It’s two in the afternoon in Sunset Valley. A cool breeze that hints at a non-existent winter blows down from the mountains, a jagged line of grey pine-studded rock which crowns the valley. Fern is carefully tending her little garden outside her villa. She’s still unaware of the growing problem in her family.
The twins, Briar and Ash, are seated in the school bus as it trundles along downtown Sunset Valley. While there is the topic of Ash getting on the honor roll today, they sit in tense silence as they draw closer to home.
And they have good reason to. Their mother, Fern, might be blind to her husband Xander’s antics, but the children have noticed his absences.
Xander stands on the porch, an envelope hidden in his pocket. Tucked inside it is an invitation to Blair Wainwright’s party tonight. Excitement bubbling through him, he thinks of all the secret dates with Blair so far; in places Fern would never find them, like the graveyard, the science laboratories and the criminal warehouse.
When the children arrive home, they settle at the dining table to complete their homework. As Ash pencils some maths calculations down on his worksheet, he whispers with Briar about their father. Fern’s at her bookstore shift, so Briar pretends to be a detective and interrogates her brother about Xander.
“Mr. Kingston-Clavell, would you be so kind to tell me all you know about this man?” Detective Briar says in her best police woman voice. She slides a badly drawn Xander with spaztastic crossed eyes across the table. Ash can’t answer, he’s too busy snorting with laughter. “I don’t think he looks like that, Briar!” He giggles.
“Ash!” Xander suddenly calls, with a serious look in his eyes. “Yes Daddy?” Ash says nervously. “Son, I think it’s time you learn about sports. You gotta follow in your dad’s footsteps, eh?” Secretly, Ash disagrees completely. He knows what his father does for a career is wrong, and he hates how Xander just about always ignores Briar for her slightly strange ways.
But he still follows his dad as Xander walks out into the backyard. As they pass the empty parking spot, Ash thinks about how they still hadn’t bought a new car yet.
The two play catch with a baseball for a while. Although Ash fumbles and drops the ball in the first few minutes, he gradually gets better as the sky turns pink with the first rays of the evening sun. While Ash may resent his father, he’s glad he inherited Xander’s sportiness.
Briar plays a virtual soccer game inside as her brother and dad plays catch outside. “Yea! Go get that goal, team!” She yells at the screen. Her facial expressions are hilarious!
Soon it’s time for Blair’s party. “Urgent call from work, gotta go. Eat leftovers from the fridge if you want.” He tells his children before bolting outside, ignoring their shocked faces.
When Xander arrives at the trendy loft, I see Blair and Christopher arguing outside.
Blair whips around, hissing curses under her breath. She marches over to Xander, complaining about her husband.
Christopher watches, pained, as his wife slinks over to Xander, pouting angrily. He is suspicious as he analyses the exchange between the two, wondering…
(Meanwhile, Tamara watches the whole thing like it is a reality t.v show)
Then, to Christopher’s horror, Blair goes straight out and boldly flirts with Xander, knowing full well her husband is right there. I guess she’s had enough of him, with her commitment issues and all.
Christopher’s seen enough. He shouts at Blair and divorces with her right there and then. Blair pretends to cower, but in reality she is smug and very pleased. Xander is way more hotter than Christopher anyway, she thinks.
(Me: Lady, you are totally wrong on that matter.)
By this point, really sad music is playing in the game. I honestly felt so much for the poor guy at that moment. He’s lost his wife to a man who is married to Fern.
Which tells me that he’s going to let Fern know soon. Upcoming drama alert.
As the party goes on, and with Christopher out of their sight, Blair and Xander sneak into an empty bathroom to have a passionate smooching session.
It soon moves into a bedroom upstairs…
And escalates into a full-out Woohoo.
Meanwhile, Fern is reading a novel after cooking goopy carbonara for her beloved kids and tucking them into their beds.
Xander returns home at 4 in the morning. The house is quiet, and he slips into bed without anyone noticing.
Briar and Ash whisper nervously in the hallway when morning arrives. “Daddy was being suspicious again last night, wasn’t he?” Ash asks his sister anxiously. Briar nods seriously, her violet eyes stormy. “I wonder if he really was at work.” She muses. Her father’s criminal activity coupled with her adventurous spirit has made her realize that she wants to be a super spy when she grows up.
Fern wakes up to find the children off to school and her husband sleeping beside her. She smiles gently at his handsome face, knowing nothing about his dreams of Blair.
