Chapter Seventy-Nine

As Krystina had once predicted, things did change considerably for the Ainsworths once the truth about Evelyn had finally come out. And, just as she had hoped, it was mostly for the better.

Lucas was surprised by just how quickly he and Evelyn were able to pick up where they’d left off – minus the romance, of course. It was so easy to forget about the ever-growing age difference that had come between them. She was still the same Evelyn who’d become his best friend all those years ago. And when he was with her, he felt like the same Lucas too.

1

As for Evelyn… Well, for her things were a little more complicated. She loved being with Lucas again, of course. It was almost like a dream-come-true… Except if it were truly a dream, he would still hold her hand, or stroke her cheek, or call her beautiful, or look at her with his bright green eyes so full of love…

It was hard to overcome these thoughts, at first. But as time went by, things got easier, just like they always did. And no matter what feelings she still held in her heart, Evelyn was able to appreciate Lucas for what he was, and what he always had been – the best friend she’d ever had.

14

Of course, Evelyn had not forgotten about her other best friend either. In fact, the best nights of all were when all three of them were together. Seeing Lucas and Krystina side-by-side… It almost seemed too good to be true. Evelyn could still remember the dark years before she’d first met Lucas, when she’d all but forgotten what it felt like to have someone to talk to. And now, she was lucky enough to have two.

3

Soon, that number even began to grow. But it wasn’t easy, at first.

The first night Krystina introduced Mitch to Evelyn, things hadn’t gone quite according to plan.

Still, if there was one thing Krystina had learned from her parents, it was how important it was to be honest with one another from the start. And, in time, Mitch slowly learned to accept Krystina’s friendship with Evelyn – though he still seemed rather jumpy and nervous whenever he was around her.

8

Now that the truth was finally coming out, Lucas had even considered telling his mother the truth about Evelyn, and finally introducing them after all these years. It was an idea Krystina quickly nipped in the bud.

“Grammy’s trying to enjoy her old age, isn’t she?” She’d asked. “Y’know, finally have a little peace and quiet? Do we really wanna spring something like this on her after all these years? Especially when you already tried telling her years ago?”

9

The answer, they’d decided, was no.

And so Becca continued living out her peaceful retirement and enjoying her new great-granddaughter, blissfully unaware of the fact that her property remained haunted by a beautiful young ghost…

10

Or that so many of her family’s visits to her home occurred when she was already fast asleep…

5b

With the exception of Becca, Mel was the only member of the family left who still hadn’t met Evelyn. But no matter how many times her daughter or husband tried to convince her, she simply couldn’t do it.

6

There was just something so terrifying about coming face-to-face with the ghost at last – Melanie was ashamed of her cowardice, but it was simply something she could not overcome.

But while she may not have felt ready to meet Evelyn, Melanie was ready to try to help her.

13

The search for the angelfish had become something of an endeavor for the entire family. Mel used her computer skills to do as much research as she could, but her leads never got them very far, it seemed. Even Mitch tried his best to help, asking around among his large group of personal and professional acquaintances in search of someone who may know something – but he was just as unsuccessful as Mel had been.

Most of the actual leg work fell on Lucas, of course. But this time, he was not alone.

11

Krystina spent much of her free time with her father, trying out new fishing spots all over Newcrest and the surrounding towns in search of the mysterious fish – but their attempts always came up empty. Was this all some sort of silly fool’s errand? Had Death truly tricked them after all? Both father and daughter secretly wondered, but it was a thought neither of them ever voiced aloud.

12

And so they continued their search as the years began slipping by.

Krystina and Mitch were finally wed less than two years after their daughter Danica was born. They had a tiny but beautiful ceremony surrounded by only their closest family and friends. Lucas and Mel were overcome with joy and pride as they watched their little girl get married in the same dress her mother had once worn on her wedding to Lucas so many years ago.

17

After years of waiting, Krystina finally used the money given to her by Becca to open a small art gallery down in Magnolia Promenade. She was able to make a decent living selling her paintings to various collectors, and creating special portrait commissions for her customers. She even helped out down at the community center teaching art classes two days a week. It wasn’t the most profitable way to make a living, of course. But Krystina was so happy to be able to spend her life doing what she loved, just as her parents and grandparents had been lucky enough to do before her.

