strong in the center

june 2021
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(Carver Household Profile)
Annie Carver (31 years), Ella (9 years), Manuel (3 years), Marisol (3 years)

It had been official two years now, since the twins first birthday, and she lost the court case with Ella’s Dad. Cesar had funded her fight to keep full custody, while the social worker Kenzie fought against her. She didn’t stand a chance against Kenzie, who claimed to have the best interest of Ella in mind.

Cesar broke up with her right after, figuring out she’d used him for his money, and slept with others on the side. She didn’t feel passion for them, or even anyone, she just did what had always been expected of her, what her Dad always said she’d grow up to be.

“But I want to be a ballet dancer,” She had sang up to her Dad once, he’d kicked her back, and told her the only dancing she’d do was on a pole. She’d just started kindergarten then, but the wound was still fresh, his voice still stabbing.

Cesar always had a hard time saying bye to the kids, more than she did watching them leave. She’d never been happy to have any kids, but she was glad that Cesar was the Dad of the twins, and not someone like Matt.

When he started cleaning up the mess, she fell back into the kitchen, not strong enough to hear what he had to say, and tired of the rhythm they were in. He followed though, he always did. He’s never backed down from problems, he was strong in the center, where it mattered, and in ways she never could be.

He fought for her to quit drinking, and for the twins when she was pregnant. She’d never had anyone fight for her, and she didn’t know how to rise to the encouragement, to be better than who she was already.

When he left, saying bye to the kids, her heart sank. Manuel cried, and Marisol followed after. She told herself they must be tired, that had to be why they cried, because they never did that when they left her.

They were peaceful when they slept, she liked to hear their soft breathing and subtle snores. She could almost forget reality when she seeped in those moments.

Cesar’s Mom was a meddler, and had arranged for the twins to model some clothing in a Christmas catalog. It was only June, Annie didn’t realize these things were done so early in the year, and she was bitter that Maria was sneaking more time with the twins. It all felt like it was part of a big scheme to steal the kids from her, Matt had only wanted partial custody, but if Kenzie had willed it, he might have gotten full, that is what Annie believed. She’d stand no chance against Cesar and his church-going family with all their wealth, she was nothing to them.

Manny hated the modeling gig, cried and fussed while Marisol sat happily in Maria’s arms. They always betrayed her, giving their best performance for Cesar and his parents, and leaving her with the worst.

The photographer was able to still his crying, if not get a few smiles from him, and her heart sank lower.

They were able to get some great shots of the twins though, and there were vague offerings of future modeling gigs for the local catalogs.

The kids were given a monetary compensation as well as the pajamas they wore for the photos. She didn’t want to appear too eager, not if they might get called back for more, but they were desperate for money.

Ella wasn’t a happy girl, always sullen, and moping around doing odd things like digging through the garbage. When Annie found her in the outside canister eating an old apple, she felt grateful for the money in her pocket from the modeling.

Maybe the world was right, her Dad too, she wasn’t able to provide for the kids, maybe they’d all be better with their Dad’s, though she could barely believe it about Matt.

She wanted better for the kids. When she’d had Ella, she had to use the hospital’s baby name book to find a name, and she had chosen Ella because it meant ‘bright light’ at least in that particular book. She had wanted a brightness for both of them, a fresh start.

It all seemed so long ago, a different life than where she was at this moment. She felt relieved that Ella would be at her Dad’s for the next day. Ella liked going to her Dad’s apartment, only for her big brothers. She never knew they existed until a few years ago, and she adored Jett.

He listened to her, and didn’t pick on her like Flint, though she liked him too.

Matt wasn’t always around for these visits, he seemed to be seeing someone, but there had never been any introduction. The twins weren’t always at his house for every visit, and sometimes she found herself wholly alone.

Most of the time she sat in the apartment while he went out with his lady friend, but the really horrible times were the days he kicked her outside.

The city street could be boisterous and loud, but even when it’s filled with people, Ella can’t shake the feeling of loneliness that clings to her like a second skin.

Ella never told her Mom about the girl, it would just upset her, and fuel her anger over the lost court case. Empty threats of taking Matt back one day were always a sentence away, Ella was tired of hearing them, and she liked her new brothers.

Ella knew it took money for court, she wished that her Dad would be forced to pay more child support. There wasn’t food at home, only free formula for the twins, but they should be eating now and not drinking their dinner. When school was ending, the other kids were excited, but Ella knew it meant no more lunches, no more food.

