Eight Years Previously

Regina insisted that she really, really had to go, but the strength of the statement was undercut by the fact that she didn’t then turn around and leave; rather, she stood on tip-toes and kissed Enzo again. When she pulled away, her hands stayed on his chest, tracing the lines of his shirt.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night, right?” she asked.

“Yes, definitely.”

Already, Enzo knew he wouldn’t sleep all night and would spend his time in a happy haze until he could see her again.

“I can’t wait,” she said sweetly.

Her phone buzzed in her pocket, though before answering, she flung her arms around him and gave him the last kiss of the night. He wound his own arms around her and enjoyed the feel of holding her. It was odd to hold someone this tightly, as it was something he had never tried before. He started to realise why people did get close to each other. He didn’t want the closeness to end, but eventually Gina had to answer her phone.

“Yeah, yeah, Marta, I’m coming,” she said, rolling her eyes in Enzo’s direction as if to say: Adults, right?

Enzo grinned and waved when she walked off. She walked with a little spring in her step and he could hear her happy laughter from a distance. It wasn’t the first time that he thought to himself how alive she was.

He waited until she was out of his view around the corner, then he walked home on light feet with a smile on his face. His clothes and hair still smelled like Regina’s perfume and there was a ghost of her kiss on his lips.

The walk home was beautiful, or maybe it was that everything was beautiful. A light breeze played with his hair and apart from a few scattered smears of clouds above, the stars were visible and blinking at him. It should have been chilly by now, but he didn’t feel the cold.

Or at least he didn’t, until the house came into view. This late, he would expect to find the house dark and quiet, but the ground floor windows were lit up and he paused on the lawn across from the mansion.

He briefly considered sneaking in through the backdoor, but then immediately dismissed it. It was locked, and even if he had learnt to pick locks, he couldn’t turn off the alarm system—his dad liked to brag that you couldn’t get past it at all. No, he had to go in the front door and hope he wouldn’t be noticed.

Enzo slowed his steps and crept towards the house. Instead of walking on the sidewalk, he crept alongside the hedges, hoping that they would shield him from the revealing squares of light that fell on the lawn. He felt a spike of hope at seeing that no light spilled through the glass panes of the front door. That meant the light was on in one of the salons and hopefully that meant that it was only his mother sitting up late with a book.

That seemed to be the case for a fraction of a second. The entryway was dark and quiet, though as soon as he closed the door behind him, all relief fled.

A light came on, nearly blinding after the long walk in darkness. His eyes adjusted slowly, painfully, and then his father’s form came into view. Enzo shrank back instinctively from the blue eyes that were so like his own.

“Where in heaven’s name have you been?” his father asked. His voice wasn’t raised. He never raised his voice, even when he was angry.

Enzo didn’t answer. His mind emptied of everything but the fact that he was dressed abominably, his hair was a mess, and a cloud of sweet perfume hung around him.


“I—” he tried, but his voice broke. “Father, I…”

“What’s going on?”

To Enzo’s horror, his entire family came out. His mother with her long hair and that vacant, complacent look, plodded down the stairs. Soon Rosalia and Amadeo followed. Lia blinked sleep out of her eyes and looked at him.

“Why are you wearing that?” she asked.

“Rosalia,” their mother said. “Not now.”

“No, let him answer,” the elder Vincente Cavalcante said. “I would like to hear the explanation for him being out at this hour, dressed like that. Well, Vincente?”

Enzo’s mouth was completely dry. It was hard to believe he had ever kissed a beautiful girl and walked home under the stars with a smile on his face.

“Answer me now, Vincente, or you will regret it.”

“I was out,” he said. “Seeing… a friend.”

“Mr. Lorenzo Sartore, I presume.”

“Uh, yes.”

Did I really just lie to my father?

His dad walked over, each footstep like a clap of thunder in the quiet. Even though Enzo had grown a lot in the past year and was nearly as tall as him, he still felt small.

“Tell me, Vincente,” he said. “When did Mr. Sartore start to wear cheap perfume?”

