It’s here in the morning, serving his son toaster pastries, that he feels the emptiness. Tired from working third shift, he only has a few hours before he sends Lewis off to day camp and he can sleep. He enjoys breakfast with his son, their son, who enjoys science as well as fitness. A perfect mix of himself and Brynn. But he knows shortly he will be in the house alone with his thoughts.
After day camp is over, they walk to the park. He can enjoy these moments better when they are busy.
Lewis keeps him plenty busy, and when night time rolls in, he will be occupied at work. For the time being, his mother, Kenzie sits with Lewis. She’s told him he will need to find a day shift, during Lewis’ school hours in the fall, or a nanny. But for now, she can do this for her son. She knows the financial burden of raising a child alone, though Zeke’s Dad had not passed, he was never in the picture. Zeke’s resolve to be a better father has never been stronger than this past year.
“You need to take better care of yourself.” She chides as she picks lint off his shirt. She arrives promptly at 6, leaving Dean home with Tyler. Sometimes the boys come over to visit for a few hours, but Dean has been teething, and doesn’t make for good company.
“Stop fussing. I’m doing good.” He’s been saying this for a year now. But he’s noticed that it’s been starting to be good again. He tries to not dwell on the thought, maybe it’s too good to be true. When he says it now though, it doesn’t feel like a lie.
“You’re a good man.” She smiles up at him, then gives him a hug.
Kenzie puts her culinary skills to action, and whips up pork chops for her grandson, and some extra for leftovers. She’s full aware that their diet mainly revolves around lunch meat sandwiches, chips, and toaster pastries.
They play games together, then she tucks him in. It’s these hours that she dozes on the sofa waiting for Zeke to return home. She’s certain she would babysit Lewis full time if she didn’t have Dean at home. She lays on the sofa feeling torn between her two sons. They both need her, and there is only so much time she has to give to them. Her mind drifts to Lorelei who is beginning her senior year, and works long hours at The Red Mill. Then Tyler. Her steady, who saved her from single motherhood, and put up with Zeke’s anger. Just a few blocks down the road were Tyler and Dean settling in for the night.
The last Saturday of the summer, Zeke made plans to take Lewis to the public pool with his sister Lorelei. They played Marco Polo for a few hours, got snacks, and then back in the pool for the younger two. Zeke was feeling water logged, and decided on a drink at the juice bar.
“Hey stranger,” Morgan slid into the stool next to his, her face beaming. “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
“Yeah.” He laughed a little. He knew Morgan only from the hospital, she was Lewis’ physician assistant.
“I have my friend, Hazel over there,” she gestured to the lounge chairs behind them, “But I thought it might be great if we hung out sometime.” She quickly jotted her number on a napkin, then flashed him a last smile, before returning to Hazel. Zeke could hear both girls laughing, he got the feeling it had been a dare. He grabbed the number nonetheless.
He had put the number on the fridge and practiced what he might say if he ever called. He surprised himself when he did call. He was even more surprised when she said yes.
A taxi dropped her off, and he went outside to meet her.
“Ground rules, first.” He said hesitantly. “My son, I don’t want him to know anything about this. Right now at least.” He added hoping to not offend her. “He’s very sensitive about his mother, and I want to respect that.”
“No worries.” The street lights sparkled in her deep brown eyes. “I think that’s good.”
Relieved, he led the way into his quiet townhouse; he had already tucked Lewis into bed an hour earlier.
“I hope you like spaghetti.” He smiled sheepishly. Remembering how much his mother quibbled about his lack of cooking skills. He admitted that tonight it would be nice to be able to whip up salmon or baked alaska.
“Have you ever made this before?” She asked after he sliced his finger for the third time.
“Maybe once?” Zeke laughed. Maybe he should have ordered pizza, he thought.
“To bloody spaghetti.” She toasted.
The dinner went smoothly. He was surprised to find they had common things to discuss. He had been worried with her higher education, that they wouldn’t have common interests.
She told him about her coworkers, and how it wasn’t easy working for her mother. She explained that her father was the top man in the military, and ran his home in the same fashion. Morgan knew enough of his own history through Lewis, that there weren’t awkward revelations.
They cleared the dishes together, and she jested that he needed a dishwasher. He agreed, but didn’t have more than forty dollars in his account to cover it. Sure, a night in was easier with his son, but it was also less expensive.
“Work was such a drag today.” She complained, rubbing her lower back. “One patient wouldn’t stay in bed, nor would he keep his clothes on.”
“Come here.” Zeke said softly, and began to massage her back. His hands a little unsure. He couldn’t remember ever rubbing Brynn’s back. Morgan relaxed under his hands, and he grew more confident in his abilities. She went on telling stories of this particular wild patient; he tried listening intently, while fully aware of her back under his hands.
They moved to the sofa to continue their conversations. The topics never ceased, there wasn’t a moment of awkward silence, it was comfortable but exciting simultaneously.
He slid closer to her, after a moment he put his arm around her. Relieved when she didn’t pull away. His movements felt so clumsy against her grace.
“You want to kiss me, don’t you?” She spoke a little loudly at such a close range.
“Yeah.” He whispered quietly, and they both grew quiet, gazing at each other.
After a long moment, he sighed, and pulled back. Morgan watched him carefully, he could tell she was surprised, maybe hurt by his action.
“I’m sorry. I can’t.” He looked at his hands, cursing at himself for being so slow to recover. “I really like you..”
“Yeah, yeah, it’s not me, it’s you.” She moved to get up, and he held his hands out pleading her to stay.
“It is me.” she scoffed at his words, and he could tell he had hurt her feelings. “Please, listen first. Then decide.” She gave a curt nod, and sat back on the sofa. “I do really like you. I just can’t move, fast. Please understand, that it’s nothing to do with you, and everything to do with me. I know I was divorced from Brynn, but it wasn’t my choice.” The words stuck in his throat, and he looked away from Morgan, embarrassed by his own emotional weakness. “She’s all I know.”
He didn’t look to Morgan, afraid what he would see. It was her, this time to move closer to him. She placed her soft hand against his, and bent her head to look into his eyes. “Ok,” she whispered.
I am suffering from an eye infection. I did all the play and typing with one eye open. So please overlook anything that is misspelled or doesn’t make sense. My eye is killing me, but I’m so tired of laying on the sofa.
ROS – Night In, landed on Zeke. So he got out of his rut to get some human interaction (outside of his family) and had a nice little date with Morgan. He had the want for a date, which has happened in ages. And he’s very poor, only 41 dollars in his bank account. I had to move him again from his last update apartment, cause I didn’t want those apartments in my neighborhood.
The song that reminds me of Zeke the most is “In My Place” by Coldplay. I never seen the video (still haven’t cause I only have one eye and I want to finish this, but I linked it if you haven’t heard it.) The lyrics don’t match perfectly, but I think the emotional baggage does.
Little Miss. Morgan Russo wants an engagement from Zeke. While Zeke has rolled no such wants (He did for his first wife Brynn). He does like Morgan though. I think if this goes anywhere, it will be slow and steady. Zeke is better (not quite as angry about Brynn as he always has been), it will be a year since she died in the next update (fall birthdays).
I’m loving my little grungy, lower class, urban section of the hood. I have quite a few sims in this little corner, and for the most part it’s all complete with set up. Just want to add a few other lots.
Thanks for reading!