No matter where a person lived, there was one truth that remained the same everywhere: no one liked early morning calls. Maybe some younger people only had to deal with drunk friends calling to say how much they love you, but at Chantia’s age, an early morning call had only one purpose, and that was to relay bad news.
That call was no exception.
Chantia stirred slightly as the shrill ringing of the phone woke her, irritated by the interruption of her sleep. Why would somebody call at that time of the night? Beside her Sam groaned before blindly reaching out to the phone and answering it, mercifully putting a stop to the annoying ringing. Whatever was said on the other side had him awake very quickly.
“She what?” he asked disbelievingly. There was a brief silence as he listened to the person on the other side of the line before he continued. “I’m so sorry to hear that. Do you want to speak to her?” he asked, the words rousing Chantia’s curiosity through the haziness of sleep. The answer he got through the line caused him to turn to Chantia.
“It’s your dad,” he told her softly, one hand covering the phone. “Your mom…” He didn’t finish the sentence, causing dread to fill Chantia. She took the phone from Sam.
“Dad?” she asked anxiously. Her heart sank to the bottom of her stomach when she heard the news. Hadn’t her mother been too young to die? With a shock she suddenly realised how much time had passed when she hadn’t been paying attention. Her mother had already lived longer than the average person.
“I’ll come over in the morning,” she promised her father, dread suddenly filling her heart. Her dad was also already older than the average person. She didn’t want him to die without seeing him at least one more time.
In the morning, after sending the children off to school, Chantia went to her childhood home. Her dad looked visibly older than the last time she had seen him. The life in his eyes was gone.
She pulled him into a hug, wordlessly reminding him that she at least was still there for him. They didn’t exchange words, but they held each other for a long time, mutually enduring their shared grief.
“Thank you for coming,” her dad told her hoarsely and gave her a wan smile. The Song she always heard in the back of her mind suddenly took on a dirge-like quality, just like it always did whenever somebody’s time of death approached. She closed her eyes in pain and denial.
She would not see her dad again. He would follow her mother into death soon.
A day later, the news she had been expecting came. It wasn’t a shock, but she still didn’t want it to be reality.
“Why does the world have to be so cruel?” she sobbed into Sam’s shoulder. She didn’t want to deal with it. She wanted her parents to be alive and well, both of them.
He held her for a long time, whispering soothing words in her ear and rubbing her back comfortingly until she finally felt the worst of the pain settle into a dull ache.
“Thank you,” she murmured, holding onto his warmth. She couldn’t imagine going through that pain without him. He was always there for her, comforting her and helping her through her struggles.
He gave her a soft kiss on her head before allowing her to pull away. He smiled warmly at her and gave her hands a gentle squeeze. “That’s what I’m here for,” he assured her, causing warmth to fill her heart. She was so lucky to have him in her life.
Despite the loss of her parents, life settled into a rhythm again. Grief still struck her at unexpected times, but it was slowly getting easier to think of them with smiles rather than tears.
Life settled into a rhythm, but it was by no means a simple, uncomplicated rhythm. In addition to the death of her parents, there were two major changes in Chantia’s life: her eldest child started with high school, and her youngest with elementary school. Having two children and one teenager in one household was rather chaotic.
“You lied to me,” Lyra accused Arienne. “You said all the classes are held outside and they’re not!”
Arienne snorted, pleased that Lyra had believed her tall tale the previous day. “And you believed me? Of course they’re not held outside. What are you, stupid?”
Lyra continued to glare at Arienne for several seconds. “You’re a butt, you know,” she accused her older sister, which caused Arienne to snort even louder.
“A butt? How cute. Don’t you mean an ass?” she teased the younger girl. Before Lyra could respond, they were interrupted.
“Language, Arienne,” their dad reprimanded her. “And don’t teach your sister to swear.”
Arienne rolled her eyes at the reprimand, but she stopped teasing her sister nonetheless.
Now that Lyra was older though, she was no longer safe from Renard’s ‘sister-baiting’. To his dismay, his usual tactics didn’t work on the younger girl.
“You look like an idiot, you know,” he informed her and finally got the reaction he had been looking for. Lyra drew back, scowling angrily at her brother.
“And you look like a nincompoop,” she retorted angrily.
They came very close to fighting nail and tooth after that exchange of insults. Chantia was sure that if she hadn’t stepped in and separated them at that stage, she would’ve had two children at hand nursing battle wounds. And she had thought Renard and Arienne’s fights were difficult.
At least Arienne had never actively picked a fight with Renard.
“Is that supposed to be a city?” Lyra asked curiously, watching Renard painting. “Because it doesn’t look like one. Real cities don’t have glass around them.”
“Plumbob Lyra, shut up!” Renard complained. “It’s my painting; I can do what I want. You’re just jealous!”
“Am not!” Lyra denied vehemently, again nearly coming to blows with the older boy.
Renard still tried his luck with Arienne, but she had gotten a bit more adept in handling him and his baiting. Instead of rising to the bait, she often just laughed outright at him. It wasn’t to say that she never fought with him anymore, but it was definitely less than before, as well as less severe.
Unless he messed with her shampoo. Then all bets were off, much to Renard’s delight.
It wasn’t the only way Arienne’s siblings managed to get under her skin. As a birthday present, Arienne had been gifted with her very own computer. However, since it was the only one in the house that was easily accessible, both Lyra and Renard couldn’t withstand the temptation, much to Arienne’s ire.