17b

As Mitch’s athletic career continued to flourish and their baby daughter grew into a happy and healthy toddler, Krystina was overjoyed to see how wonderfully things were going for her and her tiny family.

And, for the most part, they were going well for her parents too.

Melanie finally retired from her job running the software company, and was now collecting a very nice pension, as well as enjoying her free time relaxing with her husband. Lucas still ran his restaurant, of course, but had handed over most of the day-to-day managerial duties in favor of dealing with the more administrative work from home, where he could spend more time with his wife as they entered their golden years together.

7

Lucas and Mel had always assumed that they’d spend their old age in the same home they’d shared together throughout their marriage – but fate had other plans.

After the devastating loss of his mother, Lucas was surprised to find that, aside from a great deal of money, she had also left him everything she and her husband had owned – including their house. Moving back into his former childhood home was not a difficult decision for Lucas and Mel to make, but it was also not quite as joyous of an occasion as it should have been. He should have been so happy to return to where he grew up, and where he could spend even more time with Evelyn… But instead, he just felt sad and lost being back in the home he’d once shared with his parents, knowing that he would never see either one of them again.

Adult (14)

It was certainly not easy, but his girls got him through it, just like they always had. Except “his girls” no longer referred to just Krystina and Melanie, but Evelyn too… And, of course, Danica.

Lucas could not believe that his sweet little granddaughter was already growing up so fast. And as terrifying as it was to see how quickly the years seemed to be going by, it was so exciting too.

19

She was barely six years old, but she was already turning out to be such an amazing little girl – so sweet, and funny, and smart… And so eager to help as her mother and grandfather worked tirelessly to find Evelyn’s cure. Danica had known the ghost for as long as she could remember, and the little girl truly saw her as a member of the family – “Auntie Ev”, she’d started calling her, much to her mother’s amusement.

20

Danica had begged Lucas and Mel for a fishing pole for her 6th birthday. “I wanna help make Auntie Ev better!” She’d explained happily. Her grandparents had indulged her, of course, and the little girl was so proud to finally be included.

25

And, in truth, Lucas was thrilled – they needed all the help they could get.

It had been more than six years since he’d been reunited with Evelyn and his work toward finding the angelfish had continued. The entire family had spent so many hours searching and searching for answers…

23

Yet there were still no new leads, and no progress whatsoever.

Lucas spent hours poring over some of his old books while Mel continued to do her part by researching whatever she could online.

22

Yet they kept failing, time and time again.

24

Even Krystina, who’d remained so upbeat and optimistic during their years of searching, had begun to question things. “Dad… We’re still getting nowhere.” She’d told Lucas uncertainly. “What are we gonna do?”

26

Her father had no answers to offer her. Lucas was feeling just as confused and discouraged as she was. What were they going to do? It was a question he’d pondered often throughout the years, time and time again.

27

Is this totally pointless? Lucas wondered, terrified. Is this all just a waste of time? Will it all be for nothing?

And for years, Evelyn had wondered the very same thing…

28

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45 Responses to Chapter Seventy-Nine

  1. ninjapigsims says:

    Yay for the Ainsworth clan! I’m so sorry to see that there’s no breakthrough with the fish yet…I hope they’ll be able to find something soon and not give up. Danica is such a cutie! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  2. julyvee94 says:

    The chapter started out so happy. Danica is cute as a button ^^ I’m sure you already checked out what she will look like later hehe. But now I really hope they find the angelfish soon 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Haha I did! And she is not quite as beautiful as Krystina or Lucas and Mel, but she’s not ugly, so it’s a plus hahaha She has a weird cleft chin like her dad that throws it all off a little though *sigh* Anyway haha yeah, sorry for the sad ending of this one… They’re trying so hard! We’ll see what happens… 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Derubelle says:

    This chapter was so happy and then not so much so.. I keep thinking that you still have quite a few chapters planned so I just need to take each chapter at a time..but it’s so hard xD

    Liked by 1 person

  4. theplumbob says:

    Well, considering how long it took to cultivate that death flower, the fish can’t come around easy. I wonder if it will be Danica to find it because of her innocence and optimism (she’s incredibly cute btw).

