A/N: Woo! I got this chapter out much faster! I keep overcomplicating things with writing too much and then not having enough knowledge of taking good pictures to match, but hopefully I’ll get better as I learn more =) Enjoy chapter two! =D Oh yes, and the chapter title comes from a Tokyo Police Club song called “Tessellate.” =)
Ginger. Her name was Ginger—Ginger Blossom, and she had just moved here from Sunset Valley. It seemed fitting somehow, but I had no idea why her and her family were now here, in Neverglade. After all, Sunset Valley had always been well-known for being a wonderful place to live—a perfect little paradise if you will, but well, I guess there’s no such thing as perfection.
Although, let me tell you, this girl seemed to challenge that notion in the strongest way possible. From the warm, chestnut depths of her fathomless eyes, to the cinnamon freckles sprinkled across her cheeks, to her perfect rose petal lips, to the curve of her slender waist, the girl screamed perfection. She dressed so simply—hair down, no makeup, jeans, and a nice top, and yet she looked more beautiful than any magazine cover girl that I’d ever seen. It was funny how that worked.
I found myself staring at her in classes; noting how her eyebrows furrowed slightly when she disagreed with something said, watching her absent-mindedly tap her pencil against her thigh when she was deep in thought, and, most fascinating of all, observing as she made tiny little paper cranes out of scratch paper when she was bored, which she would hide in her lap and stuff in her pocket to transport between classes, until by the end of the day she had a whole flock of slightly wrinkled, tiny paper cranes. I wondered what she did with them when she got home- wondered if she had a whole fleet of them sitting in a desk drawer, or whether she just threw them out and started over the next day. I was dying to know which it was…dying to know anything more about her really.
“Don’t think I haven’t noticed you staring at me for countless hours throughout the day, er, dude!” Ginger confronted me one day, looking annoyed, but faltering slightly upon realizing she didn’t know my name.
“Uh, Reed. Reed Winters,” I said automatically, blinking at her as if I had just stepped into the sunlight for the first time in days.
“Okay, well, don’t think I haven’t noticed you staring, REED,” Ginger said pointedly, her hands on her hips now as she looked at me accusingly.
“I…I uh-,” I said, my palms growing sweaty. “I uh…plead the fifth?” I said unsurely, because I am STUPID. “I mean-! I uh, I have no idea what you’re talking about!” I corrected myself, my voice cracking at the end of my sentence so I sounded like a shoe squeaking against the gym court. Smooth, Reed, real smooth.
To my complete and utter surprise though, Ginger smiled. Hold on, let me write that again, in case you thought I had a mini-seizure and miswrote: she smiled.“Don’t be so nervous,” she said warmly. “I was just wondering why you hadn’t just spoken to me yet!” she finished, her hands on her hips again and that accusing look back on her face.
I realized now that she was teasing me, and for a moment I literally had no idea how to react, but finally I smiled, and she smiled again too, and it was like the sun rising after six months of darkness. I could actually feel my heart warming up.
“Er…” ….unfortunately, that warmth apparently did not reach my tongue though, because it seemed to be frozen in place. I AM A DUMBASS.
Ginger giggled. “So you’re shy. That would make sense, but hey, only I’m allowed to be the shy one here! I just moved here and don’t know anyone, and no one seems interested in talking to me because it’s halfway through the school year and everyone already seems to have established their friend groups,” she said, rambling on a bit. Her eyes met mine and she flushed. “I’m sorry, I…I’m Ginger Blossom, and I decided to talk to you because it looked like you wanted to talk to me…and you seem nice…although I guess I could be completely wrong and you could be like, a creepy stalker dude or something.” She paused for a moment, scratching the side of her head as she considered me. “Uh…you’re not, right? Ugh! Please don’t be a creepy stalker dude! Oh my god, never mind, I’m the creeper. ….I’m sorry, when I’m nervous I can’t stop talking. Like, I just can’t help myself, it’s like- ”
I held up my hand slowly to stop her, and upon seeing it she immediately shut up, looking at me with an expression both hopeful and a little nervous. “I’m not a creepy stalker dude,” I reassured with a smile. “And I’m glad you decided to talk to me.”
“You know, any typical creepy stalker dude would totally deny it too,” Ginger said, her eyes wide, but a small smile playing at her lips.
“I suppose they would…you’ll just have to trust me, I guess,” I said with a shrug.
“Gosh, trust a complete stranger?”
“I know…it goes against every sane instinct in your body really. I’m sure that stuff has gotten selected against even.”
“It’s totally stupid.”
“Only a crazy person would.”
“An out of their mind insane person. Someone completely bonkers.”
