It was easy to get used to living in luxury. Sure, Evelyn had grown up in a large house back in Hidden Springs, but her mother had never spent her money on anything extravagant - besides her secret underground lair. But Evelyn did not like to think about that.
She preferred to feel the sun warm her body as a distant buzzing filled the air. Steve was making some of those delicious cocktails again. A gentle breeze stirred the water in the pool, creating tiny lapping waves. Could things be any more perfect?
Evelyn leaned back, closed her eyes, and dozed off into a peaceful afternoon nap.
"Evie! It's so great to see you again! I missed you so much," Emily squealed as she hugged her younger sister tightly. "We had to go from the airport straight to Javed's gig at SimFest, but I insisted we come see you right after! Poor Javed didn't even get to change out of his costume!"
Finally, Emily and Javed had come back form their long vacation, with big news in tow.
"I'm so sorry we didn't get to have you there, but it was a real spur of the moment decision," Emily's eyes lit up as she spoke, "... and the sunset! And then Javed--"
"Your sister was just so enchanting, I could not resist," Javed told Evelyn with a sideways smirk at his new wife. "I had to marry her right then and there. There was no time for planning or invitations. But we thought we could make up for it with some celebrating tonight! We want to invite you and Steve out to the diner at the boardwalk - my treat!"
As an aspiring acrobat, Javed's income wasn't as steady as the newlyweds would have wished. Emily's career as a private investigator wasn't going much better. There hadn't even been enough money to buy wedding rings. However, that did not stop the hopelessly romantic Emily from imagining the ring Javed had promised to give her one day.
The two of them were a perfect match.
... and they certainly couldn't keep their hands off each other!
"Not tonight," he said, half-raising his hand in a declining gesture.
"But Steve," Evelyn started, "They've only just come back and I haven't seen Emmy in ages--"
"All the better for you two to catch up, no?"
Seeing Evelyn's crestfallen expression, Steve's voice softened, "Maybe another time, darling, alright? I'm just not feeling up for it tonight."
Evelyn knew that nothing could be done to change Steve's mind once he had made it up. He had been nice enough to let Javed change his clothes in the house, though.
Evelyn was quite hurt by Steve's rejection, but decided to be cheery for the sake of her sister and new brother-in-law.
She listened happily as the newlyweds excitedly recalled the details of their impromptu wedding over dinner.
They were just finishing up their meals and saying goodbye when Evelyn received a call. Apparently there was an important politician requesting her specifically to deliver a Sing-A-Gram. She had been neglecting her career a bit lately, she thought ruefully. Steve was always so supportive about her dreams, but it was easy to forget the need to make simoleans when you spent your days lounging by the poolside and your nights sleeping in silken sheets.
"Esteban?" Evelyn was genuinely surprised to find her older brother at the agreed location.
"Gotcha!", he exclaimed, playfully pointing at her.
As it turned out, Esteban had just wanted to invite Evelyn to meet his new family the following day. Evelyn was a bit bummed that there was no lucrative Sing-A-Gram gig after all, but she was happy to take Esteban up on the offer. He had always been the most distant of her older siblings, so she appreciated this friendly gesture.
Esteban had sold his enormous mansion in the hills to move into a tiny house in the suburbs with his new wife Danielle Platt. He had accepted her two children from a previous marriage as his own, and Danielle had recently given birth to Esteban's daughter Rosalind. They were a perfect little family, complete with a white picket fence and 2.5 children.
Knowing Esteban, Evelyn wondered if there was some kind of ulterior motive behind all of this. Perhaps it just looked better for a rising politician to be a father of three in the suburbs, rather than a bachelor in a luxurious mansion.
But seeing how happy they seemed, Evelyn silently chided herself for those thoughts.
Esteban had not been the only one of her older siblings to have a baby. In an attempt to save their marriage, Eric and Bridgette had brought little Richie into their home. As she was chatting with her sister-in-law, Evelyn was shocked to see Eric simply putting the newborn on the floor before heading upstairs.
Picking her new nephew up and breathing in his sweet baby scent, Evelyn noticed what she surmised must be the reason for Eric's odd behavior. On the tiny scalp there was a smattering of soft little hairs. Greenish and magenta hairs.
