On some days, Evelyn almost managed to convince herself that she could still feel Rémy's lingering presence.
She wished he could have been here to see how his grandchildren were thriving.
He would have been so proud.
Grace moved through the crowded hallways of school with ease - impressing teachers with her quick wit and fellow students with her forthright attitude.
Much like her sister, Gloria's mental abilities greatly exceeded what was expected at her age. But unlike Grace, Gloria struggled with letting others know what she was capable of. While she excelled at all written exams and assignments, she rarely spoke up in class and therefore remained unnoticed by most teachers.
Gloria simply felt too uncomfortable being surrounded by this many people. She would have much rather stayed at home and quietly studied by herself.
Despite Gloria's protests, their grandmother insisted that both girls needed to sign up for an after school activity.
Evelyn would not budge on this, so Gloria made up her mind to just pick whichever activity her twin would go to. At least she wouldn't have to be in a room full of children she didn't know.
Grace had a hard time deciding between ballet and scouting - camping and going on adventures in the wild? So exciting! But dancing was fun too! Finally though, she chose the scouts. Their proclaimed goal of helping sims sounded more appealing than pink tutus.
And so it came that both girls were busily working away at their toy ovens. Grace was determined to make the absolute best cookies for the scouts' charity bake sale.
And after many...
...many tries, they finally perfected their recipe.
Now the cookies only needed to cool down a bit and then they'd be ready for packaging.
"Neat! Cookies!" Todd had barely finished uttering the word before his cheeks were stuffed with the deliciously chewy goodness.
"Mmpf!" He swallowed. "You've always got the best food around here."
Following his best friend's example, Fred joined in chowing down cookie after cookie...
"Where'd they go...?"
"Oh, I bet Grandma just put them away. Yes, that must be it," Grace reasoned, trying to force her face into a reassuring smile.
But they couldn't deny the tell-tale signs for long.
"Dad," Gloria said as he entered the room.
"Hey girls," Freddie greeted them, "How's it going?"
"Daaad," Grace whined, "Did you see the cookies we left here?"
Explanations, excuses and apologies. Nothing left to be done.
Store-bought cookies at the bake sale.
For the first time after Rémy's passing, Evelyn was beginning to take pleasure in the simple things again.
A nice soak in the hot tub was just what she needed after a long day of babysitting.
She read a bedtime story to the twins...
... and then made the rounds visiting some of her other grandchildren.
Finally, she went dancing. It had been too long since the last time she'd gone out like this!
Click. Again. Why wasn't he answering his phone?
"What did he say?" Grace, all dressed up in her adorable scouts uniform, looked up at her grandmother expectantly. The final badging ceremony was about to begin and there was still no sign of Fred.
"He didn't pick up, sweetie. I's sure he's just in the car, on his way here."
"Maybe we should just head inside and save a seat for him," Evelyn suggested.
"He's not coming," Gloria muttered quietly, but her grandmother's ears were still sharp.
"Oh, don't say that, sweetie! He wouldn't miss this for the world!"
Silently, Evelyn wondered where Fred was.
"I'm inside a bubble," Freddie chortled, "Look!"
"Yeah man," Anton said, "you're right on. We're all living in bubbles," he languidly let out a stream of perfect, circular bubbles, "The bubbles of society... the bubbles of our own making."
"I... I feel like I'm forgetting something though," Fred mused.
"True that," Anton continued, "held down by the man, the establishment. We're all toiling away, forgetting what life's all about..."
"That's so deep," Todd said approvingly.
Fred yelped, jumped out of his seat and ran towards the door. "The girls!"
"Gee, what's gotten into him?" Todd wondered.
"Girls," Anton answered, "Women, always telling us what to do..."
A true philosopher.
Fred dashed across the street toward Gooder Public School.
Entering these doors had rarely yielded any pleasant experiences for Fred. He grit his teeth and made his way inside.
He made it just in time to watch his daughters receive their final badges.
Since he'd missed the beginning of the show, Grace made sure her father got to experience her awesome knot-tying skills.
Evelyn was relieved to see how much her granddaughters adored their father, despite his many shortcomings. Smiling, she herded her excited grandchildren and her youngest son toward the car.
"Go put on your pajamas and I'll finish reading that bedtime story to you," she called to the twins when they arrived back home.
But they would never know the ending of that story.