"Your dad is getting you a car? Man, I wish I had a loony sister," Thelma said with a laugh.
Gene let out an exasperated sigh and massaged the bridge of his nose. His cousin was incorrigibly inappropriate, and while some thought this was funny, he just found it incredibly exhausting.
The thing was that Thelma wasn't being malicious or even snide - she simply didn't understand why other sims found some of her comments to be offensive. Gene had tried to explain, many, many times, only to be met with confused looks or muttered apologies that bespoke ignorance of any wrongdoing.
Gene had learned that sometimes it wasn't worth the hassle. He continued with his homework until Thelma changed the subject.
"So, do did you get a date for prom yet," she asked.
"Nah," Gene said simply as he frowned over the next math problem. Calculus was difficult - even more so since Grace had gone off to college and wasn't around to help.
"Oh, I bet you got tons of offers though, right? I mean, you're fairly popular and not as much of a douche as the other guys on the sports team."
"Gee, thanks," Gene muttered and forcefully erased the last digit he'd written. "No," he said and blew away the eraser dust, "nobody asked me and I don't think I want to go to prom anyway."
"You're kidding," Thelma insisted, "I would have bet money on you being voted prom king even. Sheesh. I can't believe you're not going - being captain of the sports club and all. The girls should be all over you."
Then, after a brief pause, she added thoughtfully, "Must be because you're blue."
"Thelma, what the hell," he snapped before he could stop himself. "You can't just talk about sims' skin colors like that."
There it was again, that look of genuine bewilderment. Simple courtesy was more challenging to Thelma than calculus. Then, with a happy smile like she'd just solved a difficult problem, she said, "That doesn't apply to weird stuff like blue skin though."
"Well, it should," Gene grumbled and bent over his homework again.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you," Thelma said after a while. Gene perked up for a moment, only be disappointed again when she continued, "I'm sorry you're bummed about not having a date. I didn't mean to rub it in. I was just surprised, is all."
Gene sighed. There was no point in explaining. With Thelma, it was better to just go along with her conversation.
"It doesn't help that half the girls at school are my cousins, I guess," he said.
Fred had never thought much about the vast family fortune he'd inherited. He used what he needed and let the rest sit in the bank, gathering dust. Or, well, whatever money did in a bank account anyway.
Had Gene not brought it up, Fred would have never thought that his children might want cars of their own. After all, Fred was still driving his dad's old truck and was perfectly content.
Besides, buying a car seemed like a very adult thing to do. Intimidating.
He had no idea what to look for. Maybe he should have brought Gene along, he thought.
"She's a beaut, isn't she," a voice called from behind.
"Huh, who?" Fred asked as he turned to the approaching salesman, and then, "Todd?!"
"Freddie," came the reply, equally aghast.
In a supposed attempt to hide his receding hairline, Todd's hand shot up. He immediately realized the futility of this, however, and the gesture turned into an embarrassed brushing back of some stray wisps.
"They won't let me wear my hat," he said awkwardly.
It turned out that after giving birth to his daughter, Nikki had pressured Todd into getting a job to provide for his family. The catch was that his family now included all five of Nikki's other children as well.
"That... sucks," Fred replied. He knew he should say something more comforting, but in his mind he was busy wondering if he'd ever seen Todd without his beanie before. He hadn't.
"Do you... get to drive all these cars," Freddie tried to change the subject. It worked.
"Sometimes," Todd grinned, "I'm just supposed to park them inside for the night, but once I took a special edition Bwan Speedster out for a ride. Man, that was fun! My boss was a total hard-ass about it though. The bump was really tiny, barely a scratch, but he deducted it from my pay and everything."
They laughed and chatted for a while, until Fred finally recalled what he had come for and asked Todd to help him pick a car for Gene.
"If you're looking for something for your son, I can recommend the Wornado Triage," Todd the salesman said. "As a parent, you'll appreciate its reliability and innovative collision prevention technology."
When Freddie remained silent, Todd added informatively, "It's really safe and stuff."
