For out-takes, Gameplay and Storytelling notes, and other miscellaneous rambling, visit Richmond Behind-the-Scenes

Looking for a Happy Ending Part 5


May 2026

Rose Green is 36; Cory Green is 49; Melissa is 16
Thomas Beare is 16; Georgia and Garrett Newson are 15

Previous update here and here

"I've booked you in at the hairdresser for tomorrow afternoon," Rose told Melissa. "It should be long enough now to get a proper cut."


"Ok," said Melissa. 
Rose studied the girl's face for some sign on a reaction beyond just "ok" - some excitement... hell, some interest even. There was none.

If she were completely honest, Rose didn't fully know what she expected with Melissa, but it certainly wasn't this strangely quiet girl who barely left her bedroom.

Rose and Cory had hoped that Melissa would at least enjoy redecorating the bedroom, but she'd shown little enthusiasm for even that project. They'd finally taken what little she had said, put it together with what Cory remembered of her bedroom at Sharla's house, and come up with something that they hoped Melissa liked.



She'd said she like it, but it was still hard to tell, when the girl showed so little emotion. Rose briefly felt a bizarre temptation to shake her or yell at her, do something just to get a reaction. Instead, she found herself looking down at the laundry basket. 


"That's getting a bit full," she said.
Melissa just nodded.
"You do realise you have to do your own laundry like Sam does?"


"I... I can't," Melissa said.
"Why not?"
"I don't know how to use the machine... the butler always did it at Mum's place."
"Well, we don't have a butler here," Rose said, gesturing to the basket, "so you'd better bring that and come with me."


"That's easy!" Melissa said, when the washing machine was finally running.
"Yeah, it is," Rose said. "Were you expecting it to be difficult?"
"Well... yeah. I mean, we had the butler do it. Why bother when its that easy?"


Rose shrugged. "I don't know, to save time, maybe?"
"You're busier than Mum is."
"Different people just have different ways of doing things. Sometimes that's all the reason you need."

----

Different ways of doing things.... Yeah, this family definitely had different ways of doing things... at least, different to what Melissa was used to.  They were loud, for starters. Melissa had already known that, from the times she'd visited Sam here.


But visiting was one thing, living in it was overwhelming. She wished Sam were home more often, but she spent most of her spare time away, even staying overnight with her boyfriend at the university. Melissa couldn't blame her for that, especially when they had a baby on the way, but it would have been good to have had her sister here to talk to.


Then there were the rules. Back when he'd told Melissa that they wanted her to live with them, Cory had said that they had rules. Melissa would be expected to follow them, if she lived in their house. She'd agreed. What else could she do? She had nowhere else to go. She didn't even know what the rules were, but she was finding out fast.

There were rules about clothes, and pretty much everything she owned  was either too short, too low or too tight.  She'd finally got around it by layering things that she'd never meant to layer, and generally showing as little actual skin as possible.

And there were rules about makeup - the only acceptable amount being, next-to-none. And her hair. She couldn't really blame that one on Cory and Rose, since her new school had a rule about 'no unnatural colors', but she suspected they'd have the rule anyway, if the school didn't.

Her new school. She'd only been there a couple of weeks, and already she hated it. She knew that everyone there stared at her and whispered behind her back. They all knew her - the one who ran away and had her picture in the newspaper, the one who's parents didn't want her back, the one who was kicked out of private school...


 Well, no one had actually said that she was kicked out, but it wasn't hard to work out. Her bad grades already had her an inch away from being expelled, and a four month absence would have sealed the deal. The only good thing she could thing of about it, was that she'd be at the same school as Thomas.

Except that Thomas wasn't talking to her any more.


"You just left," he said. "I thought you were different!"
"But - "
"You didn't say good bye, you didn't call. You didn't even care."
"I had a reason."
"What reason could possibly be good enough to make up for that?"


"I - I can't tell you,"
"Yeah, thought so."
"Thomas, I - "
"Just leave me alone."

So she did, although it was hard when they were in the same class now.


It hurt every time she saw him.