    This must be really hard for Mel. All of her family gushing over “auntie Ev”. Of course there’s nothing technically wrong about it, but I could imagine it still kind of stings, with this being her husband’s ex.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yup! Mel feels like an outsider right now for sure 😦 Poor thing! And yes, things can’t be that easy — otherwise the story would have ended back when Lucas was a teen haha) And thanks! Danica is very cheerful and sweet 🙂

      Like

    • O'jenn says:

      I was thinking the same thing when I read this as well, I don’t think I’d be ready to be all buddy buddy with my husbands undead ex-girlfriend/best friend either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Yeah, it’s still uncomfortable haha. And the opposite is also true… Would you wanna be friends with the wife of the man you love? Probably not XD So I’m pretty sure Ev’s not offended by Mel ignoring her haha (Plus, there’s another layer to Mel’s feelings that I mentioned in a comment response to Jes that I’m too lazy to type out again :P)

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jes2G says:

    Awww, is Mel chicken of encountering a ghost or just “not ready” to meet Mel even after six years?

    Like

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      I think it’s a combination of the two, plus another factor — She feels kind of like an “outsider” in this whole thing. Lucas and Krysti have both known Ev for years and are so close to her. It’s almost like (not to compare Evelyn to something inanimate haha) the equivalent of two people having a huge inside joke that you aren’t in on, and whenever they bring it up, you’re nervous to try to get involved because it’s “their” thing and you feel like you don’t belong. I don’t even know if that made sense haha. But that’s kinda how she’s feeling, plus she’s weirded-out in general by the ghost thing, and also just “not ready” too… Haha I love giving my characters complex, negative feelings about things for some reason. So there you go XD

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jes2G says:

        I get that. I love doing that to my characters too! I think that’s why I fell so in love with my absolute favorite Sim back in generation 5 because she was the first one I ever gave any real depth. She had very complex negative feelings that stayed with her most of her life. It sucks, but it makes them so alive, right?

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Very true! Characters who are always positive and upbeat are not quite “realistic” feeling as those with negative feelings or personality flaws. (Even though it can sometimes be frustrating to have to write them like that haha And for readers to read about them too)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jes2G says:

        For my story, so far the most flawed ones have been the most popular! I suppose because they can identify with them. I get bored with the positive ones too lol.

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Hahaha! I usually am one for enjoying flawed characters too, so it doesn’t surprise me! But it seems to be a mixed bag around here… I was shocked to learn in the lounge recently that most readers don’t really like Lucas! Haha and I think he’s probably the most flawed one of all, so maybe I went too far with him XD Ev and Krysti seem to be the favorites. And I don’t think anyone but OJenn feels strongly about Mel one way or another hahaha 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jes2G says:

        Nah, I think you did him just right. He evokes emotion from us, so…score! I tend to think the characters people don’t really care about (or get upset with) are the ones who aren’t as developed as the rest. Just my opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        (And I totally got protective, of course. XD Everyone knows who MY favorite character is… And not just because of those looks 😉 I guess it’s always a little discouraging to find out that people dislike your MAIN character. I can deal with side-character dislike, but if you hate on Lucas or Ev, I feel like “why are you even reading this story?” haha. (Part of why my BF annoys me sometimes.. He LOATHES Evelyn haha) Okay, sorry. Tangent 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jes2G says:

        I think it’s a good thing though. I mean, of course, you want people to love whom you love and hate who you hate. But the fact that people have strong feelings either way for him is a testament to your strengths in character development, I think. Not all readers are created equal, and people have different life experiences, so I don’t think you can expect everyone to love him.

