If he acts like that towards his friend… does that mean something? Maybe one of two things: (1) He only cares about his friends or (2) Everything with Matias was just a simple accident. But which one do I believe?
Lacie fades into view. My girlfriend. Or… I’m not really sure what we are anymore. She’s talking to my step-dad, Stuart, as he’s preparing food for his wedding to my mom. Lacie’s the only person I know who will keep you company no matter how boring the task.
But that’s not the thing I love most about her. I love how she’s not a stereotypical teenage girl who only likes dystopian novels featuring love triangles. I love that cute bored expression on her face whenever some really dumb reality TV show comes on. I love her sense of style– how it’s never what you expect in a situation, but oddly enough, it still fits in perfectly. She is perfect.
I guess that’s my problem. She’s perfect– and I’m not. She’s got the prettiest smile– oh, heck, her entire body is just plain gorgeous. I could care less about flyaway hairs and odd gaps between teeth. She’s mine– at least, she used to be.
“The romance festival is the answer to all your problems.” That’s what the man said, at least. Was this probably a tourist trap? Sure. Did the tea taste kind of weird? Actually, no. I’m questioning whether or not it was actually tea, since it tasted more like a rich, chilling, perfect pink lemonade. But whatever. After that? I felt like I could do anything– including getting my girl back.
“Meet me at the lounge” is what I think I said, though I really have no idea anymore. Maybe that perfect little glass of pink lemonade wasn’t actually pink lemonade, and it was actually a pink-lemonade flavored margarita. That would explain the cloudiness in my head, and my confidence that I would get her back.
“Lacie,” I said, grabbing her hands and feeling them, really feeling them, as I ran my thumbs along the rough backs of her hands. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for anything I’ve said, for whatever I’ve done– that wasn’t me.”
That wasn’t me.
That wasn’t me.
What if she never believes me?
What if she never wants to see me again?
What if she thinks that one simple mistake completely defines you?
What if she no longer trusts me?
What if we get back together, but our relationship’s never the same?
I wish I could go back. I really wish I could. I wish I had never assumed that one simple rumor was actually true. Who did I even hear it from? I wish– I wish, whoever it was, I wish they were never born. Then I never would’ve had the chance to hurt my dear Lacie, never would’ve over-analyzed every aspect of my human interaction, never would’ve watched her cry, only for her to push me away when I tried to comfort her.
“Oh, Nawwaf,” she says, voice sweet and romantic, like roses, yet– roses have thorns. “I’ll always forgive you.”
This isn’t my Lacie. She would never forgive that quickly, never put that level of trust in anyone else, never give a second chance.
“Lacie. You aren’t her. This– this isn’t real. This is a nightmare.”
Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.
Finally, I can wake up and get out of here.
Author’s Note: This story was written for “For Fun” category in the October 2017 edition of the monthly short story challenge on The Sims Forums. The theme for this month was “Nightmare.” If you want to hear more about Lacie and Nawwaf, check out my story After the Wedding.
I don’t think you’d believe this, but Mindy missed my wedding. Yes indeed– my last living blood-relative, missing my wedding. What was it you always said? “Even if I’m not there, there’ll always be someone else right by you?” But who? Who’s there?
It’s nights like these where I wish you were still here to stand by my side. Remember the movie nights we used to have? Those were the best. We would laugh so much you would cry, and I remember the first time it happened you tried to hide your tears. I saw them anyways. If it was a newer movie, I’d sometimes have to explain the jokes or references to you; if it was an older movie, you’d be doing the explaining. Sometimes it felt as if we had grown up in two separate worlds. In a way, we did. Tonight– the one where, in your world, Joslyn and I would consummate our marriage– we watched a war movie. Yes, it was one for kids, but it was still a war movie. I remember you told me about how the government tried to hide the fact that we were at war, so it was a surprise for you when you answered the door one day, me in your arms, only to find military officers asking for Dad.
That was the last time you saw him. I hope you’re with him now.
Nawwaf seems mildly content, if not a little lonely. He spends a lot of time reading, which surprised me– I assumed that since he was an athlete, he would be obsessed with watching sports. In a way, I’m glad I was wrong, though he does read mostly fitness books.
Remember how, when I was really little, you’d let me run around the house, as long as I didn’t go into the big room? I never really knew what was in there until years later, when Mindy started telling me stories about Dad. She said that the day he left, you locked the door to that room and started sleeping in the nursery with me, and later, when I was older, I started sharing with Mindy.
Now that I think about it, there were so many times when I saw signs of your pain: reddened eyes, you frantically wiping your face, you getting home late from your shift at the gym and dumping some wilted flowers in the trash on your way inside, the way you hugged me and told me there was always someone looking out for me, even if I couldn’t see them. I wish, in your later years, that I would’ve asked. Now all I have are stories told by my sister based off the memories of a five-year-old.
I wish I had more. I wish I could properly remember him. I would all of the fancy computer equipment and video games you bought me to meet him, just once. That way, I’d have some idea of how to be a dad. For Nawwaf.
