10.3 Days Gone By

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Parenthood was challenging for Jonathan and Skyla, but it wasn’t the worse thing they had ever gone through. The late night feedings, poopy diapers, and sleepless nights all earned them XP to unlock the excellent parent achievement.

Jonathan loved being a father and husband. Although he had been a husband much longer than he had been a father, adding a child into the mix seemed to validate his husbandry even more. With the maids and all the luxury the Pruett Estate afforded them, all he really had to do previously was spend time with Skyla. Now that she had been pregnant, they had a house they actually had to take care of, and had real worries, caring for her took on a whole new meaning and he embraced it wholeheartedly.

As time went on, Jonathan began to view living in that trailer more as a blessing than a curse. He realized that while having money had its privileges, it wasn’t everything. Without three computers, three TVs, a gaming rig, a gym, and everything else he was used to having to occupy his time, there was nothing left to do but talk to each other and cherish real quality time.

Without all the fancy, expensive, hyper-upgraded appliances, electronics, and plumbing—and money to pay a repair person—Jonathan had to learn to do things he never dreamed he would ever do. In those moments, he hated it and cursed the very existence of cheap things.

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But, at the end of the day, when his head hit the pillow and he counted his blessings, he decided that this entire experience was making him a better man—even if he got electrocuted a few times.

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Although Jonathan had begun to think favorably on the situation, that didn’t mean that he completely accepted it. There were still times when he longed to go outside and take a dip in a pool or simply spend a few hours on the Internet in his own house. He laughed to himself in a cynical way when he found himself aching to buy a dishwasher. He never imagined that one day he would have to fret over how to afford something so essential. But, in time, he decided to stop lamenting the past and came to fully accept his situation. This life was no longer punishment for his mistakes, but was simply his new life and he loved it. Every day with Skyla and Maya in that trailer was more beautiful than 10 days at the Pruett Estate.

This newfound appreciation for life gave him the vigor that he needed to think more rationally and find solutions. The first thing he did was call his old job. They were sorry to hear about him losing his restaurant but were more than glad to offer him his previous position.

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When he used to work there, he was very driven because he was there to learn and observe for when he left and went out on his own. But this time was different. He had a deeper purpose for being there. He needed to be there, and he was a better employee than he was the first time. He worked hard—really hard—and earned every simoleon he made. Oftentimes, he came home beat but with a smile on his face.

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The second thing he did was plant those flowers he picked that day. It’s not that he had forgotten about them. It’s just that he was secretly holding out for things to go back to the way they were. It was very well that he waited. He was a different person then. The man he is now was in a better position to appreciate what the lilies could do for him. And, also, he was actually excited to add another skill to his ever-growing list of accomplishments.

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The lilies blossomed and bloomed giving Jonathan and Skyla the opportunity to make her old house their home. They painted the walls to brighten up the place, prepared a space for Maya, and even created a space for them to hangout outside together.

The warm, arid Oasis Springs air was so pleasant to Jonathan. At times, he would catch himself laughing when he remembered the time he told Skyla as teenagers that if he didn’t have to live in the Pruett Estate for the rest of his life, he would move to Oasis Springs. Life had a peculiar way of working things out, he guessed.

This crisis turned blessing in disguise seemed to bring the Pruetts closer together. His sisters often came by to check on him and make sure he was doing ok—and to bond with their new niece. The Pruetts were never the type to compare themselves to each other or anyone else, but it was almost as if that situation put them all of the same level—not that any of them felt that Jonathan was better than the rest of them. But in a way, Jonathan was now just a regular guy who had to work to live just like everyone else, and that made him more relatable.

When Maya’s birthday came around, they introduced her to her two cousins, and they all became fast friends. Jonathan loved that he still had the support of his family. He recalled the first thing he ever said to Maya when they brought her home from the hospital. He told her that she would grow up much differently from him, but he took it back. She was going to grow up exactly how he grew up: with love and surrounded by family.

One day, Skyla gave him some incredible news. It was almost like a precious gift from the Watcher as a reward for his stewardship and good attitude toward life.

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He was ecstatic—they both were. When Skyla went to share the news with Maya, she was not met with the same enthusiasm.

Being an only child herself, Skyla recognized Maya’s hesitation. She was seven years old and everyone’s little princess. Who would want to be dethroned by some loud, smelly, tiny thing? Certainly not Maya. However, underneath the facade of being dethroned was a scared little girl who was afraid of being left out. Skyla knew that and reassured her that bringing another child into the family would not make them love her any less. She told her that she was important and would need her help. That was just the thing that Maya needed to hear.

Shortly after the news of the new addition, Jonathan and Skyla worked hard to make all the extra money they could to add onto the house. Skyla spent her days painting masterpieces while Jonathan tended the garden and worked toward the next promotion. Soon enough, they added two small bedrooms off the living room; they learned their lesson from last time and decided not to have the baby sleep in their room.

Jonathan also welcomed his adult birthday. He didn’t make any wishes and instead gave thanks for everything he had.

Everything he had. What a statement coming from someone who used to be so quick to drop big simoleons with every fancy that was tickled. Going from having everything to having nothing forced him to see what life was truly about, and for that, he was truly grateful.

This pregnancy was different. Not because she never had morning sickness, but because they were free. Last time, they were homeless and frustrated and scared. They had no money, no plan, and no hope. But this time, they had fun. They laughed and joked, danced and played, planned for the future, and all the things that expecting parents did. They made sure to let Maya join in on their excitement while also making time to be alone with each other. Family life was incredible, and Jonathan agreed wholeheartedly that home is where the heart is.

Skyla loved to watch Jonathan garden. He was the type of guy that needed to do something that gave his life special meaning. He would still be happy if all he had was his job and his family, but it was that extra…those things on the side that really gave him the gumption to go the extra mile. It was almost like an adventure. It was that same fire he had when he owned the restaurant. The way he handled those lilies with such precision and care and pride…it was attractive and very telling of how he handled his business in all other areas of his life.

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The blessed day finally came when the child would make itself known. The birth of this child would not be witnessed by the entire world; the world didn’t even know it existed. There would be no news story. No decking the halls in celebration of a 10th generation. For unto them, a child was born—two children, actually—and unto them, two sons were given! Not an heir. Not a spare. Just two boys.

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Benjamin and Adrian Pruett

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