Poplar wondered if she should drink the white stuff in the cup. Sure, she was not even a day away from having her life bar turn sparkly. But so were all her childhood friends–those that were still around.
Her sisters had left a while ago. If she drank this, she’d be the only one around of all those she’d grown up with.
Sure, why not? She concluded. She was happier now than she’d ever been. Retired. Plenty of time to paint, play video games, explore molecular structure.
It tasted rather bland and chalky, and it felt rough going down.
But oh, how sweet, as she felt the days turn back and the sweet extension of her life roll on ahead. To live!
That night, the ghosts of Aspen and Niko came out together. Like Timothy’s ghost had ages and ages ago when he first saw Cedar’s ghostly form, Niko felt sad at his initial sight of his wife–once so vibrant–now completely ethereal.
She told him not to worry. She was the same Aspen. “It’s spirit that makes us,” she said, “Not our physical form.”
When dawn approached, true to her spirit, she resumed the activity that had been interrupted when Grim reaped her, punching the bag with skill and concentration.
Sugar Maple came out as the sun climbed the sky, standing just where her mom’s spirit had stood, a few short hours before.
Sugar’s reached her maximum body potential. I’m glad she hasn’t really bulked up–she’s still got those long lines.
Half a skill bar, and she’ll have achieved body builder, her second adult aspiration, with still around 15 days of young adulthood left.
I’ve been watching the way her skill bars fill, and it’s usually so quick that I can see the level rise. I had a few Sims in TS2 that were like this–such fast skillers.
Sugar’s my first TS4 Sim to be a super-skiller. When she maxed her creativity while playing the typing game as a child, I thought it was a glitch. But now that I see that she skills fast whenever she’s in the right mood–especially with any creative skills–I’m thinking that, perhaps, she’s just a fast learner.
She approaches everything with intensity. Here she is in the screenshot below, achieving level 10 fitness and completing the body builder aspiration. Nice job, Shug! Now, barring accident, we’ll get to have you around for a long, long time! Maybe you’ll even get a chance to meet gen 8! Wouldn’t that be something!
Later that evening, her best friend, Miracle, stopped by.
“Can I ask you a question?” Sugar said. “I’m not sure what next aspiration to choose. What do you think would be a good aspiration for me?”
Miracle, who’s old enough to be Sugar’s aunt, has always been a good sounding board for her.
The two friends sat together to think it through.
“Let’s consider your traits,” said Miracle. “Glutton. Do you want to be a chef? You’d be an awesome chef. Or bro. Ok–you just completed body-builder. That takes care of that. What else? How about music lover? It seems like music’s becoming your new passion.”
“Gosh,” said Sugar. “Do you think I could do that? Become a musician? Why not, right?”
“Exactly!” said Miracle. “Why not? Right?”
Sugar felt that a dream opened up within her. She remembered how easily and joyfully she’d accomplished the Creative Prodigy aspiration when she was a kid. She was so happy playing that tiny violin. And she’d bought a few beautiful hand-crafted violins when she was working on Mansion Baron. Those were purchases she could really get behind–and she kept both instruments. Imagine actually using them! What if she could even learn to play a true tone?
Her body had become so sensitive and refined through the hours and hours of training she’d done. When she thought of holding the violin and feeling its vibrations course through her–with her body becoming an extension of the instrument–truly being part of the music in the same way that she’d been part of the exercise, she felt the thrill and anticipation of deep satisfaction.
“I think I’ll work towards that,” she said. “A master musician!”
In addition to working on aspirations, the sisters continue to make new friends. They don’t need to leave the lot to do so, for all day long, there’s a constant stream of pedestrians along the hilltop street they live on. Many of these walkers and joggers are their friends, and now and then someone new comes along.
Like this Bohemian dude, who is one of their new mailmen, dressed like an artist on his day off.
The new mailman and Sugar have a lot in common: they’re both music lovers. He’s also an art lover and ambitious. I love his appearance–he reminds me of a really good artist/musician friend we had in Santa Cruz back in the early 80s. Sometimes, I wish I could just choose the sisters’ spouses for them–we’ve met so many great Sims already who would be such fun additions to the family.
Sugar reminds me this isn’t my life I’m writing about: it’s theirs.
While Salix worked at the restaurant, Sugar hung out in the courtyard with the goofball Dillon, her cousin Irving, and the new hippie-artist-musician mailman.
“No way!” said Irving. “Rachmaninoff is every bit as good as Brahms! You can’t tell me that Brahms has anything on him!”
“How about number of compositions?” the mailman said.
“You can’t compare quantity to quality! The third piano concerto! I’m telling you! That puts him up there with anybody!”
I’d be so happy with each of those guys for gen 6 spouses–one for each of the girls! But Sugar’s right. This isn’t about me, and it’s their choice, not mine.
When Salix came home from work on the evening before her adult birthday, she, too, sat down with a cup full of pasty white liquid.
One cup of youth potion later, and we’ve reset her age back to beginning of young adult–twenty extra days! It’s been generations since anyone in the legacy has drunk youth potion. I felt it was time for it. For Poplar, I wanted her to have a little more happiness. During her mean years, she wasn’t that happy, and before Grim reaps her, I’d love for her to drink more fully of the joy of her digital life.
With Salix, she simply seems to need time. She has all the friends she needs for her Friend of the World aspiration–well over twenty–yet she has yet to find a romantic partner. She rolls a few general romantic whims: flirt with someone, have first kiss with someone. But most of her whims center around preparing meals, working out, and spending time with her sister.
I’m hoping that in these next twenty days, she’ll be able to find someone to love.
On the eve of Sugar Maple’s adult birthday, we’ll let her drink a cup, too–just to keep their relative ages in order.
We got a phone call from Dillon. It’s his birthday! And now I really wish he’d joined the family so that he could drink from the white cup, too. The family headed over to the party. Ted, Irving, and Miracle arrived just after them (that’s them in the screenshot below, hanging their heads). They all three looked so sad, and Ted kept having the “broken heart” thought bubble. I wonder if a romantic partner of his died. We’re nearing the time when Grim will be coming for lots of the residents of Oasis Springs.
Salix congratulated Dillon on his birthday and complimented him, and with that social interaction, she maxed out her charisma and achieved Friend of the World. Congratulations, Salix!
We thought long and hard about what aspiration to choose next. We considered body builder, for active Salix loves to work out, and it would be great to get that long-lived trait. But then we decided to leverage her romantic trait. We chose Soul-mate.
Cedar had this aspiration, and I enjoy casting back to that happiness that our founder brought us. And I’m hoping that this new aspiration will bring us some luck in love.
Dillon, the only goofball we’ve seen in generations, sat before his cake, thought up his own particular goofy wish, and aged up to elder.
There’s a whole world of game-generated men, Salix tells me, and twenty bonus youth-potion days in which to find one that suits her. That’s nothing to worry about, right? If only we could find love in a cup.