I know he’s never had a dad before, but I know there’s rumors going around about what he said at school– about Matias– and I’m pretty sure his mom doesn’t know. That worries me, him keeping everything he must be thinking and feeling all bottled up inside like that. I don’t know if any of it is true, but either way, he still has feelings, he’s still a person, and I want to help him through. I want him to trust me. I want to be there for him.
I guess you could say that this was all brought on by my child. Some days, I think of the fact that I didn’t fight for them, and wish I had. I was always bad at fighting, at standing up for myself, and that led to the entire situation in the first place. All I wanted was a friend, and I felt that online was the only place where I could find one. I wish the world was different– that dads weren’t sent to war to never meet their sons, that mothers didn’t have to hide their tears so their children would learn strength, that kids weren’t bullied and gossiped about and lied to so much that they felt they had nowhere else to turn.
All I want in life is to be happy. I guess, at this point, that’s the only thing I can try to be, because, if I let them, sadness and anger and grief and jealousy and complete and utter rage would flood my body and take over, and at that point I’d have no control. My life wouldn’t be mine anymore. There’d be no room for love, or forgiveness, or compassion, or hope, or the simple joys of life. There would be no room for love in the first place, and that, I believe, is what all wars are about: the absence of love.
Mother, I hope you’re with dad, I hope you’re happy, and, please, look out for my child. I can take care of the rest.
Once upon a time, a married couple– Jason and Samantha Cooke– stood together next to a steadily-dying fire. They were starting to get up there in years, and while they should have been looking forward to retirement, a desire for a fourth child occupied their minds and hearts. A fourth child– of their own flesh and blood.
Things started feeling… particularly warm after their eldest son joined them. Jason clutched his stomach, feeling as if his insides were burning up, only to pull his hands back in alarm as the burning sensation spread. “Plum, plum, plummity-nuggets! Samantha, help me! I’m on fire!”
Thankfully, she had noticed his predicament earlier, and was already running back towards her husband with as many fire extinguishers as she could carry… which was three. She threw two to her husband and son. “Save him!” she shouted.
“Honey, I don’t think this is how it’s supposed to work,” Jason replied, struggling to put out the fire while being on fire and not getting any of the foam in his eyes.
Neither of them noticed their son, who had only just started spraying his father down. It was only then that the fire died, and the embers in the fire pit cooled.
“Phew.” Samantha sighed with relief, turning when she felt a presence next to her.
“Ah, you’ve noticed me at last,” an almost-transparent woman said in a gravelly voice.
“Who-who are you?! What do you want from us?! Money, our home, my firstborn– I’ll give you anything!”
The woman shook her head. “Your firstborn child or firstborn grandchild?” she replied in a dry, humorless tone.
“I– what?!” Samantha was shocked. Surely she was kidding.
“Your firstborn child, or your firstborn grandchild,” she repeated.
“I-I don’t care! Just get out of here, and leave the rest of us alone!” Samantha replied.
Very well, then. Two requests means two payments.
Samantha turned towards the cabin they were staying in, only to be face-to-face with her husband. “Jason– I-I’m sorry…” she sobbed, the weight of what she had done drowning her.
“My love, there’s nothing to be sorry for,” he replied, pulling her in for a kiss.
She didn’t notice the ashes strewn about in her hair or the odd taste on her husband’s tongue. He… he didn’t see her. Did he hear me? Did he think I was talking to myself?
The ghost approached their son, Chris. “That was hilarious!” he exclaimed. “You had my mom completely freaked-out and everything!” The two laughed, tears almost spilling out of their eyes. Then she grew serious.
“Chris, do you want to come here again, when you’re an adult?”
He thought for a minute. “Yeah, it’s been pretty cool, being out here like this.”
She smiled gently. “Look up.”
“Wow,” he whispered, awestruck by the bright purple nebula. “I never thought to pay attention to the sky.”
“Well, maybe you should. Do you want to come here again?”
“Yes. Definitely. Every day of my plumming life, until I’m too old and grey to walk anymore, and then I’ll just make someone else push me in a wheelchair.”
That’s more like it.
Author’s Note: This story was written for the September 2017 edition of the monthly short-story challenge on the Sims Forums. The theme for this month was “vacation.” If you’d like to read more about Chris, be sure to check out my story After the Wedding.
Darion: I’m glad that Aidyn’s okay, but I’m kind of mad that he offered a hug, and at the same time, I feel really bad about it. I’m just gonna go to bed and figure all this out in the morning.
Darion: What’s he doing up this late? He’s going to be mad, isn’t he? He saw me walk in, so it’s not like I can just lie about it.
Chris: Darion, I know you’re getting older, but… that means you need more rules.
Chris: You see, there are some things that are very… special, and you’re one of those things to me. Your sisters are as well, and when they get to be your age, they’ll have these same rules. Please, I know you’re mad, but try to understand me.