Gina’s scent suddenly hit Enzo’s nostrils strongly. He strangled an angry response to hearing him describe the perfume as cheap, because he didn’t think that was at all the case. Nothing about Gina was cheap… but saying that would make it worse. Way worse.

“It wasn’t Lorenzo,” he said finally. Deciding that honesty was the best policy. “It was a girl.”


His attention was drawn to his mother at her small sound of surprise. She cocked her head and looked at him with a curious smile.

“Do you have a girlfriend, Vincente?” she asked.

“Of course he doesn’t,” his father replied tersely. “If he did, we would know of her and we would know of her family. Who is the girl?”

“Maybe Rosalia and Amadeo should head off to bed,” his mother said carefully. “I don’t think—”

“No, they’ll stay here. Who is the girl?”

“Her name is… is…”

Stop stammering and speak up.”

“Regina Mancini,” he said.

He had hoped his dad wouldn’t recognise the last name, or at least not connect it with the gang from Monte Vista, but his eyes widened and his nostrils flared. That was always a bad sign.

“Mancini.” He said the name in a way that made it sound like a curse. “So, you’re joining a gang?”

“N-no, I was only seeing her. She’s nice and…”

“Pack your things and leave.”

Enzo’s breath caught in his throat and his vision swam. Gasps escaped his family.

“But—” he heard himself say.

“No!” Lia’s voice rang out, echoing against the white marble in the hall. “Please don’t make Vinny leave.”

“Stay quiet, Rosalia.”



Amadeo rushed forward and put an arm around their little sister. He stroked her shoulder and shushed her, muttering comforting words.

“You heard me,” his dad said. “If this girl is so nice, go join her gang. You’re no longer welcome here.”

“Vincente…” Now his mother spoke up. “He’s just a boy…”

“He’s nearly eighteen, so he can make his way alone. Go.”

“It’s not like that,” Enzo said, wincing at how whiny he sounded. “I’m not a criminal. I was just hanging out with her, and the breaking in wasn’t—” He winced at his own idiocy. Why did I say that?

“Breaking in? So the rumours I heard of your breaking and entering were true. How lovely.”

”I won’t see her ever again, I promise,” Enzo said. “And I’ll never do it again, none of it. I promise.”

For a full, terrifying minute, his father was quiet. He paced back and forth, looked him up and down as though he were a piece of chattel he considered the value of. At last, he said in a voice that was dangerously low:

“I don’t need a disobedient, criminal son. How will I explain these kinds of misdeeds to our family? To our acquaintances?”

“Th-they don’t… have to know.”

He scoffed. “They will know, Vincente, and because of what you’ve done, everyone in our family will suffer. Your mother and I, your siblings. What do you think this will do to our reputation?”

“I’m sorry.”

“Sorry will never be enough to undo the damage you’ve done. Swear that you’ll cut contact with the girl.”

“I will.”

I’m sorry, Gina.

“You’ll be grounded for the next three months, and after this I want to see you take extra care with your work. Understood?”

“Yes, father.”

“Very well. Go back to your room.”

He took a few heavy steps, past his siblings and mother towards the stairs. Their eyes burnt at the back of his neck. Then his father’s voice stopped him:

“And next time I see you, you had better dress properly.”

Enzo had thought that was the end of it. The next night, he lay on his bed and missed her, but with his father’s words in mind, he knew it was for the best. He was terrified what would happen once people learnt of what he had done.

There would be a function soon, and he didn’t know what to expect. Perhaps it would be like when the oldest Aiello boy left home in disgrace. He was disinherited and kicked out, and after that everyone flocked to the Aiello family. They said it was to comfort them, but Enzo could tell they were smug. They enjoyed the drama.

With grim thoughts of social ostracising and humiliation swirling in his head, he nearly drifted off to sleep until his father came to his room.

“Let’s go, son.”

Enzo sat up. “Where?”

“You said you had agreed to meet with the girl tonight, isn’t that right?”