At least at her Dad’s there were always TV dinners for her, she could pick from the dozen he had in the freezer, never caring which one she picked.

This meant something special to her, even if her brothers weren’t good at cooking them, and to happened start a kitchen fire. She wasn’t really that scared though, Flint put it out, and her eyes grew with adoration. It seemed that there wasn’t anything her brothers couldn’t handle, and she wished that she had a twin, not for the first time in her life.

Annie missed Ella when she was gone, in the way one misses the train when they’ve moved away, but complained of all before. Outstandingly though she just felt relief, a great sigh as if she’d held her breath all the time that Ella was home, and she was finally free to just breath. Ella with her large eyes, portraying innocence, hunger, and always peddling guilt without saying a singular word. Annie could barely see her without feeling it in her chest, a wall of expectation she’d never be able to climb.

She didn’t beat her, scream at her, or throw liquor bottles at her, but somehow that didn’t make anything better; it just made it a different layer of hell.

When Ella was gone, Annie could just be free, to drink, to lay, to not worry about hungry bellies. Even when the twins were home, they were in bed early, and there was a sense of accomplishment getting them to bed, even if it was hours too early, and they’d climb out in the night if they woke up.

Matt had been out late, and didn’t get back to drop Ella off at home until nearly midnight. Her Mom was usually working third shift, so it was a mild curiosity that had her attention when she headed inside.

The twins were on the landing outside of their bedroom, both asleep and soiled. She’d be upset that her Mom skipped work if she hadn’t just gotten money from the twins, because they needed food, and to keep their electricity on.

But there was money, her Mom should have gone to buy groceries while she was at her Dad’s place, and so she’s sort of happy that she’d get to see her Mom, and tell her how Flint put out the kitchen fire. She wasn’t sure if she had the courage, but she thought being a firefighter might be pretty great one day.

It wasn’t like that though, Ella expected her Mom to not really care about the kitchen fire, other than as fuel to complain about Matt. But her Mom wasn’t waiting for her at all, the money from the modeling completely and utterly spent on liquor, her Mom unconscious on the floor.

She tried to wake her, and when she felt heavy and unresponsive, she knew what to do, Kenzie had trained her for this, as if Kenzie always knew. She had ran to the bottom floor to call the paramedics.

They stayed on the line with her until the unit arrived, and Ella felt calm listening to the dispatcher’s voice, she felt a sense of pride. She did it, exactly the way that Kenzie had taught her, she did her part.

The paramedics arrived, they didn’t rush her Mom immediately out of the house and to the hospital though. They fidgeted, and murmured about alcohol poisoning, clicking their tongues and saying it was all too bad.

When Kenzie arrived, the feeling of pride had been replaced with a plaguing of fear that she didn’t understand the source behind.

They had been waiting for Kenzie to arrive so they could leave, but they didn’t turn the sirens on as they left with her Mom, they didn’t have her face open to the air to breath. She was covered, and they moved slowly, as if they’d resigned all hope.

Instead of visiting the hospital, Kenzie had called Cesar to arrange for the twins to be with him, and then later on for Ella, when her own Dad didn’t answer the phone.

Cesar left for the hospital, leaving all of the kids with his parents, leaving Ella awake in a strange bedroom with unfamiliar smells, and the unanswered question, would she her Mother again?

Notes: And she won’t, cause Annie died. Good grief.

Annie went out drinking, hooked up with Max (blond bartender that gets around), and got knocked up. Instead of miscarrying the baby like she should have (for her lack of taking care of herself), she instead died. I didn’t intervene because I had wanted her to miscarry, eek, horrible I know. But good grief, she cannot take care of herself let alone anymore kids! She had just filled the fridge up too, so it was nonsense that she didn’t go eat.

Kenzie tried to save her, but lost. I don’t usually use the grim, but was so on the fence for saving, that I decided to give it a whirl. (Kenzie you suck!) :p

So this household just got a lot different, I had just been talking with my daughter before all this, wondering if Annie might settle down, maybe with her military friend Oscar, or maybe even Max, in many years down the road, because she wasn’t ready yet, and they both were romance guys. And instead, I’ll never get to know. I feel cheated, and yet somehow it feels destined to be. It was difficult to plan a future for her, always sabotaging herself, that it seems rather poetic in a horrible use of the word.

