Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Chapter 1.6: Less Drama, More Romance?

   I never noticed because I play my Sims on my laptop, but when it’s on a PC, it seems that white items such as counters and plates all give off this really pretty white glow! That explains why a lot of legacy stories have that effect, it’s because of their computer =/ So that was pretty silly.
   Anyway, I’ve installed Showtime and it’s been fun. Unfortunately it’ll be a while before any Showtime elements are really introduced to the Summers story, but that’s okay. I might start a Famacy on the back burner if I ever want to take a break from Summers. The Frosts?
   Yeah, I have to take care of that too… ><


   It was after the teens’ birthday that Azalea finally decided she wanted to go meet her lousy father and give him a piece of her mind.

   “M-My daughter?” Hank stammered. Though he knew that Bryony had his children, he had never expected a direct confrontation with one of them so soon.
   “Yes, Dad,” replied Azalea, making sure she put as much scorn into the word ‘dad’ as possible. “I’m just here to tell you that my sisters all grew up perfectly fine thanks to Mom and no thanks to you. Also, Clementine’s joining the police just so she can meet you. Well, she wants to help protect the town too, but mostly, she just wants to see who her Dad really is.”
   Hank looked like he wasn’t sure whether to be excited about working with his little girl or terrified of ever seeing another one of his daughters.

   “And one last thing, Dad, before I go.” Azalea continued relentlessly as she grabbed her jacket from off the couch. “Don’t ever think about trying to make things right. We grew up never knowing or meeting our Dad and we all had to work, otherwise Mom would probably have collapsed from exhaustion. All the while, I heard you were still sleeping around with random women and enjoying your high-paying salary? You disgust me!”
   Without another look at Hank and waving goodbye to an amused Pauline, Azalea left the house. Unfortunately for Hank, Azalea hadn’t finished trying to make his life absolute Hell and she was already trying to think of the next thing she could do.

   That night, the girls were invited to Bella Bachelor’s party. Azalea walked over to Clementine with a big smile on her face, which immediately sent off alarms in Clementine’s head.
   “What is it, Azalea?” Clementine asked, crossing her arms. “What do you want?”
   “Nothing, sis,” Azalea answered cheerfully. “Say, you wanted to meet Dad, right?”
   Clementine’s eyes widened. She knew that Azalea had a mysterious ‘source’ in town that was quite reliable in the information he gave Azalea. “Did you find him?”
   “Pshaw, of course, what do you think?”

   “That’s so amazing!” exclaimed Clementine excitedly. She was finally able to meet her father! “So, did you go see him? What was he like? What’s his name? Is he really cool? How does he like his job at the police department? Did you tell him about me?”
   “Slow down, Clementine, sheesh! Yeah, he lives with that Pauline Wan lady and here’s the address.” Azalea handed Clementine a small note with a house address on it, which Clementine placed carefully into her purse. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the night socializing.”

   “Hey, Stanley,” Azalea greeted Stanley Bachelor, a boy she had a small crush on due to his cute looks. “Nice party you guys have.”
   “Oh, hi, Azalea,” Stanley replied, though he didn’t seem as enthusiastic as he normally was. “Uh, Azalea? I thought you didn’t like your dad…?”
   “Oh, you heard me telling Clementine about him?”
   The two had been friends in elementary and Stanley had often spent his recess or lunch hour listening to Azalea complain about the womanizing man that abandoned her and her family. He must have been reasonably shocked by Azalea’s friendly attitude to Clementine regarding Hank.
   “No worries, Stanley. It’s all part of a bigger picture.”

   “Well, okay, then,” Stanley replied doubtfully. “Just try not to let this take over your life, Azalea. You’re an awesome chef and I think if you really put your mind to it, you can be a total culinary legend in town. I think you’re letting your anger at your father im-“
   “Sorry, Stanley, but you appear to be boring me out of my mind,” Azalea interrupted. “I don’t recall asking for your opinion on what I do.”

   The party ended before Stanley and Azalea could say anything out of hand due to the teens’ curfew. Clementine rushed Azalea home, who was all too happy to be able to leave Stanley’s nagging.
   They were surprised to see Nyra already asleep at home! Turns out that although Nyra got the invitation to Bella’s, she hadn’t felt like going due to being completely exhausted after a day of fishing and selling them at the consignment store.

