expectations

may 2025
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(Gonzales Household Profile)
Cesar Gonzales (34 years), Ella Carver (13 years), Manuel Carver (7 years), Marisol Carver (7 years)

She was being forced to see a counselor, the state decided it would help her find an inner happiness, or at minimum a way to deal with the rotten hand she had been dealt. But her counselor was a young, recent college grad that grew up the daughter of a Mayor, in the most expensive neighborhood in the entire county.

Ella didn’t believe that anyone could truly help her, just as no one had been able to help her mother, not even herself. But she knew that some entitled girl would never understand what it was like to dumpster dive just for a bit of apple core. Or how it would feel to find you were a child born out of an affair, and that your very existence ruined a family.

No, Alice would not be able to help.

She had hated her Mother, and loved her, in this messy way. Had wondered if her life would be better without her, if Kenzie would have just taken them away as she had always threatened. But now she was gone, and she still didn’t fit in. There would be no happy family for her, she was just a half-sister, a step child, an extra that people pitied.

She thought she might love her only friend, Dean, but he had a girlfriend, and she never saw him at all anymore. He didn’t love her, he barely had time for anyone but Evie. Evie, Evie, Evie. Spit rose in Ella’s mouth at the mere thought of that dimwit girl, with bright eyes, and an easy smile.

Ella was not an Evie. She was complicated, angry, a misfit that loved her mother and equally feared becoming her.

She was mean to Manny, even though she knew he was tormented at school. She couldn’t be any other way.

And when Marta had broken up with Cesar, she had pretended to feel sympathy for him. He was the only person she truly cared about, but Marta had never been good enough for him.

Secretly, she reveled in his despair. Relieved to be rid of Marta, knowing that she would have been an unjust, horrible step mother.

She envied the twins, with their lack of knowledge. Their Mother’s death had saved them. They were allowed to imagine Annie to be anything they wanted, they could be angry that she had died, but they would never truly know her. They weren’t really damaged. Cesar had saved them, Annie’s death had too.

Going to the kid center for good grades was a treat. The pizza tasted like cardboard, she hated that they were able to enjoy these niceties, that they didn’t know any different. How was it fair that they’d never remember sleeping on the floor with dirty diapers, surrounded by filth?

Marisol makes friends easily, without effort. Ella barely has a single friend. She repels people like her Mom did, and she doesn’t know why. She doesn’t want to sit alone, while Dean makes out with his girlfriend, she doesn’t want to wish it were her. She’s just a kid to him, a kid that his Mom helped rescue, but really didn’t.

Manny has it too. He’s teased at school, and doesn’t have a friend to call his own. Ella can see the similarities between herself and him, and this gives her a softness towards him. It’s small, and barely viewable to anyone, but Ella knows it is there.

Cesar has to leave early to open up the car dealership. It’s Ella’s responsibility to get the kids onto the bus. He believes in her, even if his parents think she is a lost cause already. She takes this task seriously, and the twins never miss their bus, no matter how much Manny delays. He already hates school, and he’s barely begun.

Ella used to attend regularly, sitting in the back desk, hiding behind her hair, but suddenly she just stopped. She went enough, but skipped even more. She hiked a good distance to reach a diner that was near her old house. Cesar lived in a decent neighborhood, but it never felt like home, not like the north side with its rundown buildings, abandoned warehouses, and cockroach infested homes.

It was all about the people, and the dirtied floors beyond repair. Generations had sat in the booths, walked the floors, ate alone or with others. She liked the feeling of history, and the people that frequented were like her. Not whole, or perfect. The outcasts in society.

She wondered what it was like for the other people in the world, with two parents in a home, to be born inside a marriage of love, to a mother who wasn’t a depressed alcoholic. They had it better, and didn’t even realize.

Sometimes people talk to her, they don’t judge her for being young; they don’t see her as a misfit. They don’t know that her Mom died, nor feel sorry for her.

Sometimes this obnoxious, bossy girl sits across from her, Rhonda. She scolds Ella for skipping school, demands that she attend the next day, that she’s ruining herself for no good reason.

Rhonda, the girl that has two happily married parents in a cracker box house that has a yard. Ella doesn’t care for her ideas of wisdom.

