Monday, Simtember 12, 2416 | Silverton Estate | Bay City, Califorsimia
“Who? Who is B.J. LaRue?”
I couldn’t speak. My mouth dropped open at my sudden revelation. I rubbed my neck in amazement. Ayesha was glaring at me with her ‘why-won’t-you-just-tell-me-look.’ My hands were shaking as I bent to the floor to pick up my phone.
“You… you… said Florsimda… and it reminded me of B.J. LaRue,” I replied.
“What? You know B.J.? Did you meet him in Florsimda or something?” Ayesha exclaimed.
“No, not exactly, and her… not him…” I said slowly, looking at the letter that had fallen from my hands. “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe it!”
“Can’t believe what? Oh Kass, come on, tell me,” Ayesha collapsed to the floor, and folded her legs in a cross fashion.
“Um…” I swallowed hard. “Remember that movie that came out in the 90’s before we were born? Paranormal Witness? Remember the main character, Delphi Darnell? Do you remember after she witnesses the alien abduction she is put in a protection program in Florsimda and dyes her hair blue?”
“Wow!” Ayesha leaned back and stretched her arms behind her head. “Yeah that’s an old one.”
“Delphi Darnell gives a name at check-in when she goes to the hotel. Do you remember what it was?”
“Let me guess B.J. LaRue.”
“Yes. And do you remember who the actress was?”
“An unknown I think at the time… Heather… Heather something…” Ayesha frowned.
“Exactly! Heather Danvers,” I tilted my head.
“Heather Danvers? Yeah, so?” Ayesha looked confused.
“Heather Danvers. The ghost haunting my house. The girl in the attic. The actress was killed in a horrible death when a hairdryer fell in the tub,” I said dramatically. “I know we were really little but I remember it being on the news. She wasn’t very old. And she looked like the girl in the attic. She couldn’t have been much older than I am when she died. And it was here in Bay City. She was staying with friends, the news report said.”
“How do you remember all this?” Ayesha chucked her hands in the air.
“Staying with friends? Staying with friends?” I began pacing the room. “What if she was staying here… with friends? My mother and my great-grandmother. Why not? Great-grandma was a movie actress at one point. She probably knew Heather. And do you know who Heather replaced in the film? Who had the part before her? Do you remember where they filmed the opening scenes? And I don’t know. I’m just good with details.”
“Who? Who? What? Kass, seriously sit down. You’re going to break through the floor,” Ayesha insisted.
“Bella Goth,” I said, my eyes shining. “Bay City.”
“She replaced Bella Goth in Paranormal Witness?” Ayesha tilted her head.
“Yes, Bella dropped out due to unforeseen circumstances. It was always very vague,” I answered.
“You have a way better memory than me,” Ayesha shrugged.
“I had a serious Bella Goth obsession phase when I was a teen, Ayesha, remember? I snapped up every little bit of detail about her life I could get from the tabloids and magazines and Internet. I put everything in a box and I found it after the earthquake last year. I had stuck it in back of my closet,” I explained.
“Seriously, Kass, you kept the ‘Bella Box?'” Ayesha seemed surprised. “What’s this got to do with this house and your mom?”
“Yes, but I’m glad I did. I was looking through the pictures and newspaper clippings last night. I read… uh…” I stopped mid-sentence, walking over and pulling the box out from under my bed. “…this one…” I handed Ayesha the folded article. “… about Bella Goth dropping out of the film and Heather Danvers is one of the speculated replacements. And we know she starred in the film since you and I have both seen it.”
“Kass, you’re not making sense.”
“Here’s my theory. Bella drops out of the picture to spend more time with her family. Stanley hires Heather. They film the opening scenes in Bay City. Now what if Heather knew Bella and she went to Bella for advice, or maybe they were even friends and Bella secured the part for her friend after backing out of the film herself? So they were all in Bay City in spring 2096 and my mother was here too, in this house to be exact. In fact, I was too, kind-of, because Mamma was pregnant with me.”
