The Clemons family arrived at their new home early the next morning excited about this new new chapter in their lives. As previously stated, this beautiful four bedroom three bathroom home is directly across the street from Melody and Allen in Oasis Springs.
They spent the night in their new home, and Cadence and Cameron got right to work on their plan to expand the family. The morning after that, Cadence sent out a text blast with the new address to everyone in the family. No sooner than she did that, her nieces came by to see the house and meet Brianna–the child version. Friday was a popular day for birthdays because Mia and Marli aged up as well. First, as always, Mia came by.
Later on, Marli finally showed.
But, before she arrived, the Clemons were having breakfast, and Cadence needed to share the results of their, [ahem] “labor” the night before.
Cameron was very pleased with this news.
When Marli arrived, she, Mia, and Cadence ended up in the spare bedroom with the computer in it, just shooting the breeze and catching up.
There was a knock at the front door.
“Cameron! Can you get that,” she yelled.
“I’m in the bathroom!”
“Bri! Get the door please!”
But Brianna was outside playing.
“[sigh]Well…this is my house now, so I better get used to having to do everything, right?”
She got up and answered the door, and it was her twin.
“Oh,” Melody said surprised. “You guys have been very busy! New house, new child, another new child…congrats again!”
“Thanks. We wanted to do it right away before we got too old, but now that I think about it, I think I’ll be mom’s age when she had us when this baby is born.”
“Oh. Are you ok with that? I mean, it’s too late now, but…it’s fine, right?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. I just never thought I’d be thinking about death at this age.”
“Better too early than too late. Are the girls here?”
“Yeah. They’re in the back.”
“I figured that when they weren’t in their rooms this morning. This is a beautiful house by the way. It’s perfect!”
“Here are your runaways, Miss,” Cadence joked.
“Well good morning, misfits. You think because you’re grown now you can leave the house and not tell me?”
“It’s not like we went out of the neighborhood, Mommy,” Marli said.
“Do you want to end up on the news? There are crazy Sims out there! I need to know where you’re going when you leave, ok?”
“Yes, Mommy,” they said.
“Come outside, both of you. I have something I need to say.”
They went outside to the patio and sat down. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon. The sun seemed to be brighter in Oasis Springs. Maybe because it’s less green and everything is tan causing continuous golden rays to shine down. Melody hesitated for a bit, but then she found her words.
“I love you both so much. I don’t want anything to happen to you. I have tried to give you everything you wanted, and you definitely have everything you need. Or, least I thought you did. I’ve been doing some thinking over the last few days, and I’ve decided that it’s time for you to know about your father.”
“[gasp] Really, mommy,” Marli shrieked.
“Yes. You’re getting older and more mature. I think you can handle this. At least I hope you can. I’ve been thinking about me and my daddy. He was the best daddy around, and the relationship that we had was very special. Father-daughter relationships are unexplainable how they happen and how strong they are. While you two do not even have a person to have that relationship with, I feel like me keeping all information from you is doing more harm than good. Besides…it might help me get over it better if I simply talk about it, so…here it goes.”
Mia and Marli were on the edge of their seats awaiting this story as Melody took her time and gathered her thoughts. She opened her mouth and let the words flow out carefully and slowly.
“Your father’s name is Paxton. Paxton Churchill. If we would have gotten married, your names would have been Churchill too. We met in high school. It was the day after my teen birthday, and I was so determined to meet a boy. I went to the park and started a conversation with the first one I saw…your father. I thought he was very cute, and he had these bright emerald colored eyes…they were amazing. I introduced myself and we started talking. He was a cocky guy…extremely sure of himself. Some people were turned off by that, but I kinda liked it. I remember when I introduced myself, he didn’t even tell me his name. He said, ‘It’s your pleasure to meet me.’ Anyway, that was all she wrote. I spent all my time with him, and I got terrible grades in school. We were always sneaking into my room to mess around. He thought that if we ever got caught my mother would kill us. I think she would have. We had our birthdays, and I asked him to marry me. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure why I picked him. I guess I just wanted someone who wanted me. The idea seemed nice. So I asked him to marry me, and he said yes. I was so excited and so in what I thought was love, I invited him into my bed, and we woo hooed for the first time. The next morning I found out I was pregnant, and he wasn’t very happy about the news…at all. He kept trying to tell me that I wasn’t pregnant and that it was just something I ate. He actually made me take the pregnancy test right in front of him because he was so sure it was going to be negative. Boy was he wrong. It was positive…extremely positive, and I was as big as a house. We fought about it for a little while, and then he decided that this wasn’t for him and he left. He broke up with me right there in the bathroom and left me with you two.”