   Despite the fact that their rivalry was still ongoing, Clementine and Azalea liked to go to the gym and work out together during the weekends. They never exchanged much words and always tried to one-up the other; if Azalea managed to complete a workout faster than Clementine, then Clementine would try even harder the next day, and vice versa.
   “You two are always here together,” Sam Sekemoto had commented one Saturday morning when the Summers girls showed up in their athletic attire. “You guys must be great friends.”
   “Of course not,” snorted Azalea lightly as she took her normal place on the treadmill.
   “She’s the worst sister anyone could have,” Clementine replied in a light tone, greeting Sam with a handshake instead of just stalking past him like Azalea did.
   Fortunately for the both of them, thanks to their rivalry and dislike of losing to each other, they were improving at a much faster rate than they would have been if they exercised alone.

   As usual, Nyra decided to spend her time fishing, though this time she decided to go to the ocean instead of at a lake or pond. It was exciting to catch saltwater fish, which she had never seen before due to her experience fishing in freshwater. She was bringing in quite a lot of money for herself with all the fish she was catching lately and Bryony allowed her to keep the money for herself instead of having to use it for the family. Nyra however, liked to split the money between her and her sisters, who delighted in having extra cash for clothes or food.
   “I just need Frodo, my family, and my fishing rod,” Nyra sighed to herself. Besides, she had always been considered the ‘outcast’ of the family. Her sisters and mother made her feel welcome, of course, but there was always something that separated her from Azalea and Clementine when at school.
   Unlike Clementine and Azalea, Nyra didn’t have much friends, and she certainly didn’t have as interesting a personality as her sisters either. She didn’t have the exotic look Azalea had, nor the soft beautiful features Clementine had. She was sure that she would never find anyone, and that she would spend the rest of her life alone, but Nyra didn’t mind. She considered what she had her treasures, and would never trade them for the world.
   Until one day, she started seeing someone come by the ocean she would fish at. He was quite handsome and often smiled over at Nyra when he caught her looking at him. It was perhaps the first time Nyra ever felt like she wanted to talk to someone outside of her family but she was nervous. What if he turned her down? What if he knew that she was the daughter of the infamous Hank Goddard? Hiding her fears and her thoughts, she continued to gaze at the mysterious man from afar.

   Bryony focused single-mindedly on her work at the hospital. She desperately wanted to finish the house for her children and following generations before she retires and she had been hoping that Hank would come around and marry her until she finally became fed up with his ‘job’ as the Town Gigolo. She knew she was causing her daughters to worry about her, but she wanted them to be happy, and besides, Bryony was still young and able-bodied.
   Lately, she had been researching into ways to either return to or at least contact Patisseria. Now that she knew the harshness of the mainland, she was beginning to wonder whether it would be for the good of her and her family if she just moved them back to Patisseria. She had not mentioned any of this to her children, as they would no doubt be confused and shocked, and Bryony wasn’t even sure she had a way yet.
   She pushed these thoughts out of her mind on her way to the hospital, having been called in for an emergency. She still had a morning shift the next day, so she made sure to start brewing a small kettle of coffee in the kitchen.
   “Mom? Where are you going?” It was Azalea, who had come home a few hours earlier from the gym with Clementine. The two girls were sitting at the kitchen table working on homework.
   “Emergency at the hospital! There’s still some leftover cake from your parties in the fridge, so there’s no need to make dinner!” Bryony called at them over her shoulder. “Make sure that when Nyra gets home, you girls lock the door and get to sleep early.”
   After Bryony left, Clementine shot a worried look at Azalea, as she was indeed nervous about whether her mother would collapse one day from the stress and weariness of taking care of three teenagers by herself. Even if all three girls had their own separate jobs, it was still quite a lot of work for Bryony. But Azalea didn’t even look up from her equations, too busy trying to figure out her algebra homework.

   After school the next day, Nyra headed off to the library to do research for a history project, while Azalea hurried off to the criminal warehouse for her job as a delinquent. Having a free day that day from work, Clementine decided to head to the pool. It was a fine, warm day and she felt like it would be a waste to spend it cooped up in the gym or at home. She swam several laps around the pool and after around 30 minutes, emerged from the pool to take a quick break and a drink of water.
   “Uh, excuse me?”
   Clementine looked up from her bag. Standing before her rather nervously was Jamal Keaton, a boy that Clementine had several classes with at school. She wondered briefly what he wanted before she noticed a bottle of apple juice clutched in his hand.
   “T-This is for you,” Jamal stammered as he handed Clementine the bottle, who took it after a moment’s hesitation. She didn’t open it however and just thanked Jamal politely for his kindness.

