Life Goes On
Previously – Esme became an evil witch and ran away to university where she enthralled the majority of the other students using her magic. Dorian, who had been placed in the same dorm as her, was resistant to her charms, angry, she learnt of a spell he couldn’t resist, that would bring him under her power. Fortunately Edward arrived in time to stop her and caused her to again disappear. Later, Edward revealed everything that had happened between himself and Esme to both Dorian and Dorfl, and while he was determined to search for Esme he promised to graduate first. Also, Dorfl started working with Sim!Widget to develop a way for two males to produce children together.
Dorian recovered quickly from his encounter with Esme, physically at least. He still had the occasional nightmare about that day, but that was hardly unexpected. Fortunately the college authorities had moved him into alternative accommodation (with virtually no fuss).
The dorm was tiny compared to the last one, but his room was at least twice the size. It was probably one of the most expensive dorms on campus, the increase in rent was being covered by the college – compensation for his experience.
The shared area was small but well equipped. It was a pleasant space to study or just relax.
The company was also a great improvement. Despite the fact that he shared the dorm with only three others there always seemed to be someone hanging around and available to chat and he was quickly friends with them all.
But he also had the space for when he wanted time to himself (no more hiding in the library). He had already started plotting out a novel, only partly based on his experiences, that he was working on between essays.
And of course he saw Edward who finally had a chance to visit Brazeneck College without having to deal with family drama.
Edward too was getting back into the normal university life.
However, he was not prepared to put all thoughts of his sister out of his mind. He spent much of his free time trying to find anything that would help him find Esme but so far he’d found nothing. From the little Dorfl told him no one was having any better luck. While Edward was careful not to let his grades slip the same could not be said of his relationships. Dorian was often the only person Edward would speak to outside of class for days, even his phone calls home got rarer and shorter.
As the semester wore on Dorian grew more and more worried about his boyfriend’s increasing solitude, and decided it was time to try and do something about it. “Going to throw a post-exam party this semester?” Dorian asked casually. “Not sure, I hadn’t really thought about it.”
“It’ll be fun, plus didn’t you want to introduce Errol and Evadne to your friends ready for when they start uni?”
It didn’t take all that much persuading for Edward to agree to throw the party, after all he was a popularity sim. And so after exams were taken (and of course passed) friends and family gathered to dance...
And play, and generally have a good time.
The party ended on a high, despite the minor fire in the cafeteria. The residents had gotten so used to the cook’s habit of setting the stove alight no one even gathered to gawp.
“Told you it’d be fun.”
After the party Edward moved into the family Greek house, he’d been a member from almost the first week but had enjoyed living in the dorms. Now he had no choice as the current caretaker had graduated, if he didn’t move in the house would be abandoned. “Thanks for looking after the place. Good luck.” He found the house unsettlingly empty after the bustle of the dorms. He hoped it would be better once Errol and Evadne joined him.
Dorfl sat in the airy atrium waiting for Miss Tutelary...Eleanor. He’d already thumbed through the magazines on offer and finding nothing he hadn’t already read had been contemplating his research. He was certain he was close to an answer, there was just something he was missing. He looked up when he heard footsteps approaching.
“Hi Dorfl, sorry to keep you waiting, experiment took longer than expected, you know how it is.” “No problem, have you had a chance to look over my research at all?”
“Of course, and I was just discussing it with the director, he’s really quite interested. Why don’t we talk about it somewhere a bit more comfortable. I’ll go ditch the lab coat and we can head to the canteen, they do decent tea.”
“As I said the director’s quite keen on the idea himself, and he’s actually got a proposition for you, but you’ll have to talk to him about that, and we’ll have to discuss with him about arrangements for this project, and we can’t do any of that until tomorrow. Provided all that goes well...” “Any reason why it shouldn’t?” Dorfl interrupted.
“You haven’t met the director yet. But no it should be fine. Once we’re up and running I’ve had some ideas on where we can start looking for the flaw, then we just have to fix it.” Eleanor grinned. “You seem very confident.” “I’ve got a good feeling about it. We can’t really do anything until tomorrow, but I’ll walk you through my idea so far.”
After a couple of hours of animated discussion Dorfl knew he’d made the right decision going to Eleanor for help, her optimism was already rubbing off on him. “So that’s it, I think we should be able to make a start tomorrow once you’ve got all the paperwork out of the way.” Eleanor smiled “So how’s the family doing?”
“They’re doing well. Dad still misses Amber, you know she passed away not long ago right? He’s keeping himself busy though, helps out with the kids a lot. Spoils them really but he says that’s a grandparent’s job. The kids all adore him.”
