|An Old Goth's Tale|
|Name:||An Old Goth's Tale|
|Rating:||Suitable for All|
|Number of chapters:||Undecided|
An Old Goth's Tale is a fanfiction about the Goth family, but focused on Mortimer Goth, written by WayfinderOwl. The idea came to the author, when she couldn't sleep one night.
It follows the last few years of Mortimer Goth's life, while he watches his children grow and make their own way into the world, and himself come to terms with Bella's disappearance.
- Mortimer Goth - Now an elderly man, knowing that his time is almost up, mourns Bella after her disappearance, and hopes that his children can find some kind of happiness in the sim world.
- Cassandra Goth - Always holding onto a dream of getting married and raising a family of her own, yet she seems to always fall for the wrong kind of guy.
- Alexander Goth - A child prodigy, but he just wants to be a normal kid.
- Dina Caliente - A blonde bombshell gold digger, that has her heart set on the Goth family fortune.
- Mary-Sue Pleasant - A workaholic mother, that is Cassandra's childhood bestfriend.
- Michael Bachelor - Bella's deceased brother, and Dina's former object of financial desire.
Chapter I: Alone By The Fire
"Love," the elderly Mortimer Goth told himself, as he swirled wine around in the glass he held, "is like a bottle of wine. One sip, and it is all you want to drink. After the whole bottle, it has ensnared your senses. Nothing makes sense any more."
Alone in the dark drawing room, only lit by the glow of the fireplace, Mortimer was left to his thoughts. Many thoughts swirled around in his mind, not unlike the wine in the glass.
Redundant, was a word that he often thought about. It fit him quite nicely. "Redundant," muttered Mortimer, as the wine the colour of blood slithered from the glass into his open mouth. His children no longer needed him. Cassandra was already grown up, and engaged to that Lothario boy. Alexander was already knowledgeable beyond his years, and out grew his dear old father many years ago.
Then there was Bella. Oh, sweet Bella. Beautiful and wonderful Bella. Where she went would remain a mystery. Why she left would be a mystery. Yet the word 'mystery' often sprung to mind when he thought of her. Mysterious and beautiful, was the olive skinned girl that he had known since he was depressed little boy living in Sunset Valley.
Time, it seemed, wasn't Mortimer's friend at all. He had so little of it left, yet since his retirement, it was all he had.
Listening to the bumps and thuds, that implied that Alexander had come home after an evening of stargazing in the park. Mortimer never did believe that excuse. A part of him hoped that his son was sneaking out to see a girl, but not the more obvious conclusion that Alexander was doing the homework of his classmates so they wouldn't beat him up.
Mortimer decided that he was just a reminiscing old fool, that had stayed up way too long. Just as he was about to ease himself out of the armchair, he heard someone come in. His heart skipped a beat. For a second, through the darkness, he thought he saw his beloved Bella, but it was his daughter Cassandra. She had let her hair down, while she prepared for bed. How much she looked like her mother.
"Wine again?" said Cassandra, giving him a disapproving glance. She lifted the half full - that was what she considered it rather than 'half empty'- bottle. "Oh, only half this time? Good to see that you're not planning on sleeping in your armchair tonight. You know what it does to your back."
"I know, I know," said Mortimer, moving his hand as if he was trying to brush away the nagging she had inflicted on him. Despite his moaning on about her nagging, and reminding her that he was in fact the parent, not her, he appreciated her concern.
Cassandra was right. He would be much better off going to sleep in his own bed, rather than staying in his armchair mentally torturing himself about things he couldn't change.
Sleep wouldn't come to him. Weary and alone, Mortimer stared through the darkness. The light of the moon and the stars shone through the gap in the curtains. He could see the portrait of Bella hanging above his bed.
"Good night, Bella," muttered Mortimer, as he closed his eyes.
He waited for sleep to come. His breathing became slower. Mortimer had drifted off to sleep, to be in a world of dreams where he wasn't so old, and Bella wasn't so mysteriously disappeared. He could be a grumpy Goth, living in an old house that time forgot, with his beautiful gothic wife.
