tw: toxic parental expectations, death of a sibling, survivors guilt, alcoholism, poor grief management.
[name_m]Harold[/name_m] ‘Ari’ [name_u]Wyatt[/name_u] [name_m]Sims[/name_m] 
is Shay’s boyfriend, father to [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f], and friend to [name_f]Lizzy[/name_f]. Pictured here trying to catch up on some reading for school on his way to his job as a dishwasher. He holds himself to an extremely high standard and has ever since he was a kid. His older brother is extremely talented in many aspects and [name_u]Ari[/name_u] always found himself falling short in comparison.
Up until high school he was often running himself ragged trying catch up to the impossible standard his parents set. Until he met [name_u]Shay[/name_u], she was a transplant to the area and joined in the middle of the school year so she was often isolated, much like [name_u]Ari[/name_u] himself had felt. They hit it off nearly instantly when he offered to sit with her at lunch and the rest is history. She helped him to learn to relax and not burn so much of the candle at both ends.
He was becoming more and more comfortable with his status as the second best [name_m]Sims[/name_m] son, then his brother was suddenly killed in a mugging gone wrong. His family was devastated, his mother turned to drinking to cope with the loss and often times her drinking removed her verbal filter, saying things that she shouldn’t became a common occurrence in the household. One night after dinner, after his father had retreated to his den for the night to stay up reading about crime statistics, it was just [name_u]Ari[/name_u] and his mother. She looked up at him from across the table, sipping her wine, and sneered “It should’ve been you…”
While she would later claim that she didn’t remember saying that, the sentence stayed with [name_u]Ari[/name_u] from then on. He became obsessed with proving his parents wrong, falling back into old habits of killing himself for academic praise. Constantly falling just short, it made him begin to think that she was right. After four years of torture he managed to graduate as valedictorian with a full ride offered to him for college. All his parents had to say was “When are you moving out?”
He was quick to ask [name_u]Shay[/name_u] to get an apartment with him and the two were moved in nearly five months before the semester even started, just to get away from his parents.
Finding out that his scholarship had been lost was painful, especially due to how little of his GPA he had lost that made him lose it. When [name_u]Shay[/name_u] came home to talk to him he was actually in the process of pouring himself a drink, a rarity in his life since he hated seeing his mother spend so many days drunk as a skunk. He could hardly focus while she tried to talk to him, and when she said that she was pregnant he couldn’t breathe. Desperate for fresh air and some space to think was what drove him to storm out as he did, though as soon as he had gotten into a taxi he started to regret his actions. [name_u]Ari[/name_u] was sure that [name_u]Shay[/name_u] would leave him for what he had done and went to a bar to drown out his sorrows for the first time in practically his entire life. While drinking at the bar he ended up spilling his guts out to the bartender, who ended up telling him to get his act together and go make things right with [name_u]Shay[/name_u]. His inebriated state had partially contributed to why he had been so tearful upon coming home, he was usually not such an emotional person.
Despite not ever asking the bartender’s name, [name_u]Ari[/name_u] feels as though he owes a debt of gratitude to them, though he unfortunately can’t remember what bar he had gone to and therefore can’t express that.
After things were smoothed over between him and [name_u]Shay[/name_u], he started to feel very excited for fatherhood, between panicked, sleepless nights worrying how they would provide for the child. He spent a great deal of time talking to their unborn child throughout Shay’s pregnancy, promising that their life out be nothing like his own upbringing.
The couple’s choice to have [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f] at home was both influenced by their desire for it to be intimate and relaxed, as well as finances considering they were barely keeping themselves afloat after [name_u]Shay[/name_u] had quit her job. They had planned for their baby to be delivered by a student midwife who would provide her services for a discount, until [name_u]Shay[/name_u] had stood up from the bed to make her way to the pool when she screamed and realized there was no time. [name_u]Ari[/name_u] managed to put his own fears aside and be strong for his girlfriend as he delivered their child. Though as she was so far into labor there was little he had to do but catch baby [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f] as she came out. [name_u]Ari[/name_u] nervously asked [name_u]Shay[/name_u] if she wanted to look and find out if they had just welcomed a boy or a girl, still shaken she declined and asked him to look and tell her instead. Upon finding out they now had a daughter [name_u]Ari[/name_u] wept tears of joy. He wrapped the baby in a pillowcase that he pulled form a nearby basket of clean laundry and the couple laid together in the bed as they waited for the midwife to arrive and help with the post-delivery care of both [name_u]Shay[/name_u] and [name_f]Rosemary[/name_f], taking in their first moments as a family of three.
Their baby girl’s middle name is actually in honor of her late uncle, [name_u]Andy[/name_u], using the first syllable of his name as inspiration for the short and sweet middle. Though it’s sort of an unspoken namesake since [name_u]Ari[/name_u] still doesn’t like talking about his family. In fact, he hasn’t spoken to his parents since he moved out for college and they have no idea that he’s now a father, he intends to keep it that way. He’s perfectly happy with his own family now.