I know, I know, what the heck is this!? I thought you said you’d do the second chapter in a week, possibly even a week and a half! You’ve posted it way sooner!!! Indeed. Indeed I have. I had a bad day today, and when I have bad days, I try to do little things that I enjoy to cheer me up. This evening was watching Glee, playing Sims 3, and staying up late working on this chapter because it’s so much fun. …and that wasn’t even sarcasm! =D Yay! So…while I may be engaging in avoidant behaviors, that is, procrastinating the crap ton of other stuff I have to do this week, I wanted at least one nice evening. So, here we go!! Enjoy =D
Life did get better after that. Or at least, I didn’t have any more moments where my current complete lack of a social life became horribly apparent to me. To be honest though, I didn’t even have the time to dwell on it. After I sold my first harvest, although I was super proud of what I had accomplished, I also realized that I would need to expand my garden and work even harder to make ends meet. So I put all of my time and energy into that. I’d wake up early in the morning, tend the garden until the afternoon, and then spend the evenings reading cookbooks (I wanted to put at least some of the crops to my own use!). I really did love it, but occasionally the routine got old and I’d get fidgety.
On these occasions I usually went into town to explore my new home. There was a wonderful library and several beautiful parks. There was even a community garden where, of course, I loved to spend time. Sometimes I would just walk around enjoying the sights. I even found some mysterious seeds that I was definitely eager to grow. Other times I would tend to the plants. Now I know what you’re thinking. You left your garden so you could go…garden? Yes, but it was different! I wasn’t the only one responsible for these plants, so it was much less stressful. I thought of it kind of like having grandchildren. You can enjoy them when they’re happy…but when they start crying you can pass them off to mom or dad.
My favorite park was probably one of the smallest, but I think that’s why I liked it so much. It was just…cozy, I suppose. There was even a swing set, which I always made a point to use (as long as kids weren’t). Whenever I swung, I would pick a point in front of me, like the top of a building, and I would swing and swing and swing, trying to gain enough momentum to get my feet to go higher than the building. I knew they weren’t really, but there was always something amazingly freeing about seeing your feet rise over buildings and trees and touch clouds. I’d swing until late at night…at which time I’d bring a new meaning to reaching for the stars.
And oh my gosh, I almost forgot to mention the butterflies!! There were so many there, in all sorts of colors. My favorite were the little Red Admiral butterflies because they were always there whenever I was. When I’d be feeling particularly silly, I’d try to catch one, but I was usually never successful, so you can imagine my surprise when I tried a different tactic and just held my hand out and had one fly right onto it!
“Hello little one! You must want to be friends,” I chirped happily. “You’re such a pretty little guy! Or girl? Can you even tell with butterflies?” I blushed then when I realized I was essentially talking to myself. I really needed to open up a bit and get to know some of the townspeople. Yeesh.
Unbidden, thoughts of Noah came to mind. Thoughts of looking into his beautiful eyes as that soft strawberry blonde hair just barely fell into them and seeing his lips upturned in that oh so annoying but oh so adorable smile and wondering what it would feel like to feel those lips against mine and….I came to suddenly as I noticed the butterfly had gone. My cheeks turned red again. Why was I thinking about Noah like that?! Then again, who else was I supposed to think of? Then again, who WOULDN”T think of him? THEN AGAIN- wait, stop, stop! I was more pathetic than I thought. I mean, even my little butterfly friend had left me. I thought we had had a connection when he landed on my palm. ….Aw man, I was losing it!
So, the next morning, I searched the newspaper for any community events going on, but the only one that was happening was an eating contest, and that probably wasn’t the best place to meet people because your mouth would be stuffed and if you tried to talk to someone you would probably just accidently spit a hunk of pie into their eye or something and then they would NEVER speak to you again. And you’d be ostracized by all. And then- wait, stop stop, MOVING ON. I was just going to have to do this on my own. So, I called up a taxi and went back into town.
I went to the community garden, but there were a whole group of friends there, which intimidated me so much that I ended up darting behind a bush and hiding. Pathetic, I know, but I couldn’t help it! So many new people made me break out into a cold sweat. Ugh. I just couldn’t do this. I was going to be alone forever with my butterfly friends, who didn’t even like me. I was going to- wait wait wait, STOP ITTTT! Argh! I needed to clear my head! I just needed to relax, and try again. I wasn’t going to change overnight!