Chapter II: Tear Stained Wedding Dress
As much as Mortimer disliked Don Lothario - dislike was too small of a word, down right hated would be more fitting - he didn't want to get in the way of his own daughter's happiness. No matter how excruciating it was to see her marry a man that wasn't good enough for her, he would just endure it. Cassandra knew what she wanted. If that meant her spending the rest of her life with a man that clearly didn't care for her as much as she did him, then there was nothing Mortimer would do to stop it.
Mortimer paced the hallway, considering knocking on his daughter's bedroom door. For years he had kept Bella's wedding dress hidden away. Of course Bella would want her daughter to have it.
Gently tapping at her bedroom door, he wondered if it really was a good idea. Young people these days often wanted things that were new and cutting edge. But, that wasn't his daughter, he told himself.
"Come in," replied Cassandra.
Mortimer opened the door, carrying the box that contained the wedding dress that his own true love wore on her wedding day. "I have a gift for you -- well, consider it a gift from your mother."
Cassandra's eyes lit up, when she saw the beautiful white dress. It was perfect. For as far back as she could remember, she would always look at her parent's wedding photo and wish that she could one day get to wear a dress just like her mother's.
"Thank you..." Cassandra could feel her eyes filling with tears behind her glasses. Snatching a tissue from the box on her dressing table, she wiped away the tears. "Father, you are still going to give me away, aren't you?"
"Of course," said Mortimer. "Not even death could stop me from giving you away."
He was true to his word too. Mortimer would indeed give away his own daughter to that lowlife, and not let her see how much it pained him to do it.
Down in the garden, where Alexander was adding the finishing touches, like adding balloons, Don Lothario worried for a moment if he was doing the right thing. After all, there were so many women out there, and so little time.
"Hey, Dad," said Don, as soon as his soon-to-be father in law stepped out of the back door.
"Don't do that," said Mortimer, shooting the man before him a look of disgust. "And, to think that I'm stuck with a son-in-law like you for the rest of my life."
Already, Mortimer could see the cogs turning in Don's mind. At least, he hoped that he was imagining it. As soon as he met Don, Mortimer promised him, that if he ever hurt Cassandra, then he would be made to regret it one way or another.
The wedding of course was very small, with only a few guests. Just family, and Dina who had of course invited herself. If Mortimer had wanted this wedding to fail, he would have noticed the woman that professed to love him looking to Don with an eye that no guest should give the groom on his wedding day. But, of course he wanted the wedding go to plan.
Cassandra looked stunning in her mother's wedding dress. Never could a father be so proud of his daughter, than Mortimer was in that very moment. He lead his daughter down the aisle proudly.
It would have been a perfect wedding. There was just one thing missing; the groom. Mortimer's heart sank, at the thought that his own harsh words could have scared Don off. If he wasn't so worried about his own daughter, he would have noticed the guilty look on Dina Caliente's face.
"Alexander, you check the attic and the patio deck," said Mortimer. "Dina, go and check if his car is still parked out front. I'll search the house."
"Right away, father," said Alexander.
"Sure, Morty," said Dina. He hated it, when she called him that.
No matter how much Mortimer and Alexander searched the house, they were never going to find Don Lothario. In a moment of cold feet, he'd fled. Leaving behind a crying bride at the alter.
While Cassandra sat on one of the chairs for guests, she considered building a greenhouse exactly where she sat. Never again, did she want to look at this part of the garden and think of the wedding that could have been. Something caught her eye, that was caught in one of the flowers in the arch. It was a piece of paper, that had been rolled up, and held in place with the engagement ring that Cassandra had given Don. Only one sentence was on the piece of paper; "Cass, I couldn't do it."
In the drawing room that night, when everyone had given up looking, Cassandra showed the note to her father, brother and Dina.
"That good for nothing..." Mortimer cut himself short, because he could see the pain on his daughter's face.
Dina's thirst for gold inspired her. "We should go on the honeymoon!" Of course, she meant herself and Mortimer, where she would have him alone to convince him that Bella wasn't coming back, and she would always love him. The latter was a lie of course.