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        That’s true, I never thought of it that way haha. I guess I get concerned that if people don’t like a character, they also don’t really care what happens to them. Like (for example) if someone hated Damien for some reason, they wouldn’t care at all when he died, and it would lose some of the effect that I was intending? I can’t give any concrete examples for the future because of spoilers XD But basically that’s my biggest worry — people simply won’t care about certain characters’ fates, so the emotion (positive or negative) will be lost on them when certain events occur? Oh well, we’ll see how people react down the line! Thank you for letting me have a novel-length conversation with you right now XD

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jes2G says:

        No, I don’t think it’s like that at all. I feel like it’s kinda like when parents get mad at their kids. They don’t love them any less even though they may dream of about feeding them to a cow plant once or twice LOL. They don’t really want that to happen, but…the frustration, you know? Evelyn really got on my nerves a whooooole lot. But, I can’t say that I would be glad if the Ainsworths never found the angelfish because I wouldn’t. I just couldn’t stand her attitude and her actions a lot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        Ah yes, Evelyn… The most annoying character XD (She really is. But I still love her anyway… But only because she’s MINE haha). I like that analogy! Hopefully this is true for most people! Thank you for your encouragement 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jes2G says:

        You’re welcome 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • CitizenErased14 says:

        (I say that, but it’s okay if you aren’t crazy about Lucas or Evelyn, btw… I was just saying XD Haha I feel like I dug myself into a hole with that last comment 😛 People are free to like or dislike whoever they want, I just have my own personal thoughts about it, but if people are reading my story, then I appreciate it regardless haha) Okay I’m done for real now. Sorry for blowing up your WP notifications with my rambling XD

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jes2G says:

        Oh, you know I’m #TeamLucas all the way…even though he burns me up sometimes lol.

        You’re funny :-p

        Liked by 1 person

      • whattheplum says:

        I think this is really apt – it’s hard, when you enter a relationship with someone and then realize there’s this huge “past” thing that you’re really not a part of, to know how to fit in without.. disrespecting it, I guess? Complicated! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. thebookthief24 says:

    I hope they find the tree soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      A new reader? (Or an “old” reader who has just been lurking?) Either way, hello! I’m so glad you are reading my story, thank you! 🙂 (And I think you meant fish? 🙂 I hope they find it soon too! But we’ll just have to wait and see 😉 ) Thanks again so much for checking out my story!

      Like

  7. Favorite chapter since you started this!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. raerei says:

    I’m going to rally miss these peeps when this is all over…maybe you could do tiny updates every once in a while so in can pretend they’re still living…see Danica’s great grand kids and all that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Aww, that means a lot to hear! I am going to be so sad when this is all over too… I don’t even know how I’m gonna deal with it haha. But I do think I will keep their save and play it for fun… Maybe I’ll try to get to 10 generations like a legacy! XD I could post a few updates in my D2D thread on the forum every now and then for fun… Future generations of Ainsworths! 🙂 I also have some backup save files with Damien still alive and such, that I will preserve so they can live on! (Because I’m weirdly sentimental like that XD)

      Liked by 1 person

      • raerei says:

        We would so love occasional updates on the family, maybe something less exhausting than a full blown story. Something you can play for fun in you copious “free” time. (Ha! We can wish). And then you can let us know that everyone is still doing well and all that…if course if you do that, Lucas will have to pass away eventually…I’m not sure we could handle that.

        Liked by 2 people

    • whattheplum says:

      Sign me up for the “updates” mailing list. 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s neat to see the Ainsworth family look for a cure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • CitizenErased14 says:

      Yes, it’s turned into a whole family thing haha! But Lucas is still at the heart of it all, of course 😉 I think he’s grateful to have some help this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. whattheplum says:

    Just finally getting time to comment – you’re doing a wonderful job handling this complicated mix of love and obligation and doing the right thing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. RipuAncestor says:

    Heh, so now Ev is officially the Cool Aunt of the family. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  12. lovesstorms says:

    Honestly, I’m annoyed at Mel. I’d want to meet the person who made Lucas fall in love with her. Plus, I’d want to keep an eye out on them. At least until I felt more trusting. They were dating at the same time, for crying out loud.

    Also, if I were Mel, I’d have felt very uncomfortable moving back into the house where Evelyn lives at. Super weird. Plus, if she’s afraid of ghosts, wouldn’t she be afraid of running into her at some point?

    I’m glad everyone is working on the fish thing. They just need to stick with it. Keep looking in every nook and cranny in those rivers and ponds. You’ll find it. I know it!

    Liked by 1 person

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