Romancing the Apocalypse Chapter 3 – Corey’s Story (2nd Gen Kate and Corey begin their life together. Time is not on their side, but Sake is.)Welcome back to Romancing the Apocalypse! Episode 2 left off as Sullivan joined Eileen in an apocalyptic state of senility, leavingKate and Corey, their teenage daughter and her intended spouse, to forge ahead with the challenge... (02/08/2008)
Some may ask what my motivation was moving in with Eileen and Sullivan with the intention of marrying Kate someday. Therewere several reasons: I couldn’t say no to my dear friend, Lorin has always had a soft spot for my type, and could I help it if my brosand I were almost always in a highly desirable Apocalypse career? I was made to help out in the Apocalypse.
Eileen and I had clicked right away back when she was in college, but it took some time for Sullivan to accept and trust me. He and Idid have some laughs when my gut started growing mysteriously like his, but I still don’t understand how we became best friends atthis little gathering while he completely ignored me.
Sometimes I asked them if they were sure they wanted me to marry their daughter, but they never waivered in their decision.
I had the reputation of being the best tickler in the neighborhood.
Even after Kate’s fortune fits, I could always cheer her up.
We’d pick up the garbage together and empathize with each other over our inability to buy electronics, mainly various grades ofstereo equipment. Then I’d let her have it.“Come on, tell me which one...the $1800 or the $2700? Or is it the handheld again?”“Ahh!..All..*gasp*..of..*wheeze*..them!..*giggle*”
As Kate grew older, I cautiously tried to find out how she felt about relationships in general.“So Kate, do you ever picture yourself being married some day?”“I know my mom’s happy being married to Dad...I think I would want to some day.”“That’s good...uh, nice.”Ugh, this was awkward! I didn’t know what to say next.
Then Kate broke the awkward silence.“How expensive is the one you want today, huh? Come on, tell me!”
With Sullivan obsessed with topping Gamer and maxing his body skills, Eileen was the only one I could voice my concerns to. I didn’tthink it would do any good, but I had to try.“I don’t know if you can understand me, Eileen, but I need to know if you think I’m going about this the right way with Kate.”
I was shocked and relieved when she turned and gave me the thumbs up. I couldn’t put a whole lot of stock in her reaction, but I waswilling to take what I could get.
I should mention that on the eighth day after adopting Sake, Kate finally found a Service job for him. She took to training himupstairs in my room, where there was plenty of space.
“Aaaagh! I feel another fit coming on!”“Come on, I’ll meet you down at the garbage can.”
Sake was a genius as far as cats go, so training him went quickly.
After I was promoted to General and I didn’t need to concentrate on work anymore, I had no way to boost my own aspiration. My lifereally just became a waiting game...waiting for Kate to grow up, waiting to get on with my life, just waiting...waiting...
Eileen once said these were twisted times, and of course they were. But there was no way I could marry Kate if she was opposed toit. I couldn’t stand waiting any longer. I had to know if she knew the reason why I had moved in, and how she felt about it.“I don’t know how to say this, Kate, so I’m just going to be blunt. Do you know why your parents asked me to move in?”“They never really told me, but I know I have to marry someone and I think they want it to be you.”Okay, this was good...I think it was good.“You’re right...how do feel about that?”“I dont know, I haven’t thought about it. What about you?”“If you want to, I want to. If you don’t, I would understand.”“Okaaaay...I’ll think abou...DAD’S HOME! I’ve got to go down and be with him.”
Kate rushed down and witnessed the moment the father she knew became lost to her.
I came downstairs to leave Eileen and Sullivan alone together. I could see Kate was freezing and she was on the phone with someone. I don’t know if sherealized I was in the room and I made no secret of it, but either way I couldn’t resist staying and listening.“Nemo, it’s me, Kate.”oh crap!“I don’t know what to do. Dad’s in his own world with Mom now *sniff*, and right before that Corey asked me how I felt about maybe marrying him some day!”...“I know it’s my decision. I’m asking what you think about him?”...“Of course I like him. He’s always helping us, and he’s kind to me and Mom. And he understands me like you do.”...“You think so? Even after he threw that drink in your helmet?”...“Hah! You did? That was wicked!”...“ ’kay. Thanks, I feel better now.”...“ ’kay, bye.”
I was psyched after hearing Kate’s conversation with Nemo. I decided to celebrate and do a little funky with my hair...I didn’t carewhat the military brass thought.Eee! Corey, Lorin here. I’ve wanted that hair ever since I saw your bro Jerry with it. Where did you get it?“Hello-o-o Lorin, just what kind of a creator are you? It was here in the mirror the whole time.”In the mirror...*headsmack*. Do you know how many internet searches I did trying to find it?“Not my problem. It does look great though, doesnt it?”*swoon*
Kate spent her birthday outside with her parents. It was the last time wed be seeing that school bus for a while.
