Chapter 15 || All Is Not Gold That Glitters.
It was already dark when Emma and I arrived at the front yard of our house. Opening the door of our house, I caught sight of Jana and Max who were sitting on the carpet in the living room, playing with his cars.
She averted her eyes from the round as she heard the clicking noise of the lock. “There you are ! I was worried that something happened to you.”
“I’m totally fine.“, I gave her a reassuring smile. “How was your play date with Max.“, I chuckled.
“Actually, not that bad. It kind of reminded me of the time when you biggest problem when you needed to call your friends at home and feared that their parents would pick up the and you had to talk to them. Plus, he was constantly talking about a girl named Gracie. Who is that ?”
“Oh.“, I let out a laugh. “It’s Noah’s little sister, I believe he has some kind of crush on her.”
My gaze went over to Max who was imitating a siren, pushing his police car around the room until he stopped in front of me.
“What did I tell you about running in the house, Max ?“, I looked down at him, struggling to keep the strict façade when I looked at his sweet and innocent look. “You know dad doesn’t like it when you do that.”
“Sorry.“, was he managed to say when he slowly went back to the carpet full of other cars.
“By the way.“, I turned to Emma who threw her keys on the dining table.“Where is dad ?”
“Upstairs. In his room. He still needs to do some paperwork he couldn’t finish at the police station.“, Emma answered my question, making her way into the kitchen. “I’ll go and finish the meal. Nate told me that they will be here at 8 p.m. which is in ten minutes. Could you guys do me a favour by laying the table. Everything is already on the table you just need to place them properly.”
Jana’s eyes widened in horror at the mention of Nate’s name. I started to feel really bad for not telling her but I know that she wouldn’t come if I told her about our little gathering with him and his stepmom.
“Let me guess.“, she crossed her arms before her chest, glancing at me slightly irritated. “There is no test.”
“Yes, there is but I thought we could combine those two little things so you could get to know each other better.“, I started laying the table.
“But you know that I get anxious when he is around me. Plus, he is about to get back together with his ex. I don’t stand a chance, Jessica, let’s be realistic.“, the annoyed look on her face became more and more serious.
“Screw his ex. I’ll be here with you which means you have nothing to fear about.“, I tried to calm her down. “Give love a chance.“, I added dramatically.
“I believe in love.“, she averted her gaze from the floor back to me. “I just don’t believe in people.”
I was about to comment her statement when I saw my dad strutting down the stairs, neatly dressed like I haven’t seen him in a while before. I was truly impressed by his experience since he never really cares about his appearance.
He is not an unkempt person in any kind of way but he doesn’t invest much time in his daily care routine like I do, although this is a awful comparison since I’m a teenage girl.
“Where is Emma ? I wanted to help her preparing the dinner.“, he questioned me puzzled.
“She is almost done, dad. Since when do you take interest in cooking, you can’t even cook.”
My dad is many things but a star chef is definitely not one of them. I remember that one incident on my sixth birthday when he wanted to cook me fish fingers with rice and salad. Well, long story short, he almost ruined our oven since he thought the display for the time was the one for the degree and vice versa.
The rice was one big mash because he used two litres of water instead of two cups and the salad was like an explosion in my mouth because put horseradish instead of celeriac.
“Of course, I can.“, he replied defensively.
I snorted at his answer.“Yeah, pasta with butter and salt. It doesn’t count if the name of the food is the recipe.”
“Oh I almost forgot. I invited Jana over because she needs to help me study with a math test. I hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course not. The more, the merrier.“, my father gave us a reassuring smile.
Jana was about to say something in response when the door bell suddenly rang. I could feel Jana tense up a little while my father ran to the door to welcome our lovely guests. The other side of the door revealed Nate and his stepmom Malia whose appearance was perfect as always.
Her black dress was ending right above her knees and her peep toes had lifted her body a few centimetre. Nate’s black shirt was glossy and was casually hanging down his body without one tiny knit. I wish I had my life under control like they do...
I poked around in the chicken with my fork which by now looked like someone ran it over with the car several times. I didn’t expect anything special to happen, nor was I confident that my plan would work out but it was worse.