Melissa jumped when the other girl spoke. She hadn't been expecting anyone to talk to her, and Georgia was the kind of perky person who never stopped smiling. It was the last thing Melissa needed.


"Um... I know you, right?" Georgia said. "I mean, your foster dad works for my foster dad in the bookshop, right?"
"Yeah, so what?" Melissa said.

"So... um... my brother and I are going bowling tonight, and we... I mean... I know its Friday and you might have other plans..." She reminded Melissa of a nervous, overexcited puppy. "His girlfriend's going, too," she went on, "...and I wondered if you'd like to come, to, you know, even out numbers?"


"Bowling's for kids," Melissa said, walking away. "Go find someone else to use to even out  your numbers."

---

The fire alarm was was the first thing Cory heard, when he stepped out of the car.


He ran into the kitchen just as Rose put out the last of the flames.


"What the hell - "
"I didn't mean for it to start on fire!" Melissa wailed as Rose put down the fire extinguisher.
"Well, then what - " Cory started, but Sam raced in from somewhere behind him.

"Oh, wow, that was impressive!" Cory was stunned to see his daughter grinning at Rose.


"What are you smiling about, and what the hell are you doing in here?!" Cory yelled at her. "You know what to do if the alarm goes off! You're supposed to be outside with the kids!"
"Well, someone had to call to tell them not to send the fire brigade," Sam said.


"Fire brigade?" said Melissa.
"Yeah, fire brigade," said Sam. "The alarms are monitored. If we don't call the security company in three minutes, they call the fire brigade."
"I..I didn't mean... "
"It's ok," said Rose. "It was an accident."

"It's not ok," said Cory. "What the hell happened?"
"I was trying to cook something!" Melissa said.
"Why?"


"Because... because I always wanted to learn to cook and laundry was so easy and I thought cooking would be too."
"Do you know what happened to my mother?"
"She died, didn't she?"
"Yeah, she died, in a fire."


Melissa visibly paled. "Are you saying I could have killed someone?"
"Yes!"

"No!" said Rose. "Cory, calm down! She set a pot on fire, that's all. It was nothing."
"Nothing?! Do you know what could have - "


"It didn't happen! Now, calm down. You're scaring everybody." She gestured to the two younger children, who had just come back inside.
"Fine, whatever you say!" Cory stormed out of the room.

When Sam had gone back upstairs with the kids, Rose turned back to Melissa. "Are you ok?"


"He was really upset, wasn't he?"
"He'll be ok. He just needs some space to calm down."
"He said I could have killed someone."


"He's just... it's like he said, his mother died in a fire, and he's been in a house fire himself... you know how it is, when something's really frightened you a lot? Sometimes you can't stop yourself from being scared, even when you know that there isn't any real danger. Do you know what I mean?"
"I guess so... "
"Ok... now help me clean this up and we can make dinner together."


"You really want me to... after this?"
"Sure. You said you wanted to learn to cook, didn't you?"

---

It was Monday, and Melissa was already tired. She didn't sleep well at the best of times, and she'd just spent the whole weekend worrying that Cory would throw her out for almost burning down his kitchen.


He hadn't though, and no one had even mentioned the fire again after she and Rose finished cleaning up the kitchen. Even so, Melissa couldn't put it out of her mind. Which was probably why she didn't notice Georgia until it was too late to avoid her.

"Your hair's nice," Georgia said.
"What does it matter to you?"


"I'm only trying to be friendly."
"I don't have friends"
"That's not surprising!" said Gavin.
"Gavin, don't - " Georgia started.


"No, I'm sick of this," he said, turning back to Melissa. "She's tried to be friendly and all you've done is thrown it back in her face. You're not the only one who's ever had a rough time. We've been orphaned twice."


"That's stupid, you can't be orphaned twice!"
"Ok, maybe we weren't orphaned the first time... but we were in a children's home, no one wanted us, so it was the same thing. Then this lady adopted us, then she died. So we were orphaned twice."

"Oh... ok..." Melissa didn't really know what to say.