She was fascinated with watching them interact on their own. I think she was trying to reassure herself that were happy together. Itwasn’t until she was freezing that she came up for her birthday “celebration.”
She was still blue from the cold, and with the recent loss of her father and her perma-red aspiration level, I had a sick premonitionthis was going to be the complete opposite of a happy birthday for her, to put it mildly.
“Nooooooooooo, it’s the hideousest-est H&M Fashion outfit in the collection. Ah-hahahaha! My birthday suuuuuucks...”
“Unnghhhh, I don’t feel so hot, and I sure as *censored* know I don’t look it.”
Low red to begin with - hit!Uneducated -10,000 points - hit!Growing up poorly -5,000 points - hit!Ugly H&M dress with WTF high-top Converse -priceless - hit! (and sunk her battleship)To this day we haven’t figured out how far in the hole Kate went aspiration-wise. The number was too large for our puny math skillsto calculate.All I wanted to do was to rush over and give her a hug, but I couldn’t until the worst of her misery ran its course.
She looked better after she thawed out. There was something about seeing her go as low as a sim can get that made me want torally around her and make sure that never happened to her ever again.“Come on, you wanna go out with me?”
“You think I look all right for our first date, Kate? Hehe, poet.”“You always look great...what about me?”“You look fine...come on, let’s go.”
It was strange to think Kate had never been off the lot, except for two school days when she was little. She certainly wasn’t shy, butshe had lived such a sheltered life. Her only real relationships were with her parents, me, and to a certain extent, Nemo.There really weren’t too many choices of places to go, and I didn’t want a repeat of the disaster at LuLu’s, so we went to the Apocversion of the Lucky Shack.
Big mistake, Sucky Shack was more like it. This dive had to be the worst place I had ever seen, and I was even willing to take her toLuLu’s, which at least had some pizzazz. I planned our first date to be just a light-hearted fun evening out, but Kate threw me offguard when she wasted no time getting it off to a rip-roaring start. There was something in our first kiss that told me she didn’t needany time to think about us and our future.
“There’s no rush, we can take it slow, you know.”“I saw the way you looked at me when I was at my worst tonight. I was horrified at myself, but you weren’t. I saw it in your eyes,Corey. You love me.”It was true. Everything I had done with her and for her was out of love for her, even though there was nothing I could expect inreturn.
‘I love you too, Corey, without even trying. I feel two bolts for you, and not one of my turn-ons matches you. What about you?”“The same. When we get home we can try those ReNuYu’s, and just watch what happens then.”“One more thing, Corey. I don’t want to waste one day apart from you when we could be together. My mom sacrificed time with myDad to improve our life, and I know it was the right thing for her to do, but the little girl inside me will hurt forever that I didn’t get tospend more time with her.”At Kate’s words, I felt a chill run through me.
Before Sullivan lifted Gamer, timing was everything. Eileen had asked me to move in with them on the Tuesday she became an elderbecause she would have no way to ask me after that. Kate was still little then, and now I was only twelve days from becoming anelder myself. That was less time than Eileen had with Sullivan. Even if Kate was lucky enough to get a job right away in Science orAdventure, it wouldnt be enough time for her to bring back the elixir, and I was not ready to grow old.As we started to leave, I stopped as a pale figure sitting at the poker table caught my attention.“Are we going?”I snapped myself back and nodded. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.”
Taking Kate at her word, I wasted no time proposing marriage.
“Tssss! Kate, you look amazing!”“You like it? I love my mom, but I’m ready for my own look.”
“Kate, you’d look beautiful in a sack.”“I’m wearing a sack.”“I rest my case.”
“Dad? Corey and I are engaged! Dad?”*sigh*“Mom?”“kittykittykittykitty”*sigh*
“Come on, Kate, let’s just get married now. I know it’s hard with your mom and dad, but you’ll always have me.”I felt another chill at my choice of words, but I made myself not think about it anymore that night.
So Kate and I had our little wedding ceremony...
And Eileen and Sullivan celebrated beside us in their own distant world.
Kate was ecstatic when she caught both her parents semi-coherent at the same time, which was rare indeed.“Mom, Dad, we’re having a baby!”“Good, baby!”
I was off work two out of the three days of her pregnancy, which we spent on non-stop outings to keep her raging hunger andexhaustion at bay, but we still had to grill hotdogs for her.
