Chapter 3.2 – Milestones

Mark manages to put himself back into a decent mood after having a long talk with his grandmother.
Mark is almost a different person when he is with her. Bebe has a way of soothing him when his mood becomes grim.  She gave him a lot more attention when he was smaller. But since his sisters were born and Aunt Yuki moved to her own house, Mark has had more people to contend with for her time. He is not sure how or why, but she always seems to have the right thing to say. And this time is no different.
She reminds Mark that the will to hurt others comes from the part of a sim that has no conscience or accountability. All sims have that will somewhere inside. Some sims just allow it control their actions; whether it be out of fear, greed, anger, selfishness, or even pleasure. She reminds him that no sim has ever hurt another, no matter what age or stage in life, as an act of kindness or love. The lesson, she tells him, is timeless and simple; treat others the way you want to be treated.
She hugs her grandson and ponders the near future when she will not be around for him. She worries how he will react when she does finally go on to join Julian. After considering many ways of approaching the topic of her inevitable passing, she tells him about the story about his mother being sent away from his father. It seemed cruel and unfair at the time. But a profound good came out of the work his mother did in Africa; from the lives she helped to save to the life-line she helped establish for those people. And none of it would ever have happened, had she not been sent away by her sister.
Of course, Mark doesn’t understand the allegory, but he does come away with a new respect for his mother. He had no idea she went through so much as a kid. He has always seen his mother as being perfect and happy; with never a worry in the world. Even his father seemed carefree most of the time. And to be honest, it kind of gets on his nerves.
There are milestones that every sim achieves in their lifetime. Some of the achievements are as simple as gaining a new understanding about something. The bicycle ride to Charlotte’s house marks one such milestone for Mark. He realizes that his parents had to overcome some difficult things to get where they are. He never asked his dad how he had managed to go from living in a log cabin to a huge estate.
Mark tries to imagine his mother’s hardships, from her parents dying, to living with a sister who hated her, then being sent away from his father when they were young. It makes his problems seem very small, and the way he is acting seem equally as small. When he arrives at Charlotte’s house, Mark apologizes for acting like a jerk at school. The gesture seems to really make an impression, and he is startled when she gives him a big hug.
He spends the afternoon playing with her and wondering how he would feel if his best friend were suddenly forced to move away. But when the time comes for him to go home, he realizes that he actually allowed himself to enjoy the day without getting himself into a bad mood.
He makes it home just as it is starting to get dark and sees his mother emerging from his sisters’ room, having just put Claire and Deirdre to bed. Mark had built up the courage to ask her about Africa, but is distracted before he can say anything. As she smiles and goes over to hug him, he notices that she has started walking “funny” again. Ciara sees immediately the concern on his face and settles his worry with an invitation to feel her tummy and talk to his baby brother.
Ciara is caught off guard when he asks how the baby got inside of her. The question is logical, and one any kid would ask. But answering it turns out to be not so easy. With David gone fishing, and Bebe out to dinner with Yuki, Ciara has the dubious honor of explaining the birds and the bees to Mark.
Mark goes to bed armed with this disturbing, new information. He has reached two milestones for the day, and drifts off while trying to comprehend everything he has learned. But sometime during the night, he is awakened by the sounds of shouting and crying. It is a highly unusual thing to hear in his home, and Mark feels immediately uneasy.
He rubs the sleep out of his eyes and hurries to the living room where he finds his Aunt Yuki, Joe, his mother and father. Yuki is weeping uncontrollably on his dad’s shoulder. His mother sees him first and rushes over to walk him back to his bedroom. He resists at first, but a stern look from her tells him she means business. He climbs back into bed and asks her why his dad and Aunt Yuki are crying.
Ciara pulls the chair next to his bed closer and tells him that they will talk in the morning. Then with her sweet, melodic voice, she hums a lullaby that renders Mark back into a deep, albeit unsettled sleep.

One thought on “Chapter 3.2 – Milestones

  1. What a lovely starting for this chapter. Im happy that Mark, as young as he is, is able to understand some of the knowledge his grandmother imparts on him. Makes me even more sad to know that Bebe will not be around long enough to see him make good decisions and age up into a successful person. T.T


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