Everyone in the Pruett estate, except Devan, was concerned about Owen. All of them–even Brady–wanted to talk to him, but he was always so busy and shooed them away. One night, as Alayna was going to downstairs to clean up after putting Devan to bed, she ran into Owen as he was coming upstairs to go to bed.
“Owen! Is it really you? Or have you made a mobile virtual presence device to keep avoiding us?”
“Ha ha ha. Just because dad was a comedian doesn’t mean you should be too. Geez, you guys act like you never see me or something.”
“Ummm, Sim Nation to Owen Pruett…we don’t!”
“Whatever. I’m always around. Y’all just don’t try hard enough to connect with me.”
“WE,” she started to say, but she didn’t want to start an argument.
If she started an argument, then he would shut down and it would probably be another week before she saw him again. She didn’t like walking on eggshells around him, but if that’s what it was going to take to get through to him, then she would do it.
“Nevermind,” she said and changed the subject. “I got an alarming call from Kacey today.”
“What’s the matter? They couldn’t figure out how to use the microwave?”
“That’s not funny, Owen. She said that Brianna is gone!”
“Brianna? Gone, like how? For the weekend?”
“They don’t know. She said after Cadence died, Brianna just disappeared. She’s been gone for almost a week!”
“Wow. That kinda sucks that she would just leave her sisters like that without even letting them know, but it’s good that she’s taking control of her life I guess.”
“How do you mean?”
“You know they’re all a bunch of spoiled princesses over there.”
“No they aren’t. How would you even know that? You barely know them.”
“I know a princess when I see one,” he said and started to walk toward his room.
“Owen, wait….There’s something else I want to talk to you about.”
“[sigh] Is this another lecture about my love life??”
“Can you please just talk to her? You clearly don’t listen to me, and you definitely need some Sim contact in your life.”
“Drop it! Ok?”
“No! I won’t drop it until you speak with her! You are out of control, Owen! You work all day and night! I never see you sleep! What are you working so hard for anyway? We don’t need the money! I don’t know why you just–“
“I talked to her! Ok?”
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“Because it’s none of your business! None of this is any of your business!”
“Owen! What happened? We used to be friends! If you don’t want me asking about her anymore, I won’t. But, please don’t shut me out! Talk to me, please!”
He hesitated. He was still in a lot of pain over his recent conversation with Alexia, but he saw how it made his sister feel. She was right. They used to be close, but they weren’t anymore, and it was all his fault.
“She doesn’t care for me anymore.”
“I’m sorry, Owen.”
“She kept calling me a plumming bastard. I don’t even know what I did! I mean, I know I don’t talk to her much, but she knows how I am. Besides, she stopped coming by too! She says that I know what I did, but I don’t! I didn’t do anything!”
“Are you sure? She sounds extremely upset about something.”
“You said so yourself that I’m always working. When would I have had the time to break her heart?”
“True. Well…do you think it’s because she’s–“
“Crazy? It could be, but I don’t know. She didn’t sound crazy when she was cursing my name.”
Being able to finally confess this was helpful. He hadn’t really come to terms with losing the love of his life yet, and he began to cry.
“Oh, Owen! I’m so sorry! I didn’t know. I wouldn’t have pushed you so hard if I had known!”
“It’s ok,” he said drying his tears. “I’m fine. I’ll just keep working, make this last 114k, and find someone else.”
“But Owen! Why do you work so hard? We don’t need 114k! We don’t need anything! Why don’t you take a break? Get away for a while or something!”
“I don’t need a break! I need 114k,” he shouted and stormed off to his room.
Alayna wished she knew what was driving him so mad so she could get through to him. She went downstairs to straighten up sobbing the entire time. When she was done, she checked on Devan and then climbed into bed. Roland heard her sniffing.
“Baby? Are you crying?”
“Please leave me alone.”