"Hey, is Carol around?"
"Oh sure, she's upstairs, I'll go get her."
It seemed like an eternity that they left me waiting there. I didn't know what to do with my hands, I kept fiddling with my shirt, then trying to clasp my hands in front of me, then behind. Why was I so nervous? Carol and I had been friends for a very long time, and I don't think I was the only one who noticed the dynamic between us changing slightly. But I don't like to have that vague weirdness between us. If something is developing that is more romantic than friendly, I just want to call it what it is, and go forward accordingly. I had a good feeling about how this conversation was going to go. I was almost completely certain that she felt the same way about me that I felt about her. It was just the matter of getting that first awkward statement out of the way, then we could both relax.
Finally, she came down the stairs.
"Hey Kenny! What a nice surprise! What are you doing here?" She smiled and gave me a hug, and when she did, I felt it. That same electricity that seemed to be between us that last few times we hung out.
"Hey...I just wanted to talk to you a second if that's ok?"
"Of course! What's up?"
I exhaled deeply, then began. "Ok, you know me Carol, and you know I don't like to beat around the bush, so I'm just going to say it..."
"Of course, I'd expect nothing less than that from you."
"Right. Ok. Well, I have just been noticing something lately and I wondered if you noticed it too."
"Ok. What is that?"
"Do... do things feel different between us lately?"
She stood there, mouth open, but no words coming out.
"I mean, I'm not imaging things, am I? Our hugs feel different, any touch from you distracts me from anything I was thinking about, when I see you at school first thing in the morning, my heart wants to jump out of it's chest. And it seems by the way you look at me sometimes, I don't know, like maybe you feel that way too."
I could see her cheeks turning red, and her eyes darted from side to side, as if she were searching for something to say. "I...um.." she finally stammered.
"If I'm crazy, and it's not something you feel too, it's ok, I'm used to being crazy. I just wanted to know."
"You're not crazy Kenny." she said barely above a whisper.
She took a step closer to me. Something that fiber of my being took notice of.
"I said, you aren't crazy. Things are changing."
I closed my eyes in relief and let out a big sigh. "Whew. I'm so glad I wasn't imagining things."
"But, I don't know exactly what to do about it. I mean, this is very complicated for me, for a number of reasons."
"What do you mean? Don't worry, I'm in no hurry to rush things. We don't have to "do" anything about it just yet. I mean, maybe I could just take you out or something..."
"Ahem." I heard from beside us. Somehow I was so oblivious I didn't hear Seiko come down the stairs.
Carol moved away from me, as if suddenly I was in her personal space.
"Uh, Kenny, I'll get those History notes to you as soon as I can. Ok?"
"Wha?" I didn't understand. Why was she pretending we were talking about school? Carol's whole demeanor changed. She took on a business like manner, completely erasing from her face that look of desire she just gave me seconds before.
"Hey Seiko, Kenny came over to borrow some history notes, right Kenny?"
I was so confused. But I played along. "Uh- yes. I needed some notes."
Seiko shot us both a look that could kill. I was trying to understand why he was so upset. He rubbed his face with his hands in a way that my sister does when she's very frustrated and trying to hide it. "Carol, when he leaves I need to talk to you upstairs."
With that, he turned around and went back up the stairs.
"Kenny, you should probably go."
"What the heck just happened? What is Seiko's problem?"
"I'll do my best to explain later, Kenny." Her eyes welled up with tears. "I have something I need to tell you, something I've kept from you for a while. I didn't want you to hate me, you are my only friend."
"Psssh, there's nothing you could tell me that would make me hate you, Carol."
"Kenny, you have no idea. Just please remember, everything I told you just now I meant. Ok?"
"Ok, now go, please. I'll talk you you later."
"Ok, I'm going."
Oh the way home my head was swimming with all of the details of the evening, along with trying to figure out what on earth Carol needed to tell me. Something she hasn't told me before, and it must be something bad if she thinks I'd hate her for it. And whatever it was, she felt the need to tell me that she was telling the truth about how she felt about me, as if whatever she was going to tell me would make me think she wasn't. And why was Seiko so upset? Yes, Carol and I were standing close to each other when he saw us, and he might have possibly heard me say something about taking Carol out, but it's not like we were making out or something. Even then, she's her foster brother, what does he care?
