“Arturo, you heard?”
He had. It had all seemed so perfect that day, the sunlight, friends. No hint of what was to come. Or worse, maybe there had been hints, and he’d been too blind to see them.
“I’m so happy you’re finally doing this.” Bella said, pulling Arturo into a tight hug.
“I was told it was time,” Arturo grinned back. If he’d know how fun weddings were he’d have done this earlier. It was like a giant party with all his friends. Food was catered, an open bar, dancing. Truly a perfect day.
“I’m glad that I approached you that day. You know, I almost didn’t, but you looked so happy.”
“Back when I first moved to town? I was terribly miserable,” Arturo laughed.
“Not when you were dancing. You were completely lost in the music and I knew we had to meet.”
“Well, I’m glad you did. You’re my best friend here in town.”
“You’re mine too.”
He didn’t see Bella much for the rest of the wedding, with the vows, and cakes, and crowds. But he didn’t have more than a few minutes with anyone before he was being called away and congratulated by another group. How could he have known it was the last time?
“Yes, I heard. Hayden called last night,” he told Katie over the phone.
“What’s he going to do now?”
“I haven’t heard. We’re taking the girls to the park today though, you’re welcome to tag along with Karen.”
No one had much fun at the park. Sam tried to engage everyone in his pirate escapades, but the girls were sad and lackluster in their play. Sam had been told to be nice to them, but it wasn’t fun being a space pirate when your minions kept ignoring their orders and you weren’t allowed to yell at them.
Eventually they gave up and hung out on the monkey bars while the adults were busy chatting. To Sam it felt like the whole world was waiting for something, but he didn’t know what. “I heard your mom died.” Sam said at last. He tried to image a world without his mom. Was it even possible that the sun would rise without his mom there singing and making pancakes? It would be light, but it wouldn’t be morning.
“She was sick.”
“Dad says we’re moving to Oasis Springs. That’s where he’s from originally.”
“Oh.” He wondered how far away Oasis Springs was. “I’ll miss you.”
Now, all his friends were growing up or growing away. First, Stefan moved on to high school. They still saw each other, but it wasn’t the same, he didn’t want to play Space Pirates now, and he was too tall to play on the monkey bars. If Rachelle and Stefanie moved away, he only had Karen. Despite his mom’s efforts, he didn’t really get along with her. They were just too different.
But, things would be better when his little sister was born, right? She couldn’t go away so he’d always have a willing minion. At least that what he hoped. What if Isabelle was like Karen and didn’t like playing make believe?
“Oooh, thanks.” Chana said leaning into the massage. “I’ve had that knot all day.”
Arturo leaned in close, stealing a kiss. “Any day now?”
“Any moment, I hope,” she said. “I forgot how annoying this is at the end. I can never seem to get comfortable.”
Arturo continued rubbing her shoulders in silence. He wasn’t exactly sure how to broach the subject, but Chana and Bella had been good friends, right?
“I was thinking about changing her name,” he began.
Chana raised her eyebrows. “Our baby?”
“Isabella.” He waited and was relieved when a smile broke out on Chana’s face.
“Oh, that’s a lovely thought.”
Not long after their conversation, little Isabella (Bella to her father) was born.
She was a spark of joy in the Huffmans’ life. Her laughter brought smiles to everyone’s faces and helped chase away the cloud of sorrow that had loomed over the household since learning of Bella’s death and then the Olveras moving to Oasis Springs.
Arturo sang her all the silly songs he’d sung to Samuel. “You are my stardust, my only stardust…”
Sam whispered to her all the rules of how to play pirates correctly so there would be no confusion when her birthday came.
“First rule is, I am Sam the One-Eyed pirate king. You have to do everything I say.”
Author’s Note: I didn’t notice when Bella died, but the last time we saw her was at the Huffman’s wedding. She was a great friend and perfect introduction for Arturo to Windenburg. Bella’s aging and death changed my plan for Arturo and Chana. I had intended that every generation would have a youth potion to repeat their adult year. But when I saw Bella aged up I realized they would outlive all there friends by a considerable amount and that was too tragic to bear. Youth potions will only be reserved for sims who express a desire for them and when they desire them. Not the whims of their benevolent overlord who just wants them to live longer for her own selfish reasons.
Lastly, with Hayden widowed, my progression mod took that to mean that he was free to start a new relationship if he wished. He and the girls moved to Oasis Springs. We haven’t met his new lady friend yet, but I think the twins have a little half-sister.