My night with Davis was brief, but wonderful. He bought me a roll sandwich and my favorite, a cinnamon latte. We talked for an hour before he dropped me off at home. He even walked me to the door and gave me a nice, long hug.
I have a boyfriend, I thought giddily.
But then there was Gage. He had told me he loved me a few nights ago. How am I going to explain this? What am I going to tell him? I spent all night tossing and turning and finally at five-thirty, I decided to get up. I sent a text to Gage, hoping he was awake. He responded quickly and suggested I come over around 8. We could head to the community pool together. I was up for a leisurely morning with Gage since I didn’t have to be ready for my date-night (finally jazz night!) with Davis until 7 tonight.
I raced over to Gage’s home, eager to get the news over with – after all, my best friend deserved the truth.
Gage met me outside with a hug.
“Oh Kass!” he exclaimed. “I have something to tell you!”
“Oh?” I said, surprised. “Actually, I have something to… uh… tell… no, you go first.”
“Okay!” Gage replied hurriedly. “I may have found my birth mother! I think she’s still alive!”
“What?” my eyes grew wide.
“Yeah, my birth mother… I’ve been searching through the papers my aunt Missy gave me and I found some old love letters written from Dakota Burroughs to a woman I believe is my mother, Brigit Briody₁. Well, I did an Internet search for the name and eventually found a message board for foster kids who are looking for their birth relatives. I wandered into the chat room and one day another Briody contacted me… a Shameka Briody₂! Kass, I have a sister!”
“Yes, and she’s here. We’ve been up talking all night long and oh! It’s wonderful. She’s not in contact with our birth mother but she does possibly know how to find her!”
“She’s… uh… here?!”
“Yeah, you’ve gotta come meet her!” Gage said enthusiastically, running toward the house.
He stopped and ran back to me. “What’s wrong?”
“Uh,” I rubbed the back of my neck. “I don’t know, Gage, I mean, I’m not sure I should come in…”
“Why not?” Gage frowned.
“Because… I… uh… well, I thought today was going to be just us,” I sighed.
“Kass, I’m sorry, but I promise we can hang out real soon, just us,” Gage put his hand up reassuringly. “But I have a sister I didn’t know about and she’s here… her name’s Shameka. We’re just over a year apart as she just turned seventeen, and I think you’ll really like her… Kass? Please come in… for me?”
“Okay,” I pursed my lips and agreed.
What’s the worst that could happen? I had a million questions running through my head, but I couldn’t get all the answers standing outside in Gage’s front yard.
The young woman I presumed to be Shameka was standing in the living room talking to Pablo, Gage’s foster father. She was pretty… petite, dark-haired, tan-complexioned, and I didn’t think she looked a thing like Gage. But what do I know? Her face lit up when she saw “her brother.”
“Kass, welcome, I didn’t know you were stopping by this morning,” Pablo said kindly to me.
“Thank you, Mr. Martinez,” I replied, unsure of what else to say.
“Well I’ll leave you kids be to get acquainted. I’ve got to be at work soon anyway,” Pablo smiled. “And please, Kass, you know… call me Pablo.”
“Okay Pablo,” I mumbled as he left the room.
I eyed Shameka suspiciously as she and Gage chattered on about how beautiful the weather was in Sunset Valley and it was “soooooo different” from rainy Bridgeport. Who is this girl? God, I hope she doesn’t hurt Gage and she’s who she says she is or I’ll pummel that perfect face of…
“Kass,” Gage was saying. “Kassiopeia Fullbright, please meet my half-sister, Shameka Briody. Shameka meet my friend, Kass.”
I noticed his caveat – ‘friend.’ So today Gage isn’t in love with me? I thought resentfully. Why should I care? I’m with Davis now.
“Hi Shameka, I’m Kass, and I’ve been friends with Gage forever. I mean we go back to diapers, I think,” I rambled as I leaned forward to shake her hand.
It was a total exaggeration, but I didn’t care.
“You’ve known him what? A couple hours?”
“Kass?” Gage said weakly, rubbing his neck.
“It’s okay,” Shameka said smoothly. “I can understand that. If I were friends with someone as long as you and Gage have been, Kass, I’d be suspicious too.”
She reached into her purse and pulled out two birth certificates – one for herself and one for Gage. My heart sank. She was probably legit if she had birth certificates. But can those be faked?
“I was born in Sim Valley, Simpire₃ to Brigit Briody and my mother kept my father’s identity a secret. My mother had a lot of problems with money and responsibility. Gage was taken away from her before I was even born, and I was taken away from her when I was four. I grew up in foster care, but I eventually reconnected with my mom two years ago when I returned to Sim Valley, looking for her. I asked about my father and she told me his name was Randall Haute₄.”
