It’s the weirdest thing ever, losing a parent.
Weird and sad and horrible and just so damn complicated, because even if everything’s changed everything around them still goes on, like nothing happened at all. Some days Atticus even wonders if it did, if it truly happened because his brain works only part-time, it seems, but then he remembers and gets sad all over again.
Martha is sad, too, all the time. It’s not as bad now as it was for those first couple of weeks after the accident, not as bas as when she could be found sitting on the floor just staring ahead and not saying a word or shedding a tear. That’s the most terrifying thing Atticus can recall, that blank, empty state.
She’s still really sad but now she’s crying at least and people keep telling them this is a good sign. August says they have to take care of her now, while things are still so new and awful and Atticus tries but it’s hard when he’s missing Moe as well.
Juno had been back home for a few weeks right after it happened, stayed with them and tried to be the big sister and cook and clean and whatever. She had brought her boyfriend, too, even if she hadn’t really introduced him as such and he’s cool and Atticus had found it pretty sweet to be able to talk to someone else, someone who isn’t grieving.
He’d overheard Martha tell her that he’s a really good guy, that she should hold on to him and Juno had seemed a bit embarrassed but happy, at least for a little while. That’s what they are these days – sad all the time and happy in bits and pieces. It’s so weird.
When Juno left again, it had been up to him and August to try and make their lives seem normal.
Martha tries, too, but she’s pretty strange herself these days.
She’s taken up yoga and jogging – she claims she used to be really fit when she was young though Atticus can’t remember seeing her work out for a single second before, so it must have been back when they weren’t even born. August claims physical exercise can be helpful when you’re going through hard times and since he’s been reading up on all sorts of stuff like that since Moe died, Atticus can’t really argue with him.
And it’s not like it’s harmful but he’s never going to get used to her suddenly making protein drinks and going out for a run in the evenings. But who knows, maybe she’s afraid to get old and die now that Moe has. Not that she got old. She had drowned in a stupid, horrible accident at the Aqua Park right here in Barchester and Atticus is pretty sure he will never ever be able to go back there in his life because every time he thinks about it, his throat feels dry and his heart pounds like crazy.
And even if he’d like to just crawl under a rock and hide from everyone until it feels less terrible, he finds that everyone at school keeps moving forward. They talk about going to Uni in a few years, dates each other and brags all over town about girls they’ve kissed and boys who sent them Valentine day’s cards.
Atticus hasn’t really thought about girls before but this year he feels almost obliged to, like it’s something he should try to teach himself how to do. Like riding a bike back when he was a kid and wanted to go with Juno and August whenever they were headed out somewhere.
So he tries. It’s not that difficult, he has always thought he might be all awkward and embarrassing or completely love struck like August whenever Jean is around. His brother has puppy eyes even after several years with the same girl and Atticus can’t imagine ever feeling that way about someone.
He likes Laila who attends a different school and lives in the nearby village down the coast. She’s a cool person and pretty cute and when he asks if she wants to go to the coffee shop after school one day, she agrees instantly which seems almost too good to be true.
Maybe it is, maybe it’s never going to be much beyond this but at least he got some experience out of it and won’t feel as stupid when the boys talk any more.
And as spring turns into early summer, life slowly goes back to a somewhat normal state. Martha works a lot, though less than before Moe died and never as late; it’s like she doesn’t want them to worry when she’s not home for dinner in the evenings so she is, every day.
Atticus wonders if she will ever stop wearing her wedding ring, though, but doesn’t ask because he wouldn’t mind if she did. The only thing worse than losing a parent must be losing a parent and having to watch the other one pair up with someone new, someone else. He hates that idea more than he can say. August claims those things are in the far future, that people don’t move on very quickly but still, it feels gross and wrong just imagining the possiblity.
Even if they’re having the worst spring in the history of spring, Martha wants them to attend the Spring Fair for some reason. Maybe because she wants the house to herself for an afternoon or so, maybe because she wants them to have fun like nothing happened.
Atticus doesn’t particularly want to go but he joins August and Jean anyway, like a reluctant third wheel.
They have an okay time, at least, even if August and Jean would probably call it amazing since they always seem to think everything is amazing as long as they are together. Atticus wonders what will happen next year when Jean goes away to college on a football scholarship while his brother is stuck in Barchester, trying to get a job.
But August doesn’t want to discuss it, so they don’t.
* I was so sad to kill Moe off. 😦 I do, however, follow through on my ROS even if they make me sad, LOL.
* Can’t believe August will be a grown-up during this round!
* I’m back in a Sims 2 mood, but of course my game has started crashing a little bit, mostly on community lots. Sigh.
* Had totally forgotten ACR made Atticus gay when he aged up to teenager, so I had him flirt with Laila which always erases the original ACR roll. Sorry, didn’t mean to shove you back into the closet, Atticus!