Lily Jung is 33; Vince Jung is 30; Willow Centowski is 54; Alex Centowski is 32; Jane Centowski is 35 .
Lily’s Children: Raine (Kauffmann) is 8; Victoria is 6; Amber is 9mths.
Alex’ Children: Janie is 9; Kimberly is 7; Christopher is 5; Kathryn & Jacob are 4.
The house was too quiet. They'd already driven the kids up to Richmond, then come back here to Bluewater for a few more things. Now it was time to leave again, and Lily took a long look around the living room.
"I'm going to miss this place" she said, more to herself than to her husband Vince, although he answered anyway.
"I knew you would."
Lily knew she would, too, but she'd already thought it through, a hundred times. Mum needed her. Even though her siblings all lived closer, she was the only one in the position to move back home. Half of Dad's problem was that he'd spent all day alone in that big empty house thinking about how miserable he was. She wouldn't let her mother do the same. And in any case, it wasn't going to be forever.
She looked around one final time. "Lets go, its getting late".
The kids were asleep, but Willow didn't want to go to bed yet. She used the excuse of waiting up for Lily and Vince to get back. As much as she'd tried to talk Lily out of moving her family up here, she had to admit that, even after just one day, she loved having children in the house again. She'd felt better today, spending time with her grandchildren, than she had in a long time.
Well, most of the time.
It was hard - impossible - to not think about Kyle. She hadn’t even seen him since that night, as he was refusing all visitors. Maybe that was a good thing, really. She had no idea what she'd say to him now.
Don't know why you're so upset. You were going to leave him anyway.
Everyone knew about it now. She'd needed to talk to someone during the long wait at the hospital, and Ashley already knew most of the story. Neither of them had heard James come into the waiting room until it was too late. But the whole family... hell, the whole floor, had heard when James realised what they'd been talking about. He'd only calmed down when Ashley threatened to have him removed from the hospital.
No one talked about it, at least not to her. They talked about just about anything else, but not about that. Sometimes, she was glad she didn't have to discuss it or try to justify herself. Other times, she just wished someone would come right out and say it - so you told your depressed husband that you were leaving him, and later that day he tried to kill himself, right?
How do you even try to justify that? Do you talk about survival, about how if she’d stayed, he would have taken her down with him? About how he she felt like she was living with a stranger who just happened to be enough like the man she loved, to make it hurt every time he pushed her away? About how she’d waited so long for things to change and it never happened?
Well, things had changed now. And in the end, it didn’t matter what excuses she made. She only had herself to blame.
The morning after Lily’s family moved in, her brother Alex and his wife Jane came over with their kids. They hadn’t visited much lately, Alex said, as Kyle had found the kids too noisy.
They were noisy, Lily realised, although she decided they weren’t much more so than any other kids. It was the number of them that made the difference. When they married, Alex and Jane had decided to forgo any form of family planning, preferring to "let nature take its course".
When nature had produced twins from Jane's fourth pregnancy, they had quickly decided to change their stance.
One of the things that Lily loved the most about her parents' house, was her father's huge collection of books, and she used Alex’s visit as an opportunity to sneak away and start digging through the shelves. It had grown even more, she realized, since she was last here, as she set aside a pile for future reading.
"There's more in your father's office," Willow told her. "I think some of your grandfather's books are there, too... Alex bought them over when he redecorated the bedroom.". Alex and his family had lived with Orlando for the last few years, in the house across the street, where their father and his siblings had grown up. As had always been their intention, Alex and his wife Jane had bought the house from Orlando's estate.
He said he'd felt a bit uneasy at first about redecorating and changing anything... Lily wondered if it was anything like the uneasiness she felt now, walking into Dad's office. It was almost like treading on forbidden ground. In a way, she was - the office had been strictly out of bounds when they were children and Dad was working. For all that she wanted the chance to look through Granddad's books, this had probably been a bad idea.
"Oh, Dad..." she whispered, as she looked around. The place was a mess. How the hell did he let this happen? Her father's neat-freak ways were legendary in their family. She wished she'd never opened the door. She started to tidy up a bit, when something on the desk caught her eye.
A publisher's rejection letter. She'd seen a few of these before, only confirming for her that she'd been right to not tell anyone that she was submitting her short stories for publication. It was somehow reassuring to know that, even as a published writer, her father still shared that experience. Curious, she picked up the attached manuscript and started to browse through it.
"Lily, Steve's here," Willow called up the stairs.
"Be there in a minute," she called back. Carefully rearranging the things on the desk so it wouldn't be missed, she took the manuscript and hid it in the back of a drawer in the bedroom, before she went down.
This one’s in parts because it got sooo big… I’m trying to capture some of the reactions to what happened with Kyle, introduce some more of the family, and mix in a gameplay note or two. Along with that, its getting near the end of my ‘introduction’ section now and soon I’ll go back to my usual round, playing the houses in sequence… so I want to tie up some things, and introduce others that I’ll follow up on early in the round.
Just to clarify… Lily is Rose’s twin, and Alex is Kyla’s twin… Kyle and Willow had two sets of twins, a sim-year apart, my one and only experiment with the free time twin bonus. Never again! :)
Alex’s family is another kind of experiment, I left them with ACR and no birth control, to see what would happen with just the default settings. After their twins, I called the experiment off and turned the bc on!. I like to have one or two big families in my hood but I could see this getting really out of hand…