“Kass, that’s a wild theory, but what? You think they all lived in this house?” Ayesha’s eyes grew wide.
“Well there’s a giant poster image of her with my mother upstairs… it’s not impossible,” I threw my hands up in the air. “We should go talk to Bea.”
I excitedly rushed out of the room and down the stairs calling for the housekeeper. Ayesha struggled to keep up behind. We found Bea in the main floor sitting room.
“Mercy!” Bea yelped, her hand flying to her heart. “You sound like a herd of angry cattle stomping their way to Sunday dinner. You’re going to break old Stiles with all your thudding.”
“Sorry, Bea,” I said sheepishly. “Stiles?”
“Stiles… the staircase,” Bea replied with a little ‘hmmf.’
“Oh,” I tried to hide my smirk.
Nonetheless, Bea’s way of naming all the inanimate objects in the house was endearing, if not, somewhat amusing.
“Bea, I have a question for you,” I began, pulling the letter from my pocket. “Is this you?”
“Well darling, dear, pretzels, and beer!” Bea exclaimed. “I didn’t… where did you find this?”
“I got it in the mail from your law office, didn’t I?” I replied.
“Well, uh… yes…” Bea admitted. “Former law office. I was a partner at Butterworth, Honeywell, and Associates.”
“And you left?” I asked.
“Yes, I retired last year. I spent a little time with granddaughter, Honey₁ in Appaloosa Plains before Cliff called and offered me the job as caretaker here at the Silverton Estate,” Bea explained.
“Do you know anything about the terms of this letter? Or who B.J. LaRue is?” I asked, excitedly.
“Oh, well, let’s see…” Bea hummed. “I don’t think so. Our associate, a Mr. Pan, he now owns the law firm. He should be able to answer your questions.”
“Mr. Pan,” I repeated. “Okay… but you really don’t know? I mean, you moved in here to be caretaker and before you, Mr. Butterworth, who mysteriously disappeared to Florsimda. I just think there’s something you’re not telling me.”
Bea’s brow furrowed and she cleared her throat awkwardly. “I… I do know that Celestia left explicit instructions with the firm before her death that Cliff and I look after the property until such a time when you could claim it.”
“But bisnonna₂ died when I was five so obviously the papers were drawn up when you still worked for the firm,” I stated.
Bea laughed tensely. “Well of course, dear. I was still working there then. But I don’t now. I’m sure there’s a simple explanation for this. This letter was dated last Simcember and I retired in Simune.”
“Hmm…” I replied.
“The original copy of your great-grandmother’s will is probably in Mr. Pan’s office,. I recommend you call and schedule an appointment,” Bea suggested. “Now, excuse me, child, but I promised my friend, Violet that I would enter the pie eating contest at the festival today in Legacy Park. And I’m getting dressed up as a spooky vampire, teeth and all, for the haunted house tonight. You really should stop by. I really need to get going if I will make it on time.”
Ayesha and I stood in front of the house and waved goodbye to Bea as she drove away in her beatup yellow Sloppy Jalopy.
“She is a weird one,” Ayesha said through her gritted smile.
“Yes, but she’s harmless, I think,” I replied. “Darn! I left my cell upstairs in the bedroom. I was so excited about questioning Bea.”
“That’s okay,” Ayesha walked over to the bench. “I’ll wait for you here.”
I raced back upstairs and found my phone sitting in the middle of the floor where I had left it. I decided to use the restroom quickly before returning downstairs. My phone rang just as I finished washing my hands.
Normally, I’d be irritated by the use of my last name only from my boss, but today I was sad. I wasn’t really a Fullbright. I was a… well… I didn’t know my biological father’s last name. I guess, Mamma was technically a Fullbright when I was born.
“Earth to Kassiopeia!”
“Oh, sorry, hi Brendon,” I spoke up.
“Yeah, I read your article on Nielle Sharma of the Sharma Day Spa.”