“I think being crazy makes life more fun though, right?” Ginger asked me, a twinkle in her chestnut eyes.
“Infinitely more so.”
“I’m glad you agree, because I trust you, Reed Winters, and I think we should meet at the park tomorrow after school so you can give me a tour of your lovely town.”
I hesitated for only the briefest of moments, looking from Ginger’s bright eyes to her warm smile, to Amy, who had just appeared around the corner. My heart twisted with guilt and my mouth suddenly felt dry, but as soon as I looked to Ginger’s face again, I nodded. “I think we should too,” I said quickly, but meaningfully, and her freckled cheeks touched just the lightest shade of pink before she smiled and then walked off, leaving a blazing imprint on my heart.
“Who was that?” Amy asked, frowning after Ginger as she disappeared from sight.
“New girl. Was wondering where the library was.”
“Oh…” Amy said, still frowning slightly. “She seems kind of weird.”
“Aren’t we all?” I asked with a shrug, still kind of feeling dazed. “We’re all weird to someone,” I murmured, echoing my dad’s words. Amy glanced up at me anxiously and opened her mouth to respond, but then seemed to think otherwise. She shrugged noncommittally instead, took my hand, and dragged me away.
I barely noticed though. In my head…all I knew was Ginger.
I know…I know…I feel you judging me. Or maybe that’s just my own conscience. Oh man, what was I going to do now? Well no, I knew exactly what I had to do: regardless of what happens or doesn’t happen with Ginger, I needed to talk to Amy. The thing was, every time she sensed me pulling away, she grew panicky and upset, and the last thing I wanted to do was hurt her. …but it seemed like either way, I was going to do just that.
Ugh, my head.
Still, after a long and practically sleepless night that evening, I resolved to speak to Amy tomorrow.
…unfortunately, school was a terrible time to do it, and then after school I had promised to meet Ginger at the park. Although, in a way, I wasn’t sure why I felt so guilty about it…Ginger was new here and just wanted a tour. Surely I could do that on a purely friend basis? Of course, it’s just…your thoughts are far from just friendly. Ughhhhhhhhh.
But before I knew it the school day had whittled down to nothing and the bell was ringing to dismiss us. Amy invited me over to do homework, but I said I already had plans and would talk to her later. Neither of these were lies, but I still felt crummy. She looked a little disappointed, but seemed to be understanding. I think she was picking up on the fact that her clinginess was driving me nuts.
We parted ways and I hurried over to the park to meet Ginger. As I jogged I thought about the phone call I planned to have with Amy that night. Or maybe a phone call was a bad idea? Was it cowardly to not do it in person? Then again, I felt like it was almost…less cruel. Maybe. Maybe Buttercup would know? I bet she’d be willing to give me advice, although I’m sure she’d also slap me over the head for being an asshole. Well, I can’t say I wouldn’t deserve it.
“Er…Reed?” I was jostled out of my thoughts by Ginger’s voice and turned around to see her looking questioningly at me and rather concerned. She must have been trying to get my attention for awhile now. “Decided to return to Earth, then?” she asked with a smile, her eyes twinkling again.
“Yeah, wow, sorry about that,” I said, blinking hard and shaking my head a bit. Yeesh, where was my brain today? “Lots on my mind.”
“We could reschedule this, if you’d like?” Ginger offered, studying me for a moment.
“Nah, it’s cool. So…what would you like to see first?” I asked, putting my hands in my pockets and rocking on the balls on my feet. “Anything in particular you’re looking for?”
Ginger shook her head no, so I kind of had to improvise my own tour. It started out awkwardly, with us walking around aimlessly and me pointing out random landmarks, “That’s the police station. ….that’s City Hall. ….there’s a fountain. …some trees….” But eventually the awkwardness between us subsided and I even found myself having fun.
Ginger was full of energy, bright, and funny, and spending the afternoon with her felt awesome. She loved the Community Garden and the nearby lake, and got super excited when we passed by the movie theater. Apparently she was something of a movie fanatic and had been wanting to see one since arriving here, but just didn’t know where it was. I ended the tour at my favorite spot—the beach.
“It’s beautiful here,” Ginger said breathlessly, holding onto my arm as we looked out at the water.
“Yeah. It’s a good place to think.” Ginger smiled and then leaned her head against my shoulder, watching the waves drift lazily up onto the shore. It was such a calm, serene day—a marked difference from my pounding heart and my racing mind. Her weight felt so good against me.…god. Part of me wanted to tell her to stop and admit I had a girlfriend (well, sort of), but the other part of me was afraid to, afraid I would lose any opportunity I might have with her if I stopped this now. I had never felt like this about someone before—I didn’t want to screw this up.
