1.6: Picnic in the Park

This was so not my day! Actually, I wasn’t sure the last time it was my day. I needed to major league de-stress. I dragged my sorry self home, resolving to be content with ordering pizza, eating it in my room, and watching chick flicks all night on my Simflix account. But as I walked in the door, my cell phone rang.

“Hey girl, how are you?” the cheerful voice of my friend, Ayesha greeted me.

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“Oh llamas! You would not believe the last three days I’ve had!” I exclaimed in exasperation.

“Okay, I want all the juicy details!” Ayesha said excitedly.

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I proceeded to tell Ayesha everything that had happened, leaving out a few key details like exactly who I was related to! Ayesha, thankfully, let me ramble and vent, inserting supportive ohs and sympathetic ughs every once in awhile.

“Sounds like you need some fun. Let’s go shootout at the park,” she said decidedly after I finished.

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“I don’t know,” I waffled. “I’d rather just stay home and be alone.”

“Absolutely not! Pick me up in 15 minutes. We’re going to get out some of that negative energy.”

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Thankfully Mamma didn’t need the car, so I did as Ayesha recommended and picked her up. We threw our gym bags in the back seat and I drove us across town to the park. We laughed hysterically about the funny radio commercials and sang to our favorite songs at the top of our lungs. It was just what I needed.

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“Get us smoothies while I go change,” Ayesha said, snagging her bag from the back seat.

“Excuse me?” I looked at her with wide eyes. “Miss Bossy! Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.”

“Oh puh-lease!” Ayesha rolled her eyes.  “We are both parched after those crazy stories and dinner’s on me.”

She ran off before I could comment and I did “as I was told,” ordering a strawberry smoothie for myself and a banana one for Ayesha. I had nearly finished it before Ayesha returned. I really was parched. The cold fruity drink was just what I needed. As I turned to go looking for my friend, I nearly bumped into someone.

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“Davis!” I exclaimed, a wide grin breaking out across my face.

“Well, hi there, Kassiopeia,” he said in his to-die-for Southern accent. “What are you doing here?”

“Uh… well, I was going to play soccer with my friend, but she seems to have abandoned me,” I explained. “You?”

“Yeah, same… well, not exactly the same, but I’m meeting a friend,” Davis replied. “We were going to do a little jam session in the park.”

“Oh! That’s cool,” I said. “What do you play?”

“Oh I’m sorry. I thought I told you the other day. Cello.”

“Wow! That’s awesome!”

“Well I’m not that great, yet… this guy’s… well, he’s my teacher. He kinda talked me into playing in the park tonight.”

I don’t know why, but I was inwardly gleeful that Davis clarified that the “friend” he was meeting was a male. Somehow that thought was comforting.

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“Who’s this?” Ayesha walked up with a big grin on her face.

“Oh! Ayesha Ansari, this is uh… Davis… um… Davis… um…” I suddenly felt flustered.

“Lamar,” he said smoothly.

“Well, that just rolls off the tongue,” Ayesha stuck out her hand confidently. “Hi. Nice to meet you.”

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“I thought you were going to change,” I tilted my head. “You were gone an awfully long time to have not changed.”

“Well, the toilets were overflowing in one bathroom,” Ayesha wrinkled her nose. “They were doing maintenance in the other and then I saw Zelda Mae, and well, she said to say she missed you at her party the other night. And so hey, how do you two know each other?”

“Uh, coffee shop,” I said nervously.

“Speaking of which, I didn’t see you today,” Davis spoke up, turning his attention to me.

“Oh I was there!” I said emphatically, recalling my horribly conversation with Gage. “But I was… uh… upstairs on the balcony this afternoon. Where were you?”

“I worked this morning. Must’ve missed you,” Davis shrugged.

“That’s too bad,” Ayesha said, grinning like a fool.

I elbowed her hard. “We’ll… uh… let you meet your teacher. I’ll see you later,” I said, pulling Ayesha away.

“Ow!” she yelped.

“Uh… wait,” Davis ran after us.

“Yeah?” I said, turning around once more. I could’ve kicked myself.  Yeah?  Like I was answering my mom or something. 

“We’re well… my teacher, Mr. Andrews and I are going to eat a late dinner after we’re done. We’re uh… picnicking,” Davis ran a hand through his hair. He seemed oddly nervous. “Well,  since I didn’t see you today, would you and Ayesha like to join us? Say around 9? Is that too late?”

“Nope, that’s perfect!” Ayesha answered for me while I flubbed for an answer.

“Yeah… yes… we’ll be there,” I said, my eyes lighting up.

“Picnic benches by the fountain. Don’t be late,” Davis said as he ran off.

“Don’t be late? Aw… isn’t he cute?” Ayesha tucked her arm in mine as we walked in the opposite directions.

“Remember that changing we were supposed to be doing?” I said impatiently. “Let’s go do that.”