So, I went back to my little park. Predictable, I know, but whatever. I knew it would calm me down and there was never anyone there except maybe the occasional mom or dad taking her kids out. …one day, I wanted to take my kids here too…but I would never get any kids if I couldn’t talk to anyone!!!! Argh!!!
“You look deep in thought,” remarked a familiar voice.
“ARGHAAHH!!!” I yelled in alarm, practically jumping out of my skin.
“AHH!!” Noah yelled too, taking a step back and looking terrified.
“You scared me!!!” I exploded, suddenly pissed off now that I was sure that I wasn’t about to get eaten by a cowplant or something.
“IIII scared you?! YOU scared ME! What the hell?! I thought you spotted a freaking rabid coyote or something!”
“A rabid coyote?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
“IT HAPPENS! …Well then what did you think I was, hmm?”
“Uhh….” I stuttered, immediately blushing ruby. “Err…a cowplant?”
Noah looked at me in bewilderment for a long moment and then burst out into laughter so hard I thought he was going to fall over and literally start rolling around on the grass. “Since when do they have legs!? Aren’t they a myth, anyway?”
“Hey, shut up! I was scared, I wasn’t thinking! And they are too real! A biologist discovered one in Pleasantview!!” I cried, putting my hands on my hips.
“And I caught a giant goldfish!”
“I’m telling the truth!!!!!!!!!”
“No seriously, I totally did. Sold him this morning. Wish I had gotten a picture,” he mused.
I stared at Noah incredulously, my anger deflating. Before I knew it, my lips were upturned in a smile of my own. “Har har, you’re a funny guy, Noah.”
“Yes…I know,” he said airily, holding his hand out in front of him and admiring his fingernails. “I like to think I have a great sense of humor. I originally aspired to be a world-renowned comedian, but decided I was just too good for even that high level of fame.” He met my gaze and winked.
“You’re weird, you know that?”
“We’re all weird to someone,” Noah said with a shrug. Huh. Obvious yet…oddly enlightening.
Oh no, the awkward was back. KILL IT! KILL IT WITH FIRE!
“Hey so, I was just going to set out this picnic basket. I packed way more food than I needed, since this town is so friendly people will just come up and eat your sandwiches, but since I don’t see anyone else around, would you care to join me?”
“On a picnic?”
“On a picnic blanket, specifically. Oh wait- no wait I didn’t mean it like that,” he said, realizing what he had implied and turning a little pink himself.
I giggled. “Yeah…sure. The former, I mean, not- um, yeah-…” my cheeks turned red again. Oh gosh, how embarrassing.
“I know,” he grinned, taking a blanket out of the basket and laying it down. “I assume you already have someone you do that with,” Noah added, laughing, although there was a hint of something else to his tone. Something else that I didn’t quite pick up on because I was so thoroughly embarrassed again.
“That’s none of your business!” I retorted, probably looking rather like a tomato at this point. A bespectacled tomato.
“Wait, I’m sorry, that came out wrong. Really wrong. I meant- I mean…ha, I’ll just say it. Do you have a boyfriend?”
“Why?” I asked, trying to avoid answering the question as I sat down across from him on the blanket.
“Making conversation. You’re new here, I remember. I was wondering if you came with anyone else,” Noah responded casually, shrugging. He reached into the basket and took out two paper plates and a plastic container filled with hotdogs, handing one of the plates to me.
“Oh,” I said, taking the paper plate. I studied Noah’s face for a moment, but I couldn’t get any reading whatsoever. He was just putting a hotdog on my plate now, waiting for an answer. “No…I don’t. I didn’t come here with anyone else either….just…me.”
“Wow. That’s a pretty gutsy move. Parents that bad?” he joked, meeting my eyes for a moment. I couldn’t help but get the feeling that as much as I was trying to get readings on him…he was trying to get the same on me too. And you know, I found the thought of that so, well, sweet that I felt my nerves melt away for a second and just started…talking.
