Something Else






Serdar Green is 74; Brandi Green is 69; Cory Green is 48; Rose Green is 34; Sam is 16; Melissa is 14; Samantha Bradshaw is 25; Andrew Goss is 25; Helen Green is 34; Leo Deppiesse is 25


October 2024

It felt unusual, actually getting home early.  The shop was only open a half-day on a Saturday, but usually Cory spent the afternoon there anyway, taking care of the administrative tasks that he didn't have time for during the rest of the week.  But now Kyle was back and taking over more and more of the day to day running of the business.  All they needed to do was find another teenager to replace Autumn, and Cory probably wouldn't have to work at all some weekends in the future.

Meanwhile, a typical Saturday, he saw that his daughters both had friends around to visit. Corrine chasing a neighbor's kid around the yard, while Sam was chatting in the kitchen to a younger girl with purple hair.


Cory was about to ask Sam to introduce her, when the girl turned around.
"Melissa?!"  It couldn't be...
"Oh, hey, Cory," she said brightly.

It was, and it still felt strange, when she called him Cory.  A long time ago, she'd called him Daddy.  Except that he wasn't her daddy, her mother had made that quite clear, and in the wake of the divorce she'd had to start calling him something else.



"Um... Hi," Cory said, struggling to find his voice again.  "You've... um... that's different."
"Oh, yeah..." she fingered her hair.  "You like it?"
"Its.... It's colorful..." he said.  "What does your mother think of it?"
Melissa's face fell.  She shrugged.  "She just says I'm expressing myself."


"Yeah, you're defiantly doing that..."
"We've got to get going,"  Sam said.  "We're trying to turn her maths grade into something more spectacular than a D."
"You're getting D's?!"
"Yeah, but its no big deal... I mean, who even cares about high school grades, anyway?"
Cory started to say something, but Sam gave him a look... I'll deal with it...  Well, Sam knew her half-sister better than Cory did, so instead he muttered something about having things to do as well, and watched the girls run up the stairs.

When they had gone, he sat down heavily.  Thanks to Sam's friendship with Melissa, he'd seen her regularly throughout the years since the divorce, but... When did she ever get that old?!  Ok, so he hadn't seen her all summer, but still... how can a kid age about five years in less than six months??

Brandi had been watching the conversation.  "She's really growing up," she said.


"She's fourteen." Cory said.  "How the hell can her mother let her look like that at fourteen?!"
"Cory, its not - "
"I know," he cut her off sharply. "I know its not my business!"
"I know you thought she was yours, but - "
"She was mine!  I don't care what the paternity test said.  Until I knew otherwise, she was mine.  Nothing changes that".
----

"We should have gone to my place," said Melissa.  "My room's bigger, and I've got a tv."
"We're not here to watch tv," Sam said, "we're here to do your math homework."


"I can do both"
"Not this time.  We need to focus.  I've only got about an hour before I need to get ready for swimming practice."
"You think this is going to take more than an hour?!"
"Yeah," said Sam.  "What to you think?"
Melissa shrugged. "Well, I don't know.  You're the one who gets the A+ grades."
"Well, maybe you would too, if you turned off the tv and spent more than an hour on your homework."


"Whatever," said Melissa.  "Lets just get this over with..."

----

'I'm sure she's doing just fine," Serdar said.
"She has purple hair," said Cory.


"She's probably just an ordinary teenager," Serdar reassured him.  "You've been lucky, with Sam."
"I need a cigarette..." Cory muttered.
"No, you don't," said Serdar.   "You haven't needed a cigarette in two weeks.  You need to just go out tonight, forget everything and enjoy yourself.  You are still going, aren't you?"
"Yeah... we are, aren't we?" he asked Rose, as she sat down.
She nodded.  "Helen said she's coming too."
"Helen's bowling?" Serdar asked.  "She can't even walk properly."  He gestured a pregnant belly.
"I think she's just watching," Cory said. "But she's bringing her new boyfriend."


"So is Samantha," added Rose.
"Samantha has a boyfriend?"  Serdar was surprised.
"I thought she'd have told you," Cory teased. "you know, given how she's adopted you and all... "  He'd been pleasantly surprised when Samantha had visited his father in hospital, and even more so, a few days after Serdar had come home, when he'd arrived home to find her there poring over old family photos with him.


