When I woke up the next morning, Dub's side of the bed was empty. I heard the sound of cutlery clinking against ceramic drifting in from the kitchen.
"I made cereal," Dub said quietly, not looking up as I entered.
"Thanks," I muttered as I sat down, staring into the bowl suspiciously.
"I didn't poison it, if that's what you're thinking!" He scowled. I ate in silence; the food tasted bitter in my mouth.
As I got up to go shower, Dub jumped up and stopped me. "Wait, I...I need to apologize. For what happened in high school."
"Apologize? Are you freaking kidding me? Do you really think you can apologize for what you did? For all the pain you caused me?"
"Zane, please... I'm sorry. I really am. You have to believe me," he said, clasping his hands together.
"I just can't forgive you," I said, my face twisting at the memory. "Charlotte was the only girl I ever truly loved, and you got her pregnant. On prom night. Do you have any idea how much that hurt me?"
"Yes... And I've regretted it every day of my life."
Outside, I heard the horn of a truck honking. I wonder if the driver's a hot girl.
"My carpool's here. We'll talk later."
"That's what you always said, and we never talked!" Dub shouted after me as I pulled on my work clothes. "You never listen!"
I pushed past him and out the door. Is he right? Do I never listen?
I'd just barely missed my carpool, so I had to call a taxi. I checked my watch - I was going to be ten minutes late.
Despite the rough morning, I arrived at the fire department with a smile on my face, ready to earn some moolah.
To my surprise, though, I was the first one there; the lights weren't even on yet.
So if no one's here to train me... Then maybe I'll just hang out upstairs and play video games for awhile. Good plan, right?
I was just about to head upstairs when the alarm went off, signalling that there was a fire somewhere in town.
Soooooooo... Am I supposed to go put it out or something?
Well, no one else was there, so I figured I could try doing it on my own.
They probably wouldn't mind if I borrowed their fire truck. Duuuuuddddeeee this is so awesome!
The house was smoking and there was a frantic, screaming guy running around outside when I arrived. But it was no big deal, because I was there to save the day!
The stereo was spitting out flames when I ran inside.
This looks like a job for...THE ZANE-INATOR!
The heroic music coming from the stereo fit the moment quite well.
I put out the fire quickly without anyone else coming to my rescue, which made me feel pretty good about myself.
The owner of the house was pretty pleased. "Hey dude, you saved my home!" He looked vaguely familiar... Or maybe it was just his stereotypical radio guy voice.
We chatted for awhile, and then I realized... This was Chad Luck I was talking to! The famous athlete! I was left feeling slightly starstruck...
Does this hat make me look like a girl? Because I think this guy's checking me out...
I rode back to work in my awesome fire truck. The horn was fun to play around with - I could get people to stop for me and I could run red lights!
When I got back to the station, a lady congratulated me. "I heard about how you put out that fire by yourself, and I wanted to tell you that you did a good job," she said, smiling.
"Thanks, but it was a piece of cake. I used to put out fires all the time before I signed up here."
The lady raised an eyebrow. "Really? Because Ashley told me you had trouble putting out a kitchen fire..."
She chuckled. "Hey, I'm meeting the rest of the firefighters over at the bistro for lunch. If you want, you could come with us and grab a bite to eat."
"Oh, I'm not really hungry... I think I'll just stick around here for a bit."
I took off my heavy firefighter outfit and put on some lighter clothes. I stood behind the treadmill and turned it up to the highest speed, ready to show it who's boss.
Okay, so maybe I wasn't such a boss... But hey, I only fell once.
Okay, I lied, it was a few times more than once.
I kept running on that thing, though, determined to conquer it. I was still running when the firefighters got back from lunch, and even when the carpool came to pick them up several hours later. I was totally drenched in sweat, but by then I'd convinced myself I was getting better at it.
I was disappointed that there was no hot girl driving my taxi.
When I got home, I took a long, hot shower until the water ran cold.
Dub was scooping salad onto plates when I got out. "Dinner's ready."
The meal was awkward and quiet, with feeble attempts at conversation from Dub here and there.
Dub put down his fork. "It killed me inside, you know. I felt terrible about it."
"Dub, maybe we just shouldn't talk about this-"
"No, Zane, we need to talk about it!" Dub pulled me out of my chair.
"Just...hear me out, okay?"
I sighed. I guess I had never let him speak for himself. "You've got five minutes. Talk."
"We were young," he whispered. "It was just some stupid one-night thing. I didn't want it to be anything more than-"
"So you think that being young and stupid makes everything all right?" I yelled, gritting my teeth. "I don't care how old you were, I don't care if it was stupid, and it wouldn't even make any difference if someone spiked the punch. What matters is that she cheated on me with you!"
"I know that doesn't make anything okay! I just... I'll do anything if it means you'll forgive me. Please, just give me a second chance. I miss being friends."
My phone rang in my pocket. "Is this Zane Parfait?"
"We've got the bed you ordered out front."
"Okay, thanks," I said quietly. I hung up and slid my cell phone back into my jeans.
"Who was that?" Dub asked.
I fixed him with a cold stare. "The delivery company. I ordered an extra bed."
"So... I can stay?"
I nodded. "You want a second chance? This is it."
Dub's eyes widened. "T-Thank you! I... I'm just going to go shower... Thanks..."
I had them put the bed in the only empty corner, as far away from my bed as it could get.
While Dub showered, I strummed my guitar quietly, playing a strange tune in a minor key that I learned long ago. I tried to push all the bad memories to the back of my mind...
I looked up as I heard another knock at the door. Yippee, another midnight visitor.
I figured I might as well see who had come knocking so late at night. As I swung the door open, I stopped dead in my tracks.
There she was, standing on my doorstep. Charlotte, with the face of an angel and hair like gold thread. My Charlotte.
I had a million questions springing up in my head, and a million things I wanted to yell, but I was too stunned to say a word.
Then, for the first time, I noticed she wasn't alone.
"Zane, I'd like you to meet your son."
The fruit of Generation 2 is...peaches! :D Little Bennett's cute as a button, and that last pic is sort of a sneak preview of his adorableness that shall be unleashed in the next chapter. Those tests that Dub was talking about Charlotte getting? They were genetic tests. ;)
When I created Charlotte, I pulled Zane out of my sim bin to do the whole child-generator thing. I picked the child that came up first when I rolled, aged him down to a male toddler, and thus Benny was created. I swear, I didn't change any of his features; they're all just as they were when I rolled. The only things I changed were his eye color, hair color & style, and traits. (I think they're Friendly and Good, but I can't remember. I'll have to check and edit this.) Peaches are super sweet, so Bennett's going to be a total sweetheart when he grows up! I really don't know if he's going to be attractive or not when he grows up, because I didn't age him up to a YA. (I want to be surprised. :P ) He's pretty cute as a toddler, so I'm crossing my fingers that his good looks stay with him!
Oh, and I re-did the layout of the site. I have these streaks where I need to change things, so I changed the layout of this site and rearranged my closet and bookcase. It makes me feel happy in a strange way. :D Anyways, I hope you liked this chapter and the turn of events at the end! Comment and follow, but most importantly keep reading. :)