“B-but you said…”

“You made an agreement and now you must keep it. You’ll go meet with the girl and tell her that you want nothing more to do with her and her kind. Come on.”

His father forced him to change into the stiffest, most uncomfortable clothes he owned and drove him to the town centre to see Gina. Enzo deliberately avoided looking at her face, because he didn’t want to see her reaction to what he was about to say. Of course, the pain in her voice was clear enough.

Regardless, he did as he was told. He tried to say the things he imagined his father would want him to say and he tried to look like him, to stand tall and not let it show that he felt worse with every word that came out of his mouth. He only stumbled for one moment, when she shouted with a voice that sounded close to tears:

“You can’t even look at me, can you? Go on! The least you can do while dumping me is fucking look at me.”

He didn’t think anything could hurt this badly. She was so alive and pretty and wonderful, and he could hear her heart breaking.

“Gina, p-please…” he said, unable to bear it for much longer.

“Enzo, why?”

He looked at her then, his heart doing a painful lurch in his chest. He had never met anyone whose face was so open, whose eyes betrayed so much. And it wasn’t just her eyes—all corners of her face were etched with misery. But he thought of how close he had been to being kicked out of his home, to losing everything, and he steeled himself.

He said casually: “Like I said—I was bored.”

“You fucking asshole,” she said, snorting derisively.

He couldn’t bear to look at her anymore, so he spun and walked away. Before he really had time to sigh in relief that it was over, her voice raised over the empty square, and she started screaming curses at him. She didn’t stop, even when he got into the car and shrank into the seat.

“What a charming girl,” his father said next to him, glancing out with disdain. He motioned for the driver to pull away and take them home.

“It’s just because she’s hurt.”

Enzo couldn’t help but defend her, but he lowered his head at his father’s glare.

“I’m not going to let anyone talk to my son like that, especially not a girl like her.”

He took out his phone to make a call and Enzo froze when he understood he was talking with the police. He listened in horror while his father reported Regina for harassment. He wanted to tell him not to do it, but the look his father sent him made it very clear that he would be better off not talking.

Author’s notes: At last! The new chapter is here 🙂 As some of you know, I eh… had a bit of a hangover for a day (this is what you get for partying with programmers) and I had to delay. HOWEVER! It’s finally here. This is officially the start of part three of gen 2. Part three is a short one, and it’s a flashback part, which I’m pretty excited about. This chapter might be a little lacklustre, though I promise the next ones are more meaty. At least we finally know what happened that fateful night eight years ago 🙂 And we have a proper introduction to Enzo’s dad, who’s a real peach (sarcasm may occur).

Anyway, that’s all from me for now. I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and I’ll see you for the next one in the new year 🙂 Happy holidays and happy new year to all you guys! 🙂



Jowita · December 23, 2018 at 10:16 am

Aw, poor Enzo. His dad really is horrible and it hurt seeing him like that, all helpless. He almost got kicked out for hanging out with Gina, my goodness! And Gina understood none of it. I take it he’s describing the story to her in the present now. She’ll finally know what really happened. And she thought it was him being an asshole for such a long time…

    NotJustaBook · December 23, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I feel really bad for him, too 🙁 Especially ’cause I’m doing it to him, lol. Poor boy! Exactly, rather than just pictures of them talking with some flashback pictures, I figured we’d go back in time a bit and spend some more time with their teenaged selves 🙂 Gina has a story to tell from her teenage years, too!
    Yup, she’s been thinking it was him the whole time. Poor guy even apologised even though it’s not really his fault…

twinsimskeletons · December 23, 2018 at 1:21 pm

My poor boy :C His dad suuuucks. The whole lifestyle sucks. I wonder, though, how it goes from this to his family splitting apart. I’m eager to find out.
I loved this look into Enzo’s head and past, as always. He’s such a wonderful character! And such a sharp contrast to his father, too, sure and stern as he is. I’m so glad Enzo learned kindness elsewhere!
One thing that always gets me is how distinctive Amadeo’s face is. The family looks like each other, but… idk, i feel like I’ve never seen a sim with quite his face shape? I can’t put my finger on what it is, though.