When I got home, I decided to try to do my homework to keep my brain busy, even though it was Friday night, and I didn't have to do it right then. I tried my best to focus on the last few questions of my homework, but I was still trying to piece together in my mind what was going on with Carol and Seiko.
Maybe he was jealous? I mean, just because they are foster brother and sister doesn't mean that they are blood related. Maybe he has a crush on her? That might explain why she suddenly changed the subject when he came downstairs. Maybe, she knew about his crush, and that's why she felt the need to change the subject, to try to spare his feelings. But then, what was this big secret of Carol's?
I went to bed early, hoping to get a break from my brain trying so hard to think through all of today's events. Eventually I fell asleep.
The next morning, just as I was finishing my breakfast, it hit me like a bolt of lightening. I knew what Carol's secret was. It came to me as I suddenly remembered a rumor that was going around about Carol shortly after she moved here, it was one of those that she laughed off, as did I, because it was so outlandish. There was a rumor that Carol was seen kissing Seiko outside of the movie theater one night.
Carol and Seiko were together. They were dating, they were something, boyfriend-girlfriend, I don't know. But it was true. That explains why Seiko was angry when he saw us close together, why Carol tried to cover up our conversation, her secret that she thought would make me hate her, and even why she told me that her having feelings for me made things complicated for her. Oh my God.
After taking my plate to the sink, I thought about calling Carol. Tell her that I know. Let her explain to me how on earth she has been dating her foster brother this whole time and never told me.
Surely she knows me so well that she would know I wouldn't hate her for that. Yes, I realize society looks down on that sort of thing, but if Carol were some other random nobody that I didn't know, I'd see exactly how they could have ended up together, and I wouldn't even have a problem with it. I mean they both were lacking parents, and know what the uncertainty of moving from foster home to foster home was like, naturally I could see circumstances like that throwing two people together. But, this was different. This was Carol. My Carol. And the reason I wasn't ok with her being with him was only because I wanted to be.
Not debating it any further, I dialed her number.
"Hey. It's me."
"Hey Kenny. Hold on a sec."
I could hear some random noises in the background become quieter, then a door shut, and silence.
"That's better. Ok. So, weird night last night, huh?"
"Yes, Weird indeed. I've been thinking a lot about last night. Trying to figure out what to make of things."
"Oh. And? What do you think?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure I've figured out what your big secret is."
"Oh really. Well, I doubt that. I don't think it's-"
"You and Seiko are a couple. You're together."
"How? Did you?"
"I put two and two together. A rumor from long ago kind of gave me the last piece of the puzzle."
'Oh. Do you hate me now?"
"No. I would never hate you. I mean, I'm not happy about it, but that's only because of our conversation yesterday."
"You mean, you don't think I'm gross and repulsive because I have a thing going on with my foster brother?"
"Well, no. You aren't blood related at all. You just happen to live in the same house."
She laughed a little. "Only you, Kenny, wouldn't be weirded out by that."
"Well, like I said though, it's not like I'm thrilled or anything."
"I know. That's why I wanted to remind you that everything I told you before Seiko came downstairs was true."
"So, you have feelings for me, even though you're with Seiko."
She sighed. "Yes. Seiko and I, well, our relationship has been difficult, especially lately. Having a secret relationship with someone in your own house makes for very complicated circumstances. I mean, when we first started, you know, our relationship, I found a lot of comfort with him. He protected me, kept me safe. I never felt that way growing up. We looked out for each other, and felt loved. But, lately, things have changed. He's not as nice as he used to be. Somewhere along the way he's become too needy, too protective. I guess he knew we were growing apart. I mean, I can tell we are probably not right for each other. But, how do you break up with someone you live with? With someone you have a secret with and can't let anyone know, otherwise one of us will be moved out of our home? I don't want to leave Sunset Valley, I don't want to leave you. If I break it off with Seiko, he'll blackmail me with that. He knows I like it here, well, at least better than anywhere else we've lived."
"So, you like me, but you've stayed with him, so that you don't have to leave me, but we can't be together?"
"Well, sort of. Yes."
"I mean, when you and I first started hanging out, Seiko was cool with it because it helped keep people from suspecting anything about Seiko and I was true. Normally, he'd never be ok with me being friends with a guy."
