Jorge and Jolie are 45, Grace Elise is 17, Ashlee is 14, Esther is 10, Chase and Amyra are 9
Optional Soundtrack: Innocent-Taylor Swift
**warning, text heavy and long**
She smiled thinking about the progress he had made during his rehab program, they had decided that a simlonic month stay in addition to weekly meetings would be the best fit. Jorge was able to take a leave of absence from work since he had saved so much vacation time, and that also meant that he didn't have to reveal to his bosses what was going on. That was a big bonus, since most sims don't want a hostage negotiator with a drinking habit.
Jolie rubbed her arms as the room suddenly became cold. She missed Jorge's daily presence at the house and how he managed to calm any situation that the kids would become entangled in. She didn't know what to do with the children sometimes. They would run around the house, get bad marks in class and have detentions. The others wouldn't talk anymore, their mouths clammed shut since that Christmas morning when they found that their big sister was gone forever and perhaps Santa wasn't real since he couldn't make her stay.
"Why did she have to go, mommy?"
"She went to heaven, baby. She's happier there and doesn't have the pain anymore."
"Didn't she love us? Why did she leave? She wasn't happy here with us? Did I make her mad?"
Jolie didn't know how to answer them and could only hold them and whisper that no, they didn't make her mad and yes, she loved them.
"Why can't heaven share? That way everyone could be happy?"
The kids were seeing a counselor for simlonic monthly sessions, but she still felt like it wasn't enough.
Not when you walk in on your barely teen aged daughter naked with some guy in her room. Especially when said daughter was grounded for life after a tense phone call from the principal that caught her doing the same thing in a utility closet at school.
"How could you do such a thing!" Jolie screamed as Bryant snatched his clothes and ran past her. "You're supposed to be watching your siblings but instead you're up here with some boy!"
"They were fine, it's not like the house was on fire!"
"It doesn't matter! What would your father say?"
"I don't know! Maybe he'd just drink it all away!" She regretted the words as soon as they left her lips.
"Ashlee," Jolie said sitting on the bed, her face worn. "He misses Grace Elise..."
"We all do," Ashlee retorted, "but we're not drinking until we forget."
"So instead you're sleeping with some guy. Is he even your boyfriend?"
"At least he listens to me!" Ashlee screamed before running out the room.
Jolie didn't know where Ashlee ran off to. She didn't see the teen run across the street and into the small cemetary. She didn't see her sit in the mud in front of her sister and crying.
"Why did you have to leave? Everything is so fucked up now."
The stone sat silent, but Ashlee knew Grace Elise was listening. "I still haven't told them about the tattoo. I don't think they'd understand. You like it, right?" she asked shoving her bared ankle towards the stone. "The ribbons on the slipper form a G for your name."
Ashlee sighed, "if you were here you wouldn't call me messed up, or a whore, or any of those things."
She wiped at the angry tears as they spilled over. She hated the stares that started after Grace Elise's death, as if she were fragile and would break. Then the stares were joined by whispers after she and Bryant were found in the closet. It wasn't their first time there, or first time. No, that was in the photo booth at the skating rink, the walls covered with sticky gum as they pushed him inside her. The bright lights and knowing that they could get caught at anytime blocked out the bright red pain.
Bryant wasn't even her only. No, there was the freshman at the university. The one with the blond ponytail and the magic bubble machine, that let her blow without contributing to the pot. The one that said she was beautiful before he took off her top and squeezed her tiny breasts in his hands. There was also his roommate with the spiked hair who walked in on them and watched them as she laid underneath. No words were spoken as the ponytail freshman climbed off of her and his roommate took his place on the bed. He groped her as she sat on the bed, naked and covered with sticky fluids. She was too scared to move, to stop them as their hands moved across her body. She stayed quiet as the roommate squeezed her breasts hard...he didn't call her beautiful. She didn't like him, he was so rough and it hurt as he held her down under him with his weight. She left their room afterwards as they laughed and high-fived each other for their score. She stumbled down the stairs still high on the bubbles and malted nectars, still numb from the drugs that traveled through her veins yet at the same time she yearned for more. She wanted more bubbles to lift her higher and take her away from where she was, she also wanted more of them, for them to call her beautiful again, to say that she shined like the stars, that she was wonderful.
