Jasper and Jonathan were 17 when Sy went into labour. After much huffing and puffing, waking Jeremiah up in the process, she gave birth to another baby girl. Stephanie.
Of course, as a baby Stephanie looked very like her older brothers and sisters. Being a more placid child, she was content to stay in her cot for long periods, which gave Jeremiah time to finish the portrait of Sy he’d been working on for some time. It wasn’t considered a masterpiece, but since when did that matter?
The boys had decided that they would stay for Stephanie’s birthday, as she was due to become a toddler the day they were headed off for University.
She turned out to look rather like Serena:
“Dad, I’ve called the taxi!” Jasper was the first of the twins to leave the house. He was bound for Sim State Uni, about 20 miles north of Coventry Rhoades. Unlike Jonathan, Jasper still didn’t know what he was going to study, as his dream of becoming a Criminal Mastermind was frowned upon by all and sundry.
Jonathan wasn’t far behind in phoning for his ride, which would deliver him to La Fiesta Tech College, the school of Arts. He was hoping that a Drama Degree would help him in his personal quest to top the Dance career.
And as for the girls? Both of them just wanted date after date after date… and college wasn’t required for that. In fact, Serena had pretty much left off studying and her grades were dropping rapidly. Jeremiah knew that if she didn’t buck her ideas up soon, he’d have to have a father-daughter conference.
Meanwhile, Sy wanted to at least attempt with Stephanie what she hadn’t been able to do with the others: teaching her skills that would be useful later. Assuming Stephanie co-operated of course.
Jeremiah helped out on occasion too.
Sy enjoyed spending time with Stephanie, and with her four older ones all approaching adulthood, started to think more about which of them should become heir to the legacy and raise her grandchildren in their home. She and Jeremiah had already decided that Stephanie wasn’t eligible due to her being so much younger.
The discussions were mainly conducted in quiet moments, while Stephanie was napping and the twins were at school.
“I’m not sure – he may be the most normal-looking but do you think he’d make a good heir? Wanting to be a criminal – what kind of example would he be setting?”
“Good point. Well, what about Jonathan?”
“Hmm… he’s possible. Peacekeeper, never complains about tidying up, and knows he needs to work hard for what he wants.”
“Okay, we won’t rule him out for the moment. Now, Serena…”
“Don’t get me started! That girl needs to get her priorities right first.”
“She’s 14 Jeremiah, it’s not easy for a girl growing up looking the way she does.”
“So’s Susan, but she’s coping with it.”
“Because she’s a tomboy and no one dares challenge her! Serena isn’t like that.”
“Fine. Serena if and only if she buckles down. Now for Susan…”
At this point Sy looked concerned. Jeremiah wasn’t going to like this.
“Susan told me something last night. She asked me not to tell you but I think it’s important.”
“Spit it out.”
“She likes girls.”
“Girls? You mean…”
“Yes. I don’t think she’ll be able to settle down with a man. For her sake I think it’s best if we don’t make her the heir.” Jeremiah agreed.
So there it was. Nice boy Jonathan vs Naughty girl Serena. Pleasure Sim vs Romance Sim. And with every day that passed it looked more and more likely that Jonathan would prevail.