“Oh stop! Kass, he’s adorable,” Ayesha giggled. “You’ve got to admit, he’s pretty smitten with you.”

“Smitten? What an old fashioned word. Who talks like that?” I let out a laugh of my own, albeit a weak one.

“Come on, we’ll go play soccer and I promise to let the Davis subject drop,” Ayesha laughed.

We enjoyed a few rounds of shootout soccer.

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“Haha! Victory!” I yelled excitedly.

“I’m exhausted!” Ayesha said, dropping to the ground dramatically.

“Come on! Admit your defeat!” I laughed arrogantly. “You’re right. This was good for me!”

“Oh geez, Kass, rub it in!” Ayesha sat up and huffed.

“You’re the one who wanted to come out and get squashed!” I smirked.

“You probably cheated,” Ayesha leapt to her feet.

“I did not!” I screeched defensively.

“I’m just teasing you know,” Ayesha replied tiredly. “Seriously, Kass, lighten up. This is why you need a man in your life… someone other than Gage, because no offense, but he’s just holding you back.”

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“Is not!” I retorted.

“Oh yeah, well, when’s the last time you went on a date?”

“I date.”

“Yeah, but when? Who?”

“Manuel Fernando. Junior prom.”

“Over a year ago. Seriously, Kass, you’ve got to get out more.”

“I don’t need to get out more,” I huffed as I dropped to the ground to do some stretches.

“Isn’t Manuel the guy who wanted to be a psychologist?” Ayesha dropped down to join me.

“Yeah, he sent me a few postcards from Sim City,” I offered, stretching to touch my toes.

“He did? Why didn’t you tell me?” Ayesha squealed.

“Oh let me think! Because you’d do that!” I said sarcastically.

“So he’s in Sim City?” she asked curiously.

“Yeah, studying psychology and he’s interning in Simpan this summer,” I explained.

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“Your dream vacation!” Ayesha threw out her hand dramatically. “You should go with him.”

“Yeah, with like what money?” I laughed. “And it’s not like I liked the guy. He was so arrogant. He psychoanalyzed the color of my dress and said the dark blue reflected my mysterious nature and made me a likable person, but he warned me that it also reflected my desire to control and overpower people around me.”

Ayesha howled hysterically.

“Yeah you do that,” I snipped.

“Why…. didn’t… you…ever… tell…me…this?” Ayesha gasped out between fits of giggles. “It’s…hilarious…”

“Stop it! You’re going to make me laugh,” I said, unable to hide my smile.

Pretty soon I was on the ground laughing with her too. We laughed until tears rolled down our faces.

“Okay, well now that we’re all laughed out and we smell like sweat and we look like llama crap, let’s go meet Davis,” I said sarcastically.

“I’m right behind you,” Ayesha smirked, walking sideways as she tried to catch her balance after standing up too quickly. “After I stop at the bathroom. I think I peed my pants.”

“Gross!” I rolled my eyes.

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I walked over to meet Davis and his teacher after freshening up in the bathroom. Ayesha was taking an abnormally long time so I went ahead without her. For some reason, having her with me made me nervous around Davis so I figured it was for the better.

Mr. Andrews was a dark-complexioned, rotund fellow who struck me as someone with a “Santa Claus” personality – jolly, deep-bellied bowl-full-of-jelly laughs. We talked for a few minutes about music and his passion for the symphony. I wondered if Andi knew him because she was in orchestra at the local public high school since our private school didn’t have one.

“Do you play any instruments?” he inquired.

“She plays the piano and the guitar,” Davis answered for me and my eyes widened in surprise.

“Well I’m a novice with the guitar,” I said shyly. “But you remembered?”

“Well, yeah,” he smiled. “Because those are two of my favorite instruments.”

I wondered if he was just saying that.

“I wonder where Ayesha is,” I changed the subject.

“She seems like quite a character,” Davis remarked.

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“Yeah, well, Ayesha and I go way back. All the way to preschool. She threw a mud pie in my face the first day we met,” I shared.

“Why’d she do that?” Mr. Andrews laughed.

“Oh, because I punched her in the face,” I said amusingly.

“You punched her in the face?” Davis repeated surprised.

“Yeah, because she took the last hot dog and I wanted it,” I explained.

“Well, yes, because the proper response to a stolen hot dog is a sock in the eye,” Davis said, trying to smother a laugh.

I jabbed him in the arm in a friendly, almost flirtatious manner. “It always is,” I said coyly.

Ayesha would’ve been proud of me.

“Speaking of hot dogs,” Mr. Andrews interjected. “Victoria just finished grilling them and the hamburgers. We should eat.”

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We sat down at a nearby picnic bench. I briefly met Mr. Andrews’ wife, Victoria before she was chasing down their little ones – a four-month old black Labrador puppy and a fussy three-year-old son named Jordan. Mrs. Andrews didn’t stay long and decided to take both boy and dog home for bed after he kept getting up from the table. I opted for a grilled hamburger while gulping down my juice box.