Any other father would have been glad to see his son inheriting his own hair color. For Eric, this was different. That hair color had been Dolores' defining feature, and given the strained relationship he had had with their mother, Eric had always hated that he was the one to inherit her coloring. As a child, he would hide it under hats and caps, until finally shaving it off as a young adult. However, it seemed to haunt him. Evelyn supposed she understood how he felt. Hugging Richie close and rocking him to sleep, she hoped that none of her future children would inherit it.
Maybe there really was a special bond between the triplets. Soon, Emily followed her brothers into parenthood.
Her adorable twin girls were call Rashida and Quiana. Evelyn was instantly smitten with her new nieces.
"The house is a mess," Emily stated with a blank face after putting Rashida in her crib. "Everything is grimy, there's junk everywhere and the yard..." Emily sighed. She looked exhausted and empty, as if running on autopilot.
"It's alright," Evelyn tried to reassure her sister, "You guys have a lot on your hands right now with those two cuties." She rubbed her nose against Quiana's tiny, stubby one. The baby gurgled happily. "Seriously, don't worry, Em. Things will pick up soon and you will move into a beautiful house with your two beautiful, gorgeous daughters!"
"... and you wouldn't believe how tiny their little fingers are! So delicate and soft... you just want to protect them, you know? Oh, I can't wait for you to meet them! You'll love them!", Evelyn gushed when she and Steve sat by the fire that evening, as they so often did.
She leaned in to kiss him in her excitement, but pulled back when she noticed that Steve remained stock-still.
"We need to talk," he said in answer to her questioning gaze.
"What? No, Steve, I--" Evelyn backed away, knowing that what would come next could not be good. "I... I'm actually kind of exhausted." She got up and was ready to escape this conversation. "I'm going to bed."
She stopped in her tracks when she felt Steve's hand on her arm, gently turning her toward him. "Evelyn," he said, holding her firmly, "please wait. Listen."
She pressed her lips together and looked at him. If she didn't speak, she might be able to hold in the tears she felt welling up.
"I thought you knew this, but... Evelyn, darling, if I wanted a family, I would have started one a long time ago. This isn't going to work."
"Steve," Evelyn's tightening chest managed a sharp exhale, a mirthless laugh. "Steve, what are you..."
"All my life I've always gone after what I desired. I have worked hard to achieve all that I wanted to achieve, and I am content with where my life is at. All I want now is to enjoy the fruits of my labor. Well, that's what I thought."
"I thought I could be that kind of man. Expensive cars, a nice house, a beautiful young woman by my side... but Evelyn, I won't do this to you. I care too much about you."
Evelyn started to speak but Steve gently shushed her. "You need so much more out of life, Evelyn. You need to follow your dreams, and I want to support you all the way, but... it has become clear to me that those dreams involve more than being a famous singer. I can buy you everything your heart desires, lavish you with expensive gifts and watch your face light up every day. I could do this for the rest of my life and be happy." He smiled. "And maybe that would be enough for you too. At least for a while." He sighed as his smile faded. "Maybe I can fill your life enough for you not to feel it. But Evelyn, one day you'll want more. Maybe not now, maybe not for a few years, but I know you will. And by the time you realize, it might be too late. You want it all - a successful career and a happy family. Children." He almost spat that last word, the muscles in his jaw clenching with the effort of keeping a straight face. After taking a deep breath, he continued, "That is something I cannot give you, Evelyn. Not ever."
As her tears began to fall, he gently took her hands in his. "It might not feel that way right now, Evelyn, but this is for the best."
Evelyn knew that nothing could be done to change Steve's mind once he had made it up.
Back home, her apartment felt tiny and claustrophobic.
But the thing she truly missed was not the life of luxury she had lost.
Boo so sappy D:
I hope I managed to actually make Evelyn and Steve's relationship feel long. I had to shift some photos around a bit... In reality, they only lasted about two days! Sims' lives are short, no time to waste dating guys with the Dislikes Children trait if you're building a legacy. Also, Steve was ooooold. He actually aged up to Elder, but I cheated a bit and gave him one more day of adulthood.
Javed Meir's biography says he's an accomplished acrobat but really, he's just at level 2 of his career. I thought I'd use that to explain my stupidly forgetting to give them rings for those pictures in the beginning... *facepalm*
The chapter title is a very catchy song from the singer career btw, for those of you who haven't played that yet.