I told him all about Bridgeport, about my parents, our history, how I hated it there and wanted to start a whole new life here. He listened attentively, asking questions where he had them and nodding and I don’t know, the more he did these things the more I talked. And then I started to ask him things. I found out he was the youngest of four brothers, which meant he’d had to develop a pretty good sense of humor because if he had taken anything those knuckleheads (his word!) said seriously, he might have gone crazy, he joked. I found out that he actually fished for a living, selling his catches to the grocery store. In fact, that’s even why I had met him there that day. I also found out that he loved the color orange, aspired to have a big, beautiful aquarium in his home, and that one day he really wanted to start a family, which was very important to him.
I couldn’t believe how, after all of our initial bickering, easy it was to talk to him. I mean, I still got nervous here and there and blushed when I thought I said something stupid, and he still occasionally annoyed me, but overall he was just so…nice. And you know, for as much as I blushed and stumbled over my words, it seemed that he did too, which really relaxed me because, well, it made him seem more human. More…relatable.
After we ate, Noah even took out a couple of his fishing poles and we fished for awhile, just talking or even just standing in amicable quiet. I couldn’t help but notice how happy I felt too. Not that I hadn’t been happy, but it had been more of a content happy. Now I felt positively, well, bubbly.
“Aubrey?” Noah asked quietly, after a long moment of comfortable silence.
“Sorry if this sounds lame but, I really like hanging out with you.”
I blushed. “It doesn’t sound lame. I really like hanging out with you, too.”
“Despite wanting to punch me in the face sometimes?” he asked, the grin abundantly evident even in just the tone of his voice.
I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, despite that. Which really says something, don’t you think?”
Noah was quiet for a moment and I looked over at him, catching a hint of pink in his cheeks in a sliver of moonlight. I blushed as well, turning my attention back to the pond. Arghhhh! Why had I said that!? Why wasn’t the ground showing me any mercy by just opening up and swallowing me!? He glanced over at me and I looked up as well in spite of myself, catching his eye. My heart beat so fast I thought it was going to leap out of my chest. His feet shifted toward mine. How did I notice that? When had I looked down? I took a quick step back without thinking, adrenaline coursing through my system. He halted in his tracks and I glanced up at his face, seeing hurt briefly displayed on it before he suddenly did a 180 and grinned widely.
“Hey, from this angle, the moonlight reflecting in your glasses makes you look like a mole!” Noah cried out, laughing.
I stared at him in confusion for a second and then realized what he was doing. He was smoothing over something, but what? Was it- wait, oh no no no no!!! He must have interpreted the step backward as rejection! Oh dear god no!!! What had I done?! My eyes filled up with tears at my stupidity, but I didn’t want him to notice so I immediately jumped to what I knew best- anger.
“Oh yeah!? Well you always look like a mole!” I shouted angrily, throwing down my fishing pole.
“What? Hey, hey I was just joking around!” Noah exclaimed, putting down his pole too and holding up his hands in a display of innocence. “Hey, look, I was just trying to…to break the tension. I-…I made the situation awkward,” he said, looking strained as he rubbed his neck. “I’m sorry.”
“Wait no, don’t be,” I blurted out quickly, wanting to touch him, but feeling horribly frozen in place. “I didn’t think- I just got nervous, I’ve nev-”
“Hey, don’t worry about it.”
“Really, it’s fine,” Noah laughed. He looked up at the sky for a moment and then back at me, grinning amiably again. “Look, it’s late, I should go, but I really did have fun hanging out with you.”
“Me too, but-….”
“And we should definitely do it again sometime, alright? I’ll see ya, Aubrey,” Noah said, flashing one of his grins again. It didn’t look as happy as it normally was though. Instead, the grin…well, looked forced. I’d never seen him fake a smile before.
“Noah, I didn’t mean to-”
“Aubreyyyyyy, it’s fine. Seriously. I have to go, but no hard feelings. Right? I went too fast,” he responded, looking awkward. He grinned again, but this time only managed a grimace. “Good night, Aubrey,” he said, turning to go. “See ya!”
“See ya,” I said sadly, watching Noah walk off. “….I hope.”
AN: Two chapters written! Yay! Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoyed it! Once again, compliments, cake, and constructive criticism are all greatly appreciated and I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate that you guys read my new story ^_^ Hope you all are well and happy simming!!! Next chapter expected…this weekend then? Maybe? We shall see! =D