Mortimer shot her a rather surprised look. He misinterpreted what she said, though. "Yes... we can't get the deposit back. Why not go on vacation to Twikkii Island?"
"Father, really? I've always wanted to explore the pirate ships," said Alexander, excitedly.
"Of course you can, my boy. Start packing your suitcases, children. The Goths are going to Twikkii Island," Mortimer declared.
Cassandra looked to her father through the tears. It was great that her father was trying to cheer her up, but her heart wasn't ready to feel anything but pain right now. A happy thing like the holiday would just remind her how she was supposed to go there as Mrs Cassandra Lothario.
Chapter III: Sun, Sea and the Goths
As soon as the Goths and Dina checked into the bungalow that they had rented, they were ready to explore the island. Dina had put on a sundress that left little to the imagination, hoping to get Mortimer's attention. Yet, it didn't work. She ended up sat on the sofa, listening to Cassandra cry about Don. Dina had problems too. She was failing to get Mortimer and his money, and now she was listening to his daughter weep on about a guy that Dina was also seeing on the side.
Alexander had gotten a map of the island from the front desk, and spread it out on the table. "Where should we go first, Father?"
"The Majestic Ruins of Jumbok IV look interesting," said Mortimer, as he checked the brochure that he was given when they checked in.
"I want to go to South End Beach, to explore the pirate ship," said Alexander.
"I'm guessing that you ladies will want to go to Twikkii Beach Boardwalk, to do some shopping?" said Mortimer, looking to his daughter and girlfriend.
"Yeah," said Dina, in a 'well, duh' tone.
"No. I just want to stay here," said Cassandra. She was on the verge of tears, and sounded like it too.
"Whitesand Hot Springs?" suggested Mortimer. He hated hearing that tone in his daughter's voice.
"Ooo! A hot spring! We have to go there," said Dina.
"No, father. I just want to stay right here." Cassandra had her own plan. It involved a day of lounging around on the sofa. Exploring whatever was on TV. Tasting wonderful room service cuisines, while she cried her eyes out and thought that she would die an old maid.
"Alright, Cassandra, but you have to join us for dinner, on the beach," said Mortimer.
Cassandra nodded her head, but she doubted that she would make it.
It took Dina about five seconds to get bored at the ruins, and she made this quite known. Not that the father and son Goths noticed. They explored every part of the ancient old ruin. Even tasted all the dishes of the local cuisine. A woman, that was clearly a local, even taught them how to hula dance. Dina got jealous, and tried to drag her object of financial desire away from the tan skinned beautiful local, that was dancing in front of him.
Mortimer found it easy to forget that the sands of time were almost running out for him, especially when his son asked him to explore the pirate ship on South End Beach with him. He'd abandoned Dina on the beach, and agreed to play a game of pirates. Father and son got involved in the game. Mortimer was the captain, that made the orders, and found all kinds of treasure in the captain's cabin. Even a map to a witch doctor's hut right here on the island.
"Arr... what ye doin' in me cabin?" demanded the grumpy ghostly pirate.
"Exploring with my son," said Mortimer, putting his arm proudly around Alexander's shoulders.
"I'll tell ye what. Get out me cabin, and I'll teach ye a sea chantey."
"Deal!" said Alexander, enthusiastically.
Dina was less than pleased, when her object of financial desire and the stepson that she will soon be stuck with, came back singing a pirate song. It got on her last nerve, when they sung it all the way to the board walk. If they didn't stop it soon, she might have just considered running them through with a cutlass.
To hopefully cheer up Cassandra, Mortimer brought a little toy treasure chest from the gift shop. The gift would have been great, if Alexander hadn't done one better, and dug up a real treasure chest while digging on the beach. Poor Mortimer was loaded down with the many shopping bags full of clothes that Dina had brought.
Since Alexander had found a treasure chest full of gold and jewels, Dina was rather nice to him. For a moment or two, she wondered if she could convince him to give her the contents of the chest.
"Alex..." said Dina, patting him fondly on the shoulder.
"This chest is mine," said Alexander. He was young, but not unobservant. The young Goth was not fooled by Dina's act.