“Is that…fingerprints?” she asked incredulously as she noticed the oily smears on her screen. She never touched her screen, which meant the culprit had to be one of her siblings. She doubted it was her brother – he seemed to prefer the game console over her computer – but Lyra was a definite possibility.
So she decided to have a little revenge.
She didn’t have to wait long before her trap got sprung.
Renard’s scream reverberated through the house, easily reaching Arienne where she was practicing her piano skills, causing her to smirk with satisfaction. She might’ve been wrong over whom the culprit had been, but Renard’s yell of terror was still sweet music to her ears.
That would teach him to touch her computer.
She was waiting for him when he emerged from her room.
“Didn’t think I’d found out, did you?” she asked rhetorically. “I told you – stay away from my computer. And my room,” she ordered him threateningly. “And that goes for you too, Lyra!” she told the girl who was very conspicuously not looking at them, all too guilty herself. “Don’t touch my stuff!”
As a teenager though, Arienne’s life had more complications than just annoying siblings. One of those complications sat across from her in class, making it incredibly difficult to listen to her lessons.
“If you like him that much, why don’t you just ask him out?” Rose asked Arienne curiously after weeks of watching her friend moon after the boy. Arienne whipped her head around to stare warningly at her friend, a slight blush colouring her cheeks.
“I can’t do that!” she protested. “It’s Max,” she pointed out, as if it explained everything and in a way, it did. He was her best friend from childhood. He also caused butterflies to flutter in her stomach every time he smiled at her. Unfortunately, Arienne was also positive he did not see her in that way. She sighed forlornly. If only he wasn’t so good-looking and smart and funny and…
Rose snorted. “You’ve got it bad, girl,” she declared, causing Arienne to glare at her. She couldn’t help liking him that much!
“Honestly, just ask him out,” Rose advised. “What’s the worst than can happen? He’ll say no?”
“Or I’ll completely ruin our friendship,” Arienne pointed out. She was sure that would happen. It was better to keep quiet and remain his friend than to open her big mouth and ruin it. He wouldn’t fall for her anyway.
Rose sighed and shook her head. “Then at least ask him to prom,” she suggested. “If not as dates, then go as friends. It’ll provide both of you a way to step out gracefully if he doesn’t feel the same way you do.”
Arienne bit her lip. It wasn’t a bad idea. “I don’t know,” she hedged uncertainly. Surely he wouldn’t want to go to prom with her.
In the end, she decided to chance it after all.
“Arienne? What are you doing here?”
She spun around bewilderedly, not expecting him to appear behind her. For a moment the two just stared at each other and Arienne felt her heart sink. It was a really stupid idea to come.
The moment broke when he suddenly smiled at her, his gorgeous blue eyes lighting up with the gesture. The sight caused butterflies to flutter in her stomach, like it always did.
“Not that I mind, of course,” Max stated. “You’re always welcome here.”
Arienne looked away, thoroughly embarrassed. How could she possibly ask him to prom now?
“Do you want to come in?” Max tried again when he didn’t get any response from her.
“Ah, no,” she refused, suddenly reminded that she still had piano lessons later the afternoon, and if she wasn’t mistaken, Max had some kind of activity on as well. She didn’t have all afternoon to hesitate. If she didn’t ask him now, she knew she never would.
She took the plunge.
“I actually just wanted to ask you something,” she admitted nervously. “Uhm, do you wanna go to prom together?” she rushed out, afraid of losing her nerve. His eyebrows rose, either in interest or incredulity (she had no idea which), prompting her into expanding her request. It couldn’t be in interest. “As friends,” she quickly added. “You know, just…friends.”
There was a small change in his expression, but Arienne wasn’t sure why. Had she said something to upset him, or was it the idea of going with her that bothered him?
“Oh, friends,” he repeated, sounding almost…disappointed. “As friends.” He smiled at her (a little less brightly than usual) and Arienne felt her heart skip a beat. He had such a great smile.
“Sure,” he agreed a little unenthusiastically. “We can go…as friends.”
Arienne felt her heart fell at his lack of enthusiasm. He probably only agreed out of a sense of duty. It wasn’t as if anybody else would ask her. She wasn’t nearly as pretty as the other girls in her class. Heck, she didn’t even wear makeup! He was really just being a good…friend.
“Great!” she enthused with a cheer she didn’t really feel. “I’ll see you there then.”
She didn’t want to go as friends. She wanted to go as more. She wanted to tell the rest of the world ‘stay away, he’s mine!’ But she couldn’t. There was no way he’d feel the same.
Arienne <3. She really should have more confidence in herself >_<.
Anyway, I learned a very interesting thing while playing this: SP can be horribly sadistic at times, and my sims can be incredibly cold hearted. In a span of two days, Chantia lost both her parents. Her relationships with both of them were maxed. She cried over Gustave. She didn’t cry over Evelyn. -_- I’m rather disappointed about that.
Lyra is fun. Since this challenge is all about trying new things, I decided to break my normal patterns and give Lyra a trait I usually avoid: hot-headed. I love it. She’s constantly picking fights with everyone. Like that pulling faces scene: they were happily pulling faces. I looked away for a second and when I looked back, they had started fighting. She’s keeping me on my toes and I absolutely love it.