"Oh, very funny," said Serdar.  "If you could - " but he was cut off by a fit of coughing.
Cory felt himself tense.  It had been almost three weeks now.  He should be over this.  He remembered the doctor at the hospital, telling him that his father would continue to recover somewhat, at home... That worried Cory, that word 'somewhat'.  And the doctor's whole tone, that had made him uneasy.  Like there was something else he wasn't saying, that Cory should somehow know...

"Stop looking at me like that," Serdar said, finally getting the coughing under control.
"Like what?" Cory asked.
"Like I'm going to drop dead at any moment.  I'm not.  At least, not today."
"Dad, don't even - "

"Well, no one lives forever, " Serdar said.  "But right now, I'm ok.  At my age, it just takes a bit longer to get over things.  You know that."
Cory nodded, if just to reassure his father.  He wished that he could really believe it.

----

"You're late, " Helen said. "We thought you'd changed your mind or something."

"Not a chance!" Rose replied, as they sat down.  "This is the first time we've been out in almost a year.  Nothing could make me change my mind."
 "We were just talking about you managing the shop," Helen said to Cory.  "Leo is thinking of starting a business himself."


"A gardening shop,"  Leo said.  "I've been working as a gardener for years... I'd like to branch out into my own business, and there's nothing like that in Richmond at the moment.  Any advice?"

"Don't do it!" Cory said.  "Really.  I mean it... why do you  think we haven't been out in almost a year?  The shop ate all our free time."
"Surely it can't be that bad?" Leo said.  "I mean, aside from actually selling stuff, what else do - "


"Stock ordering," said Cory.  "Banking.  Pay accounts.  Stock the shelves..."
"... pay the staff.  Pay the taxes... " Rose added.
"... hire staff.  Keep the place tidy.  Advertising... "


"Ok, ok I get it!" Leo said.  "But other people manage to run businesses and have a life as well.  There must be ways to organise things... "
"Ok, to be fair, I was kind of dropped into the job unexpectedly," Cory said.  "It would probably make a difference if you have the chance to learn as much as you can about the business side of it before you start.  I've heard that there are courses for small business owners you can do, although I never had the time to look into it..."

Realising that they were about to settle into what could be a long conversation, Rose got up and gestured to Cory, turning his attention to the lanes where Samantha and her date Andrew were already bowling.  "You guys can talk shop later," she said.  "We're here to forget work, remember?  C'mon... ".  She went to join them.

Leo got up to follow them, then stopped.  He looked at Helen for a long moment.
"What?" she asked.
"I was just comparing," he said, grinning as he sat down. "Bowling ball... you... bowling - Ouch!"  He ducked and rubbed his shoulder.  "You've got a good punch."
"No sympathy," she said, laughing.  "You were asking for it.  And anyway, shouldn't you be over there with them bowling or something? "
"Here is better," he said, sliding an arm around her shoulder.


She nestled against him a little, then she pulled away.
"What's wrong?"
"Are you sure you want to get into this?" she asked.
"Sure I am.  Why wouldn't I be?"
"I'm pregnant."
"Yeah, I noticed."
"You know what I mean," she said.


"Well, yeah, but why should it be a problem.  I mean, lots of people have kids from previous relationships..."
"Yeah, but usually the kids are already born."
He shrugged.  "Same thing, really..."
"... except that its obviously not all that long since I was with the baby's father..."
"... but you told me that there was no real relationship there, right?  That it was just a casual thing?'  He pulled her back against him.


"And that doesn't bother you in itself?"
"Not unless it bothers you that I've just been in it for a bit of fun sometimes too."
"Is that what you're looking for now?  A bit of fun?"
 "No," he said.  "Not with you.  With you its something else."

It was pleasant enough just sitting watching everyone else bowl, but eventually they were pulled into the game too.  Leo felt that some were taking the it way too seriously...




...especially when their dedication produced such mixed results...



Not that he didn't get really into it himself, when his turn came...


Helen got into it, too... or at least, into giving her opinion on everyone else's attempts..


She definitely wasn't the only one studying someone else's style...