“I liked it, but I have a few notes for you. Wanna come by and pick them up today? We can run the story tomorrow if you get the edits done.”
“Sure, Shore, I’ll try to stop by today. My friend Ayesha’s in town.”
“Ayesha? Your friend from Al Simhara?”
“Actually, she’s from here, but she was just living with family over there for awhile.”
“Yeah, okay, well just make time to come in for the notes today so we can run your story soon.”
“You know you can email them to me, Brendon,” I teased.
“Gotta go, Fullbright!”
I shook my head as I pressed the end button. Before leaving the bathroom, I quickly called Butterworth, Honeywell, and Associates and left a message with Mr. Pan regarding my claim to the money.
Ayesha and I hopped in my car and I drove toward downtown. While she babbled on and on about how great it was to have her freedom back and how much she missed the breezes by the Bay, I began wondering about whether I should tell her the truth of my origins. Mamma had said not to tell anyone. Despite the fact that Ayesha could be a loudmouth, when it came to secrets, she was great at keeping them. I just wished I had someone to tell so it would lift the burden.
The realization hit me suddenly like someone had driven over me with a semi-truck. I felt my throat tighten and my chest constrict. My father wasn’t my father. My dad wasn’t my dad. My real dad was a monster. A monster? How can I even process all this? I felt my heartbeat quicken and I reached toward my chest with one hand as if to make sure my heart wouldn’t leap out of my chest.
“Yoohoo…” Ayesha intruded on my thoughts. “You haven’t heard a single word I said, have you?”
I frowned, feeling pulled back into reality. “Sorry.”
“You’ve got a lot on your mind.”
“You have no idea.”
“Is this about the family estate and Heather and Bella?”
“Actually, it’s about a lot more than that.”
I looked over at my friend when I braked harder than I meant to at the stop sign.
“Ouch!” Ayesha screeched as we both jerked forward. She braced herself against the dashboard. “What’s gotten into you?”
“I can trust you right?” I asked, ignoring her question.
“What kind of question is that?” Ayesha whined, rubbing the back of her neck. “Seriously, you need to learn how to drive better. You could’ve given me whiplash.”
“Ayesha?” I rolled my eyes.
“Yes, of course, you can trust me. We’re best friends.”
“Well Gage was my best friend and look how that turned out.”
“He’s a moron. I, on the other hand, can keep my mouth shut when I need to, and anything you tell me never goes past these lips.”
“Okay… here goes…” I sighed heavily.
I began telling her about how my mother ran away from home when she was a teenager after her baby brother drowned and how she had lost a baby when living with my great-grandmother. Then I told her how Howard wasn’t really my dad, and that his disgusting boss was because he had taken advantage of my mother when she was drunk at a party. I also told her how my mother hadn’t told Howard and he had never had a reason to doubt he was my biological father. I knew my mother returned to Bay City in 2096 and lived with my great-grandmother during the course of her pregnancy with me.
“Whoa! Kass that’s heavy,” Ayesha said soberly.
“Yeah,” I replied.
“Are you okay?” she looked over at me worriedly.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I sighed. “It’s just hard because I feel like I was cheated out of a good dad. Howard was a pretty good dad despite his cheating on Mamma, and now I have a renewed relationship with him and everything and it makes things so complicated.”
“He’ll always be your dad, Kass,” Ayesha replied quietly.
“I guess,” I shrugged. “You’ve gotta swear you won’t say anything.”
“Of course not, Kass, this is huge, life-altering huge, like you’re driving in the fast lane toward your future and suddenly you realized you’re living in the past lane… one you don’t recognize and one that completely halts your future path and makes you question your past. You’ve got to figure it all out and it’s your mother’s story and yours, not mine to tell,” Ayesha said.
“Thank you for understanding,” I exhaled slowly, feeling relieved. “I needed this.”
