February was spending yet another relaxing, stress-free afternoon with Hector. Hector had been accepted into an accelerated program and soon graduated far ahead of the rest of his peers, finally giving February the encouragement she needed to pursue more than a casual acquaintance with him. Despite his youth, Hector had high hopes of reaching out to kids and someday becoming a principal…dreams that differed so much from Cameron, who had barely finished high school and seemed to prefer ensuring that youngsters needed counseling to counseling them himself. Today, February and Hector had met at the beach and spent most of the day laughing, talking — and flirting. February felt a little guilty about that last bit, but, as Hector was involved with an individual named Kurt, February had deduced that all of the teasing and hand holding she and Hector participated in was all in harmless fun. In the midst of giggling through one of Hector’s flowery compliments, February glanced behind Hector’s shoulder and froze in horror — Cameron was seated on a bench several feet away. In the space of a few panicked seconds, February’s mind blazed through the various possibilities associated with encountering her boyfriend while cavorting about with another man without his knowledge, innocently or not. February knew that her mother had practically stolen her father not from one, but from two women, and she didn’t want to repeat the sins of her mother; but she couldn’t deny the attraction she felt towards Hector. She considered breaking things off with Cameron for good, but she didn’t like the idea of feeling like she belonged to Hector, either. Besides — Hector had a boyfriend. Instead, she and Hector made their way to the Bistro for dinner and February put Cameron out of her mind.
Unbeknownst to February, the site of her with another man struck Cameron to the core. He was terribly hurt by her transgressions…but he didn’t blame her; he had always known how uncomfortable she was dating the town bully and thug. He’d never really thought he could lose her because of it, though. He stayed on the bench overlooking the beach, staring moodily at the spot where he’d watched his girl flirting with that red-headed little freak he used to give swirlies to back in the day. He clenched his fists in rage and then sighed sadly, slowly releasing his anger — who was he kidding? He was just some chump guy getting his thrills by picking on kids that couldn’t defend themselves…he’d never deserved a great girl like February, and it wasn’t anyone’s fault but his own that she’d finally started to figure it out. But…maybe it wasn’t too late; after all, February hadn’t actually dumped him, yet. Perhaps it was time to give up his nefarious titles and get a decent job, maybe at the stadium…he’d always loved Simball and Simby as a kid, and he’d been pretty decent; maybe he could get on one of the local teams and give February a reason to be proud to be his girlfriend. However, before he could start focusing on his new career goals, he had to take care of a little business first. Steeling his resolve, Cameron pulled his cell phone out and dialed Tam’s number.
“Hey Tam, this is Cameron. Look, man, about the plan for tonight…I’m out.”
“What?!” Tam growled, his outrage palpable even through the phone connection. “You can’t be ‘out.’ Prom is tonight…there’s no time to find someone else.”
“Well, maybe that’s for the best,” Cameron said reasonably. “I don’t know what your problem is with Martin Luther…he’s not a bad kid. Just a little unstable. And what you’re planning on doing to him..it’s just vile, dude.”
“Technically,” Tam snarled, “I wasn’t planning on doing anything to the little cretin. I merely masterminded the plan; the doing was all supposed to be your job. ”
“Whatever, dude. It’s off now. Find some other way to get your dirty work done,” Cameron replied before disconnecting the call. He remained on the bench for a long while cradling his cell, half-expecting Tam to call back with a mouthful of vinegar and threats. Cameron knew that Tam wasn’t a Sim to be toyed with, and crossing him could be dangerous…however, for the first time since early high school, Cameron finally felt good about himself. He knew he’d made the right decision, and, with luck, February would recognize his good intentions and find her way back to him. With that in mind, Cameron finally rose from his seat and made his way towards the stadium.
Across town, Connor Callendar had just ended an unpleasant call of his own. His children’s distraught sobs still rang in his ears as he slowly made his way through the empty house. He knew that neither February or Martin Luther could really believe the words he’d been forced to say to each of them…he could still hardly believe it himself.
January was dead.