This is shattered when her cellphone rings loudly. “Hello?” Fern speaks. “Oh, hi, Fern.” Tamara’s voice whispers, sounding anxious and fretful. “Are you alright, Tam?” She asks as Xander starts dancing behind her.
“Well… I’m alright… but I have to tell you something really, really bad.” Tamara’s voice, usually brisk and cheerful, almost cracks. Panic suddenly rushes through Fern. “Where are you, Tam? Did something happen?”
“I’m at Christopher Steel’s place, actually. But… oh, Fern, Xander’s been cheating on you with another woman. Last night, he was at Blair’s party -you know, my snobby roommate- and I saw them kissing outside!”
“What?” Fern whispers, her blood running cold.
“I’ll pass the phone to Christopher.” Tamara says sadly. The phone crackles for a second, broken by a muffled sob.
“Fern?” Christopher sounds terrible, his voice dry and cracked. Despite the sudden horrible turn of events, Fern’s heart still twists at his voice. “Yes, it’s me.” She moves away from the still dancing Xander, who has noticed nothing.
“Our partners have been cheating on us, Fern. Blair… at her party, she and Xander kissed right in front of Tamara and I. Now we’ve… divorced.” Christopher says in despair.
“I’m sorry, Christopher. Thank you for telling me. I’ll deal with Xander now.” “Good luck, Fern.” “Thanks.” Fern whispers. And she hangs up.
Tears glisten in her eyes as Fern braces herself for what she must do now. She can’t believe that Xander had done such a thing to her. They were totally head-over-heels in love… right?
“Xander.” Fern says, trying to control her trembling hands. Her husband looks over to her, turns the stereo off, and walks over to Fern with a gorgeous smile that always seemed to be reserved just for her. Now she wonders how many women he had shown that smile to.
“Yes, honey?” Xander tries to kiss her, but she moves away.
“Have you been cheating on me with Blair Wainwright?”
Xander’s smile freezes. Fern stares at him, waiting for an answer.
He hesitates, weighing it up. Fern’s celebrity reputation, and pretty face, or Blair’s knock-out hotness and sly eagerness for their dates? Oh, what the heck. Blair is much more exciting and fun to be with. He had faced many rages from ex-girlfriends before. He could handle anything from gentle Fern.
Fern’s silent for a moment. “Consider me as no longer your wife now, Xander Clavell. We are over.” She says coldly.
Well, that was easy, Xander thinks. But then Fern slaps him hard around the face. Stars whirl around his head as Xander blinks away the sudden pain. “You dirty low-life criminal. I don’t know why I ever stayed with you!”
Xander sneers at her. “That’s what they always say. But they keep on coming, don’t they?”
“You use women just for their money and for your reputation! Is this why? Because you can’t look after yourself, and you always have to rely on women for your survival?”
Fury starbursts inside Xander and he launches himself at Fern. She desperately tries to punch him away, but he has been trained in fighting, and is much stronger.
When Xander is finished, Fern is on the ground, bruised and bleeding. Pain racks her body and blinks red across her eyes, but she manages to croak out some words. “I’m leaving. And the kids are coming with me. They don’t deserve a father like you.”
Ignoring her own pain, Fern goes upstairs to pack. She stuffs her clothes into a duffel bag, and her children’s ones into two others. She also packs their toys, some books, her laptop and cash. It’s all she can take.
As Fern leaves the butterscotch villa for the last time, she looks back at her ex-husband. Beauty comes with a big price, Fern decides. And some Sims were so messed up, they had ruined their own lives as well as others. She almost feels sorry for Xander. What a sad life he has.
She boards her limousine, leaning back into the soft red leather and letting the tears finally well in her eyes. This is the last time she will experience such wealth. With no home and only $8000 to her family’s name, she can’t afford luxuries anymore.
After stopping at the supermarket to buy two tents and a portable firepit, the chauffeur drops her off at the school with a solemn goodbye. Fern stares at the grand yellow building, full of chatter and laughter, wondering how to tell her children the news.
Fern stands at Old Pier Beach with the blue duffel bags at her feet. Briar and Ash had taken the news a lot more easily than she had thought, and now they look excitedly around the beach. However much she loves the sea, and the lovely smells and sounds that envelope her, despair swirls in Fern’s belly.
She’s homeless again, but now with two children by her side.