All in all, Leo decided, it was a great evening



Rose wasn't sure when Cory left the group, she just realised at some point that he was gone.  She found him sitting on the benches, lost in thought.
"You ok?" she asked.
"Fine," he said.  "Why?"
"I don't know what you were thinking about, but it didn't look good.  What is it?"


He shrugged.  "Everything.  The shop.   Dad.... "  He paused, then added, "Melissa..."
Rose sighed.. "The shop... ok, I can see why that's still on your mind.  And of course you're worried about your father... but Melissa?"
He'd seen this coming.  He knew she wouldn't understand, and how could he expect her to?  It had all happened years before they even met.  How could he ever explain it to her?  "She was mine," he attempted.  "I mean, I know she was never mine in a biological sense, but for those first years, I believed that she was.  I still care about what happens to her... you can't change what I already thought before I knew... "


"I know that," said Rose, "but that was over ten years ago.  Leave the past in the past, there's no point in dwelling on it now."
"You're probably right," he said.  He knew that there was no point in saying anything else.
"In any case, we're here to relax, remember?"
"I think I've forgotten how to relax..."
"No, you haven't," she said, sliding across the bench to him.  "You just need reminding..."  She wrapped her arms around him.
He pulled her closer.  "You might be right."  he said.
"Well, even if I'm not, we can have fun finding out... "


"Hey, are you ever going to bowl that thing?"
"Huh??"


"Bowl it," Andrew said.  "The ball.  You know, bowling ball?  Lane?  Pins at the end to knock over?"
"What... oh, sorry." Samantha said, feeling slightly stupid that she could actually forget something as heavy as a bowling ball in her hand.
"You know what your problem is?" Andrew said, after she'd finished her turn. "You're too easily distracted."


"I think I'm just tired," she said.
"Let's go outside," he said.  "The fresh air will wake you up and there are less distractions there."
"I take it you're not talking about distractions from bowling any more...?"






"It's getting late, said Andrew.  "Helen and Leo left ages ago.  We should go too..."
"You mean together?"
"Yeah, together."  He would have kissed her again, but she moved away.  "What's wrong?"
"I just... I don't know about this.  I mean, I like you a lot, but - "
"I thought there might be a 'but' coming..."
"I just want to take things slowly.  I've been burned before... I just don't want to rush into anything, ok?"
"Ok," he said, with a little smile.  "I understand.  I might just get going now, anyway... can I call you tomorrow?"
"Sure, I'd like that," she said.  "And thanks - it was a fun evening."
He nodded, and started down the street.  At the corner, he turned and looked back, but she had already gone inside.
------

Cory woke early the next morning, to the sound of his father coughing in the next room.  It hadn't disturbed Rose, but he was a light sleeper now at the best of times.  He lay awake and listened uneasily until the coughing stopped.



Realizing that he wasn't going to get back to sleep, he got up, pulled on a sweater, and went to check on his sleeping children.  Sam's bed was empty, but he had an idea of where she'd be.  He headed downstairs.


"What are you doing?" he called out the back door to her.
"Training."


"At six-fifteen on a Sunday morning?!"
"Why not?" she laughed.  "I need to beat my best time if I'm going to make the team for the winter championships."  Then she teasingly added, "Want to join me?"



Cory shook his head and made a dismissive gesture, as Sam laughed and went back to swimming lengths of the pool.  He watched her for a little while. "You've been lucky, with Sam..."


With a sigh, he reached into the back of a cupboard, fumbled around a little until he found what he was looking for.  No, he wasn't going to quit smoking.  At least, not this week.  On his way back up the stairs, he stopped at another cupboard, pulled out a box and took it with him to the deck outside his bedroom, when he lit a cigarette and opened it.

He didn't have much, from his old life.  He remembered the day he and his brother had gone back to his house.  Sharla was at work, Sam in school and Melissa in daycare.  He still had a key, but he felt like an intruder, a thief in what had been his own home.  They'd taken the bare minimum - clothes, a few personal items.  He didn't think about photos or mementos or anything like that.  Luckily, though, they'd taken his camera.  He did at least have the photos that had been on it at the time.



Rose came up behind him.  She put her arms around him and looked over his shoulders at the pictures of Melissa.


"She was mine," was all he could say.
"I know," she said, and held him tighter.  "I know that she was."

----

(I liked the clock enough to give it a cameo :)  )

Cory really does still care about what happens to Melissa...