Sake was doing well in his Service job, getting promoted every other work day. Our main problem was Eileen was so darned tidy,she’d clean up the hotdogs before Sake had a chance to eat them. A couple of times we worried that he would get fed up with us andjust leave, but I guess he was as devoted to us as we were to him.
Kate went into labor while Sullivan and I were at work, and in a way I was glad, because Kate had the chance to bond with her momagain.
Kate told me later it was like little Haley knew all about her gramma.
Eileen was wonderful with the baby, it was like there was no communication barrier at all between the two of them.
I could tell Sullivan was enjoying Haley too, and he never once complained about the stink.
For the first time since elderfying, Eileen spoke to me first.“Corey...thank you Haley...tell Kate I....”“What? Tell Kate what?”“.....”“Eileen! Tell Kate what?”“Tomorrow...”“Tomorrow what?”“.....”“Eileen!”“.....”
“I have a bad feeling, Kate.”“What do you mean?”“I think your mom...”“What about Mom?”I started choking up. “I think your mom is...” I couldn’t finish.“No! She’s so happy with Haley! Youre wrong!”“One of us is going to have to make sure she...”“Shut up, stop it! Don’t you dare say it! Ohhh, I can’t deal with this!”She was sobbing as she bolted up the stairs.
“It can’t be true, Haley, not now that she has you.”
Of course Kate was incapable of doing the most difficult, even coldly calculated, thing I ever could imagine doing, but I believedEileen was trying to warn me last night, and I knew I was the one who had to do it.
I had no idea how long it would take or what I was supposed to do.
Then Eileen put out her hands, and I knew she was trying to make this easier for me. It struck me then how strong and selfless aperson she had always been and just how much I was going to miss her.I noticed Kate pacing back and forth across the platform and hoped she’d find the courage to come join me.
As death approached, I felt a chill unlike anything I had ever experienced, even in the middle of an apocalyptic winter.
I saw Kate coming toward us, and I beckoned her over to me, needing her as much as I knew she would need me.
But at the last minute she spun back around, and I knew she just couldn’t go through with it.
I couldn’t look away as I saw Eileen look the Reaper right in the eye, like she knew what was waiting for her and it was good. I wasn’tsure if it was from her dementia or if she was in some in-between state where everything you ever wondered about in life becomesclear. I thought it was probably the latter.
And in her place, a golden tombstone symbolizing the friends I knew she had cherished throughout her life.
Within minutes of Eileen’s passing, Sake arrived home from his job with Sullivan right behind him.
There was no way I could begin to comprehend how Sullivan took Eileen’s death. Was it something he was fully aware of, or was itmuffled by his senility?
When the last of the shock wore off, the day took its toll on me, both emotionally and physically. It was the first day we had everspent at home without going on an outing, and it literally stunk.“Corey honey, thank you and...Im sorry...”“You have nothing to be sorry for, Kate. I just can’t do this right now, okay? Im going upstairs.”
She rushed over and hugged me and wouldn’t let go. I felt more comfort and love in her embrace with that stink cloud than I everhad before. I held her tight and felt some of my fear of growing old and losing her ease its paralyzing grip on me.
“Corey...” she sighed. “You go try to relax, I’ll spend some time with Dad and Haley then I’ll be up.”“I can take care of the baby if you...”“Will you put yourself first just once? I could feel you shaking! Please, let me take care of you. If it helps, it would make me feelbetter.”When she put it that way, how could I turn her down? The sink was calling my name.
“Oh Dad, I miss her so much. Can you watch the baby for a minute?”
“I love you, Mom. I’m sorry I wasn’t brave enough to say goodbye to you today...”
When Kate finally came up, we both were ready to put the day behind us. Then a tiny yowl brought our attention to Sake.
That poor guy took Eileen’s death just as hard as the rest of us.*mrrrrr*i not hero
After that, I caught Sullivan staring intently at him, like he was trying to convince the kitty of something.Sake good boy can still be our hero
“You’re not going to believe this, Corey, but I just found a job in Adventure!”“That’s wonderful! When do you start?”“Tomorrow. You’ll have to quit your job, I think Dad still likes working.”“Kinda makes you wonder how the phones are still working, doesn’t it? Anyway, quitting’s no problem for me, I’ve been wanting tospend more time with Haley anyway.”
So Kate’s first day at work was on Haley’s birthday, and here’s the kicker. Before the carpool arrived, she looked in the morningpaper, and a job in Science was there! She was in a real quandary, but in the end stuck with Adventure because she could always tryfor Science again if she got fired, but she wouldn’t be able to return to Adventure.
I really meant it when I said I wanted to spend more time with Haley.
