Monday, June 9, 2415, C.E. | Sunset Valley, Valverde
The afternoon slipped away. Kass spent most of the day trying to write her essay. A blank screen can be intimidating. Half of her time was spent starting and stopping half-good sentences. First, she tried to write in the dining room, but the maid came in to vacuum. Then, she tried to type on her laptop by the pool, but the sunshine was too hot and distracting. Finally, she tried to write in her Nonno’s library, but she found herself distracted by his many books. She even found an old book copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Scandal in Saaqartoq.
A striking image of Bella Goth dominated the cover. As the actress who starred in the movie version, Bella seemed particularly perfect for the role. In the story, Adler manages to outsmart Holmes, even appearing as someone else before him, and he does not recognize her. She pulled a whole disappearing act, which of course, paralleled Bella’s real life on several occasions. Kass grazed the cover, her fingers lingering on Bella-as-Irene’s face. She still bore the signature red lips, though she sported bangs as the character, with wispy hairs dangling tauntingly from her otherwise perfect bun. Absently, Kass tucked her own hair over her ear, wondering if she could ever be as beautiful, or half as clever as the famous actress, her idol.
Her phone jingled, pulling her from idle thoughts. Nonna wondered if she wanted to meet them at the festival grounds for dinner. Kass glanced at her wristwatch, hardly believing the entire afternoon had passed, and it was well into the evening. Kass quickly pulled her hair back into a neater ponytail, freshened her makeup, and ditched her bathrobe for a cute khaki skirt and pear green spaghetti tank. Upon arriving at the park, she noticed Dr. Bachelor was out on the green kicking the soccer ball around with her youngest daughter, Nella. Kass smiled and waved at her family physician.
Glancing around for her grandparents, she noticed her kid sister. Andi made a beeline for Kass. She wore tall stiletto heels and an off-the-shoulder purple blouse and low-cut jean shorts. Kass frowned. It was different from her usual look. She even wore eyeliner. Is she wearing a padded bra? Kass gasped.
“Don’t tell…” Andi began, and trailed off sheepishly, a blush forming on her cheeks. “Mamma.”
“Uh, okay,” Kass replied, awkwardly scratching the side of her head. “You’re…um… tall.”
“Yeah, well, I wanted to look older,” Andi said, hiking her chin in the air. “You gotta promise me that you won’t tell Mamma.”
“Tell her what?” Kass shrugged.
“I’m here with… VJ,” Andi glanced around, and giggled, nodding in the direction of her boyfriend.
“You still haven’t told her?” Kass wrinkled her mouth.
“No,” Andi shook her head vigorously. “Have you?”
“Told her what?” Kass placed a hand on her hip.
“About… him?” Andi threw her head in the direction of a familiar male face.
Kass’ eyes widened, recognizing Davis. She angled her body away from him as she wasn’t sure she was ready to see him again after their awkward almost-kiss the other night.
“And I look like this,” she wailed, wishing she had worn something more conservative.
“Yeah,” Andi smirked. “And I look like this,” she snapped her visible bra strap on her shoulder and quirked her head.
“I thought you were trying to avoid… sex… appeal,” Kass said, stiltedly, her face turning nearly as red as her hair as she realized the words that just left her mouth, directed at her fifteen-year-old sister.
“The Good Book is…uh… liberal with the choices we make as Peterans,” Andi said, backing away slowly to avoid tripping. “It says we have freedom from the old laws.”
“Uh huh,” Kass bobbed her head. “You know Nonno and Nonna are around here?”
“Lllama crap!” Andi turned and ran in the direction of the public restrooms. “You could’ve started with that,” she yelled over her shoulder as she frantically tried to cover up her exposed skin.
Kass chuckled lightly. She located her grandparents. Both Nonno and Nonna wore roller skates and looked like they were having a ball. They waved energetically in her direction. Nonna grinned like a school girl as Nonno wrapped his arms around her, complimenting her skating skills. Kass smiled. Her grandparents were the cutest. Nonno tried to give his granddaughter some Simoleons, but Kass shook her head and said she had some of her own money. Despite the fact that she no longer worked shifts at the bookstore and her first paycheck from working in the legal aid office hadn’t arrived, Kass had managed to budget for her summer vacation.