“Speaking of the kids we’re pretty sure there’s another on the way. It took much longer this time than with any of the others, Roxy was beginning to worry. Ten kids has been her dream for so long and for a while we thought the girls would be our last.
“Thankfully she started getting morning sickness just today,” Dorfl laughed, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone so happy to be throwing up.”
“You’re going to run out of room soon.”
“Probably, and the house seems even more full what with all the friends Enrico keeps bringing home. Most nights we have at least two extra children running around, usually more, and they’re almost all related to us.
“It’s probably just as well Errol and Evadne will be leaving for university soon. One more set of exams and off they go.
“The little ones will miss them though, they’ve been a great help in keeping them entertained, even Evadne has been charmed by the girls.
“I’m not surprised really, they’re little bundles of charm and mischief, even before they could walk they were getting into everything. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to fish one of them out of the toilet, usually with the other looking on and giggling.”
Dorfl sighed, “hopefully they’ll calm down once they become children and have school to occupy their time.”
Dorfl glanced down at his watch and started “It’s later than I thought, I promised Roxy I’d help her set up for the twin’s party.” “You’d better be off then, don’t want to keep Roxy Waiting.” “Will you be coming tonight?”
“Of course, see you there.”
Dorfl arrived home to find Eric and Eskarina heading for the other car. “Where are the pair of you going?”
“Going shopping,” was Eric’s reply. “Mum said we could take the car,” added Eskarina
“Go on then. Just don’t be late back, you know the party is tonight.”
Dorfl sighed as he watched them drive away. Logically he knew he was being paranoid, it wasn’t going to happen again. They weren’t sneaking out, they hadn’t gone looking for danger, they were going shopping. They’d be back in a couple of hours, Eskarina with bags of new clothes and Eric with at least one phone number. But there was a part of him that wanted to say no, to keep them at home where he could keep an eye on them. Shaking his head he headed into the house to discover what Roxy wanted him to help with.
Eric and Eskarina were joined on their shopping expedition by their cousins, Penny and Orpheus.
“What do you think of this one Penny?” “Maybe, it’s hard to tell like that.”
“I’ll try it on then.”
Penny looked at the clothes Eskarina had selected, “You could try something that isn’t blue you know” “I like blue.”
Eric wasn’t particularly interested in buying anything that day, instead his eye was drawn to the girl behind the till. Unfortunately she was too busy right then to respond much to Eric’s flirtations, but he did managed to get her number and a promise she’d think about seeing him when she wasn’t working.
Undaunted Eric turned his attention to another girl who was far more receptive to his advances.
By the time Eskarina had finished shopping he’d coaxed a kiss and another phone number from her. He definitely planned on seeing that one again.
Meanwhile Eskarina was trying to decide which of the dresses she liked the best (Roxy had made her promise to only buy one new outfit). “What do you think?”
“It looked better on the hanger.”
“Ooh, I like that one.” “I think this is it. Although I could try the first one on again.”
“Oh come on Esk, the boys’ll be getting restless if you take much longer.”
“Fine, fine. I’ll go and pay then.”
The twins arrived home in time for Eskarina to change into her new dress.
And for Eric to invite over one of his ‘friends’ from school and get know her a little better.
Before long the rest of the party guests arrived. Enrico was particularly excited to see Edward again.
“Hey little guy, how’s it going?” “Great, I got an A+ and was in a play and grandpa said he’d take me to the park tomorrow and I’m going to the zoo with my class and...” “Hey, slow down, there’s plenty of time to tell me everything.”
The party quickly moved to the kitchen, Dorfl wanted to get the girls grown up so they could spend some time socialising with their extended family. But before Roxy could pick Erzulie she was rudely interrupted. “Baby wants to be part of all the excitement too I see.” Dorfl said laughing as his wife reacted to a particularly strong kick.
Once baby had settled down again it was time for the main event.
While Erzulie was content to sit in her mother’s arms and wait, Ella was very excited and wriggled around trying to reach the pretty flames on top of her birthday cake.
Fortunately Dorfl had had plenty of practise controlling active toddlers and both twins grew up with all fingers unharmed.
Now children it was clear that the two girls were nearly but not quite identical and Roxy had fun playing on their similarities and dressing them in matching outfits. The girls did refuse to let her do their hair the same (much to the relief of everyone else, who had a hard enough time telling them apart as it was). While their looks might be similar their personalities were quite different. Ella was loud and boisterous, rushing from activity to activity and getting bored easily. Erzulie was quieter and more studious, but friendly and always had a smile for anyone.