With all the shopping, and the treasures that they had picked up on their day of adventure, they couldn't go to the hot springs much to Dina's annoyance.
Cassandra hadn't left the sofa at all. She had fallen asleep, with snack wrappers scattered around the floor. In that moment, was when Mortimer really looked at Dina. I mean really looked at her. Looking past the beautiful face, and loyal girlfriend act. The look she gave Don during the wedding, and her suggestion for them to go on the honeymoon. She hadn't meant the whole family. Just herself and Mortimer.
The elderly Goth shook his head. He was getting carried away with his own imagination. Surely Dina wouldn't do that... but she had professed to love Michael, Bella's brother, only a few years ago. Now she claimed to love him. Mortimer and Michael had more than one thing in common. They were both old and rich.
Chapter IV: Tempting Little Rumors
After almost an hour of asking, Mortimer managed to convince his heart broken daughter to come down to the beach, for the evening barbecue party. The manager had arranged it, hoping that it would be nice for the guests staying at their bungalows.
Of course Dina kept hold of Mortimer's arm, because she wanted all these pretty hula dancers to know that she had claimed him, and they can all keep their tanned paws off him.
The Goths and the Caliente sat on the warm beach together, eating burgers or ribs, or in Dina's case - a room service ordered Baked Alaska. They didn't have to say anything. It was clear that Mortimer and Alexander were there for Cassandra, even if Dina wasn't.
Some gossip spread across the beach that someone who was quite rich, and quite influential was staying in one of the cabins with his two daughters. The Goth's decided not to take any notice of it, because it didn't concern them. However, three words caught Dina's attention; 'very rich' and 'elderly.'
It was funny, when Mortimer thought about about the fact that just a few days a go, he sat by the fire thinking he was a redundant old fool. Now, here he sat, by a campfire, with his son and daughter, and the woman that wanted him only for his money. He was still an old fool, but not so redundant.
Mortimer smiled, as he watched his son play with a lovely dark haired little girl named Cecilia. Alexander looked so happy, building sand castles and telling the girl about the pirate ghost that he had met.
"Mind if I sit here?" said a grey haired man. Mortimer could see Cecilia in him.
"I don't mind one bit," replied Mortimer. He offered the newcomer his hand to shake. "Mortimer Goth."
"Arthur Riche." He shook Mortimer's hand. "That's my daughter Cecilia over there. And, the young woman over by the barbecue is Morgan. She is a sophomore at Académie Le Tour."
"My son Alexander is playing with your daughter Cecilia," Mortimer introduced. "And, this is Cassandra."
Cassandra glanced at Arthur Riche. She was in no mood to be polite, so she simply nodded.
"And, who's this?" said Arthur, looking to Dina.
"Dina Caliente," said Dina, shaking his hand.
Mortimer talked with Arthur for quite some time, but eventually he hardly got a word in, when Dina found out that the Riche family will be moving into 113 Wright Way. Dina Caliente was lost, with a new object of financial desire in her sights.
The Goths and the Riches (and Dina Caliente, of course), spent most of the vacation together. Alexander and Cecilia played together on the beach, he even took her to meet the pirate captain ghost. Morgan and Cassandra spent time together. Both had been scorn by love, even though Morgan hadn't been left at the alter, but she was proposed to for a joke by her ex. Mortimer and Arthur enjoyed talking about the good old days, while Dina seemed to find it difficult to decide which of the two men were her favourite.
For a while, Arthur Riche was winning, when he said he was divorced and the children didn't live with him. Then Mortimer won, by talking about how many generations the Goth wealth went back - of course that was music to the blonde Caliente's ears. Not that Mortimer was even trying to win her over, he was happier at the thought of having a friend his own age, that he could talk to.
It took some convincing, but Dina managed to convince Mortimer to take a walk down the beach with her.
"I wish we could stay here forever," said Dina. She had dressed in one of the outfits that she'd brought on the board walk, it was just like the one that the hula dancer had worn. Not that Mortimer noticed.
"It is nice to take a few days out of life," admitted Mortimer.
"It really is..." Dina turned to Mortimer, looking up at him with a flirty smile. "Why don't we... have some fun of our own?"
