Welcome back to Mesa Vista and the Goodie household, featuring an aged-down Herbert and Faith, and their adopted stray, Grace.
As the head of Good Faith Community Church, studying life skills became an important part of Herbert’s daily routine. He was pleased that the church was gaining a following and had even become quite a popular spot for weddings, as seen in the recent Mazza and Wendland updates.
Grace was the glue holding the Goodies together during their rough and rocky first week in Mesa Vista.
“Honestly, I don’t know where this want to be a criminal came from.”
“I don’t understand why you just can’t quit?”
“It isn’t that simple, Herbert. Something is egging me on, perhaps a higher being” (lol) “and the irony of the situation? I just don’t know!”
“I have… what I mean is, I think you just need some time to come to your senses.”
“I wish it were that simple.”
To Faith's surprise, she found herself finally warming up to Herbert. One plus in his column was he finally managed to tell a joke that didn’t make her cringe with distaste.
Would wonders never cease :P
I wouldn’t have bothered showing this frankly out-of-character romantic interlude if I hadn’t been so surprised – it was the first time Faith had rolled any romantic wants for Herbert despite two bolts.
Aha! Now I know what she was up to, that little minx...
It was actually my hope that Faith would top Criminal ASAP so I could ditch this storyline!
Grace had her own issues, namely attracting every aggressive dog like Beasley here, to her lot.
Not that the old girl was exactly an angel herself…
While Faith worked or slept, Herbert held afternoon soirées with parishioners *cough walk-bys*, an unintended *cough, yeah right* consequence being more friends for Faith’s promotions.
Of course, all donations were gladly accepted (and actually needed thanks to the dang dog).
As each day passed, it became more clear to Herbert that his wife was showing no sign of mending the error of her ways, and he decided it was time to implement Plan B.
Or Plan "A" if you wanted to get technical.
Alone in the house with the baby – now their baby – the gravity of his actions sank in. Heavens, what had he gotten himself – them – into? There was no turning back either, not without ruining the Goodie reputation in Mesa Vista forever. But Lord help him, it was the only solution he thought had a chance…
“Herbert, where are the baby – oh, there they are.”
“It’s almost unbelievable in this day and age. You just don’t hear about babies being left on church doorsteps any more.”
“Believe me, I was as surprised as you when I found her." Herbert said, furiously scrubbing a nonexistent spot rather than meet his wife's eyes.
“She’s sure a cute little thing. Call it selfish, but I’m rather glad the agency is letting us keep her while they look into what happened to her mother.”
“I wonder what your story is, baby. Well, I can’t keep calling you just baby, now can I? What do you think your name is?”
“You don’t know? What if I call you Annika for now, isn’t that pretty?”
“We don’t have anywhere to put her. No crib, no changing table...”
“Okay, but good luck finding any of that stuff around here.”
“Then do something about it! She’s exhausted and I have to prepare for work tomorrow.”
“Herbert, are you looking or are you playing?”
“Er… looking. Ah, here’s something…”
“Something” turned out to be Goodie’s Baby Boutique.
The octagonal walls made for some interesting placement issues, but it fit right in with the more whimsical section of Mesa Vista’s commercial district, which included Nemo’s Slumberland, Holly Days Christmas store and Shin’s Orient.
I was amused that the first five or so customers were male, and Zach seemed quite eager to make reparations with his wife Nikki, who was expecting child number five.
Herbert got the store to Level 1 before bringing a crib home for the baby.
“There, that’s better, I know you must be tired after your big day. *Yawn* I’m tired too. Goodnight, Annika, sleep tight.”
For the first time I got to see the Parenting life skill in action. Kinda looking forward to using it more now…
Faith knew it was pure selfishness on her part, but every day Annika was in their care had her feeling more and more glad that the mystery mother apparently hadn’t had a change of heart yet and come to reclaim her baby.
Gemini 4/10/9/4/1 – just realized adopted babies come with more than the CAS limit of 25 personality points too.