“Hmm?” I asked, shifting and turning toward Ginger. She took my hands in hers and smiled as she looked up at me, seeming slightly nervous as she waited for my reaction, but entirely happy.
“I’m really glad I confronted you about your staring,” she teased with a cute smile.
“I am too. …and I’m sorry about that. I don’t think I realized how obvious I was being,” I admitted with a nervous laugh. “It’s just uh…well, it’s hard not to stare. You’re…you’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever seen.”
Ginger blushed crimson and averted her gaze for a moment before seeming to regain some of her cool. “Thank you. …I have to admit…I couldn’t help but feel, well, giddy that the cutest boy in class was starting at…well, me,” she admitted, her cheeks still tinged pink. I blushed too and gave an awkward, crooked smile.
“Cutest boy, eh?” I asked with a playful raise of an eyebrow.
“Stop! You’re making yourself cuter!” Ginger complained, playfully pushing me away from her. I laughed, and she did too before calming some and stopping, her hands resting on my chest now as she looked up at me. “Would you think badly of me if I said that sometimes…I kiss on the first date?” she asked quietly, moving closer to me. My mouth went dry and my heart did a flip in my chest as her body pressed lightly into mine. I wrapped one arm around her waist, the other moving into the silken orange strands of her hair. My heartbeat pounded in my ears. She smelled like honey and lilies. I pressed my lips softly to her forehead.
“Not at all,” I murmured against her skin. “That…well that would be hypocritical,” I said pointedly. Ginger tilted her head up to look at me questioningly and I took this moment to claim her lips with mine in a passionate kiss. She returned my kiss eagerly, wrapping her arms around me and pulling me close, and I swear all I knew in that moment were the fireworks going off in my body and the oh so sweet, butterscotch taste of Ginger’s wonderful mouth. I never, ever wanted to let her go. These feelings were too good.
“YOU BASTARD!” I suddenly heard shrieked at such a volume that I swear it echoed. I jumped back from Ginger as if I had been rammed in the gut by a rampaging llama, even feeling the wind knocked out of me as I recognized the voice all too well. “How could you!?” Amy sobbed.
“Reed, what-…?” Ginger asked, looking from me to Amy in surprise, her eyes growing unnaturally shiny. “You- you didn’t t-t-tell me you had a girlfriend!” she cried, giving me such a devastated, disappointed look that I swear the very fragments of my already breaking heart shattered.
“I-I don’t. I mean-”
“What do you mean you don’t!?” Amy shrieked through her tears. “What the fuck am I? Chopped liver?” she asked, her voice cracking.
“I didn’t- I mean, we never made it official. I don’t-”
“That’s the worst fucking excuse I’ve ever heard in my life! What is WRONG with you? You make me SICK,” Amy spat, glaring at me with more venom that I ever thought possible from her.
“I didn’t know…I didn’t know,” Ginger mumbled miserably, tears falling down her cheeks now as she backed away slowly, as if in a daze.
“Yeah right you stupid bitch!” Amy yelled, rounding on Ginger. “You act like you’re so goddamn innocent that it makes me SICK. How could you not have seen us together? You’re nothing but a dirty SKANK!” she shouted, leaning down then to pick up a handful of sand to throw at her.
“Woah, woah! Stop it! She didn’t know! This is my fault!” I cried out, stepping forward to pull Amy back. “Ginger didn’t have any- AMY! WHAT THE FUCK?!” I yelled as Amy hurled a fistful of sand into my face instead. I kept my eyes shut tightly and tried to wipe the sand off my face, spitting it out in nasty clumps. Thank goodness for my glasses or else I may have gone BLIND.
“I HATE YOU!” Amy shrieked, and then I think she ran off, or at least that’s what it sounded like—I was still too distracted spitting out sand and keeping my eyes shut.
“I thought you were different,” I suddenly heard whispered tearfully. “I guess I was wrong.”
“No, please, Ginger…Gin’?” I frantically turned toward her voice, my eyes opening only to see Ginger running away from me as fast as she could.
No, no, no, no….what had I done?
The next few weeks were the most depressing of my entire existence. I realized that I deserved it, but that fact only made it worse. I tried on several occasions to talk to Amy, but she refused to pick up her phone, had her parents tell me she didn’t want to see me when I tried going to her place, and gave me such a frigid cold shoulder at school that I could almost feel the physical coldness of it. I apologized numerous times, through voicemail, via texts, in the hallways at school, and even told her parents to tell her I was sorry, but nothing seemed to have gotten through to her. It seemed like I could do nothing to earn her forgiveness, and although I understood, it still sometimes frustrated me, made me angry…and depressed me to no end. I had lost a really good friend.