   “Also, Clementine, I was thinking. You know how there’s going to be a formal dance this week, right?”
  “Yeah, actually. What about it?”
  “Well, have you decided who you’re going to go with?”
  Clementine thought for several seconds. She had never really thought about going to the dance with a date, and she had assumed that she would just spend the night dancing with her sisters or her friend Bella.
  “I was thinking of maybe just going with my sisters and some friends,” Clementine replied truthfully.
  Jamal’s face lit up happily. “Clementine, would you m-maybe consider g-going with me?”
  He was stammering from sheer nervousness and Clementine felt a little bad for him. Jamal was a sweet kid and didn’t talk much at school, because he was shy about the fact he tended to stammer and stutter when nervous. It must have taken a lot of courage for him to approach Clementine outside of school when he would barely answer her whenever she asked him a question during class.

   ‘Well, it’ll certainly be much better than spending the dance with my sisters.’ Clementine thought to herself.
   She smiled at Jamal and replied cheerfully. “Sure thing, Jamal! I’ll go with you to the dance.”
   Jamal’s smile widened and he said excitedly, “T-Thank you so much, C-Clementine! I-I’ll pick you up a-around 7:00 then!” Waving a goodbye, Jamal hurried home, no doubt to share the good news with his family.
   Having exercised enough and wanting to return home for some cake and homework, Clementine changed back into her normal clothes and shouldered her workout bag. She reached into one of the pockets for a bottle of water before remembering the bottle of apple juice the Jamal had bought for her.
   She opened up the bottle and gulped it down thirstily, her body excited at the sudden moisture after its workout.
   For some reason, the apple juice tasted much sweeter than normal.

   Having been given the next day off by her boss after seeing her nearly pass out at work that Monday, Bryony decided to spend the night relaxing and reliving stress. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, she pulled faces at herself, wiggled her tongue, and generally had a great time. It was certainly relaxing being able to spend some time as herself again without having to worry about financial issues, Hank, or her children.
   Speaking of her children…
   “Mom, I want to shower,” Nyra stood impatiently by the shower, tapping her foot as she held her pajamas and towel to her chest.
   “Go ahead, hon,” Bryony replied without even looking away from her reflection. “I’m not even looking.”
   It finally took almost twenty minutes of persuasion on both Nyra and Clementine’s (who had entered the bathroom upon hearing the ruckus) part before Bryony finally agreed to leave. Bryony headed off to play with Thunder while Nyra finished her shower, prepared her books for the next day, and fell asleep almost as soon as her head hit the pillow.
   Meanwhile, Clementine, who was busy cleaning the shower, looked up when Azalea entered the bathroom in order to remove her makeup.

   “Jamal Keaton asked me to the dance this week, just so you know.” Clementine spoke, wanting to break the silence.
   “Oh? Congratulations then,” Azalea replied. “Is Jamal that kid in your biology class? The one who can’t speak very well?”
   “He’s just really shy,” Clementine said testily, not particularly liking the way Azalea worded the last sentence. “Kind of like Nyra.”
   “At least Nyra can make a sentence without repeating a syllable five times,” Azalea snorted, using a cotton ball and some makeup remover to wipe the mascara and eyeliner off her eyes.
   Clementine took several deep breaths to calm herself. She wouldn’t rise to Azalea’s bait. She would make sure that she stayed calm and collected no matter how hard Azalea tried to provoke her into a fight. Besides, Azalea did give Clementine the address to Hank’s house (a house that Clementine had yet to work up the courage to even walk by) and so she did owe her that at least.
   “Anyway, Azalea, I was wondering if you wanted to put this petty feud behind us already? I mean, I don’t even remember why we started fighting in the first place, unless it’s because I want to be a cop and you want to be a criminal. I mean, that’s still pretty bad, but I think if we go out and watch a movie or something together, we could end up pretty good friends.”

   “I’m not even going to lie, Clementine, that sounds dumb.” Azalea frowned at Clementine’s suggestion; she wasn’t interested in the slightest about making up with her sister if Clementine still wanted to pursue a career as a police just in order to meet and befriend Hank.
   But upon seeing the slightly upset expression on Clementine’s face, Azalea sighed. It looks like Clementine honestly wanted to be friends with Azalea; well, if she wants to be on good terms with the man who not only slept around in front of their mother but never even held one of his daughters, Clementine must have inherited Bryony’s overly friendly genes.
   “Fine, Clementine. Let’s go hang out this weekend.”
   Clementine’s face lit up and she bid Azalea a quick goodnight. Now that Clementine would be taking a date to the dance, Azalea decided that maybe she should also try and bring a date. She didn’t feel sorry at all for leaving Nyra alone without anyone, as she was much too busy already deciding in her head how she would approach Stanley…