I had planned on a chapter tomorrow but they admitted my mother to the hospital this morning. We are hoping it is only overnight.
TRIGGER WARNING: This chapter contains gun violence. It could trigger anybody who has experienced this same thing or those who are sensitive to it. Please read at your own discretion.
It was the weekend and the boys were home from school. They were having a hard time keeping the noise levels down and woke their sister a few times. Shelby was starting to get frustrated, so Philip suggested taking the boys to the park for a bit.
Philip watched the boys play with the other kids. He sat nearby just enjoying the weather.
The park was actually pretty busy. There were parents there with toddlers, teenagers just hanging out, and it looked like someone was having a party in the main building. Guess everybody wanted to enjoy the final days of fall before winter hit. He didn’t blame them. He was enjoying it.
“Daddy, can you come play the sea monster for us?”
Philip looked at Devin and smiled. He followed the boys back to the pirate ship.
He was enjoying playing with the boys until he heard the noise. He recognized that noise from his basic training.
“Campbell, Devin, get down!”
He looked around seeing everybody running. He saw people on the ground. He could see that some were still moving this was good. He could also see that some weren’t.
He saw a small child standing beside a woman who was laying on the ground. He could see from where he was that there was no way the woman was still alive.
He looked at his boys. “Stay here and stay down. I will be right back.”
“Daddy, where are you going?”
He looked at Campbell. “Just stay down. You two keep each other safe.”
He ran for the toddler to bring it back to safety. He scooped up the child and headed back toward the pirate ship. The last thing he heard as he hit the ground was his son yelling for him.
Since the birth of Fiona, Andy hadn’t seen much of his daughter or her family. He understood though. She had a new baby as well as the two boys to care for. He was glad that Philip was there to help her this time.
He remembered how Happy Philip had been at the hospital when Fiona was born. Andy couldn’t remember ever seeing the man smile so much. He was definitely a proud daddy.
He knocked on his daughter’s door and smiled when Philip answered. He hugged his son-in-law.
“If you are here to see the baby, Shelby just got her to sleep. You could probably peak in at her if you want though.”
Andy shook his head. “I’d love to see her, but I don’t want to risk waking her. I’m actually here to see how all of you are doing. Haven’t seen much of you lately.”
Philip nodded. “We’ve been staying around the house. The boys go to school. I go to my appointments then come home. Shelby stays home with Fiona. She’s even ordering groceries online and having them delivered. She said her grandfather did that for her when we were still living on base.”
Andy remembered those days. “She was in pretty rough shape for awhile. My dad went and stayed with her for a few days, then the rest of us visited her for about a week.”
Philip was glad she had such a close family. “I remember her telling me about the visits. Thank you all for looking after her when I wasn’t able to.”
Andy wasn’t going to tell him that it was natural instinct to protect his daughter. He was sure that Philip felt the same about his own children.
“How is the lawsuit going?”
“It’s at a bit of a standstill at the moment. We are trying to get our hands on any security video and other documents that we can to help our case.”
Andy listened to Philip explain the roadblocks they were coming up against.
“I’ll do whatever I can to help.”
He saw Philip start to say something. “I won’t do anything illegal. I promise. I don’t want to jeopardize the case for you.”
Philip looked at the card in his hand. He had been talking to his therapist as well as his father-in-law about his options. They both suggested suing the military.
Shelby looked at her husband. “Did you say something?”
Philip showed her the card. “Your father gave me the number for a lawyer. I’m considering suing the military for what they did.”
Shelby knew that wouldn’t be an easy task, but she wasn’t going to talk him out of it.
“You know, I will support you in anything you do.”
“I know.” He kissed her softly. “That is what I have always loved about you. You are always supportive and never critical.”
He picked up his phone thinking about it. “I’m going to call and at least talk to the lawyer. See what he thinks and if he would even be willing to take on a case against the military.”
Shelby listened to Philip’s side of the conversation. She had heard it all before, but it still made her both sad and angry when she heard it. She tried to push the feelings aside so she could be there for Philip when he got off the phone.
