“Hey man…I’m really sorry to hear about your sister. So sorry.”
“It’s cool, man. I’m ok.”
“You know, Brandon…after all these years of living together and being around each other all day every day, I feel like we don’t talk enough.”
“Yeah, like we don’t even know each other.”
“Exactly! Let’s say we go outside, stick our feet in the pool, and talk…like real talk.”
“That sounds great!”
They went up to their rooms and changed into their trunks and sat poolside.
“So how are you and Amira doing? Married life been good?”
“Yeah. It’s been ok, I guess.”
“You guess?? A beautiful Sim like Amira? Life should be GREAT!”
“This is real talk, right?”
“I’m bored, brother!”
“BORED?! How are you bored??”
“Things just aren’t exciting like they used to be. We used to talk all the time about everything. I remember when she used to kiss me…I would just melt. I was like putty in her hands, and she could have me anytime, anyplace, anywhere! But now…I don’t know, G. It’s not the same.”
“What do you think happened?”
“That’s the thing! I don’t even know! I can’t recall a specific event or anything! I feel lost. I’m not even gonna tell you how long it’s been since….”
“No! Really, Brandon? Say it ain’t so!”
“Most of the time, we only do it because she wants to. You’re a romantic, so you know how that is.”
“Yeah. Wow. I had no idea. Do you think you can fix it? Maybe you guys just need to get reacquainted. You know how much life speeds up when the kids come. Take her out on a date or something.”
“That’s a good idea. I just hope it will be worth it. I don’t want to spend energy reviving something that’s already dead. You know, like pouring new wine into old wine skins?”
“Don’t talk like that, Brandon. What you guys had is still there. It’s just been covered by layers an layers of life. You’ll just have to uncover it one layer at a time.”
“This is nice, bro. We should do this more often.”
It was Brandon’s birthday that day, and he took Giancarlo’s advice and decided that he and Amira would go out after the party that night. Because she was such a poor party planner, he sent her a text so she wouldn’t fret about it while she was at work. When the evening came, everyone was waiting on Amira to get home so the party could begin. Melody invited Paxton over while the other kids did homework–go figure. Because Brandon made plans, the party was going to be small and just between the household. Cadence was a little alarmed when she heard someone knocking at the door.
“Are you expecting anyone, Allen?”
She waited to see if any of the adults would answer, but no one came so she went to see who it was.
“Cameron? What are you doing here?”
“Uhhh…hi. I was just in the neighborhood?”
“You walked all the way from Oasis Springs to here?”
“No. That was lame. I’m sorry. I should have called first, I’m interrupting your dinner, I’m just gonna go….”
“No! It’s ok, really. Sit with me.”
“It’s my uncle’s birthday. You can stay for some cake if you’d like.”
“Really? He wouldn’t mind?”
“Nah. Him and my aunt are going out afterward anyway, so it should be a fairly short party.”
“And your parents?”
“They’ll be fine! Don’t worry about it. So…you’re here now. What’s up?”
“I was, ummm…thinking about you?”
“Yeah. We didn’t get a chance to finish talking….”
“So…you came to my house?”
“Oh geez. I sound like a stalker! I knew I shouldn’t have come.”
“It’s ok,” she laughed. “I’m just pulling your chain.”
“Whatever it is, I promise I won’t laugh or get mad or anything.”
“Ok,” he said and took a deep breath. “I kinda like you…a little.”
“Oh! That’s sweet.”
“Do you think you could like me?”
“Well, sure. You’re interesting enough to hang out with. And…I think you’re cute.”
Cameron turned several different shades of red with that unexpected compliment.
“So do you want to go out sometime,” he asked.
By then Amira had arrived home, and it was party time. Brandon had his cake already baked with candles lit. All he needed to do was blow out the candles.
“I know it’s a bit unusual to say a few words at your own party, but I am. Thank you all for being here, and to my brother-in-law, it’s really been great having you and the family around. I’m not sure what life would have been like without you all here. I wish this final stage of my life will be the most phenomenal one yet. Happy birthday to me!”
And with that, he blew out the candles and welcomed elderhood.
After having a slice of cake, he and Amira went upstairs, changed clothes, and left for their date. He didn’t really have many expectations for the evening. He just hoped that he could figure out what happened.
“Well, come on, sweetheart! Sims as good looking as us don’t need to be outside.”
“I know. I’m just so nervous! It’s been so long since we’ve been out. Do I look ok?”
