Kenzie’s previous update/next update / Zeke’s previous update/next update
Kenzie Goss (46 years), Tyler (44 years), Lorelei (16 years), Tailee (cat)
warning a tad long, but when isn’t it? *g* besides i didn’t think you’d want another two part update when it’s already written
Outside of Soleil Cafe, Kenzie stood in the shade of a small tree that was protected by a small iron fence. She had asked Zeke to meet her for lunch; she fidgeted with the belt loop of her jeans while she waited. She’d been outside long enough to have pushed some dirt together to form a small hill with the toe of her boot, and smash it down again, only to grow bored and rebuild. She’d also taken a mental note on how sick the sidewalk was from spit out gum that had turned black with age and sun. Why was that, she had pondered for several minutes.
She wasn’t relieved when Zeke’s head popped out of the taxi. She quickly took in his appearance, hair brushed, clean shirt, dry eyes. He insisted he was doing ok, but she knew him better than that. Underneath his hot-headed temper, he was a man with a deep, broken heart, and two weeks was enough time to mend a ten year love. His smile was tight and didn’t reach his eyes; she drew him in for a long hug, and told him she loved him.
They stepped into the quiet cafe, they were an hour past the noon rush, and were able to be seated immediately. Kenzie had wanted a public place, but not too loud for them to have a conversation.
“I think I’ll order the fried chicken.” Zeke decided, and slid his menu to the corner of the table.
“Ooh you decide so quickly!” She exclaimed, then quickly browsed the menu to find something that sounded ok with her jittery nerves. “Pork chops with rice.”
“How have you been?” She truly cared how he was doing, but her mind was elsewhere that she felt insincere in asking him. She wanted to rush past the civil part of conversation, and spill what was on her mind.
“I’m fine.” He spoke assuredly, then softened his voice. “Lewis can’t wait for his birthday this winter. He keeps telling everyone he sees that he wants a new Plumb Bob toy. I think Lexie is planning to get him one, though I told her that wasn’t part of her job description.”
“I can’t believe he’s going to be four already. It’s gone by so fast.” Kenzie said. “Speaking of that, I can’t believe my baby has an ‘almost-four-year-old’ that makes me old, you know? So quit that.” She jabbed his side playfully with the corner of her elbow.
“Mom, you don’t look a day past 30, seriously. You look great.”
“Aw thanks kid.” She smiled, showing off the slight wrinkles that had collected at the corners of eyes and lips.
The waitress served their meals quickly, and left them alone. Kenzie took a few sips of her water, then decided she needed to dive into the topic at hand. She picked up her fork, as she went over ways to bring it up. “So, Zeke. There was another reason why I wanted to meet you today.” Knowing his temper, she didn’t think anything good would come of this. She started to regret the public place, maybe it wasn’t right of her to ambush him with this after everything else. Too late now, she gulped. “Tyler and I have been discussing Brynn’s baby.” She looked at him from the corner of her eye. He was full alert, but looking straight ahead.
“And?” His voice was cool and collected.
“He’s two weeks old, and I haven’t been able to find him a permanent placement. The Millett’s volunteered to be a temporary home for him, but I don’t think that’s what Brynn would have wanted.” She paused before continuing. “As much as she had her faults, she was a good mother, and she would have wanted him in a forever home to be loved.”
She looked at him squarely. He didn’t make any protest to the fact, but didn’t have any words to add to the conversation. The corner of his mouth was pulled tight, and his neck was tense. She took a deep breath, and trudged onward. “Tyler and I decided to adopt him.” She spoke quickly, each word pushed against the next, then she waited.
He took a sip of his water. His lunch eaten, while Kenzie hadn’t touched hers. He didn’t speak immediately, and when he did, his voice was low, and barely under control. “I need to leave, right now.” She stood out of the bench, and he did all he could to not push past her. She paid for the bill, as he disappeared out the door.
She was surprised to see him waiting for her on the sidewalk. He was looking away, but as soon as she stepped to his side, he started walking. “Walk with me.” He said.
“Let me get this straight.” He said after a block of walking. “You are adopting my ex-wife’s illegitimate child, Lewis’ half brother?”
He turned to face her quickly. A manic look on his face, as he threw his arms out. “SO! Let me get this right. My new brother will be Brynn’s son? My son and I will share a brother?” He waved his arms around with wild motions. “You have GOT to be kidding me.”
“In a way, yes that’s right.” Kenzie said.
“In a way? You mean, the ONLY way. That’s what it is. My new brother, is my ex-wife’s son, and my son’s half-brother, and now he’s going to be what? My little pal?” He spun away from her. “Seriously, I can’t believe you are telling me this. Of all the people that know me, that know of my feelings for her, for you to do this. for you to …. to adopt him!”