“Hi baby, when are you going to come out so I can play with you?” “It won’t be long now sweetie. Although you’ll have to wait a little longer before baby’s old enough to play with you.” “Awww.”
“Anyone would think you didn’t have a twin sister you can play with, why don’t you go find her?”
While Errol and Evadne would be going off to university the next day that night there were ten sims in need of beds and only ten beds. Casanunda temporarily gave up his double bed (assuring Roxy and Dorfl that the sheets had been changed) and moved into Edward’s old room.
“Good morning little one. How are you feeling love?” “Exhausted, this baby’s really wearing me out. I can’t wait to get it out here.” Roxy’s smile disappeared, “And yet...” “It’s the last time?”
Roxy nodded, “And the twins are going to uni. The house is emptying and I can’t keep filling it up.” “Come on love, Edward, Errol and Evadne will all graduate before the last of our brood move out. Then you’ll get grandkids to spoil. This house will never be empty.”
“Oh I know, but it’s not the same. Have you decided who’s going to be moving back here yet?” “I think so, I just need to make sure of some things first.”
As Roxy said it was time for Errol and Evadne to leave home. “Sorry I can’t go with you two, this little one seems determined to keep all my energy for itself”
“Don’t worry about it mum.”
“I don’t think there’d be room in the car for four of us anyway.”
“Roxy love, we really must go if we want to get there before dark.” “Have a good journey then. Remember to phone every so often. And remind Edward it’ll be the twin’s birthday soon and Enrico is expecting him to be there.” “Yes mum.”
“Of course mum.” “I’ll miss you two.”
“Have a good time at uni sweetie. Try to remember that you don’t need your brother as much as you think.”
“This is your last chance to speak up. Is there anything else you need before we set off?” “No dad.”
“Remember we won’t be stopping on the way.”
Roxy waved them off feeling a pang of sadness.
Edward was happy to see them arrive. “I’m glad you’re here, I’m not sure how much longer I would have lasted before I started talking to the walls.” “You could phone home you know, I’m sure your mother would be happy to talk to you.” “Not the same.”
“Right, one last trip should do it, just make sure you’ve got everything out of the car.” “We’ve triple checked dad. Unless it’s become invisible there is nothing left in the car.”
“I’ll hold you to that.”
“I guess that’s it. Time for me to get going. Remember work hard, look after each other and the house and make sure you have some fun, just nothing that’ll make me or your mother unhappy.” “Yes dad,” the three chorused.
“Oh and make sure you call home every so often, your mum will appreciate it.”
Dorfl was very lucky with his timing, he’d only been home a few minutes when Roxy felt the extremely familiar pains of labour. “Ow, ow, ow, owwwwwwwww!”
It wasn’t too long before baby Eulalie entered the world, welcomed by his parents, siblings and a couple of cousins who’d stopped by after school. Eulalie had the same tan skin and brown hair as her mother but her father’s brown eyes.
“Sleep tight little one.”
Over at the university Edward, Errol and Evadne were settling in to the Greek house and making the most of the free time before classes began.
Before the real business of university could begin (all those parties) the twins had to sort out which courses they would be taking. “Have you decided yet?” Evadne asked, mulling over her choices. “I think so, I mean there’s still time to change if I hate it, but I think physics sounds good. What about you?”
“Economics.” Evadne clicked to confirm her selection. “Oh?” Errol was surprised, he’d expected her to say physics.
“Yeah, it seems most relevant to what I want to do eventually. Plus mum seems to think I need to stop relying on you so much. Besides physics looks boring anyway.”
“Haven’t you two finished with that yet. People are about to arrive and you need to got put on your togas.” “Ugh togas, I really don’t see the point.” Complained Errol. “They’re traditional.”
Despite Errol’s protests Edward’s first toga party was a major success. Everyone had a great time and with no dorm cook there weren’t any fires to interrupt the partying.
Although social interactions were a bit hit and miss.
Mostly miss. (And Errol continued to rebel against the idea of togas.)
Near the end of the party Edward and Dorian snuck away to spend some time alone.
And to make use of the fact that for the first time since leaving home they had access to a double bed.
They didn’t reappear until after the party was over and it was noticeable that Dorian spent more time visiting Edward than vice versa.
Not long after the party the three were eating lunch when Evadne made a suggestion. “Don’t you think it’s about time we did something about this room,” she commented, looking at the drab green walls. “It’s not exactly what I was expecting a Greek house to be like.” “If we’re going to do it we should do it now, we’ll be too swamped with work soon. I can pick up some paint on the way back from class.”
