Soon enough, the itch to party hit James once again, and he invited a selection of his acquaintances to a house party, for no reason. Just because. The evenings were getting colder, so James lit a fire in the fireplace - cackling quietly in memory of the truly incredible explosion that had claimed his last home - while the guests conversed.
James looked to her. His tears were mostly a show, but he would miss his father. While he got in the way most of the time, he had helped to raise James, after all. But what Phyllis said made what awaited him in the bedroom sound even worse than what had just taken place in the living room.
James: "What's going on, babe?"
Phyllis: "I'm sorry, I don't know how to say this, with your father and all."
James: "He'd lived a long life, and accomplished all he wanted to do. We all knew it was coming soon, and he was ready for it. I'll miss him, but knowing Dad I think he'll be happier with the reaper than as an old man. Exploring the next adventure, and all that."
Phyllis nodded, looking at the ground, then back up to James's eyes.
She laughed nervously, fiddling with the end of her shirt tie.
Phyllis: "What I'm trying to say is, I really like you, and I want to be with you, no matter what."
James: "Me too, baby. What's bothering you?"
~ * ~
Sorry for the short update. I was planning to put the entire conversation in this update but after seeing that face James pulled(I wish I could remember what interaction triggered it!) while I was shooting the conversation sequence, I realized that I had to end a chapter with it.
And the first sim death hits the household, unsurprisingly during the party. I think James is a bit put-off parties after all the deaths, which is a shame because my rolls mandate that he has to throw at least one every week! Eliza is still holding on in my game, but I bet she kicks it when I throw next week's party. And yes, the woman in the santa hat's hand is stuck that way. It was much more hilarious in-game.
I did a lot of thinking about the afterlife as thought of in my story's universe as I wrote the bit where James was talking with Phyllis. I'm an atheist in real life, but I enjoy studying religious beliefs - nature worship and pantheons particularly fascinate me. I'm not entirely sure what religious beliefs my sims have. I don't consider myself to be the sim deity, but I think that most of them do have some sort of belief in a benevolent(yet non-interfering) god(who probably exists, it's my made-up world after all). Some, of course, are atheist, or even agnostic, but I believe that those are in a minority(perhaps a 2:1 ratio of believers to questioners). Obviously, sims can come back after death, as it's possible for them to be revived as ghosts(I actually have a whole system worked out for who is able to make the transition back on their own, as opposed to being brought back by science), so there must be at least one afterlife of some sort(for everybody, not just believers). I'm really not sure what happens there, though, but I think that's okay. Nobody in my story knows either, except those that have already gone. So, until I bring a ghost back to talk about it, I can continue to think about it.