“That’s Jordan’s juice box,” Davis remarked.

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“Oh,” I flushed, embarrassed, stopping in mid-bite.

“Don’t worry about it,” Mr. Andrews, who insisted I call him Beau, shrugged. “He already went home.”

“Yeah, so he can’t punch you over his stolen juice box,” Davis teased.

“Oh stop it!” I slugged him in the arm again.

Ayesha smirked at me from across the table.

“Well, since Mrs. Andrews took the car, I should take Mr. Andrews home,” Davis said.

I smiled. There was something very telling about a man who referred to an elder by his last name – very polite and old-fashioned.

“But will I see you tomorrow?” Davis inserted.

“Tomorrow? Oh yes, I’ll be there,” I replied softly, remembering the jazz fest he had invited me to.

“I’ll make sure of it,” Ayesha said loudly.

“Ayesha, you don’t even know what I’m talking about,” I flushed.

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“I’ll go put the things in the car,” Beau stood up and grabbed the picnic basket. “It was nice meeting you, Ayesha, and Kass. Hope to see you ladies again.”

“And I’m going to stick our stuff in the car,” Ayesha said, deliberately dragging out her words as she tilted her head in Davis’ direction.

I get the picture, I sighed inwardly. Turning to Davis, I said aloud, “Thanks for inviting us tonight. This was fun.”

“Yes, I’m glad you joined us. It was nice to meet your friend… even nicer to see you.”

I didn’t know what to say, but my heart swelled with emotions I wasn’t sure I had ever felt before.

“Thank you,” I said shyly, looking at the ground.

“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow then,” Davis smiled. “Good night, Kass.”

“Uh…I…good night,” I flubbed as he walked away, my heart in my throat. Wow! Just wow! 

I hated feeling grody, so I grabbed a quick shower in the park bathrooms and then headed home, dropping Ayesha off first. She had teased me about Davis, hinted at budding romance, and I shrugged her off. Davis was nice, but I couldn’t understand why he was interested in me. Besides I still have a lot to process in my life right now, and I don’t have to add a boyfriend into the mix, I thought as I walked up the back steps.

“Kass!” a voice called out to me.

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I looked up in surprise as Gage jumped up from the back porch stairs and rushed toward me. He grabbed me and pulled me in for a hug.

“Oh… I… hi…” I fumbled, startled as I hugged him back.

“I need you,” he exclaimed.

“What!” I frowned.

“I need you. You’re my friend. No, you’re more than a friend,” Gage said expressively. “You’re my rock. You’re my anchor in the storm. You’ve been there for me countless times and I know this whole me going to Simcago thing is really throwing you and I made the decision without asking you.”

“Gage,” I said softly. “I’m not your mother.”

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“I know that, but you’re my friend… no… you’re more than my friend,” Gage exclaimed, grabbing my hands.

“What are you saying?” I puzzled.

“Kass, I love you, that’s what I’m saying.”

Chapter Seven Coming Soon! 

  • What’s going to happen with Kass and Davis? Will she meet him for their “date?” 
  • What does Gage mean when he says he loves Kass? How will Kass respond?

Author Changes: What’s different?

  • Ayesha’s line about “we’re both parched after crazy vocals” was changed to “we’re both parched after those crazy stories.”
  • Photos were resized.

Story Notes: 

  1. Simflix is my Simworld version of Netflix.
  2. Manuel Fernando is actually a Sim from Sims 2. For purposes of my Sim story, I decided he went to school with Kass, graduated a year ahead of her and is attending Sim State University in Sim City where he’s studying psychology.
  3. Sim City is my Simworld version of Washington D.C. It is located in the District of Simlumbia on the East Coast of the Sim Nation.
  4. Beau Andrews is a Sim who lives in Sunset Valley with his wife, Victoria. For purposes of my Sim story, I modified him, made him a music teacher at Sun Valley High and he has a young son named Jordan.
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16 thoughts on “1.6: Picnic in the Park”

  1. Yikes! I can see things getting awkward very quickly for Kass if Gage finds out about Davis or vice versa – especially with both the guys working at the same place! Great chapter, I love how things just keep getting more and more complicated for Kass…

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    1. They do work at the same place. I’m excited to play around with this potential love-triangle. I kinda want to pick for her, but I’m going to let go of micromanaging and let her choose. Thanks for reading.

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  2. oh i saw this coming… not many people stay friends with the opposite sex. ive been taking notes on this, and one of my notes was :
    Understanding gage and kass… I wonder if their relationship will change later? hehe …. now onto the next chapter to watch her reaction. hmmm i dont think she will go for it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, in my experience, it is incredibly difficult to stay friends with the opposite sex, and only friends. I do have several friends of the opposite sex, but typically they are already friend’s of my spouse. Gage and Kass’ friendship is complicated for sure. Thanks for reading, Jojo. 🙂

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