I suppose the kids might be better off… it was really hard to not pull the kids out of her house, but I never knew what to do with Ella. Part 2 will go up next weekend, sorting out custody and all of that business.

Doing the household profiles I read through Annie’s life again, I felt sad reading the birth of the twins, and all that could have been. It’s here if anyone else wants to read back to it (and you should!) ;), it’s one piece that I am proud of the writing in, and being in Annie’s mind. Man I will miss her.

Oh and I had no clue you could jump into the outdoor garbage can, nor that you could dig through the house garbage can, I learned BOTH of these things from Ella, who does them autonomously. Things really were desperate in that house.

Thanks for reading!

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24 thoughts on “strong in the center”

  1. Oh… wow. Reading this was kind of difficult. I wanted to sort of throttle Annie. I’ve been able to tolerate and even enjoy past entries with her, but I’m kind of glad she’s dead and the kids can be free to escape the hole of despair their mother dug for them. I’m honestly quite disgusted by it all and that’s a good thing, because it means you’ve stirred an emotion! This is also eerily true, though a bit more of a weak personality than the one I dealt with in this situation and no history of prior abuses to fall back on as an excuse.

    I am REALLY interested in seeing how Ella develops from here! I have always been rooting for her. I know she’ll be sad about her mum’s passing, but I’m hoping the opportunities presented to her now really give her some ground. Not having reliable parents or even parents at all can be tough, but… there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

    I cannot believe Annie got knocked up AGAIN! Why are the horrible candidates for parents always the most fertile?! LOL! I also forgot sims could die from pregnancy in TS2. It’s a mod, isn’t it? I wish things like this were possible in TS3. Everything seems so ‘safe’. It’s annoying.

    I will defend the paramedics, though! Having been in a VERY similar situation, they actually respond quite well and save their judgments until you’re actually at the hospital. 😉 I love that Kenzie taught Ella what to do in that situation. Kenzie is a good lady.

    1. I always wanted to throttle Annie, in some ways she’s very much like someone I love, and they’ve never risen from their upbringing. I do think that Ella will be better off, but this will be a giant scar to get through, her Mom could have lived, and that is going to bring out some anger, I could tell just from how she responded to it all, which is in the next update.

      I always thought that Ella, raised by Annie would wind up a teen Mom, and living in squalor with her Mom. And now that future (Well with her Mom) has been taken away, and it’s all up to be rewritten, I am very excited to see her childhood/teen years unfold now. I have a sickness mod, she died because she was starving to death, it was absurd. She’s the second one to die in my game from being pregnant and not eating, Dean and Lewis’ Mom, Brynn died that way years ago. I did sort of want to see what Max’s baby would like, he was actually REALLY excited about the baby! I hope he marries one day, cause he’s cute.

      Paramedics are awesome, at least my experience, it seems all my male cousins grow up to do it, and they are rocking guys. 🙂

      Thanks for commenting Mao!

  2. Oh God! 😦 😦 😦

    I always had a soft spot for Annie, and I hoped for better for her, despite all the troubles and destroying her own life like she did. Maybe some souls are so tortured they’re beyond repair?

    You always wrote her so well though. Her entries always hit me straight in the heart.

    And those poor kids! I know the twins will be better off with Cesar, but I do wonder what will happen with Ella. Poor little girl, her dad didn’t even pick up the damn phone. I want to kick him in the nuts!

    Annie can rest now. RIP, sad lady.

    1. I had a soft spot too, I LOVED writing her so thank you for the compliment, I’ve stuffed Ella into one of my plot bunnies, because I loved Annie and Ella together so much, and I’m sad that her story didn’t get a happier ending here. I really wanted that for her, and I thought that Cesar would be that, I hated that she ruined that relationship with him.

      The twins will be SO much better off, and have no memory of their Mom nor their poor beginnings. Cesar and his family adore the twins, and Cesar adores Ella, he’s always been a very loving father figure towards her, rolls, and autonomous actions.

      Thanks for commenting Laura!

  3. Oh wow 😦 Didin’t see this one comming!
    Just like Laura I always had a soft spot for Annie, and I kept hoping she would eventually get out of this negative spiral, but she just went in deeper.