I’d be fine if this whole thing didn’t go as I planned but, in fact, I believe I just made it worse. They haven’t said a word to each other, neither did Jana say anything at all. Malia was actually really nice and I didn’t expect her to have a normal conversation with us but she was really trying. She also made an attempt to have start a conversation with Max, but that mission failed miserably.
You can’t really blame since Max is five and sometimes even I am not capable to talk o him when he tries to get his way.
“I really love your necklace, Emma. Amber is my favourite gemstone. I have a lot of necklaces with Amber stones.“, she pointed at Emma’s necklace.
Emma looked down to the pendant of her necklace. “Thank you, it was a present from my mom.”
Malia’s friendly facial expression faded and turned into concern. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to-”
“Don’t worry.“, Emma smiled reassuringly. “It’s totally fine.”
Malia and Emma kept on talking about talking about jewellery in general and Malia told her a story about her father who was a goldsmith. He used to made a lot of necklaces, earrings and other stuff for her along with a silver pendant which was formed like clover. Her father told her that it would bring her luck, no matter what happens.
While I was half-heartedly listening to their conversation continuing, I my gaze wandered to Nate who was pensively staring at Jana. I put down me fork, my eyes wandering forth and back between Jana and Nate.
She must have noticed as well since her body language was telling that she felt highly uncomfortable, fidgeting on her chair. She looked up a few times to see if he still had her eyes on her and became more nervous every time she discovered that he was still staring at her.
“Sorry, but do I know you from somewhere ?“, he eventually spoke out, directing his question to Jana.
“Uhm. I don’t think so.“, she replied hesitantly, looking in desperation. I felt the need to intervene in their conversation, although nothing really happened but I saw Jana becoming more anxious.
“Wait, aren’t you in the America’s future program as well ?“, his eyes lightened up as he finally remembered. “I am.“, she forced a smile.
“Yeah.“, he added. “You were the girl who spilled red wine all over my green shirt at the charity ball last year.“, he laughed, causing me to let out a snicker.
“Uh. I...Sorry about that again.“, she slowly sunk down in her chair. “Nah, don’t sweat it. i hated that shirt anyways, so it was rather a gain than loss.“, he beamed a smile at her.
“So.“, he continued. “Are you going to be at the gala next week ?“, I looked over to Jana who was completely overtaxed with all the talking. Admittedly, I was too since nothing happened at first and now I am witnessing a conversation which wasn’t going that bad, considering that it’s the first time they talk and Jana could have acted worse. I think we all mutate to idiots when it comes to talking to our crush.
“Actually.“, decided to interfere. “We both will be there. I was invited along with some friends of mine, so I guess we’ll be seeing each other.“, Jana nodded in agreement, more relaxed than she used to be a few moments ago.
“Cool. I’m looking forward to it.“, he said.
Jana’s and my eyes met and I swear we were thinking the exact same thing.
I guess, Nate, you are the only one...
Chapter 16 || Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, I Don’t Look Like Cabbage At All.
Although I initially had an extremely bad feeling, the math test went better than expected. Seems like that tutoring and Jana’s additional help really start to pay off. However, chances are that I screwed up, despite of the good feeling I had during writing the test.
Standing in front of my closet, I was debating with myself which dress to wear for the special occasion since the gala was starting in three hours and I barely managed to shower an hour ago.
Kyle and Sofía said they were going to pick me up half an hour before it commences since we have to drive all the way through Cherry Blossom to get to Jayla’s house.
I’m not very fond of the fact that I have to enter this huge mansion filled with a lot of horrid memories, although I should have known that it will take place at hers since that building is definitely capable of competing against the palace of Versailles.
Groping my way through the coloured pieces of cloth, I found two dresses which were perfectly adequate to were at an occasion like this. The first one was a wine red one.
The top of it was tight with short sleeves and high-cut so that no cleavage was shown at all. The bottom was loosely hanging down my body, merely stopping above my knees.
I looked at mirror and was quite satisfied with how I looked but I don’t know if ‘quite satisfied’ is enough for me. Turning around several times to examine every inch of that dress on my body, my sister Emma suddenly burst in my room.
“Hey, I wanted to ask you if-”
Emma’s gaze went up and down on my, scrutinizing me thoroughly. “Hm.“, she uttered, looking rather unimpressed.