“Yes, you also need a girls day and that’s why we should stop at The Simasian Market,” Ayesha grinned. “Tiny Tokyoko is the solution to all our problems.”
“Oh really?” I laughed.
We wandered around the Simasian Market for a few hours, taking in the sights and smells and wonders. It was good to get out of the estate and into the real world. I decided to buy a beautiful planter of Simasian pink orchids. Flowers always brightened my day. I had to tell myself not to purchase any more books. I had way too many of my own and all of great-grandma’s to sort through at home. Even so, I still picked out The Dragon’s Age by Rui Yi to peruse. By the time, I finished the tenth chapter, the sun was beginning to set.
“Kass, just buy it,” Ayesha urged, looking up from her book, Li Bing and the King’s Daughter. “This romance is surely coming home with me.”
“Li Bing? No relation to Bing Bling?”
“The soapie? Nah! Come on, you love the book. How far along are you?”
“Just started chapter eleven.”
“That’s it! I’m buying it for you,” Ayesha decided.
“Did you see the dragon dress over there?” I asked after she paid.
“What? No!” Ayesha ran back over to where we had been sitting. “Ooo… it’s nice… but I don’t know. The collar is too high.”
“Figures,” I laughed.
“It would look nice on you,” Ayesha said.
“Maybe… I don’t know about reds on me,” I shrugged.
“Are you kidding me? You and firecracker red. You’d be hot… hot hot…” Ayesha whooped.
“Oh stop it!” I playfully slugged her arm.
We wandered into another store and I admired the Simasian writing utensils. I debated buying a calligraphy set since I had never owned one. I figured I could find someone to teach me how to write Siminian characters.
I also admired the beautiful red-painted Siminian guitar hanging on the wall. Definitely out of my price range. Ayesha, of course, admired the kimonos.
“You’d look sexy in one of these too,” Ayesha said, pulling a black one from the rack.
“I don’t know about that,” I blushed.
“Kass, you don’t have to show skin to be sexy.”
“Says the girl with the low plunging top.”
“You’d fill it out better than me,” Ayesha puffed up her chest.
“What? Your outfit? No, not my style,” I shook my head.
We rounded the corner and I nearly fell over.
“What?” Ayesha asked.
She looked up at the billboard above us.
“Casimopea₂!” we both shrieked.
The group had to be my most favorite jazz fusion band of all time. The billboard was advertising their arrival in Bay City in Simuary. Ayesha and I both jumped up and down excitedly, squealing with happiness.
“Oh my llamas!” Ayesha fanned herself. “Issimo Noro is gorgeous!”
“Who? The redhead? No, the color doesn’t even look good on him,” I disagreed. “Tetsuo Simkurai is way hotter.”
“Of course you’d go for the blonde,” Ayesha grunted. “Seriously, what do you have against redhaired guys.”
“I just don’t find redhaired guys attractive,” I replied defensively.
“But they’re you’re own species? You have red hair,” Ayesha shook her head incredulously.
“I’m buying tickets right now,” I exclaimed, retrieving my phone.
“Uh hello! I’m buying tickets too. You aren’t going without me,” Ayesha laughed, pulling out her own phone.
We clicked on the website, found tickets, and eagerly purchased. I knew that close seats were way out of my budget, but I figured I’d try to pick up more hours at The Buzz. Seeing my favorite band live in the Sim Nation was so worth it.
Ayesha and I purchased sushi from Tiny Tokyoko. I was glad Hoshi was serving tonight. He brought our plates quickly. We enjoyed our delicious seaweed wrapped fish dish outside on the patio. Hoshi even brought us dessert on the house since Ayesha hadn’t been to the restaurant in over a year. He served me a sphere of destiny with green tea ice cream and a cocoa gnome for Ayesha.
“You like your Simeji₃ chocolate?” I asked.
“Are you kidding me? This is delicious!” Ayesha clapped her hands.
“Good, my mochi is delicious too,” I smiled happily.
