Naturally Good - Part 2

Leo Deppisse is 27; Helen Depiesse is 35; Lizzie is 7 months
Andrew Goss is 26

August 2025

Part One

Andrew and Leo spent the next half-hour or so, tossing around a football outside the apartments.


Andrew had to admit, he did feel a bit more alive afterwards.
"That's better," said Leo,  when they were back inside.  Andrew wasn't sure if he was talking about him, or the apartment. "Now, what's next?"

"I think I need a shower," said Andrew.


"That's not what I meant," said Leo.  "What's next for you - in the future?  You can't sit around here forever, and I don't think you can afford to even if it was a good idea."
"I have savings..." said Andrew.
"... which will last... how long?"

Andrew shrugged.  He hadn't given it much thought.  He'd had plenty of money aside, having lived on next-to-nothing most of his adult life.  It wasn't the first time he'd been out of work... although, he had to admit, he'd never been jobless for this long before.

Usually, a situation like this, he'd just move on somewhere else, but he felt oddly settled in here.  He looked around the apartment.  It was still far too bare, but he'd at least stared to change that, with some bits and pieces he'd found at a yard sale while he was walking Hartman, and the little potted tree and the weird cactus-thing Leo had given him.


"You need to sort yourself out," said Leo.  "You need to make some decisions about what you're going to do next."
"I don't know," said Andrew.  "Maybe it is time to leave town again..."
"I think if you were going to do that, you'd have done it long ago," said Leo.
"What do you mean?"
"Let's see... You lost your job almost two months ago, you're still here... more to the point, you broke up with Samantha eight months ago, and you're still here.  ... "
"Eight months!! Had it really been eight months already??"
Leo nodded.
"How the hell did that happen?!"


"It just happened," said Leo, "and stop trying to change the subject."
"What subject?"
Leo sighed in exasperation.  "The subject of your future!!

"Yeah... ok... maybe I do want to stay here,"  Andrew said slowly.  If he were to be completely honest, the idea had been floating around in his mind for some time now.  He'd grown up near here, and through all his years of travelling, he's always found himself coming back every few months.  Maybe it was finally time to stop fighting it and settle down...

"Good," said Leo.  "Now, we're getting somewhere.  Next thing, you need to find a job."
"Well, I did try, right after I lost the other one... but I was fired, remember?  No one wanted to take me when there was always someone else with a better record..."  He stopped for a moment, then said suddenly, "Hey, maybe you could hire me!  I know you hired Jay from downstairs, so...?"


"I'm kind of looking for people with some experience with growing things," said Leo.  "Have you ever had any kind of gardening job?"

"I spent a summer cutting grass once."
"Not quite what I had in mind," said Leo, "Do you know anything at all about plants?"
"Um... you need to water them... don't you?"
"Now I know why I gave you a cactus!"
"Huh?" said Andrew.
"Never mind."


Andrew frowned.  He wasn't even going to try to figure out what that meant.  His eye caught the book Leo had collected for him.  He realized that he'd be able to do his own book shopping again, now that Samantha was gone.  He'd missed going to the bookshop, relying on Leo and on mail order since the breakup.  It wasn't the same as browsing through the actual books, reading the covers, finding things you weren't expecting to find...

He realized that Leo was still talking.  ".... and I know you've had a lot of different short-term jobs while you were travelling, but I think you need to take a different approach this time."

"What... what do you mean?"  He tried to pull his attention back to the conversation.
"If you're planning to stay here for good, you need to find a job you'll be happy in.  Find something you're naturally good at, do something you love..."

Something he loved?  Andrew had never thought about it that way before.  A job was just a job, a way to earn some money before you move on.  Of course, some had been better than others, but he couldn't honestly say he'd loved any of them...  His eyes drifted back to the book.  Maybe if Leo would stop lecturing him and leave soon, he'd be able to spend the evening...

"Andrew... Andrew!  Are you even listening to me?"
"Uh... no," said Andrew.
Leo sighed.  "Look, this is serious.  The book's not going anywhere, you can stop staring at it and... " he trailed off thoughtfully.
"What, I'm not the one staring at it now," Andrew said.
"I've got it!!"  Leo spoke so suddenly, that Andrew jumped.
"Got what?"



"An idea... for a job for you."  He said excitedly, looking at his watch.  "But we have to go now... you've got a better chance if you can save him the trouble of advertising..."
"Save who... what?"
"Come on," said Leo, starting for the door.  "I'll explain on the way."
"But... I need a shower first!"
"Well, hurry, then... you need to get there before the shop closes."

----

The sound of the front door opening woke Helen.  She rolled over sleepily to look at the clock.


Lizzie!  If she'd slept that long without being woken by the baby crying...

She was in the nursery before she even had time to wake up properly.  Lizzie was lying awake, quietly cooing to herself as she tried to grab at the mobile above the crib.


Helen sagged against the wall, close to crying in relief.  Lizzie had never been quiet for that long before.  She didn't hear Leo come up the stairs, and jumped at the sudden hand on her shoulder.
"Are you ok?" he asked.
"What... why?"  She still felt foggy, half-awake.
"You're still in your robe.  Are you sick or something?"


"No... I just... " Just what?  Just slept so heavily, you were afraid something had happened to the baby and you hadn't even realized?  Just wasted the whole day while he was out working?  She remembered with embarrassment that even the breakfast dishes would still in the sink downstairs.
"Helen, what's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong," she said automatically.


"Something is wrong," he said.  "I could see it this morning.  We need to talk about it if - " He was cut off by the telephone ringing.
"Can you get that?" said Helen, with relief, as she pushed past him out the door.  She ran downstairs and turned on the water in the sink, as if by cleaning up now she might somehow make him forget the mess he'd come home to.

