“Hmm… I think you’re a bit young for that…” Mary-Sue replied, thinking of her own hasty marriage to the twins’ father.

“Please? I know everything will go perfectly! We’ll have little adorable grandchildren for you and everything!”

Mary-Sue didn’t want grandchildren. She wanted to excel in her career, provide for her children, and most of all for their father to stop stalking them.

She knew all to well what happened when two people committed themselves to each other at too young of an age: they broke the rules. Both of them. He may have only cheated once, but Mary-Sue? She’d cheated people a million times as part of a government that promised everything and gave nothing, yet no one would ever see her as evil.

Author’s Note: This story was written for the April 2018 edition of the monthly short story challenges on the Sims Forums. This month’s theme was “A Whole New World” and required participants to write a story involving a challenge to perspective for the characters or readers. I usually see both Angela and Mary-Sue portrayed as “perfect” sims who don’t make mistakes, with both Lilith and Daniel being more antagonistic (or at the very least somewhat morally dubious), so I decided to challenge this fan perception of the Pleasant family. This story ties in to my randomacy, Perplexities in Pleasantview, so if you’d like to find out what happens to these sims then head over there and give it a read. 

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