“Mr. Latham, I watched men be tortured and experimented on. I watched men die. All of this was at the hands of the same military that we enlisted into in order to protect our country and the people in it. The military was supposed to support us, not destroy us. I know that soldiers die all the time doing their job. This was different. This was our own military doing this to us. People we were supposed to be fighting with, not against. They are going to continue to do this to others if they are not exposed and stopped. I have proof of the things they have done. I can give names. I just need someone who is willing to go up against them with me.”
By the time Philip had hung up, Shelby was ready to go into this battle with him.
“What did he say, love?”
Philip looked at her still a little surprised it had been so easy.
“He agreed to do it.”
Please make sure you read my friend’s story As The Sims World Turns. We have been collaborating on a few chapters this generation. There is a chapter being released later today that features Grayson’s side of this conversation.
Shelby had been thinking about what Nakusa had told her about the office building. She looked up the articles and that made her even more curious about the family past.
She sat beside her Grandpa listening to him talk about the little that he knew about the family.
“Your grandpa was still married to Kyle when he wrote the books. I know very little about the family.”
Shelby had never known what had happened between her grandparents, but was about to find out.
“Grandpa, why did you and Grandpa Owen split up?”
Patrick sighed thinking about that time period. “I made a mistake. I thought I was doing something for your grandfather, but I didn’t talk to him about it first.”
“Are you talking about Aunt Tayler?”
He nodded. “Yeah. I love your aunt and I don’t regret her, but I regret everything else about what I did.”
Shelby listened to him talk about what he had done and why. “Your grandfather and I could have worked it out, by my mother just messed things up.”
“Mothers have a way of doing that, I guess.”
Patrick shook his head. “Not all of them. We just happened to draw the short straws when it came to mothers.”
He got up and took two books off the bookshelf. “These will help you learn about your family. Well some of it. Your Grandpa Owen wrote the story of his dad’s life when Zaiden had lost his memory. Please don’t ask me about that. It is a time I have tried very hard to forget. It is in the book.”
Shelby could see that just thinking of it was upsetting her grandpa so she didn’t mention it.
“The other book was written by your grandpa’s grandparents. I say grandparents because they are Colleen’s diaries. Izaiah had them published. Read it first and it will help you understand the other better.”
Shelby took the books and nodded.
“Thank you, Grandpa. I will return these to you as soon as I am finished.”
Patrick shook his head. “There’s no need. I have the originals. You keep those.”
Shelby dropped the kids off at home with their dad then headed for the city to visit her sister. She had talked her dad into letting her tell Nakusa about their mom. It would also give her a chance to see her nephew. Dale had been born while Shelby was sick, so she had not had the chance to meet him yet.
She hugged her sister and smiled. “I need to see that nephew of mine.”
Shelby followed her sister to the nursery and couldn’t help smiling at the boy. She cuddled him and kissed his head.
She laid the sleeping baby back in his bed and looked at her sister. “He is beautiful.”
She followed Nakusa from the nursery. “I need to talk to you about something.
They went back downstairs to the kitchen where they could talk without waking the baby. Shelby sat beside her sister.
“Dad had a call from the prison today. Our mother died.”
Nakusa sat there a moment thinking about that. “I know I should probably feel bad about it, but I don’t. I didn’t really know her very well. I knew the things she did, but never knew her. Dad was the one that raised us and took care of us.”
Shelby nodded agreeing. “Kyle is lucky. He got away from her as soon as he was born. She didn’t have the chance to fuck him up.”
Nakusa was about to say something when her phone rang. She picked it up and talked for a few minutes. After hanging up, she looked at her sister. “I need to go over to the office for a moment. Do you want to go with me?”
Shelby had never seen the office and was interested. She knew it was the same offices her family had owned many years before.
They left the baby with John and walked over to the office. Shelby looked around while Nakusa got the files she needed from her office.
Nakusa saw her sister looking out the window. “It’s an amazing view, isn’t it? Some pretty messed up stuff happened in this building when the family had the offices here before. I looked up some of the news articles. Apparently Grandpa Owen wrote a book about some of it.”