    NotJustaBook · December 23, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    I knoooow :'( He has it so rough, the poor darling. I’m so glad you like my rich boy <3 Ha, ha, I've come to care so much for him 🙂 You're right, he's very different from his dad. He's a sweetheart 🙂 I'll probably get into why he turned out different later.
    Oh, I've never thought too much of that, but cool 😀 I think generally most of the family (apart from Georgette) are edits of Enzo, lol 😛 So they all look quite alike, but each got their own features (I hope).

audreyfld · December 23, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Oh my. So a couple of things….I thought Enzo was Ofer, maybe in his early 20s. I didn’t realize he was only 17. Is Gina the same age? She seems awfully grown up for someone so young. My thought is that she might be older than him by a few years then. I thought their history was when they were about 16 or 17. Very interesting twist – for me anyway. It’s probsbly because I didn’t read the first gen. Dang… I need to finish reading it.

So….after all of that, the chapter was a amazing…and the evil twist at the end leaves us wanting more. He still cares for her. I would suspect she won’t go to jail, because of – connections – but are his connections just as powerful to try and see to it she does….and will this start a war between their two families?

I want more! Lol.

    NotJustaBook · December 23, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Don’t worry, Audrey, I don’t think you’ve missed anything in my first gen. This is generally stand-alone. Gina is barely mentioned in gen 1 and Enzo isn’t at all. Basically: Since this is a flashback around the same time as the first five chapters, Enzo is 17 (close to 18 – this is summer, his birthday is in the autumn) and Gina is 16. In the present day chapters (6-21), Gina is 24, Enzo 25 🙂 Seriously, you missed nothing in gen 1 – Gina is a toddler all the way through it (she was 3 when it ended) 😛 I have an age chart in my extras if you get in doubt about anyones’ ages <3

    I'm glad you liked it, though <3 But yeah, of course she didn't go off to jail because of any of this - it did, however, leave her kind of broken-hearted.

    So glad you want more. I'm excited to post the rest of the flashback section!

      audreyfld · December 23, 2018 at 3:03 pm

      How did i miss that this was a flashback! No wonder I was surprised when he said he was 17….now it all makes perfect sense! Ugh…..my apologies….so happy to see the flashback and from his perspective.

        NotJustaBook · December 23, 2018 at 3:08 pm

        Totally understandable that you missed it! I should have moved it to be by the text. It is now 🙂 My mistake!

      audreyfld · December 23, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Okay….it does say at the beginning…eight years previously…..and I totally missed it looking at the beautiful pictures.

        NotJustaBook · December 23, 2018 at 3:09 pm

        He, he, yeah, like I said – my mistake 🙂 I moved it down and made it more obvious. Sorry for the confusion it caused, Audrey <3

          audreyfld · December 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

          No worries!

PixelatedDreamz · December 29, 2018 at 10:23 pm

HI! I just read all the summaries or recaps and then came here! I am new to wordpress and was directed to you!

I feel so bad for Enzo and Regina. It really is a Romeo and Juliet story between these two, isn’t it?
I really hope the two of them can figure things out. They sound like they are meant to be together.

Also, I am curious as to why Enzo believes his mother left his father because of him. I presume its because he ruined their reputation by hanging out with Regina, or was it just the way his father acted that finally pushed his mother over the edge? Hmm …

Looking forward to becoming a new, consistent reader of yours! Well done! 🙂

    NotJustaBook · December 29, 2018 at 11:13 pm

    Hey there! 😀 It’s great to know that those recaps are useful. It’s awesome to have you and welcome to WordPress! 🙂

    It really is quite the Romeo and Juliet story they’ve got going on. They just have a little bit more to go through before they can be together 😉

    Enzo’s family life is so messed up, ha, ha 😀 We’ll learn all about it later 🙂

    Thank you so much for being here and for reading along. I hope you’ll enjoy the story from here on out 🙂

      PixelatedDreamz · December 30, 2018 at 1:55 am

      Yes! The recaps were also really well done, I meant to mention that. It was super helpful. As much as I would like to read through everything, I don’t really have the time, so the effort is appreciated!

