Verde is 26, Lainey is 26, Esperanza is 1 (Carmela is 53 and Serendipity is 17)
“Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it’s better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself putting them back together.”
"You have to keep moving forward, don't look back. When you’re holding onto something, you’re less open to giving and receiving anything else. That includes the love that is already surrounding you." His uncle, Jorge, said.
Jorge knew from experience and he was merely repeating the words his twin brother, Julio, had shared with him as he struggled with the guilt over losing his daughter. Verde enjoyed their talks, since he knew that whenever his thoughts would turn to S'Ahmisa, he could go upstairs and get his uncle Jorge and he would talk with him.
Jorge shared how just because something didn't feel natural or was a struggle didn't mean that it wasn't worth pursuing. For him, it would be much easier to pick up his drinking habit again. It was a natural inclination after rough nights when Grace Elise would haunt his dreams or rough days when he felt everyone was walking on eggshells around him, afraid to even ask about his children. It was something he had to try hard at, the not passing by his favorite bar, or stopping to pick up a six pack and finishing it in the parking lot. It still wasn't natural and he didn't know if it would ever become natural to not crave the taste. Until then, he was going to his meetings, being honest with his wife about his struggles and taking it one simday at a time and sometimes one minute at a time.
Verde wondered if he would have to do the same with S'Ahmisa. He really wanted to make things work with Lainey, to show her that he was in love with her and willing to do what it took to be with her and his family, even if it did hurt him. Even if some days it seemed forced and fake and like he was trying too hard. Unfortunately he couldn't have the same support as his uncle. There were no support meetings for getting over a past lover, there wasn't a chance in hell that he would share his struggles with his wife, that would only make her feel more insecure and doubt his love. He could only do what he could, which was to avoid dialing her number, to not answer the phone the few times she called to chat with Lainey, to leave the house on the rare occasions she came to spend time with Esperanza and Lainey.
He knew that Lainey and S'Ahmisa knew of his struggle. He knew when Lainey would look at him as he silently passed the ringing phone to her because S'Ahmisa's number was flashing on the screen. He could see the hurt passing across her eyes before she grabbed the phone. He hated not being strong enough, but he hoped that she understood that he was struggling for her, for their family and to perserve what they had so carefully built. Some days he felt that she wanted more, more than he could give her. She deserved the romance, she deserved a husband that didn't struggle with his past, but he wasn't at that point yet.
He thought about the changes in the last simyear, before S'Ahmisa moved to Kimikura. He knew that S'Ahmisa would send Ming to the door to help Lainey get her things to meet the rest of the group on the sidewalk. He noticed the way S'Ahmisa avoided talking to him unless Lainey was in the room, or how she would stay close to Rashid or Ming when they were out in public. He appreciated S'Ahmisa's support and sensitivity, but he did miss chatting with his friend. However, his uncle Jorge would talk about the importance of boundaries and he knew that for now, this was wise...even if it did make him look weak.
"Each day it will get a little better, and hurt a little less." Jorge said, almost to himself.
Verde nodded, his uncle was right. It hurt a lot less than it did a simyear ago, or three simlonic months ago and some simdays he could see the light at the end of the tunnel to the day when he had completely let go of S'Ahmisa and what might have been. Until then he would practice fully embracing his present and his life with Lainey and Esperanza that he wasn't willing to lose. Until then, he would take it one step at a time.
Part of that meant that the family moved to a larger home. In addition to his family, Verde's mother and sister moved in as well, which made affording the home a little easier.
It wouldn't be that crowded for long as Serendipity would be graduating in a few simlonic months. She had been discussing moving to Kulo Seeri after graduation. It was a strange little hood, in Verde's opinion, but he could see why his sister was drawn to it. From her descriptions it seemed like it was a different sort of life with a small village and close community. It was something that his sister loved, a simple life. He was sure she would do fine, but he worried nevertheless.
They have moved into one of my Cottersome Gardens Townhomes.
Here's a peek at Esperanza, poor kitty.
Serendipity has made plans to move to Kulo Seeri after graduation.