... and he's scared of having more kids!  I don't often see a family sim roll that one.


This post is photographed partially in the old hood and partially in the new, remade one... I think I got away with only one minor continuity error :)  At least all my sims are behaving in character in the new hood...




All the scenes of Samantha staring at Cory happened autonomously... maybe sims stare at each other all the time and I notice it more because of the story, but she really made herself clear when I was photographing/playing the bowling evening... she and Andrew were outside autonomously flirting and low-level kissing, then they finished their kiss and she just turned and went back inside, sat down right next to Cory and started talking to him... poor Andrew was still standing outside alone!  So that inspired the last part of the evening in the story.


As for Helen and Leo... couldn't fit this one in the story, but they make a cute couple:




... and he definitely has no reservations about the relationship... when I took Samantha and Andrew outside, this is what we found!




... yeah, ++ , but you're gonna get arrested doing that! I decided that, in-story at least, I'd just say they went home together... :)

7 comments:

  1. That's really sweet that Cory still cares so much about Melissa. I can imagine how much it must sting to go from being "Dad" to "Cory".

    It's funny but I actually see my Family Sims roll the fear of a baby quite often! It's usually only when they're middle-aged or when they've already got a few kids under their belts. It's a pretty consistent fear for my Caleb. He's 46 and has 3 kids, one of whom is already an adult. So he's decided he's done with kids!

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  2. Like Carla I have seem family sims fear having a baby. Last time, she already had four child and the youngest set of twins were toddlers. I was happy she had that fear because I didn't want her to have anymore babies.

    Cory and Melissa's relationship is really sad. I am sure that inside he still thinks of Melissa as "his". It must be really hard for him to see her and think of all the father-daughter moments that they shared.

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  3. Carla, I was really pleased when Cory started rolling wants for Melissa again... I can imagine that it would be like having your child taken off you or something, suddenly being told you have no connection with her anymore...

    Your Caleb is similar age and same number of kids as Cory, only difference is that Cory's eldest is only a teen... I guess some sims just decide enough is enough - which is a good thing when there are couples like my Alex & Jane who have more than they can handle!

    Oasis, it is really sad. Melissa is going to play a fairly big part in the story ahead so you will see more of how things develop for them.

    I'd be glad that sim didn't want to have babies any more... sometimes I wish more of my sims felt that way :)

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  4. The clock! lol! :)

    Poor Andrew indeed! I just don't know if there's room on Samantha's radar at all with all the space Cory's taking up, lol! That's one heck of a crush she's got there! My bet is that Rose notices too, with as close as she was keeping tabs on her husband, marking her territory. I'd be doing the same thing, lol!

    Helen and Leo are cute!

    Awww, about Melissa :( I actually love her hair though! I had purple hair for a minute when I was a teenager, definitely expressing myself! My mother didn't approve of it though, lol!

    Ditto what the other said, my family Sims roll the baby fear ALL the time! Maybe more often than other aspirations even, which is odd.

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  5. Poor Cory going for dad to just Cory, it's understandable that he still cares for Melissa, after all he thougt she was his for quite some time before it all became clear.

    Helen and Lea are a cute couple, I think they fit perfectly :)

    Poor Andrew, trying to get Samantha's attention when Cory is around, must be very hard to do.

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  6. I feel for Cory. People form bonds for children that are adopted and Leo will likely form a bond with Helens child. I think it's a little insensitive for people to think that he would/should stop caring just cause they don't share blood.

    I'd actually like to see him make a relationship with her again.

    Serdar, his coughing makes me sad. Cory definetly has a lot going on, and Immglad that be has Rose, she's a good foundation for him.

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  7. Laura, you might be right about Rose... she jumped into Cory's lap autonomously, so maybe she was making a point! Lol your hair... in Melissa's case, she's lucky her mother even noticed... but I'm getting ahead of myself here... :)

    Tanja, yeah, Andrew didn't pick an easy relationship, did he?

    Maisie, I really like that comparison, to an adoptive relationship... I think probably, when people don't understand, they're also thinking about the amount of time that has passed, and the fact that it might not be good to hang onto the past, especially when the past is as messy as Cory's is. But he can't change how he feels anyway, and that's kind of what Rose came to realise at the end.

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Thanks for reading and commenting!