Cari was on the phone when I came upstairs. I could hear her through the door. From the way she was talking, I’m pretty sure it was a boy. I don’t think she wanted to be disturbed. She was complaining about how her life was coming to an end with Mamma getting a ‘new dude’ and with me graduating and abandoning the family.
“Thanks Cari,” I muttered under my breath. Such a drama queen!
Andi was a little harder to find. She wasn’t in her room. She really had left the house. I decided to borrow the family car and drive around a little to see if she was in the neighborhood. After fifteen minutes, I still couldn’t find her and I tried her cell phone. She didn’t answer, but I decided to try the chip device Mamma used when she wanted to track us down. After all, I was her big sister.
I tracked the phone to the local park behind our home. I walked down the hill. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I jumped behind some pine trees. Andi was with some guy! And they were kissing.
“I love you, sweetie,” he was saying after they came up for air.
Sweetie! I made fists and I was ready to pulverize the guy. Who did he think he was necking with my little sister so late at night?
“I know, Vincent-James₁,” Andi replied. “I love you too.”
They kissed some more while I fumed and tried to decide the best way to break up their little love fest.
“I really want to meet your family, Andromeda, instead of sneaking around like this. They deserve to know,” the punk answered.
I was about to step out from behind the tree when I decided to wait to hear what Andi had to say.
“I know, VJ,” Andi waved her arms. “I know. I want you to meet them too. But it’s just not a good time. I mean, Cari and I fight every day. I doubt you want to meet her. And Mamma…well, she just told us she’s got some new guy. I mean, that’s why I’m down here with you. I’m not ready for a new father…”
I sighed. I knew what she meant.
“And Kass… well, she’s going to be so busy… getting ready for college and all. I don’t think she cares what happens to me anymore.”
“Don’t say that, I’m sure she cares,” VJ argued gently, taking my sister’s hand.
“I don’t know,” Andi said as she started crying. “Everything’s changing and I don’t like it.”
VJ pulled her into a hug.
My face fell. Andi thought I didn’t care about her? I decided to leave them alone.
Everything was changing and I didn’t like it either. I couldn’t believe my dad showed up at my graduation. I couldn’t believe Gage was really going to be moving to Riverview. I couldn’t believe my mom found a new boyfriend. I couldn’t believe Andi was in love with some punk kid and didn’t tell me. I couldn’t believe Carina… no wait… I could believe Carina was such a drama queen, but everyone else? What’s happening to this world anyway?
I walked home. Mamma and some guy, whom I am assuming was Clark₂, were being awkward in the kitchen. I think they were trying to flirt, if that’s what you call self-consciously staring at the floor. I decided not to intrude. I had enough drama for one day.
I took a long, hot shower, hoping the steam would clear my head. When I stepped out of the bedroom, Andi was coming up the stairs.
“Do you want to come in?” I asked.
“Sure, I guess,” Andi said, nonchalantly.
My stereo was playing softly.
“This is a good song,” she smiled, stretching out on my bed.
“Yeah, I like The Simpletons₃,” I replied, stretching out next to her.
We sat in silence for a few minutes. I didn’t know how to broach the subject, so I just started.
“Andi, um… I saw you tonight.”
She looked away, her face going blank. I waited for her patiently even though everything inside me was screaming to lecture her.
“You aren’t going to tell Mamma, are you?” she asked quietly.
“No,” I replied. “But I do think you should tell her.”
“Why?” she said, clasping her hands together. “Mamma just told us about her new boyfriend and who knows how long she’s been sneaking around with him.”
“Andi, I don’t think it’s like that with Mamma,” I answered truthfully. From what I had seen in the kitchen, I don’t think they even knew how to find each other’s lips, let alone kiss. “But she’s… well, she’s our Mamma. She should know these things.”
“I know,” Andi sighed. “But she just… she never gave us rules… about… well, you know…”
“Andromeda, are you… you know… with him… with VJ?” I asked nervously.
I dreaded the answer. What am I going to do if she answers yes?
Her jaw dropped open. ” You mean like woo-hooing? Ugh, Kass, absolutely not. No, it’s not like that with VJ… I mean, he respects me. We’re… uh… waiting…”
“Good,” I said, sounding lame. “I mean… I think that’s… really brave, Andi. Waiting is better.”
“Well, I just don’t want to get that kind of attached before marriage and VJ is totally cool with it. I mean, he even wanted to buy us purity rings,” Andi explained. “But he wants to ask Mamma first… you know… after he actually meets her. I wanted to tell her tonight because he came to your graduation ceremony…”
“He did?” I raised an eyebrow. “I didn’t see you with him.”
“Well, we didn’t sit together…” Andi looked down at her nails. “Because I didn’t want… I didn’t tell you guys yet, and I didn’t want to take away from your day, Kass. And then Mamma went and did that with her announcement.”
