Lance slept a little bit longer than he normally did and woke up feeling awesome…awesome as in he was awesome and not the really great feeling.
“Oh yeah! It’s my birthday! I’m skipping school. Oh yeah!!”
He strutted downstairs a few minutes after the other kids had left for school to make breakfast for the rest of the house.
“Birthday pancakes. Oh yeah! Next stop, birthday cake!”
He proudly grabbed a serving of his fluffy pancakes and strutted to the dining room to enjoy them. Within a few minutes, the adults were up and following their noses downstairs to the prepared meal. Of course, they were all very surprised to see Lance still at home.
“Lance? Are you feeling sick?”
“No. I’m feeling awesome!”
“Oh,” Bianca said confused. “So…why aren’t you in school?”
“It’s my birthday!”
“So, what…Sims don’t go to school on their birthdays anymore?”
“I’m skipping school today, Aunt Bianca.”
“Oh. Ok. I guess that’s understandable.”
Giancarlo joined them, but he didn’t eat. He just sat there staring into nothingness.
“Uncle G…what’s the matter? You look sad. Your pancakes are getting cold.”
“Oh! I’m all right. These pancakes are great, Lance.”
He snapped out of it. He woke up that morning feeling a little depressed. All that week he felt his fate was near, and each day that feeling increased. This morning he couldn’t shake it. He had to talk to Bianca alone.
Brandon and Amira finally came down, also surprised to see Lance.
“Son? Are you ok?”
“I’m great, dad! I’m skipping school!”
“Why are you skipping school,” Amira scolded.
“It’s only one day, honey,” Brandon replied. “Let him enjoy this.”
“Don’t eat too much, guys. Birthday cake is next!”
“Why the rush,” Brandon asked. “Don’t you want to wait for your brother and your cousins to get home?”
“Nope! I’m gonna work on my skills alllll day. When I go to work on the first day, those Sims won’t know what hit ’em!”
“Hey hey hey! I like the way this kid talks,” Giancarlo said.
Lance finished eating and quickly moved to the kitchen to get started on his cake. With all the cooking he had been doing since he first aged up, he was all the way up to level 4 and super confident about his culinary skills and the future of his family. The adults went their separate ways temporarily while the cake baked. Just as he placed it on the table to light it, he got a phone call from school.
“Ehhhh…we’ll just go ahead and let that one go to voicemail, he he he.”
He placed candles on his cake, lit them, and sat in front of it and admired his work.
“I am SO good. Ahhhh, young adulthood. Bring it on!”
The light from the candles were so warm and inviting, it was almost like they were calling to him. He got so carried away he almost started the party without everyone else.
“To life, health, prosperity, and all that good stuff…happy birthday to–”
“Hey,” Brandon yelled. “You’re getting started without us?”
“Sorry! I’m just super excited.”
“Ok. Well, hopefully your mother and uncle will be down soon.”
“Can I just blow them out now? I don’t care who’s here!”
“Ok! If that’s what you want. Let’s do this properly.”
They sang and hooted and hollered, threw confetti, and celebrated Lance’s final seconds of his adolescence. He took a deep breath and blew out the candles and spun into his young adult years.
He promptly ran to the nearest bathroom to begin working on his charisma skills. Brandon had recently discovered the observatory broken and went to fix it. Bianca saw Giancarlo coming downstairs and remained in the dining room so they could talk–or not.
They sat quietly for a few moments and just enjoyed being in each other’s presence. They knew both their times were short and that every moment from now on mattered.
“You know,” Bianca began, “I can’t remember the last time I had a day off and it was just the two of us. This is really nice.”
“It is. This is perfect.”
He couldn’t stop staring at her. It was as if he was trying to capture every detail of her face to paint a portrait deep in his soul so it wouldn’t be destroyed or forgotten.
“What are you thinking about,” she asked.
“BJ…I think today is the day.”
“Oh,” she said with disappointment.
She excused herself and quickly ran outside as she felt her tank of emotions beginning to fill. They talked about it, she entertained it, but nothing could prepare her for that moment. This was the first time she actually considered her life without him. She wished that she could go first so she wouldn’t have to live with that pain, but that was a bit selfish. But, he’s stronger than I am, she thought, trying to justify her selfishness. He gave her a few minutes to have her moment before he joined her outside.
“Hey. I was just, ummm…paying the bills,” she said trying to hide her tears.
“Don’t do that!”
“This thing where you hide what you feel.”
“But I…I’ll fall apart!”
“Then fall apart! I’m still here.”
He embraced her, and she lost it.
“I don’t want you to go yet,” she cried. “What am I supposed to do without you?”
“You’ll think of something,” he joked.
That brief bit of laughter helped calm her down.
“You’re going to be silly all the way to the end, huh?”
“You know it! But guess what,” he whispered. “This is really morbid, and you’ll probably punch me, but…in a few days you’ll be dead too! So, it’s not goodbye. More like see ya later.”
He thought that may cheer her up, but it only made things worse.
“The girls! What about the girls?? Oh, Giancarlo, this is all wrong! I can’t do this. It’s so unfair!”
“We both knew this would happen when they were born. This isn’t new information.”
“I know, but it’s still not fair! Why did my life have to be so screwed up? Why didn’t we get married sooner? I want to see my babies grow up!”
She began to cry again, and he held her.
“Shhhhh…it’s ok, BJ….The girls will be fine. They’ll be sad for a while, but they will be fine. Their birthday is less than a week away, and they’re already very independent. They’ll be fine.”
“They’ll always be my babies.”
They stood there in each other’s embrace for a while. Then Giancarlo–being Giancarlo–got an idea.
“You know what would make us both feel better?”
“Young again potion? Age freeze??”
“Ha! Well, yeah…that would work. But…seeing as how I’m quite sure today is my last day…I think I should have a proper send off to the netherworld. I’m thinking…a party…upstairs….”
“Oh! You’re in luck, mister. I just happened to be a party planner! Allow me to show you what I have to offer….”
They had a beautiful afternoon of bittersweet bliss. They talked and played and talked and played some more and spent the entire day together. There were a few minutes in the early evening that they went their separate ways. Giancarlo had been working on a song all week. This one wasn’t for licensing. He wrote this one especially for Bianca, and it was time she heard it.
“BJ…I finally finished!”
“Nice! Let me come down and listen. What’s it called?”
“Love’s Melody: the Cadence of my Heart”
She listened intently to every note.
She felt every stroke the horsehair made across the strings. It was the most beautiful song he ever wrote, and the world would never hear it.
Every day of her adult life, she had his music. She couldn’t bear the thought of never hearing it again. This last song deeply moved her–almost to tears.
“I love you, BJ. I will always love you.”
“I love you too! I hope we find each other.”
It was getting late, and the children were already home and doing their own things. They went back in the house to have dinner. Somehow they decided they wanted to eat in the den where Allen was. Bianca and Allen chatted for a little bit when Giancarlo dropped his plate.
“Are you ok over there, butterfingers,” Bianca joked.
“Aunt Bee…he doesn’t look so good.”
He only groaned and slowly sinked into the floor.
Oh no…he was right, she thought. Allen was stunned as this was his first experience with death. He couldn’t say anything, but Bianca kept saying “I love you” over and over again. When The Grim Reaper came, she tried to reason with him.
“I know you have a job to do, and I know Giancarlo and I spent the day together, but please…give him just one more day to say goodbye to his children! Can you find it in your heart to do that?”
“Silence, Sim! I know not the matters of the heart. My business is death, and I come calling!”
He took our beloved Giancarlo with no consideration of Bianca’s feelings.
“I’ll return for you in a few days, my dear. Mwahahahahaaaaaa!”