They had barely noticed all the little chores Evelyn had been doing around the house on a daily basis.
Now that she was gone, however, the void she left behind was painfully obvious.
Gloria stayed cooped up in her room even more than she'd used to before. Most of the time she simply slept.
It was preferable to being awake sometimes.
The family lived off of leftovers - the last few meals that Evelyn had cooked.
Displaying the hard-earned scouts badges should have made the twins proud, but all it did was remind them of the day their grandmother had left their lives.
Although Grace was as torn up as her sister was, she put on a brave face and urged, "It'll be alright, Gloria. You need to just keep going on until it gets better. Grandma wouldn't have wanted us to stay home from school. Besides, it might take your mind off of things."
But of course, it was easier said than done. Gloria had been close to tears all day and broke down as soon as school was over for the day. Grace tried to remain strong - at least outwardly.
She kept her grief to the privacy of her own room.
Unable to part with either one of his parents, Fred displayed his mother's urn next to his father's in their former bedroom
He had no idea what he was supposed to do now. All the things his mother had always done around here that had seemed so natural, were now gone with her. All he could do was to try and think about what Evelyn would have done, and then do it in her stead.
Well, one thing Evelyn had always made sure of was that everyone's birthdays were celebrated. Fred had no idea where she'd always bought those perfect cakes and he simply could not find the balloons or pretty tables she'd always set up. But there was nothing to be done about it. Gene and the twins would be aging up today.
When Grace got home from school and spotted the meager set-up, her jaw dropped. She had never stopped to consider that all the fun parties had been her grandmother's doing alone.
When her father approached, however, Grace clapped her hands together cheerfully. "Thanks, dad! This is really awesome." He had tried his best, after all.
Gloria remained silent.
Grace only felt bad that her brother and sister weren't going to get a nicer party.
Freddie hadn't even thought to invite any guests!
The twins exchanged one last look before blowing out their candles.
Grace cheered and Gloria clapped halfheartedly when it was Gene's turn to blow out his candles. At least he was too young to realize what a lackluster celebration this was.
Once everyone had finished their slices of cake, Gloria walked over to one of the large windows and stared out over the sea. Birthday celebrations were so hollow and meaningless, she thought.
Grace had always expected that her grandmother would teach her to drive eventually. Now she reluctantly asked her father for help.
Soon enough, Grace had a better grasp of the intricacies of driving than Freddie ever would.
On an uncharacteristically overcast day in Starlight Shores, Todd persuaded his best friend to go see a movie with him.
"I'm really sorry, man," Todd consoled his friend, "Your mom was a pretty dynamite lady."
At Freddie's sad frown, Todd continued, "Let's just watch Circus Roadtrip and let loose, okay?"
Fred didn't need much convincing.
When they emerged, they spotted a familiar flash of red.
Most sims would have realized that Larissa was on a date and left the amorous couple in peace.
But then again, Fred and Todd weren't like most sims.
"Hey, isn't that Dereck Avilla?" Todd asked as they got closer.
"Oh yeah," Freddie replied, "He hasn't changed much since high school."
"Freddie!" Larissa exclaimed as soon as she saw the two approaching. "Hi!"
She told Fred about her pregnancy excitedly, completely neglecting to include Todd or her boyfriend in the conversation.
Todd and Dereck stood by, all but forgotten, while Larissa blithely chatted away.
"Larissa certainly has a type," Todd remarked quietly.
"Hm? Excuse me?" Dereck turned to face Todd, with a perplexed expression on his face.
"You kinda look like Fred," Todd remarked.
Dereck shrugged and smiled confusedly. "Huh? I'm afraid I don't--"
Then he glanced over to his right.
Then back at Todd.
Then back at Larissa, who was still completely oblivious to everything besides Freddie.
"Well," Larissa finally said after a pause, "I suppose we better get going. We still have some shopping to do."
She grabbed Dereck by the arm and dragged him away, waddling surprisingly fast for being this heavily pregnant.
"Come on, Dereck, get a move on," she snapped.
"Ugh, I hate that stupid shirt you're wearing. It's so nerdy. We've got to get you some new clothes."
"... and maybe a beanie," she mused.
"Kinda weird seeing Larissa pregnant, huh?" Freddie said, turning to Todd. "I can't really imagine her as a parent."
"Hey, man," Todd replied, "That's what I think every time I look at you."
"I guess you're right," Freddie conceded. If he was perfectly honest with himself, he still didn't feel like a parent either, even after all this time. Maybe things would have to change...
The twins were now decidedly too old to spend time playing in their old nursery, so Gene took it over officially. He was less than pleased with the pink and mint décor.
He much preferred green. So with a little (a lot!) of input from Grace, Freddie had the room remodeled to be more to Gene's liking.
Gene was happy with his new room - even if it was difficult to tell from his facial expression sometimes.
Slowly, the last few leftovers in the fridge began to spoil and with a heavy heart, Freddie bagged them up and lugged them to the trash compactor. He had some difficulties operating it - after all, this was the first time he'd ever used it - but he figured it out eventually.
Freddie doing chores around the house... if only his parents had been around to see the day.
But now it was all up to him alone.
When I rolled perfect children, I never thought that the requirements of the child stage would be the most difficult to fulfill! The main issue being that, given the seasonal holidays and the sporadic schedule of the after school activities, the children barely manage to go to scouts often enough to get to level 3! It only worked out because long ago, I set the child stage to 10 days. With only 7 days it would have been impossible! The toddler stage was a cinch compared to that. Anyway, tldr; Gene, Grace and Gloria completed yet another age stage perfectly. Hooray for Evelyn's parenting!
Another thing - Grace rolled Good and Gloria got Brooding. I was so stoked about that because it fits perfectly with what I have planned for them... I normally don't mention sims' traits, but because these kids are getting fully randomized ones, it feels more significant somehow. So Grace has genius, brave, excitable and good, while Gloria has genius, loner, disciplined and brooding.
As for Larissa's baby daddy Dereck Avilla - I've seen him around town several times, often thinking he was Fred at first glace. Apparently Larissa felt the same XD It was too funny not to include.
And because I have evidently developed the childish trait, here's a little bonus pic of Rémy and Evelyn:
|"You've still got it, chérie!"|