As for Ginger, she spoke to me, but it was never anything nice. Actually, for a while all she did was glare at me and insult me. I deserved this too, but again, that fact didn’t make anything better. I wanted more than anything to make things right, because I really did think that maybe, maybe, if we could work things out, we could really have something special, but I knew I had messed up my chances for that. Still, it didn’t keep me from trying.
“Ginger, please. Could I just have five minutes of your time? Just five minutes where you don’t try to bite my head off?”
“Fine. Go. You have five minutes,” Ginger finally said one day after school when I had followed her to the park, stopping in front of me and staring at me. This was such a shock that I stared at her for a moment in surprise, and in fact I didn’t stop staring until she looked at her watch pointedly.
“Right! Um, Ginger, I-I realize that no amount of apologies will ever probably make this right, but I have to try,” I started, looking at her pleadingly. “So, please, please, you have to believe me that I feel freaking awful about what happened, and I’m really, super sorry. I should have told you about Amy right from the start. I was just stupid and afraid that I’d lose you if I told the truth. I was going to break up with Amy that night and then…see what happened. And I wasn’t going to break up with her because of you,” I added quickly, noting the enraged look on Ginger’s face. “I had been meaning to do so for awhile now. …you were just the last straw. I know I royally fucked things up, and I’m sorry. I really, really am. I-”
Ginger held up her hand slowly, and I stopped speaking, looking at her desperately. “Okay.” I stared at her, waiting for more. After a long moment, she spoke again, “I believe that you’re sorry…and I do accept your apology.”
“Thank you!” I cried out in relief. “You have no idea how-”
“BUT,” she continued, looking at me directly in the eyes. “I can’t trust you anymore, Reed,” she whispered, and it was at this moment that her cool resolve broke, and her eyes filled with tears. I wanted so badly to hold her, but I kept my grip. “I saw what you did to Amy, and there’s no guarantee that you wouldn’t do the same to me,” Ginger said, her voice strained. “I like you, Reed, I really do, but I can’t help but fear that if we were going out, you might cheat on me too. And I know you’re going to deny that, say that you’ve turned over a new leaf- whatever, but that doesn’t change how I feel. I don’t trust you.”
“I can regain that trust,” I whispered, moving to grasp her hand. “I can take things slow, I can-” She pulled her hand away, shaking her head.
“I’m sorry, Reed. I just can’t do this,” Ginger said quietly. She met my eyes for a long moment, and then took a jerky step forward as if she wanted to touch me, but then decided better against it and shook her head. “I’m sorry. You’ve had more than five minutes. I have to go.”
“Please, Ginger. Don’t. I promise I wouldn’t do that—you’re different, I like you so-”
“I’m sorry,” she whispered again, and then she walked away and right out of my life, just as fast as she had walked into it.
I had truly ruined everything.
I tried on multiple occasions to talk to Ginger again, and even Amy, but all attempts failed and eventually, I had to learn to give up. Neither of them wanted anything to do with me, and I had to respect that.
So I just went through the motions from then on. I went to school, took notes, came home, and then did my homework. Finding I had too much free-time for my liking, I applied for a part-time job at the Bookstore and now worked there five days a week. It made getting my school work done difficult, but kept me distracted and busy, and that was what I needed right now.
Mom, dad, Buttercup, and even Aspen had tried on multiple occasions to talk to me and cheer me up, but nothing ever really changed. I had helped out mom in the garden, went fishing once with dad, let Buttercup try to teach me some guitar (I sucked), and even played chess with Aspen (I’d lost every time), but still, I felt down.
Time did go by normally though, even if I wasn’t, and soon it was Aspen’s birthday. Mom threw a huge birthday at the house for him, and I actually managed to smile for the first time in what felt like forever. I was excited for my little brother and everyone’s spirits were so high, it was hard to be down.
“Happy birthday, dear Aspen, happy birthday to you!” we finished singing. Aspen thought long and hard for a moment and then blew out the candles enthusiastically, ready to take on the challenge of adolescence. I hoped that he would do a better job than me, but then again, considering how terribly I had messed it up, that would be an easy feat for him.
I knew immediately once he’d grown up that the girls would like him, and actually kind of felt bad for him. As I had learned, girls were nothing but trouble and heartache. Granted, I had brought most of the hardship upon myself, but still. They were too much drama for me to deal with.
Then again, Aspen was a heck of a lot smarter than me, so he probably wouldn’t have made such stupid mistakes.