"It's ok, though," Georgia said quickly. "We all stayed together, our brothers and sisters and us... and we got awesome foster parents, too."
"You mean Cory's boss?"
"Yeah... although Cory's nice, too. I work at the shop after school sometimes. He was really worried about you when you were away."


"Really?"
"Yeah. Why are you surprised? He got you to live with him, didn't her?"

Before Melissa could reply, another girl raced up to them. "There you are!' she said, grabbing Garrett's hand. "I've been looking everywhere for you!" She looked at Melissa. "So, have you decided to talk to us kids now?"


"Hope!"
"It's ok," said Melissa. "I shouldn't have said that... I was having a bad day..."
"Does that mean you'll come bowling with us then?" Georgia asked, grinning at Melissa. That overexcited puppy thing again.


"Yeah," said Melissa. "If you still want me to, I'd like that."

---

Melissa never looked forward to bedtime. She didn't sleep well at the best of times, and tonight she had a lot to think about.  Like people who were orphaned twice and still smiled all the time, and the possibility that Cory had worried about her when she was away.


But most of all lately, she'd found herself thinking about something Rose had said.



You know how it is, when something's really frightened you a lot? Sometimes you can't stop yourself from being scared, even when you know that there isn't any real danger. Do you know what I mean?



Melissa knew.


She knew all too well.
---

Melissa had a want to serve food, so we went with it. Bad idea, and bad start with her cuisine oth. Of the 4 teen/adult sims present, Rose was the only one I could control long enough to get her to put out the fire... also, I figured that given his history, Cory wouldn't take this well.

Garrett's girlfriend Hope is a grand-daughter of Ashley Pitts II, via his eldest daughter. You'll see a bit more of that family in the near future, too.

6 comments:

  1. Gah, I hate reading Melissa stories, they tug at the heart too much and that last image, gah! Heart breaking into a million pieces over the trama and issues she will have to work through for her entire life. Hopefully Ginger can show her that its possible to thrive in spite of trama.

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    1. I was so pleased when they got on well in-game, because I think the friendship could be good for both of them. Georgia seems like such a positive person who could have a good influence on Melissa, and Melissa could be good for her in that her only friend aside from her family/foster family is her brother's girlfriend.

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  2. I really love how Rose has taken to having Melissa living with them. It cannot possibly be easy for her but I think she's really going to be able to help Melissa. Or I hope so anyway.

    I have the same hope for Ginger. I hope someone can help Melissa, anyway. Poor thing. That last picture!

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    1. In-game Rose seems to go out of her way to talk to Melissa, and they became friends quite quickly - which surprised me and went against the way I'd planned to write it! But, yeah, it makes a better story this way, and I can imagine Rose herself being surprised by the way it developed.

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  3. Oh Melissa just breaks my heart, that last photo is just sad beyond words. I'm glad that she is getting in with Georgia, and going to bowl. I know it can't be easy for her to open up and to try and move forward, but I think Georgia could be good for her. It's too bad that Sam isn't around for Melissa ether, that would have been nice if she had been, it's got to be hard for Melissa to just join in with this family.

    I'm so glad that Rose is being kind to her, and really helping her learn new skills, but not bashing Melissa's Mom and her old life. Very well done. Cory, oh man, I had hoped that he would have missed it all being at work, and it could have just been a story for him. Bad timing all around, he definitely lost his cool, loved the looks of all their faces in reaction to him. He doesn't usually flip out like that, so I imagine it was quite shocking. Again, I'm happy with how Rose explained it to Melissa, and just moved on with the cooking. Here's hoping for the best for them all.

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    1. Definitely bad timing - in game, the fire really happened just as Cory arrived home - he was hugging his son on the driveway, then the alarm went off and they raced inside to panic with everyone else. I figured if anything was going to make him really lose it, it'd be that. Not helpful, though!

      See above re Rose and Melissa - I really am pleased with the way this is working out because it's adding something to both their stories that I would never have thought of myself.

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Thanks for reading and commenting!