“Yes, and now that I’m feeling adventurous, I’m going to try the giant spin-ny thing over there,” Ayesha pointed to the machine near us.
“What? Not after eating… you’ll get sick,” I protested.
“Ha! We’ll see!” Ayesha giggled.
“How do you feel?” I asked her when she stepped out of the machine.
“Like I can take on the world,” Ayesha pumped her fists excitedly, and then her face paled. “And like I’m going to puke…”
“Oh! I have to go by the office on the way home. Do you mind?” I asked.
“Nnnnnoooo…” Ayesha shook her head and covered her mouth. “Do you have bathrooms?”
“Yes, plenty,” I grinned.
The Buzz was dark in the reception area when we arrived. I figured no one was working late. The door was still unlocked which I did think was odd.
“Come on,” I walked my friend around the front desk.
“Bathrooms,” I nodded to my right.
Ayesha mouthed a ‘thank you’ as she bolted through the door. I hoped she wasn’t getting sick. I walked into the back and found Brendon in his office.
“Hey Kass, you made it,” he smiled, handing me a leather portfolio.
“You weren’t waiting on me?” I asked worriedly.
“Oh no!” Brendon waved his arms. “I had lots to do tonight.”
The tone in his voice made me think otherwise, but I refrained from commenting.
“So where’s your friend?” he asked.
“Uh uh… Brendon… you won’t like her.”
“Who said anything about liking her? What if I fall madly in love with her?”
“Come on, Shore, she’s out of your league.”
“You spoil my fun.”
“Kass?” I heard Ayesha calling from the hall.
“In here,” I hollered.
“I’ll be nice,” Brendon held up his hands. “I promise.”
“I’m not worried about you being nice…” I whispered loudly. “I’m worried about you being too nice.”
Ayesha entered the office. Brendon put on his disarming smile and reached for her hand.
“Ayesha is it? Enchanted,” Brendon took her hand suavely.
“Yes, Mr. Shore, nice to meet you,” she smiled.
“Please, Brendon,” he still hadn’t released her hand. “Ayesha. The name means ‘small one,’ but I didn’t expect to meet a tall and graceful woman with such delicate features.”
He’s flirting with her! I frowned. After I specifically requested he didn’t.
“Oh thank you,” Ayesha replied, obviously pleased.
“So Ayesha, your friend tells me you’ve been in Al Simhara.”
Friend? I narrowed my eyes. He can’t even say my name.
“Yes, I have family there.”
“I bet basking on the hot sands of Ras Simtan₄ was simply divine,” Brendon gushed.
“Oh so you’ve been there?” Ayesha cocked a brow.
“Yes, many times. I have a small apartment in Casimro₅,” Brendon replied. “The view from my balcony at night is breathtaking.”
“Oh really?” I interjected, annoyed.
“Wow! I’d love to see it sometime,” Ayesha replied.
It’s like I don’t exist.
“Have you been to the Pharaoh’s Oasis?” Ayesha inquired in her sweet seductive tone. “The date palms are delicious refreshment for a tired desert sojourner, and the waters are said to be the fountain of the gods.”
“I’d love to bathe in that fountain sometime,” Brendon grinned wickedly. “If I had the right swimming partner…”
“Oh-kay!” I stepped forward and spoke forcefully. “I got what I came for so let’s head out Ayesha. I’m getting pretty tired.”
“Yeah,” she giggled, not breaking eye contact with Brendon. “I did too.”
“Goodbye Ayesha, it was such a pleasure meeting you,” Brendon smiled. “And Kass, get those notes back to me tonight, will ya?”
We walked out of the office and I huffed my way over to my desk, collapsing in my chair.
“You didn’t tell me your boss was so charming,” Ayesha said with a pleasant lilt in her voice.
“Gah! Ayesh! He’s fifteen years older than me!” I rolled my eyes and dropped my head on the desk.
“So he’s only fourteen years older than me, then,” Ayesha glanced back down the hallway as if hoping he’d appear.
