Monday, September 12, 2016

Generation Seven — Chapter Seven: This Momentary Life …

    Ericka had reached the lofty old age of 105. Beginning to really feel it, she made a point to visit her other two sons, who had long since moved out of the family home. She was very glad that her eldest son, James, had made her youngest son, Jett, part of his new business venture. In reality, she knew James’ only child, Trenton, would inherit the business in time, but for now, Jett, who had been at best a marginal student, was gaining skill in the workforce. She smiled to herself. All the troubles raising four boys had been well-worth it. She and Marc had turned out four fine, young male Sims.
Marc would certainly be proud. And then she sighed. He’d been gone for some time, now, but she missed him, always. 
 “Mom, I’m so glad you called,” Johnny said, throwing his arms around her. “You’re looking good, how do you feel?”
“Oh, old,” she smiled. “I keep working to keep my mind off the aches and pains.”
“Let’s go grab a bite to eat,” Johnny said. “I know of a quaint new place, that I think you’ll approve of.”  
Taking his mother to Newcrest, he brought her into the Oak Alcove Diner. “This is your brother’s place,” Ericka laughed. “Oh, how very nice it is, too.”
Carley, who was getting on in years, herself, also made a point to spend some one-on-one time with her aging mother-in-law. They did some star-gazing together, talked about the men in their lives and in general got to know each other very well.
Ericka, not wishing to waste a minute’s time, played on that silly Slippery Slide. She wasn’t all that fit, nor very good at those fancy type slides her boys all liked to show off, but, it was very early and even her neighbors seemed to be asleep. She stole outside, quiet as an Elf and turning on the water, slid to her heart’s content. Okay, so she flopped a few times. But, she was anxious to get the most out of her waning life. And, she was having fun. Finally, she got up, rubbed at her insulted hip and decided enough was enough. She would likely feel this bit of childishness for the rest of the day.

   Then, one evening after work, she went upstairs to go to bed. She was unusually tired. That’s when she realized something was up.
“What? Who’s that? Is anybody there?” No one answered. Ericka felt herself grow very weak. Afraid of falling, she lowered herself to the floor. There was some comfort in getting there on her own, instead of just dropping and alarming everyone. Then, she laid her head down on the cool wood flooring and quietly slipped off.  
“I’m just going to go check on your Mom,” Carley said, over her shoulder, once she reached the top of the stairs. James smiled, nodded and went into their bedroom in the corner. Carley pushed into the  room to the right and there before her on the floor beside the bed lay Ericka. “Oh. Oh, no. James! James, come quickly!” 
That beastly being, Grimmie, floated into the room.  Dark gray dust cloud and all. Carley glared at the entity. This was twice in so short a time, she felt sick to her stomach. She knew better than to try to plead for Ericka’s life. She was an ancient Sim. Tears welled up in her eyes, and Carley allowed herself to weep. Life just wouldn’t be the same without Ericka. But, there was no choice. In another moment, she was calling the authorities to come collect her.
As expected, James and Jett took the loss of their mother very hard. Being the eldest, James traveled to see Jaron and Johnny, giving them the unhappy news. James seemed to take it the hardest. 

“You have today off, are you not going to open up the restaurant?” Carley asked, after he got back from his visit.
“I don’t know. I just. I can’t get myself ready to do much of anything.”
“Why don’t you go open up. Believe me, keeping busy might help you in the long run.”
James paid heed to his wife’s words. There were problems at Oak Alcove, and before he knew it, working through the staff issues, greeting guests and working out the financials did take his mind off of his grief. After checking on all three waiters, his Host and both Chefs, he decided to pay for some additional training. While the restaurant teetered between three and half stars to four full stars, he made sure he chatted with the guests, beyond just seeing to their needs.
When he closed for the night, he felt a tad better. Tomorrow, he worked at his other job. Time would tell when he could let that one go and take over his own place full-time. Right now, he just needed to keep his family afloat, needed to get them above the ‘waves’ and into a semblance of prosperity. They were already down one wage-earner. Trenton would come of age very soon. He hoped to hand over an inheritance that was worth it. Shutting off the lights, James locked the doors behind him. Tomorrow would be another day.

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