Along with Lifelong Happiness and Couples Counseling, Herbert decided he’d better add Anger Management to his repertoire – you know, just in case…
Uh oh, not again…
Aww, this made me happy.
If the intended outcome was for Faith to quit the Criminal career, then Herbert’s scheme was a failure. Herbert, however, could no longer look at it in such black and white terms. Of course he wasn’t happy that she seemed more determined than ever to become a Criminal Mastermind, but what he discovered was that for the first time since their arrival in Mesa Vista, they had settled into something akin to a normal, happy family life, and it felt good.
Faith felt it too, and each day that passed increased her hope that Annika’s stay with them would be permanent.
Until the day she returned home from work and saw a young woman whose coloring was remarkably similar to Annika’s. Faith’s heart lurched uncomfortably in her chest – could this be the mystery mother?
It seemed like forever before Faith had a chance to speak with the girl alone.
“Hello, I’m Faith Goodie, I don’t think we’ve met before.”
“Hey, I’m Laura Langerak.”
“And what do you do, Laura?”
“I attend La Fiesta Tech.”
“You’re a student?”
“Then you’re not… you can’t be… Annika’s mother?”
“Whoa, I’ve got issues, but that’s not one of them.”
“I’m sorry, it’s just… you look a lot like the little girl who we’re taking care of.”
“You mean the toddler?”
“And you think she looks like me?”
“Except for her brown eyes – I think she does.”
“Can I see?”
Even after Annika’s arrival, Grace was still an integral part of the Goodie family. Faith especially enjoyed taking her along on her jogs around the neighborhood.
And then came the day I knew was coming :(
It only took a day or two before Grace came a-haunting, making her the first pet to join Neil Cameron at the Mesa Vista Cemetery.
Annika was left at home with Nanny Sun while Herbert and Faith laid Grace to rest, and a very nice place it was.
Life for the Goodies went on…
And finally, in the height of irony, it was Faith Goodie, preacher’s wife, who became Mesa Vista’s first Criminal Mastermind, thereby opening the Intelligence career for its founder, Zach Adams. Woot, only took five weeks!
Faith tiptoed into the bedroom to try on the costume she was to wear the next time she went to work, and immediately knew she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it – anytime.
“Herbert, stop this instant!” she gasped, pushing him none-too-gently away in an area that told him she meant business.
“Faithie, you know I was kidding.”
“I don’t think you were, I know you too well. I was just getting ready to send this… thing… back.”
“Does that mean you’re..?” Herbert began, hoping this was the moment he’d patiently, sometimes against his better judgment, been waiting for – the moment they could get back on a more righteous path.
“Am I quitting? Yes. Now please leave me alone to change, I didn’t want you to see me in this.”
As he passed her on his way out, Faith stopped him and said, “Herbert, whatever this was, it’s over and I’m sorry for dragging you through it.”
Herbert squeezed her hand and said, “It’s okay, Faith. For what it’s worth, I… I forgive you.”
“Thank you,” she said sincerely before turning toward the dresser.
Living a lie with Herbert was one thing, but with Annika a different one altogether. She could now say with relief that all desire to be a Criminal Mastermind was now gone. And with that, she picked up the phone and called headquarters to resign her position.
Now that Faith no longer had to spend every free moment skilling for promotions, she had time to go on a daily jog around the neighborhood.
She really missed having Grace alongside her for company though. Still, she wasn’t sure they were ready yet for another dog.
“Herbert, I want to adopt a child, one that’s well and truly ours, you know, in case Annika’s mother... Well, I don’t want to talk about that…”
“… I don’t know, are you sure that’s a good idea?”
“Why not? I’m home now to help take care of them, and it’s been, we’ve been… better somehow since she’s been with us.”
“I guess if you’re sure…”
“Oh, I am!”
A couple of days later, Angela became the newest addition to the Goodie clan.
And Faith adored her from the very first moment…
Time for Annika’s birthday!
“Yay, I can get birthday cake all by myself!”
