Over the following weeks the police call him in over and again, asking him the same questions, as though they expect to get some new facts from him, or his story to change.
"You said she moved in with you when the bank foreclosed on her house," Officer Bradley says, his tone harsh and accusing, "But there was never any foreclosure. She was renting that house."
"That's what she told me," Heath says, "I didn't actually check up on it."
"So, she lied to you?"
"No! I mean, yeah, I guess," he answers, confused. Did she really want to live with him so badly that she'd pretend the bank was evicting her?
"And how did you feel when she told you she was pregnant?"
Heath sighs, knowing what the cop is getting at. "I would never hurt her," he says, breaking down, "I would never do that."
Ashlynn is missing, and the police want to blame him for it, but Heath can't let the constant worry drag him down. He needs to work, to make money to build a room for Shasta, and a nursery for when Ashlynn gets back. He won't even think 'if', insisting to himself that somehow, she and their baby will come home safe.
Shasta calls for her mother constantly, and Heath promises her she'll be home soon, doing his best to stay positive around the toddler.
He gets a call from the police right after one of his gigs. They've found Ashlynn, and he needs to come to the hospital right away. She's home, he tells himself as he rushes to the hospital, it's finally over, and everything will be all right. But even while he's telling himself that, he knows from the tone of the phone call that something terrible has happened, and nothing is going to be all right.
Police and doctors swarm around him as soon as he enters the lobby, telling him things he can't believe, can't bear to hear. Murder-suicide, they tell him, her ex-husband took her, kept her hostage for weeks and then finally set his house on fire. He shot himself, and was found dead on the scene. Ashlynn was unconscious, nearly dead from smoke inhalation, and unrevivable. They performed a C section on her to save the baby, but they were unable to save her.
They give him his son, ask him what name to put on the birth certificate. "Elliot," he whispers, fulfilling at least that wish for Ashlynn. That name was on the top of the list of names she was considering.
By the time they are ready to release him and his newborn son back out to the world, it's near dawn and Heath is exhausted, to worn out to feel anything. "Ashlynn is gone," he says to himself, but they're just words. He puts Elliot into his crib and drops down into his own bed.
It's not until the morning that it really hits him, he's never going see her again, talk to her or touch her. She's gone, forever. He hadn't even been sure he loved her really, or if she had loved him, but her death left a gaping hole in his life, one he's not sure he can ever fill.
Oddly enough, the morning after her mother's death, Shasta doesn't call for her, doesn't cry when Heath approaches her crib. "Heaf," she says with her toddler lisp, lifting her arms to him, asking to be let out.
"How am I going to do this without you?" he asks, breaking down into sobs.
The show must go on, despite his mourning.
His sad story enthralls the audience. It gives his sappy romantic lyrics a depth they never had before.
Even his sing-o-grams are tinged with sorrow. This assignment was to sing a congratulatory song for the birth of this young man's first child. Heath breaks down as h thinks about his own son, and how he'll never know his mother.
Shasta grows quickly, and Heath can no longer put off expanding the house. The three of them can't go on sleeping together in the same room. And Shasta won't fit into her crib any more, she needs a proper bed.
He didn't have as much money saved as he'd like, but Heath got enough together to build separate bedroom for himself and Shasta, as well as adding a deck to the back of the house. Elliot still sleeps out the living room, but Heath hopes to have a proper bedroom for him built by the time he's starting school.
Heath works constantly, playing for tips in the park when he doesn't have gigs or sing-o-grams to deliver. He needs the money, but more, performing both keeps him distracted from his sorrow and keeps Ashlynn constantly alive in his thoughts. In death, she's become his muse, and his deep felt emotions as he sings draws the female audience like never before.
"You're really talented," one his new fans approaches him when he takes a break, "And you're really cute, too. My name is Pearl, what's yours?"
She's spectacularly beautiful, and normally Heath would be all over this opportunity.
But he's just not ready for that yet, and tells her about his Ashlynn and how he lost her.
"Oh, you poor thing," she sighs, even more attracted to him than she was before, "I wish I could do something to make you feel better," she purrs suggestively,
That night, Heath has his first gig in the city, at Lavender Gardens. He had thought this would be a big step up for him, but there's was no audience and the proprietor, dressed like he was from Barnacle Bay, played tag with some local kid on the stage during his performance. Heath decides he'd be better off just sticking to his gigs at the coffeehouse.
Disappointed in his show, Heath doesn't head home right away, instead hitting one of the city's many nightclubs for a drink. Of course, she's there, and makes a beeline for him as soon as he walks in.
"I'm only going to be in town for one more night," she tells him, "And I really think you could use a little female attention, if you get me. Let me take care of you, I promise, you won't regret it."
What he wouldn't give to be finally healed of this wound, to be able to just move on and be as carefree as he was before...He'll never get there if he doesn't try, he decides, and accepts Pearl's invitation up to her hotel room, believing her promise that she'll make him feel better.
It's not like he's cheating on Ashlynn, he tells himself when he joins Pearl in the hot tub. And it's not like she'd expect him to stay celibate forever. Despite his attempts at reassuring himself that this was a perfectly acceptable course of action, when he slips out of the hotel at some ridiculously late hour, he feels dirty in way he's never felt before, and far worse about himself and his situation than when he came in.
It's nearly dawn when he finally gets home, the babysitter is passed out on the couch and Elliot is awake, crying to be fed and have his diaper changed. Shasta is in bed, and Heath can only hope she got her homework done and had a meal before bedtime.
Pearl Yang was brought over from the new Sunlit Tides neighborhood. She is one really well made Sim.
When Heath had the mourning moodlet, he couldn't get gigs anywhere but in parks, even though he's level 5 and eligible for coffeehouses and live show venues. Even the Little Lennon Coffeehouse told him he wasn't experienced enough for them, even though he'd played there 3 times already. And, as soon as the moodlet expired, he got a gig at a live show venue.
And seriously, people playing tag on stage during a performance...wtf EA!