After a day’s hard work the bland walls and furniture had been replaced by something a whole lot brighter. “I’m not sure about the pink cupboards.” “Hey, I like pink, you got to pick the wall colour, I got the cupboards.”
“Look at it this way Errol, if you really want to change it you’ll have to do all the work by yourself.”
As Edward predicted the three were soon busy with their classes, Evadne’s first coursework was a piece of group research. She was lucky and found she enjoyed working with the group she was assigned to and they agreed to study together beyond that project.
They started meeting regularly in the campus library to share lecture notes, discuss the set reading and work on essays together.
As the year went on the Maria, Jeffrey, Whitney and Evadne became good friends and their time together wasn’t focussed solely on work. They still met in the library though, it was their place, but nearing exams forced that to change.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do , there’s so little time before exams, so much more revision to do and nowhere to do it!” Moaned Jeffrey.
“There’s my place,” suggested Evadne, the only one not living in a crowded dorm. “I’m sure my brothers won’t mind.”
The Greek house study proved a perfect place for the group to meet, and their revision was soon back on track. “Hey Evadne, mind if I go grab a drink?” Maria asked “Sure, you know where the kitchen is.”
Taking a break from his own studying Errol was startled by the presence of a stranger in his kitchen, but then he remembered something Evadne had mentioned. “Uh, hi.” “Hi, you’re econ with Evadne, right?”
“Yeah. She said you wouldn’t mind us studying here. We haven’t disturbed you have we?”
“Nah, I just needed a break and a drink, I see you had the same thought.” “Hah, yeah it does get tiring after a while. I can’t wait to get these exams over with.”
“Me neither, at least there’s the parties afterwards to look forward to. Hey, has Evadne invited you to ours?” Maria nodded. “Great, hope I see you there, provided I survive the next few days of course.” Errol grinned.
“You took your time, I was just about to come looking for you.” “Sorry, I ran into your brother, we got chatting.”
Edward and Dorian were also preparing for exams. While the focus of their courses were very different, they were both studying biology and found enough cross-over to make joint revision useful. Of course Edward’s mind wasn’t solely on his upcoming exams and revision sessions would often turn to talk of Esme.
“She could be anywhere! Alien abductions aren’t so uncommon that her skin is much use for tracking her down. Anyway for all we know she could have some way of hiding it. I just wish there was some way to narrow down where she could have gone.”
“Wait, there might be something...” Edward almost leapt from the bed. “There’s a list dad gave me – books she checked out from the archives. Now where did I put it?”
Finding it tucked away in a desk draw he scanned down the list. “Hmm, mostly witch-craft related, but not entirely. There’s books here about the presence of the supernatural in all sorts of different cultures. Maybe she hasn’t changed completely after all.” “What do you mean?”
“When Esme was a child she was fascinated by the supernatural, wanted to know everything she could about it. Started with aliens for obvious reasons. Once she’d got everything she could from dad and granddad she moved on.” “To what?”
“Anything, everything, if it was weird and not entirely human she wanted to know about it. Dad said that when she was a teenager she started going out a lot, apparently with friends or on errands, but I think she was looking something (or someone) supernatural.” “She obviously found it.”
“Yes. But maybe... maybe she hasn’t stopped looking. I mean these books show she’s obviously still interested, yes? So maybe instead of looking at where she’s been I look at where she’d go. That way if she’s already been there someone might remember and I might get lucky and run into her or something.” “Would she really still be travelling in three years time?”
Edward deflated a little. “Maybe not, but I might be able to place where she’s been and maybe some of the people I meet might have some kind of idea of where someone like her might go. Anyway it’s the best, the only, idea I’ve had so far.”
“I guess we’ll be spending the next three years planning your itinerary then.”
All the hard work paid off and the three returned from their exams feeling confident about their grades.
All that remained for the year was to throw a party to celebrate their success. Soon a whole host of students descended on the Greek house.
“I like the hair.” “Thanks, I felt like a change, all that hair kept getting in the way.”
“And there’s not someone you’re hoping to impress with the new cut?” Evadne teased
Maria blushed but didn’t answer.
With a house full of students in desperate need of fun after the stress of the exams there was no danger of the party being anything less than a roof raiser.
Errol was pleased to see one of the guests in particular, “Hi again.” He smiled at Maria, “glad you could make it.” “I wasn’t going to miss it, your sister was pretty insistent we all came.” “Sounds like her. Hey, want to dance?”
They spent much the party dancing and talking about all manner of things.
All too soon it was time for the party to end and the guests to leave.
Impulsively Errol pulled Maria close for a goodbye kiss. Stunned she walked away without saying anything.
He didn’t get to see her face slowly break out in a grin.