“‘Ok’ is how I look. You look amazing. Let’s go.”
They went inside and found a nice, quiet table in a private corner of the lounge.
“This is a great table, huh,” he said, searching for something to talk about.
“Ok, before we start talking serious, let’s have some fun!”
He got cold feet. He thought he was ready to talk, but he wasn’t. Besides, Amira looked even more nervous than she did before. They hadn’t been on a date since before they got married, and it wasn’t like Brandon to suggest going out. They danced until Brandon felt the courage come back.
“I haven’t seen you dance like that since high school,” Amira laughed.
“I still got it, eh?”
“No, honey. You lost it,” she said laughing uncontrollably.
“Ha ha ha. You keep laughing. I’ll never dance for you again. Not even in private.”
“Awww, don’t be like that. I’m just having fun with you!”
“Let’s go back over to our table. I want to talk to you.”
“Awww! Do we have to? I’m having so much fun right now! Aren’t you having fun?”
“Isn’t that what we came to do?”
“Come on, Brandon. Let’s have some fun.”
She yanked his body to hers and kissed him, trying to use her powers of persuasion like she used to do. It wasn’t going to work this time.
“Amira, please. We really need to talk. That’s what I came here for.”
“I’m gonna cut right to the chase. I’m concerned about our relationship. It’s not…things have changed and I don’t know why. Have you sensed that?”
“Yes,” she said nervously.
“I’m gonna be painfully honest with you. I’ve been bored, Amira. I don’t know whether it’s because I’m a house husband and I don’t have that much to do anymore, or what, but life is just so…mundane!”
“Yes! I thought it was just me! I’ve never been so bored in my life! I can’t even get you to look at me like you used to. And then we haven’t woo hooed in sooooo long!! I feel like I live in a convent!”
Brandon came there to have real talk, but he wasn’t expecting her to open the flood gates. He had no idea her feelings were stronger than his. And there was more where that came from.
“And then we have to live with your sister and that…that beautiful beautiful man, and they have fun all the time. And they’re old! He’s gonna be dead in a little bit!! Why don’t we have fun like that, Brandon??”
“I don’t know, Amira!! That’s what we’re trying to figure out!”
He paused for a minute to take in everything she spewed out to process it and see how it aligned with his own feelings.
“So you’re attracted to Giancarlo?”
“Who isn’t? He’s like the creator’s gift to all Sims! And he sleeps right down the hall from us,” she trailed off.
“Hey! That’s my sister’s husband you’re talking about! Do you even want to be married to me anymore?”
She thought seriously about the question. She hadn’t lost any love for him, but she hadn’t gained any either. She had no intentions of getting divorced, but she didn’t want to be stuck in a rut forever either.
“Well,” she said carefully, “I’ve never considered what not being married to you would be like. You’re the love of my life. I love our sons. I love our house! But, I do not love that our love has some how shifted into obligation for you. When we’re together, you don’t put any feeling into it. I feel like you’re just doing it because you feel like you have to. I don’t want that. I want the old Brandon that would melt when I looked at him.”
“I guess that’s just it for me. I don’t need your body in order to be in love with you. I need a deeper connection. Your body should be an extension of that–not a substitute. I want the old Amira that I would talk to all night about everything.”
“I hate to tell you, honey, but that Amira does not exist.”
“What do you mean? I love her.”
“I liked you a lot. I did whatever I needed to do to get close to you. It worked!”
“No! Of course not! I said I love you! I meant it. You know I have very strong physical needs. I chose you…and I got what I wanted.”
It was very late, and they were both tired. Brandon didn’t even have the energy to explore any of this further.
“Ok. This was way more than what I bargained for. I don’t know what to make of it. Let’s just…I don’t know. Maybe we need to spend a little time apart just to think things through and figure out how we’re gonna fix this. We’re not gonna come up with a solution tonight. So, what if you went away for a week and then we talk again when you’re back?”
“That sounds like a good plan. But Lance’s birthday is tomorrow.”
“Oh, right. Ok, well that’s perfect then. That will give you time to find somewhere nice to stay, and we’ll talk to the kids day after tomorrow.”
“That’s fine. What exactly are we telling the kids…and everyone else?”
“We’ll just tell them you need to get away for a while and that you’ll be back in a week.”
“What if they see me at the park or something?”
“Then don’t go to the park!”
“I’m exhausted, Amira. Tell them you’re on a staycation or something.”