"Were you really spotted kissing him behind the theater? Have I always been a cover?"
"Yes. We really were spotted. And after that we knew we had to be really careful. And no, you weren't always a cover. I liked spending time with you, you are my only friend outside of our house. I just had to justify it to Seiko somehow, and you being a cover seemed to work best."
"I see. So, where do we go from here?"
"I don't know Kenny. I don't know. I need some time to think about things and figure things out."
"In the meantime, to keep things good around here, we probably just need to only hang out at school for a while. Just for a while."
"Ok. You are probably right."
"I better go for now. Someone's going to be looking for me soon, and wonder why I've been talking on the phone in the closet."
"Ok Carol. I guess I'll see you at school?"
"Yes. At school. Oh, and Kenny?"
"Don't give up on me, ok?"
I moped around the house most of the day, trying to find something to do. I tinkered a little on my new invention, but it was boring me. I wandered downstairs to read, but none of the books looked interesting. Well, this was just great. I certainly didn't want to think about the whole Carol situation, and I was failing to find a good distraction.
I decided to go work out a little bit, maybe that would help.
"What's wrong bro? You only exercise if you're bothered by something."
Panting, I replied, "Bothered. Yep. I'd say I'm bothered."
"Wanna talk about it?"
"Nope. Well, maybe. Not right now."
"Ok. Well I'm here if you need me."
After my workout, I felt a little better, at least my aching muscles were a distraction, but it wasn't enough to change the look on my face.
"Alright, Pouty-Pouterton, we're going out. Get ready."
"Nah, that's ok sis. "
"I'm sorry, what part of that sounded like I was asking you? Get up. Come on."
"Sis, I'm not going to be any fun. Really."
"Well, I think after a few drinks you'll change your mind."
"I should really get to cleaning up the dishes..."
"Our new butler can take care of those! And he'll make sure Mom gets dinner when she gets home. Get changed and meet me in the car in 5 minutes or I swear, I'll knock you out and carry you there myself!"
Well, obviously my resistance was only making Grace angrier. I sighed and went upstairs to change.
This was my first trip to a club, and I didn't know exactly what to expect. But, Grace was right, just getting out of the house made me feel better.
The place was practically deserted but that was all the better for me. I wouldn't have to worry about making eye contact or even conversation with anyone else. After Grace and I spent some time at the bar talking about nothing in particular, and drinking a few drinks, she decided to go check out the dance floor upstairs while I went to the bathroom.
I didn't feel like going all the way upstairs, so I went outside to look at the beautiful pond in front. I noticed there were some fish in the pond, and there was a sign that said, "Catch and Release Only" and some fishing poles in a bucket. Sounded fun to me! So, I gave fishing a try.
Being out here alone, listening to the muted sounds of music from the club, I tried to keep my thoughts from drifting to Carol. But they did anyways. Her situation was difficult. Although I wanted to explore the romantic side of our relationship, I couldn't figure out a solution to doing so without major repercussions. I wasn't going to sneak around and be dishonest. I certainly didn't want to see Seiko take his revenge and get her sent out of Sunset Valley if she broke up with him, and wouldn't feel right trying to encourage her to do so, that was her decision to make. It looked like for now, our only option was to be friends, the timing was just not right for more right now. After graduation, well, who knew!
Getting bored with the fishing, I decided to go inside and have one more drink. It looked like someone already beat me to having more drinks, as Grace was up on the counter top dancing and singing at the top of her lungs with the music.
Thank God no one else was here to see this! "Um Grace!" I yelled to her. "Just how much have you had to drink? "Don't worry, I'm not drunk," she said, still dancing "That's the fun of going to a club and having 'a' drink. No one knows the difference, you can act however you want!!!"
Hm, she was right! I could totally let go right now, and if anyone saw, I could blame in on the Nectar! I decided to join in with my sister. Heck, why not? She saw me being as crazy as she was, and we started singing together at the top of our lungs while dancing our hearts out.
When we were both exhausted, I helped her off the counter and we headed for the door. I couldn't help but hear the bartender chuckling as we left. I think we must have given him a pretty good show.
"Thanks for that Grace, that was fun."
"I told you! Next time, trust the sister..."
The butler let us in when we got home. I can't believe we forgot the house key, and knew Mom would probably already be in bed. Grace yawned and announced, "Yep. I'm good and worn out. I'm going to bed."
