Joseph wasn’t so old that he didn’t recall how he was at Rory’s age. Ericka was a pretty little thing and he’d watched how his son interacted with her. One morning, Rory sat at the diningroom table across from him.
“Dad,” Rory said.
“Could we talk about something?’
“Sure, what do wish to talk about?”
“Ahem — w-w-w-woohoo. I’d like to know about it.”
So, the Question had finally been asked. Joseph drew in a breath and considered his answer. He and Jaylah agreed long before that it was proper to answer questions about this subject as honestly and directly as possible. Neither of them wanted their children to get this information off of the internet nor in the school yard where likely misinformation is all they’d get. Sadly, Jaylah wasn’t here to help him out, although he recognized his young son might be too embarrassed were his mother to explain things. He wondered if he should use the time-honored analogy of the Birds and the Bees…?
In the end Joseph told the boy how it all worked, without stammering through it too badly. He finished up the life-lesson with his short routine “The Worst Date”. While Rory seemed a bit uncomfortable at times, sometimes even awkward, the routine had him laughing. After that the boy went out.
Rory met Ericka at Magnolia Blossom Park. “Hey,” he said.
“Hey.” As the two strolled into the courtyard, Rory spied the Wishing Well. Hanging from the front of it was a ceramic cameo of a masculine face. The expression seemed amenable. Rory touched his pockets realizing he didn’t have many Simoleons on him, so he dared to make a wish anyway. Bothered by his flagging grades that never rose higher than a C no matter how much effort he put into it, he drew in a breath and said, “I wish for better grades.” The well seemed oblivious for a nano-second and then an eerie red mist flowed over the edges of the well, that ultimately became white as snow. The ‘face’ was suddenly cloaked under a hood. Rory’s phone went off at that moment. The vice-principal was calling to inform him, there was a momentary up-tick in Rory’s grade that made the faculty suspicious. “So, we figured you had hacked into the school computers and diddled with your grade. The school takes a very dim view on such shenanigans. Laziness like this will not be tolerated. Your grade has been dropped to its previous sad level and one lower to punish your insolence.”
“W-what? Wait — I didn’t.” The line went dead, but Rory was so embarrassed he could hardly stand it. He just wanted to graduate with good grades, so he could be worthy of Ericka. Now, he was going to have to work extra-hard just to pass. He ambled into the restroom and gazed at his miserable self. “How could you be so stupid! You’re not a stupid person. Now you’ve really done it.” And so his ‘pep-talk’ went. Basically unsuccessful. Rory sighed.
“Rory,” Ericka hollered, sticking her head just inside the facility. “I’ve made some burgers, are you hungry? Come on,” she said. They sat at a picnic table and ate, enjoying the moment. Rory told a few deprecating jokes on himself. They talked about a variety of things, their interests. The conversation got deep as the two got to know each other. He really liked her.
The next afternoon, Sunday, Joseph was very glad he had off. Rory called up his new ‘friend’, inviting her over. They were sitting on the sofa in the livingroom, watching a movie on their very large screen TV. Joseph just happened to walk by and peer into the room. To be honest, he heard what sounded like his favorite movie, blaring from the front of the house. So, he grabbed his plate of food and made his way there. Rory and Ericka were getting rather cozy on the couch together. Just as he suspected. Rather nonchalantly, he seated himself on the opposite end of the couch. “Hey, this is my favorite part!” he said, distracting them, pointing at the over-large screen. “I thought I’d missed it.” He took a bite or two and tried not to grin. That certainly put the kibosh on any unnecessary groping. He figured he owed it to the girls’ parents.
The teens, instead, went out back to take a swim. Joseph could see them from the window in the office. There was a lot of splashing, giggling and such, but nothing untoward going on. While they were enjoying the pool, Rory’s phone went off. Racing into the house to change his clothes, “Dad, there’s a rocking dance party going on at the Bluffs. Ericka and I are going. See you later!”
The front door slammed before Joseph could get a word out. “Okay, don’t… do anything I wouldn’t do …” What a stupid remark, he thought. Of course he’d so something, if given the chance, he was a guy. Joseph shook his head and went about refining one of his newer routines. He texted Rory, to remind him not to stay out too late, it being a school night and all.
Rory and Ericka made their way toward the music and began to dance. Pretty soon others flocked around them. Some spectres of Sims past, and others still living. After a time, Rory, who was already weary and needing sleep, found a stack of wood all set up for a bonfire. He went over to it, lit it and then called for Ericka to join him. The two stood there, enjoying the blaze, arm in arm. Before long, they were feeling Very Flirty, and being the undisciplined teens that they were, looked around for a ‘private’ place to ‘fool around’. They found a bush where they could both fit into and had some fun.
The night ebbed and soon the two decided it was time to leave. Rory made up his mind. He was going to marry Ericka, probably shortly after they graduated. Then he nearly panicked. What if he didn’t graduate? He thought about approaching the well again, with an offering, to try to undo the damage he’d wrought. But, should it backfire again — he only had six days to go. Rory hit the books and worked as hard as he could. He had to do something. One day he would become the Patriarch of the Family and as it had the others who preceded him, that weight came to bear heavily on his young shoulders.