Thanks to the medicine from the doctor to calm her morning sickness, Shelby was finally able to function again. She decided to get out of the house for a bit so took the boys to her dad’s house. She sat with her grandpa while the boys played with their uncle. Her dad was at work. Philip had an appointment with his therapist.
“How are you feeling?”
Shelby looked over at her grandfather and smiled. “Better. I think after this one, I’m done with having kids. I can’t handle going through the morning sickness a third time. Why did Nakusa get off so easy and I’ve had to suffer both times? It’s not exactly fair.”
“You take after your grandmother. Dakota was pretty sick when she was pregnant for your father. Not so much for the others.”
Andy came into the house and looked at Shelby. “I need to talk to you, Shelby. Is Philip here?”
She shook her head. “He had an appointment with the therapist. The boys are with Kyle.”
Andy looked over at Patrick. “Can you stay for a few minutes?”
Patrick nodded wondering what was going on.
Andy sat down and reached for Shelby’s hand. “Princess, I just had a call from the prison and came straight home. Your mother has passed away.”
Shelby knew that she should be upset, but she actually wasn’t. She had severed ties with the woman years earlier.
She thought about all of the things that woman had done. “I hope she rots in hell for what she did to all of us.”
Andy was a little surprised to hear that from Shelby.
“She’s your mother, Shelby.”
Shelby shook her head. “She stopped being my mother when she let that guy hurt us.”
Andy hugged her daughter. He could understand her being angry and upset. “She can’t hurt any of us anymore, Princess.”
Philip sat the half eaten bowl of soup on the nightstand and tucked the blankets around Shelby. He leaned down and kissed her then stood and watched her sleep for a few minutes.
He picked up the bowl and took it downstairs to the kitchen. He watched the boys sit at the table working on their homework.
“Is Mommy still sick?”
Philip nodded. “She’s sleeping right now, so we have to be very quiet and not wake her up.”
“Daddy? Was mommy this sick when I was a baby in her belly?”
Philip remembered the short time he spent with her before he left. “She was. The doctor had to give her special medicine to help her feel better.”
“Maybe the doctor can give her that medicine again.”
Philip hoped so. Shelby had a doctor appointment the following morning and he was going to ask.
“How is the homework coming along?”
“I’m almost done, Dad.”
Philip looked at Devin and smiled. “What do you have left?
“Just my reading. I was waiting for Campbell to finish his math then we could do reading together with you.”
Philip nodded. “Let me check on dinner while he finishes then we’ll do reading.”
He went into the kitchen and washed Shelby’s bowl. He checked the food he had cooking then went back to the dining room to help the boys.
Shelby and Philip had decided to visit his parents in Oasis Springs while the boys were at school. Her dad was going to be at the house to stay with them after school.
They had limited seating options at the house but they made due. Philip made sure that his parents and wife had somewhere to sit and he stood off to the side.
“Where are the boys?”
“They are at school. We wanted to come and visit without them this time.”
“You are always welcome any time.”
Shelby adored Philip’s parents. They had always made her feel loved and welcome, even while they were dating.
“We actually had a reason for the visit today. We wanted to tell you that we are expecting another baby.”
Philip’s father looked at Shelby and smiled.
“Really? We were so worried that Philip wouldn’t be able…”
Philip smiled and shook his head.
“That part of me definitely still works, Dad.”
“That’s good to know.” He smiled at both his son and daughter-in-law. “I am very happy for the two of you.”
He looked at his son. “You better keep your ass in town this time. No going anywhere.”
Philip nodded. “I do not plan to leave ever again.”
They stayed for a couple hours then left to head home to the boys. Shelby listened to them tell about their day at school then sent them off to do their homework.
“Thanks for being here for the boys, Daddy.”
“I am always happy to help out and spend time with my grandsons.”
Shelby looked at Philip and smiled then looked at her dad. “Well, Daddy, we’ll be adding another grandchild to the family for you.”
Andy looked at his daughter then grinned.
“You two have just made me very happy.”