“How long have you been seeing VJ?” I asked, changing the subject as I relaxed back on the pillow. I didn’t want to think about my mother at the moment.
“So you heard his name?” Andi said. “Yeah, VJ and I have been sort-of seeing each other since Simtober last year.”
“Simtober?” I repeated. “Andi, that’s a long time. And you’ve kept this hidden all this time?”
“Well, Lisa knows.”
“Yeah. I had to tell someone. It’s been… hard actually… not telling anyone,” Andi began, her shoulders slumping. “At first, I wasn’t sure about him… VJ that is… he’s in my class at school and I’d see him in the hall. I thought his hair was totally weird, and I figured he was a punk. But then he started talking to me. He stood up for me one day when one of the boys was kinda bullying me in gym class for always wearing flowers in my hair…”
“You were being bullied?” I exclaimed.
There was so much I didn’t know about my little sister.
“Not anymore. It all stopped after VJ put the kid in his place.”
“What did he punch him?”
“Nope, he invited him to youth group.”
“What? Really? And it worked?”
“Yeah, I think the kid was so surprised that VJ would actually want to invite him anywhere that he stopped picking on me. That and VJ told him all the pretty girls go to church and he’d learn how to really treat a woman there.”
“Wow,” I said dumbly. Does treating women right entail taking them to parks after dark for make-out sessions?
“Yeah. Well, VJ invited me to youth group too so I’ve been going on Tuesday nights. Lisa comes too so I’m not lying to Mamma when I say I’m hanging out with Lisa. I just haven’t wanted to tell her about VJ.”
“Tell me more about him.”
“Well, he’s just great. He’s a junior at the high school. His mom left his family when he was little and that’s when he started going to church. He has a music scholarship to Sunset U₄ and he wants to be a youth minister. He’s not so great in school which is why Lisa and I’ve been helping to tutor him in math and science. He’s my chemistry lab partner.”
“Yeah, you two have chemistry all right,” I jested.
Andi rolled her eyes, but a hint of a blush crept into her cheeks.
“He’s doing better. He’s pulled his grades up from C’s to mostly B’s.”
“Your grades aren’t suffering because of him right?”
“You’re kidding, right? I still get bored in my classes. They’re so easy.”
“Well, not all of us are ‘little Simsteins’₅.”
“Oh stop! I’m just a straight A student…”
“…who should be a junior…”
“But I’m happy being a freshman.”
“Yeah, but VJ’s a junior.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to date a genius.”
“Yeah, but I just want to make sure you’re being smart.”
“I am smart about it. VJ’s a good guy, Kass. And he’s right. He should meet you.”
“…and the rest of the family.”
“Well, maybe we can just start with you.”
“Yeah, I guess. I’m way less pressure.”
Andi jabbed my side. “Seriously, You’d like him.”
“I hope so,” I sighed. “I know you like him.”
“I do,” she grinned. “He’s so sweet. He brings me my coffee just the way I like it every morning. We both love classical music. He took me to the symphony last Christmas. He respects me. He holds my hand. He always speaks so nicely to me and about me. He cares about the same things I do. Family and the Almighty Father are important to him. He even brings me lavender roses after our study sessions.”
“You really do like him,” I smiled.
“Yeah,” she admitted softly.
“Peteran,” she replied. “You know I’m thinking about it too.”
“About faith… becoming a follower.”
“Andi, are you sure?”
“Well, I’ve been going to church now for almost eight months. It means so much to VJ and it’s made such a positive difference in his life. And well, Padre is real. I know he is, Kass. He’s so much more than just a Watcher or Creator. I feel his love when I talk to him.”
“You mean, like praying?”
“Yeah, kinda an ongoing dialogue with him in my head throughout the day. VJ said he’d pray with me when I was ready. He’s offered to get me a copy of the Good Book.”
“Andi are you sure he’s not just saying all this to make you think he’s different and well… then use the opportunity to…”
She cut me off before I could say ‘woo-hoo.’ “Absolutely not. Kass, Padre hasn’t just made a difference in VJ’s life. He’s making a difference in mine. And that has nothing to do with VJ or dating or woo-hoo.”
“Okay, I was just asking,” I said. “I just want to make sure you’re safe. And you know, seven months is a long time. I understand hormones. I’d understand if you and VJ want to woo-hoo, in spite of all his lofty notions about religion and waiting… you’re human.”
“Oh Kass, please. It’s not like that. We both made a committed decision to wait until marriage. I don’t know if I’m even going to marry VJ someday. He’s just… well, I care about him, but marriage is so far off after high school, college, med school… I know VJ and I know myself. We’re not ready and even if we were, we’d get married first.”
“Wow, Andi,” I smiled. “I’m proud of you.”