“You’re like Carina,” Nonno shrugged as Nonna tugged on his arm to skate off onto the wooden rink.
“Carina’s here?” Kass asked.
“Sì,” Nonno remarked. “She said…” he waved his hand. ” …lei non ha fame.”
Kass protested, “I am hungry…” but her remark fell on deaf ears as Nonna squealed with delight as Nonno spun her around.
Her face relaxed into a smile. It didn’t really matter. She didn’t want to offend her Nonno. Kass walked through the crowds, passing by a table draped with a red-and-white checkered cloth, where her sister, Andi appeared to be engaged in the throes of a hot dog eating contest. She appeared to have ditched the high heels in favor of flip flops, pulled her shorts higher, and even put on her glasses instead of her usual contacts. As she jammed a hot dog into her mouth, her shirt still slipped off her shoulder. Kass shook her head. She wondered how well Andi would do when her competitors included the plump Beau Andrews, Mitchell Bachelor in a green track suit, and shockingly, his mother, Jocasta Bachelor, up to her elbows in hot dog buns. Kass smirked and clapped her hands as she was joined by their other sister.
“Disgusting!” Carina exclaimed, fiddling with the button on her high waisted flare jeans.
“I think it’s fun to watch,” Kass offered, though she wouldn’t have entered, even with the supposed prize of a gift certificate to Hogan’s.
She may have enjoyed the typical diner fare, and their penchant for deep-fried everything, but she didn’t think making herself sick with grilled pink sausage sounded appetizing.
“What is Andi wearing?” Carina glared at their sister.
“Um… didn’t you come together?” Kass inquired, uncomfortably.
“No, I was at the beach with Lisa, and Andi just took off,” Cari flicked a piece of white fuzz from her pale blue buttoned blouse. “Said she had somewhere to be. If I had known she was gonna look like… well.. that…” she shuddered. “…and stuff her face…I would’ve stopped her.”
“Our little sister is growing up,” Kass teased, squeezing her sister’s head under her arm.
Carina shoved Kass away with a frustrated grunt. “What happened to boho Andi? She’s just trying to impress that boy.”
“Aw…” Kass smiled. “And what if she is? Don’t you like someone?”
Carina stuck her chin in the air, shaking her head. “I have much more important things to do than be parading around town being someone I’m not.”
Pivoting abruptly, she stomped off, leaving Kass to wonder why her middle sister hadn’t grown out of the “boys have cooties” phase. Carina did have a point, though. I won’t ever change myself for a man.
Author Notes: Oh Kass. How naive and insecure you are! I just love my “baby!” 😛 I did enjoy incorporating these never-seen-before-screenshots. In game, Andi accidentally aged up, and I didn’t want to use them in the original story. However, here, I had the chance to use the pictures and explain them away in a sort-of okay fashion. I also love writing the sisters’ interactions. It’s fun. Plus it was neat to see the Bachelor family out on the town, though little Nella isn’t shown. For those of you who don’t know about my version of the Bachelor family, Simis and Jocasta Bachelor are the parents of Bella and Michael and since I don’t follow the whole TS3 timeline before TS2 timeline thing, they are also the parents of Mitchell (TS3 Michael – I changed his name from the original go-around of my story) and Nella (TS3 Bella) Bachelor.
Kass also daydreamed about Bella Goth at the beginning of this chapter, and I figured I should probably mention the infamous lady in red. If you’ve read La Vita Bella, you’ll know she’s in her Irene Adler costume in this chapter. Sherlock Holmes, Jr. was a series resurrcted in the 2200’s by Conan Doyle Arthur. Scandal in Saaqartoq is a play on Scandal in Bohemia. The story is rather fascinating if you’re interested. I thought it was a good idea to drop another hint of Kass’ obsession as it has been awhile. Saaqartoq is a world by Nilxis Designs. Thanks for reading.