Several mornings have come and gone since the Kingston twins Ash and Briar shared their fifth birthdays. As warm sunlight pours like honey into the pretty butterscotch villa, the family wake up to find that today is the children’s first day of school. Briar decides to enjoy a big leftover slice of the vanilla-chocolate-jam birthday cake her mother Fern baked for the party.
(Seriously. I love her watermelon shorts. They are so cute.) The cake is cold and tastes of fridge, but Briar loves it. Fern doesn’t approve of so much sugar so early in the day. She keeps quiet though; telling her daughter about school and how she should find lots of friends. Secretly, Fern is worried that with her daughter’s strange ways, she might end up how she was as a girl: a lonely and shunned child.
Soon, there’s a loud honk from outside the house. An old yellow bus idles by the sidewalk, the engine sounding like it has a bad cold. Briar nervously approaches the bus. Her brother Ash is already onboard, talking animatedly with his friends and forgetting all about his twin sister.
With the children off to school, and Xander back on his job, Fern heads to Old Pier Beach. She hasn’t been there for a long time; always busy trying to feed and bathe the kids. The pale blue sky, free of clouds, floats above Sunset Valley, making the ocean sparkle invitingly. This is where I belong, Fern thinks with a sigh of contentment.
While Fern is refining her writing skill by the beach, I suddenly get a message saying something about Xander, criminal, and police. Damn. When I click to locate him, he’s standing behind a dilapidated brick warehouse, which is shrouded by a screen of greenery and cherry blossom trees.
The blue-and-red lights of a police cruiser pulse through the morning air as a policewoman catches Xander and forces him to get inside the car. She peels off, the siren howling.
The police car skids to a stop in front of an old stone building, the Sunset Valley Police Department.
For some reason, Xander is smirking as he is led inside and locked up behind bars for half a day. I think he’s attracted to the policewoman.
While all this is happening, Fern is happily swimming around in the bay, feeling the most relaxed and refreshed she’s been in days. She is unaware of her husband’s incident, until she gets out of the sea and sees her phone vibrating on top of her pile of clothes.
Fern quickly hails a taxi and runs to the police department, panic rushing through her as she wonders what had happened.
When I see Blair coming out of the building… I am very suspicious. What was she doing in there? And her clothes. I realise that maybe, that weird combination of long-sleeved shirt and very short shorts might actually be her maternity clothes.
As Blair struts past Fern, I’m thinking that if she’s pregnant, that probably means she’s carrying Christopher Steel’s child. Wow, okay.
After briefly viewing her husband behind bars and firmly being explained the situation by the police chief, Fern leaves with confusion and anger swirling inside her. Suddenly her day isn’t so relaxing.
All she wants to do is go home, but she’s stopped by Parker Langeerak who excitedly asks for an autograph. He looks so sweet and hopeful, Fern can’t say no. (He asks her on a date later)
As a lovely pink evening settles over the town, Briar is still at school. She ought to have returned home two hours ago, but she had stayed behind to clean up bug muck from the glass cages at school. When she comes out, a cloud of monarch butterflies flutter near the playground. Briar is fascinated by their beautiful, bright wings, which seem to flash orange-gold in the falling sunlight.
On the other side of town, Ash hasn’t returned home too. Instead, he sits outside the grocery store on the warm bricks, writing up his findings on a research project at the supermarket. Ash is pretty serious about his studies.
When he returns home, Briar has eaten her dinner of peanut-butter-&-jelly sandwich and is sitting at the breakfast table, doing her homework. Ash eats a delicious wedge of cobbler in front of his sister, who is for some reason wearing her formal dress. He tries to help her, which is hard because their parents are having a shouting match in the lounge.
Xander has returned home to a very angry Fern. “My husband is a criminal. A criminal!” She explodes at him. “Honey-” “Don’t you honey me. I can’t believe you work under evil, among robbers and murderers. I never realised how low you were, Xander!”
Xander does the stupid thing and yells back. (Insert bad words in Simlish) “It’s my job! I do it so I can provide for our family. For god’s sake, why do you even freaking care about what I do for my career, Fern? If you don’t like that I bring more money in, then you’re no wife of mine.”
He knows instantly that he had said the wrong thing. Fern regards him coldly, her usually beautiful and serene green eyes hardening like emeralds.
“Wait, no-” “Fine. If you want me to get out, I will!”
(Me: GUYS CALM DOWN OKAY YOU ARE SCARING THE KIDS)
Looking at his pretty wife, anger burning in her eyes, Xander knows he doesn’t want her to go- yet. “No, I’m so sorry honey, I said the wrong thing. I don’t want you to go, Fern. Please… please forgive me.” He turns on his best cute-pleading-green-eyes and puts on the most apologetic face possible. He knows it will work.
It had, after all, worked on all his previous girlfriends until he got bored of them.
Different emotions whirl through Fern’s belly, making it hard to think. Fury and hurt at what Xander had said, and the fact that he was a criminal, screams divorce with him already! She knows that living with a thief would put her life, her celebrity reputation, and her kids in much danger. But the adorable eyes he gives her makes her give in. “Fine.” Fern mutters.
Fern and Xander’s relationship is not quite the same again. Tension still crackles between them. Trying to forget about the argument, Fern dives into her work at the bookstore, her writing, and celebrity opportunities. One day, she gets an offer to entertain sick kids at the hospital. She tells stories of her struggles in her homeless days, which amazes and enlightens the kids.
It makes Fern realise that she wants to write an autobiography, to raise awareness for homeless Sims, just like she used to be.