“What? What? No…. no…. no… no… no!” I replied. “Ugh! Ayesh! Really? He’s so… so…”
“Masculine?” Ayesha inserted. “Sophisticated? Sexy?”
“A snake in the lair,” I growled.
“Really? He can’t be that bad,” Ayesha leaned against the wall in my cubicle. “Wait! Are you? No!” She covered her mouth and laughed. “You’re jealous!”
“Jealous!” I shrieked and then quickly dropped my eyes to my computer. “No, why would I be jealous?”
“Because… he drove you home, gave you lingerie, spent the night at your house, picked up your parents at the airport…”
“…irritates me, exacerbates me, tease and taunts me, is wildly inappropriate with me…”
“I think you like it. I do. And I think you would’ve returned the lingerie if you didn’t.”
“I did!” I lied, lifting my hand to my keyboard and mouse.
“I don’t believe you,” Ayesha replied, tilting her head.
Why didn’t I return it? “Well I will be,” I retorted.
“See! Ah ha!” Ayesha smiled smugly. “I think you like him. I think you like Brendon.”
“Shut up!” I grunted. “I do not! I liked Davis. I am still trying to get over Davis. I just found out the truth about my father and I don’t need a boyfriend right now.”
“Who said anything about a boyfriend?” Ayesha arched a brow.
“I don’t need a boyfriend, play mate, or otherwise woohooer,” I exhaled sharply in frustration. “Because I know that’s what you’re thinking, aren’t you?”
“Kass, that’s your problem. You always live in the past. You get stuck wrapped up with what’s happened and can’t even see what’s right here and now in front of you,” Ayesha sighed.
“I do not!” I retorted.
“Yes, you do,” Ayesha argued. “Remember when you first started dating Davis and you couldn’t tell Gage because you didn’t want to ruin what you had… you didn’t want to risk your friendship and look how that turned out. You didn’t want to let go of your past history and it jepordized your relationship with Davis. You found out about your dad having EXCES and you took forever to tell your sisters even though you knew it could affect them because you didn’t want to jeporadize your relationship with them. And when Davis told you about his past, you couldn’t get past it and you ran right back to Gage to help him after his mom died because it was easier to deal with someone whom you had history with than to try and work through someone who had a whole history before you but was willing to open up and share it with you. Am I right? Am I close?”
“Shut up! Seriously, Ayesha! Shut up!” I yelped and leaped to my feet. “You don’t know anything.”
“Fine, then!” Ayesha examined her fingernails. “Live in the past with your memories. I’m moving onward and upward in the fast lane to get something from a real man. And since you obviously don’t mind, I’m going to march back in there and ask for his number.”
“Do whatever you want,” I snapped, but as I watched her walk away, I knew that she was right.
I was jealous.
2.19 Coming Soon!
- Will Kass learn more about her mother’s past?
- Will she find out more details about the house and the mysterious “B.J. LaRue” in her meeting with Mr. Pan?
- What will happen between Ayesha and Kass if Ayesha goes out with Kass’s boss?
- Will Kass make up with her friend, Ayesha after this fight?
- Bea’s granddaughter is Honey Darnell in Appaloosa Plains.
- Casimopea is based on a real-life Japanese jazz fusion band called Casiopea. I picked it because of Kassiopeia’s name, of course. Two of the names of the members of Casimopea are mentioned above and their names are based on real-life band members. Their appearances are not based on the members. Enjoy the two songs on my Simblr- Galaxy Funk and Domino Line by Casiopea I listened to while writing this chapter.
- Simeji chocolate is based on the Japanese food company Meiji.
- Ras Simtan is based on a real-life Egyptian beach, Ras Shitan. See #4.
- Casimro is the capital of Simultan and is based on Cairo, Egypt. In my Simworld, the world representing Casimro is Shiny Skyscrapers.
- You can download Starla_tfc’s The Asian Market at The Sims Resource.