"It was easier when you were here, damn it, why did you leave! Why did you leave me here alone!"
The silent stone seemed to mock her.
"Jorge," Jolie breathed as she wrapped her arms around him.
"I missed you more."
Jorge grinned as he watched his children spread over the front yard with their friends.
They were enjoying the warm summer air and the opportunity to play well past dark, all except Ashlee.
"I will literally kill you," Jorge had growled at him.
"Just ask your father," Jorge said, well aware of who his father was and well aware of beating the man almost senseless. "Stay away from my daughter, otherwise I will make you disappear."
He remembered Jolie waiting for him, "You didn't kill him, did you?"
"Not yet, but he has had his fair warning."
Jorge hated that he wasn't around to protect his daughter from the jerk that he was sure Bryant was. If he was around instead of in rehab, his daughter would still be an innocent, not some teenager's plaything to be tossed aside when she wasn't entertaining enough. He hated that he allowed his drinking to take over him. He thought he had it all under control, that everything was balanced, but somewhere along the road, he slipped off the tightrope. The drinking took more and more of his time, of his thoughts, of his efforts.
He really screwed up, he knew that. It was too late, he almost lost his mind and his family trying to retain that balance bewteen the comfort of the bottle and the pressures of his life, which was a harsh critic, a tough crowd to please. It was so much easier before...before everything. He believed in everything and everybody believed in him. He believed in the goodness of sims, the fairness of life and the beauty of the world. He can't take it back and at night, at night it all comes back. It's as if he lives it all over again, that day, that last Christmas, the warm fireplace and the cold skin. He wakes up in a sweat and the dreams leave him shattered on the floor, reaching out for the bottle. If only he knew then, what he knew now.
The counselors said that he wasn't where he was, that he wasn't defined by what he had done. Jolie said that he was still her knight, her prince. Sometimes he believes them, but other times...he thinks of all the things he wished he could share, but can't. The things that he can't speak of. The blood of countless sims that spilled to the ground because of him. The times he screwed up and had to lie to protect himself. The group said that every day is a new day. They said that everyone in the room had messed up as well. The said that today wasn't too late, it wasn't too late to start over, to try again, to be brand new. It didn't erase his yesterdays, the monsters still came for him at night, hiding under his bed and the ghosts of sims that he was responsible for, that he could have saved still haunt him and perhaps the most painful, it didn't bring back his daughter. But it helped, it helped him take one day at a time. It helped him to help regain that balance on his tightrope, not with drinking, but with counting his blessings and what he had, what was still there.
"It's good to have you back," Jolie whispered.
"Yea, I'm a bit tired though."
"It was a long day, we had the Phillips wedding to go to."
Jorge nodded, it was a nice wedding.
A bit strange since it was held in the office of a local gypsy.
Jorge was happy for him, since Alan had given up finding love since he was over thirty,
which is ironic since Sara had given up on love as well for the same reason.
"Yea, it has been a long day."
"I've been thinking...maybe we can use some of my bonus towards a nice little family vacation and maybe a short trip for just the two of us. A second honeymoon, perhaps?"
Jorge smiled, "I still can't believe that happened while I was gone, Queen of Sporks!"
Jolie laughed at his gentle teasing, she could still remember the phone call.
"Jolie, how are you? This is Jo, an agent from Maxis Talent. You have become quite the talk of the town lately - your latest menu has been praised as "a gift from the heavens" and "a miraculous delight." Listen, long story short, some entrepreneurial sims have approached me with some seeming lucrative endorsement deals. I want to present two of them to you, since they stand out from the rest. One investor offers
to put your name on a new brand of indestructible sporks, while another proposes a branded line of combination food processor/fax machines for the busy household. Which one would you like to endorse?"
She remembered the day of the taping and how she had second thoughts during the taping of the infomercial - "You mean I can eat soup AND meat with the SAME utensil? That's AMAZING!" - she doubted that her acting skills were that great. But she crossed her fingers and hoped for the best. She never imagined that the media would call her the Queen of Sporks, and that she would amass §20,000 for her successful endorsement.
"What do you think?"
"I think a vacation is just what we need."
Jolie got a lucky chance card and won §20,000, which was very nice
Some RL issues have come up which will take away a lot of simming time, but that's a good thing. So posts will be weekly from now on. Thanks for understanding.