“Brynn would have wanted the boys to know each other.” Kenzie threw out there, she could tell she was losing the conversation, and she didn’t have time to think before the words were spoke.
He turned to face her again. “You seem to know a lot about Brynn and what she would have wanted. Do you have a phone to call the dead?” His face was contorted with anger and sadness, he turned on his heel and began to walk away. “I can’t talk about this anymore.” And he left through the park.
When Kenzie came home from work, the house was quiet. Lorelei was working at The Red Mill, and Tyler was watching the news. She sunk into the sofa next to him, and sighed. She’d called him on her way back to work to update him on Zeke, and now he put his arm around her, and pulled her close to his chest. “It’ll be alright.” He said as the weatherman claimed it was going to be a wet fall.
Zeke and Lewis showed up a little after Kenzie came home. Any hope she had that it would be a good visit quickly disappeared when she saw his hard face. It didn’t matter much what he had to say, Kenzie couldn’t recall later if anyone had asked. It was mostly the same as earlier, except now Tyler was here to tell Zeke to control himself, and Lewis was on the floor asking why Grandma was sad.
Twenty minutes later, Zeke picked up Lewis, and said they were leaving. Tyler’s eyes glinted with the look she knew well, the “I-told-you-so” look. It was Zeke. She knew him well, she raised him on her own for much of his life, and she’d indulged him often. He wasn’t a bad man, just a tad spoiled and hard-headed. She wasn’t sure if her parenting caused these traits or if it was just who he was meant to be. Kenzie watched Zeke carry Lewis and walk out the door. She wanted to cry, but didn’t.
Tyler stepped outside to follow Zeke. “Hey, wait a sec.” Tyler said, and gently but with firmness grabbed Zeke’s arm to make him wait. “I know the circumstances are less than ideal. But I need you to man up, and treat your mom with respect. You aren’t the only one who lost Brynn, she’s been heartsick since it happened, and to be so involved in finding the baby a home.” Zeke started to turn away, but Tyler pulled him back. “You need to find a way to deal with all of this. Tomorrow we are adopting the baby, and your mother would love if you were here. But.” He added when Zeke scoffed. “If you can’t be mature, then please don’t come tomorrow. This is a lot for your mother, she’s doing what she thinks is best, and I don’t want you destroying this for her.” Tyler let go.
Zeke stood under the streetlight, the buzz of the city around them. Lewis was pulling on Zeke’s collar and touching his adam’s apple. Zeke turned to Tyler, and gave him one stiff nod, before the taxi pulled up and they got in.
“Tomorrow when we wake up, he’ll be here.” Kenzie said with maternal softness in her voice. “I can’t wait to have him here instead of the hospital with all those bright lights.”
“This will be a good thing.” Tyler agreed. “Not sure I’m young enough to do the middle of the night feedings though.”
“Me ether. In fact I think I’m too old for all of this.” She laughed light heartedly, though there was truth in her words. They had discussed their age extensively, but there had been no other option. If she had found him a good, loving home, she would have let him go, but she just knew in her bones that he belonged with their family.
“Think he will go to college?” She asked. “I’d like him to go to college, you know?”
Tyler chuckled. “Let’s just worry about getting him to sleep through the night, and get to know us first. But yes, I’m sure he’ll be interested in college.” He pulled her in for a tight hug. “And yes, we can afford to send him to college. If anything I’ll write a book about it.” He held his hands up to frame his words, “Adopting your step-sons, late ex-wives son, while in your mid-forties.”
“Yep, sounds like something you’d write.” She teased. Then they turned out the lights, and snuggled close under the covers until they drifted to sleep. Tyler was taking note of everything that had happened so he could write about it later, while Kenzie thought of Zeke and Lorelei, and Dean. Her new son, Dean, who would be there at ten o’clock the next morning. She was making a mental list of all the things she needed to clean and buy still when she finally dozed off.
The phone rang off the hook until 3:30 am. Lorelei was up late reading a book in the living room and intervened most of the phone calls before they got to the second ring.
“Yes Colin, we are adopting Brynn’s baby.” She’d told this to more people than she could count. Colin was her cousin, and though they were close friends, she was short with him tonight. “It’s not a big deal, ok? He’s a baby, he needs a home, why not us? … Don’t answer that. I can’t talk right now anyway, I’m busy.” She hung up quickly then plopped back on the sofa to read the same paragraph for the third time. She was going to be a big sister, the thought kept tumbling through her mind.
Around 4 in the morning when she knew she should be in bed, Zeke came in through the front door. He had gotten off work an hour early, and saw the lights on. His shoulders were slumped, his face drooped, and his eyes met with Lorelei’s with a questioning look. She scooted over on the sofa, and patted for him to take a seat.
“It’s going to fine.” She told him after he sat, her book still open on her lap. “Really, it is.”