Freddie wasn't entirely sure why, but he had a hunch that Gene might not appreciate this particular car too much.
Then, suddenly, he spotted something much better.
The deal was sealed with a high five (and a couple of signatures).
"This is so much better than a car," Gene cheered as he ran towards his new bike, "Wow! Thanks, Dad!"
Fred was pleased he'd done something right, for once.
With the summer sun on his back and a ride like this, there was no feeling blue.
When some of Grace's classes were cancelled unexpectedly, she made the long drive to Midnight Hollow to visit Gloria.
As she ascended the seemingly endless stairs, she wondered idly how this place managed to look so glum on such a bright summer day.
"And here you are," the nurse sighed in greeting, "as I told you over the phone, the doctor is quite opposed to surprise visits like this. You could inadvertently upset her or even interfere with the treatment-"
"And as I told you," Grace interrupted brusquely, "I need to be allowed to see my sister."
"Well, of course you are. This is a medical facility, not a prison," the nurse tittered, "still, I am obliged to give you my professional opinion: It would be best for both you and your sister if you left now. Maybe you can come another time, or better yet, write letters instead. It's what everyone else does."
But Grace would not be deterred. As the nurse led her toward a double door at the end of the hallway, she continued her unsolicited advice, "I told her you were coming, but she was... well, Gloria was less than enthusiastic. I'm afraid that seeing you will only upset her more."
Inwardly, Grace seethed at the nurse's presumption. She hadn't liked that woman from the moment she'd first met her - who was she to tell Grace what Gloria needed?
"Let me be the judge of that," Grace said as she pushed open the door.
When she saw the familiar figure of her twin sister, Grace's heart gave a lurch. "Gloria," she called out excitedly, but Gloria made no move to greet her.
Reluctantly, Grace approached. "Gloria," she tried again and placed her hand on her sister's back, causing Gloria shift out of her reach.
"I- I'm sorry I came on such short notice," she stammered, hurt by her sister's cold attitude. "I'll be sure to tell you longer in advance next time." Grace tried a smile, but Gloria avoided any eye contact.
It was no better when Grace took a seat across from her sister and reached out to clasp her hands. Gloria just sat there, staring out of the window, barely even acknowledging Grace's presence.
Grace spoke intently, trying to get Gloria to talk, but her efforts were only met with sullen silence and occasional grunts.
Then, finally, Gloria's lips moved. "I'm sorry," Grace said, leaning in closer, "I didn't get that."
Those were the only words Grace was able to coax out of her sister.
Finally, Grace did as she was asked.
Back in the bright entryway, she confronted the nurse.
"What have you done to her," Grace snapped, "Gloria is... that wasn't at all like her."
"I warned you," the nurse retorted, "over and over again, but you wouldn't listen. What have I done to her? What have you done to her! I told you that Gloria didn't want to talk to you. She's here because something in her old life upset her deeply, and, as is becoming increasingly obvious during her therapy, a substantial part of that is her overbearing sister. I'm breaching patient-doctor confidentiality by telling you this, but maybe I need to do so in order to protect my patient in the future."
"You have to understand," the nurse's voice was muted now, but just as severe, "Gloria is here to get away from all the things that upset her. And that includes you. I can't even fathom how far your visit today must have set back her progress. She won't be able to heal if you keep forcing your presence on her, reopening old wounds. If you really care for your sister, you need to restrict your communication to letters. That way she can decide to deal with you when - and if - she feels up to it."
There was nothing left to say after that.
The nurse's words had cut Grace deeply, but after seeing Gloria's reaction to her visit, they rang true.
Somehow she had to repair whatever she had done to make Gloria hate her like this.
She'd just have to write letters from now on.
When Todd aged up with that hair, all I could think was "used car salesman". So here you go. That was the only reason for that whole scene XD
As for that stuff with Gloria - for anyone not reading her Asylum Challenge - just know that the nurse may not necessarily be telling the truth. (As if it wasn't obvious, lol.)