>Charlie is 36, Jayla is 35, Oliver is 23, Colton is 7
The day had started out as simply as any other day, except, on this day, Charlie got laid off.
Charlie woke up and took a shower while his wife slipped quietly downstairs to begin breakfast. Their son Colton trotted downstairs to "help" mommy with the cooking. They enjoyed their quiet family breakfast when, halfway through, late-riser Oliver joined them, still half-asleep. With everything that had been going on with this family, they needed a good family breakfast.
Charlie sighed as he thought about it. Now things would be even worse.
Charlie and Jayla had been trying to have another child for four years now. They weren't as young as they used to be, so they knew it wasn't going to be easy, but they never thought it would take years to conceive. Their doctor finally told them it was useless without trying fertility treatment which, on only one paycheck, was too much for them to afford. Charlie asked his brother Oliver to move in and help with the bills, promising him his own bedroom and warm meals.
That was five months ago, and Jayla showed no signs of being pregnant any time soon. And now he was going to have to ask Oliver for another favor.
When Oliver came home, Charlie asked him to sit with him at the table.
"Sure, man. What's up?"
"I got laid off today."
"I wish I was."
Oliver was quiet for a minute. "What are you going to do?"
"Find another job, any job."
"That's not what I meant, I mean, how are you going to tell Jayla? I know you'll find another job, and I can handle the bills until then."
Charlie hung his head. He didn't want Oliver paying all the bills alone, he was a family sim, and he was going to provide for his family! But that was an argument for another day.
"I have to ask you a favor."
"Sure, brother. Anything."
"After dinner, take Colton out back and play with him, alright? Let us have the house to ourselves."
Dinner was painful. Jayla could tell something was up, but Charlie refused to talk. Colton talked a mile a minute about what had happened at school that day, saving them all from an awkward silence.
"Hey, buddy," Oliver said when Colton walked inside. "Your dad's been telling me you're working on your pitching arm. How about you take me outside and show me what you've got?"
Colton loved his uncle and always wanted to impress him. It was like living with a third parent, except the kind who always buys you stuff and lets you break the rules.
Jayla was tired of waiting. "What did you do?!" she asked.
"I didn't DO anything. Jayla, sweetheart. I was laid off today."
"You were WHAT?"
"They gave me a pink slip. The company is downsizing. Me and six other guys all got the boot today."
Jayla started crying. "What are we going to do? Colton was just about to get into private school."
"I'm sorry, hon. That's gonna have to wait."
Outside, Colton was getting tired.
"They're fighting, aren't they?"
"My mom and dad. They always make me play outside when they fight."
Oliver sighed. "They just need to talk some stuff out, buddy."
Colton looked very sad. "It's about the baby, isn't it? Mommy isn't having a baby so they're fighting."
"Hey, bud, you're too young to worry about this kind of thing. Come here, smile." Oliver reached forward and started tickling his nephew. "Let's go upstairs. You need to get ready for bed."
"What's going to happen to our lives? What about our...our treatments."
"I don't know, I'll have to wait and see. I'm going to find another job, I'll wash dishes if I have to. I want another baby as much as you do. Just trust me, okay? Everything is going to be fine."
Jayla walked out of the room. She couldn't stand talking about it anymore.
She went upstairs and folded down the sheets for bed. Her heart was pounding. She was afraid that something bad might happen, what if they lost the house? And she would be devastated if they had to stop their fertility treatments because they couldn't pay.
"MO-OOOM!" Colton called from his room.
"What is it sweetie? You should be going to sleep now."
"Were you and Daddy fighting?"
"No, sweetie. We weren't fighting. We just had to talk out some grown-up stuff."
"Is it about the baby?"
"No, it's not about the baby. Daddy is going to take a different job, because his old job couldn't afford to keep him anymore."
"Oh. So you aren't mad at eachother?"
"No, sweetie. Now get some sleep, okay? Everything is going to be just fine."
When she went to the bedroom, Charlie was already there. She changed into her pjs.
She sat on the edge of the bed. She didn't know what to say or how to say it. Jayla felt like she was on the edge, and everything she wanted was going to be taken away.
"Babe, I'm sorry."
Jayla looked stunned. "You didn't do anything wrong. I'm just, I'm afraid we're going to lose everything."
Charlie winked at her. "But aren't I all you need?"
He put his arm around her. "Yeah," she said. "You're most of what I need."