I loved every minute I spent with her. The days flew by, and I knew I was beginning to run out of time.“Say daddy.”“Hoddie.”“Dad-dy.”“Hod-die!”“No, Da...Hey, wait a minute! Lorin, are you messin’ with me?”Who me? Never!
I was amazed how well Sullivan did on his own with Haley. She absolutely adored her grampa.
While Haley was occupied with her grampa, I began to explore some of my options.
“...and then the brave mommy flew into outer space and brought back all the special rewards for all the hard-working sims in theworld, and they skilled happily ever after. The End.”
One night we decided to go out after Kate got promoted.“Are you sure shell be okay alone with Dad?”“I’ve seen him with her...believe me, we have nothing to worry about.”
Of course, before we left I had to make sure I looked good.
We went to a new place to play Mahjong, but the game was so popular we couldn’t get a seat at the table. I recognized one of theplayers was Toby Bruenig, and shared a story of Sullivan’s and my trip downtown at LuLu’s.“It was hands-down my worst night out ever, and one of your dad’s best. Not only did he enjoy the admiration of every female there,just as friends of course...”
“...but he also saw that guy Toby and gave him a little payback for the times Toby had tried to ruin his outings with your mom. Yourdad was on the ultimate roll that night.”
What I didn’t tell Kate was on that same night all those years ago, I had met the Count.I could tell she didn’t want to have anything to do with him. I wasn’t expecting to see him on our night out together, but I was glad Idid.
I made sure Kate was busy socializing with the other townies as I befriended him, and hoped this friendship wasn’t one I would live toregret...
“Why did you spend so much time with that vampire tonight? Was he that interesting?”“Not really, I was just curious, that’s all.”“Well, I think the whole thing is creepy, he’s creepy.”“Don’t worry, it really was just curiosity on my part, nothing more.”“Promise?”“Yeah, promise.”Everything before with us had fallen into place so easily, too easily. But from the very beginning I couldn’t bring myself to share mydeepest fears with her, so I kept telling myself that I was doing it for us to justify lying and making plans behind her back.I felt myself approaching the edge of a precipice, and my head was spinning with my options. Sake was one promotion away from thetop of Service and I felt confident he would do it. So I could opt for a somewhat normal life as a fully-functioning elder, perhaps evenavoiding the Reaper if Kate topped Adventure.Or the other option, a life totally foreign to me and everyone who meant the most to me, and one Kate would obviously be opposed to.
Haley grew up looking just like her mom, but with my green eyes. Then I thought perhaps soon she wouldn’t have my eyes at all.I told myself to stop it...I was driving myself crazy!
I wanted to experience everything I could with Haley as I was right now, just a normal adult sim.
“Daddy, Mommy and Grampa want to play with me too.”“I know, cutie pie. Just one kiss and Daddy will let you go, but first...”
The next morning, we could see it in his face...Sake was primed to become a Rescue Pet.
“You did it, Sake to me! Didnt I tell you from the start you would be our hero?”*maaow!*i hero!
“DAAAD!!”“Kate, I can’t believe youre all grown up!”“Oh, Dad. I’ve got to tell Haley!”
"It’s sooo good to have you back. Do you remember anything?”“Not really, everything is a fog. What did I miss, where’s Eileen?”
I always seemed to be the bearer of bad news.“Eileen’s gone.”“She’s gone? You mean...oh God, she’s gone.” We were silent for a while, then he asked, “What happened?”“I was with her the whole time. There were hula dancers and Hawaiian music and they gave her a drink, and she was smiling, thenshe picked up a suitcase then she just disappeared. I think she’s someplace good. We haven’t seen a ghost yet.”“I want to see her.”“You can’t, she’s gone.”“No! I mean take me to her.”“Sorry. She’s just a little ways in the back.”
We walked together until he finally saw where she was.“You want me to come with you?”“No, I just want to be with her for a while.”I followed, but kept my distance.
“Oh, Ei, I’m so sorry I wasn’t with you, I didn’t know. Can you hear me? Can you talk to me?”...“Well, I’m gonna keep talking to you, and I’m gonna make sure everyone in our family knows all about you.”...“And I don’t know how just yet, but I’m gonna find some way to bring you back to me.”
“You always were and will always be my angel, Ei.”
I saw Kate and Sullivan were having their first meaningful conversation in years, and I was so grateful that they had each other again.I slipped downstairs, unnoticed.
I was two days from elderfying, which of course was a factor in my decision. But it was Sullivan’s words to Eileen that made up mymind. Out of habit I silently thanked him for the phones.A flash of longing seared through me as I thought of the day’s blue sky and faint heat of the sun. Praying that Kate would somedayforgive me, I stepped into the abyss and invited the Count on an outing....