Ugh…was I ever going to get over this?
That night, I slipped away from the party and went on a jog to clear my head. I didn’t typically go out for a run, so I wasn’t exactly in shape and couldn’t go very far, but it was still nice to breathe in some of the cool night air and experience some quiet for once, and that included my brain. Instead of wandering off to depressing thoughts, I found myself concentrating more on not keeling over gasping and maintaining a good, steady pace.
Perhaps I had found my new thing in life. Running around aimlessly. …yup, that sounded promising.
Time continued to pass by in much of the same way (Amy giving me the cold shoulder, Ginger occasionally saying “hey” in the hallway and nothing else, me doing homework, going to work, and jogging) and my life became rather routine until it was stopped abruptly by the arrival of another birthday—Buttercup’s.
This time though, instead of being happy about it, I was downright depressed. Although we mostly kept to ourselves, I realized that I always counted on Buttercup to be there for me, even if it was just hearing her music playing faintly from upstairs or outside. There was something comforting in always knowing that she was nearby, and the thought of her growing up into a young adult and leaving me behind terrified me.
Still, I put on a happy face during the big birthday bash (mom went all out for this one…we even rented out the beach for it!) and cheered just as loud, if not louder than any of the other guests.
Of course, that was difficult to do because it seemed that everyone was out of their minds excited. Even mom and dad were ecstatic, although I could see in their eyes that they were a little sad their little daughter would now be an adult.
I wondered what Buttercup wished for as I watched her blow out her candles….probably to be a famous star or something of the like. It wasn’t actually a crazy dream, but I knew she would have to get as much help as possible along the way if she wanted to turn it from a dream into reality.
“You go Buttercup!” Dad cried out.
“Yay, honey! My little baby is growing up!” Mom shouted happily.
“Could you pass me a hot dog?” I heard a lady at the picnic table ask.
“Wow, so much ruckus. Wonder what’s happening….” the other lady commented as she handed her a hot dog.
-_- Sometimes I wonder how some of these people get invited.
“DAMN she is FINE!”
“That’s my sister you’re talking about!” D=
“….that’s my daughter….” >:[
Ugh. Creepers. I mean…she did grow up to be pretty, I guess. But seriously?
“Hey, is everything okay?” Buttercup asked me once she had none too discretely pulled me away from the crowd.
“Yeah, sure. Why do you ask?”
“I don’t know…you just look…down,” she said frankly, looking me over as if she could see what was eating at me. I debating brushing it off, but as I glanced up at my sister, I realized there was really no point in doing so. This was one person with whom I could be completely truthful.
“I’m…I’m going to miss you,” I admitted, feeling embarrassed and looking away.
“What do you mean? I’m not going anywhere!” Buttercup said with a smile.
“You’re…not?” I asked, looking back up at her in surprise.
“No! Or at least, not for awhile. I don’t really feel quite ready to leave. I want to be more established in life and figure out what I’m doing before I take such a huge step, you know? I already talked to mom and dad and they seemed more than fine with it, happy even! There’s nothing to worry about yet,” she smiled. I let out a breath I hadn’t even known I was holding.
“So I still have to put up with your yodeling?” I asked.
“And the fact that you smell?”
“Hey!” Buttercup cried, she playfully tried to whack me over the head, but I ducked out of her range and ran off laughing. My sister wasn’t leaving yet! She was still there for me! Not everything in my life was falling apart! …or was it? God, I must be really lonely if I was afraid of my big sister leaving. Ugh. “Well you suddenly look down again…I said I wasn’t leaving,” my sister assured as she caught up with me. “I’ll be here until at least your birthday, which isn’t too far off if you remember little brother,” she said teasingly, ruffling my hair.
“Hey! Watch the do!” I said, ducking again. She tried to mess up my hair again and we spent the rest of the party chasing each other around like we were five again. It was the most fun I’d had in awhile, to be honest.
But now I had something else to worry about. …Buttercup was right, my birthday was just around the corner and then I would be a young adult too…and I still had no idea what I was doing with my life.
God…besides hearing that Buttercup was going to stick around, nothing in my life seemed to be going right. What was wrong with me anyway? And most importantly of all…why couldn’t I get out of this funk?
It made everything so much more difficult.
A/N: And another thing to ponder, why can’t any of my sims grow up when the sun is still out?! Grrrr, poor timing on my part, but it’s hard to find opportunities when all my sims are free to join in on a party, lol. Anywayyyy, hehe, I hope you guys liked this chapter and hopefully the next one won’t be too far off either, but we’ll see! Thanks so much for reading and for your comments! They really mean a lot to me!!! ❤