“Wow, thank you for the complement. I couldn’t have said it better myself.“, I said sarcastically, turning my head to her.
“Oh no.“, she snapped out of her thoughts. “You don’t look bad, it’s just I think that the black dress would be better.”
“I don’t know.“, I said hesitantly.“I think the black dress is a little to daring, that one bears more of an understated elegance.”
She blinked at me a few times. “Understated elegance ? Who are you and what have you done with my sister ?”
“Honestly, Emma this is an important event and I can’t go there, being dressed like a hooker.“, I said seriously.
The dress looks pretty decent and I’m fine with just getting through the evening as low-key as possible.
“Okay, Jessica, first of all.“, she raised her index finger. “Just because you don’t look like a nun, it doesn’t mean you look like a hooker and that dress does by no means contribute to that look. Second of all, I get that you want to impress everyone by showing them how you have changed and everything but that doesn’t mean you are also obliged to change who you are. Let me ask you question, Jessie. Do you really feel comfortable in that dress ?”
Tentatively, I looked back into the mirror, preparing a believable answer for Emma but the more I looked at my reflection, the more peculiar I felt.
“Honestly, I look like red cabbage.“, I looked down on myself and Emma was roaring with laughter. “Yeah, I see it now too.”
“I believe that the best way to impress someone is by staying who you are and being comfortable with yourself. I mean, okay, you weren’t a good friend to Alex in the past years, but there is a reason he likes, or even loves you. He likes you because of the confident and caring person you are and not because you dress like Little Red Ridinghood. He doesn’t want you to change who you are but wants you to become nice person who you were before that whole thing started.“, she drew closer to me and gave me a hug.
“You can be nice and dress like a badass, you are not forced to choose, ever. You never cared about what other people think of you except for the people you love, then why start now ? Just have fun. Everything will be fine.“, she pulled out of the hug, looking at me with a half smile.
“You are right. I’ll try the black dress on.”
Struggling with getting out of the dress, I eventually managed to free myself from it and took the black dress out of closet.
This dress was also above knee-length but tight all the way down. It had long lace sleeves which were decorated with a rose pattern and partly transparent. The top of the dress was showing a little cleavage but not too much to my it obscene. I must say looked pretty good.
“Girl, now we’re talking.“, Emma said cheerfully, looking like a proud mom whose child was about go to prom. “You look amazing, really.“, I grinned at her like child.
“So, what do you wanted to ask me ?“, I questioned her, changing back into normal clothes.
“Huh ? Oh, yeah. Uhm, I have a date tomorrow and I wanted to ask you if you could watch over Max since dad has to work all night.“, she finally spoke out after plenty of hemming and hawing.
“Don’t tell me it’s Julian who called you in the middle of the night because he wanted to have sex with you ?“, my mouth hung open at the thought of Emma going out with Julian again.
They dated for a while until she realized that he is the personification of jealousy, totally harmless, but such an idiot, nevertheless. They had some arguments which weren’t severe just really funny and ridiculous.
One incidents which falls within the category of things more precious than I could have ever imagined: Julian was furious because Emma’s Sims husband apparently looked exactly like her ‘ex’ Leon.
I almost died from wheezing because I laughed so hard when she told me about that.
“No, it’s not him. Actually, it’s Leon.”
Thank God, the genetic make-up of my nieces and nephews is saved.
“Wow, I’m so happy for you. How did that happen ?“, I pretended to be surprised since Emma would have killed me if I had told her that I took a tiny part in that.
“You can stop your little play. Leon told me that you two talked about me.”
“I love you. Please don’t kill me.“, I covered my face with my hands, ready to face her wrath.
“I won’t.“, she chuckled. “I’m glad you did because I realized how much I had missed him during our conversation. Truthfully, I never thought that I would see him again. I must say that I was annoyed by you and Alex taking so much time to get together and that you were so caught upon him, but when I talked to Leon everything that happened came back and I started to understand you on so many levels.”
“But now.“, she changed the topic. “We need you to get ready for the gala so that you can hit Jayla in her face with your radiant beauty and confidence.”
“Alright.“, I said. “Let’s get this party started.”