        NotJustaBook · December 30, 2018 at 7:01 am

        That’s understandable! 🙂 Can’t always have time to read all of it, but that’s why the recaps are there, after all 🙂 So glad they came in handy!

Kymber · January 5, 2019 at 6:18 pm

Oh, my! So, this is what happened to Enzo that night. I feel so sorry for him and what he had to do. I wonder how all this contributed to his mom leaving? What a sucky life!

    NotJustaBook · January 5, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Poor Enzo really has a messed up, depressing family life, I agree 🙁 We’ll see in a couple of weeks what led to his mum eventually leaving. I can’t wait to share it! Thank you for reading, Kym <3

sempreviva · January 27, 2019 at 11:45 am

I had a hunch when I saw the title that this chapter would deal with that heartbreaking night… poor Enzo. His dad is really horrible! It’s amazing how he manages to terrify his own son in such a calm calculating way. He probably knows exactly what’s he’s doing to him!
Now I love Enzo even more <3 Such a sensitive, frightened sweetheart 💕
I'm very looking forward to learning his journey throughout those lost years!
I loved this chapter, I'm so happy to be catching up at last! <3 <3

    NotJustaBook · January 27, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Yup, it was a pretty dad night for our poor boy. 🙁 His dad really is a piece of work. No awards for parenting for him.
    Poor Enzo really is a sweetheart. Can’t wait for you to learn more about his story!
    Thank you for reading along and for your sweet comment. Great to have you back! 😉 <3

Lila Remonn · May 3, 2019 at 12:04 pm

I can really feel the sweet lightheartedness of their relationship shining through in the first few paragraphs, and that me smile, even though I can totally not relate to the whole teenage first love thingy majigy!
Ugh, Enzo’s father is a right asshole, I want to punch him. Just flippantly trying to disown your child like that — he shouldn’t be a father at all. Can present day Gina go kick his ass, please? He’s lucky his own children didn’t turn out as horribly as he did.
Being forced to break it off with Gina in such a callous way must have tortured our poor boy all these years 🙁 I’m glad she is now learning the truth.

    NotJustaBook · May 3, 2019 at 6:26 pm

    I totally can’t relate to first teenage love at all. :’) All my teenage crushes were one-sided and the ones that weren’t ended in nothing because of anxiety. No idea if this is realistically teenage-y. But I’m so glad you enjoy the dynamic. <3
    He's a pretty terrible excuse for a father, you're right. 🙁 You're right it's lucky his children aren't assholes as well. They could have easily turned out like him.
    Yeah, poor Enzo is really marked by it, but yeah - they're clearing the air at last. 🙂
    Thanks for reading and for the comment, Lila. <3

amyqueen · September 12, 2019 at 4:58 am

Ahh, we finally get to see Enzo’s perspective on how it all went down all those years ago. Man, Enzo’s dad is one intimidating man. (side note: his mother looked quite pretty here~)
Good thing Gina’s family has connections with the cops, otherwise that whole harassment phone call could’ve gone worse. Poor Enzo, just trying to please his father who seems like the kind to never be satisfied. I’m wondering how things spiral from here because the situation with Gina appeared to be resolved fairly quickly (and heartbreakingly). Luckily I don’t have to wait, hehe. I’m looking forward to these flashback chapters 🙂

    NotJustaBook · September 12, 2019 at 8:22 pm

    Yesss. 😀 I was really excited to show how things actually happened. Enzo’s dad is kind of horrible, ha, ha. 😀
    It really could have. 🙁 And yeah, poor Enzo is just trying to be a good son, but there’s no pleasing this guy.
    That’s the advantage of being fashionably late. 😉 <3
    Thank you for reading, Amy. <3

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