Mortimer frowned at her. At first, it didn't sink in what she wanted. Then he got it. That was one thing he could never do. He could never love her the way he loved Bella. Woohooing with a woman that he was pretty sure was a gold digger, was something that he would never do, no matter how much she attempted to convince him to do so.
"You are so boring, Morty," said Dina, when she realised that it was obvious that she wasn't going to get her way.
"No, Dina..." said Mortimer. "Just from a different generation. In my generation, we waited until marriage to do that sort of thing."
Dina's eyes lit up, as she hoped that a proposal might be coming her way. "Is that so?"
"Things like love and respect meant something. Men didn't just run away and leave their bride at the alter," said Mortimer.
Dina's expression fell. She wasn't going to get that proposal any time soon, and she realised it. Her eyes were now set on someone else. Not boring old Mortimer Goth, that seemed quite content to wallow in his own misery. Getting Michael's attention wasn't nearly as hard as this. Maybe this with Mortimer really was a lost cause.
Mortimer knew that night, that he would return home from this vacation out of a gold digger's grasp. Maybe coming to Twikkii Island really was the best idea all around. Each one of the Goth family had made a new friend.
Chapter V: Greenhouse Built By Heartbreak
Time goes on, and it certainly did in the Goth household. Cassandra's depression didn't go away on the vacation, nor did it go when they returned home.
Mortimer would have given anything to help ease her pain. Happily paying out for a greenhouse to be built exactly where her wedding would have took place. As she put it, best to make something beautiful out of a tragedy. The tragedy, was really that she just couldn't move on.
Spring, summer, autumn and winter, Mortimer would go to the window, and see her out in the green house, crying away her pain. The roses had grown beautifully. Just like her growing depression. Beautiful and painful. The beauty was how she had channeled it into the greenhouse. The pain, was the ongoing agony that had claimed her heart.
"Is she still out there?" asked Alexander, standing beside his father at the window.
"Yes," replied Mortimer.
Mortimer longed with all his heart to make it right. The pain he felt at watching his daughter spiral so deep into depression was just like death. A little part of him died, when he looked at his daughter's tear stained face.
The haunting sound of the doorbell echoed through the house.
"I'll get it," said Alexander.
Nodding his head, Mortimer didn't break his gaze from the greenhouse built by heartbreak. If only he could get his old pale hands on that Lothario boy, he would teach him a lesson that he wouldn't soon regret. That, he wouldn't have the heart to do, it would just make Cassandra feel worse. He could understand that.
His heart was the same, when Bella vanished. It wasn't ready to heal. In its place was a broken misshapen heart, with no room for anything else but the pain. His sorrow sliced through his skin like thousands of tiny knives. Bella was every where. Where ever he looked he saw Bella, in every little corner, or on every little trinket with in the old dark manor.
The words of his son disturbed his trail of thought.
"The gardener knocked the door. He's gotten straight to work," said Alexander.
"What gardener?" asked Mortimer. He wasn't aware of hiring any gardeners. Cassandra couldn't have done it, because other than the path between her room, the bathroom and the greenhouse, she didn't tread anywhere else in the house any more. "Cassandra!"
He looked out the window to see his daughter talking to someone. A man about her age, that reminded Mortimer of himself in his younger days. Tall, handsome and charming. But, that wasn't what surprised him. It was his own daughter laughing. Not just a forced pity laugh either. A proper one. A joy filled laugh.
A smile spread across Mortimer's lips. Cassandra was ready to move on. It was far too late for him to move on from Bella, but not to late for Cassandra to move on from Don. There it began. With a simple laugh.
The charming gardener was named Adrian Gardener. It was Alexander's mistake. Adrian had smelled the roses in passing and wanted to see them. In away, her brother had done her a good turn.
Adrian was very proper about it, and even asked Mortimer's permission to date his daughter. His blessing, he was more than happy to give.
On their first date, Adrian came to the door with a single red rose. "Evening, Mr Goth," said Adrian.
"Evening, Adrian. Cassandra is almost ready," replied Mortimer.