But after getting her own piece of cake like the big girl she now was, Annika saw her parents were no longer around.
She couldn’t understand what was going on. Before her birthday, her dad stayed home while her mom went to work, and now her mom stayed home while her dad worked at the baby store and opened the church for weddings, and yet her mom spent less time with her now than when she was working.
Even when the new baby was sleeping, it was her dad and not her mom who spent time with her, like helping with her homework.
Herbert knew Faith loved Annika, but there was an element of reserve that he now saw was distinctly lacking when she was with Angela, and he suddenly felt, no, knew it wasn’t fair to Annika to let the deception continue.
“Can we talk about Annika, Faith?”
“What about her? Don’t tell me…”
“Don’t tell you what?” he probed.
“You know very well what I mean.”
“Yes, I think I do, and I see why you’re now distancing yourself from her.”
“Do you see, Herbert? Do you really? We just lost Grace, and I can’t bear the thought of losing Annika as well. Her mother – for heaven’s sake, even her father – could show up at any moment and take her away forever!”
“That isn’t going to happen!”
“How do you know, Herbert? How?! And what leg would we have to stand on in order to stop it?”
Faith’s face crumpled so fast Herbert would do anything to stop it, and without thought blurted out the truth. “Annika wasn’t abandoned on the doorstep of the church, I made it up! I secretly adopted her from the agency, she is every bit as legally ours as Angela!”
“You what – you did what?!”
“Faith, I had to do something to save us, it was the only thing I could think of!”
“And that something was adopting a baby without consulting me?!”
“What was I supposed to do? You obviously weren’t right in the head.”
“All the more reason to talk it over before bringing a baby into a situation where a parent isn’t ‘right in head.’ Don’t ya think?”
“I didn’t mean mentally, it was more a question of your… judgment is all.”
“Don’t patronize me! You know I love Annika as if she were my own, and you let me believe her time with us was tenuous at best! I don’t think I can ever forgive you for putting me through that… that hell!”
“Look, I fully admit what I did was wrong. It could have resulted in a real disaster not only for us, but for one totally innocent as well.”
“You got that right, buddy,” she muttered and began to rise, but Herbert put out a hand to stop her.
“You’ll hear me out, Faith. It could have been a disaster for all concerned, but it wasn’t, was it?”
“In fact, after feeling tossed about on a choppy sea of confusion and uncertainty, for the first time we, well I anyway, felt… grounded."
“It’s called ‘trust,’ Herbert.”
“Okay, let’s talk about trust. How easy do you think it was to trust a bank robber and lord knows what else you were up to…”
“I said I was sorry, and I meant it. You said you forgive me, but I see how it’s going to be – you’re going to throw it in my face anytime you feel the need to prove a point.”
“That is not true. I meant it when I said I forgive you, and now I’m asking that you forgive me in return.”
“The end justifies the means? Is that your justification?”
“… In this case, yes.”
“Or is forgiveness a one-way street in this house, Faith?”
“… Very well, I give you the benefit of the doubt this time.”
“There won’t be a next time, I promise.”
“Okay, then,” she said softly, then stood up.
“Where are you going?”
“To bed. I feel like I’ve been through the wringer as you might imagine.”
Faith woke up feeling like a new person, and she didn’t know if it was by a twist of fate or divine will, but she now knew what their true calling in Mesa Vista was to be.
“Hello, this is Faith Goodie again.”
“No, everything’s fine! Angela is… well, an angel. What I’m calling for is Herbert and I are going to be opening an orphanage, so any kids you come across who need a home? We’ll be happy to take them. ”
“Next week sounds perfect.”
I’ll close the Goodies with one last picture of Grace amongst the lovely weeds she helped spawn – she was good for both Herbert and Faith during their trying times and she will be missed.
BaCC quick stats:
Playable Sims: 78 (77 + 1 grave) adopted Annika and Angela
Sim Multiplier: 33
With this, my writing is now pretty well caught up with my playing :D Thanks for reading and Happy Simming!