Sometimes Ella pays for her food, and sometimes she can’t afford it. Cesar doesn’t always have money to give, sometimes people don’t buy cars at all. She only buys pie, it’s barely over two dollars, but then she got caught.

It felt worse than any other scolding she’d received. This was the only place that felt like home, and she’d ruined it. But even that sick feeling of guilt wouldn’t be shown to the hostess.

She tried returning a few weeks later, and the proprietor chewed her out, said she wasn’t welcome. And then Ella, really had no where to go.

Cesar found out about her poor attendance shortly after. He didn’t handle it well, and Ella found herself conflicted. His yelling had shown a care towards her that she hadn’t witnessed, and it made her feel wanted. But she hated being parented, after raising herself, she didn’t want curfews and regulations.

Cesar made arrangements for the bus to pick them up at the dealership, and drop them off there afterwards. That meant many hours, doing nothing. Sometimes Jett would get off at her new bus stop to help pass the time.

But usually it was just her and Maria. Clicking her tongue, and lecturing her.

Cesar wouldn’t approve, but she doesn’t tattle. She endures it, like its a penance that she deserves, and she lashes out on the twins and their belongings. She fears that Cesar will give up and send her to live with Matt forever, she doesn’t want that, but she can’t just be what everyone expects of her.

It’s been a dry month of sales, Cesar is working daily just to pay the bills, rain or shine. An anger grows within Ella, watching him bust himself to sell, in a rainstorm, while the guy just shakes his head no. She wants to hurt him, teach him that he shouldn’t waste people’s time, especially in inclement weather.

Ella doesn’t believe that Alice can teach her how to find happiness, not with the deep-seeded anger that is imbedded into her very being. She desperately wants her too, but if she couldn’t save her own Mother, how could anyone save her?


Notes: Ella was quite a bit of fun to play this session. Dean is her “one” she is totally crushing hard on him. And he is an older teenage boy with a serious girlfriend and a part-time job. He doesn’t have that much time to spend with a younger girl. She did call him numerous times, but he was never home. I could see Evie being jealous of him having a relationship with her as well, they are teens after all.

She rolled the want to sneak off without paying for her food, then got caught. The hostess chewed her out, and when she went back in to use the restroom, the proprietor did the same. Ella really did smile, and do the arm pump after Marta called it off with Cesar. I had never seen that before!

Maria lectured her on her own accord as well. Maria is also super depressed about how her son’s life has turned out. She’s in aspiration failure, she just wants Cesar to settle down, get married, all of that good stuff that he keeps avoiding.

Cesar had less than a hundred dollars this play session, people were not buying cars. Finally at the end he was able to get some sales and pay his overdue bills.


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14 thoughts on “expectations

  1. You really nailed this, Ella’s perspective. Her few memories are so bleak– the diapers, filth, knowing she was born from an affair, dumpster diving. How she holds everything in, even when (especially when) its something that matters desperately to her, how she fears being like her mom but is acting in a way that will lead to that, it makes me wonder who can help Ella and hope for a twist, that the path she’s on won’t lead to the future I’m afraid it will. Maybe in some way she’ll be able to reframe her story herself, but how long will it take her to do that?

    In my experience as a counselor (who is an entitiled person) working with people w/o privilege, there’s usually a pretty big barrier, in the suspicion of mental health services, and of course, the perception (which is often true) that a privileged person can’t possibly understand, and therefore, can’t help.

    Poor Cesar, I hope he’ll be able to sell more cars next time and hopefully have a bit of a financial cushion. The way all of this also helps cause Maria’s aspirational failure is so true to life.

    1. Thank you for the kind words on this posting. 🙂 I really hope that Ella finds peace, and does right to herself. I don’t see what would cause that, perhaps if she were close with her siblings, but Marisol has rejected her love since she was a baby. I really like her friendship with Dean, and wish that she wasn’t crushing on him. I think he could be a good influence on her, but he’s so occupied with work, school, and Evie, that it might take him sometime before he remembers his friendship with Ella.

      You nailed it with the counselor, entitled helping those without that privilege. I think that is why Caitlyn will be a better social worker in the long run, because she will have done her time in the trenches and lived through it.

      Cesar had rotten luck at his dealership this time, for some reason it had reset back to a rating of 1, and no one was interested. And yes, Maria’s aspirational failure being linked to her only son, is very true. I love when that happens in the game.

