Joseph was barely out of school and just getting a feel for his chosen career. He was always one to tell a good joke or two, and found he really enjoyed making people laugh. This is what he discovered when his father told him to look inward and decide what line of work he wished to do for his lifetime. As time wore on, and his father passed away, Joseph realized he was now the Patriarch. Being such meant it was up to him to provide continuity and to keep the family name going. To do that also meant finding a wife and having, with luck, a son or two, one of whom would carry on the family name.
Finding the right woman — finding any woman, for that matter, was proving problematic. Joseph went to dance halls in an evening, Coffee shops during the mornings and just wasn’t finding a soul. He even took his late aunt up on an invitation to go to a bar on Singles’ Night. That proved an exercise in futility. The only ‘singles’ who showed up besides himself and the spectre of his aunt, were two elderly Sim females and a bunch of would-be male Sim suitors. All dead ends.
Joseph decided to write a few jokes about the ordeal, to see how a possible routine would be received. He knew he wasn’t unique in his quest. In fact, he decided to look at the Solar Flare Lounge, too, for a possible mate. Maybe someone who shared his passion for jokes. Again, only males and mean females showed up. Yeah, he was referencing that pretty redhead, but within a few short sentences of conversation with her on the sidewalk outside of the lounge, he realized he should back away — and do so quickly. The Sim film, “Fatal Attraction” came to mind. His inner senses telling him, Run, Joseph, run! And he did.
On Sunday, after a tiring weekend of seeking and not finding, he got up, ate, and headed to the park in town. He recalled his parents telling him how they had met, and his father, Marc, had cemented the relationship through the help of the Whispering Wishing Well, the town council had installed at this park. Joseph was skeptical, at first. After all, his parents were already acquainted, having met at work. There was already an attraction going on between them, whereas Joseph was alone, unattached with absolutely zero prospects.
Cautiously he approached the well. There were very few people at the park at this fairly early hour on a Sunday. A couple of women were busy fishing at the small pond. He’d even tried to speak to one, strike up a conversation, but she just walked off. Was it him? Did he share his second great-grandfather’s pitiful luck when it came to the softer Sim? He was beginning to think so. Taking a deep breath, he gazed at the ceramic face on the top of the well, nodded, and then pitched a single Simoleon into the depths, hearing it plunk into the water after a few seconds.
“Oh, Whispering Wishing Well, I wish for romance!” He bid the well. Joseph really didn’t expect much to happen, despite the family tales of how it worked for them for various wishes fulfilled. His great-uncle Jaylen wished for money and was overwhelmed with the well’s generosity, giving a great deal back and keeping just enough to fund his brother, Ayden’s, wedding to Jade. As the word romance left his lips, an eerie mist arose from the bottom of the well, curling over the edges and coalescing next to him.
Startled, “What th—” To his right, suddenly a woman stood where there was no one before. Dark skinned, her hair twisted into multiple colored dreadlocks of bright red, electric pink, and purple, she smiled at him as if she knew him. Their eyes met and Joseph knew that he loved her.
“I’m Jaylah,” she said.
“J-J-Joseph, ahem, Joseph Cantrell. And I think I love you.”
“Is it my eyes or is your skin a very light lavender?”
“Is it my eyes,” he smiled back, “or is your hair vibrant red and shocking pink, with a strand or two of purple? How did you get here?”
“I don’t know. I have been seeking my soulmate, so I made a wish at a well similar to this one, I think. And suddenly here I am. And here you are. And I don’t have to think I know I love you!”
Joseph’s smile was wide, as he took her hands in his, moving them away from the well. Down on his knee, “Marry me?”
Jaylah smiled back. “Of course. We’re meant to be. The Wishing Well has decreed it.”
Joseph suddenly felt something in his back pocket. Fishing it out, it was a ring. A solitaire diamond, no less. The Well thinks of everything. “Here,” he said, holding up the ring. She allowed him to slip it onto her hand. Neither of them found it the least bit odd the ring fit perfectly.
“Let’s get married,” Joseph said.
“I’ve just accepted your proposal, silly.”
“No, I mean, let’s say our vows right now. I don’t want this to end or be some strange dream. Let’s cement it right here and now.”
“Okay,” Jaylah said, unworried she was in a simple tee-shirt and short shorts with sandals on her feet. In a heartbeat they were married and Joseph took his bride home. Following what had become a rather odd family tradition, the couple made woohoo in the closet downstairs. Slowly, Joseph introduced his bride to his family members. His brothers took it in stride.
“Nice to meet you, Jaylah is it?” Josiah said with a grin.
“Hi, and you’re who?” Jameson said, shaking her hand. “Say, what kind of special treasures do keep?”
“What?” Jaylah said, looking perplexed.
“Don’t mind him, he asks that of everyone,” Josiah laughed. “I think he’s a bit of a collector and a tad awkward, if you know what I mean,” he said, sotto voce.
“Hey,” Jameson complained. “I’m just curious.”
Karly dragged herself home that evening, tired, sad, miserable. The last thing she expected was to be introduced to her son’s bride, before he’d even let on he was seeing anyone.
“Married? Wh-at, when did this happen. Joseph. You didn’t even give me a chance to be the Mother of the Groom. How could you do this to me?”
Jaylah stood before her new mother-in-law, “I’m so sorry. It all happened so quickly. Neither of us wanted to hurt you or anybody. Forgive us, please. I promise I’ll be the best wife to him. You’ll see.”
“Mom, please don’t carry on like this. I’m sorry. I wasn’t thinking. I just was overwhelmed with how fast I fell in love with her. I just didn’t want her to be a mirage and fade away on me. So, I married her quick.”
“And just when did you two meet?” Karly said.
“This morning,” they said, in unison. The couple glanced at each other and smiled.
“You see how it is between us,” Joseph said to his mother’s frown. “We’re meant to be.”