“Yah.” He said softly. “I’m sure it will.” He admitted after some time had lapsed. “It just hurts me that she’s gone, and now we have Cris’ baby. Cris, who was there when she died, but did nothing.” His knuckles turned white. “I hate him.” His voice was venomous and almost a growl.
Lorelei closed her book, but kept her eyes looking to her lap. “I know. But it’s not Dean’s fault. And Lewis is pretty much his only family he has left.” She looked up at him, “This is a good thing. Really.” They sat quietly, co-exsisting, each with their mind elsewhere, until the clock on the fire mantle chimed five times. “I need to go to bed, Mom’s going to expect me to clean tomorrow.” She stood up, and gently nudged his shoe. “See ya later.”
The morning rose with clouds in the sky, another wet day in the forecast. Kenzie had hopped out of bed so swiftly that Tyler was startled awake. “What’s wrong?” He’d asked, his eyes darting around the room, his ear tilted up listening for something wrong.
“Nothing. Why?” She had no idea why he’d jumped like that. She stood to start making the bed, her hands shaky, her face pale. “I don’t think I can do this. I’m not ready to be a Mom… again.” she added quickly.
“Yes you are.” Tyler came around beside her.
“No, I’m really not. I haven’t done this in sixteen years, what if I forget how to change his diaper?”
“Seriously? You changed Lewis just last weekend when he stayed the night. Besides, if you can’t do it, you can still call the office and say you changed your mind.” He shrugged his shoulders casually.
“Oh shut up, you know I wouldn’t do that.” She hated that he could calm her down so quickly. She loved it at the same time, but sometimes she wanted to be nervous or just plain mad, but he understood her too well.
Twenty minutes to ten o’clock, Kenzie, her twin sister Delaney, and Lorelei stood on the side walk waiting for the Social Services van to arrive. When Kenzie had applied to adopt Dean, she was taken off the case and it was given to one of her coworkers, a small rule she was thankful to have in place.
“Mom would be so proud of you.” Delaney hugged her twin. “I’m proud of you too.”
“I see her!” Lorelei shouted, she ran up the steps to shout for her dad, who was busy scrubbing the toilets. All the while he was thinking, why does a two week old need clean toilets?
Darlene pulled the van to a squeaky stop and went around the back to get Dean out of his carseat. She held him close as rain began to sprinkle down, and carried him to his new forever family who all waited anxiously on the sidewalk for him.
“Hello son.” Tyler said as Darlene handed him to her. “Welcome to our family.” He smiled, and they stared into each others eyes for a brief moment as the ladies around them cooed and sighed.
“Hello little man, I’m your aunt Delaney and I’m going to spoil you rotten. You just wait!” She tickled his belly, and patted his soft little bald head. She stood to look at her sister, “I miss that baby smell.”
“Don’t even think about it, you have enough kids.” Kenzie laughed.
After a busy morning meeting the family, Dean grew tired, and they took their new son upstairs for a nap.
“Barn animals? Really?” Tyler asked.
“Oh shush, there’s nothing wrong with barn animals. ‘Sides I don’t know what he likes yet.”
Meanwhile, downstairs someone was preparing grilled cheese sandwiches.
“This will mean a lot to your Mom.” Delaney told her nephew, her voice shook with emotion from the events of the day. She put her arm around his back, and rested her head on his shoulder. “You’re a good man.”
happy sim goodness, right there.
The night before the adoption (after the phone call) suddenly Kenzie rolled the fear of having another baby. It rolled away, then rolled back again later that night. It finally rolled away yet again the morning of the adoption. Whew. I was nervous it was a mistake, but the outtake below, and I just think this was a good placement.
How about a warm fuzzy outtake?
Just look how happy they are when the van pulls in!
Zeke comes to this house, constantly. He did come over in the middle of the night while Lorelei was reading, I figured he needed to talk some more. And he came by on his own the next day as well. So he must be putting on his mature face for the sake of his mom, whom he has the highest relationship with across the board.
A quick how-i-do-what-i-did… In case anyone is curious. My hospital is a residential lot, and after Dean was born, I used Insim to add him to the family that resides there. (Marcus and Caroline currently). If he would have been placed in temporary care, that is also how I would have added him to the family. To do the adoption I use Sim Logical’s Teleporter Painting Plus. With that, I can put Dean into the adoption pool, then I think it’s “clear sim” to make the action complete. Then I loaded Kenzie’s lot, called the adoption lady, and voila there was Dean and added to the family. Adopting this way cleared his family relations, so it will be in my head that he’s half brothers with Lewis now since it’s all cleared, but I wanted him to join the family fully complete with last name, and all that goodness.
Hopefully it’s a happy, new beginning that everyone can feel good about.