      Thank you for commenting Shannon!

  2. I was so hoping Ella’s life would turn around now that she’s living with Cesar, and it really is better, but she lived with her mother longer than her siblings, made her who she is now. I hope that one day, she meets some one, falls in love with him, and gets out of this spiral she’s in at the moment.
    I do hope Cesar’s business will be doing beter in the future, but I’m glad he’s at least having a good relationship with his kids.

    1. It would be great if Ella found a good guy, and kept him around. I really hope she finds peace with everything before that though, I don’t want her to push guys away like her Mom did. Cesar would have been so good to her, if she had just allowed herself to have good things. I have much higher hopes for Ella though, she has a great Dad in Cesar, and her older twin brother Jett is really good to her too. Flint isn’t bad to her, he’s just preoccupied.

      Cesar’s business got reset to one star, so he was really struggling, but it should be better this time around. Thanks for commenting Tanja!

  3. Alice has her work cut out for her with Ella, doesn’t she? :\ Did you play out a session with Alice talking to Ella? I’m wondering how they would end up interacting with each other in game.

    I’m really feeling for Ella, because 13 is such an awful age to begin with and to be 13 and having been through what she’s been through would be extraordinarily awful. Everything would be magnified for her.

    I feel bad for Cesar too. I know he really wanted to “save” Ella and he must be wondering what a mammoth task he’s taken on. I really hope someone can get through to this girl or that she has some sort of revelation but who knows how or if that might happen.

    1. I had Ella and Alice meet, but Alice doesn’t technically have an office currently, so I just teleported her in, and Ella was very grumpy to Alice. She’s not very nice of a sim, so I wasn’t totally surprised.

      I feel bad for Cesar also, he’s such a good guy that has invested himself with Annie and then Ella when he really never had to do that. Ella and Cesar do get along, they joke around, and he’s her favorite person that is a “family” member. I think it would have helped her to have a full-blooded sibling to share in the shame of her birth parents, she has four siblings, and they are all are twins. Which is odd, and was totally the game and not me. I think a true sibling would have helped carry some of the burdens.

      I really hope that she comes around and makes smart choices. Annie didn’t get a happier ending, but many of my lost ones have, including Emma who is doing well enough for herself now. Thanks for commenting Carla!

  4. I agree with Shannon, you really nailed this post and Ella perspective on her situation. I do hope things turn around for her and that maybe she can accept Cesar’s love and care for her. She’s at a rough age and she’s been through so much already in her life. My heart breaks for her and for Cesar!

    1. Thanks for commenting Shana, and for the kind words. 🙂 I really enjoyed playing Ella and writing her perspective, her and Annie are some of my all-time favorites. And Ella rolling wants to skip out on the bill was just too perfect. I really hope that Ella makes a few small mistakes now and straightens herself out before she falls into her Mom’s patterns. I am glad that Marisol and Manuel do okay, though Manuel seems the most like Ella and Annie of the twins, and socially unaccepted. Good thing he doesn’t have awful memories to contend with on top of it.

  5. Ow, poor Ella and poor everyone, really. I hope life will turn out better for Ella than it did for her mother, she seems like a good kid despite it all and hopefully some of Cesar’s care will rub off on her even if she doesn’t believe it at the moment.

    Great update, too, I feel for these pixel people!

    1. I have to think that some of Cesar will rub off on Ella. She doesn’t seem to want to be like her Mom, and her Mom always lived with her crappy father until adulthood. Whereas Ella, has always had some form of Cesar in her life since she was a toddler, so that has to count for something. Aww thank you, glad that you enjoy these pixel people and feel for them too. ❤

  6. Total 360 degree turn from your other families. Thirteen is a rough age for anyone especially Ella who hasn’t grown up on the right side of the tracks it seems. Rolling that wish to skip out on the bill shows how brilliant of a game they made ts2. AMAZING! Hopefully, Ella will find as she ages up that life isn’t always terrible and she finds someone that makes her happy. Hopefully anyway…

  7. My heart breaks for Ella. Though I do have to agree, I don’t think Marta would have been good for Cesar. I think Ella is stronger than Annie, and she has a stronger network of people willing to work with her, so I think she will turn herself around, I just don’t know when.

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