Chris: Darion, you… you’re getting older, and with age comes responsibility. You’ll have more chores, and you’ll also be responsible for your sisters. Yes, this all seems unfair, but I love you, very, very much. You’re one of a kind, the only person like you. And… you need to stay that way. You can’t let other people change you into someone you aren’t. Then… then I wouldn’t have my son anymore.
Chris: Please, just let me finish so we can get to bed. When I look at you, if I squint hard enough, I can just barely see the outline of the young man you’ll become. And, honestly, that scares me. You’re my child– I don’t want to let you go, but I can’t protect you from the world forever. One day, when you’re a father, you’ll understand, but for now, please, just trust me. You’re all I have.
Darion: But I’m not.
Chris: When I look at that glimpse of the future, I see someone who’s brave, strong and wise.
Darion: But I’m not
Chris: I see someone who works hard, everyday, who knows that with time, he’ll get what he wants.
Darion: But I’m no
Chris: I see someone who, after immense pressure, will break, but if that happens, what will be left of him?
Darion: But I am
Chris: I see someone who is almost too willing, too eager, and that scares me.
Darion: But I
Chris: I see a man who can only see the one thing that matters most to him.
Chris: And through it all, I realize: he is not really a man, but a boy in the middle of a war he doesn’t understand.
Darion: Tell me more.
Aidyn: He seems so familiar. Like… Darion’s dad?! Wait, he can’t be. He looks too old. I have to do something. Even if this is just an uncanny resemblance, I have to do something. It’s my fault that Darion’s here, and he means too much to me to lose him. I don’t have that many friends. I’d never be able to replace him.
Aidyn: The art studio was a good idea, and now he’s gone. He also knows that I have no artistic talent.
Aidyn: “Darion. What’s wrong?”
Aidyn: Maybe this was a bad idea. Darion, he’s my best friend– what if I messed up, sent that man out at the wrong time so they crossed paths? What if he’s mad at me and doesn’t want to be my friend anymore? He’s my best friend. The one person who sees me as my own person, not just one of the triplets. I can’t lose him.
Aidyn: Why is he crying? I definitely messed up. Fix this! But how can I? I can’t just go back and change things.
Darion: I-I looked for you e-everywhere, and I-I couldn’t find y-you, and-and I thou-thought someth-thing happened. To you. I-I can’t lose you. That was d-dumb, but–
Aidyn: I didn’t mean to. All I wanted was for you to have a good time, even if I couldn’t be there, and-and there was this man, he looked kind of like your dad, and all I wanted was for you to not get caught. I– this night shouldn’t have happened. We shouldn’t have done this. I’m sorry.
Darion: R-really? B-but why didn’t you– you should’ve t-told me or something….
Aidyn: What do I do?! He’s crying, and… I kind of feel like it, too. How do I stop this?
Darion: I-I know we don’t have much time left tonight, but… can we do something– together– just the two of us?
Aidyn: Yes. Always yes.
Aidyn: Mom always gives us hugs… maybe a hug?
Darion: What are you doing?!
Aidyn: A… hug?
Aidyn: What’s wrong with a hug?
Aidyn: What does he mean? I-I don’t get this. What’s wrong?
Aidyn: What’s wrong?
Darion: I-I’m going home. You should, too.
Aidyn: Not even a good-bye? I– this wasn’t how tonight was supposed to go.
Darion: I can’t be nervous. Not tonight. Tonight’s supposed to be about fun. After all, what’s a few harmless pranks?
Darion: Ooh, snow globes! But first….
Darion: Hey, you know the jokester tea is poisonous, right?
???: You’re kidding. You’re obviously a prankster.
Darion: Ah, but aren’t you wondering how it has that yellow color now that the yellow dye’s been banned? Health reasons, y’know?
???: Well, maybe….
Darion: I’ve heard rumors, but I’m still not sure exactly what animal they’re getting the urine from….
???: What?! I just drank… I have to go! Bye!
Darion: I’m better than I thought at this.
Darion: I’d like to do more, but first… food. Food’s pretty important.
Darion: Maybe I shouldn’t have ordered something with chopsticks, considering that I don’t really know how to use them…
Darion: Slow and steady… aha! I got it!
Darion: Aah! That’s HOT! Maybe I should’ve googled what this was before getting it….
Darion: Hey, it’s an airplane! Did Aidyn see it? Hey, where is he, anyways?
Darion: He’s probably just off pranking people. I’ll probably see him at the comedy show… which should be starting any minute now!
Darion: Huh, he’s not here. Maybe he just lost track of time.
Darion: Hey, you should really put a little work into that! It’s not really that good yet!
Darion: There you go! That’s definitely better! It gets to the punchline a lot faster now!
Darion: Hmm… I’m starting to get worried now. The night’s almost over, and I haven’t seen Aidyn since it began! Where is he?!
Darion: He hasn’t been online since our conversation last night.
Darion: And there’s the fireworks. I hope, wherever he is, that he has a good view of them…
Darion: I can’t just stand here and watch while he’s missing. I have to go find him!