    Poor Ella 😦 She deserves so much better, maybe now she can get a better life. Though I doubt her father is the one who will give her that. I was really hoping Matt would actually look after Ella, give her a nice home, but now I’m kind of hoping some one else gets custody of Ella.
    I do believe the twins might have good chance of getting a good home, it’s clear that Cesar really loves his kids.

    RIP Annie, I hope she can find some rest now.

    1. I was shocked too, I nearly didn’t save, and if Kenzie had saved her, I was going to put her in rehab, and try to fix her life up going that route. I had hopes too that it would have worked, and she would have come out stronger. Hate that she never got that chance to turn her life around, that one last, super big warning to get her on the right path.

      I feel for Ella too, she really lost her Mom here, where the twins won’t remember her the same. Matt is rather lousy at being a Dad, he’s too busy wanting to romance all the time, that it is his top priority. Him and Annie are in their thirties for pity sake, time to settle down and get off that horse! Cesar is a very good Dad, and financially much better off, the twins are going to go from poverty to upper middle class with him.

      Thanks for commenting Tanja!

  4. I never liked Annie at all – I thought she was selfish and so dumb. She lost Cara, her only friend because of her stupidity and gave her children and awful upbringing. I really had hope for her when she was with Cesar. Oh well, RIP. I hope Ella can go with Cesar, I don’t think he’d mind at all.

    1. lol Vanessa! She was not the brightest, and I hated that her and Cara lost their friendship, because Cara had a rough upbringing with Meredith, and has turned out just fine. I had hoped Annie would too. I had hopes for her with Cesar too, so much potential. Frustrating looking back on all the times she could have made her life better.

      Thanks for commenting Vanessa! 🙂

  5. Wow, I read this a couple of times and still can’t really formulate my response. In a way, I feel for Annie! but I wished she had etched beyond her past! almost like she was using it as a crutch instead of a stepping stone. I hope Ella is able to grow beyond her past as well. I’m rooting that all the kiddos stay together.

    1. You are right with the crutch, she never got past it, and let it control her instead of rising above it. I really hope that Ella turns out well, she has such an opportunity here for better things, and I hope she takes advantage of them. Annie had lots of chances too, and never did, but I’m more optimistic for Ella, she has lots of adults that really care about her future and invest in her. I have the placement of the kids going up next Saturday, it wasn’t easy coming up with the decision, but I think it’s realistic.

      Thanks for commenting Starr!

  6. I was going to wait and see what you had in store for Ella, but since others have mentioned it, I also wanted to put in my vote for Ella to go with Cesar too. I mean, I’m not sure if that would even be possible with Matt in the picture half the time, but I’d love to see them all stay together too. And Cesar and his family could really be a turning point for what becomes of Ella’s life.

    That said, it is your story, lol! Whatever you have planned for them all, I am very eager to find out! 😉

    1. Vote away! I’ve already written the update for next Saturday of what will happen with all the kids, so it wouldn’t change anything anyway. I spent a lot of time thinking the placements over, and what I thought would be realistic as well as in the best interest of the kids. Cesar’s family would be MUCH better for Ella than Matt, that is very true. Matt is just a more sober Annie, but worse in that he has zero guilt for his actions, and Annie at least felt bad that she was lousy.

      Thanks again Laura! 🙂

  7. I can honestly say that I didn’t see that coming. How awful. I think that I’m with the majority of folks here, in that I had hoped Annie would turn her life around eventually. I really feel for Ella too since she was the one to find her mother like that and she’s going to have more memories of her than her siblings, which is both a blessing and a curse. The twins! I know they’ll be able to get a nice living situation with Cesar and his family though. I hope Kenzie will continue to keep up with Ella since Matt is so absent. Ah, so much heartbreak! You wrote this wonderfully.

    1. The twins will definitely have a good life! I imagine at one point he will settle down, and they’ll have (hopefully) a very good step Mom. It is a blessing and curse on the front of their memories, I think it isolates Ella a lot though, so not a blessing for her. I think she’d feel burdened to remember her Mom, but it’s such a painful area, that it’s not helpful to dwell on it. I think Kenzie will keep up with her, she rolls wants for her like it was her own kin. But I don’t know that she would do it for work, Matt’s never done anything to alert them to neglect.

      Thank you for the compliments and comments, Choco!

  8. I’ve been rather horrible about commenting here as of late, though I’ve read every update! I had mixed feelings about Annie, she reminded me a lot of the mother of my best friend. In her case though she did grow up in that kind of home and eventually grew to wishing that her mother would OD or get sick or just something so things might change for her, which might sound horrible but that’s how twisted their relationship got. Luckily she got out of that house (through child services) and got her own place and is doing so much better and I hope the same will happen for Ella one way or another.