“Yeah sure… I can hear it. You’re questioning my decisions.”
“Andi, I’m serious. I mean, not many teenagers can say they’ll wait to get married to be intimate. I think that’s great. I can respect that.”
“Have you?” Andi looked at me.
“No,” I shook my head. “I haven’t found the right one… and well, I know I’m not ready either.”
“But you are going off to university in the fall. I mean, lots of hotties running around on campus. It may be tempting.”
I laughed. “Well, I think I’ll be busy studying. It’s never been an issue before.”
“Well, all those hormones,” Andi teased, and then she grew serious again. “I think you’d like our church, Kass. I’d love for you to visit and tell me what you think and meet VJ and our friends. Faith might be something good to look into before you move out. He’s a good foundation, the minister says.”
“Ha! Foundation… I think Mamma gave us a good foundation for life. I don’t know about Padre. I just never saw myself as going to church, you know?”
“Just think about it, okay? I’m going to head to bed. It’s after midnight.”
“Yeah, it is.”
“If you change your mind, you can meet us at church. We’re going tomorrow evening at 6:30.”
“Ok. I love you, Andi. I’m glad we had this talk.”
“Love you too, Kass,” she hugged me.
I turned off the light and the stereo and crawled beneath the sheets, but I couldn’t fall asleep immediately. Andi’s words stuck with me. She was dating, she wasn’t woo-hooing, but she wanted to follow Padre. This was all news to me. I was proud of her for wanting to stay pure, but the skeptical side of me wondered how long it would last. It had never been an issue for me before. I had never dated seriously. The closest guy in my life was Gage, and I sure wasn’t going to date him. Gage? I wondered if he was going to follow-through on his promise to come over later today. I really wanted to finish our conversation. Part of me knew I was going to have to let him go… just like I would have to let a lot of things go. For the first time, I second-guessed my decision to move so far away from home.
I drifted off to sleep and awakened to the sounds of a guitar music floating faintly into my bedroom. I looked over at my stereo and double-checked to make sure it was turned off. No, it’s coming from outside. I crawled out of bed, straining my ears. Who would be playing guitar at this hour?
I couldn’t believe it. Some guy was out in our front yard playing guitar. What in the world? Wait… it was Clark, the janitor… the guy Mamma was seeing!
He was serenading my mother with love songs in our front yard. What? Who does that? I wondered where my Mamma was because her bedroom was on the back side of the house. I hoped he didn’t wake my sisters. The sun wasn’t up yet but the sky was turning a faint pink in the distance. Had he been here all night?
“Clark, shush. You’ll wake the girls,” Mamma’s voice floated up from below me. She had to be in the kitchen.
“But I wanted to do something romantic for you,” he stopped momentarily, and then strummed a few more chords. He started singing. Mamma suddenly appeared out in the yard beneath my window. She seemed impressed.
For the love of llamas! I smacked my forehead.
Mamma listened to him intently, a smile broadening on her face. I couldn’t believe it. She’s falling for… for this guy? The off-pitch, beanie-wearing, singing janitor from Community School of the Gifted? What’s with guys and beanies?
He continued to serenade my mother through the sunrise. I tried to go back to sleep, but his whiny voice kept interrupting me. Frustrated, I marched downstairs and out the front door ready to meet Clark… the guy who was wrecking my sleeping habits. It was Sunday morning, for llamas sake. I wanted to sleep in. I knew I shouldn’t have walked outside. I knew it, but I did anyway. And this is what I saw…
…Clark Sauer, pulling my mamma into the hydrangea bushes for the weirdest kiss ever, and Mamma kissing him back.
“Oh God, if you’re real,” I rolled my eyes upward as I quietly slipped back into the house. “Please erase that image from my mind for all eternity.”
Chapter Three Coming Soon!
- What’s going to happen with Clark and Amy?
- Will Andi tell her family about VJ?
- How will Andi’s relationship with VJ continue?
- Will Kass get a chance to talk to Gage again?
Author Changes: What’s different?
- I changed the Almighty Father to Padre (and they will be used interchangeably throughout the stories). You can read more here.
- Links were fixed.
- VJ Alvi is a teenage Sim in Sunset Valley living with dad and kid brother. His personality is heavily modified for my story. His full name is Vincent James Alvi.
- Read more about Clark Sauer here.
- The Simpletons are a band in my SimWorld.
- Sunset State University, also called Sunset U, is the local college in Sunset Valley in my SimWorld.
- Simstein is, of course, a play on Einstein.
- Jacoban priests were introduced inThe Sims: Medieval, but religion doesn’t play a part in EA’s The Sims games. I decided this wasn’t realistic and included moderate amount of religion in my game. Read more here.
- Peteran priests were introduced in The Sims: Medieval. Read more here.