"I can't believe you aren't hungry. I'm starving! Hey, Samuel, is there any dinner left?"
"Actually, Mr. Song, there's a key lime pie about to come out of the oven any second, would you like a slice?"
"Yes! That would be awesome!"
Grace dragged herself over to the stairs and said, "Night Kenny. I'm out."
Mocking something I saw her do earlier at the club, I yelled to her. "No way! WOOOOOO! We'll party tell we drop!!!"
"Shut up goof ball, you'll wake mom!"
"Just teasing you sis, geez. Good night."
Samuel"s pie was amazing. It hit the spot! I think hiring Samuel as our new butler was the best decision we've ever made! There was always tons of food around our house now! I swallowed the last bite and a wave of exhaustion hit me. I don't even remember walking up to my room that night. I was out!
The next morning, Mom announced that she wanted us to have a family day at the park. I was glad she had already come up with something for us to do that day so I didn't have to try to find something myself.
Mom and I got ourselves dressed and were just waiting on Grace. She was working on some report or something for work, and said she needed more time to finish, so Mom and I went outside to play catch while we waited.
"When did you know Dad was the one?"
"Hm. well, I guess I knew I wanted to be more than friends with him right after we first met. But I knew I loved him and didn't want to be without him when we had to spend so much time apart I couldn't stand it. Why?"
I knew there was no reason to try to hide who I was talking about. She was the only girl in my life that it would have made any sense that I'd be interested in.
"I think I want to be more than just friends with Carol, but I don't know if it's really the right time, or if I should even bother."
"I think I want to be more than just friends with Carol, but I don't know if it's really the right time, or if I should even bother."
"Carol, huh? You've known her for a long time. And she seems sweet enough. I haven't really talked to her much so I don't know how much insight I can lend to you, but I can tell you this, if you are unsure, you are unsure, and if you know, YOU KNOW."
"Huh? What does that mean?"
"It means that if you don't know exactly how you feel, it means that maybe right now she's not the one, or you don't necessarily love her. But if you KNOW that you love someone and they are right for you, you really KNOW. No one has to tell you, there's nothing to figure out."
"Ah, I see. So the fact that I'm asking means there may not be anything there just yet."
"Maybe." She set the football down and motioned for me to come to her.
"Kenny, I know you, and I know that when you really find love, you'll know for sure. That's your personality. I'm not saying it's not Carol, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. But you are my one kid who knows when things are for certain or not, and I have no doubt that when you figure it out, when you feel it for real, you'll bet your whole life on it, you'll be so sure."
"Thanks, Mom, I really needed to hear that."
"Thanks, Mom, I really needed to hear that."
When we got to the park, Mom and Grace immediately set up a game of chess. I watched for a while, then went off to find a snack at the picnic tables, and made small talk with the other people there.
When Mom and Grace were about to start their 4th game of chess, I interrupted. "I know you two logic-lovers could do this all day, but it's almost dinner time, and I'm starving. Let's go see what Samuel whipped up for dinner."
Reluctantly they put the chess pieces away and we headed for home. I realized that my weekend was coming to a close, and tomorrow I'd see Carol again, which was good but terrifying all at the same time. When we got home, Mom and Grace got changed into their pjs, and I went and found the hot dogs Sam had made for dinner, and made us each a plate.
As Grace and Mom chatted about the hospital and the rounds tomorrow, my mind wandered back to Carol.
I had pretty much come to the conclusion I would tell her that for now we should just remain friends, then after high school, maybe we could talk about our relationship again. I hoped she would agree.
*buckey's notes*- So, I told you something weird was coming! I made the little family that Carol comes from, with the intention that Gammy was the foster-parent and they were all foster kids. I guess I didn't get all the family relationships connected right when I put them together in Create-a-sim, and when I had a free interaction to use and they started flirting with each other, and Seiko got mad, I was like, oh no! And sure enough, they are boyfriend/girlfriend. The other frustrating thing, Kenny rolls wishes to hang out with Carol all the time, even flirt with her, etc, but he hasn't been interested in much else! You can rest easy, however, because I saved up his LTR points, and got him the Master of Seduction reward, so at least he'll never be refused! Well, anyways, until next time!