    I actually saw your post about NPP profiles on Tumblr and while reading that I saw “late Annie” and immediately rushed over here to read. I can’t say I’m surprised about what happened though, the dying I mean. And as far as sims go, Annie getting pregnant is a lot like most of my sims getting pregnant when they really shouldn’t! 😛

    I’ll look forward to seeing what will happen from here on out, and I can totally understand Ella if she’s P.O.’d about it all. I know I was, even if things didn’t end with a funeral for me, and you do carry a lot of anger and resentment and heck, betrayal even, after something like that.

    Anyhow, to make a long comment short, I enjoyed (er, that seems wrong to write but I don’t mean gleefully enjoyed) reading this and I’ve enjoyed reading all your previous posts too. You write awesomely!

    1. Thank you for commenting Val, good to see you again! 🙂 So sad for your friend’s situation, I’m glad it turned around for her. The first part of our life was in a lower income area, and I saw a lot of experiences similar to this, not to mention in my own family. When you have four parents, and 20 aunts/uncles, the odds are in favor of substance abusers, and child services stepping in, sadly.

      I’m excited to see how things pan out too, especially with Ella. I really hope things go well for her, she’s teen soon, and I am anxious to see her wants and actions. Everything is a new start, so where I thought she might be headed, doesn’t even have to happen now, and I hope it doesn’t.

      You are so right about sims that shouldn’t get pregnant seem to be the most fertile! I was in shock that she just wound up pregnant. Max was a possible Dad for the twins, she was sleeping with both Cesar and Max at the same time back then too. And I did want to see what their baby would like, but there was no way she’d be able to have FOUR kids!!! Three blew my mind!

      Thank you for commenting Val!

  9. Aw, man. I never envisioned a happy ending for Annie, quite honestly, but this was probably the worst way it could possibly have ended for her. The poor woman never really had any hope, did she? Growing up the way she did. It’s really easy to sit in judgment about people like her (because obviously, they exist in real life too) but the sad fact is that they were children once, who needed love and guidance and didn’t get it. It’s incredibly heartbreaking.

    I’m confident that the twins will have that chance now, with Cesar and with his grandparents, as overbearing as Annie found them (or Maria, anyway). It would be nice if Ella could live with Cesar as well but I wonder what Matt would have to say about that. He seems the vindictive type. He clearly didn’t have much interest in Ella, the way he treated her when she was over, so I’m left to conclude that the custody fight wasn’t really out of much affection for the poor kid. :\ I can kind of see him blocking Cesar’s attempts to be involved with Ella as well. Then again, death can do strange things to people and maybe he will realise there are more important things at stake here than his pride. That would probably be ideal. Ella is going to need people to be so gentle with her right now. Poor little thing.

    Side note but I read your NPP profiles before reading this post and didn’t realise it said “late Annie” until Valneanne mentioned it just then! I must have really been skimming, lol! It’s a pretty major detail to miss.

    1. I totally deleted the late Annie! I have done everything so far in advance, that I forget what’s come on here and hasn’t. So I edited it, and so you weren’t missing it!

      I didn’t see Annie ever living in a picket house, but I did think she might have her own dysfunctional happy ending. Kind of how Ethan is doing now in this later season of his life. As for custody of Ella, I did not see Matt wanting to have a kid full time, it’d cramp his style. So his selfishness works in Ella’s favor there.

      Annie and Maria really didn’t get along, and while I would think Maria meant well, Annie took everything the wrong way, because she viewed everything differently than anyone else. So Maria getting the kids nice clothes as a kind, grandmotherly gesture, was a slap in Annie’s face for not providing well for the kids.

      So true on the adults like this having been kids once, they don’t all come from horrible homes, but many do. I have a huge heart for kids in these situations, and am so overly opinionated on children welfare that my husband gets tired of my yakking.

      Thank you for commenting Carla!