“Wait… Haute… as in the television reality show – Haute Knight₅?” I interjected. “Like the billionaire Haute family?”
The Haute family₆ were like royalty in the Sim Nation and were able to trace their ancestry back to the original Simmians who arrived on Simterra. Their family life – great-grandfather, grandfather, son, and grandson – provided great television drama, for those who were into that sort of thing. Shameka, Gage’s half-sister, was related to the Haute family?
“Yes,” she said, with a timid laugh. “I don’t really have contact with my father. We have an agreement… well, I was explaining to Gage, and I trust you as his best friend… my father sends me checks every once in awhile and I stay out of the light of the media and I don’t reveal my connections. So far, this system has worked for us and we’ve kept it strictly anonymous.”
Yeah but you just told me, honey!
“So your connection to Gage is what? You share the same last name. That doesn’t make you siblings,” I answered.
“We have the same mother, Kass,” Gage spoke up. “Brigit Briody was in a relationship with my father before she was in a relationship with Shameka’s father.”
“You mean, they slept together?” I asked, skeptically.
Shameka blushed and Gage looked hurt.
“Uh, Kass, can I talk to you… outside?” Gage requested quietly.
I followed him to the front yard.
“Gage, just because your mom slept with some guy other than your father doesn’t make her your sister…” I said heatedly.
“I can’t believe you!” Gage said, his eyes widening. “Kass, she’s my sister. We have the birth certificates. I have the love letters. I don’t have any money. I’m not officially adopted into the Martinez family. I don’t have anything she could possibly want if she was trying to scam me. I believe her. She has pictures of my mother and her as a young child, and I have a photograph of my mother with my father when he taught at university. The mother is the same in both pictures. If you want to see them, I can show you.”
“No, I guess, I believe you,” I shrugged. “I just… Gage… this is all so sudden…”
“Like your dad coming back into your life?”
“Yeah, but at least I don’t need proof to know he’s my dad. Why does she?”
“Kass, you’re being so unfair. Why can’t you ever be happy for me?” Gage said angrily. “Look, if you’re going to be a jerk, then go home. You don’t have to stay.”
“Gage, I… don’t want to be a jerk. I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I’m dealing with a lot right now which is why I wanted to hang out today and talk to you… just you… my best friend. I don’t know what came over me. I just want you to be careful. First you find out about your criminal relatives and now you have a sister who comes out of the woodwork. I just find the timing all very suspicious.”
“It’s okay to be suspicious but please treat Shameka with respect, for my sake,” Gage begged.
I sighed. “O…kaaaay.”
“Will you come with us?” Gage asked, his eyes lighting up.
“Where?” I frowned.
“I told Shameka we could go to the community pool. I think she’d really like it if you came,” Gage said.
“Alright,” I shrugged.
Someone had to protect Gage. We went back in the house.
“Shameka, Kass has agreed to come with us to the pool to hang out. Do you need time to get ready?” Gage asked gently.
“Oh good,” Shameka smiled, squinting her eyes in the same way Gage did when he was happy. “I’m so glad you’re hanging out with us,” she said to me.
Something about her tone made me think she was being genuine.
“Yeah, hanging out will be…” I searched for an honest word. “…fun, I guess.”
Chapter 13, Part 2 Coming Soon!
- How will their time at the pool go?
- Will Kass warm up to Shameka?
- Will Kass tell Gage she’s dating Davis?
Author Changes: What’s different?
- The line “it was a total exaggeration” was added as Gage and Kass have only known each other since he was 12.
- Simi Valley was changed to Sim Valley.
- New Yorksim was changed to Simpire.
- Simterran was changed to Simterra.
- Picture size was edited.
- Brigit Briody is Gage’s mother and the former lover of the late Dakota ‘Kody’ Burroughs. She is loosely based off Brigit the Maid from The Sims. She is also the mother of Shameka Briody.
- Shameka showed up in my game and she had an almost sisterly relationship with Gage. I decided to make her his actual sister. She is the daughter of Brigit Briody and Randall Haute, making her Gage’s half-sister. Her name means ‘beautiful.’
- Sim Valley, in my SimWorld, is supposed to be a town in upstate Simpire. Simpire is a play on the state of New York. Sim Valley is also my Simworld equivalent of the in game SimValley.
- Randall ‘Randy’ Haute is the former lover of Brigit Briody and father of Shameka Briody. The name Randy Haute is a play on Randy Hottie or Randy Party Guys from The Sims: Bustin’ Out.
- Haute Knights is actually a book title in The Sims 3 world. In my Simworld, it’s a family melodrama reality television series about the billionaire Haute family.
- The Haute family has royal connections dating back to the days of the settlers on Simterran, hence the “knights.” The tv program follows the lives of the four generations of current Haute men alive, including Randall “Randy” Haute, the grandson.