Melody got a little choked up toward the end as she recanted the most painful part of the story.
“I’m so sorry, Mommy. Daddy sounds like a real jerk,” Marli said.
“But he’s still our daddy. You shouldn’t say that,” Mia said.
“Mia is right. What happened between me and your father happened between me and your father. I never wanted to tell you before because the pain was very fresh back when you were younger. I didn’t want to taint your view of him with my own scars…and I still don’t. Think what you want about him, but don’t disrespect him. If it weren’t for him, you wouldn’t be here. My relationship with him was a mistake, but out of that mistake, I got two wonderful gifts that I would never return for anything. I regret him. I don’t regret you. Is that clear?”
“Yes, Mommy,” they said.
They sat in silence for a little while taking in all the information. Mia still wasn’t terribly satisfied with the outcome.
“Mommy…have you forgiven him?”
“I’m trying to.”
“So, you told us long time ago that he lives near here. Will you tell us where he lives? Me and Marli can go meet him. You don’t have to come.”
Melody was not prepared for that one. They had only been teenagers for less than 48 hours, and so she wasn’t used to all of this independence, free thinking, and free-will. They were still her babies, and she wanted to protect them from the cruel world. As a single mother, it was all up to her, and she took that part seriously. She knew she couldn’t protect them from eveything, but she was sure going to try. She was not opposed to the idea of them meeting their father. As a matter of fact, she was hoping one day they would. But, if she was still dealing with lingering feelings of anger, abandonment, and sorrow, then surely he was still going through it as well. He didn’t even know that she had twins. She figured them going by themselves would be a bad idea.
“You seriously want to meet him,” Melody asked.
“Sure,” Mia said. “Why wouldn’t we?”
“I don’t really care, Mommy,” Marli said.
She sat uncomfortably in her seat and looked at the hope and excitement in her oldest’s eyes. There were a thousand things she would have rather done including getting swallowed up and regurgitated by a cow plant. But she decided to swallow her pride, choke back her fear, and give her children what they wanted.
“Ok. Let’s go.”
“Seriously,” Marli said.
“Right now,” Mia asked.
“Yes. Right now. Let’s go before I change my mind.”
Melody called a taxi although she would have preferred walking. Her daughters were speculating about him the entire ride. Even Marli was getting excited even though she was indifferent before. Finally, the car stopped. Melody knew where the house was, but she had never been there before.
“Wow…this place is huge,” Marli said.
“How many people are in this family,” Mia asked.
“This is boarding house. He was an orphan. Let’s get out of the car so we can let the driver go.”
Melody had never been so afraid in all her life. She wasn’t looking for restoration, but she wasn’t ready to be rejected a second time. Seeing her mother in anguish made Mia uncomfortable, and she wished she hadn’t belabored the point so much.
“Well…no use standing out here,” Marli said.
“You’re right. The door is in the back.”
They ran around the house and watched Melody slowly climb the steps to knock on the door.
“I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for them. I’m not doing this for me. I’m doing it for them,” she whispered over and over trying to calm her nerves.
A male voice shouted at them to come in. They stepped over the threshold and looked around. It was a nicely decorated, mission style home with beautiful art in red, green, orange, and gold.
“Girls, why don’t you sit down and I’ll go find the house manager.”
“I know, right?!”
“Hello. What can I do for you?”
“I’m looking for Paxton Churchill. I know he probably doesn’t stay here anymore, but I was hoping you could tell me where he moved.”
“I’m afraid I cannot give out that information. Are you family?”
“Ummm…no….But, I’m the mother of his children.”
“Children? Oh…that makes sense.”
“What makes sense?”
“Well, like you said, he did move out on his birthday. He and three other kids got a house in Willow Creek. But shortly after, he came and told me he was leaving town. Something about some program in the desert. Now that you’re here, I’m guessing it was to get away from…ehhh…the situation.”
“[sigh] So, not only is he not here, but he’s not even in this town?”
“I’m sorry, Ms…”
“I’m sorry, Ms. Sheridan. Perhaps you should have spoken with him when he tried to patch things up the first time.”
“Excuse me? I asked you for his whereabouts…not your opinion on what I should or should not have done!”
“My good lady, forgive me for prying, but what kind of girl tries to force a man into marriage?”
“WHO THE PLUM ARE YOU TO TALK ABOUT MY BUSINESS?! You know what…forget this! I don’t have to take this from you!”
She stormed downstairs to collect her children and never come back to this house.
“Mommy? Are you ok? I heard yelling,” Mia said compassionately.
“I, ummm…I’m sorry you had to hear that. Let’s go.”
“But what about Daddy?”
“He’s not here! Let’s go!”
“Where is he?”