Chapter 5.14 – Retirement

Faith wakes up in the morning and readies herself for school.
She is still too upset to face her grandfather at breakfast, so she grabs an apple from her backpack and eats it on the way out the door. Grandpa Mark’s reaction yesterday was not what she expected. He didn’t seem too concerned about what she had done at the Bits-n-Bites, standing up for Doc. He agreed that offering Doc a job was definitely crossing the line, but not out of the realm of possibility. What he really freaked out about was her bringing Doc home.
Grandpa Mark did not yell, but he did raise his voice; more out of worry than anger. He had always warned her about befriending the sims who she met at the soup kitchen. While the vast majority of the sims who utilize the ministry are just simply down on their luck, there are those who lurk about, looking for easy targets to extort. He drove this home yesterday with a very stern lecture. She isn’t surprised at his reaction, but she is disappointed.
If Doc was forced back onto the street to sleep, then it would be her fault entirely. But there is no way Grandpa Mark would do that to somebody. Would he? The thought preoccupies Faith’s mind during school that day. Faith’s mood improves as the day progresses. Seeing Jimmy always puts her in good spirits. They hang out together at the park after dismissal and she tells him about her confrontation with Jared. She had not learned what happened to Doc last night, though Grandpa Mark made very clear that he was not going to be welcome to stay at the estate. Worse still, he had grounded her to her bedroom until morning.
Unfortunately, she will have to wait until late after supper to talk to him again about the matter. Mark has been the talk of the town lately; and not for any misadventure on his granddaughter’s part, thankfully. On the contrary, as Faith and Jimmy begin working on homework at his house, sims have already begun gathering outside of City Hall to celebrate Mark’s retirement from law enforcement work..
He had become the first international law enforcement agent from Sunset Valley, reaching the very top of his career faster than any sim in recent memory. Then after returning from overseas, he focused on cleaning up Sunset Valley crime as a private investigator. He continued to work closely with the police, where Mei held a top seniority position on the forensics squad until her retirement.
Shortly after reaching the top of a second profession, Mark says that he has given all there is to give. The Mayor of Sunset Valley himself has come out to present Mark the Key to the City and thank him for keeping Sunset Valley (and the world) safe. There is hardly a dry eye in the crowd as Mark graciously accepts the gift and a very small speech..
Then, after giving due credit to his family (his wife in particular), he mingles with the sims who line up to thank and congratulate him for the profound achievement.
There is one sim in the crowd, however, who inconspicuously keeps a comfortable distance between himself and the revelers. His scrutinous eyes study Mark as he hovers on the outskirts of the thinning crowd. There seems to be very little emotion when he makes some mental decision, confirming that he has found what (or who) he has been looking for.
The dark-skinned man produces his cell phone, sends off a quick message, then quietly makes himself scarce while Mark, Mei, and a throng of fans go into City Hall for Mark’s public reception.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 5.14 – Retirement

  1. Oh dear. And here I was thinking that Mark’s past worries weren’t going to resurface! I love how cohesive your story is, even if it has me worried to bits for the poor Barimens again!


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