---

Kyle was about to lock the shop door when Andrew came charging up the steps.  "Sorry, we're just closing," he said, wondering what could be so urgent in a book shop, to bring him running like that.


"I'm not here to buy anything, " Andrew gasped.  "I need to talk to you.  You remember me, right?  I used to shop here a lot, then... uh... "
Kyle nodded.  He remembered Andrew, and he also remembered why he hadn't seen him in the shop for a while.  "You and Samantha were together for a while."
"Yeah, but she's kind of why I'm here.  Have you found anyone to replace her?"
"Uh... no," said Kyle, surprised by the question.  "I mean, I've had a teenage girl working full-time over the summer - "
" - but she'll be starting back at school soon, right?"


"Yes, but... what's this all about?" 
"Your manager's gone too, right?" Andrew said.
"He's on leave at the moment, yes." said Kyle.  
"Then you must really need staff, right?"
Suddenly, Kyle understood.  "Are you asking me for a job?"


Andrew nodded.  "I've had experience in sales, and I love books.  You know that.  You know how often I used to shop here."
"Yes, but... wait a minute," said Kyle, "didn't you used to work for my sister at the park cafe?"
"Uh... yeah," said Andrew, looking at the ground.
"... and I seem to remember that she fired you."
"Yes."
"So you're saying that my sister fired you, but you want me to give you a job?"


"Yes."  He looked up again.  "Look, it was my fault I was fired, I won't deny that.  I was distracted, but I'm not any more.  I won't let it happen again, I need the work too much.  I want to stay in town, I've got an apartment now. I've got as dog to support."


Kyle stared at Andrew, who just grinned back hopefully.  He couldn't believe that he was even considering it, but... well, he definitely needed someone.  And this way, he wouldn't have to take the time and trouble of advertising and interviewing, either.

They'd hired Cory straight out of rehab, and they'd hired Samantha out of... well... nowhere, from what he'd heard.  How much worse could it be to hire a guy who'd just been fired?

"Ok, " he said, "when can you start?"
----

"That was Andrew," Leo said.  "He's finally got another job."
"That's good," said Helen, without looking up from the sink.


"Leave that," Leo said.  "We need to talk."
"I just have to... "
"No, leave it."  He reached over her to turn off the taps.  "Come on, sit down," he said, gesturing to the sofa.  He watched as she took an unusually long time, drying her hands.  "What's going on?" he asked, when she finally joined him.
"I told you, nothing's - "


"Helen, come on!  I'm not blind.  You haven't been the same since we came back from the honeymoon.  At first I thought it was because of Cory, but... there's something else, isn't there?"
Helen sighed, looking at her lap, then back up at him.  "Yeah, there's something else," she finally said.  "Leo, I'm pregnant."

For a moment, Leo couldn't quite grasp what she'd said.  Then, it hit him.  "Oh, my God!"  He jumped up from the sofa, grinning broadly.  "Oh... wow!  That's great, that's - "  Then he looked back at Helen.  
She wasn't smiling.  

Confused, he sat down next to her again.  "That's good news... isn't it?"
"I guess... I just... "
"We talked about this.  We both wanted kids together." 


"I know, I... maybe I just wish it wasn't so soon.  I mean, I was looking forward to Lizzie being a little more independent, and I... sometimes it's so hard even... sometimes I feel like I don't even know how to look after Lizzie, never mind having another one..."
"What do you mean?" Leo asked.  "You're a great mother."
To his surprise, Helen started to cry.


"What is it?" he asked.  "What's wrong?"
"You don't know... you don't understand," she sobbed.
"Then make me understand," he said.  "I can't even try to understand if you don't talk to me."
"You won't like it..."


"Let me decide that," he said, pulling her into his arms, holding her close until she stopped sobbing.  "Just tell me everything, just explain it to me, and we'll sort it out from there."
She looked up at him, nodding.  "Ok," she said.  "Ok, I'll try..."

---

When April Bertino kept rolling wants to fire Andrew, I planned that he would work for Leo in the new gardening shop.  But Kyle was more desperate - his only working employee at the moment is his former foster daughter, 16 year old Georgia Newson, but its not realistic to have her there full time when school starts back.  

All the random stuff in Andrew's apartment is stuff I found in his inventory from his visits to owned community lots.  I love finding what my sims bring home, then trying to figure out a reason that person would have bought that particular thing...

4 comments:

  1. I think Andrew would be a perfect employee in the bookstore, at first I thought he might leave for Simsville and work in the bookstore that Samantha just wrote Helen about. In a way, I kind hope that Andrew and Samantha get back together.

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  2. Andrew replacing Samantha at the bookstore is perfect! He needs a job, Kyle needs an employee - fantastic!

    I'm glad Helen finally told Leo she's pregnant and that she's going to talk to him about how she's been feeling lately. He might not understand but he can try and just knowing she's not shouldering it all alone might help.

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  3. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Apple Valley, that's an interesting idea, to have Andrew follow Samantha. I'm not quite sure I want to let go of him, though :) There's someone else here in Richmond who might be right for him... but given that I let my sims decide these things for themselves, and he still rolls wants for Samantha... who knows!

    Carla, it has worked out well for Andrew and Kyle. I don't think Leo was going to let Helen keep her feelings to herself for long, which is probably a good thing, for her sake.

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  4. I hope Leo doesn't think of Helen badly after she tells him how she really feels. It's pretty obvious that she's not feeling 100% so I hope he's understanding.

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Thanks for reading and commenting!