Cassandra rushed past her father with an air of excitement. She stopped for one moment, to kiss her father on the cheek. "Thank you, Father," whispered Cassandra.
Mortimer waved them off, as the new couple drove off in the sleek black car. "You're very welcome, and good luck," whispered Mortimer. He knew that she couldn't hear him, but it gave him a small joy to see it.
He turned around to see none other than Dina Caliente. Her golddigging hands held a grey urn. But, that wasn't what caught Mortimer's eye. It was the glistening engagement ring on her finger. She had won Arthur Riche's heart then.
"Evening Dina," said Mortimer politely.
"Hey, Morty. I'm moving into my fiance's house soon, and well, he won't want me keeping this. It's not Bella, but hey, her brother is close enough," said Dina, coolly. She shoved the urn into Mortimer's hands, and left him stood there on the sidewalk.
Of course it was all clear now. Now that Mortimer was of no use to her anymore, because he wouldn't succumb to her charms, she had to hurt him. One last dig, to show him that she didn't need him. It wouldn't work.
Michael's remains were buried in the Goth graveyard, just like any other member of the Goth family. He may not be related to Mortimer by blood, but Michael was the closest thing to a brother that he would ever have.
Mortimer stood at his brother-in-law's new grave, holding a bunch of flowers. As he set them down on the grave, he said a few words of respect. "Rest in peace Michael, among family." As he stood up, he added, "And, bring her back to me."
Chapter VI: Cat Named Evil
As Mortimer stared right into the blue eyes of the siamese cat that had claimed his favourite armchair, he realised one thing; he hated cats. Why Cassandra insisted on taking care of the damn thing, while her new boyfriend was travelling for work, he would never know. All Cassandra did was work after her promotion, and leave the cat at home for dear old retired father to care for.
The cat was a horrible thing, that hissed at Mortimer every time he moved. He had half a mind to throw the horrible thing out into the rain and be done with it.
These were supposed to be the golden years, but why wasn't he allowed to enjoy them?
With hardly anything to do around the house, Mortimer decided to go for a little walk about. The attic was getting rather dusty of late, and he could hardly remember what was up there.
Aside from the maddening silence, the sound of the grandfather clock echoed through the house. The eyes of the cat followed him across the room. Mortimer decided to ignore it. As he walked up the creaky old stairs, he heard more footsteps. Stopping, he slowly turned around, meeting the eyes of the cat a few steps down.
"Go away!" shooed Mortimer.
The cat didn't budge. It just looked at him and meowed.
Again, the cat didn't budge.
"Well, stay there, you horrible little furball."
Mortimer continued up the stairs, casting the thoughts of that cat out of his mind. Once he was in the attic, he was safe away from the cat. Sorting through old pictures of his parents, his grandparents. Old blankets and toys and even clothes. It was like he had reverted back to childhood, finding all his old toys, that had survived the fire.
At some point, he heard a creek and a crash. He cast it out of mind. It was probably that damn cat again.
Mortimer laughed, when he found an old train set. For old time's sake, he had to set it up and play with it once more. He may be a reminiscing grouchy old fool, but this reminiscing grouchy old fool was going to play with his old train set and enjoy it. He even wore an old cap, while doing it.
As much as he would love to spend all afternoon playing with his toys, his old bladder had something else to say on the matter. He walked down the stairs to open the door, but it wouldn't budge. Something was blocking the way.
"That damn cat!" muttered Mortimer under his breath.
There was nothing for it, he had to climb the stairs to the patio deck, to see if he could get anyone's attention. Anyone that could help him. His salvation came, when he saw the yellow school bus.
"Alexander!" shouted Mortimer, down to his young son. "The attic door is locked!"
It was rather embarrassing, when his son finally let him out. Of course, he had to dash to the bathroom as fast as his old legs would carry him, before he got a chance to explain what had happened.
There the cat sat, innocently on Alexander's lap on the sofa. As if to say, 'would I do something so mean as to trap you?' Suffice to say, Alexander didn't believe him. Nor did Cassandra when she came home. It became an on going joke in the Goth household, when something random happened, that it was the cat, even if he was on the other side of the room or even on a different floor to the random event.