  10. I can’t believe I’m so late! I can hardly believe it, but then again, there are plenty of people I know who grew up in homes like this, or at least knows someone who is an alcoholic. My father was one such person. I was rooting for Annie this whole time and held out a flicker of hope that something would happen to kickstart her into being a better parent for the children.
    In its own way, this is for the best. The twins will live with their father and grandparents, but Ella… Matt will not be happy with the idea of having to take care of a child full-time, which makes me hope that he would look into having Ella stay with the twins. I fear mostly that either she’ll end up with an absent, callous father, who feeds and clothes her but doesn’t give her any emotional support, or she’ll end up in foster care. I think Ella’s stronger than her mother, and at least she knew that her mother did love her, even if she was completely inept at showing it, but throwing her life in upheaval is the worst thing for her right now; she’s fragile.
    Will they all stay playable? I know Cesar is not at the moment, but I want to know what will happen to them all.

    1. You are so right Fini, I could not imagine Matt being interested in full-time parental care of Ella. Annie’s death just totally ruined all his plans in life. They are definitely staying playable, and Matt is keeping his status. There was no way I could just put them on the sidelines, I don’t always play my NPP families each round if I don’t have the time!

      I agree so much with your thoughts on Ella, and her fragile state. When she was little I did rolls for personality characteristics, and she actually rolled ‘sullen’ and I’ve always been amazed at how perfectly it fit. Back then, Annie was not as far gone as she became, and it was like a bad omen.

      Thank you for commenting Fini!

  11. woah.
    Firstly, you wrote this really, really, really well. I am really in awe of how you took the random in-game events and added them seamlessly to a story that makes perfect sense. It was difficult to read, but that was *because* it was so realistic and seamless. Annie’s depression, their poverty, the neglect for the kids and Ella’s struggles being ‘shared’ between parents, god it was all so beautifully tragic. I am guessing you use a mix of gameplay and posing? Normally I can see the poses because they kind of stand out, but all of this looked so perfectly natural.

    When reading about Annie in the past, I’d hoped, like the others above, that she’d manage to turn her world around somehow. Maybe it would have taken an extreme intervention, some kind of epiphany, a religious conversion or something, but I had hoped… this was a upsetting, but very realistic ‘ending’ to the story. But of course, it’s not an ending for the children. I guess now I am hoping that Ella ends up with Cesar or in foster care. Life with Matt may be marginally better than at Annie’s but not by much and it’s not a healthy environment for her to grow. I agree with the comments above that Ella seems stronger – the type that could use this background to fuel her own independence and ambition, but even so I think she’d end up bitter and resenting… and slow to trust. =/

    Thanks for writing this in a way that was so compelling to read and I look forward to seeing what happens with the children now. ❤

    1. Thanks Asha for the kind words. As for the posing, the only outright pose is the household picture, otherwise I might have used a facial overlay, and that was about it. When Annie is on the ground, she’d fallen asleep, Ella came home, and then Annie stood up and proceeded to die. It was completely unplanned, I just happened to have a photo of her in that state, I was planning to send her to rehab, maybe kick some motivation into her. I was hoping it could be a start to a new life path for her.

      You are so right about it not being the end of the children’s story, she kind of copped out of the giant mess she made. Matt would be marginally better, he is financially better off, and always has food. And while he likes his romance, he wasn’t an alcoholic.

      I really hope that you are right, and Ella can use this to fuel herself to be better, I do think she will be slow to trust like you said. And I don’t know how it will effect her relationship with men as she ages, if she will be distant, or absent, or have a healthy relationship. I think Cesar can help be a good father figure for her to help with Daddy issues… I hope!

      Thank you so much for commenting Asha!

  12. As I think I’ve said before I have always felt for Annie and I really find it tragic that the world keep preaching about choice but for some people, these choices simply aren’t there or if they are they are buried beneath piles of crap. Her life was such a downward spiral and it was a great story.

    This was a sad and wonderful update all at once and I hope the kids will be better off now – they probably will, though, which is the saddest part. (I know a boy from a really wrecked home who used to tell his parents that he wished they would die so he could live with a real family.)

    1. I read back through her whole story as I closed it, and it really was a downward spiral, and nothing had planned for her. All so sad, when she had Ella, I thought she’d struggle with finances at first, but get on her feet. And she met Cesar when Ella was just three years old! He’s such a good influence, if she had just wizened up.

      You are right about the choices being buried for some people. Sometimes there is just too much that someone cannot even see other options, even if they are allegedly there. So sad about the boy wishing his parents death for a better family.

      I think you are right that it will be better off for the kids from now on, which is a sad truth about Annie. Thank you for commenting River!

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