Mortimer despised being the butt of his children's jokes, almost as much as he despised that cat. One thing was for certain, he wasn't going to give that cat the satisfaction of knocking something over, to trap him in the attic again.
The day he could finally get rid of the cat once and for all, would be a happy day for Mortimer Goth.
Alas, fate had it in for Mortimer it seemed. One conversation removed his last shred of joy, when he accidently picked up the phone and heard Cassandra and Adrian talking.
"I'm sure Father wouldn't mind," said Cassandra, "he loves the cat. Staging little jokes, and pretending to us that he hates it."
"I just feel sorry for Mr Jiggles being alone all day, so alright then. If your father's happy to look after him."
"Of course he won't mind. You could... move in."
"After the wedding. I have to ask your father's permission first. It's only right."
Mortimer put the phone down, and cried for two reasons. One, his daughter had found someone that she could marry. Someone that he approved of this time. Two, he would never be rid of that cat now. It would torture him during his final days. Some cats lived to be twenty. He couldn't possibly have that many years ahead of him.
Chapter VII: Confusion
Most kids get a party for their thirteenth birthday. Instead Alexander Goth got the biggest scare of his life.
Mortimer had not gotten up and prepared the breakfast he promised. The aging Goth had woken up, he just found it difficult to get out of bed. His head ached, along with his heavy limbs. Everything looked hazy and distant. Even words were hard to form, during the many times he tried calling for help.
The next few hours of his life were a blur. He was sure he saw Cassandra leaning over him, with her hand on his forehead, telling someone that he had a fever. Then something heavy on his chest, as if that damn cat had come to finish him off once and for all.
Three paramedics looking down at him, and lifting him onto a stretcher. Then nothing, until he lay in a hospital bed, with only a heart monitor to listen to.
The doctor told both Cassandra and Alexander about what was wrong with their father, but they understood very little of it.
“Please, doctor, just tell me... will Father,” said Cassandra, but the rest of the sentence caught in her throat. With her mother gone, she didn't want to have think about her father gone as well.
“We are running tests. All symptoms indicate a stroke,” replied the doctor. “We are doing all we can. Your father is a strong sim. I am sure he will make a recovery.”
Cassandra turned to her brother and gave him a hand full of simoleons. “Alex, go down to the cafeteria, and get the first cake you see. You know Father will want to see you blow out the candles.” In truth, she didn't want her younger brother to hear anymore. He was far too young to have to listen to this.
Alexander took the simoleons, nodding his head. He understood why his sister was trying to get rid of him.
As soon as Alexander was out of earshot, Cassandra turned back to the doctor. “Is my father ever going to leave the hospital?”
“It is too early to say,” said the doctor.
Mortimer lay in the bed in his cotton gown, confused about what was going on. Muttering the names of his children, but it came out like distressed mumbles. The only word that he could speak was “Bella.” He couldn't go yet. Not without seeing her face one last time. Not without telling her that he had only ever loved her. That he never stopped.
People came in and out of the room. First Cassandra and Alexander with a cupcake with a single candle, that his son blew out. Then that man Cassandra was courting, Adrian Gardener. Nothing would have pleased Mortimer more, than to give Adrian his blessing to marry his daughter.
Late in the dark hours of the night, when all the nurses had left him alone, Mortimer began to grasp where he was. His fever had gone down. Whether it was a real or just an hallucination, he was sure that a woman had come to visit him. One that made him feel safe and at ease. His gaze remained fixed on her eyes. Those eyes were so familiar to him. As if he had seen them a million times before.
Cassandra and Alexander visited him every day. The mysterious woman visited him every night. Some days Mortimer was responsive and aware of his visitors, others he wouldn't have known they were there even if they slapped him around the face.
Alexander stopped by after school, and brought with him things to make his father feel more at home. The blanket from his bed. Photos of Bella, himself and Cassandra. Sometimes he would just sit there on one of the chairs, reading a medical book, hoping that his father was aware of him. Other days he would talk about the girl he met in Twikkii Island, Cecilia.